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Cleo. No, let me speak; and let me rail so bigh, That the false housewife Fortune break her wheel, Provoked by my offence. Ant.
One word, sweet queen.
Cleo. They do not go together.
Gentle, hear me. None about Cæsar trust, but Proculeius.
Cleo. My resolution, and my hands, I'll trust; : None about Cæsar.
Ant. The miserable change now at my end,
Noblest of men, woo't die ?
[She faints. Char.
O, quietness, lady!
Royal Egypt !
Char. Peace, peace, Iras.
1 That is, their standard or rallying point is thrown down. VOL. VI.
Cleo. No more, but e'en a woman;? and commanded
[To the Guard below.
SCENE I. Cæsar's Camp before Alexandria. Enter CÆSAR, AGRIPPA, DOLABELLA, MECÆNAS, GAL
LUS, PROCULEIUS, and others. Cæs. Go to him, Dolabella, bid him yield;
1 Iras has just said, “Royal Egypt, empress !” Cleopatra completes the sentence (without taking notice of the intervening words of Charmian), empress “ No more; but e'en a woman,” now on a level with the meanest of my sex. The old copy reads " but in a woman.” Dr. Johnson made the correction.
2 i. e. task-work. The word is in vulgar use pronounced as if it were chore.
Being so frustrate,' tell him, he mocks us by
Cæsar, I shall. [Exit DOLABELLA.
Enter DERCETAS, with the sword of ANTONY.
I am called Dercetas;
What is't thou say'st ?
Cæs. The breaking of so great a thing should make
1 Frustrate, for frustrated, was the language of Shakspeare's time. The two last words in this line, us by, are not in the old copy, in which something seems omitted, and these words were supplied by Malone. 2 The passage is thus arranged in the old copy :
“The breaking of so great a thing should make
A greater crack: the round world
And citizens to their dens."
The round world convulsive." Johnson thought that there was a line lost; and Steevens proposed to read:
“ A greater crack than this : The ruined world,” &c.
The round world should have shook ;
He is dead, Cæsar ;
Look you sad, friends ?
And strange it is,
His taints and honors
A rarer spirit never
Mec. When such a spacious mirror's set before him, He needs must see himself. Cæs.
O Antony ! I have followed thee to this ;- but we do lance 3 Diseases in our bodies. I must perforce Have shown to thee such a declining day, Or look on thine: we could not stall together In the whole world. But yet let me lament, With tears as sovereign as the blood of hearts, That thou, my brother, my competitor In top of all design, my mate in empire, Friend and companion in the front of war, The arm of mine own body, and the heart Where mine his4 thoughts did kindle—that our stars, Unreconcilable, should divide
1 “May the gods rebuke me if this be not tidings to make kings weep." But again in its exceptive sense.
? Waged here must mean to be opposed, as equal stakes in a wager; unless we suppose that weighed is meant. The second folio reads way.
3 Launch, the word in the old copy, is only the obsolete spelling of lance.
4 His for its.
Our equalness to this. —Hear me, good friends,
Enter a Messenger.
Bid her have good heart;
So the gods preserve thee! [Exit. Cæs. Come hither, Proculeius. Go, and say, We purpose her no shame; give her what comforts The quality of her passion shall require ; Lest, in her greatness, by some mortal stroke She do defeat us; for her life in Rome Would be eternal in our triumph. Go, And, with your speediest, bring us what she says, And how you find of her. Pro.
Cæsar, I shall. [Exit ProculEIUS. Cæs. Gallus, go you along.–Where's Dolabella, To second Proculeius?
[Exit Gallus. Agr. Mec.
1 That is, should have made us, in our equality of fortune, disagree, to a pitch like this, that one of us must die.
2 i. e. “yet a subject of the queen of Egypt.”
3 It has been before observed that the termination ble was anciently often used for bly.
4 “ If I send her in triumph to Ronie, her memory and my glory will be eternal."