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Cleo. Thou teachest, like a fool, the way to lose him.
Char. Tempt him not so too far. I wish, forbear : In time we hate that which we often fear.
I am sick and sullen.
Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall;
Now, my dearest queen,
What's the matter?
Ant. The gods best know,-
O, never was there queen
Cleopatra, Cleo. Why should I think you can be mine, and true, Though you in swearing shake the throned gods, Who have been false to Fulvia ? Riotous madness, To be entangled with those mouth-made vows, Which break themselves in swearing ! Ant.
Most sweet queen, Cleo. Nay, pray you, seek no color for your going; But bid farewell, and go : when you sued staying, Then was the time for words. No going then ; Eternity was in our lips and eyes ;
1 Thus in Twelfth Night :
“ There is no woman's sides
Can bide the beating of so strong a passion."
Bliss in our brows' bent;l none our parts so poor,
How now, lady!
Hear me, queen;
the hated, grown to
Ant. She's dead, my queen.
1 The bending or inclination of our brows. 2 i. e. of heavenly mould.
3 The Poet here means, “ in pledge:” the use of a thing is the possession of it.
6 Cleopatra apparently means to say, “ Though age could not exempt me from folly, at least it frees me from a childish and ready belief of every assertion. Is it possible that Fulvia is dead? I cannot believe it."
7 The commotion she occasioned.
O, most false love!
Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know
Cut my lace, Charmian, come ;-
My precious queen, forbear;
So Fulvia told me.
You'll heat my blood ; no more.
And target, -Still he mends;
I'll leave you, lady.
1 Alluding to the lachrymatory vials filled with tears, which the Romans placed in the tomb of a departed friend.
2 Antony traced his descent from Anton, a son of Hercules. 3 Oblivion is used for oblivious memory, a memory apt to be deceitful.
But that your royalty
'Tis sweating labor,
Let us go
SCENE IV. Rome. An Apartment in Cæsar's
Enter Octavius CÆSAR, LEPIDUS, and Attendants.
Cæs. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,
1 An antithesis seems intended between royalty and subject. “But that I know you to be a queen, and that your royalty holds idleness in subjection to you, I should suppose you, from this idle discourse, to be the very genius of idleness itself.”
2 « That which would seem to become me most, is hateful to me when it is not acceptable in your sight.”
3 The old copy reads, “ One great competitor.” Dr. Johnson proposed the emendation.
A man who is the abstract of all faults
I must not think there are
Cæs. You are too indulgent. Let us grant it is not
him, (As his composure must be rare indeed, Whom these things cannot blemish,) yet must Antony No way excuse his soils, when we do bear So great weight in his lightness. If he filled His
vacancy with his voluptuousness,
Enter a Messenger.
Here's more news.
1 i. e. the stars.
5 “Those whom not love, but fear, made adherents to Cæsar, now show their affection for Pompey.”