Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ask you,

Vent. Or old age and a bed.

Vent. And she that bribe.
Ant. Ay, there's bis choice.

Ant. But I have no remembrance.
He would live, like a lamp, to the last wink, Alex. Yes a dear one;
And crawl upon the utmost verge of life. Your slave, the queen-
O Hercules !' Why should a man like this, Ant. My mistress.
Who dares not trust his fate for one great Alex. Then your mistress.

[soul, action,

Your mistress would, she says, have sent her Be all the care of Heaven? Why should he But that you had long since; she humbly begs lord it

This ruby bracelet, set with bleeding hearts, O’er fourscore thousand men, of whom each (The emblems of her own) may bind your Is braver than bimself ?

[one

arm. Vent. Sir, we lose time; the troops are Vent. Now, my best lord, in honour's name

mounted all. Ant. Then give the word to march.

For manhood's sake, and for your own dear I long to leave this prison of a town,

Touch pot those poison'd gifts, (safety, To join thy legions; and, in open field, Infected by the sender ; touch them not; Once more to show my face. Lead, my de Myriads of bluest plagues lie underneath 'em, liverer.

And more than aconite has dipp'd the silk. Enter ALEXAS.

Ant. Nay now you grow too cypical, Ven

tidius ; Alex. Great emperor,,

A lady's favour may be worn with honour. In mighty arms renown'd above mankind, What, to refuse her bracelet ! On my soul, But in soft pity to th' oppress'd, a god; When I lie pensive in my tent alone, This message sends the mournful Cleopatra 'Twill pass the wakeful hours of winter nights, To her departing lord.

To tell these pretty beads upon my arm, Vent. Smooth sycophant!

To count for every one a soft embrace, Alex. A thousand wishes, and ten thousand A melting kiss at such and such a time; prayers,

And now and then the fury of her love, Millions of blessings wait you to the wars; When—and what harm's in this ? Millions of sighs and tears she sends you too,

Alex. None, none, my lord, And would have sent

But what's to her, that now 'tis past for ever. As many parting kisses to your lips;

Ant. (Going to tie it.] We soldiers are so But tbose she fears have wearied you already. awkward-Help me to tie it. Vent. (Aside.] False crocodile !

Alex. In faith, my lord, we courtiers too are Alex. And yet she begs not now, you would

awkward
not leave her,

In these affairs : so are all men indeed;
That were a wish too mighty for her hopes, But shall I speak ?
And too presuming (for her low fortune, and Ant. Yes, freely.
your ebbing love)

Alex, Then, my lord, fair hands alone That were a wish her most prosperous Are fit to tie it; she who sent it can. days,

[kindness. Vent. Hell! death ! this eunuch pander Her blooming, beauty, and your growing Ant. (Aside.] Well, I must man it out. You will not see her? What would the queen ?

[ALEXAS whispers an Attendunt. Alex. First to these noble warriors, who Ant. But to take my leave. attend

Vent. Then I have wash'd an Ethiop. Y'are Your daring courage in the chase of fame,

undone ! (Too daring and too dangerous for her quiet) Y’are in the toils! y'are taken! y’are destroy'd! She humbly recommends all she holds dear, Her eyes do Cæsar's work. All her own cares and fears, the care of you.

Ant. You fear too soon. Vent. Yes, witness Actium.

I am constant to myself? I know my strength; Ant. Let him speak, Ventidius.

And yet she shall not think me barbarous Alex. You, when his matchless valour bears

neither, him forward,

Born in the depths of Afric; I'm a Roman, With ardour too heroic, on his foes,

Bred to the rules of soft humanity, Fall down, as she would do, before his feet; A guest, and kindly used, should bid fareLie in his way, and stop the paths of death ;

well. Tell him, this god is not invulnerable,

Vent. You do not know

[fant; That absent Cleopatra bleeds in him;

How weak you are to her; how much an inAnd, that you may remember her petition, You are not proof against a smile or glance; She begs you wear these trifles, as a pawn, A sigh will quite disarm you. Which at your wish'd return, she will redeem Ant. See, she comes !

[Gives jewels. Now, you shall find your error. Gods, I With all the wealth of Egypt.

thank you;
This, to the great Ventidius she presents, You form’d the danger greater than it was,
Whom she can never count her enemy, And now 'tis near, 'tis lessen'd.
Because he loves her lord.

Vent. Mark the end yet.
Vent. Tell her, I'll none on't;
I'm not asham'd of honest poverty ;

Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMION and IRAs.
Not all the diamonds of the east can bribe
Ventidius from his faith. I hope to see

Ant. Well, Madam, we are met.
These and the rest of all her sparkling store,

Cleo. Is this a meeting?
Where they shall more deservingly be placed. Then we must part !
Ant. And who must wear them then ?

Ant. We must.
Vent. The wrong'd Octavia.

Cleo. Who says we must ? Ant. You might have spared that word. Ant. Our own hard fates.

ruins you.

me.

1260 Cleo. We make those fates ourselves. Your silence says I have not. Fulvia died; Ant. Yes, we have niade them ; we have (Pardon, you gods, with my unkindness died,) loved each other,

To set the world at peace, I took Octavia, Unto our mutual ruin.

This Cæsar's sister; in her pride of youth, Cleo. The gods have seen my joys with en. And flower of beauty did I wed that lady, vious eyes;

Whom, blushing, I must praise, although I left And all the world,

[us)
her :

[mons ; (As 'twere the business of mankind to part You call’d; my love obey'd the fatal som ìs arm'd against my love; even you yourself

This raised the Roman arms; the cause was Join with ihe rest : you, you are arm'd against

yours.

(stronger ;

I would have fought by land, where I was Ant. I will be justified in all I do

You hinder'd it; yet, when I fought at sea, To late posterity, and therefore, hear me; Forsook me fighting; and, O) stain to honour! If I mix a lie

O lasting shame! I knew not that I fled,
With any truth, reproach me freely with it; But fled to follow you.
Else, favour me with silence.

Vent. What haste she made to hoist her purCleo. You command me,

ple sails ; And I am dumb.

And to appear magnificent in flight,
Vent. I like this well; he shows authority. | Drew half our strength away.
Ant. That I derive my ruin

Ant. All this you caused,
From you alone-

And, would you multiply more ruins on me ? Cleo. O Heavens! I ruin you !

This' honest man, my best, my only friend, Ant. You promised your silence, and you Has gather'd up the shipwreck of my for. break it,

tunes ; Ere I have scarce begun.

Twelve legions I have left, my last recruits, Cleo. Well, I obey you.

you have watch'd the news, and bring Ant. When I beheld you first, it was in

your eyes Egypt,

To seize them too. If you have ought to Ere Cæsar saw your eyes ; you gave me love,

answer,
And were too young to know it; that I settled Now speak, you have free leave.
Your father on his throne, was for your sake; Alex. She stands confounded :
I 'left th' ackņowledgweut for time to ripen. Despair is in her eyes.

(Aside. Cæsar stepp'd in, and with a greedy band Vent. Now lay a sigh i' th’ way, to stop his Pluck'd the green fruit, ere the first blush of

passage: red,

Prepare a tear, and bid it for his legions; Yet cleaving to the bough. He was my lord, 'Tis like they shall be sold. And was, beside, too great for me to rival. Cleo. How shall I plead my cause, when you, But I deserved you first, though he enjoy'd

my judge, you.

Already have condemn'd me? Shall I bring When, after, I beheld you in Cilicia,

The love you bore me for my advocate ? An enemy to Rome, I pardon'd you.

That now is turn'd against me, that destroys Cleo. I clear'd myself,

me ; Ant. Again you break your promise. For love once past, is at the best forgotten. I loved you still, and took your weak excuses, But oftener sours to hate : 'twill please my lord Took you into my bosom, stain'd by Cæsar, To ruin me, and, therefore, I'll be guilty And not half mine : I'went to Egypt with But, could I once have thought it would have you,

pleased you,

(eyes And hid me from the business of the world, That you would pry, with narrow, searching Shut out icquiring nations from my sight, Into my faults, severe to my destruction, To give whole years to you.

And watching all advantages with care, Vent. Yes, to your shame be't spoken. That serve to make me wretched? Speak, my

[Aside.

lord, Ant. How I loved

For I end here. Though I deserve this usage, Witness ye days and nights, and all ye hours, Was it like you to give it? That danced away with down upon your feet, Ant. 0, you wrong me, As all your business were to count my passion. To think I sought this parting, or desired One day pass'd by, and nothing saw but love; T accuse you more than what will clear myAnother came, and still 'twas only love ;

self, The suns were wearied out with looking on, And justify this breach. And I untired with loving.

Cleo. Thus low I thank you :
I saw you every day, and all the day,

And since my innocence will not offend,
And every day was still but as the first; I shall not blush to own it.
So eager was I still to see you more.

Vent. After this
Vent. 'Tis all too true.

I think she'll blush at nothing. Ant. Fulvia, my wife, grew jealous,

Cleo. You seem grieved, As she, indeed, had reason, raised a war (And therein you are kind) that Cæsar first In Italy to call me back.

Enjoy'd my love, though you deserved it betVent. But yet

ter.

(ed You went not.

For had I first been yours, it would have saveAnt. While within your arms I lay, My second choice; I never had been his, The world fell mouldering from my hands each | And ne'er had been but yours. But Cæsar hour,

[for'.

first And left me scarce a grasp, I thank your love You say possess'd my love. Not so, my lord :

Vent. Well push'd !" that last was home. He first possess'd my person, you my love; Cleo. Yet may I speak?

Cæsar loved me; but I loved Antony. Ant. If I have urged a falsehood, yes ; else, Vent. 0, syren ! syren!

[true, not.

Yet grant ihat all the love she boasts were

off :

Has she not ruin'd you? I still urge that, This minute in your arms, I'll die
The fatal consequence.

And end your trouble.
Cleo. The consequence indeed,

Ant. Die !-Rather let me perish ! Loosen'd For I dare cballenge him, my greatest foe,

nature To say it was desiga'd ; 'tis true, I loved you, Leap from its hinges, sink the props of heaven, And kept you far from an uneasy wife, And fall the skies to crush the nether world. Such Fulvia was.

My eyes ! my soul ! my all ! Yes, but he'll say, you left Octavia for me:

[Embruces her. And can you blame me to receive that love, But, could she scape without me, with what Which quitted such desert for worthless me?

haste How often have I wish'd some other Casar, Would she let slip ber hold and make to shore, Great as the first, and as the second young, And never look behind ! Would court my love, to be refused for you! Down on thy knees, blasphemer as thou art, Vent. Words, words! but Actium, Sir, re- And ask forgiveness of wrong'd .innocence. member Actium.

Vent. I'll rather die, than take it. Will Cleo. Even there, I dare his malice. True,

you go? I counsellid

Ant. Go! whither? Go from all that's exTo fight at sea; but I betray'd you not.

cellent! I fled, but not to the enemy. "I'was fear: Give to your boy, your Cæsar, Would I had been a man, not to have fear'd, This ratile of a globe to play withal, For none would then have envied me your This gew-gaw world, and put bim cheaply

friendship, Who envy me your love.

I'll

not be pleased with less than Cleopatra. Ant. We're both unhappy;

Cleo. She's wholly yours. My heart's so If nothing else, yet our iil fortune parts us.

full of joy, Speak! Would you have me perish by my Tha: I shall do some wild extravagance stay?

Of love in public ; and the foolish world, Cleo. If as a friend you ask my judgment, Which knows not tenderness, will think me go;

mad. If as a lover, stay. If you must perish—- Vent. O women, women, women! all the "Tis a hard word; but stay.

gods Vent. See now the effects of her so boasted Have not such power of doing good to man; love ! As you of doing harm,

[Exit. She strives to drag you down to ruin with her; Ant. Our men are arm'd. But could she scape without you, O how soon Unbar the gate that looks to Cæsar's camp ; Would she let go her hold, and baste to shore, I would revenge the treachery he meant me; And never look behind.

And long security makes conquest easy. Cleo. Theo judge my love by this.'

I'm eager to return before I go ;

[Gives Ant, a letter. For all the pleasures I have known, beat thick Could I have borne

On my remembrance. How I long for night; A life or death, a happiness or wo,

That both the sweets of mutual love may try, From yours divided, this had given me means. And triumph once o'er Cæsar ere we die. Ant. By Hercules! the writing of Octavius!

[Exeunt. See, see, Ventidius! Here he offers Egypt, And joins all Syria to it, as a present, So, in requital, she forsakes my fortune,

.

ACT III.
And joins her arms with his.
Cleo. And yet you leave me!

SCENE I.
You leave me, Antony; and yet I love you.
Indeed I do: 'I have refused a kingdom, Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMION, IRAS, ALEXAS,
That's a trifle;

and Train ; ANTONY and Romans.
For I would part with life, with any thing,
But only you. O let me die but with you !
Is that a hard request ?

CLEOPATRA crowns ANTONY.
Ant. Next living with you,
"Tis all that Heaven can give.

Ant. My brighter Venus ! Cleo. No; you shall go ; your interest calls Cleo. O my greater Mars ! you hence;

[these Ant. Thou join'st us well my love. Yes; your dear interest pulls too strong for There's no satiety of love in thee; Weak arms to hold you here

Enjoy'd, thou still art new; perpetual spring

[Takes his hand. Is in thy arms; the ripen’d fruit but falls, Go ; leave me, soldier ;

And blossoms rise to fill its empty place, (For you're no more a lover :) leave me dying ; And I grow rich by giving. Push me all pale and paoting from your bosom, And when your march begins, let one run Enter VENTIDIUS, and stands apart.

after, Breathless almost for joy, and cry, she's dead! Alex. O now the danger's past ; your genThe soldier's shout; you then perbaps may

eral comes, sigh,

He joins not in your joys, nor miods your And muster all your Roman gravity ;

triumphs : Ventidius chides, and straight your brow clears But with contracted brows, looks frowning on, As I had never been.

[up, As envying your success. Ant. Gods, 'tis too much! too much for Ant. Now, on my soul he loves me, truly man to bear.

loves me; Cleo. What is't for me then,

He never flatter'd me in any vice. A weak, forsaken woman, and a lover ? But awes me with his virtue ; even this mi rute Here let me breathe my last; envy me not Methinks he has a right of chiding me.

U

Lead to the temple ; I'll avoid his presence, Ant. 'Tis he himself, himself; by holy friend. It checks too strong upon me.

sbip!

(Runs to embrace him. [Exeunt the rest. Art thou retorn'd at last, my better half! [As Antony is going, VENTIDIUS pulls Come give me all myself! him by the robe.

Dol. I must be silent, for my soul is busy Vent. Emperor !

About a pobler work. She's new come home! Ant. 'Tis the old argument; I pr’ythee Like a long absent man, and wanders o'er spare me.

(Looking back. Each room, a stranger to her own, to look Vent. But this one bearing, emperor.

If all be safe. Ant. Let go

Ant. Thou hast what's left of me; y robe! or, by my father Hercules

But, O my Dolabella ! Vent. By Hercules's father-that's yet Thou hast beheld me other than I am greater,

Hast thou seen my morning chamber fillid bring you somewhat you would wish to With scepter'd slaves, who waited to salute know.

me? Ant. Thou see'st we are observed ; attend With eastern monarchs, who forgot the sun me here,

To worship my uprising? Menial kings And I'll return.

[Exit. Stood silent in my presence, watch'd my eyes Vent. I'm waneing in bis favour, yet I love And, at my least command, all started out, him;

Like racers to the goal. I love this man who runs to meet bis ruin ! Dol. Slaves to your fortune. Aud sure the gods, like me are fond of him: Ant. Fortune is Cæsar's now; and what His virtues lie so mingled with his crimes,

am I? As would confound their choice to punish one, Vent. What have you made yourself; I will And not reward the other.

not flatter.

Ant. Is this friendly done?
Enter ANTONY.

Dol. Yes, when his end is so, I must join

with bim; Ant. We can conquer,

Indeed I must, and yet you must not chide : You see, without your aid.

Why am I else your friend? We have dislodged their troops,

Ant. Take heed, young man, Five thousand Romans, with their faces up. How thou upbraid'st my love ? the queen has ward,

eyes

(ber Lie breathless on the plain.

And thou too hast a soul! Canst thou rememVent. 'Tis well: and he

When, swelld with hatred, thou beheld'st her Who lost them, could have spared ten thou

first, sand more.

As accessary to thy brother's death? Yet if, by this advantage, you could gain Dol. Spare my remembrance ! 'twas a guilty An easier peace, while Cæsar doubts the day. Of arms

(chance And still the blush hangs here. Ant. I think not on't, Ventidius !

Ant. To clear herself, The boy pursues my ruin; he'll no peace ! For sending him no aid, she came from Egypt, Vent. Have you no friend

Her galley down the silver Sydnos row'd, In all his army, who has power to move him; The tackling silk, the streamers waved with Meceanas, or Aggippa, might do much.

gold; Ant. Pray think again.

The gentle winds were lodged in purple sail : Why dost thou drive me from myself, to search Her nymphs, like nereids, round her couch For foreign aids; to hunt my memory,,

were placed ; And range all o'er a wild and barren place Where she, another sea-born Venus, lay. To find a friend ? the wretched have no Dol. No more! I would not hear it! friends

Ant, Oh, you must! Yet I had one, the bravest youth af Rome, She lay, and lean'd her cheek upon her hand, Whom Cæsar loves beyond the love of'wo- And cast a look so languishingly sweet,

As if, secure of all beholder's hearts, Vent. Him would I see! that man of all Neglecting she could take them! boys like the world!

cupids, Just such a one we want.

Stood fanning with their painted wings, the Ant. He loved me too.

winds I was his soul; he lived not but in me; That play'd about her face: but if she smiled, We were so closed withio each other's breasts, A darting glory seem'd to blaze abroad: The rivets were not found that join'd us first.' That men's desiring eyes were never wearied, I need not tell bis name: 'twas Dolabella. But hung upon the object ! To soft flutes Vent. He's now in Cæsar's camp.

The silver oars kept time; and while they Ant. No matter where,

play'd, Since he's no longer mine. He took unkindly The hearing gave new pleasure to the sight, That I forbade him Cleopatra's sight; And both to thought. "Twas Heaven, or someBecause I fear'd he loved her.

what more! Would he were here.

For she so charm'd all hearts, that gazing Vent. Would you believe he loved you ?

crowds I read your answer in your eyes you would. Stood panting on the shore, and wanted breath Not to conceal it longer, he is sent

To give their welcome voice : A messenger from Cæsar's camp, with letters. Then, Dolabella, where was then thy soul? Ant. Let him appear.

Was not thy fury quite disarm’d with wonVent. I'll bring him instantly.

der ? [Exit VENTIDIUS, and re-enters inmedi- Ard whisper in my ear, oh, tell her not atelu with DOLABELLA.

That I accused her of my brother's death!

men.

to you.

yet he

Dol. And should my weakness be a plea for | No secret call, no whisper they are yours? yours?

Dol. For shame, my lord, if not for love, reMine was an age when love might be excused,

ceive them Yours

With kinder eyes. If you confess a man, Vent. Speak boldly,

Meet them, embrace them, bid them welcome Yours, he would say, in your declioing age, In you (I would not use so harsh a word) Ant. I stood amazed to think how they came "Tis but plain dotage.

hither. Ant. Ha!

Vent. I sent for them; I brought them in, Dol. 'Twas urged too home.

unknown But yet the loss was private that I made; To Cleopatra's guards. "I'was but myself I lost: I lost no legions; Dol. Yet are you cold ? I had no world to lose, no people's love. Oct. Thus long I have attended for my wel. Ant. This from a friend ?

come; Dol. Yes, Antony, a true one;

Which, as a stranger, sure I might expect. A friend so tender, that each word I speak Who am I? Stabs iny own heart, before it reach your ear. Ant. Cæsar's sister. O judge me not less kind because I chide : Oct. That's unkind! To Cæsar I excuse you.

Had I been nothing more than Cæsar's sister, Ant. O ye gods!

Know, I had still remain'd in Cæsar's camp; Have I then lived to be excused to Cæsar ! But your Octavia, your much injured wife, Dol, As to your equal.

The banish'd from your bed, driven from your Ant. Well, he's but my equal :

house ; While I wear this, he never sball be more. In spite of Cæsar's sister, still is yours. Dol. I bring conditions from him.

"Tis true, I have a heart disdains your coldAnt. Are they noble?

ness,

[offer ; Methinks thou shouldst not bring them else ; And prompts me not to seek what you should

But a wife's virtue still surmounts that pride; Is full of deep dissembling; knows no honour I come to claim you as my own; to show Divided from his interest.

My duty first, to ask, pay beg, your kindness; He's fit, indeed, to buy, not conquer king. Your band, my lord ; 'tis mine, and I will doms.

have it Vent. Then, granting this,

Vent. Do take it; thou deserv'st it. What power was theirs who wrought so hard Dol. On my soul, and so she does. a temper

Ant. I fear Octavia, you have begg'd my To honourable terms?

life. Ant. It was my Dolabella, or some god. Oct. Begg’d it, my lord ? Dol. Notl; nor yet Meceanas, nor Agrippa ; Ant. Yes, begg'd it, my ambassadress; They were your enemies; and I a friend Poorly and baseiy begg'd it of your brother. Too weak alone; yet 'twas a Roman deed. Oct. Poorly and basely, I could never beg; Ant. 'Twas like a Roman done ; show me Nor could my brother grant. that man

Ant. Shall"), who, to my kneeling slave, Who has preserved my life, my love, my hon.

could say, Let me but see his face.

[our; Rise up and be a king; shall I fall down Vent. That task is mine. I

And cry, forgive me, Cæsar ? And, Heaven, thou know'st how pleasing. No; that word,

[Exit Vent. Forgive, would choke me up, Dol. You'll remember

And die upon my tongue. To whom you stand obliged ?

Dol. You shall not need it. Ant. When I forget it,

Ant. I will not need it. Come, you've all Be thou unkind, and that's my greatest curse.

betray'd me, My queen shall thank him too.

My wife has bought me, with her prayers and Dol. I fear she will not.

tears ; Ant. But she shall do't. The queen, my In every peevish mood she will upbraid Dolabella!

The life she gave. If I but look awry, Hast thou not still some grudgings of thy She cries I'll tell my brother. fever?

Oct. My hard fortune Dol. I would not see her lost.

Subjects me still to your unkind mistakes. Ant. When I forsake her,

But the conditions I have brought are such Leave ine, my better stars; for she has truth You need not blush to take. I love your hopBeyond her beauty. Cæsar tempted her,

our, At no less price than kingdoms, to betray me ; Because 'tis mine. It never shall be said But she resisted all; and yet thou chid'st me Octavia's husband was her brother's slave. For loving her too well. Could I do so? Sir, you are free; free even from her you Dol. Yes; there's my reason.

loathe ;

For, though my brother bargains for your love, Re-enter VENTIDIUS with Octavia, leading Makes me the price and cement of your peace, ANTONY's two little Daughters.

I have a soul like yours, I cannot take

Your love as alms, nor beg what I deserve. Ant. Where Octavia there!

I'll tell my brother we are reconciled ;

[Starting back. He shall draw back his troops, and you shall Vent. What, is she poison to you? a dis,

march

(Athens ; ease!

To rule the east: I may be dropp'd at Jook on her; view her well, and those she No matter where, I never will complain, brmgs,

(ture But only keep the barren name of wise, Are they all strangers to your eyes ? Has pa- | And rid you of the trouble.

« AnteriorContinuar »