« AnteriorContinuar »
Bear witness, gods, you heard him bid me go. But not as foes. In few we saw their caps You, whom he mock'd with imprecating vows On either side thrown up, the Egyptian or promised faith-I'll die, I will not
galleys, bear it.
Received like friends, pass'd through, and fell behind
(ward, Enter ALEXAS.
The Roman rear, and now, they all come for
And ride within the port. Art thou there, traitor! Oh,
Cleo. Enough, Serapion : Oh, for a little breath, to vent my rage.
I've heard my doom. This needed not, you Alex. Yes, I deserve it, for my ill-timed
gods : truth.
When I lost Antony, your work was done. Cleo. I would reason
Where's my lord ? How bears he this last More calmly with you. Did you not o'er
Ser. His fury cannot be expressed by And force my plain, direct, and open love,
words; Into these crooked paths of jealousy?
Thrice be attempted headlong to have fallen Now, what's th' event ? Octavia is removed ; Full on his foes, and aim'd at Cæsar's galley ; But Cleopatra banish'd.
Withheld, he raves on you, cries, he's beAlex. Believe me, Madam, Antony is yours.
tray'd. His heart was never lost; but started off
Should he now find you-
Cleo. I'll stay.
ment, May perfect this unfinish'd work, which I While I make speed to Cæsar. (Unhappy only to myself) have left
Cleo. Cæsar ! No, So easy to his hand.
I have no business with him. Cleo. Look well thou do't ; else
Alex. I can work him, Alex. Else, what your silence threatens~ To spare your life, and let this madman Antony
perisb. Is mounted up the Pharos ; from whose tur- Cleo. Base, fawning wretch! wouldst thou ret,
betray him too ? He stands surveying our Egyptain galleya, Hence from my sight, I will not hear a Engaged with Cæsar's fleet, now death, or
'Twas thy design brought all this ruin on us. If the first bappen, fate acquits my promise, Serapion, thou art honest; counsel me ; If we o'ercome, the conqueror is yours.
But haste, each moment's precious. [A distant shout within. Ser. Retire; you must not yet see Antony. Char. Have comfort, Madam : Did you mark He who began this mischief,
that shout ? (Second shout nearer. 'Tis just he tempt the danger : let him clear Iras. Hark, they redouble it.
you; Aler. 'Tis from the port.
And, since he offer'd you his servile tongue, The loudness shows it near. Good news, To gain a poor precarious life from Cæsar, kind Heavens.
Let him expose that fawning eloquence,
Alex. O Heavens! I dare not:
I meet my certain death.
Cleo. Slave, thou deserv'st it. Ser. Where, where's the queen ?
Not that I fear my lord will I avoid him ; O horror, horror,
I know him noble: When he banish'd me, Egypt has been, the latest hour is come.
And thought me false, he scorn'd to take my The queen of nations from her ancient seat Is sunk for ever in the dark abyss.
But I'll be justify'd, and then die with him. Time has unrollid her glories to the last, Alex. O pity me, and let me follow you. And now closed up the volume.
Cleo. To death, if thou stir hence. Speak, Cleo. Be more plain ;
if thou canst, Say, whence thou cam'st, (though fate is in Now for thy life, which basely thou wouldst thy face,
(pion. Which from thy haggard eyes look wildly out, While mine 1 prize at this. Come, good SeraAnd threatens ere thou speak'st.)
[Exeunt CLEO. SER. CHAR. and Iras. Ser. I came from Pharos,
Alex. Oh! that I less could fear to lose this From viewing (spare me and imagine it)
being, Our land's last hope, your navy
Which like a snow-ball in my coward hand, Cleo. Vanquish’d.
The more 'tis grasp'd, the faster melts away. Ser. No,
Poor reason! What a wretched aid art thou ! They fought pot.
For still, in spite of thee, Cleo. Then they fled.
These two long lovers, soul and body, dread Ser. Nor that. I saw,
Their final separation. Let me think : With Antony your well appointed fleet What can I say, to save myself from death? Row out; and thrice he waved his hand on No matter what becomes of Cleopatra. bigh,
[back. Ant. Which way? Where? (Within. And thrice with cheerful cries they shouted Vent. This leads to th' monument. The well-timed oars,
[Within. Now dipp'd from every bark, now smoothly Alex. Ah me! I hear him: yet I'm unprerun
pared, To meet the foe, and soon, indeed, they met, My gift of lying's gone ;
And this court devil, which I so oft have How easily might she have gone to Cæsar, raised,
Secure by such a bribe! Forsakes me at my need. I dare not stay; Vent. She sent it first, Yet cannot go far herce.
[Éxit. To be more welcome after.
Ant. 'Tis too plain;
Else would she have appear'd to clear herself. Enter ANTONY and VentiDIUS.
Alex. She could not bear
To be accused by you ; but shut herself, Ant. ( happy Cæsar! thou hast men to Within her monument: look'd down and lead.
(tears Think not 'tis thou hast conquer'd Antony ;. While, from her unchanged face, the silent But Rome has conquer'd Egypt. I'm betray'd. Dropp’d, as they had not leave, but stole their Vent. The nation is one universal traitor;
parting. and their queen
Some undistinguish'd words she inly murThe very spirit and extract of them all.
[looks Ant. Is there yet left
At last she raised her eyes, and with such A possibility of aid and valour ?
As dying Lucrece cast-
Vent. Go on.
Alex. She snatch'd her poniard, Of such a boy as Cæsar.
And, ere we could prevent the fatal blow, Vent. There yet remain
Plunged it within her breast: then turn'd to Three legions in the town. The last assault
me; Lopp'd off the rest. If death be your desigo, Go, bear my lord, said she, my last farewell, As I must wish it now, these are sofficient And ask him, if he yet suspect my faith. To make a heap about us of dead foes; More she was saying, but death rush'd be An honest pile for burial.
twixt. Ant. They're enough.
pronounced your name with her last We'll not divide our stars; but side by side
breath, Fight emulous, and with malicious eyes And buried half within her. Survey each other's acts.
Vent. Heaven be praised. Vent. Now you shall see I love you. By Ant. Then art thou innocent, my poor dear my few hours of life,
love? I am so pleased with this brave Roman fate, And art thou dead ? That I would not be Cæsar to outlive you. Oh, those two words! their sound should be When we put off this flesh and mount together,
divided : It shall be shown to all th' ethereal crowd, Hadst thou been false, and died: or hadst Lo, this is he who died with Antony.
[death! Ant. Who knows but we may pierce through And hadst been true-But innocence and all their troops,
This shows not well above. Then what am I? And reach my veterans yet? 'Tis worth the The murderer of this truth, this innocence ! tempting
Thoughts cannot forin themselves in words so
horrid Enter Alexas, trembling.
As can express my guilt!
Vent. Is't come to this? The gods have been Vent. See, see, that villain !
too gracious, See how he has set his count'nance for deceit; And thus you thank them for't. And promises a lie, before he speaks! Ant. [To Alex.] Why stay'st thou here? Let me despatch him first. (Drawing. Thou art not worthy to behold what now Ant. Hold; he's not worth your killing. On Becomes a Roman emperor to perform. thy life,
(Exit Ales. (Which thou may’st keep because I seorn to Vent. Would she had died a little sooner take it)
though, No syllable to justify thy queen; 770Before Octavia went; you might have treated; Save thy base tongue its office.
Now 'twill look tame, and would not be reAlex. Sir, she's gone,
[gether. Where she shall never be molested more Come, rouse yourself, and let's die warm toBy love or you.
Ant. 0 Ventidius! Ant. Fled to her Dolabella!
What should 1 fight for now? My queen is Die, traitor, 1 revoke my promise, die.
(pire, [Going to kill him. I was but great for her: my power, my emAlex. O hold, she is not fled.
Were but my merchandise to buy her love; Ant. She is. 'My eyes
And conquer'd kings, my factors. Now she's Are open to her falsehood. My whole life Let Cæsar take the
[dead, Has been a golden dream of love and friend- Vent. Would you be taken? ship:
Ant. Yes, I would be taken ; But now I wake, I'm like a merchant, roused But as a Roman ought, dead, my Ventidius. From soft repose, to see his vessel sinking, Vent. Choose your death; And all his wealth cast o'er. Ungrateful wo- For I have seen him in such various shapes, map !
[mer, I care not which I take: I'm only troubled, Who follow'd me, but as the swallow sum- The life I bear is worn to such a rag, But, now my winter comes, she spreads her 'Tis scarce worth giving. I could wish, inwings,
deed, And seeks the spring of Cæsar.
We threw it from us with a better grace; Alex. Think not so:
That like two lions taken in the toils, Her fortunes have, in all things, mix'd with We might at least thrust out our paws and yours.
wound Had she betray'd her naval force to Rome, The hunters that enclose us.
Ant. Thou hast loved me,
Cleo. 'Tis now too late
(you. And fain I would reward thee. I must die ; To say I'm true: I'll prove it, and die with Kill me, and take the merit of my death Unknown to me, Alexas feign'd my death, To make thee friends with Cæsar.
Which, when I knew, I hasted to prevent Vent. Thank your kindness.
This fatal consequence. My fleet betray'd You said I loved you ; and, in recompense, Both you and me. You bid me turn a traitor ! Did I think
Ant. And DolabellaYou would have used me thus ! that I should Cleo. Scarce esteem'd before he loved; but
hated now. With a hard thought of you!
Ant. Enough! my life's not long enough for Ant. Forgive me, Roman.
[tbee; Since I bave heard of Cleopatra's death, Thou say'st thou wilt come after; I believe My reason bears po rule upon my tongue, For I can now believe whate'er thou say'st, But lets my thoughts break all at random out. That we may part more kindly. I've thought better ; do not deny me twice. Cleo. I will come ; Vent. By Heaven I will not,
Doubt not, my life, I'll come, and quiekly too! Let it dot be t'outlive you.
Cæsar shall triumph o'er po part of thee. Ant. Kill me first,
Ant. But grieve pot, while thou stay'st, And then die thou; for 'tis but just thou serve My last disastrous times ; Thy friend before thyself.
Think we have had a clear and glorious day ; Vent. Give me your hand
And Heaven did kindly to delay the storm We soon shall nieet again. Now, farewell, Just till our close of evening. Ten years love, emperor.
[Embrace. And not a moment lost, but all in proved, Methinks that word's too cold to be my last: To th' utmost joys! What ages have we lived ! Since death sweeps all distinctions, farewell, And now to die each other's ! and so dying, That's all
[friend. While hand in hand we walk in groves below, I will not make a business of a trifle
Whole troops of lovers' ghosts shall flock about And yet I can not look on you and kill you. And all the train be ours.
Lus, Pray turn your face.
Cleo. Your words are like tho notes of dying Ant. I do: Strike home, be sure.
swans, Vent. Home, as my sword will reach. Too sweet to last. Were there so many hours
(Stabs himself. For your unkindness, and not one for love ? Ant. ( thou mistakest!
(back. Ant. No, not a minute this one kiss—more That wound was none of thine ; give it me
worth Thou robb’st me of my death.
Than all I leave to Cæsar
[Dies. Vent. I do indeed ;
Cleo. O tell me so again!
Ting! But, think, 'tis the first time I e'er deceived My lord ! my lord ! speak, if you yet have beyou;
[gods, Sigh to me if you cannot speak! or cast If that may plead my pardon. And, you One look; do any thing that shows you live. Forgive me, if you will, for I die perjured, Iras. He's gone too far to bear you. Rather than kill my friend.
[Dies. Char. Remember, Madam, Ant. Farewell !' ever my leader, even in He charged you not to grieve. death!
Cleo. And I'll obey him.
[know, | And now I'll not die less. Here's to be satisfied. [Falls on his sword. Iras. Will you then die ? I've miss'd my heart-Ounperforming hand ! Cleo. Why shouldst thou make that ques'Thou never couldst have err'd in a worse
[Trampling within. Fly both, and bring the core of all our ills. Some perhaps from Cæsar ! I'll mend
Iras. The aspicks, Madam? My work, ere they can reach me.
Cleo. Must I bid you twice? [Rises upon his kness.
[Exeunt Char, and Iras.
'Tis sweet to die, when they would force life Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMION, and IRAS.
To rush into the dark abode of death,
And meet my love.
Enter Char. and Iras, with the aspicks, &c. Or am I dead before I knew, and thou The first kind ghost that meets me?
Cleo. Welcome thou kind deceiver! Cleo. How is it with you ?
(Puts aside the leares. Ant. "Tis as with a man
Thou best of thieves; who with an easy key, Removing in a hurry; all pack'd up,
Dost open life, and unperceived by us, But one dear jewel that his haste forgot ; Even steals us from ourselves. And he, for that, returns upon the spur : Ser. [Within.) The queen, where is she? So I come back for thee.
The town is yielded, Cæsar's at the gates. Cieo. Too long, ye Heavens, you have been Cleo. He comes too late tinvade the rights cruel to me!
of death. O pow be kind, and give me back
Haste, haste, my friend, and rouse the serHis fleeting life.
pent's fury. Ant. It will not be, my love :
(Holds out her arm, and drau's it back. I keep my soul by force.
(me, Say but thou art not false.
Wouldst thou conspire with Cæsar, to betray
As thou wert none of mine ? I'll force thee to't, | Enter SERAPION, two PRIESTS, Alexas bound, And not be sent by him,
and Egyptians. But bring myself, my soul to Antony.
2d. Priest. Behold, Serapion, what havock [Shows her arm bloody.
death has made ! Take hence; the work is done.
Ser. 'Twas what I fear'd. Ser. [Within.] Break ope the door,
See how the lovers lie in state together, And guard the traitor well.
As they were giving law to half mankind. [They upply the aspicks. Th'impression of a smile left in her face, Cleo. Already, death I feel thee in my veins ; Shows she died pleased with bim for whom I go with such a will to find my lord,
she lived, That we shall quickly meet.
And went to charm him in another world. A heavy numbness creeps through every limb, Cæsar's just entering; grief w no leisure, And now 'tis at my head: my eyelids fall, Secure that villain, as our pledge of safety, And my dear love is vanish'd in a mist! Cæsar, thy worst,
To grace the imperial triumph. Sleep, bless'd
pair, Now part us, if thou canst.
(Dies. Secure from 'human chance, long ages out, (Iras sinks down at her feet and dies; While all the storms of fate fly o'er your tomb;
CHARMION stands behind her chair as And fame to late posterity shall tell,
No lovers lived so great, or died so well.
CITY WIVES' CONFEDERACY:
IN FIVE ACTS.
BY SIR JOHN VANBRUGH.
THOUGH it is not easy to find scenes better written, or characters more happily drawn than some in this comedy, yet, it is impossible to bestow unqualified praise upon it as a whole. It seerns to be a production that did not put the author to the pains of much reflection ; for though it displays great spirit, humour, and vivacity, it does not bear the marks of care: neither does the muse of Vanbrugh wear a very cleanly sock in this occasion, for he has not scrupled to pay court to the bad taste of the time in which he wrote. He has shown vice without punishing it, and profligacy without reforming it. There is not an honest man, or modest woman in his whole Dramatis Personæ ; it is not easy to name that description of criminality which has not a representative in these seenes. Rascals that deserve the gallows, and impures that should be sent to Bridewell, are the company which the spectator must condescend to keep, and whose sentiments the reader must be content to put up with. He dips into the lowest ranks, and shows the worst side of human nature. Few dramas can be found so generally satirical; for whilst he professedly lashes the citizens without mercy, he takes every opportunity of hooking in his allusions to the higher orders of society with unsparing asperity.
The city wives and the city husbands are exact duplicates, each of the other. The author, with all his art and contrivance, squeezes little more than two hundred pounds out of tho pockets of their husbands; and, in despair to make them better, leaves them so much the worse by how much they are the more confirmed in their iniquity; and when Araminta observes to Clarissa, that " she supposes they are to go on with their dears as they used to do," Clarissa an. swers, “ Just in the same track," and then concludes the play with a comforting remark for all intriguing wives " that every thing gets well out of a broil but a husband." With this remark the curtain drops; and the audience, delivered from the company of rogues and whores, may go home to their families, and meditate upon the converation they have been admitted to.
The honour, I must needs confess, is great,
If, with his crown, you'd tell him where to eat. TO BE SPOKEN BY A SHABBY POET.
"Tis well—But I have more complaints-look
here ! (Showing his ragged coat. Ye Gods! what crime had my poor father Hark ye : D'ye think this suit good winter done,
wear? That you should make a poet of his son ? In a cold morning; whu! at a lord's gate, Or is't for some great services of his,
How you have let the porter let me wait! Y’are pleased to compliment his boy with You'll say, perhaps you knew I'd get no ha'm
this? [Showing his crown of laurel. You'd given me fire enough to keep me warm.