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LOVE THE NOBLENESS OF LIFE.
Let Rome in Tyber melt! and the wide arch
Of the rang'd empire fall! Here is my space;
Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike
Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life
Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair,
And such a twain can do't, in which, I bind
On pain of punishment, the world to weet*,
We stand up peerless.
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?-
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
Will be himself.
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours.
ANTONY'S VICES AND VIRTUES.
I must not think, there are Evils enough to darken all his goodness: His faults, in him, seem as the spots of heaven, More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary, Rather than purchased †; what he cannot change, Than what he chooses.
Cæs. You are too indulgent: Let us grant, it is not Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy; To give a kingdom for a mirth; to sit And keep the turn of tippling with a slave; To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet With knaves that smell of sweat: say, this becomes
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 1. If he fillid His vacancy with his voluptuousness, Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones, Call on him for't: but, to confound || such time * Know.
† Procured by his own fault.
# Levity. Ø Visit himn. || Consume.
That drums him from his sport, and speaks as loud
As his own state and ours, —'tis to be chid
As we rate boys; who, being mature in knowledge,
Pawn their experience to their present pleasure,
And so rebel to judgment.
Leave thy lascivious wassals *. When thou once
Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st
Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel
Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against,
Though daintily brought up, with patience more
Than savages could suffer: Thou didst drink
The stale † of horses, and the gilded puddle I
Which beasts would cough at: thy palate then did
The roughest berry on the rudest hedge;
Yea, like the stag, when snow the pasture sheets,
The barks of trees thou browsed'st; on the Alps
It is reported, thou didst eat strange flesh,
Which some did die to look on: And all this
(It wounds thine honour, that I speak it now,)
Was borne so like a soldier, that thy cheek
So much as lank'd not.
THE VANITY OF HUMAN WISHES.
We, ignorant of ourselves, Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers Deny us for our good ; so find we profit, By losing of our prayers. DESCRIPTION OF CLEOPATRA SAILING DOWN THE CYDNUS.
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne, Burn'd on the water: the poop was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that (silver ; The winds were love-sick with them: the oars were
* Feastings; in the old copy it is vuissailes, i. e. vassals. + Urine.
Stagnant, slimy water.
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat, to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggar'd all description: she did lie
In her pavilion, (cloth of gold, of tissue,)
O'er-picturing that Venus, where we see,
The fancy out-work nature: on each side her,
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With diverse-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid, did *.
0, rare for Antony!
Eno. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids tended her i’ the eyes,
And made their bends adornings: at the helm
A seeming mermaid steers; the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
That yarelyt frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthron'd in the market-place, did sit alone,
Whistling to the air ; wbich, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.
CLEOPATRA'S INFINITE POWER IN PLEASING.
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety: Other women
Cloy th' appetites they feed; but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies. For vilest things
Become themselves in her; that the holy priests
Bless her, when she's riggish f.
THE UNSETTLED HUMOURS OF LOVERS.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAs, and Alexas.
Cleo. Give me some music; music, moody § food
Of us that trade in love.
The music, ho!
* Added to the warmth they were intended to diminish.
+ Readily perform. # Wanton. Melancholy.
Cleo. Let it alone ; let us to billiards:
Char. My arm is sore, best play with Mardian.
Cleo. As well a woman with an eunuch play'd,
As with a woman:-Come, you'll play with me, sir?
Mar. As well as I can, madam.
Cleo. And when good will is show'd, though it
come too short,
The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now:-
Give me mine angle,–We'll to the river: there,
My music playing far off, I will betray
Tawny-finn'd fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
Their slimy jaws; and, as I draw them up,
I'll think them every one an Antony,
And say, Ah, ha! you're caught.
'Twas merry, when
You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
Did hang a salt-fish on his hook, which he
With fervency drew up.
That time!-0 times!-
I laugh'd him out of patience; and that night
I laugh'd him into patience: and next morn,
Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed ;
Then put my tires * and mantles on him, whilst
I wore his sword Philippan.
Mine honesty, and I, begin to square t.
The loyalty, well held to fools, does make
Our faith mere folly ;-Yet, he, that can endure
To follow with allegiance a fallen lord,
Doth conquer him that did his master conquer,
And earns a place i’ the story.
AMBITION JEALOUS OF A TOO SUCCESSFUL FRIEND.
O Silius, Silius, I have done enough: A lower place, note well, May make too great an act: For learn this, Silius; Better leave undone, than by our deed acquire Too high a fame, when him we serve's away.
WHAT OCTAVIA'S ENTRANCE SHOULD HAVE BEEN. Why have you stoln upon us thus? You come not Like Cæsar's sister: Tbe wife of Antony Should have an army for an usher, and The neighs of horse to tell of her approach, Long ere she did appear; the trees by the way, Should have borne men; and expectation fainted, Longing for what it had not: nay, the dust Should have ascended to the roof of heaven, Rais’d by your populous troops: But you are come A market-maid to Rome; and have prevented The ostent* of our love, which, left unshown Is often left unlov'd: we should have met you By sea, and land; supplying every stage With an augmented greeting.
Women are not, In their best fortunes, strong; but want will perjure The ne'er-touch'd vestal.
FORTUNE FORMS OUR JUDGMENTS.
I see, men's judgments are
A parcelt of their fortunes: and things outward
Do draw the inward quality after them,
To suffer all alike.
WISDOM SUPERIOR TO FORTUNE.
Wisdom and fortune combating together,
If that the former dare but what it can,
No chance may shake it.
† Are of a piece with them.