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Ant. No, I can kill myself; and so resolve.

Vent. I can die with you, too, when time shall serve; But fortune calls upon us now to live, To fight, to conquer.

Ant. Sure thou dream'st, Ventidius ?

Vent. No; 'tis you dream ; you sleep away your hours In desperate sloth, miscalled philosophy. Up, up, for honour's sake; twelve legions wait you, And long to call you chief. By painful journeys I led 'em, patient both of heat and hunger, Down from the Parthian marches to the Nile. 'Twill do you good to see their sun-burnt faces, Their scarred cheeks, and chopt hands; there's virtue in

'em : They'll sell those mangled limbs at dearer rates Than

yon

trim bands can buy. Ant. Where left

you

them? Vent. I said in Lower Syria.

Ant. Bring 'em hither ; There

may

be life in these. Vent. They will not come.

Ant. Why didst thou mock my hopes with promised aids, To double my despair? They're mutinous.

Vent. Most firm and loyal.

Ant. Yet they will not march
To succour me.

Oh, trifler!
Vent. They petition
You would make haste to head 'em.

Ant. I'm besieged.
Vent. There's but one way shut up.

How came I hither? Ant. I will not stir.

Vent. They would perhaps desire
A better reason.

Ant. I have never used
My soldiers to demand a reason of
My actions. Why did they refuse to march?

Vent. They said they would not fight for Cleopatra.
Ant. What was’t they said ?

Vent. They said they would not fight for Cleopatra.
Why should they fight, indeed, to make her conquer,
And make you more a slave? To gain you kingdoms
Which, for a kiss, at your next midnight feast
You'll sell to her? Then she new names her jewels,
And calls this diamond such or such a tax.
Each pendent in her ear shall be a province.

Ant. Ventidius, I allow your tongue free license
On all my other faults; but, on your life,
No word of Cleopatra; she deserves
More worlds than I can lose.

Vent. Behold, you powers,
To whom you have intrusted human-kind;
See Europe, Afric, Asia put in balance,
And all weighed down by one light worthless woman!
I think the gods are Antonies, and give,
Like prodigals, this nether world away
To none but wasteful hands.

Ant. You grow presumptuous.
Vent. I take the privilege of plain love to speak.

Ant. Plain love! plain arrogance, plain insolence !
Thy men are cowards, thou an envious traitor ;
Who, under seeming honesty, hast vented
The burden of thy rank o'erflowing gall.
Oh, that thou wert my equal; great in arms

As the first Cæsar was, that I might kill thee
Without stain to my honour!

Vent. You may kill me.
You have done more already—called me traitor.

Ant. Art thou not one?

Vent. For showing you yourself, Which none else durst have done. But had I been That name which I disdain to speak again, I needed not have sought your abject fortunes, Come to partake your fate, to die with you. What hindered me to’ve led my conquering eagles To hill Octavius' bands ? I could have been A traitor then, a glorious, happy traitor, And not have been so called.

Ant. Forgive me, soldier; I've been too passionate.

Vent. You thought me false ; Thought my old age betrayed you.

Kill me, sir; Pray, kill me; yet you

need

not; your unkindness Has left your sword no work.

Ant. I did not think so;
I said it in my rage; pr’ythee forgive me.
Why didst thou tempt my anger, by discovery
Of what I would not hear ?

Vent. No prince but you
Could merit that sincerity I used;
Nor durst another man have ventured it;
But you, ere love misled your wandering eyes,
Were sure the chief and best of human race,
Framed in the very pride and boast of nature.

Ant. But Cleopatra
Go on; for I can bear it now.

Vent. No more.

Ant. Thou dar’st not trust my passion ; but thou mayst; Thou only lov’st, the rest have flattered me.

Vent. Heaven's blessing on your heart for that kind word. May I believe you love me? Speak again.

Ant. Indeed I do. Speak this, and this, and this.
Thy praises were unjust ; but I'll deserve 'em,
And yet mend all. Do with me what thou wilt ;
Lead me to victory; thou know'st the way.

Vent. And will you leave this

Ant. Pr’ythee, do not curse her,
And I will leave her; though, Heaven knows, I love
Beyond life, conquest, empire, all, but honour ;
But I will leave her.

Vent. That's my royal master.
And shall we fight?

Ant. I warrant thee, old soldier ;
Thou shalt behold me once again in iron,
And, at the head of our old troops, that beat
The Parthians, cry aloud, “Come, follow me.”

Vent. Oh, now I hear my emperor! In that word
Octavius fell. Gods, let me see that day,
And, if I have ten years behind, take all;
I'll thank you for th' exchange.

Ant. Oh, Cleopatra !
Vent. Again!

Ant. I've done. In that last sigh she went;
Cæsar shall know what 'tis to force a lover
From all he holds most dear.

Vent. Methinks you breathe
Another soul; your looks are more divine;
You speak a hero, and you move a god.

Ant. Oh, thou hast fired me; my soul's up in arms, And mans each part

about me.

Once again
That noble eagerness of fight has seized me;
That eagerness with which I darted upward
To Cassius' camp.

In vain the steepy hill
Opposed my way; in vain a war of spears
Sung round my head, and planted all my shield;
I won the trenches, while my foremost men
Lagged on the plain below.

Vent. Ye gods, ye gods,
For such another honour !

Ant. Come on, my soldier;
Our hearts and arms are still the same.
Once more to meet our foes; that thou and I,
Like Time and Death, marching before our troops,
May taste fate to 'em, mow 'em on a passage,
And, entering where the utmost squadrons yield,
Begin the noble harvest of the field.

I long

[blocks in formation]

Don SEBASTIAN, King of Portugal, is defeated in Battle, and taken

Prisoner by the Moors. He is saved from Death by Dorax, a noble Portuguese, then a Renegade in the Court of the Emperor of Barbary, but formerly Don Alonzo of Alcazar, The Train being dismissed, Dorax takes off his turban, and assumes his Portuguese dress and

manner.

Don SEBASTIAN, Dorax.

Dor. Now, do you

know me? Seb. Thou shouldst be Alonzo.

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