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Mec. We have cause to be glad that matters are so well digested. You stayed well by it in Egypt.

? Eno. Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance, and made the night light with drinking.

Mec. Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and but twelve persons there ! is this true ?

Eno. This was but as a fly by an eagle :2 we had much more monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.

Mec. She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her.

Eno. When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up3 his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.

Agr. There she appeared indeed ; or my reporter devised well 4 for her.

Eno. I will tell you.5
The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Burnt on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were

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 beggared all description : she did lie
In her pavilion, (cloth-of-gold of tissue,


1 Digested.] Arranged.
? A fly by an eagle.] A fly compared with an eagle.
3 Pursed up.] Took possession of; captivated.
* Devised well.] Cleverly invented.

I will tell you.] The description that follows is founded on that in North's Plutarch. See Extracts, 10.

Cloth of gold of tissue.] This is the expression in North’s Plutarch, and means cloth of gold on a ground of tissue.



O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
The fancy outwork nature :

: 2 each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With divers-coloured fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid, did.3

O, rare for Antony !
Eno. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,

many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes, 4
And made their bends adornings : 5 at the helm
A seeming mermaid steers; the silken tackle
Swell with the touches 6 of those flower-soft hands,
That yarely 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,
Enthroned i' the market-place, did sit alone,

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Oerpicturing.] Excelling the pictorial beauty of. 2 Outwork nature.] Surpass the work of nature.

3 And what they undid did.] And did, or promoted, what they were meant to undo or obviate. Shakspeare often employs the language of paradox. Thus, in Macbeth, i. 3, • Nothing is but what is not;' and in Othello, i. 1, 'I am not what I am ;' iii. 4, 'My lord is not my lord ;' iv. 1, . They have it very oft that have it not.'

* Tended her i the eyes.] Attended on her with their eyes. Compare Psalms, cxxiii, 2, ' As the eyes of a maiden look unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait,' &c. We wonder that this clause and the one following should have so much perplexed the commentators.

5 And made their bends adornings.] And by their gaze directed towards her formed ornamental appendages to the main figure, * And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world.' Julius Caesar, i. 2.

6 Swell with the touches of.] Swell in the breeze when held or shifted by.

? Yarely frame the office.] Expertly imitate the manœuvres of boatmen. Sce the Editor's Tempest, p. 4, note 2.

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Whistling to the air ; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.

Rare Egyptian !
Eno. Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper : she replied,
It should be better he became her guest;
Which she entreated : Our courteous Antony,
Whom ne'er the word of No woman heard speak,
Being barbered ten times o'er, goes to the feast,
And, for his ordinary, pays his heart
For what his eyes eat only.

Royal wench!
She made great Cæsar lay his sword to bed.

Eno. I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street ;
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
That she did make defect perfection,
And, breathless, power breathe forth.4

Mec. Now Antony must leave her utterly.

Eno. Never; he will not; age cannot wither her,
Nor custom stale her infinite variety :
Other women cloy the 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 is riggish.

Mec. If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
The heart of Antony, Octavia is
A blessed lottery to him.

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Which but for vacancy, fc.] The air which, but that Nature abhors a vacuum, would have gone, &c. ? For his ordinary.] As the price of his entertainment.

That.] In such a way that. Power breathe forth.] Breathe forth power.

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Let us go

Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest,


abide here. Eno. Humbly, sir, I thank you.


SCENE III.-The same.

A Room in Cæsar's House.

Enter CÆSAR, ANTONY, OCTAVIA between them, and

Ant. The world and my great office will sometimes
Divide me from


bosom. Octa.

All which time
Before the gods my knees shall bowl my prayers
To them for you.

Good night, sir.—My Octavia,
Read not my blemishes in the world's report :
I have not kept my, square; but that to come
Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady.-

Octa. Good night, sir.
Cæs. Good night.

[Exeunt CÆSAR and OCTAVIA.

Enter Soothsayer.
Ant. Now, sirrah,-you do wish yourself in Egypt?

Sooth. Would I had never come from thence, nor you thither !

Ant. If you can, your reason ?

Sooth. I see it in my motion, have it not in my tongue: but yet hie you to Egypt again.

i Shall bow.] Shall humbly present.

2 I see it in my motion.] I discern it through the impulse or inspiration that moves or actuates me.



Ant. Say to me,
Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Cæsar's or mine?

Sooth. Cæsar's.
Therefore, 0 Antony, stay not by his side :
Thy demon (that thy spirit which keeps thee) is
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,
Where Cæsar's is not; but, near him, thy angel
Becomes a Fear, as being o'erpowered; therefore
Make space enough between you.

Speak this no more.
Sooth. To none but thee; no more, but when to thee.
If thou dost play with him at any game,
Thou art sure to lose; and, of 3 that natural luck,
He beats thee 'gainst the odds : thy lustre thickens
When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
But, he away, 't is noble.

Get thee gone : Say to Ventidius I would speak with him ::

[Exit Soothsayer. He shall to Parthia. 4_Be it art or hap, He 5 hath spoken true: the very dice obey him; And, in our sports, my better cunning faints Under his chance : 6 if we draw lots, he speeds;



That thy spirit.] That spirit or genius of thine. So in Julius Cæsar, v. 5, 'For that our love of old.' See Extracts from Plutarch, 23. In Macbeth, iii. 1, Macbeth says of Banquo, . Under him my genius is rebuked, as it is said Mark Antony's was by Cæsar.'

? A Fear.] Upton conjectured afеard to be the genuine reading. 8 Of.] Out of, or through. * He shall to Parthia.] Ventidius shall go to Parthia for me. He ] The soothsayer.

My better cunning, fc.] My skill, though greater than Cæsar's, succumbs to his luck.


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