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Though I am mad, I will not bite him :-call !

Char. He is afeard to come.
Cleo.

I will not hurt him ;

[Exit CHARMIAN. These hands do lack nobility that they strike A meaner than myself; since I myself Have given myself the cause.

Re-enter CHARMIAN and Messenger.

Come hither, sir.
Though it be honest, it is never good
To bring bad news: give to a gracious message
An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
Themselves, when they be felt.
Mess.

I have done

my duty.
Cleo. Is he married ?
I cannot hate thee worser than I do
If thou again say Yes.
Mess.

He's married, madam.
Cleo. The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there

still ?
Mess. Should I lie, madam ?
Cleo.

O, I would thou didst,
So half my Egypt were submerged, and made
A cistern for scaled snakes! Go, get thee hence:
Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married ?

Mess. I crave your highness' pardon.
Cleo.

He is married ? Mess. Take no offence that I would not offend you:1

1 Take no offence, &c ] Do not be offended at my unwillingness to offend you by unfaithfulness.

D

To punish me for what you make me do
Seems much unequal :1 he's married to Octavia.

Cleo. O, that his fault should make a knave of thee,
That art not what thou 'rt sure of 12_Get thee hence :
The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome
Are all too dear for me; lie they upon thy hand,
And be undone by 'em !

[Exit Messenger. Char.

Good your highness, patience.
Cleo. In praising Antony, I have dispraised Cæsar.
Char. Many times, madam.
Cleo.

I am paid for 't now.
Lead me from hence;
I faint:--0, Iras, Charmian !—'t is no matter.
Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him
Report the feature of Octavia, her years,
Her inclination ; let him not leave out
The colour of her hair :--- bring me word quickly.-

[Exit ALEXAS.
Let him for ever go :- let him not-Charmian :
Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
The other way 's a Mars.3-—Bid you

Alexas

[To MARDIAN. Bring me word how tall she is.--Pity me, Charmian, But do not speak to me.-Lead me to my chamber.

[Exeunt.

· Much unequal.] Very inconsistent.

2 0, that his fault, &c.] The sense of this much-disputed passaga seems to me to be : 0, that his fault should make thee its servant (messenger), thou not being thyself the fault of which thou art assured, so that I cannot punish the fault by punishing thee.

* Though he be painted, &c.] An allusion to double or turning pictures, presenting a contrast of faces.

SCENE VI.-Near Misenum.

mine;

Flourish. Enter Pompey and Menas from one side, with

drum and trumpet ; from the other, CÆSAR, ANTONY,
LEPIDUS, ENOBARBUS, MECÆNAS, with Soldiers march-

ing.
Pom. Your hostages I have, so have you
And we shall talk before we fight.
Cæs.

Most meet
That first we come to words; and therefore have
Our written purposes before us sent;
Which if thou hast considered, let us know
If 't will tie up thy discontented sword,
And carry back to Sicily much tall youth 1
That else must perish here.
Pom.

To
you

all three
The senators alone of this great world,
Chief factors for the gods,—I do not know
Wherefore

my father should revengers want,
Having a son and friends ; since Julius Cæsar,
Who at Philippi the good Brutus ghosted,
There saw you labouring for him. What was't
That moved pale Cassius to conspire ? and what
Made the all-honoured, honest Roman, Brutus,
With the armed rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom,
To drench the Capitol,3 but that they would

| Much tall youth.] Many gallant young fellows, The epithet tall was often used to denote brave, strong, sturdy; and was applied to ships as well as men.— Spoke like a tall fellow!' K. Richard III., i. 4; •Eight tall ships.' K. Richard II., ii. 1.

? Labouring for him.] Striving to avenge his death.

* To drench the Capitol.] The Curia of Pompey, not the Capitol, was the scene of the assassination of Cæsar. Shakspeare has, in

Have one man but a man? And that is it
Hath made me rig my navy; at whose burden
The angered ocean foams; with which I meant
To scourge the ingratitude that despiteful Rome
Cast on my noble father.
Cæs.

Take
your

time.
Ant. Thou canst not fear us," Pompey, with thy sails,
We'll speak with thee at sea : at land, thou know'st
How much we do o'er-count thee.
Pom.

At land, indeed
Thou dost o'er-count me of my father's house ;2
But, since the cuckoo builds not for himself,
Remain in't as thou mayst.
Lep.

Be pleased to tell us (For this is from the present3) how you

take The offers we have sent you. Cæs.

There's the point. Ant. Which do not be entreated to, but weigh What it is worth embraced.

this matter, departed from the truth of history. In Hamlet, iii. 2, Polonius says, 'I did enact Julius Cæsar: I was killed i' the Capitol.'

· F'ear us.] Make us afraid. So in The Merchant of Venice, ii. 1, • This aspect of mine hath feared the valiant.'

? Thou dost o'er-count me, &c.] This refers to Antony having bought Pompey's house, and refused to pay for it. See Extracts from Plutarch, 4.

3 From the present.] Away from our present business; foreign to the present occasion. . Shakspeare often employs the preposition from in this manner. Thus, in Twelfth Night, i. 5, . This is from my commission ;' Macbeth, iii. 4, 'To feed were best at home : from thence, the sauce to meat is ceremony;' K. Lear, ii. 1, 'Which I best thought it fit to answer from our home;' Hamlet, jii. 2, 'Anything so overdone is from the purpose of playing. See the Editor's Othello, p. 11, note 2.

1

Cæs.

And what may follow
To try! a larger fortune.
Pom.

You have made me offcr
Of Sicily, Sardinia ;' and I must
Rid all the sea of pirates; then, to send
Measures of wheat to Rome; this 'greed upon,
To part with unhacked edges,' and bear back
Our targes undinted.

Cæs., Ant., Lep. That's our offer.
Pom.

Know then,
I came before you here, a man prepared
To take this offer : but Mark Antony
Put me to some impatience.—Though I lose
The praise of it by telling, you must know,
When Cæsar and your brother were at blows,
Your mother came to Sicily," and did find
Her welcome friendly.
Ant.

I have heard it, Pompey;
And am well studied for a liberal thanks5
Which I do owe you.
Pom.

Let me have

your I did not think, sir, to have met you here.

Ant. The beds i’ the east are soft; and thanks to you,

hand;

To try.] The trying of. ? You have made, &c.] Extracts from Plutarch, 21.

* This 'greed upon, &c.] If this offer be accepted by me, we are to part with unhacked swords, &c. The word edge for sword occurs also in Coriolanus, i. 4, I'll take him for a Volsce, and he shall foel mine edge ;' and v. 5, “Stain all your edges on me.'

* Your mother came t Sicily.] Antony's mother was Julia, of the family of Julius Cæsar Sec Extracts from Plutarch, 20.

5 Well studied, &c.] This means that Antony had reflected much on the obligation. To be well studied in a part is stage language.

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