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Sit laurel'd victory, and smooth success
Be strew'd before your feet!


Let us go.


Our separation so abides, and flies,

That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee.




Rome. An Apartment in CÆSAR'S House.

Enter OCTAVIUS CESAR, LEPIDUS, and Attendants.

Cæs. You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know, It is not Cæsar's natural vice to hate

One great competitor. From Alexandria

This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes
The lamps of night in revel; is not more manlike
Than Cleopatra, nor the queen of Ptolemy

More womanly than he: hardly gave audience, or Vouchsaf'd to think' he had partners: you shall find there

A man, who is the abstract of all faults

That all men follow.


I must not think, there are

Evils enow to darken all his goodness:

His faults, in him, seem as the spots of heaven,
More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary,
Rather than purchas'd; what he cannot change,
Than what he chooses.

9 Sit LAUREL'D victory,] "Laurel'd victory" is the emendation of the folio, 1632: that of 1623 has “laurel victory." In all probability the letter d had dropped out in the press.

1 VOUCHSAF'D to think-] Vouchsafe in the folio, 1623, which the folio, 1632, altered to "did vouchsafe."

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 foils', when we do bear
So great weight in his lightness. If he fill'd
His vacancy with his voluptuousness,

Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones,
Call on him for't; but, to confound such time,
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.


Enter a Messenger.

Here's more news.

Mess. Thy biddings have been done; and every hour,

Most noble Cæsar, shalt thou have report

How 'tis abroad. Pompey is strong at sea;

And it appears, he is belov'd of those

That only have fear'd Cæsar: to the ports
The discontents repair, and men's reports
Give him much wrong'd.

It hath been taught us from the primal state,
That he, which is, was wish'd, until he were ;

I should have known no less.

2 No way excuse his FOILS,] Our reading is that of the folio, 1623, and of all the subsequent editions in that form. Malone and modern editors have altered "foils to soils, without sufficient necessity: the "foils" of Antony are his vices, his foibles, which injure the beauty of his character, and foil or defeat the exercise of his virtues. At the same time it must be allowed, that "foils" for soils would be a very easy misprint, the long s and the ƒ being frequently mistaken.

And the ebb'd man ne'er lov'd, till ne'er worth love,
Comes fear'd by being lack'd3. This common body,
Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream,

Goes to, and back, lackeying the varying tide1,

To rot itself with motion.


Cæsar, I bring thee word,

Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,

Make the sea serve them; which they ear' and wound With keels of every kind: many hot inroads

They make in Italy; the borders maritime

Lack blood to think on't, and flush youth revolt:
No vessel can peep forth, but 'tis as soon

Taken as seen; for Pompey's name strikes more,
Than could his war resisted.



Leave thy lascivious wassails". 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,

Which beasts would cough at thy palate then did deign

3 Comes FEAR'D by being lack'd.] So all the old copies; but since Theobald's time the reading has been dear'd for "fear'd." The alteration is plausible, but does not seem necessary. Cæsar may mean, that Pompey, by being so much backed by the people, has become powerful, and is therefore "fear'd."

✦ Goes to, and back, LACKEYING the varying tide,] "Lackeying" is Theobald's change, for lacking of the old copies, and not for lashing, as he erroneously asserts: no folio has lashing. The corruption of lacking for "lackeying" was very easy. Southern, in his folio, 1685, altered lacking to backing; but we much prefer Theobald's emendation.


which they EAR—] i. e. plough. See p. 11.

6 Leave thy lascivious WASSAILS.] The question here is, whether cassailes, as the word is printed in the folios, 1623 and 1632, be meant for "wassails,” or merely for cassals. Either reading may be right; but cassal was not usually, though sometimes, spelt rassaile, and nothing is more likely than that the old compositor should use v for w. Cæsar has previously accused Antony of "tippling with a slave,” and “reeling the streets at noon," which countenances "wassails as an old drinking term. It is curious to see modern editors disputing how the word is spelt in the folio, 1623, and all giving it wrongly.

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.


'Tis pity of him.

Cæs. Let his shames quickly

Drive him to Rome. "Tis time we twain

Did show ourselves i' the field; and, to that end,
Assemble we immediate council': Pompey

Thrives in our idleness.


To-morrow, Cæsar,

I shall be furnish'd to inform you rightly
Both what by sea and land I can be able,
To front this present time.


Till which encounter,

It is my business too. Farewell.

Lep. Farewell, my lord. What you shall know mean


Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,

To let me be partaker.

Cæs. Doubt not, sir; I knew it for my bond.



Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.


Cleo. Charmian,

Char. Madam.


7 Assemble we immediate council:] The first folio misprints me for " an error corrected by the second folio. Lepidus was the equal of Cæsar, and the latter would hardly address to him the mandate, " Assemble me immediate council."

Cleo. Ha, ha!

Give me to drink mandragora3.


Why, madam?

Cleo. That I might sleep out this great gap of time,

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Cleo. Not now to hear thee sing: I take no plea


In aught an eunuch has. Tis well for thee,

That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts

May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?
Mar. Yes, gracious madam.

Cleo. Indeed?

Mar. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing, But what in deed is honest to be done;

Yet have I fierce affections, and think
What Venus did with Mars.


O, Charmian!

Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or sits he? Or does he walk? or is he on his horse?

O happy horse to bear the weight of Antony!

Do bravely, horse, for wot'st thou whom thou mov'st? The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm

And burgonet of men'.-He's speaking now,

Or murmuring, "Where's my serpent of old Nile?"
For so he calls me. Now I feed myself

With most delicious poison:-think on me,
That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black,

8 Give me to drink MANDRAGORA.] A strong opiate. See "Othello," Vol. vii. p. 571.

9 And BURGONET of men.] A " burgonet" was a kind of helmet: by "arm" in the preceding line is probably to be understood weapon. On the next page we meet with the epithet "arm-gaunt," as applied to a horse, which had perhaps become gaunt by bearing arms. However, this is doubtful, and Sir T. Hanmer would substitute arm-girt, and Monck Mason, termagant.

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