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A traitor then; a glorious, happy traitor,
And not have been so call’d.
Ant. Forgive me, soldier;
I’ve been too passionate.
Why did'st thou tempt my anger, by discovery
Of what I would not hear?
Ven. No prince but you
Could merit that sincerity I used,
Nor durst another man have ventured it :
But you, ere love misled your wand'ring eye,
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.
Ven. No more.
Ant. Thou darest not trust my passion, but thout
Do with me what thou wilt:
Lead me to victory, thou know'st the way.
Ven. 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.
Ven. 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 troop, that beat
The Parthians, cry aloud—Come follow me !
Ven. O, 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 !
Wen. Again 2
Ant. I’ve done. In that last sigh she went.
Caesar shall know what 'tis to force a lover
From all he holds most dear.
Ven. Methinks you breathe
Another soul: your looks are more divine;
You speak a hero, and you move a god.
Ant. O, 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
Lagg’d on the plain below.
Ven. Ye gods! ye gods !
For such another hour !
Ant. Come on, my soldier!
Our hearts and arms are still the same. I long
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 out a passage,
And, ent'ring where the foremost squadrons yield,
Begin the noble harvest of the field. [Excunt.
Before Alexandria. CAESAR’s Camp.
Enter CAESAR, with AGRIPPA and PRocul EIUs.
Caps. Go forth, Agrippa, and urge on the fight; Our will is, Antony be ta'en alive; Make it so known.
Agrip. Caesar, I shall. - [Exit AGRIPPA.
Caes. The time of universal peace is near;
Prove this a prosperous day, the three-nook'd world Shall bear the olive freely.
Enter an OFFICER. Off. Antony is come into the field. Caes. Go, charge Agrippa. Plant those that have revolted in the van, That Antony may seem to spend his fury Upon himself. [Exeunt. Shouts, flourishes, &c.
The Gates of Alexandria.
Flourish and Shouts from ANToNY’s Party.
Ven. Ne'er, till this hour, fought I against my will For Antony. Plague on his leave-taking ! I thought how her white arms would fold him in, And marmy wholesome counsels. One hope still Remains to part him from this.-[Shouts.]—So! he COrneS.
All at his beck; nations come pouring in,
To fill the gaps he makes.
Ant. Nay, may, Ventidius,
No more on this theme, now.—Run one before,
To tell the queen of our approach —To-morrow,
Before the sun shall see us, we’ll spill the blood
That has to-day escaped. I thank you all;
You have fought
Not as you served the cause, but as thad been
Each man’s like mine; Oh! you have shewn all
Enter the city; clip your wives, your friends;
Tell them your feats; whilst they, with joyful tears,
Wash the concealment from your wounds, and kiss
The honour’d gashes whole.
Enter; CLEOPATRA, attended.
O, thou day o'the world!
Chain mine arm’d neck; leap thou, attire and all,
Through proof of harness to my heart, and there
Ride on the pants in triumph.
Cle. O, infinite virtue ! com’st thou smiling from
The world's great snare, uncaught 2
Ant. My nightingale,
We have beat them to their beds. Behold this man;
Commend unto his lips thy favouring hand.
Kiss it, my warrior; he hath fought to-day,
As if a god, in hate of mankind, had
Destroy’d in such a shape.
Cle. I’ll give thee, friend,
An armour all of gold; it was a king’s.
Ant. He has deserved it, were it carbuncled
Like holy Phoebus' car.
Wen. I’ll none on’t;—no;
Not all the diamonds of the East can bribe
Ventidius from his faith.
Ant. Give me thy hand; [To CLEOPATRA,
Through Alexandria make a jovial march; -
Bear our hack’d targets like the men that own them.
Had our great palace the capacity,
To camp this host, we all would drink carouses
To next day's fate, together. Trumpeters,
With brazen din rejoice the city's ear:
Make mingle with our rattling tambourines,
That Heaven and earth may strike their sounds to-
Applauding our approach.
[Eweunt all but ANTony and VENTIDIUs.
Ven. (Pulling ANTONY by the sleeve.) Emperor
Ant. 'Tis the old argument: I pr’ythee spare me-
Ven. But this one hearing, Emperor.
Ant. Let go
My robe, or by my father, Hercules,
Ven. By Hercules's father, that’s yet greater,
I bring you somewhat you would wish to know.
Ant. Thou see'st we are observed; attend me here,
And I’ll return. [Eacit.
Ven. I’m waning in his favour, yet I love him;
I love this man, who runs to meet his ruin;
And, sure the gods, like me, are fond of him :
His virtues lie so mingled with his faults,
As would confound their choice to punish one,
And not reward the other.
Ant. We can conquer.
They look on us at distance, and, like curs,
'Scaped from the lion's paws, they bay far off;
They lick their wounds, and faintly threaten war.
Five thousand Romans, with their faces upward,
Lie breathless on the plain,
Ven. ”Tis well; and he,
Who lost 'em, could have spared ten thousand more.
Yet if, by this advantage, you could gain . .
An easier peace, while Caesar doubts the chance