Ant. O, think not on't, Ventidius; The boy pursues my ruin; he’ll no peace. O, he’s the coolest murderer; so stanch, He kills, and keeps his temper. Ven. Have you no friend In all his army, who has power to move him : Maecents or Agrippa might do much. Ant. They’re both too deep in Caesar's interests, We’ll work it out by dint of sword, or perish. P'en. Fain would I find some other Ant. Thank thy love; But wherefore drive me from myself, to search For foreign aids to hunt my memory To find a friend ? 'I he wretched have no friends: Yet I had one, the bravest youth of Rome; I scarce need tell his name;—’twas Dolabella. Ven. He’s now in Caesar's camp. Ant No matter where, Since he's no longer mine. He took unkindly That I forbade him Cleopatra's sight, Because I fear'd he loved her. When he departed He took no leave ; and that confirm'd my thoughts, Ven. It argues that he loved you more than her; Else had he staid;—but he perceived you jealous, And would not grieve his friend. I know he loves you. Ant. I should have seen him then ere now. Ven. Perhaps, He has thus long been lab’ring for your peace. Ant. Would he were here ! Ven. Would you believe he loved you ? I read your answer in your eyes, you would. Not to conceal it longer, he has sent A messenger from Caesar’s camp, with letters. - Ant. Let him appear. Ven. I’ll bring him instantly. [Exit VENTID:Us; and Re-enters immediately, with DoI.ABELLA. Ant. 'Tis he himself, by holy friendship ! [Runs to embrace him. Art thou return’d at last, my better half? Come, give me all myself. Oh, Dolabella! Thou hast beheld me other than I am. Hast thou not seen my morning chambers fill'd With sceptred slaves, who waited to salute me? With eastern monarchs, who forgot the sun, To worship my uprising 2 Dol. Slaves to your fortune. Ant. Fortune is Caesar’s now, and what am I? Ven. What you have made yourself. I will not flatter. Ant. Is this friendly done? Dol. Yes, when his end is so; I must join with him; Indeed I must, and yet you must not chide : Why am I else your friend ? . . . Ant. Take heed, young man, - How thou upbraid'st my love: The queen has eyes, And thou too hast a soul. Canst thou remember, When, swell'd with hatred, thou beheld'st her first, As accessary to thy brother’s death 2 Dol, Spare my remembrance; ’twas a guilty day, And still the blush hangs here. Ant. To clear herself For sending him no aid, she came from Egypt. The barge she sat in, like a burnish’d throne, Burnt on the water: the stern was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver, Which to the tune of flutes kept time, and made The water, which they beat, to follow faster, As amorous of their strokes. For her own person, It beggar'd all description –She did lie In her pavilion,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][graphic]

O'er-picturing that Venus, where we see
The fancy outwork nature:—On each side her
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With diverse-colour’d fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid, did.
Dol. No more—I will not hear it.
Ant. 'Twas Heaven, or somewhat more ;
For she so charm'd all hearts, that gazing crowds
Stood panting on the shore, and wanted breath
To give their welcome voice.
Then, Dolabella, where was then thy soul?
Was not thy fury quite disarm'd with wonder 2
Did'st thou not shrink behind me from those eyes,
And whisper in my ear, “Oh tell her not
That I accused her of my brother's death.”
Dol. And should my weakness be a plea for yours?
But yet the loss was private that I made :
'Twas but myself I lost: I lost no legions:
I had no world to lose, or people's love.
Ant. This from a friend ?
Wen. Yes, emperor, a true one.
Dol. A friend so tender, that each word I speak
Stabs my own heart, before it reach your ear.
O, judge me not less kind because I chide:
To Caesar I excuse you.
Ant. O ye gods !
Have I then lived to be excused to Caesar!
Dol. As to your equal.
Ant. Well, he’s but my equal: .
While I wear this he never shall be more.
Dol. I bring conditions from him.
Ant. Are they noble 2
Methinks thou should'st not bring 'em else: granting
What power was theirs, who wrought so hard atemper
To honourable terms ?
It was my Dolabella, or some god.

« ElőzőTovább »