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Cleo. [ Aside.] Excellent falfhood!
Ant. But stirr'd by Cleopatra.
Cleo. Hear the embassadors.
Ant. Fy, wrangling queen! Whom every thing becomes; to chide, to laugh, To weep: whose every passion fully strives To make itself, in thee, fair and admir'd! No messenger, but thine ;-and all alone, To-night, we'll wander through the streets, and note The qualities of people. Come, my queen, Last night you did desire it :-Speak not to us.
[Exeunt, with their train. Dem. Is Cæfar with Antonius priz’d so Night?
Pbil. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
Dem. I am full sorry,
-Ariony Will be bimself.
Ant. But Airrid by Cleopatra.) Bui, in this passage, seems to have the old Saxon signification of witbout, unlijs, except. Antony, says the queen, will recollea his thoughts. Unless kept, he replies, in commotion by Cleopatra.
SCE N E II.
Another part of the palace. Enter Charmian, Iras, Alexas, and a Soothsayer. Cbar. Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the foothsayer that you prais'd fo to the queen? Oh! that I knew this husband, which you say, must · change his horns with garlands.
Cbar. Is this the man ?-Is’t you, sir, that know things?
Sootb. In Nature's infinite book of secrecy,
Enter Enobarbus. Eno
. Bring in the banquet quickly : wine enough Cleopatra's health to drink.
Cbar. Good sir, give me good fortune.
about with garlands.
change bis borns with garlands.] This is corrupt; the true reading evidently is, muß CHARGE bis borns with garlands, i. e. make him a rich and honourable cuckold, having his horns hung
WARBURTON. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, not improbably, change for borns bis garlands. I am in doubt, whether to change is not merely to drejs, or to dress with changes of garlands.
Sooth. You shall be more beloving, than beloved. 3 Cbar. I had rather heat my liver with drinking. Alex. Nay, hear him.
Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all ; let me have a child at fifty, 4 to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage! find me, to marry with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress. Sootb. You shall out-live the lady whom you
serve. Char. Oh, excellent! I love long life better than figs.
Sooth. You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune, than that which is to approach.
Char. s Then, belike, my children shall have no
Pr’ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have ?
Sooth. “If every of your wishes had a womb, and foretel every with a million.
3 1 bad ratber beat my liver-) To know why the lady is so averse from hearing her liver, it must be remembered, that a heated liver is supposed to make a pimpled face.
JOHNSON. 10 whom Herod of Jewry may do homage!] Herod paid homage to the Romans, to procure the grant of the kingdom of Judea.
STEEVENS. 5 Tben, belike, my children hall have no names :) If I have al. ready had the best of my fortune, then I suppole I shall never name children, that is, I am never to be married. However, tell me the truth, tell me, how many boys and wenches? JOHNSON.
A fairer fortune, I believe, means—a more reputable one. Her answer then implies, that belike all her children will be bastards, who have no right to the name of their father's family.
Steev. • If every of your wishes bad a womb, And foretold every wish, a million.] This nonsense Tould be reformed thus,
If ev'ry of your wishes bad a womb,
WARBURTON. For foretel, in ancient editions, the latter copies have foretold. Foretel favours the emendation, which is made with great acuteness; yet the original reading may, I think, ftand. If you badas
Cbar. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
Cbar. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
drunk to bed. Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
Char. Even as the o'er flowing Nilus presageth famine.
Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.
Cbar. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prog: postication, I cannot scratch mine ear.-Pr’ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Ssotb. Your fortunes are alike.
Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than I, where would you chuse it?
Iras. Not in my husband's nose.
Cbar. Our worfer thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,-come, his fortune ; his fortune.-0, let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Ifis, I beseech
many wombs as you will have wishes, and I should foretel all those wishes, I fould foretel a million of children. It is an ellipsis very frequent in conversation ; I fouled frame you, and tell all; that is, and if I dould tell all. And is for and if, which was anciently, and is till provincially used for if.
JOHNSON. Char. Our worfer thoughes heuv’ns mend.
Alex. Come, bis for une, his fortune. O, let him marry a woman, &c.] Whose fortune does Alexas call out to have told? But, in short
, this I dare pronounce to be fo palpable and signal a transpoßtion, that I cannot but wonder it should have flipt the observation of all the editors; especially of the fagacious Mr. Pope, who has made this declaration, That if, throughout the pays, had all the Speeches been prinied witbour ihe very names of ihe perjons, he
thee! And let her die too, and give him a worse ! and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold ! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Ilis, I beseech thee!
Iras. Amen, dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people! for as it is a heart-breaking to see a handfome man loose-wiv’d, so it is a deadly sorrow to be. hold a foul knave uncuckolded; therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.
Cleo. He was dispos’d to mirth; but on the sudden A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,
believes one might have applied them with certainty to every speaker. But in how many instances has Mr. Pope's want of judgment fallified this opinion? The fact is evidently this; Alexas bringsa fortune-teller to Iras and Charmian, and says himself, We'll know all our fortunes. Well ; the soothsayer begins with the women ; and some jokes pass upon the subject of husbands and chastity: after which, the women hoping for the satisfaction of having something to laugh at in Alexas's fortune, call him to hold out his hand, and with heartily that he may have the prognostication of cuckoldom upon him.
him. The whole' speech, therefore, muft be plac'd to Charmian. There needs no tronger proof of this being a true correction, than the observation which Alexas immediately subjoins on their wishes and zeal to hear him abused. THEOBALD.