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Enter a Messenger.
Ram thou thy fruitful tidings 3 in mine ears,
That long time have been barren.

Mej. Madam! madam !

Cleo. Antony's dead ?-
If thou say so, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress;
But well and free,
If so thou yield him, there is gold, and here
My bluest veins to kiss; a hand, that kings
Have lipp'd, and trembled killing.

Mes. First, madam, he is well.
Cleo. Why, there's more gold. But, firrah, mark;

we use

To say, the dead are well: bring it to that,
The gold, I give thee, will I melt and pour
Down thy ill-uttering throat.
Mef. Good madam, hear me.

Cleo. Well, go to, I will;
But there's no goodness in thy face : if Antony
Be free and healthful--fo tart a favour
To trumpet such good tidings? If not well,
Thou shouldst come like a fury crown'd with snakes,
+ Not like a formal man.

Mes. Will't please you hear me ?
Cleo. I have a mind to strike thee, ere thou speak'st:


be denominated from that illustrious battle, in the same manner as modern heroes in romance are made to give their swords pom-,

THEOBALD. pous names.

3 Ram thou thy fruitful tidings] Shakespeare probably wrote, Rain thou, &c. Rain agrees better with the epithets fruitful and

STEVENS. * Nor like a formal man.] Forma!, for ordinary.

WARB. Rather decent, regular.

Johnson. By a formal man, Shakespeare means, a man in his senses. Informal women, in Measure for Measure, is used for women beside sbemselves.



Yet, if thou say Antony lives, 'tis well, s
Or friends with Cæsar, or not captive to him,
• I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
Rich pearls upon thee.

Mef. Madam, he's well.
Cleo. Well said.
Mes. And friends with Cæfar.
Cleo. Thou art an honest man.
Mes. Cæsar, and he are greater friends than ever.
Cleo. Make thee a fortune from me.
Mes. But yet, madam-

Cleo. I do not like lut yet; it does allay
The good precedence : fy upon but yet :
But yet is as a jaylor to bring forth
Some monstrous malefactor. Pr’ythee, friend,
Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
The good and bad together. He's friends with Cæsar;


s I bave a mind to strike thee ere thou speak's ;
Yes, if thou say Antony lives, 'TIS WELL,
Or friends with Cejar, or not captive to bim,
· I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and bail

Rich pearls upon thee. -] We furely should read is well. The messenger is to have his reward, if he says, that Antony is alive, in bealib, and either friends with Cafar, or not captive to bimi Observations and Conjectures, &c. printed at Oxford, 1766.

6. I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail

Ricb pearls upon thee.] That is, I will give thee a kingdom : it being the eastern cere. mony, at the coronation of their kings, to powder them with goldduft and seed-pearl; fo Milton,

the gorgeous eaft with liberal band

Showers on her kings barbaric pearl and gold. In the life of Timur-bec or Tamerlane, written by a Perfian contemporary author, are the following words, as tranflated by Monf. Petit de la Croix, in the account there given of his coronation, book ii, chap. i. Les princes du fang royal & les emirs repardirent à pleines mains fur la tête quantité d'or & de pierreries selon la coûtume,


In state of health, thou say'st; and, thou say’st free.

Mes. Free, madam ! no: I made no fuch report. He's bound unto Octavia.

Cleo. For what good turn?
Mef. For the best turn i' the bed.
Cleo. I am pale, Charmian.
Mej. Madam, he's married to Octavia.
Cleo. The most infectious pestilence upon thee!

[Strikes, him down, Mes. Good madam, patience. Cleo. What say you?

[Strikes him. Hence horrible villain, or I'll spurn thine eyes Like balls from me ; I'll unhair thy head;

[Sbe bales bim, up and down. Thou shalt be whipe with wire, and stew'd in brine, Smarting in lingring pickle.

Mel. Gracious madam,
I, that do bring the news, made nat the match.

Cleo. Say, 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
And make thy fortunes proud : the blow, thou hadft,
Shall make thy peace, for moving me to rage;
And I will boot thee with what gift beside
Thy modesty can beg.

Mef. He's married, madam.
Cleo. Rogue, thou hast liv'd too long.

[Draws a dagger. Mej. Nay, then I'll run:What mean you, madam ? I have made no fault.

[Exit. Char. Good madam, keep yourself within yourself, The man is innocent.

Cleo. Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt. Melt Ægypt into Nile! and kindly creatures Turn all to serpents ! Call the Nave again, Though I am mad, I will not bite him

:--Call. Cher. He is afraid to come.


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Cleo. I will not hurt him : ? These hands do lack nobility, that they strike A meaner than myself; since I myself Have given myself the cause.-Come hither, fir.

Re-enter the Messenger. 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.

Mes. I have done my duty.

Cleo. Is he married?
I cannot hate thee worser than I do,
If thou again fay, Yes.

Mes. He is married, madam.
Cleo. The Gods confound thee! dost thou hold

there still? Mes. Should I lye, madam ? ·Cleo. Oh, I would, thou didft ; So half my Ægypt were submerg'd, and made A cistern for fcald snakes! Go, get thee hence, Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me Thou wouldst appear most ugly, he is married ?

Mes. I crave your highness' pardon.
Cleo. He is married?

Mes. Take no offence, that I would not offend you:
To punish me for what you make me do.
Seems much unequal. He is married to Octavia.
Cleo. Oh, that his fault should make a knave of


7 These hands do lack mobility, that obry Arike

A meaner than myself ;-) This thought seems to be borrowed from the laws of chivalry, which forbad a knight to engage with his inferior. STEEVENS.


? That art not what thou'rt sure of! Get thee hence, The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome, Are all too dear for me: lye they upon thy hand, And be undone by 'em!

[Exit Messenger. Cbar. Good your highness, patience. Cleo. In praising Antony, I have disprais’d Cæsar. Cbar. Many times, madam.

Cleo. I am paid for it now: lead me from hence, I faint; oh Iras, Charmian—'tis 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'Let him for ever go :- let him not,-Charmian;Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon, The other way he is a 'Mars :- bid you Alexas

8. Thou art not what abou’rt fure of !~] For this, which is not easily understood, Sir Thomas Hanmer has given,

That say't but what thou'rt Jure of! I am not satisfied with the change, which, though it affords sense, exhibits little spirit. I fancy the line consists only of abrupt starts.

Ob that bis fault soould make a knave of thee,

That art-not what i-Thou'rt sure on’t.-Get thee hence, That bis fault po uld make a knave of ihre that ari--but what shall I say thou art noi ? Thou art then súre of this marriage. Get thee hence. Dr. Warburton has received Sir T. Hanmer's emendation.

JOHNSON . Let him for ever go.--- ] She is now talking in broken sentences, not of the messenger, but Antony.

* The other way's a Mars: ] In this passage the sense is clear, but,
I think, may be muth improved by a very little alteration.
Cleopatra, in her paffion upon the news of Antony's marriage says,

Let him for ever go-bim NOT-Charmian,-
Tlough he be painted one way like a Gorgon,

The other way be's a Mars.
This, I think, would be more spirited thus,

Let him for ever 30-les bim-N0,-Charmian ;

Though he be painted, &c. Observations and Conjectures, &c. printed at Oxford, 1766. VOL. VIII,



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