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Cleo. This is my treasurer ; let him speak, my lord, Upon his peril, that I have reserv'd To myself nothing. Speak the truth, Seleucus.

Sel. Madam, 1 had rathers feel my lips,
Than to my peril speak that which is not.

Cleo. What have I kept back?
Sel Enough to purchase what you have made known.

Caf. Nay, bluih not, Cleopatra; I approve
Your wisdom in the deed.

Cleo. See, Cæsar! Oh, behold, How pomp is follow'd! mine will now be yours; And, should we shift estates, yours would be mine. The ingratitude of this Seleucus does Even make me wild. Oh save, of no more trust Than love that's hir'd !-What, goest thou back?

thou shalt Go back, I warrant thee: but I'll catch thine eyes, Though they had wings. Slave, soul-less villain, dog, O rarely bale ! *

[Striking bim. Cæs. Good queen, let us intreat you.

Cleo. O Cæsar, what a wounding shame is this; That thou, vouchsafing here to visit me, Doing the honour of thy lordliness To one so meek, that mine own servant should


S-fel my lips,] Sew up my mouth.

JOHNSON. o Cæfar, &c.] This speech of Cleopatra is taken from fir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch, where it stands as follows, "O Cæsar, is not this great shame and reproach, that thou “having vouchsafed to take the pains to come unto me, and halt “ done me this honour, poor wretch and caitiff creature, brought “into this pitiful and miserable estate, and that mine own fer

vant should come now to accuse me. Though it may be that I " have reserved some jewels and trifles meet for women, but not " for me (poor soul) to set out myself withal; but meaning to give " fome pretty presents unto Octavia and Livia, that they making “means and intercession for me to thee, thou mightest yet extend " thy favour and mercy upon me,” &c.

STEEVENS. *Obrarely base!] i e. base in an uncommon degree. STBEVENS. Vol. VIII.



? Parcel the sum of my disgraces by
Addition of his envy! Say, good Cæsar,
That I some lady-trifles have reserv’d,
Immoment toys, things of such dignity
As we greeț modern friends withal; and say,
Some nobler token I have kept apart
For Livia and Octavia, to induce
Their mediation ; must I be unfolded
By one that I have bred? The Gods! it smites me
Beneath the fall I have. Pry'thee, go hence;

(To Seleucus. Or I shall fhew the cinders of my spirits & Through the ashes of my chance. - Wert thou a man, Thou wouldst have mercy on me. Caf. Forbear, Seleucus.

[Exit Seleucus. Cleo. 'Be't known, that we, the greatest, are mil

For things that others do; and, when we fall,
We answer others merits in our names ;
Are therefore to be pitied.

Cæf ? To parcel her disgraces, might be expressed in vulgar language, to bundle up her calamities.

Johnson, * Through the afhes of my chance.] Or fortune. The meaning is, Begone, or I Ihall exert that royal spirit which I had in my prosperity, in spite of the imbecillity of my present weak condition. This taught the Oxford editor to alter it to mischance.

9 Be't known, that we i be greatest are mifbought
For things that others do ; and when we fall,
We answer others' merits, in our names

Are therefore to be pitied.] This false pointing has rendered the sentiment, which was not very easy at belt, altogether unintelligible. The lines thould be pointed thus,

B.'l known, that we, the greatest, are misthought
For things that otbers do. And when ue fall
We answer. Oihers' merits, in our names
Are therefore to be pitiid.

i. e. We

Cef. Cleopatra, Not what you have reserv'd, nor what acknowledg'd, Put we i' the roll of conqueft: still be it yours; Bestow it at your pleasure; and believe, Cæsar's no merchant to make prize with you Of things that merchants sold. Therefore, be cheer'd; 'Make not your thoughts your prisons : no, dear

queen; i. e. We monarchs, while in power, are. accused and blamed for the miscarriages of our ministers; and when any misfortune bath subjeated us to obe power of our enemies, we are sure to be punished for thoje faults. As this is the case, it is but reasonable that we should have the merit of our minifteri' good actions, as well as bear the blame of their bad. But he softens the word merit into piry. The reason of her making the reflexion was this: her former conduct was liable to much censure from O&avius, which she would hereby artfully insinuate was owing to her evil minifters. And as her present conduct, in concealing her treasures, appeared to be her own act, the being detected by her minister ; the begs, that as the now answers for her former minister's miscarriages, fo her present minister's merit in this discovery might likewise be placed to her account : which the thinks but reasonable. The Oxford editor is here again at his old work of altering what he did not understand, and so transforms the passage thus,

and when we fall,
We pander others' merits with our names;
And therefore to be pitied.

WARBURTON. I do not think that either of the criticks have reached the fenfe of the author, which may be very commodiously explained thus;

We suffer at our highest state of elevation in the thoughts of mankind for that which others do, and when we fall, those that contented themselves only to think ill before, call us to answer in our own names for the merits of others. We are therefore to be piried. Merits is in this place taken in an ill sense, for actions meriting censure. If any alteration be necessary, I should only propose, Be't known, that we at greates, &c.

JOHNSON. 'Make not your thoughts your prisons ;-) I once wished to read,

Make not your thoughts your poison :-
Do not destroy yourself by musing on your misfortune. Yet I would
change nothing, as the old reading presents a very proper fense.
Be not a prisoner in imagination, when in reality you are free.


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For we intend fo to dispose you, as
Yourfelf shall give us counsel. Feed, and sleep:
Our care and pity is so much upon you,
That we remain your friend; and so adieu.

Cleo. My master, and my lord !
Cæs. Nos so: Adieu.

[Exeunt Cæfar and bis train. Cleo. He words me, girls, he words me, that I

should not Be noble to myself: but hark thee, Charmian.

[Whispers Charmian. Iras. Finish, good lady.—The bright day is done, And we are for the dark.

Cleo. Hie thee again.
I have spoke already, and it is provided;
Go put it to the hafte.
Char. Madam, I will.

[Exit Charmian.

Re-enter Dolabella. Dol. Where is the


? Char. Behold, fir. Cieo. Dolabella ?

Dol. Madam, as thereto sworn, by your command,
Which my love makes religion to obey,
I tell you this : Cæsar through Syria
Intends his journey; and, within three days,
You with your children will he send before :
Make your best use of this: I have perform’d
Your pleasure, and my promise.

Cleo. Dolabella,
I shall remain your debtor.

Dol. I your servant.
Adieu, good queen: I must attend on Cæfar. [Exit

. Cleo. Farewel, and thanks. Now, Iras, what

think'st thou? Thou, an Ægyptian puppet, shalt be shewn

In Rome, as well as I: mechanic Naves
With greasy aprons, rules, and hammers, shall
Uplift us to the view. In their thick breaths,
Rank of gross diet, shall we be enclouded,
And forc'd to drink their vapour.

Iras. The Gods forbid!

Cleo. Nay, 'tis most certain, Iras : saucy lictors
Will catch at us like strumpets; and · scald rhimers
Ballad us out o’-tune. The ? quick comedians
Extemporally will stage us, and present
Our Alexandrian revels : Antony
Shall be brought drunken forth, and I shall see
Some squeaking Cleopatra + boy my Greatness,
l'the posture of a whore.

Iras. O the good Gods !
Cleo. Nay, that's certain.

Iras. I'll never see it ; for I am sure my nails
Are stronger than mine eyes.

Cleo. Why, that's the way To fool their preparation, and to conquer s Their most absurd intents. Now, Charmian?

Enter Scald rbimers] Sir T. Hanmer reads,

ftall'd rbimers. Scald was a word of contempt, implying poverty, disease, and filth.

JOHNSON. 3 -quick comedians) The gay inventive players. Johnson,

* - boy my greatness,] The parts of women were acted on the stage by boys.

HANMER. Nah, in Pierce Pennyleffe his Supplication, &c. 1595, says “Our players are not as the players beyond sea, a sort of squirt

ing bawdy comedians, that have whores and common courte“ fans to play women's parts, &c.”

STEEVENS. 5 Their mojt absurd intents.-) Why should Cleopatra call Cæfar's defigns absurd ? She could not think his intent of carrying her in triumph, such, with regard to his own g'ory: and her finde ing an expedient to disappoint him, could not bring it under that predicament. I much rather think the poet wrote, Their most assur'd intents

.i. e.

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