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Say, I am dancing; if in mirth, report
That I am sudden sick: Quick, and return.

[Exit ALEX. CHAR. Madam, methinks, if you did love him


You do not hold the method to enforce

The like from him.


What should I do, I do not?

CHAR. In each thing give him way, cross him in


CLEO. Thou teachest like a fool; the way to lose him.

CHAR. Tempt him not so too far: I wish, for


In time we hate that which we often fear.


But here comes Antony.


I am sick, and sullen.

ANT. I am sorry to give breathing to my pur


CLEO. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall; It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature

Will not sustain it.2


Now, my dearest queen,

What's the matter?

CLEO. Pray you, stand further from me.


the sides of nature

Will not sustain it.] So, in Twelfth-Night:
"There is no woman's sides

"Can bide the beating of so strong a passion."


CLEO. I know, by that same eye, there's some good news.

What says the married woman?-You may go; 'Would, she had never given you leave to come! Let her not say, 'tis I that keep you here,

I have no power upon you; hers you are.

ANT. The gods best know,—


O, never was there queen

So mightily betray'd! Yet, at the first,
I saw the treasons planted.



CLEO. Why should I think, you can be mine, and true,

Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,* Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness, To be entangled with those mouth-made vows, Which break themselves in swearing!


Most sweet queen,

CLEO. Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your


But bid farewell, and go: when you sued staying, Then was the time for words: No going then ;Eternity was in our lips, and eyes;

Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor, But was a race of heaven:5 They are so still,


Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,] So, in Timon of Athens:

Although, I know, you'll swear, terribly swear, "Into strong shudders, and to heavenly agues, "The immortal gods that hear you." STEEVENS. in our brows' bent;] i. e. in the arch of our eye-brows. So, in King John:

"Why do you bend such solemn brows on me?”


a race of heaven:] i. e. had a smack or flavour of

heaven. WARBURTON.

Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turn'd the greatest liar.


How now, lady!

CLEO. I would, I had thy inches; thou should'st


There were a heart in Egypt.


Hear me, queen:

The strong necessity of time commands
Our services a while; but my full heart
Remains in use with you. Our Italy

Shines o'er with civil swords: Sextus Pompeius
Makes his approaches to the port of Rome:
Equality of two domestick powers

Breeds scrupulous faction: The hated, grown to strength,

Are newly grown to love: the condemn'd Pompey,
Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace
Into the hearts of such as have not thriv'd
Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
By any desperate change: My more particular,
And that which most with you should safe my going,'
Is Fulvia's death.

This word is well explained by Dr. Warburton; the race of wine is the taste of the soil. Sir T. Hanmer, not understanding the word, reads, ray. See Vol. IV. p. 41, n. 1. JOHNSON.

I am not sure that the poet did not 'mean, was of heavenly origin. MALONE.

• Remains in use-] The poet seems to allude to the legal distinction between the use and absolute possession. JOHNSON. The same phrase has already occurred in The Merchant of Venice:


"I am content, so he will let me have

"The other half in use,-." STEEVENS.

should safe my going,] i. e. should render my going not dangerous, not likely to produce any mischief to you. Mr.

CLEO. Though age from folly could not give me freedom,

It does from childishness:-Can Fulvia die ?8
ANT. She's dead, my queen:

Look here, and, at thy sovereign leisure, read
The garboils she awak'd ;' at the last, best:'

Theobald, instead of safe, the reading of the old copy, unnecessarily reads salve. MALONE.

- safe my going, is the true reading. So, in a subsequent scene, a soldier says to Enobarbus:


Best you safed the bringer

"Out of the host."

It does from childishness :—Can Fulvia die?] That Fulvia was mortal, Cleopatra could have no reason to doubt; the meaning therefore of her question seems to be: Will there ever be an end of your excuses? As often as you want to leave me, will not some Fulvia, some new pretext be found for your departure? She has already said that though age could not exempt her from follies, at least it frees her from a childish belief in all he says. STEEvens.

I am inclined to think, that Cleopatra means no more than→→→ Is it possible that Fulvia should die? I will not believe it.


Though age has not exempted me from folly, I am not so childish, as to have apprehensions from a rival that is no more. And is Fulvia dead indeed? Such, I think, is the meaning. MALONE.

9 The garboils she awak'd;] i. e. the commotion she occasioned. The word is used by Heywood, in The Rape of Lucrece, 1638:

66 -thou Tarquin, dost alone survive,
"The head of all those garboiles."

Again, by Stanyhurst, in his translation of the first Book of Virgil's Eneid, 1582:

"Now manhood and garboils I chaunt and martial horror."

Again, in Jarvis Markham's English Arcadia, 1607: "Days of mourning by continuall garboiles were, however, numbered and encreased." The word is derived from the old French garbouil, which Cotgrave explains by hurlyburly, great stir."


See, when, and where she died.

CLEO. O most false love! Where be the sacred vials thou should'st fill With sorrowful water?2 Now I see, I see, In Fulvia's death, how mine receiv'd shall be. ANT. Quarrel no more, but be prepar'd to know The purposes I bear; which are, or cease, As you shall give the advice: Now, by the fire,3 That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence, Thy soldier, servant; making peace, or war, As thou affect'st.


Cut my lace, Charmian, come;But let it be. I am quickly ill, and well;

In Cawdrey's Alphabetical Table of hard Words, 8vo. 1604, garboile is explained by the word hurlyburly. MALONE.


at the last, best:] This conjugal tribute to the memory of Fulvia, may be illustrated by Malcolm's eulogium on the thane of Cawdor:

“ —— nothing in his life

"Became him, like the leaving it." STEEVENS.

20 most false love!

Where be the sacred vials thou should'st fill

With sorrowful water?]

Alluding to the lachrymatory

vials, or bottles of tears, which the Romans sometimes put into

the urn of a friend. JOHNSON.

So, in the first Act of The Two Noble Kinsmen, said to be written by Fletcher, in conjunction with Shakspeare:


"Balms and gums, and heavy cheers,

"Sacred vials fill'd with tears." STEEVENS.

Now, by the fire, &c.] Some word, in the old copies, being here wanting to the metre, I have not scrupled to insert the adverb-Now, on the authority of the following passage in King John, as well as on that of many others in the different pieces of our author:

"Now, by the sky that hangs above our heads,
"I like it well:-." STEEVENS.

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