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THIS play keeps curiosity always busy, and the passions always interested. The continual hurry of the action, the variety of incidents, and the quick succession of one personage to another, call the mind forward without intermission from the first act to the last. But the power of delighting is derived principally from the frequent changes of the scene ; for, except the feminine arts, some of which
are too low, which distinguish Cleopatra, no character is very strongly discriminated. Upton, who did not easily miss what he desired to find, has discovered that the language of Antony is, with great skill and learning, made pompous and superb, according to his real practice. But . I think his diction not distinguishable from that of others : the most tumid speech in the play is that which Cæsar makes to Octavia.
The events, of which the principal are described according to history, are produced without any art of connexion or care of disposition.
JOHNSON, It is observable with what judgment Shakspeare draws the character of Octavius. Antony was his hero ; so the other was not to shine : yet being an historical character, there was a necessity to draw him like. But the ancient historians, his flatterers, had delivered him down so fair, that he seems ready cut and dried for a hero. Amidst these difficulties Shakspeare has extricated himself with great address. He has admitted all those great strokes of his character as he found them, and yet has made him a very unamiable character, deceitful, mean. spirited, narrow-minded, proud, and revengeful.
friends of Antony.
tendants on Cleopatra. A Soothsayer. A Clown.
CLEOPATRA, queen of Egypt.
attendants on Cleopatra.
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENR, dispersed ; in several parts of the Roman
SCENE I.-Alexandria. A Room in CLEOPATRA's Palace
Enter DEMETRIUS and Philo.
AY, but this dotage of our general's O’erflows the measure : those his goodly eyes, That o'er the files and musters of the war Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn; The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front : his captain's heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper ;" And is become the bellows, and the fan, To cool a gipsy's lust.2 Look, where they come! Flourish, Enter ANTONY and CLEOPATRA, with their
Trains ; Eunuchs fanning her.
Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much,
Enter an Attendant.
Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony :
 Reneges-renounces. РОРЕ. .
12] Gipsy-is here used both in the original meaning for an Egyptian, and in its accidental sense for a bad woman. JOHNS.
 Triple-is here used improperly for third, or one of three. One of the Triumvirs, one of the three masters of the world. WARB.
 Bourn-bound or limit. POPE.  Thou must set the boundary of my love at a greater distance than the present visible universe affords. JOHNS.
 Be brief, sum thy business in a few words. JOHNS.