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Vent.

I say you are not. Try your fortune.

Ant. I have to th' utmost.

desperate

Dost thou think me

Without just cause? No, when I found all lost
Beyond repair, I hid me from the world,

And learn'd to scorn it here; which now I do
So heartily, I think it is not worth

The cost of keeping.

Vent.

Cæsar thinks not so:

He'll thank you for the gift he could not take.
You would be kill'd, like Tully, would you? Do,
Hold out your throat to Cæsar, and die tamely.
Ant. No, I can kill myself; and so resolve.

Vent. I can die with you too, when time shall

serve:

But fortune calls upon us now to live,

To fight, to conquer.

Ant.

Sure thou dream'st, Ventidius.

Vent. No; 'tis you dream: you sleep away your

hours

In desperate sloth, miscall'd philosophy.

Up, up, for honour's sake; twelve legions wait you,
And long to call you chief. By painful journeys
I led 'em, patient both of heat and hunger,

Down from the Parthian marches to the Nile.
'Twill do you good to see their sun-burnt faces,

Their scarr'd cheeks, and chopp'd hands; there's virtue in 'em ;

They'll sell those mangled limbs at dearer rates

Than yon trim bands can buy.

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They will not come.

Ant. Why didst thou mock my hopes with promised

aids,

To double my despair? They're mutinous.

Vent. Most firm and loyal.

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I am besieged.

Vent. There's but one way shut up-How came I

hither?

Ant. I will not stir.

Vent.

A better reason.

Ant.

They would perhaps desire

I have never used

My soldiers to demand a reason of

My actions. Why did they refuse to march ?

Vent. They said they would not fight for Cleopatra. Ant. What was't they said?

Vent. They said they would not fight for Cleopatra. Why should they fight, indeed, to make her conquer, And make you more a slave? To gain you kingdoms,

Which, for a kiss, at your next midnight feast,
You'll sell to her?-Then she new names her jewels,
And calls this diamond such or such a tax;
Each pendant in her ear shall be a province.

Ant. Ventidius, I allow your tongue free licence On all my other faults; but on your life,

No word of Cleopatra; she deserves
More worlds than I can lose.

Vent.

Behold, you powers,

To whom you have entrusted human kind;

See Europe, Afric, Asia put in balance;

And all weigh'd down by one light worthless

woman!

I think the gods are Antonies, and give,

Like prodigals, this nether world away

To none but wasteful hands.

Ant. You grow presumptuous. Vent. I take the privilege of plain love to speak. Ant. Plain love! plain arrogance, plain insolence! Thy men are cowards; thou an envious traitor,

I

Who, under seeming honesty, hast vented
The burden of thy rank o'erflowing gall.
Oh, that thou wert my equal, great in arms
As the first Cæsar was, that I might kill thee
Without stain to my honour!

You

may

Vent.
kill me.
You have done more already; call'd me traitor.
Ant. Art thou not one?

Vent.

For showing you yourself, Which none else durst have done. But had I been That name, which I disdain to speak again, I needed not have sought your abject fortunes, Come to partake your fate, to die with you. What hinder'd me t' have led my conq'ring eagles To fill Octavius' band? I could have been A traitor then, a glorious, happy traitor, And not have been so call'd.

Ant.

I've been too passionate.

Vent.

Forgive me, soldier;

You thought me false;

Thought my old age betray'd you. Kill me, Sir;
Pray kill me; yet, you need not, your unkindness
Has left your sword no work.

Ant.
I did not think so;
I said it in my rage: pr'ythee forgive me.
Why didst thou tempt my anger by discovery
Of what I would not hear.

Vent.
No prince but you
Could merit that sincerity I used,

Nor durst another man have ventured it :
But you, ere love misled your wand'ring eyes,
Were sure the chief and best of human race,
Framed in the very pride and boast of nature.
Ant. But Cleopatra-

Go on; for I can bear it now.

Vent.

No more.

Ant. Thou dar'st not trust my passion; but thou

mayst:

Thou only lov'st, the rest have flatter'd me.

Vent. Heaven's blessing on your heart for that kind

word.

May I believe you love me? Speak again.

Ant. Indeed I do. Speak this, and this, and this. Thy praises were unjust; but I'll deserve 'em, And yet mend all. Do with me what thou wilt; Lead me to victory, thou know'st the way. Vent. And, will you leave this

Ant.

Pr'ythee do not curse her,

And I will leave her; though, Heav'n knows, I

love

Beyond life, conquest, empire, all but honour;

But I will leave her.

Vent.

And shall we fight?

Ant.

That's my royal master.

I warrant thee, old soldier;

Thou shalt behold me once again in iron,

And, at the head of our old troops, that beat
The Parthians, cry aloud, Come, follow me!

Vent. Oh, now I hear my emperor! In that word Octavius fell. Gods, let me see that day,

And, if I have ten years behind, take all;

I'll thank you for the exchange.

Ant.

Vent. Again!

Ant.

Oh, Cleopatra !

I've done. In that last sigh she went;

Cæsar shall know what 'tis to force a lover

From all he holds most dear.

Vent.

Methinks you breathe

Another soul; your looks are more divine

You speak a hero, and you move a god.

Ant. Oh, thou hast fired me! my soul's up in

arms,

And mans each part about me. Once again
The noble eagerness of fight hath seized me;
That eagerness, with which I darted upward
To Cassius' camp. In vain the steepy hill
Opposed my way; in vain a war of spears
Sung round my head, and planted all my shield;

I won the trenches, while my foremost men
Lagg'd on the plain below.

Vent.

For such another honour!

Ye gods, ye gods,

Ant.
Come on, my soldier ;
Our hearts and arms are still the same. I long
Once more to meet our foes; that thou and I,
Like Time and Death, marching before our troops,
May taste fate to 'em, mow 'em out a passage,
And, ent'ring where the utmost squadrons yield,
Begin the noble harvest of the field.

IT

STORY OF LE FEVRE.

LAURENCE STERNE.

T was some time in the summer of that year in which Dendermond was taken by the allies, when my uncle Toby was one evening getting his supper, with Trim sitting behind him at a small sideboard-I say sitting, for in consideration of the Corporal's lame knee (which sometimes gave him exquisite pain), when my uncle Toby dined or supped alone he would never suffer the Corporal to stand; and the poor fellow's veneration for his master was such, that, with a proper artillery, my uncle Toby could have taken Dendermond itself with less trouble than he was able to gain this point over him; for many a time, when my uncle Toby supposed the Corporal's leg was at rest, he would look back, and detect him standing behind him with the most dutiful respect; this bred more little squabbles betwixt them than all other causes for five-andtwenty years together. But this is neither here nor there-why do I mention it? Ask my pen-it governs me-I govern not it.

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