Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A ftrange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthron'd i'the market-place, did fit alone,
Whistling to the air ; which, but for vacancy 3,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.

Agr. Rare Egyptian !

Eno. Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper : the reply'd,
It should be better, he became her guest;
Which the entreated : Our courteous Antony,
Whom ne'er the word of 1.0 woman heard speak,
Being barber'd ten times o'er, goes to the feat;
And, for his ordinary, pays his heart,
For what his eyes eat only.

Agr. Royal wench! .
She made great Cæsar lay his sword to bed ;
He plough'd her, and the cropt.

Eno. I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the publick street:

of cloth of gold of tissue, apparelled and attired like the Goddesse Venus, commonly drawn in picture; and hard by her, on either hand of her, pretie faire boyes apparelled as painters do set forth God Cupide, with little fannes in their hands, with the which they fanned vpon her. Her ladies and gentlewomen also, the fairest of them were apparelled like the nymphes Nereides (which are the mermaides of the waters,) and like the Graces, some stearing the helme, others tending the tackle and Topes of the barge, out of the which there came a wonderfull pafling sweete savor of perfumes, that perfumed the wharfes fide, pestered with innumerable multitudes of people, Some of them followed the barge all alongit the riuer side: others also ranne out of the citie to see her coming in. So that in thend, there ranne such multitudes of people one after another to see her, that Antonius was left poft alone in the market place, in his imperiall feate to geve audience :" &c. STEEV.

3 - wbicb, but for vacancy,] Alluding to an axiom in the peri. patetic philofophy then in vogue, that Nature abbers a vacuum.

WARBURTON, For vacancy, means, for fear of a vacuum. MALONE.

And

And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
That she did make defect, perfection,
And, breathless, power breathe forth.

Mec. Now Antony muit leave her utterly,

Eno. Never; he will not ;
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale 4
Her infinite variety: Other women cloy
The appetites they feed; but the makes hungry,
Where most the satisfiess. For vileft things
Become themíclves in her; that the holy priests
Bless her, when she is riggish?.

Mec. If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
The heart of Antony, Ottavia is
A blessed lottery to him 8.

Agr.

6

[ocr errors]

4 – nor custom stale) This verb is used by Heywood in the Iron Agen 1632: “ One that hath sidl'd his courtly tricks at home." STEEVENS.

Orber women clay
The appetites they feed; but he makes hungry,

Wbere molt pe fatisfies.] Almost the same thought, cloathed Deatly in the same expressions, is found in the old play of Pericles:

“ Who ítarves the ears she feeds, and makes them hungry,

" The more she gives them speech." Again, in our authour's Venus and Adonis :

" And yet not cloy thy lips with loath'd satiety,
« But rather famish them amid their plenty." MALONE.
- for vileft things
Become tbemselves in ber;] So, in our authour's 150th Sonnet:

“ Whence haft thou this becoming of tbings ill 3" MALONE.

when she is riggith.) Rigg is an ancient word meaning a strum. pet. So, in Whetstone's Caftle of Delight, 1576:

“ Immodest rigg, I Óvid's counsel usde.” STEEVENS.
Again, in J. Davies's Scourge of Folly, printed about the year 1611:

« When wanton rig, or lecher diffolute,
« Do itand at Paules Cross in a-suite.” MALONE.

Oftavia is

A blessed lottery to bim.] Dr. Warburton says, the poet wrote allattery: but there is no reason for this afiertion. The ghost of Andrea in the Spanish Tragedy, says:

· Minos in graven leaves of lottery

« Drew forth the manner of my life and death. FARMIR. So, in Stanyhurst's tranlation of Virgil, 1982: “ By this hap escaping the filth of lottarye carnal."

Again,

7

8

[ocr errors]

Agr. Let us go.
Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest,
Whilst you abide here.
Eno. 'Humbly, fir, I thank you.

[Excunt. SCENE III.

The fame. A Room in Cæsar's House.
Enter CÆSAR, ANTONY, OCTAVIA between them; At.

tendants, and a Soothsayer.
Ant. The world, and my great office, will sometimes
Divide me from your bosom.

Ołta. All which time,
Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers 9
To them for you.

Ant. Good night, fir.-My Octavia,
Read not my blemishes in the world's report:
I have not kept my square ; but that to come
Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady.-
Good night, fir'.

Caf. Good night. [Exeunt CÆSAR, and Octavia,
Ant. Now, firrah! you do wish yourself in Egypt?

Soorb. 'Would I had never come from thence, nor you
Thither!

Ant. If you can, your reason?

Sooth. I see it in
My motion”, have it not in my tongue: But yet

Hie
Again, in the Honest Man's Fortune, By B. and Fletcher :

fainting under “ Fortune's false lottery."- STLEVENS. 9- pallbow my prayers] The same conftru&ion is in Coriolanes, A& I. sc. i :

Shouting obeir emulation." Again, in K. Lear, Act II. sc. ii :

Smile you my speeches ?" STILVENS. * Good nigbt, dear lady:

Good nigbe, Sir.] These last words, which in the only authentick copy of this play are given to Antony, the modern editors have assigned to O&avia. I see no need of change. He addresses himself to Cæsar, who immediately replies, Good nigbe. MALOnL. 2 I see it in My motion,] i. e. the divinitory agitation. WARBURTON.

Mr.

[ocr errors]

Hie you to Egypt again.

Ant. Say to me,
Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Cæsar's, or mine?

Sooth. Cæsar's.
Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side :
Thy dæmon, that's thy spirit which keeps thee, is
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,
Where Cæsar's is not; but, near him, thy angel
Becomes a Fear 3, as being o'erpower'd; therefore
Make space enough between you,

Ant. Speak this no more.
Mr. Theobald reads, with some probability, I see it in my notion.

MALONE.
3 Becomes a Fear,-) Our authour has a little lower expressed his
meaning more plainly:

- I say again, i by Spirie
« Is all afraid to govern thee near him.
We have this sentiment again in Macberb:

near him,
“ My genius is rebuk'd; as, it is said,

“ Mark Antony's was by Cæsar's.” MALONE.
Mr. Upton reads:

Becomes afear'd, -
The common reading is more poetical. JOHNSON.

A Fear was a personage in some of the old moralities. Fletcher al. Judes to it in the Maid's Tragedy, where Alpafia is instructing her ser. vants how to describe her fituation in needle-work:

and then a Fear : “ Do that Fear bravely, wench."The whole thought is borrowed from fir T. North's translation of Plutarch: “ With Antonius there was a foothsayer or astronomer of Egypt, that coulde calte a figure, and judge of mens natiuities, to tell them what should happen to them. He, either to please Cleopatra, or else that he founde it so by his art, told Antonius plainly, that his fortune (which of it felfe was excellent good, and very great) was altogether bleamished, and obscured by Cæsar's fortune: and therefore he counselled him vtterly to leave his company, and to get him as farre from him as he could. For thy Demon laid he, (that is to say, the good angell and spirit that keepeth thee) is affraied of his : and being coragious and high when he is alone, becometh fearfull and timerous when he commeth neere vnto the other." STEEVENS.

The old copy reads—that thy spirit. The correction, which was made in the second folio, is supported by the foregiong passage in Plutarch, but I doubt whether it is necessary. MALONE.

Scorb.

[ocr errors]

Sooth. To none but thee; no more, but when to thee.
If thou dost play with him at any game,
Thou art sure to lose ; and, of that natural luck,
He beats thee 'gainst the odds; thy lustre thickens,
When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him ;
But, he away *, 'tis noble.
Ant. Get thee

gone:
Say to Ventidius, I would speak with him :-

[Exit Soothsayer.
He shall to Parthia.-Be it art, or hap,
He hath spoken true: The very dice obey him;
And, in our sports, my better cunning faints
Under his chance: if we draw lots, he speeds:
His cocks do win the battle still of mine,
When it is all to nought; and his quails S ever
Beat mine, inhoop'd, at odds. I will to Egypt:
And though I make this marriage for my peace,

Enter VentIDIUS.
I'the east my pleasure lies.-O, come, Ventidius,

[ocr errors]

6

- But, be away,] Old Copy-alway. Corrected by Mr. Pope.

MALONE. 5- bis quails ] The ancients used to match quails as we match cocks. JOHNSON

So, in the old translation of Plutarch: “ For, it is said, that as often as they drew cuts for pastime, who should haue any thing, or whether they plaied at dice, Antonius alway loft. Oftentimes when they were disposed to fee cockfight, or quailes that were taught to fight one with an other, Cæsars cockes or quailes did euer ouercome." STEIVENS.

-inhoop’d, et odds.] Thus the old copy. Inboop'd is inclosed, confined, that they may fight. The modern editors read:

Beat mine in whoop'd-at odds. JOHNSON. Shakspeare gives us the practice of his own time: and there is no oc. cafion for in wboopidat, or any other alteration. John Davies begins one of his epigrams upon proverbs:

“ He sets cocke on the hoope, in, you would say ;

« For cocking in boopes is now all the play." FARMER.
At odds was the phraseology of Shakspeare's time. So, in Mortista
riados, by Michael Drayton, no date:

« She straight begins to bandy him about,
A thousand odds, before the set goes out." MALONE.

You

« AnteriorContinua »