Imatges de pÓgina

her figs.

Took her own way. — The manner of their There is a vent of blood, and something blown: deaths ?

The like is on her arm. I do not see them bleed.

1 Guard. This is an aspic's trail: and these figDol. Who was last with them?

leaves 1 Guard. A simple countryman, that brought Have slime upon them, such as the aspic leaves

Upon the caves of Nile. This was his basket.


Most probable
Poison'd then.

That so she died; for her physician tells me 1 Guard.

O Cæsar, She hath pursued conclusions infinite This Charmian liv'd but now; she stood, and Of easy ways to die.—Take up her bed; spake :

And bear her women from the monument:found her trimming up the diadem

She shall be buried by her Antony : On her dead mistress; tremblingly she stood, No grave upon the earth shall clip in it And on the sudden dropp'd.

A pair so famous. High events as these Cæs.

O noble weakness !- Strike those that make them; and their story is If they had swallow'd poison 'twould appear No less in pity than his glory, which By external swelling: but she looks like sleep, Brought them to be lamented. Our army shall, As she would catch another Antony

In solemn show, attend this funeral; In her strong toil of grace.

And then to Rome.—Come, Dolabella, see Dol. Here, on her breast. High order in this great solemnity. Ereun.


[graphic][subsumed][merged small][merged small]




“But stirrid by Cleopatra" —Johnson explains this

as if “but” had the meaning of ercept-Antony will be – RENEAGUEs all temper"—i. e. Renounces. This is himself, unless Cleopatra keeps him in commotion. M. usually spelled reneges. . Coleridge suggested the or- Mason objects to this, and interprets the passage, “if but thography here adopted, which is the old spelling, and stirred by Cleopatra." Knight, dissenting from both, besides gives the proper pronunciation, as in league. considers the obvious meaning to be, “ Antony accepts Stevens proposed to read reneyes, a word used by Cleopatra's belief of what he will be. He will be hiin. Chaucer in the same sense ; but we have the word in

self, but still under the influence of Cleopatra; and to the form here used, in LEAR.

show what that influence is, he continues, Now, for

the love of Love,' etc." “ — TRIPLE pillar of the world”—“ Triple" is here used in the sense of third, or one of three-one of the

To-night we'll wander through the streets," etc. Triumvirs, the three masters of the world. So in All's Well That Ends Well, we have a “triple eye” for a but Cleopatra divided it into many kinds. For she

Plato writeth that there are four kinds of flattery; third eye. The industry of the commentators has not found any similar use of the word, in any other old (were it in sport, or in matters of earnest) still devised author.

sundry new delights to have Antonius at commandment,

never leaving him night nor day, nor once letting him *Grates me"-i. e. Offends me; is grating to me. go out of her sight. For she would play at dice with “ – The sum”-i. e. What is the amount of your

him, drink with him, and hunt commonly with him, tidings?

and also be with him when he went to any exercise or

activity of body. And sometime also, when he would " — hear them"-i. e. The news, which word, in the go up and down the city disguised like a slave in the Poet's age, still retained its plural use.

night, and would peer into poor men's windows and “Take in that kingdom—“Take in,” it has been

their shops, and scold and brawl within the house, Cleoelsewhere observed, signifies subdue, conquer.

patra would be also in a chambermaid's array, and amble

up and down the streets with him, so that oftentimes “ Where's Fulvia's PROCESS"-A word used with Antonius bare away both mocks and blows. Now, technical accuracy. “Process" here means summons. though most men misliked this manner, yet the Aler. “ Lawyers call that the processe by which a man is andrians were commonly glad of this jollity, and liked called into the court, and no more. To serve with pro- || it well, saying, very gallantly and wisely, that Antonius cesse is to cite, to summon." -Minshew.

showed them a comical face, to wit, a merry counte“ — Rang'd empire"-Capell, the most neglected of

nance; and the Romans a tragical face, that is to say, a

grim look.–North's Plutarch. the commentators, properly explains this—“ Orderly ranged-whose parts are now entire and distinct, like a

number of well-built edifices." He refers to a passage
in CorioLANUS :-

Enter Charmian, Iras, Alexas," etc.
Bury all which yet distinctly ranges,
In heaps and piles of ruin.

Shakespeare followed Plutarch, and appears to have

been anxious to introduce every incident and every per. - to weer"-i. e. To know.

sonage he met with in his historian. Plutarch mentions



So he will let me have

am prias, his grandfather, as authority for some of the simply as a change of circumstances, the passage may ories he relates of the profuseness and luxury of Anto- mean, (and this is the interpretation of Stevens,) thai y's entertainments at Alexandria. In the stage-direc- the pleasure of to-day becoines subsequently a painon of scene ii. act 1, in the old copy, Lamprias, Ram- the opposite of itself. us, and Lucilius, are made to enter with the rest ; but hey have no part in the dialogue, nor do their names

The hand could pluck her back"-"Could” is here

used in that peculiar sense, which indicates not power, Ppear in the list of Dramatis Personæ.

but inclination and will, if there was ability-appaStevens adds that, in the multitude of the charac. ers, these characters seem to have been forgotten.

rently an elliptical expression-a very idiomatic, but by

no means unusual sense, and not peculiar (as Stevens “ let me have a child al fifty"_" This (says Stevens) il pronounces it to be) to the old writers. He thus says: s one of Shakespeare's natural touches. Few circum- ** My hand, which drove her ott, would now willingly tances are more flattering to the fair sex, than breeding pluck her back, if it were possible.” at an advanced period of life. Charmian wishes for a

- our EXPEDIENCE”-i. e. Our expedition. These son too who may arrive at such power and dominion words were used by Shakespeare indiscriminately. that the proudest and fiercest monarchs of the earth may be brought under his yoke. It should be remembered " -- like the courser's hair"-" This is so far true to that Herod of Jewry was a favourite character in the appearance, that a horse-hair · laid (as Hollingshed says) mysteries of the old stage, and that he was always rep- in a pail of water,' will become the supporter of seemresented a fierce, haughty, blustering tyrant."

ingly one worm, though probably of an immense num

ber of small slimy water-lice. The hair will twirl round “ — As he flattered—“As” for as if.

a finger, and sensibly compress it. It is a common ex“ EXTENDED Asin from EUPHRATES"—i. e. Seized periment with school-boys.”—COLERIDGE. upon-an adaptation to a general sense of a phrase peculiar to the ancient English law; one process of seizing

SCENE III. or levying upon land, to satisfy judgments, being called an extent, or extendi facias, “ because (says Blackstone)

-- our brows BENT"--i. e. The bending or inclinathe sheriff was to cause the lands to be appraised to their

tion of our brows. The brow is that part of the face full extended value." In North’s “ Plutarch," we find

which expresses most fully the mental emotions. So in that Labienus had “overrun Asia from Euphrates." King JOHN :Nearly all Shakespeare's contemporaries make the

Why do you bend such solemn brows on me? second syllable of " Euphrates” short. Drayton, for

Remains in use with you"-i. e. In your possession example,

and use-a phrase employed also in the MERCHANT OF That gliding go in state, like swelling Euphrates.

VENICE: “ When our quick minds lie still—In the old folios,

The other half in use. our quick winds." Warburton proposed, and Malone and other editors have adopted, the correction of “ quick minds.” If we adopt this reading, the sense will be

" should safe my going”-i. e. Render safe. When our pregnant minds lie idle and untilled, they The GarBOILs she awak'd-i. e. Disorders, comproduce weeds ; but the telling is of our faults is, as it motions; probably derived from the same source as were, ploughing, (earing being the old word for tilling, turmoil. still preserved in our English Bible,) and thus destroys the weeds. The old reading is preserved by Johnson,

" the sacred vials"-Alluding to the lachrymatory who explains the sense—" that man not agitated by

vials filled with tears, which the Romans placed in the censure is like soil not ventilated by high winds, and

tomb of a departed friend. produces more evil than good.” Knight retains the

- I am quickly ill, and weil, same reading :-“ Before we adopt a new reading we must be satisfied that the old one is corrupt. When,

So Antony loves." then, do we bring forth weeds ?' In a heavy and

Our text follows the more usual punctuation. Cleomoist season, when there are no quick winds' to mel

patra, think, draws a rapid reproachful comparison low the earth, to dry up the exuberant moisture, to fit

between her own quickly-changing health and the fickle it for the plough. The Poet knew the old proverb of

love of Antony. And the reply, “My precious queen, the worth of a bushel of March dust; but the winds

forbear," etc., shows that he felt this to be meant for of March,' rough and unpleasant as they are, he knew

him. Knight prints the lines— also produced this good. The quick winds then are the

- lam quickly ill, and well,

So Antony loves ;voices which bring us true reports to put an end to our inaction. When ihese winds lie still, we bring forth and says :-"* This passage is usually printed with a colon weeds. But the metaphor is carried further: the winds

after well;' and, so pointed, it is interpreted by Capell, have rendered the soil fit for the plough ; but the knowl

* such is Antony's love, fluctuating and subject to sudden edge of our own faults, or ills, is as the ploughing itself—

turns, like my health.' The punctuation of the original the caring."

seems more consonant with the rapid and capricious Collier supposes winds to mean wints, which (says he)

demeanour of Cleopatra-I am quickly ill, and I am * in Kent and Sussex is an agricultural term, meaning

well again, so that Antony loves." two furrows ploughed by going to one end of the field

Collier's comment is, 'I am quickly well or ill, ac* Our quick winds' is, therefore, to be

cording as Antony loves me.” understood as our productive soil.” Judge Blackstone · Belong to Egypt”-i. e. The queen of Egypt. had long before conjectured quick winds to be a cor

" this HERCULEAN Roman"-Antony traced his ruption of some provincial word, signifying arable land.

descent from Anton, a son of Hercules. Yet that the firsi and most obvious explanation gives the idea in the Poet's mind, is indicated by a similar

But that your ROYALTY passage in HENRY VI., (Part III. :),

Holds idleness your SUBJECT," eic.
For what doth cherish wee is but gentle air ?

An antithesis seems intended between “royalty" and A dozen commentators have exercised their sagacity on subject." But that I know you to be a queen, and This passage, of which the reader has here the substance.

that your royalty bolde idleness in subjection to you, 1 The opposite of itself” – Warburton says. “ The al

should suppose you, from this idle discourse, to be the lasion is to the sui's diurnal course, which, rising in the

very genius of idleness itself." mast, and by revolution lowering, or setting, in the west, “— LAUREL's victory''-So the second folio, and ali becomes the opposite of itself." But, taking revolution the other editions, except that of Knight, who retains

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and back again.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]



the “laurel victory" of the first edition; remarking that force, that it will cause any man to sleepe as though be "the use of the substantive adjectively was a peculiarity were dead.” (See Pliny's “ Natural History," by Holof the poetry of Shakespeare's time, which has been re- land, 1601.) vived with advantage in our own day.”

" — BURGONET of men"-i. e. Helmet. In HEXBT

VI. we have, “I wear aloft my burgonet." Scene IV. ONE great comPETITOR"-" Competitor" is always

that great MEDICINE kath

With his tinct gilded thee." used by Shakespeare, both in this play and in the Two GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, for associate; one uniting with

The allusion is, as Johnson and Stevens have shown, others in striving together for the same end or object.

to the philosopher's stone, which, by its touch, converts “ One" is the original reading, which Johnson altered to

base metal into gold. The alchymists call the matter, ours-a plausible conjecture; yet the old reading strikes

whatever it be, by which they perform transinutation, me as the preferable sense. Octavius denies that it is

a “medicine."' 'Í'hus Chapman, in his “Shadow of his nature to hate any great associate power.

Night,” (1594:)—

O, then, thou great elirir of all treasures. " — his COMPOSURE"-i. e. Composition, in modern

The old English poets are full of such allusions, and language.

there is a singular agreement between the poetic use of " — excuse his souls”—The original has foils, which this phrase, and an idiomatic phrase common to all the (says Collier) means “the fuibles which injure his char- North American Indian tribes, which differing in lan

But I find no authority for any such use of the guage, some of them radically, agree in applying the word, while “soils” is constantly used by Shakespeare title of “ great medicine" to any powerful agent beyond in this very manner. Thus in HAMLET_“No soil doth their comprehension. This is one of those coincidences besmirch the virtue of his will." In Love's Labour's where there could be no common origin, which show Lost—" The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss.". The how uncertain are all arguments of literary imitation, change of the long , for the f, is common in old books etc., drawn from mere similarity. and manuscripts.

And soberly did mount an ARROGANT steed," etc. Comes Dear'd by being lack'd"-In the old copies,

The original has “arm-gaunt steed,” which has puz: feard by being lack'd," which is adhered to by the

zled all the critics. Knight says that “arm-gaunt, of two last English editors; while the rest, from Theobald to Singer and Boswell , adopt Warburton's change, steed fierce and terrible in armour”-a sense not easily

which we have no other example, conveys the idea of a ** dear'd.” This not only in itself presents a much bet

derived from the word. Collier interprets it “as ap ter and more natural sense, but moreover corresponds plied to a horse become gaunt by bearing arms"with the account given of Pompey, in the preceding

more probable sense, but not suiting the context, though speech, that he “is beloved of those that only have feared


agrees with Warburton's explanation of " a steed worn Cæsar.” It is too the same with the thought similarly

thin by service in war;" on which Edwards has lavished expressed in CoriolanUS :—“ I shall be lov'd when I am lack’d." This is much more natural than Knight's

much good pleasantry, in his sprightly volume, the

“Canons of Criticism.” Seward, (Preface to his edition idea that, in Octavius's mind, “to be feared and to be loved were synonymous.”

of Beaumont and Fletcher,) Edwards, and Lord Ched.

worth, maintain that it means thin-shouldered—"gavat " Leave thy lascivious vassals”—The spelling of the quad armos." M. Mason proposed, and very many edioriginal is vassailes. The modern reading is wassals. tors have adopted, the change into termagant, which In three other passages of the original, where the old gives a spirited and appropriate sense. A strong objecword wassal is used, it is spelled wassels. Wassal is em- tion to this change is that termagant must bave been ployed by Shakespeare in the strict meaning of drunken preceded in the text by a, not by an, as the old editions revelry; and that could scarcely be called * lascivious." have it. This edition adopts the very ingenious conjec. On the contrary,

leave thy lascivious rassals" ex- ture of Boaden, which is thus explained and defended presses Cæsar's contempt for Cleopatra and her minions, || by Singer:who were strictly the vassals of Antony, the queen be- “ The epithet arrogant is the happy suggestion of ing one of his tributaries.-KNIGHT.

Mr. Boaden, and is to be preferred both on account of

its more striking propriety, and because it admits of the beaten from MODENA"-Shakespeare has here

original article an retaining is place before it. That it evidently used the ordinary English pronunciation of

is an epithet fitly applied to the steed of Antony, may “ Mo-dé-na," not its Italian sound, as familiarized to our

be shown by high poetical authority. In the “Auraco ears by later poets, such as Rogers :

Domado" of Lope de Vega, the reader will find the folIf ever you should come to Mod’ena.

lowing passage:For this quotation, as well as for other matter, I am

Y el cavallo arrogante, in que subido happy to express my obligation to a recent American

El hombre parecia publication, of great accuracy, learning, and taste

Monstruosa tiera que sies pies tenia Baldwin's Pronouncing Gazetteer,” (Philadelphia, Termagant, it should be observed, is furious; "arro1845.)

gant,' which answers to the Latin ferox, is only fierce, Assemble me”-So the original. The modern read

proud. Our great Poet, .of imagination all compact,' ing is “ assemble we”--the editors thinking. “me” a

is the greatest master of poetic diction the world has misprint for we, because one equal is speaking to an

yet produced; he could not have any knowledge of the other. Knight justly remarks, that the commentators

Spanish poet, but has anticipated him in the use of this forget the contempt which Cæsar had for Lepidus: they

expressive epithet. The word arrogaunt, as written in forget, too, the crouching humility of Lepidus himself:

old manuscripts, might easily be mistaken for arm.

What you shall know meantime
Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,

To let me be partaker.

My power's A crescent"-The old copy has " My SCENE V.

powers are crescent." The use of it, in the next line.

shows that “ crescent" is a substantive. The correc“Give me to drink MANDRAGORA"-A plant which, before the use of opium, the old physicians employed by all editors except Collier.

tion in the text was made by Theobald, and is received for what one of them (Gerard, Herbal.) calls “ the drowsie and sleeping power thereof.” So also in the old Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wan'd lip!" translation of Apuleius, (1566 :)—"I gave him no poy- The spelling of the early edition is wand lip, which son but a doling drink of mandragoras, which is of such Collier retains, as referring to Cleopatra's power of en

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]






and doubts whether it should not be printed This is Malone's interpretation, and generally adopted and-lip. This is forced and improbable. Waned, in modern editions. But I rather agree with Mason, hich, if strict metrical regularity is required, may be that "now" does not refer to “ talks," but that he says, selled or spoken “wan'd,” refers to the age and decay Admitting that I was negligent, and then lacked fidelf beauty, to which Cleopatra has herself before referred. ity to my word, that honour is now sacred." He accordtevens quotes a similar application of the epithet from ingly excuses his fault, demands pardon, and tenders sarston, a contemporary dramatist :

Cleopatra then to seek had been
So firm a lover of her waned face.

" your considerate stone"- This is probably an alle however suggests that the word is wan'd-grown

lusion to the old saying, “as silent as a stone,” which is ran, or pale, as in Hamlet: “ His visage wan'd."

a frequent comparison among our ancient writers.

Enobarbus says, “ A solemn silence and gravity are my “ A space for further travel-i. e. Since he quitted part." Cgypt, a space of time has elapsed in which a longer

" — your reproof ourney might have been performed than from Egypt Were well deserv'd of rashness.” o Rome.

That is—You might be reproved for your rashness, I cannot Hope”—“ Hope” is here used in the sense and would well deserve it. The old copy reads proof. of expect. Chaucer employs the word in this sense ; Warburton made the emendation. but the inaccuracy of this use was exemplified, in Shakespeare's time, by Puttenham, who quotes the speech of

" When she first met Mark Antony," etc. the Tanner of Tamworth to Edward IV.:-"I hope I We quote from North's " Plutarch” the original mashall be hanged to-morrow.”

terial, which Shakespeare and Dryden successively

worked up into the most gorgeous passages of English SCENE II.

poetry :

“The manner how he fell in love with her was this: " I would not shave't to-day"—i. e. I would meet him Antonius, going to make war with the Parthians, sent undressed, without any show of respect. Plutarch men- to command Cleopatra to appear personally before him tions that Antony, “after the overthrow he had at Mo- when he came into Cilicia, to answer unto such accusadena, suffered his beard to grow at length, and never tions as were laid against her. clipt it, that it was marvellous long.” Malone thinks So she furnished herself with a world of gifts, store of that this was in Shakespeare's thoughts.

gold and silver, and of riches and other sumptuous orna"If we compose"—i. e. Agree, come to agreement;

ments, as is credible enough she might bring from so as afterwards—“I crave our composition may be writ

great a house and from so wealthy and rich a realm as Egypt was. But yet she carried nothing with her wherein she trusted more than in herself,

and in the Sit, sir”-A note of admiration is put here by Ste- || charms and enchantment of her passing beauty and vens, who thinks that Antony means to resent the invi- grace. Therefore, when she was sent unto by divers tation of Cæsar that he should be seated, as such invita- letters

, both froin

' Antonius himself and also from his tion implied superiority. We agree with Malone and friends, she made so light of it, and mocked Antonius Knight, that they desire each other to be seated ; and so much, that she disdained to set forward otherwise that Cæsar puts an end to the bandying of compliments but to take her barge in the river of Cydnus; the poop by taking his seat.

whereof was of gold, the sails of purple, and the oars of " -- THEME for you”—This passage has been misun- silver, which kept stroke in rowing after the sound of derstood, erroneously explained, and considered cor- the music of flutes, hautboys, citterns, vials, and such rupt. Its meaning evidently is, “You were the theme

other instruments as they played upon in the barge, or subject for which your wife and brother made their

And now for the person of herself

, she was laid under contestation; you were the word of war." Mason sup

a pavilion of cloth of gold of tissue, apparelled and atposed some words had been transposed, and that the

tired like the goddess Venus, commonly drawn in picpassage ought to stand thus :

ture; and hard by her, on either hand of her, pretty

fair boys, apparelled as painters do set forth god Cupid, Their theme was you; you were the word of war.

with lule fans in their hands, with the which they

fanned wind upon her. Her ladies and gentlewomen some true reports"—“ Reports,” for reporters. also, the fairest of them were apparelled like the Nymphs It was not an uncommon poetic license, among the old Nereides (which are the mermaids of the waters) and dramatists, thus to use the neuter noun for the personal like the Graces; some steering the helm, others leuding one derived from it; as in RICHARD III. we find wrongs the tackle and ropes of the barge, out of the which there used for wrong-doers.

came a wonderful passing sweet savour of perfumes,

that perfumed the whart's side, pestered with innume“As matter whole you have to make it with,” etc.

rable multitudes of people. Some of them followed the This is the reading of the original; but the ordinary | barge all along the river-side ; others also ran out of the reading, from the time of Rowe, has been

city to see her coming in: so that in the end there ran As matter whole you have not to make it with.

such multitudes of people one after another to see her, We doubt the propriety of departing from the text, and that Antonius was left post alone in the market-place, the meaning appears to us—If you will patch a quarrel in his imperial seat, to give audience; and there went 80 as to seem the whole matter you have to make it a rumour in the people's mouths that the goddess Venus with, you must not patch it with this complaint. “Whole" was come to play with the god Bacchus for the general is opposed to patch.—Knight.

good of all Asia. Wheu Cleopatra landed, Autonius

sent to invite her to supper to him. But she sent him "Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars word again he should do better rather to come and sup Which FRONTED mine own peace.

with her. Antonius, therefore, to show himself courThat is—Could not look graciously upon them; could teous unto her at hier arrival, was content to obey her, pot approve them. “Fronted" is affronted, opposed. and went to supper to her, where he found such passing The honour's sacred which he talks on now," etc.

sumptuous fare that no tongue can express it.” “The theme of honour which he now speaks of,

• So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes, namely, the religion of an oath, for which he supposes

And made their bonds adornings.” me not to have a due regard, is sacred; it is a tender The last editions of Johnson and Stevens contain seve point, and touches my character nearly. Let him, ral pages of commentary, giving various interpretations therefore, urye his charge, that I may vindicate myself." to these words. To these ihe later critics have added

- and for contestation


« AnteriorContinua »