I.i.9 (110,2) And is become the bellows, and the fan,/To cool a gypsy's lust] In this passage something seems to be wanting. The bellows and fan being commonly used for contrary purposes, were probably opposed by the author, who might perhaps have written,
--is become the bellows, and the fan, To kindle and to cool a gypsy's lust.
I.i.10 (110,3) gypsy's lust] Gypsy is here used both in the original meaning for an Egyptian, and in its accidental sense for a bad woman.
1.i.17 (110,6) Then must thou needs find out new heaven] Thou must set the boundary of my love at a greater distance than the present visible universe affords.
1.i.18 (110,7) The sum] Be brief, sum thy business in a few words.
I.i.33 (111,8) and the wide arch/Of the rang'd empire fall!] [Taken from the Roman custom of raising triumphal arches to perpetuate their victories. Extremely noble. WARBURTON.] I am in doubt whether Shakespeare had any idea but of a fabrick standing on pillars. The later editions have all printed the raised empire, for the ranged empire, as it was first given, (see 1765, VII, 107, 8)
Antony Will be himself. Ant.: But stirr'd by Cleopatra]
But, in this passage, seems to have the old Saxon signification of without, unless, except. Antony, says the queen, will recollect his thoughts. Unless kept, he replies, in commotion by Cleopatra. (see 1765, VII, 108,1)
I.ii.5 (113,2) change his horns with garlands] [W: charge] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, not improbably, change for horns his garlands. I am in doubt, whether to change is not merely to dress, or to dress with changes of garlands.
I.ii.23 (114,3) I had rather heat my liver] To know why the lady is so averse from heating her liver, it must be remembered, that a heated liver is supposed to make a pimpled face.
I.ii.35 (114,5) Then, belike, my children shall have no names] If I have already had the best of my fortune, then I suppose I shall never name children, that is, I am never to be married. However, tell me the truth, tell me, how many boys and wenches?
1.ii.38 (114,6) If every of your wishes had a womb, and foretel every wish, a million] [W: fertil ev'ry] For foretel, in ancient editions, the latter copies have foretold. Foretel favours the emendation, which is made with great acuteness; yet the original reading may, I think, stand. If you had as many wombs as you will have wishes; and I should foretel all those wishes, I should foretel a million of children. It is an ellipsis very frequent in conversation; I should shame you, and tell all; that is, and if I should tell all. And is for and if, which was anciently, and is still provincially, used for if.
I.ii.105 (117,8) extended Asia] To extend, is a term used for to seize; I know not whether that be not the sense here.
I.ii.113 (118,9) Oh, when we bring forth weeds,/When our quick winds lie still] The sense is, that man, not agitated by censure, like soil not ventilated by quick winds, produces more evil than good.
the present pleasure, By revolution lowring, does become The opposite of itself]
[The allusion is to the sun's diurnal course; which rising in the east, and by revolution lowering, or setting in the west, becomes the opposite of itself. WARB.] This is an obscure passage. The explanation which Dr. Warburton has offered is such, that I can add nothing to it; yet perhaps Shakespeare, who was less learned than his commentator, meant only, that our pleasures, as they are revolved in the mind, turn to pain.
I.ii.146 (119,3) upon far poorer moment] For less reason; upon meaner motives.
I.ii.169 (120,4) It shews to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein] I have printed this after the original, which, though harsh and obscure, I know not how to amend. Sir Tho. Hanmer reads, They shew to man the tailors of the earth comforting him therein. I think the passage, with somewhat less alteration, for alteration is always dangerous, may stand thus; It shews to men the tailors of the earth, comforting them, &c.
I.ii.187 (121,6) more urgent touches] Things that touch me more sensibly, more pressing motives.
I.ii.190 (121,7) Petition us at home] Wish us at home; call for us to reside at home.
Say, our pleasure To such whose places under us, requires Our quick remove from hence]
This is hardly sense. I believe we should read,
Their quick remove from hence.
Tell our design of going away to those, who being by their places obliged to attend us, must remove in haste.
I.iii.3 (122,1) I did not send you] You must go as if you came without my order or knowledge.
I.iii.37 (123,2) a race of heaven] [i.e. had a smack or flavour of heaven. WARB.] This word is well explained by Dr. Warburton; the race of wine is the taste of the woil. Sir T. Hanmer, not understanding the word, reads, ray.
I.iii.44 (124,3) Remains in use] The poet seems to allude to the legal distinction between the use and absolute possession.
I.iii.54 (124,4) should safe my going] [T: salve] Mr. Upton reads, I think rightly,
--safe my going.
O most false love! Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill With sorrowful water?]
Alluding to the lachrymatory vials, or bottles of tears, which the Romans sometimes put into the urn of a friend.
I.iii.77 (125,6) the tears/Belong to Egypt] To me, the queen of Egypt.
I.iii.90 (126,7) Oh, ny oblivion is a very Antony,/And I am all forgotten] [The plain meaning is, My forgetfulness makes me forget myself. WARBURTON.] [Hanmer explained "all forgotten" as "apt to forget everything"] I cannot understand the learned critic's explanation. It appears to me, that she should rather have said,
O my remembrance is a very Antony, And I am all forgotten.
It was her memory, not her oblivion, that, like Antony, vas forgetting and deserting her. I think a slight change will restore the passage. The queen, having something to say, which she is not able, or would not seem able to recollect, cries out,
O my oblivion!--'Tis a very Antony.
The thought of which I was in quest is a very Antony, is treacherous and fugitive, and has irrevocably left me,
And I am all forgotten.
If this reading stand, I think the explanation of Hanmer must be received, (see 1765, VII, 122, 6)
I.iv.3 (127,9) One great competitor] Perhaps, Our great competitor.
I.iv.12 (128,1) as the spots of heaven,/More fiery by night's blackness] If by spots are meant stars, as night has no other fiery spots, the comparison is forced and harsh, stars having been always supposed to beautify the night; nor do I comprehend what there is in the counter-part of this simile, which answers to night's blackness. Hanmer reads,
--spots on ermine Or fires, by night's blackness.
I.iv.14 (128,2) purchas'd] Procured by his own fault or endeavour.
I.iv.21 (128,3) say, this becomes him, (As his composure must be rare, indeed, Whom these things cannot blemish] This seems inconsequent. I read
And his composure, &c. Grant that this becomes him, and if it can become him, he must have in him something very uncommon; yet, &c.
I.iv.25 (128,4) So great weight in his lightness] The word light it one of Shakespeare's favourite play-things. The sense is, His trifling levity throws so much burden upon us.
If he fill'd His vacancy with his voluptuousness, Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones, Call on him for't]
Call on him, is, visit him. Says Caesar, If Antony followed his debaucheries at a time of leisure, I should leave him to be punished by their natural consequences, by surfeits and dry bones.
I.iv.31 (129,6) boys; who being mature in knowledge] For this Hanmer, who thought the maturity of a boy an inconsistent idea, has put,
--who, immature in knowledge,
but the words experience and judgment require that we read mature; though Dr. Warburton has received the emendation. By boys mature in knowledge, are meant, boys old enough to know their duty.
I.iv.38 (129,7) he is belov'd of these/That only have fear'd Caesar] Those whom not love but fear made adherents to Caesar, now shew their affection for Pompey.
I.iv.49 (130,2) which they ear] To ear, is to plow; a common metaphor.
I.iv.52 (130,3) Lack blood to think on't] Turn pale at the thought of it.
I.v.4 (132,5) mandragora] A plant of which the infusion was supposed to procure sleep. Shakespeare mentions it in Othello:
Not poppy, nor mandragora, Can ever med'cine thee to that sweet sleep.
I.v.38 (133,8) that great medicine hath/With his tinct gilded thee] Alluding to the philosopher's stone, which, by its touch, converts base metal into gold. The alchemists call the matter, whatever it be, by which they perform transmutation, a medicine.
I.v.48 (134,9) arm-gaunt steed] [i.e. his steed worn lean and thin by much service in war. So Fairfax, His stall-worn steed the champion stout bestrode. WARB.] On this note Mr. Edwards has been very lavish of his pleasantry, and indeed has justly censured the misquotation of stall-worn, for stall-worth, which means strong, but makes no attempt to explain the word in the play. Mr. Seyward, in his preface to Beaumont, has very elaborately endeavoured to prove, that an arm-gaunt steed is a steed with lean shoulders. Arm is the Teutonick word for want, or poverty. Arm-gaunt may be therefore an old word, signifying, lean for want, ill fed. Edwards's observation, that a worn-out horse is not proper for Atlas to mount in battle, is impertinent; the horse here mentioned seems to be a post horse, rather than a war horse. Yet as arm-gaunt seems not intended to imply any defect, it perhaps means, a horse so slender that a man might clasp him, and therefore formed for expedition. Hanmer reads,
I.v.50 (134,1) Was beastly dumb by him] Mr. Theobald reads dumb'd, put to silence. Alexas means, (says he) the horse made such a neighing, that if he had spoke he could not have been heard.
I.v.76 (136,3) Get me ink and paper: he shall have every day/ A several greeting, or I'll unpeople Aegypt] By sending out messengers.
II.i (136,4) Enter Pompey, Menecrates, and Menas] The persons are so named in the first edition; but I know not why Menecrates appears; Menas can do all without him.
II.i.4 (136,5) While we are suitors to their throne, decays/The thing we sue for] [W: delays] It is not always prudent to be too hasty in exclamation; the reading which Dr. Warburton rejects as nonsense, is in my opinion right; if delay be what they sue for, they have it, and the consolation offered becomes superfluous. The meaning is, While we are praying, the thing for which we pray is losing its value.
II.i.38 (138,8) The ne'er-lust-wearied Antony] [Theobald emended "near lust-wearied" to "ne'er-lust-wearied"] Could it be imagined, after this swelling exultation, that the first edition stands literally thus,
The neere lust wearied Antony.
II.i.45 (139,9) square] That is, quarrel.
II.i.51 (139,1) Our lives upon] This play is not divided into acts by the authour or first editors, and therefore the present division may be altered at pleasure. I think the first act may be commodiously continued to this place, and the second act opened with the interview of the chief persons, and a change of the state of action. Yet it must be confessed, that it is of small importance, where these unconnected and desultory scenes are interrupted.
II.ii.7 (140,2) Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,/I would not shav't to-day] I believe he means, I would meet him undressed, without shew of respect.
II.ii.25 (141,3) Nor curstness grow to the matter] Let not ill-humour be added to the real subject of our difference.
II.ii.28 (141,4) Caes. Sit./Ant. Sit, sir!] [Antony appears to be jealous of a circumstance which seemed to indicate a consciousness of superiority in his too successful partner in power; and accordingly resents the invitation of Caesar to be seated: Caesar answers, Nay then--i.e. if you are so ready to resent what I meant an act of civility, there can be no reason to suppose you have temper enough for the business on which at present we are met. STEEVENS.] The following circumstance may serve to strengthen Mr. Steevens's opinion: When the fictitious Sebastian made his appearance in Europe, he came to a conference with the Conde de Lemos; to whom, after the firat exchange of civilities, he said, Conde de Lemos, be covered. And being asked by that nobleman, by what pretences he laid claim to the superiority expressed by such permission, he replied, I do it by right of my birth; I am Sebastian. (1773)
II.ii.43 (142,5) their contestation/Was theam for you, you were the word of war] [W: theam'd] I am neither satisfied with the reading nor the emendation; theam'd is, I think, a word unauthorised, and very harsh. Perhaps we may read,
Had theme from you, you were the word o' th' war. The dispute derived its subject from you. It may be corrected by mere transposition,
You were theme for, you were the word.
II.ii.51 (143,8) Having alike your cause?] The meaning seems to be, having the same cause as you to be offended with me. But why, because he was offended with Antony, should he make war upon Caesar? May it not be read thus,
--Did he not rather Discredit my authority with yours, And make the wars alike against my stomach, Hating alike our cause?
II.ii.53 (143,9) As matter whole you have not to make it with] The original copy reads,
As matter whole you have to make it with.
Without doubt erroneously; I therefore only observe it, that the reader may more readily admit the liberties which the editors of this authour's works have necessarily taken.
II.ii.61 (144,1) fronted] i.e. opposed.
II.ii.85 (145,4) The honour's sacred which he talks on now,/Supposing that I lack'd it] [Sacred, for unbroken, unviolated. WARB.] Dr. Warburton seems to understand this passage thus; The honour which he talks of me as lacking, is unviolated, I never lacked it. This may perhaps be the true meaning, but before I read the note, I understood it thus: Lepidus interrupts Caesar, on the supposition that what he is about to say will be too harsh to be endured by Antony; to which Antony replies, No, Lepidus, let him speak, the security of honour on which he now speaks, on which this conference is held now, is sacred, even supposing that I lacked honour before.
II.ii.112 (146,5) your considerate stone] This line is passed by all the editors, as if they understood it, and believed it universally, intelligible. I cannot find in it any very obvious, and hardly any possible meaning. I would therefore read,
Go to then, you considerate ones.
You, who dislike my frankness and temerity of speech, and are so considerate and discreet, go to, do your on business.
II.ii.113 (146,6) I do not much dislike the matter, but/The manner of his speech] I do not, says Caesar, think the man wrong, but too free of him interposition; for't cannot be, we shall remain in friendship: yet if it were possible, I would endeavour it.
II.ii.123 (147,7) your reproof/Were well deserv'd] In the old edition,
--your proof Were well deserv'd--
Which Mr. Theobald, with his usual triumph, changes to approof, which he explains, allowance. Dr. Warburton inserted reproof very properly into Hanmer's edition, but forgot it in his own.
II.ii.159 (148,8) Lest my remembrance suffer ill report] Lest I be thought too willing to forget benefits, I must barely return him thanks, and then I will defy him.
II.ii.210 (150,1) And what they undid, did] It might be read less harshly,
And what they did, undid.
II.ii.212 (150,2) tended her i' the eyes] Perhaps tended her by th' eyes, discovered her will by her eyes.
II.iii.21 (153,6) thy angel/Becomes a Fear] Mr.Uptan reads,
The common reading is more poetical.
II.iii.37 (154,7) his quails ever/Beat mine] The ancients used to match quails as we match cocks.
II.iii.38 (154,8) inhoop'd, at odds] Thus the old copy. Inhoop'd is inclosed, confined, that they may fight. The modern editions read,
Beat mine, in whoop'd-at odds.--
II.v.1 (155,9) musick, moody food] [The mood is the mind, or mental disposition. Van Haaren's panegyrick on the English begins, Groot-moedig Volk, great-minded nation.] Perhaps here is a poor jest intended between mood the mind and moods of musick.
II.v.41 (l57,4) Not like a formal man] [Formal, for ordinary. WARB.] Rather decent, regular.
II.v.103 (161,8) Thou art not what thou'rt sure of!] For this, which is not easily understood, Sir Thomas Hanmer has given,
That say'st but what thou'rt sure of!
I am not satisfied with the change, which, though it affords sense, exhibits little spirit. I fancy the line consists only of abrupt starts.
Oh that his fault should make a knave of thee, That art--not what?--Thou'rt sure on't.--Get thee hence.
That his fault should make a knave of thee that art--but what shall I say thou art not? Thou art then sure of this marriage.--Get thee hence.
Dr. Warburton has received Sir T. Hanmer's emendation.
II.v.115 (161,9) Let him for ever go] She is now talking in broken sentences, not of the messenger, but Antony.
II.vi.24 (163,2) Thou canst not fear us] Thou canst not affright us with thy numerous navy.
II.vi.28 (163,3) But since the cuckow builds not for himself] Since, like the cuckow, that seizes the nests of other birds, you have invaded a house which you could not build, keep it while you can.
II.vii.1 (167,6) some o' their plants] Plants, besides its common meaning, is here used for the foot, from the Latin.
II.vii.14 (167,9) a partizan] A pike.
II.vii.16 (167,1) To be call'd into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in't, are the holes where eyes should be, which pitifully disaster the cheeks] This speech seems to be mutilated; to supply the deficiencies is impossible, but perhaps the sense was originally approaching to this.
To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in it, is a very ignominious state; great offices are the holes where eyes should be, which, if eyes be wanting, pitifully disaster the cheeks.
II.vii.88 (170,2) thy pall'd fortunes] Palled, is vapid, past its time of excellence; palled wine, is wine that has lost its original spriteliness.
II.vii.102 (171,3) Strike the vessels] Try whether the casks sound as empty.
II.vii.116 (171,4) The holding every man shall bear] Every man shall accompany the chorus by drumming on his sides, in token of concurrence and applause. [Theobald had emended "beat" to "bear"] (1773)
III.i.1 (173,6) Now, darting Parthia, art thou struck] Struck alludes to darting. Thou whose darts have so often struck others, art struck now thyself. (1773)
III.ii.12 (175,8) Arabian bird!] The phoenix.
Ho! hearts, tongues, figure, scribes, bards, poets, cannot Think, speak, cast, write, sing, number, ho!]
Not only the tautology of bards and poets, but the want of a correspondent action for the poet, whose business in the next line is only to number, makes me suspect some fault in this passage, which I know not how to mend.
III.ii.26 (176,1) as my furthest bond] As I will venture the greatest pledge of security, on the trial of thy conduct.
III.ii.40 (177,1) The elements be kind to thee, and make/Thy spirits all of comfort!] This is obscure. It seems to mean, May the different elements of the body, or principles of life, maintain such proportion and harmony as may keep you cheerful.
III.iv.26 (182,7) I'll raise the preparation of a war/Shall stain your brother] [T: strain] I do not see but stain may be allowed to remain unaltered, meaning no more than shame or disgrace.
III.iv.30 (182,8) Wars 'twixt you 'twain would be/As if the world should cleave] The sense is, that war between Caesar and Antony would engage the world between them, and that the slaughter would be great in so extensive a commotion.
III.v.8 (183,9) rivality] Equal rank.
III.v.11 (183,1) Upon his own appeal] To appeal, in Shakespeare, is to accuse; Caesar seized Lepidus without any other proof than Caesar's accusation.
III.v.21 (184,3) More, Domitius] I have something more to tell you, which I might have told at first, and delayed my news. Antony requires your presence.
III.vi.9 (184,4) made her/Of Lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia./Absolute queen] For Lydia, Mr. Upton, from Plutarch, has restored Lybia.
III.vi.68-75 (187,6) Mr. Upton remarks, that there are some errours in this enumeration of the auxiliary kings; but it is probable that the authour did not much wish to be accurate.
III.vi.95 (188,7) And gives his potent regiment to a trull] Regiment, is government, authority; he puts his power and his empire into the hands of a false woman.
It may be observed, that trull was not, in our author's time, a term of mere infamy, but a word of slight contempt, as wench is now.
III.vii.3 (188,8) forespoke my being] To forespeak, is to contradict, to speak against, as forbid is to order negatively.
By Hercules, I think, I am i' the right. Can. Soldier, thou art: but his whole action grows Not in the power on't]
That is, his whole conduct becomes, ungoverned by the right, or by reason.
III.vii.77 (191,2) distractions] Detachments; separate bodies.
III.x.6 (193,4) The greater cantle] [A piece or lump. POPE.] Cantle is rather a corner. Caesar in this play mentions the three-nook'd world. Of this triangular world every triumvir had a corner. (see 1765, VII, 185, 6)
III.x.9 (193,5) token'd pestilence] Spotted.
III.x.10 (193,6) Yon' ribauld nag of Aegypt] The word is in the old edition ribaudred, which I do not understand, but mention it, in hopes others may raise some happy conjecture. [Tyrwhitt: hag] The brieze, or oestrum, the fly that stings cattle, proves that nag is the right word. (1773)
III.x.11 (193,7) Whom leprosy o'ertake!] Leprosy, an epidemical distemper of the Aegyptians; to which Horace probably alludes in the controverted line.
Contaminato cum grege turpium Morbo virorum.
III.x.36 (195,1) The wounded chance of Antony] I know not whether the author, who loves to draw his images from the sports of the field, might not have written,
The wounded chase of Antony,--
The allusion is to a deer wounded and chased, whom all other deer avoid. I will, says Enobarbus, follow Antony, though chased and wounded.
The common reading, however, may very well stand.
III.xi.3 (195,2) so lated in the world] Alluding to a benighted traveller.
III.xi.23 (196,3) I have lost command] I am not master of my own emotions.
III.xi.35 (196,4) He at Philippi kept/His sword e'en like a dancer] In the Moriaco, and perhaps anciently in the Pyrrhick dance, the dancers held swords in their hands with the points upward.
III.xi.39 (196,6) he alone/Dealt on lieutenantry] I know not whether the meaning is, that Caesar acted only as lieutenant at Philippi, or that he made his attempts only on lieutenants, and left the generals to Antony.
III.xi.47 (197,7) death will seize her; but/Your comfort] But has here, as once before in this play, the force of except, or unless.
III.ii.52 (197,8) How I convey my shame] How, by looking another way, I withdraw my ignominy from your sight.
III.ii.57 (197,9) ty'd by the strings] That is by the heart string.
III.xii.18 (199,1) The circle of the Ptolemies] The diadem; the ensign of royalty.
III.xii.34 (199,2) how Antony becomes his flaw] That is, how Antony conforms himself to this breach of his fortune.
III.xiii.1 (200,3) Think, and die] [Hanmer: Drink] This reading, offered by sir T. Hanmer, is received by Dr. Warburton and Mr. Upton, but I have not advanced it into the page, not being convinced that it is necessary. Think, and die; that is, Reflect on your folly, and leave the world, is a natural answer.
III.xiii.9 (201,4) he being/The meered question] The meered question is a term I do not understand. I know not what to offer, except,
The mooted question.--
That is, the disputed point, the subject of debate. Mere is indeed a boundary, and the meered question, if it can mean any thing, may, with some violence of language, mean, the disputed boundary.
III.xiii.25 (202, 5)
I dare him therefore To lay his gay comparisons apart And answer me declin'd]
I require of Caesar not to depend on that superiority which the comparison of our different fortunes may exhibit to him, but to answer me man to man, in this decline of my age or power.
III.xiii.42 (202,6) The loyalty, well held to fools, does make/Our faith meer folly] [T: Though loyalty, well held] I have preserved the old reading: Enobarbus is deliberating upon desertion, and finding it is more prudent to forsake a fool, and more reputable to be faithful to him, makes no positive conclusion. Sir T. Hanmer follows Theobald; Dr. Warburton retains the old reading.
III.xiii.77 (204,9) Tell him, from his all-obeying breath I hear/The doom of Aegypt] Doom is declared rather by an all-commanding, than an all-obeying breath. I suppose we ought to read,
III.xiii.81 (205,1) Give me grace] Grant me the favour.
III.xiii.109 (206,3) By one that looks on feeders?] One that waits at the table while others are eating.
III.xiii.128 (207,4) The horned herd] It is not without pity and indignation that the reader of this great poet meets so often with this low jest, which is too much a favourite to be left out of either mirth or fury.
III.xiii.151 (208,5) to quit me] To repay me this insult; to requite me.
III.xiii.180 (209,9) Were nice and lucky] [Nice, for delicate, courtly, flowing in peace. WARBURTON.] Nice rather seems to be, just fit for my purpose, agreeable to my wish. So we vulgarly say of any thing that is done better than was expected, it is nice.
IV.i.5 (210,1) I have many other ways to die] [Upton: He hath.../I laugh] I think this emendation deserves to be received. It had, before Mr. Upton's book appeared, been made by sir T. Hanmer.
IV.i.9 (211,2) Make boot of] Take advantage of.
IV.ii.8 (212,3) take all] Let the survivor take all. No composition, victory or death.
IV.ii.14 (212,4) one of those odd tricks] I know not what obscurity the editors find in this passage. Trick is here used in the sense in which it is uttered every day by every mouth, elegant and vulgar: yet sir T. Hanmer changes it to freaks, and Dr. Warburton, in his rage of Gallicism, to traits.
IV.ii.26 (213,5) Haply, you shall not see me more; or if,/A mangled shadow] Or if you see me more, you will see me a mangled shadow, only the external form of what I was.
IV.ii.35 (213,6) onion-ey'd] I have my eyes as full of tears as if they had been fretted by onions.
IV.iv.3 (215,8) Come, good fellow, put thine iron on] I think it should be rather,
IV.iv.5 (215,9) Nay, I'll help too] These three little speeches, which in the other editions are only one, and given to Cleopatra, were happily disentangled by sir T. Hanmer.
IV.iv.10 (215,1) Briefly, sir] That is, quickly, sir.
IV.v.17 (218,3) Dispatch. Enobarbus!] Thus [Dispatch, my Eros] the modern editors. The old edition reads,
Perhaps, it should be,
--Dispatch! To Enobarbus! (see 1765, VII, 208, 3)
IV.vi.12 (219,6) persuade] The old copy has dissuade, perhaps rightly.
IV.vi.34 (219,7) This blows my heart] All the latter editions have,
--This bows my heart;
I have given the original word again the place from which I think it unjustly excluded. This generosity, (says Enobarbus) swells my heart, so that it will quickly break, if thought break it not, a swifter mean.
IV.vii.2 (220,8) and our oppression] Sir T. Hanmer has received opposition. Perhaps rightly.
IV.viii.1 (221,9) run one before,/And let the queen know of our guests] [W: gests] This passage needs neither correction nor explanation. Antony after his success intends to bring his officers to sup with Cleopatra, and orders notice to be given her of their guests.
IV.viii.12 (222,1) To this great fairy] Mr. Upton has well observed, that fairy; which Dr. Warburton and sir T. Hanmer explain by Inchantress, comprises the idea of power and beauty.
IV.viii.22 (222,2) get goal for goal of youth] At all plays of barriers, the boundary is called a goal; to win a goal, is to be superiour in a contest of activity.
IV.viii.31 (223,4) Bear our hack'd targets like the men that owe them] i.e. hack'd as much as the men are to whom they belong. WARB.] Why not rather, Bear our hack'd targets with spirit and exaltation, such as becomes the brave warriors that own them?
Throw my heart Against the flint and hardness of my fault; Which, being dried with grief, will break to powder, And finish all foul thoughts]
The pathetick of Shakespeare too often ends in the ridiculous. It is painful to find the gloomy dignity of this noble scene destroyed by the intrusion of a conceit so far-fetched and unaffecting.
IV.xii.13 (226,1) Triple turn'd whore!] She was first for Antony, then was supposed by him to have turned to Caesar, when he found his messenger kissing her hand, then she turned again to Antony, and now has turned to Caesar. Shall I mention what has dropped into my imagination, that our author might perhaps have written triple-tongued? Double-tongued is a common term of reproach, which rage might improve to triple-tongued. But the present reading may stand.
IV.xii.21 (227,2) That pannell'd me at heels] All the editions read,
That pannell'd me at heels,--
Sir T. Hanmer substituted spaniel'd by an emendation, with which it was reasonable to expect that even rival commentators would be satisfied; yet Dr. Warburton proposes pantler'd, in a note, of which he is not injur'd by the suppression; and Mr. Upton having in his first edition proposed plausibly enough,
That paged me at heels,--
in the second edition retracts his alteration, and maintains pannell'd to be the right reading, being a metaphor taken, he says, from a pannel of wainscot.
IV.xii.25 (227,3) this grave charm] I know not by what authority, nor for what reason, this grave charm, which the first, the only original copy exhibits, has been through all the modern editors changed to this gay charm. By this grave charm, is meant, this sublime, this majestic beauty.
IV.xii.29 (227,4) to the very heart of loss] To the utmost loss possible.
IV.xii.45 (228,7) Let me lodge, Lichas] Sir T. Hanmer reads thus,
--thy rage Led thee lodge Lichas--and-- Subdue thy worthiest self.--
This reading, harsh as it is, Dr. Warburton has received, after having rejected many better. The meaning is, Let me do something in my rage, becoming the successor of Hercules,
IV.xiv.19 (230,2) Pack'd cards with Caesar, and false play'd my glory/Unto an enemy's triumph] [Warburton had explained and praised Shakespeare's "metaphor"] This explanation is very just, the thought did not deserve so good an annotation.
IV.xiv.39 (231,3) The battery from my heart] I would read,
This battery from my heart.--
IV.xiv.49 (232,4) Seal then, and all is done] I believe the reading is,
--seel then, and all is done--
To seel hawks, is to close their eyes. The meaning will be,
--since the torch is out, Lie down, and stray no further. How all labour Marrs what it does.--Seel then, and all is done.
Close thine eyes for ever, and be quiet.
IV.xiv.73 (233,5) pleach'd arms] Arms folded in each other.
IV.xiv.77 (233,6) His baseness that ensued?] The poor conquered wretch that followed.
IV.xiv.86 (233,7) the worship of the whole world] The worship, is the dignity, the authority.
O sun, Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in!--darkling stand The varying shore o' the world]
She desires the sun, to burn his own orb, the vehicle of light, and then the earth will be dark.
IV.xv.19-23 (237,1) I here importune death] [Theobald had regularized the versification and had added two words] Mr. Theobald's emendation is received by the succeeding editors; but it seems not necessary that a dialogue so distressful should be nicely regular. I have therefore preserved the original reading in the text, and the emendation below.
IV.xv.28 (238,2) still conclusion] Sedate determination; silent coolness of resolution.
IV.xv.32 (236,3) Here's sport, indeed!] I suppose the meaning of these strange words is, here's trifling, you do not work in earnest.
IV.xv.39 (239,4) Quicken with kissing] That is, Revive by my kiss.
IV.xv.44 (239,6) That the false huswife Fortune break her wheel] This despicable line has occurred before.
IV.xv.65 (240,8) The soldier's pole] He at whom the soldiers pointed, as at a pageant held high for observation.
Char.: Peace, peace, Iras. Cleo.: No more--but e'en a woman]
[W: peace, Isis] Of this note it may be truly said, that it at least deserves to be right, nor can he, that shall question the justness of the emendation, refuse his esteem to the ingenuity and learning with which it is proposed.
Hanmer had proposed another emendation, not injudiciously. He reads thus,
Iras. Royal Aegypt! empress! Cleo. Peace, peace, Iras. No more but a mere woman, &c.
That is, no more an empress, but a mere woman.
It is somewhat unfortunate that the words, mere woman, which so much strengthen the opposition to either empress or Isis, are not in the original edition, which stands thus,
No more but in a woman.
Mere woman was probably the arbitrary reading of Rowe. I suppose, however, that we muy justly change the ancient copy thus,
No more, but e'en a woman.
which will enough accommodate either of the editors.
I am inclined to think that she speaks abruptly, not answering her woman, but discoursing with her own thoughts,
No more--but e'en a woman.
I have no more of my wonted greatness, but am even a woman, on the level with other women; were I what I once was.
--It were for me To throw my scepter, &c.
If this simple explanation be admitted, how much labour has been thrown away. Peace, peace, Iras, is said by Charmian, when she sees the queen recovering, and thinks speech troublesome.
V.i.15 (244,4) The round world/Should have shook lions into civil streets] I think here is a line lost, after which it is in vain to go in quest. The sense seems to have been this: The round world should have shook, and this great alteration of the system of things should send lions into streets, and citizens into dens. There is sense still, but it is harsh and violent.
V.i.27 (244,5) but it is tidings/To wash the eyes of kings!] That is, May the Gods rebuke me, if this be not tidings to make kings weep.
But, again, for if not.
V.i.46 (245,7) that our stars,/Unreconciliable, should divide/Our equalness to this] That is, should have made us, in our equality of fortune, disagree to a pitch like this, that one of us must die.
V.i.52 (246,8) A poor Aegyptian yet; the queen my mistress] If this punctuation be right, the man means to say, that he is yet an Aegyptian, that is, yet a servant of the queen of Aegypt, though soon to become, a subject of Rome.
V.i.65 (246,9) her life in Rome/Would be eternal in our triumph] Hanmer reads judiciously enough, but without necessity,
Would be eternalling our triumph.
The sense is, If she dies here, she will be forgotten, but if I send her in triumph at Rome, her memory and my glory will be eternal.
V.ii.3 (247,1) fortune's knave] The servant of fortune.
it is great To do that thing, that ends all other deeds; Which shackles accidents, and bolts up change; Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung, The beggar's nurse, and Caesar's]
[Warburton added a whole line and emended "dung" to "dugg"] I cannot perceive the loss of a line, or the need of an emendation. The commentator seems to have entangled his own ideas; his supposition that suicide is called the beggar's nurse and Caesar's, and his concession that the position is intelligible, show, I think, a mind not intent upon the business before it. The difficulty of the passage, if any difficulty there be, arises only from this, that the act of suicide, and the state which is the effect of suicide are confounded. Voluntary death, says she, is an act which bolts up change; it produces a state,
Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung, The beggar's nurse, and Caesar's.
Which has no longer need of the gross and terrene sustenance, in the use of which Caesar and the beggar are on a level.
The speech is abrupt, but perturbation in such a state is surely natural.
V.ii.29 (249,4) I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him/The greatness he has got] I allow him to be my conqueror; I own his superiority with complete submission.
V.ii.34 (249,5) You see how easily she may be surpriz'd] This line in the first edition is given not to Charuian, but to Proculeius; and to him it certainly belongs, though perhaps misplaced. I would put it at the end of his foregoing speech,
Where he for grace is kneel'd to. [Aside to Gallus.] You see, how easily she may be surpriz'd.
Then while Cleopatra makes a formal answer, Gallus, upon the hint given, seizes her, and Proculeius, interrupting the civility of his answer,
--your plight is pity'd Of him that caus'd it.
Guard her till, Caesar come.
V.ii.40 (250,6) who are in this/Reliev'd, but not betray'd] [W: Bereav'd, but] I do not think the emendation necessary, since the sense is not made better by it, and the abruptness in Cleopatra's answer is more forcible in the old reading.
V.ii.42 (250,7) rids our dogs of languish] For languish, I think we may read, anguish.
V.ii.48 (251,8) Worth many babes and beggars] Why, death, wilt thou not rather seize a queen, than employ thy force upon babes and beggars. (see 1765, VII, 238, 9)
V.ii.50 (251,9) If idle talk will once be necessary] [This nonsense should be reformed thus,
If idle Time whill once be necessary.
i.e. if repose be necessary to cherish life, I will not sleep. WARBURTON.] I do not see that the nonsense is made sense by the change. Sir T. Hanmer reads,
If idle talk will once be accessary;
Neither is this better. I know not what to offer better than an easy explanation. That is, I will not eat, and if it will be necessary now for once to waste a moment in idle talk of my purpose, I will not sleep neither. In common conversation we often use will be, with as little relation to futurity. As, Now I am going, it will be fit for me to dine first.
yet to imagine An Antony, were Nature's piece 'gainst Fancy, Condemning shadows quite]
[W: Nature's prize] In this passage I cannot discover any temptation to critical experiments. The word piece, is a term appropriated to works of art. Here Nature and Fancy produce each their piece, and the piece done by Nature had the preference. Antony was in reality past the size of dreaming; he was more by Nature than Fancy could present in sleep.
V.ii.121 (255,3) I cannot project mine own cause so well] [W: procter] Sir T. Hanmer reads,
I cannot parget my own cause---
meaning, I cannot whitewash, varnish, or gloss my cause. I believe the present reading to be right. To project a cause is to represent a cause; to project it well, is to plan or contrive a scheme of defense.
V.ii.139 (256,4) "tis exactly valued, /Not petty things admitted] [T: omitted] Notwithstanding the wrath of Mr. Theobald, I have restored the old reading. She is angry afterwards, that she is accused of having reserved more than petty things. Dr. Warburton and sir T. Hanmer follow Theobald.
V.ii.146 (257,5) seel my lips] Sew up my mouth.
V.ii.163 (258,7) Parcel the sum of my disgraces by] To parcel her disgraces, might be expressed in vulgar language, to bundle up her calamaties. (see 1765, VII, 244, 8)
Cleo.: Be't known, that we, the greatest, are misthought for things that others do; and, when we fall, We answer others merits in our names; Are therefore to be pitied]
I do not think that either of the criticks [Warburton and Hanmer] have reached the sense of the author, which may be very commodiously explained thus;
We suffer at our highest state of elevation in the thoughts of mankind for that which others do, and when we fall, those that contented themselves only to think ill before, call us to answer in our own names for the merits of others. We are therefore to be pitied. Merits is in this place taken in an ill sense, for actions meriting censure.
If any alteration be necessary, I should only propose, Be 't known, that we at greatest, &c.
V.ii.185 (259,1) Make not your thoughts your prisons] I once wished to read,
make not your thoughts your poison:--
Do not destroy yourself by musing on your misfortune. Yet I would change nothing, as the old reading presents a very proper sense. Be not a prisoner in imagination, when in reality you are free.
V.ii.215 (261,2) scald rhimers] Sir T. Hanmer reads,
--stall 'd rhimers.
Scald was a word of contempt, implying poverty, disease, and filth.
V.ii.216 (261,3) quick comedians] The gay inventive players.
V.ii.226 (261,5) Their most absurd intents] [T: assured] I have preserved the old reading. The design certainly appeared absurd enough to Cleopatra, both as she thought it unreasonable in itself, and as she knew it would fail.
V.ii.243 (263,7) the pretty worm of Nilus] Worm is the Teutonick word for serpent; we have the blind-worm and slow-worm still in our language, and the Norwegians call an enormous monster, seen sometimes in the northern ocean, the sea-worm.
V.ii.264 (263,9) the worm will do him kind] The serpent will act according to his nature.
V.ii.305 (205,2) He'll make demand of her, and spend that kiss,/ Which is my heaven to have] He will enquire of her concerning me, and kiss her for giving him intelligence.
V.ii.352 (267,5) something blown] The flesh is somewhat puffed or swoln.
(268) General Observation. 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 Caesar 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.