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Why, madam? Cleo. That I might sleep out this great gap of time, My Antony is away, Char.
You think of him
Cleo. O, treason!1
Madam, I trust, not so.
What 's your highness' pleasure?
Mar. Yes, gracious madam.
Mar. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing
See also Pliny's Natural History, by Holland, 1601, and Plutarch's Morals, 1602, p. 19. Ritson. 10, treason! ] Old copy, coldly and unmetrically
0, 'tis treason! Steevens. 2 And burgonet of men.] A burgonet is a kind of helmet. So, in King Henry VI:
“This day I wear aloft my burg onet.” Again, in The Birth of Merlin, 1662:
“This, by the gods and my good sword, I 'll set
Broad-fronted Cæsar, 1. Mr. Seward is of opinion, that
When thou wast here above the ground, I
Sovereign of Egypt, hail !
Alex. Last thing he did, dear queen,
Cleo. Mine ear must pluck it thence.
Good friend, quoth he, Say, the firm Roman to great Egypt sends This treasure of an oyster; at whose foot, To mend the petty present, I will piece Her opulent throne with kingdoms ; All the east. Say thou, shall call her mistress. So he nodded, And soberly did mount a termagant steed, the poet wrote-bald-fronted Cæsar. The compound epithet broad.fronted, occurs, however, in the tenth Book of Chapman's version of the Iliad:
a heifer most select, “ That never yet was tam’d with yoke, broad-fronted, one
year old.” Steevens.
anchor his aspéct,] So, in Measure for Measure:
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. Johnson. Thus Chapman, in his Shadow of Night, 1594:
“O then, thou great elixir of all treasurés.” And on this passage he has the following note: “The philoso. pher's stone, or philosophica medicina, is called the great Elixir, to which he here alludes.” Thus, in The Chanones Yeinannes Tale of Chaucer, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 16,330:
the philosophre's stone, “ Elixir cleped, we seken fast eche on." See Vol. II, p. 134, n. 8. Steevene.
Who neigh'd so high, that what I would have spoke
termagant steed,] Old copy-arm-gaunt; i. e. his steed worn lean and thin by much service in war. So, Fairfax : “His stall-worn steed the champion stout bestrode."
Warburton. On this note Mr. Edwards has been very lavish of his pleasantry, and indeed has justly censured the misquotation of stallworn, for stall-worth, which means strong, but makes no attempt to explain the word in the play. Mr. Seward, in his preface to Beaumont and Fletcher, has very elaborately endeavoured to prove, that an arm-gaunt steed is a steed with lean shoulders. Arm is the teutonic word for want, or poverty. Arm-gaunt may be therefore an old word, signifying, lean for want, ill fed. Ed. wards'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:
-arm-girt steed. Johnson. On this passage, which I believe to be corrupt, I have nothing satisfactory to propose. It is clear, that whatever epithet was used, it was intended as descriptive of a beautiful horse, such (we may presume) as our author has described in his Venus and Adonis.
Dr. Johnson must have looked into some early edition of Mr. Edwards's book, for in his seventh edition he has this note: “I have sometimes thought, that the meaning may possibly be, thinshoulder'd, by a strange composition of Latin and English :-gaunt quoad armos.” Malone.
I suppose there must be some error in the passage, and should amend it by reading :
And soberly did mount a termagant steed,
That neigh'd &c. Termagant means furious. So Douglas, in Henry IV, is called the termagant Scot, an epithet that agrees well with the steed's neighing so high. Besides, by saying that Antony mounted composedly a horse of such mettle, Alexas presents Cleopatra with a flattering image of her hero, which his mounting slowly a ja. ded post-horse, would not have done. M. Mason.
When I first met with Mr. Mason's conjecture, I own I was startled at its boldness; but that I have since been reconciled to it, its appearance in the present text of Shakspeare will sufficiently prove.
It ought to be observed, in defence of this emendation, that the word termagaunt (originally the proper name of a clamorous Saracenical deity) did not, without passing through several gradations of meaning, become appropriated (as at present) to a turbulent female. "I may add, that the sobriety displayed by Antony in mounting a steed of temper so opposite, reminds us
Was beastly dumb'd by him.
What, was he sad, or merry? Alex. Like to the time o' the year between the ex
tremes Of hot and cold; he was nor sad, nor merry.
Cleo. O well-divided disposition ! --Note him,
Alex. Ay, madam, twenty several messengers:
Who's born that day
O that brave Cæsar!
The valiant Cæsar!
of a similar contrast in Addison's celebrated comparison of the Angel:
“Calm and serene he drives the furious blast.” Let the critic who can fiunish a conjecture nearer than ter. magaunt to the traces of the old reading arm-gaunt, or can make any change productive of sense more apposite and commodious, displace Mr. M. Mason's amendment, which, in my opinion, is to be numbered among the feliciter audentia of criticism, and meets at least with my own unequivocal approbation. Steevens.
8 Was beastly dumb'd by him.] The old copy has dumbe. The correction was made by Mr. Theobald. “ Alexas means (says he) the horse made such a neighing, that if he had spoke, he could not have been heard.” Malone.
The verb which Mr. Theobald would introduce, is found in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609:
Deep clerks she dumbs" &c. Steevens. - 30 thick?] i.e. in such quick succession. So, in Macbeth :
As thick as tale, “ Came post with post ~." See Vol. VII, p. 37, n. 5. Steevens
Cleo. By Isis, I will give thee bloody, teeth,
By your most gracious pardon,
My sallad days;
ACT II... SCENE I.
Messina. A Room in Pompey's House.
Know, worthy Pompey,
Pom. Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays The thing we sue for.4
1 My sallad days;
When I was green in judgment :-Cold in blood,
To say, as I said then! ] Cold in blood, is an upbraiding es. postulation to her maid. Those, says she, were my sallad days, when I was green in judgment; but your blood is as cold as my judgment, if you have the same opinion of things now as I had then.
Warburton. unpeople Egypt.] By sending out messengers. Johnson. The
persons are so named in the first edition; but I know not why Menecrates appears; Menas can do all without him,
Johnson All the speeches in this scene that are not spoken by Pompey and Varrius, are marked in the old copy, Mene, which must stand for Menecrates. The course of the dialogue shows that some of them at least belong to Menas; and accordingly they are to him attributed in the modern editions; or, rather, a syllable [Men] has been prefixed, that will serve equally to denote the one or the other of these personages. I have given the first two speeches to Menecrates, and the rest to Menas. It is a matter of little consequence. Malone. * Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays
The thing we sue for.] The meaning is, While we are praying, the thing for which we pray is losing its value. Johnson.