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By looking back on what I have left behind
O my lord, my lord !
Egypt, thou knew'st too well,
O, my pardon.
Now I must
my conqueror; and that
O pardon, pardon.
-We sent our schoolmaster,
knows, We scorn her most, when most she offers blows. [Exeunt.
tied by the strings.] That is, by the heart-string. Johnson. So, in The Tragedie of Antonie, done into English by the Countess of Pembroke, 1595:
as if his soule
- should'st tow -] The old copy has-shoull'st stow me. This is one of the many corruptions occasioned by the tran. scriber's ear deceiving him. The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. Malone.
? Thy full supremacy -] Old copy---The full --. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. laione.
one of them rates
quithin - ] This word might be fairly ejected, as it has no other force than to de range the metre. Steevens.
Cæsar's Camp, in Egypt.
Cæs. Let him appear that 's come from Antony.-
Cæsar, 'tis his schoolmaster::
Approach, and speak.
Thyreus,] In the old copy always—Thidias. Steevens.
his schoolmaster :] The name of this person was Eu. phronius. Steevens. He was schoolmaster to Antony's children by Cleopatra. Malone.
as petty to his ends,
To his grand sea.] Thus the old copy. To whose grand sea ? I know not. Perhaps we should read:
To this grand sea. We may suppose that the sea was within view of Cæsar's camp, and at no great distance. Tyrwhitt.
The modern editors arbitrarily read :-the grand sea.
I believe the old reading is the true one. His grand sea may mean his full tide of prosperity. So, in King Henry VI, P. I:
“ You are the fount that makes small brooks to flow;
“ And swell so much the higher by their ebb.” Again, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Fletcher:
though I know
“ Must yield their tribute here." There is a play-house tradition that the first Act of this play was written by Shakspeare. Mr. Tollet offers a further explanation of the change proposed by Mr. Tyrwhitt: “ Alexandria, towards which Cæsar was marching, is situated on the coast of the Mediterranean sea, which is sometimes called mare magqum. Pliny terms it, “ immensa æquorum vastitas.” I may add, VOL. XIII.
Be it so; Declare thine office.
Eup. Fortune pursue thee!
Bring him through the bands.
[Exit Eup. To try thy eloquence, now 'tis time: Despatch; From Antony win Cleopatra: promise, [T. THYR. And in our name, what she requires; add more,
that Sir John Mandeville, p. 89, calls that part of the Mediterranean which washes the coast of Palestine, “ the grete see.” Again, in A. Wyntown's Gronykil, B. IX, ch. xii, v. 40:
the Mediterane, “ The gret se clerkis callis it swa." The passage, however, is capable of yet another explanation. His grand sea may mean the sea from which the dew-drop is exhaled. Shakspeare might have considered the sea as the source of dews as well as rain. His is used instead of its. Steevens.
Tyrwhitt’s amendment is more likely to be right, than Steevens's explanation. M. Mason.
I believe the last is the right explanation. Henley.
The last of Mr. Steevens's explanations certainly gives the sense of Shakspeare. If his be not used for its, he has made a person of the morn-drop. Ritson.
4 The circle of the Ptolemies -] The diadem; the ensign of royalty. Johnson. So, in Macbeth:
* All that impedes thee from the golden round,
- friend,] i. e. paramour. See Vol. XVI, note on Cym. beline, Act I, sc. v. Steevens.
From thine invention, offers: women are not,
Cæsar, I go.
Cæsar, I shall. [Exeunt.
Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
Enter CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, CHARMIAN, and IRAS.
Cleo. What shall we do, Enobarbus ?9
Think, and die.
- will perjure
“O Opportunity! thy guilt is great :-
how Antony becomes his flaw;] That is, how Antony conforms himself to this breach of his fortune. Johnson. 8 And what thou think’st his very action speaks In every power that moves.] So, in Troilus and Cressida:
her foot speaks, her-spirits look out
What shall we do, Enobarbus?] I have little doubt but that the verb-do, which is injurious to the metre, was interpolated, and that some player or transcriber (as in many former instances) has here defeated the purpose of an ellipsis convenient to versification. What shall we? in ancient familiar language, is frequently understood to signify-What shall we do? Steevens. 1 Think, and die.] Sir T. Hanmer reads :
Drink, and die. And his emendation has been approved, it seems, by Dr. Warburton and Mr. Upton. Dr. Johnson, however, “has not advanced it into the page, not being convinced that it is necessary. “ Think, and die;" says he, “ that is, Reflect on your own folly, and leave the world, is a natural answer." I grant it would be, according to this explanation, a very proper answer from a moralist or a divine; but Enobarbus, I doubt, was neither the one nor the other. He is drawn as a plain, blunt soldier ; not likely, however, to offend so grossly in point of delicacy as Sir T. Hanmer's alteration wouid make him. I believe the true reading is :
Wink, and die.
Cleo. Is Antony, or we, in fault for this?
Eno. Antony only, that would make his will Lord of his reason. What although you fied From that great face of war, whose several ranges Frighted each other? why should he follow ?3
When the ship is going to be cast away, in The Sea Voyage of Beaumont and Fletcher, (Act I, sc. i,) and Aminta is lamenting Tibalt says to her:
Go, take your gilt “ Prayer-book, and to your business; wirk, and die :) insinuating plainly, that she was afraid to meet death with her eyes open. And the same insinuation, I think, Enobarbus might very naturally convey in his return to Cleopatra's desponding question. Tyrwhitt.
I adhere to the old reading, which may be supported by the following passage in Julius Cæsar:
all that he can do “ Is to himself; take thought, and die for Cæsar." Mr. Tollet observes, that the expression of taking thought, in our old English writers, is equivalent to the being anxious or solietuits, or laying a thing inuch to heart. So, says he, it is used in our translations of The New Testament, Matthew vi, 25, &c. So, in Holinshed, Vol. 1ļi, p. 50, or anno 1140: “ – - taking thought for the losse of his houses and money, he pined away and died.” In the margin thus: “The bishop of Salisburie dieth of thought." Again, in p. 833. Again, in Stowe's Chronicle, anno 1508 :
Christopher Hawis shortened his life by thought-taking." Again, in p. 546, edit. 1614. Again, in Leland's Collectanea, Vol. I, p. 234: “ their mother died for thought.” Mr. Tyrwhitt, however, might have given additional support to the reading which he offers, from a passage in The Second Part of King Henry IV:
led his powers to death, “And winking leap'd into destruction.” Steevens. After all that has been written upon this passage, I believe the old reading is right; but then we must understand think and die to mean the same as die of thought, or melancholy. In this sense is thought used below, Act IV, sc. vi, and by Holinshed, Chronicle of Ireland, p. 97: “ His father lived in the Tower—where for thought of the young man his follie he died." There is a passage almost exactly similar in The Beggar's Bush of Beaumont and Fletcher, Vol. II, p. 423 :
“ Can I not think away myself and die?" Tyrwhitt. Think and die :-Consider what mode of ending your life is most preferable, and immediately adopt it. Henley.
although -] The first syllable of this word was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer, to complete the measure, Steevens.
- why should he follow ?] Surely, for the sake of metre, we should read follow you? Steevens.