Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

The horned herd!4 for I have savage cause;
And to proclaim it civilly, were like
A halter'd neck, which does the hangman thank
For being yare about him.—Is he whipp'd ?

Re-enter Attendants, with THYREUS.
I Att. Soundly, my lord.
Ant.

Cry'd he? and begg'd he pardon? 1 Att. He did ask favour.

Ant. If that thy father live, let him repent Thou wast not made his daughter; and be thou sorry To follow Cæsar in his triumph, since Thou hast been whipp'd for following him: henceforth, The white hand of a lady fever thee, Shake thou to look on it.-Get thee back to Cæsar, Tell him thy entertainment: Look, thou say, 0 He makes me angry with him: for he seems Proud and disdainful; harping on what I am, Not what he knew I was: He makes me angry; And at this time most easy 'tis to do 't; When my good stars, that were my former guides, Have empty left their orbs, and shot their fires Into the abism of hell. If he mislike My speech, and what is done; tell him, he has Hipparchus, my enfranchis'd bondman, whom He may at pleasure whip, or hang, or torture,

66

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. Johnson. The idea of the horned herd was caught from Psalm xxii, 12:

Many oxen are come about me: fat bulls of Basan close me in on every side.”

Steevens. 5 For being yare about him.] i. e. ready, nimble, adroit. So, in a preceding scene :

Their ships are yare, yours heavy.” Steevens.

thou say, &c.] Thus in the old translation of Plutarch: “Whereupon Antonius caused him to be taken and well fauouredly whipped, and so sent him vnto Cæsar; and bad him tell him that he made him angrie with him, bicause he showed him self prowde and disdainfull towards him, and no specially when he was easie to be angered, by reason of his present miserie. To be short, if this mislike thee, said he, thou hast Hipparchus one of my infranchised bondmen with thee: hang him if thou wilt, or whippe him at thy pleasure, that we may crie quittaunce."

Steevens.

6

As he shall like, to quit me:7 Urge it thou:
Hence with thy stripes, begone.

[Exit Thyr. Cleo. Have you done yet? Ant.

Alack, our terrene moon
Is now eclip'sd; and it portends alone
The fall of Antony!
Cleo.

I must stay his time.
Ant. To flatter Cæsar, would you mingle eyes
With one that ties his points ?8
Cleo.

Not know me yet?
Ant. Cold-hearted toward me?
Cleo.

Ah, dear, if I be so,
From my cold heart let heaven engender hail,
And poison it in the source; and the first stone
Drop in my neck: as it determines, so
Dissolve my life! The next Cæsarion smite!!
Till, by degrees, the memory of my womb,
Together with my brave Egyptians all,
By the discandying of this pelleted storm,
Lie graveless; till the flies and gnats of Nile
Have buried them for prey !3

7

9

[ocr errors]

to quit me:] To repay me this insult; to requite mė:

Fohnson. 8 With one that ties his points?] i. e. with a menial attendant. Points were laces with metal tags, with which the old trunkhose were fastened. Malone. as it determines,] That is, as the hailstone dissolves.

M. Mason. So, in King Henry IV, P. II:

66 Till his friend sickness hath determind me." See Vol. IX. p. 147, n. 4. Steevens.

i The next Cæsarion smite ! ] Cæsarion was Cleopatra's son by Julius Cæsar. Steevens.

The folio has smile. This literal error will serve to corroborate Dr. Farmer's conjecture in King Henry V, Vol. IX, p. 135, n. 6.

Reed. By the discandying of this pelleted storm,] The old folios read, discandering : from which corruption both Dr. Thirlby and I saw, we must retrieve the word with which I have reformed the text. Theobald. Discandy is used in the next Act. Malone.

till the flies and gnats of Nile Have buried them for prey?] We have a kindred thought in Macbeth:

our monuments “ Shall be the maws of kites.” Steevens,

2

3

[ocr errors]

Ant.

I am satisfied.
Cæsar sits down in Alexandria ; where
I will oppose his fate. Our force by land
Hath nobly held; our sever'd navy too
Have knit again, and fleet,4 threat’ning most sea-like.
Where hast thou been, my heart?-Dost thou hear, lady?
If from the field I shall return once more
To kiss these lips, I will appear in blood;
I and my sword will earn our chronicle;5
There is hope in it yet.
Cleo.

That 's my brave lord!
Ant. I will be treble-sinew'd, hearted, breath'd,
And fight maliciously: for when mine hours
Were nice and lucky, men did ransome lives

and feet,] Float was a modern emendation, perhaps right. The old reading isand fleet,

Fohnson. I have replaced the old reading. Float and fleet were synonymous. So, in the tragedy of Edward II, by Marlow, 1598:

“ This isle shall fleet upon the ocean.” Again, in Tamburlaine, 1590:

“Shall meet those Christians fleeting with the tide." Again, in The Cobler's Prophecy, 1594:

“ And envious snakes among the fleeting fish.” Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II, c. vii :

“ And in frayle wood on Adrian gulfe doth fleet." Again, in Harding's Chronicle, 1543 :

“ The bodies flete amonge our shippes eche daye.” Mr. Tollet has since furnished me with instances in support of this old reading, from Verstegan's Restitution of decay'd Intelligence, Holinshed's Description of Scotland, and Spenser's Colin Clout's come hoine again. Steevens.

The old reading should certainly be restored. Fleet is the old word for float. See Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 1598, 2399, 4883.

Tyrwhitt. 5 I and my sword will earn our chronicle ;] I and my sword will do such acts as shall deserve to be recorded. Malone. So, in a former part of this scene Enobarbus has said:

“ And earns a place i’ the story.” Steevens. 6 I will be treble-sinew'd,] So, in The Tempest:

which to do, “ Trebles thee o'er." Antony means to say, that he will be treble-hearted, and treble-breath'd, as well as treble-sinew'd. Malone.

? 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

[ocr errors]

Of me for jests; but now, I'll set my teeth,
And send to darkness all that stop me.-Come,
Let 's have one other gaudy night:1 call to me
All my sad captains, fill our bowls; once more
Let's mock the midgnight bell.
Cleo.

It is my birth-day:
I had thought, to have held it poor; but, since my lord
Is Antony again, I will be Cleopatra.2

Ant. We 'll yet do well.
Cleo. Call all his noble captains to my lord.

ور

66

8

wish. So we vulgarly say of any thing that is done better than was expected, it is nice. Johnson. Nice is trifling. So, in Romeo and Juliet, Act V, sc. ii:

“ The letter was not nice, but full of charge."
See a note on this passage. Steevens.
Again, in King Richard III:

My lord, this argues conscience in your grace,
“ But the respects thereof are nice and trivial.Malone..

-when mine hours
Were nice and lucky, men did ransome lives

of me for jests; but now &c.] There is some resemblance between this passage and the following speech of Achilles in the 21st Iliad, as translated by Chapman:

« Till his death, I did grace to Troy; and many lives di

rate “ At price of ransome; but none now, of all the brood of

Troy
“ (Who ever Jove throwes to my hands) shall any breath

enjoy.” Steevens.
I'll set my teeth,] So, in Coriolanus :

- he did so set his teeth and tear it” &c. See this volume, p. 23. Steevens,

- gaudy night:] This is still an epithet bestowed on feast days in the colleges of either university. Steevens.

Gawdy, or Grand days in the Inns of court, are four in the year, Ascension day, Midsummer day, All-saints day, and Candlemas day. “The etymology of the word,” says Blount, in his Dictionary, “ may be taken from Judge Gawdy, who (as some affirm) was the first institutor of those days; or rather from gaudium, because (to say truth) they are days of joy, as bringing good cheer to the hungry students. In colleges they are most commonly called Gawdy, in inns of court Grand days, and in some other places they are called Collar days.Reed.

Days of good cheer, in some of the foreign universities, are called Gaudeamus days. C.

2 Is Antony again, &c.] I shrewdly suspect that again, which spoils the verse, is an interpolation,

on the players' old principle of opening the sense, without regard to the metre, Steevens.

9

1

Ant. Do so, we 'll speak to them; and to-night I 'll

force The wine peep through their scars. Come on, miy

queen; There 's sap in 't yet.3 The next time I do fight, I'll make death love me; for I will contendi Even with his pestilent scythe. [Exeunt Ant. CLEO.

and Attendants. Eno. Now he 'll outstare the lightning,5 To be furious, Is, to be frighted out of fear: and in that mood, The dove will peck the estridge; and I see still, A diminution in our captain's brain Restores his heart: When valour preys on reason, It eats the sword it fights with. I will seek Some way to leave him.

[Exit,

ACT IV..... SCENE I.

Cæsar's Camp at Alexandria. Enter CESAR, reading a Letter; AGRIPPA, MECENAS,

and Others. Cæs. He calls me boy ; and chides, as he had power To beat me out of Egypt: my messenger

3 There's sap in 't yet.] So, in King Lear:

“ Then there's life in 't.” Steevens. 4 The next time I do fight,

I'll make death love me ; for I will contend

Even with his pestilent scythe.] This idea seems to have been caught from the 12th Book of Harrington's translation of The Orlando Furioso, 1591 :

“ Death goeth about the field, rejoicing mickle,

“ To see a sword that so surpass”d his sickle." This idea, however is not entirely modern; for in Statius, "Thebaid 1, v. 633, we find that death is armed with a weapon:

“ Mors fila sororum

Ense metit.” Steevens. 5 Now he 'll out-stare the lightning.] Our author, in many of the speeches that he has attributed to Antony, seems to have had the following passage in North's translation of Plutarch in his thoughts: “ He [Antony] used a manner of phrase in his speeche, called Asiatick, which carried the best grace at that time, and was much like to him in his manners and life; for it was full of ostentation, foolish braverie, and vaine ambition." Malone.

See Dr. Johnson's notę, at the conclusion of the play. Steevens

« VorigeDoorgaan »