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List, list! 2 Sold. Hark! | Sold. Musick i' the air. 3 Sold.
Under the earth. 4 Sold.
It signs well, Does 't not?
3 Sold. No. I Sold.
Peace, I say. What should this mean? 2 Sold. 'Tis the god Hercules, whom Antony lov'd, Now leaves him. I Sold.
Walk; let 's see if other watchmen Do hear what we do. [They advance to another Post, 2 Sold.
How now, masters? Sold.
How now? How now? do you hear this? [Several speaking together. I Sold.
Ay; Is 't not strange? 3 Sold. Do you hear, masters? do you
hear? 1 Sold. Follow the noise so far as we have quarter; Let's see how 'twill give off. Sold. Several speaking.]
Content: 'Tis strange.
The same. A Room in the Palace.
Enter ANTONY, and CLEOPATRA; CHARMIAN, and
Others, attending Ant. Eros! mine armour, Eros! Cleo.
Sleep a little. Ant. No, my chuck.7-Eros, come; mine armour, Eros!
ple, as they had bene dauncinge, and had song as they vse in Bacchus feastes, with mouinges and turnings after the manner of the satyres : & it seemed that this daunce went through the city vnto the gate that opened to the enemies, & that all the troupe that made this noise they heard, went out of the city at that gate. Now, such as in reason sought the depth of the interpretacion of this wonder, thought that it was the god vnto whom Antonius bare singular deuotion to counterfeate and resemble him, that did forsake them.” Steevens. 6 It signs well, &c.] i. e. it is a good sign, it bodes well, &c.
Steevens. my chuck.] i. e. chicken. See Vol. VII, p. 139, n. 4.
Steevens. VOL. XIII.
Enter EROS, with Armour.
Nay, I 'll help too.
Ah, let be, let be! thou art
Cleo. Sooth, la, I 'll help: Thus it must be.
Rarely, rarely :
my good fellow,] The necessary pronoun possessivemy, was introduced, in aid of metre, by Mr. Rowe. Steevens.
thine iron -] I think it should be rather
mine iron – Fohnson. Thine iron is the iron which thou hast in thy hand, i. e. Antony's armour. So, in King Henry V, Henry says to a soldier, “ Give me thy glove;" meaning Henry's own glove, which the soldier at that moment had in his hat. Malone.
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. Johnson.
In the old copy the words stand thus : Cleo. Nay 1 'll help too, Antony. What's this for? Ah let be, let be; &c. Sooth, la, I'll help: Thus it must be.
Sir Thomas Hanmer gave the words“What's this for ?" to Antony; but that they belong to Cleopatra, “appears clearly, I think, from the subsequent words, which have been rightly attributed to Antony. What's this piece of your armour for? says the queen. Let it alone, replies Antony; “false, false ; this, this." This is the piece that you ought to have given me, and not that of which you asked the use. Malone.
2 Briefly, sir.] That is, quickly, sir. Johnson. 3 To doff’t -] To doff is to do off, to put off. See Vol. VII, p. 341, n. 9. Steevens.
4 More tight at this, than thou:] Tight is handy, adroit. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : “bear you these letters tightly." n the country, a tight lass still signifies a handy one. Steevens.
That thou could'st see my wars to-day, and knew'st
Enter an Officer, armed.
A thousand, sir,
Enter other Officers, and Soldiers.
'Tis well blown, lads.
[Exeunt Ant. Eros, Officers, and Soldiers. Char. Please you, retire to your chamber? Cleo.
Lead me. He goes forth gallantly. That he and Cæsar might Determine this great war in single fight! Then, Antony,But now,
-Well, on. [Exeunt.
Antony's Camp near Alexandria. Trumpets sound. Enter Antony and Eros; a Soldier
meeting them. Sold. The gods make this a happy day to Antony!?
have on their riveted trim, ] So, in King Henry V: 'The armourers accomplishing the knights,
“With busy hammers closing rivets up." Malone. 6 The morn is fair.--Good morrow, general.] This speech, in tlie old copy, is erroneously given to Alexas. Steevens.
Alexas had now revolted, and therefore could not be the speaker. See p. 342. Malone.
Ant. 'Would, thou and those thy scars had once pre
Had'st thou done so,
Who's gone this morning?
Who? One ever near thee: Call for Enobarbus, He shall not hear thee; or from Cæsar's camp Say, I am none of thine. Ant.
What say'st thou?
Sir, his chests and treasure
Is he gone?
Most certain. Ant. Go, Eros, send his treasure after; do it; Detain no jot, I charge thee: write to him (I will subscribe) gentle adieus, and greetings: Say, that I wish he never find more cause To change a master.--0, my fortunes have Corrupted honest men:-Eros, despatch.8 [Exeunt.
? Sold. The gods make this a happy day to Antony'] 'Tis evident, as Dr. Thirlby likewise conjectured, by what Antony immediately replies, that this line should not be placed to Eros, but to the Soldier, who, before the battle of Actium, advised Antony to try his fate at land. Theobald.
The same mistake has, I think, happened in the next two speeches addressed to Antony, which are also given in the old copy to Eros. I have given them to the Soldier, who would naturally reply to what Antony said. Antony's words, “ What sayst thou 3” compared with what follows, show that the speech beginning, “ Who? One ever near thee:" &c. belongs to the Soldier. This regulation was made by Mr. Capell. Malone.
Eros, despatch.] Thus the second folio ; except that these two words are here, for the sake of metre, transposed. The first folio has
Dispatch Enobarbus. Dr. Johnson would read
Despatch! To Enobarbus; And Mr. Holt White supposes that " Antony, being astonished at the news of the desertion of Enobarbus, merely repeats his name in a tone of surprize.".
Cæsar's Camp before Alexandria.
In my opinion, Antony was designed only to enforce the order he had already given to Eros. I have therefore followed the second folio Steevens.
It will be evident to any person who consults the second folio with attention and candour, that many of the alterations must have been furnished by some corrected copy of the first folio, or an authority of equal weight, being such as no person, much less one so ignorant and capricious as the editor has been represented, could have possibly hit upon, without that sort of information. Among these valuable emendations is the present, which affords a striking improvement both of the sense and of the metre, and should of course be inserted in the text, thus :
Corrupted honest men. Eros, despatch. The same transposition, which is a mere, though frequent, inadvertence of the press, has happened in a subsequent scene :
“ Unarm, Eros; the long days task is done :" Where the measure plainly requires, as the author must have written,-Eros, unarm. Ritson.
9 Our will is, Antony be took alive ;] It is observable with what judgment Shakspeare draws the character of Octavius. Antony was his hero; so the other was not to shine : yet being an histo. rical character, there was a necessity to draw him like. But the ancient historians, his flatterers, had delivered him down so fair, that he seems ready cut and dried for a hero. Amidst these dif. ficulties Shakspeare has extricated himself with great address. He has admitted all those great strokes of his character as he found them, and yet has made him a very unamiable character, deceitful, mean-spirited, narrow-minded, proud, and revengeful
“ Now these her princes are come home again,