Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

Ant. He has deserv'd it, were it carbuncled Like holy Phæbus' car.–Give me thy hand;Through Alexandria make a jolly march; Bear our hack'd targets like the men that owe them: Had our great palace the capacity To camp this host, we all would sup together; And drink carouses to the next day's fate, Which promises royal peril.-- Trumpeters, With brazen din blast you the city's ear; Make mingle with our rattling tabourines;3 That heaven and earth may strike their sounds together, Applauding our approach.

[Exeunt.

SCENE IX.

Cæsar's Camp.
Sentinels on their Post, Enter ENOBARBUS.
1 Sold. If we be not reliev'd within this hour,
We must return to the court of guard:4 The night
Is shiny; and, they say, we shall embattle
By the second hour i' the morn.
2 Sold.

This last day was
A shrewd one to us.
Eno.

0, bear me witness, night, –
3 Sold. What man is this?
2 Sold.

Stand close, and list to him. Eno. Be witness to me, O thou blessed moon, When men revolted shall upon record

3

2 Bear our hack'd targets like the men that owe them:] i. e. hack'd as much as the men to whom they belong. Warburton.

Why not rather, Bear our hack'd targets with spirit and exul. tation, such as becomes the brave warriors that own them?

Fohnson. tabourines;] A tabourin was a small drum. It is often mentioned in our ancient romances. So, in The History of Helyas Knight of the Swanne, bl. 1. no date: “ Trumpetes, elerons, tabourins, and other minstrelsy.” Steevens.

the court of guard: ] i. e. the guard-room, the place where the guard musters. The same expression occurs again in Othello. Steevens.

list to him.] I am answerable for the insertion of the preposition-to. Thus, in King Henry IV, P. I: “ Prythee, let her alone, and list to me.” Steevens.

4

5

Bear hateful memory, poor Enobarbus did
Before thy face repent!
1 Sold.

Enobarbus! 3 Sold.

Peace;
Hark further.

Eno. O sovereign mistress of true melancholy,
The poisonous damp of night disponge upon me;5
That life, a very rebel to my will,
May hang no longer on me: 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. O Antony, Nobler than my revolt is infamous, Forgive me in thine own particular; But let the world rank me in register A master-leaver, and a fugitive: 0 Antony! O Antony!

[Dies. 2 Sold.

Let's speak To him.

1 Sold. Let's hear him, for the things he speaks May concern Cæsar. 3 Sold.

Let's do so. But he sleeps. 1 Sold. Swoons rather; for so bad a prayer as his Was never yet for sleeping.8 2 Sold.

Go we to him.
3 Sold. Awake, awake, sir; speak to us.
2 Sold.

Hear
you,

sir? 1 Sold. The hand of death hath raught him.. Hark, the drums

Drums afar of

6

[ocr errors]

7

disponge upon me;] i. e. discharge, as a sponge, when squeezed, discharges the moisture it had imbibed. So, in Hamlet:

- it is but squeezing you, and, sponge, you shall be dry again." This word is not found in Dr. Johnson's Dictionary. Steevens.

Throw my heart -] The pathetick of Shakspeare 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. Fohnson.

Shakspeare, in most of his conceits, is kept in countenance by his contemporaries. Thus, Daniel, in his 18th Sonnet, 1594, somewhat indeed less harshly, says

“ Still must I whet my young desires abated,

Upon the fint of such a heart rebelling.” Malone.

- for sleeping.] Old copy-sleep. I am responsible for the substitution of the participle in the room of the substantive, for the sake of measure. Steevens.

8

Demurely? wake the sleepers. Let us bear him
To the court of guard; he is of note: our hour
Is fully out.

3 Sold. Come on then; He may recover yet.

[Exeunt with the Body, SCENE X.

Between the two Camps.
Enter Antony and SCARUS, with Forces, marching.

Ant. Their preparation is to-day by sea;
We please them not by land.
Scar.

For both, my lord.
Ant. I would, they 'd fight i’ the fire, or in the air;
We'd fight there too. But this it is; Our foot
Upon the hills adjoining to the city,
Shall stay with us: order for sea is given;
They have put forth the haven: Further on,

1

9 The hand of death hath raught him.] Raught is the ancient preterite of the verb to reach. See Vol. IV, p. 69, 11. 8. Steevens.

Hark, the drums

Demurely –] Demurely for solemnly. Warburton. 2 They have put forth the haven: Further on, ] These words, Further on, though not necessary, have been inserted in the later editions, and are not in the first. Johnson.

I think these words are absolutely necessary for the sense. As the passage stands, Antony appears to say, “that they could best discover the appointment of the enemy at the haven after they had left it.” But if we add the words Further on, his speech will be consistent: "As they have put out of the haven, let us go further on where we may see them better.” And accordingly in the next page but one he says

Where yonder pine does stand, “ I shall discover all.” M. Mason. Mr. Malone, instead of Further on, reads-Let's seek a spot.

Steevens. The defect of the metre in the old copy shows that some words were accidentally omitted. In that copy, as here, there is a colon at haven, which is an additional proof that something must have been said by Antony, connected with the next line, and relative to the place where the enemy might be reconnoitered. The hazen itself was not such a place; but rather some hill from which the haven and the ships newly put forth could be viewed. What Antony says upon his re-entry, prores decisively that he had not gone to the haven, nor had any thoughts of going thither. “ I see, (says he) they have not yet joined; but I 'll now choose a more VOL, XIII

Hh

[ocr errors]

Where their appointment we may best discover,
And look on their endeavour.3

[Exeunt.
Enter CÆSAR, and his Forces, marching.
Cæs. But being charg’d, we will be still by land,
Which, as I take 't, we shall;4 for his best force

66

We may

convenient station near yonder pine, and I shall discover all.” A preceding passage in Act III, sc. vi, adds such support to the emendation now made, that I trust I shall be pardoned for giving it a place in my text:

“ Set we our battles on yon side of the hill,
In
eye

of Cæsar's battle ; from which place

the number of the ships behold, “ And so proceed accordingly.” Mr. Rowe supplied the omission by the words Further on; and the four subsequent editors have adopted his emendation.

In Hamlet there is an omission similar to that which has here been supplied :

« And let them know both what we mean to do,
And what's untimely done. [So viperous slander]
“ Whose whisper o'er tle world's diameter,

As level as the cannon to his blank,” &c. The words-"So viperous slander," which are necessary both to the sense and metre, are not in the old copies. Malone. 3 Where their appointment we may best discover,

And look on their endeavour.] i.e. where we may best discover their numbers, and see their motions. Warburton. 4 But being charg'd we will be still by land,

Which, as I take’t, we shall ;] i. e. unless we be charg'd we will remain quiet at land, which quiet I suppose we shall keep. But being charg?d was a phrase at that time, equivalent to unless we be. Warburton.

But (says Mr. Lambe, in his notes on the ancient metrical history of The Battle of Floddon) signifies without,” in which sense it is often used in the North. “ Boots but spurs.” Vulg. Again, in Kelly's Collection of Scots Proverbs : " - He could eat me but salt.” Again: “He gave me whitings but bones." Again, in Chaucer's Persones Tale, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit.“ Ful oft time I rede, that no man trust in his owen perfection, but he be stronger than Sampson, or holier than David, or wiser than Solomon." But is from the Saxon Butan. Thus butan leas; absque falso, without a lie. Again, in The Vintner's Play, in the Chester Collection, British Museum, MS. Harl. 2013, p. 29:

Abraham. O comely creature, but I the kill,

“ I greeve my God, and that full ill." See also Ray's North Country Words, and the MS. version of an ancient French romance, entitled L'Histoire du noble, preux, & vaillant Chevalier Guillaume de Palerne, et de la belle Melior sa mye, lequel Guill, de Palerne fut filz du Roy de Cecille, &c. in the Library of King's College, Cambridge:

Is forth to man his gallies. To the vales,
And hold our best advantage.

[Exeunt. Re-enter ANTONY and SCARUS. . Ant. Yet they're not join'd: Where yonder pine does

stand, I shall discover all: I 'll bring thee word Straight, how 'tis like to go.

Exit. Scar.

Swallows have built In Cleopatra's sails their nests: the augurers5 Say, they know not--they cannot tell ;-look grimly, And dare not speak their knowledge. Antony Is valiant, and dejected; and, by starts, His fretted fortunes give him hope, and fear, Of what he has, and has not.

Alarum afur off, as at a Sea-Fight.

Re-enter ANTONY. Ant.

All is lost; This foul Egyptian hath betrayed me: My fleet hath yielded to the foe; and yonder They cast their caps up, and carouse together Like friends long lost.-Triple-turn'd whore !6 'tis thou

[ocr errors]

6

“I sayle now in the see as schip boute mast

Boute anker, or ore, or ani semlych sayle.” P. 86. In ancient writings this preposition is commonly distinguished from the adversative conjunction-but; the latter eing usually spelt-bot. Steevens.

the augurers —] The old copy has auguries. This leads us to what seems most likely to be the true reading--augurers, which word is used in the last Act:

You are too sure an augurer.Malone.

Triple-turn'd whore !] She was first for Antony, then was supposed by him to have turned to Cesar, when he found his messenger kissing her hand; then she turned again to Antony, and now has turned to Cæsar. 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. Fohnson.

Cleopatra was first the mistress of Julius Cæsar, then of Cneilts Pompey, and afterwards of Antony. To this, I think, the epithet triple-turn'd alludes. So, in a former scene:

“ I found you as a morsel, cold upon
“ Dead Cæsar's trencher; nay, you were a fragment
« Of Cneius Pompey."

« VorigeDoorgaan »