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Let's not confound the time with conference
harsh : There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now: What sport to-night?
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.
Fye, wrangling queen !
“Let Love, being light, be drowned if she sink." Mr. Rowe substituted his for her, and this unjustifiable alteration was adopted by all the subsequent editors. MALONE.
7 Let's not conFOUND the time -] i. e. let us not consume the time. So, in Coriolanus :
“ How could'st thou in a mile confound an hour,
“And bring thy news so late?” MALONE. 8 Whom every thing becomes,] Quicquid enim dicit, seu facit, omne decet.”
Marullus, lib. ii. STBEVENS. 9 Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh, To weep;] So, in our author's 150th Sonnet : “Whence hast thou this becoming of things ill,
“ That in the very refuse of thy deeds
MALONE. - Whose every passion fully strives —] The folio readswho. It was corrected by Mr. Rowe; but " whose every passion was not, I suspect, the phraseology of Shakspeare's time. The ext however is undoubtedly corrupt.
MALONE. “Whose every,” is an undoubted phrase of our author. So, in The Tempest, Act II. Sc. I. :
this hand, whose touch,
" Whose every touch,” &c. The same expression occurs again in another play, but I have lost my reference to it. STEEVENS.
2 No messenger ; but thine and all alone, &c.] Cleopatra has said, “ Call in the messengers ; ” and afterwards, “ Hear the
To-night, we'll wander through the streets, and
note The qualities of people. Come, my queen ; Last night you did desire it :-Speak not to us.
Exeunt Ant. and CLEOP. with their Train. Dem. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz'd so slight ?
Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
I'm full sorry,
The Same. Another Room.
Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Sooth
sayers. Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the
ambassadors." Talk not to me, says Antony, of messengers; I am now wholly thine, and you and I unattended will to-night wander through the streets. The subsequent words which he utters as he goes out, “ Speak not to us,” confirm this interpretation. MALONE.
3 To-night, we'll wander through the streets, &c.] So, in Sir Thomas North's translation of The Life of Antonius :
Sometime also when he would goe up and downe the citie disguised like a slave in the night, and would peere into poore mens' windowes and their shops, and scold and brawl with them within the house ; Cleopatra would be also in a chamber maides array, and amble up and down the streets with him," &c.
Steevens. 4 That he APPROVES the common liar,] Fame. That he proves the common liar, fame, in his case to be a true reporter.
MALONE. So, in Hamlet :
“ He may approve our eyes, and speak to it.” Steevens. soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must charge his horns with garlands !
5 Enter Charmian, Iras, Alexas, and a Soothsayer.] The old copy reads : “Enter Enobarbus, Lamprius, a Soothsayer,” Rannius, Lucilius, Charmian, Iras, Mardian the Eunuch, and Alexas."
Plutarch mentions his grandfather Lamprias, as his author for some of the stories he relates of the profuseness and luxury of Antony's entertainments at Alexandria. Shakspeare appears to have been very anxious in this play to introduce every incident and every personage he met with in his historian. In the multitude of his characters, however, Lamprias is entirely over-looked, together with the others whose names we find in this stagedirection.
It is not impossible, indeed, that “ Lamprius, Rannius, Lucilius,” &c. might have been speakers in this scene as it was first written down by Shakspeare, who afterwards thought proper to omit their speeches, though at the same time he forgot to erase their names as originally announced at their collective entrance.
STEEVENS. Change his horns with garlands!) This is corrupt; the true reading evidently is :-“must charge his horns with garlands," i. e. make him a rich and honourable cuckold, having his horns hung about with garlands. WARBURTON.
Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, not improbably, “ change for horns his garlands." I am in doubt whether to change is not merely to dress, or to dress with changes of garlands. Johnson. So, Taylor, the water-poet, describing the habit of a coach
- with a cloak of some pyed colour, with two or three change of laces about.” Change of clothes, in the time of Shakspeare, signified variety of them. Coriolanus says that he has received “change of honours " from the Patricians, Act. II. Sc. I.
That to change with, “ applied to two things, one of which is to be put in the place of the other,” is the language of Shakspeare, Mr. Malone might have learned from the following passage in Cymbeline, Act I. Sc. VI. i. e. the Queen's speech to Pisanio :
to shift his being “ Is to exchange one misery with another.” Again, in the 4th book of Milton's Paradise Lost, v. 892:
- where thou might’st hope to change 66 Torment with ease." STEEVENS. I once thought that these two words might have been often confounded, by their being both abbreviated, and written chāge. But an n, as the Bishop of Dromore observes to me, was someimes omitted botlr in MS. and print, and the omission thus
Alex. Soothsayer. Sooth. Your will ?
marked, but an r never, This therefore might account for a compositor inadvertently printing charge instead of change, but not change instead of charge ; which word was never abbreviated. I also doubted the phraseology-change with, and do not at present recollect any example of it in Shakspeare's plays or in his time; whilst in The Taming of the Shrew, we have the modern phraseology-change for :
“ To change true rules for odd inventions." But a careful revision of these plays has taught me to place no confidence in such observations; for from some book or other of the age, I have no doubt almost every combination of words that may
be found in our author, however uncouth it may appear to our ears, or however different from modern phraseology, will at some time or other be justified. In the present edition, many which were considered as undoubtedly corrupt, have been incontrovertibly supported.
Still, however, I think that the reading originally introduced by Mr. Theobald, and adopted by Dr. Warburton, is the true one, because it affords a clear sense ; whilst, on the other hand, the reading of the old copy affords none: for supposing change with to mean exchange for, what idea is conveyed by this passage ? and what other sense can these words bear? The substantive change being formerly used to signify variety, (as change of clothes, of honours, &c.) proves nothing : change of clothes or linen necessarily imports more than one; but the thing sought for is the meaning of the verb to change, and no proof is produced to show that it signified to dress; or that it had any other meaning than to exchange.
Charmian is talking of her future husband, who certainly could not change his horns, at present, for garlands, or any thing else, having not yet obtained them ; nor could she mean, that when he did get them, he should change or part with them, for garlands : but he might charge his horns, when he should marry Charmian, with garlands: for having once got them, she intended, we may suppose, that he should wear them contentedly for life. Horns" charged with garlands" is an expression of a similar import with one which is found in Characterismi, or Lenton's Leasures, 8vo. 1631. In the description of a contented cuckold, he is said to “ hold his velvet horns as high as the best of them.”
Let it also be remembered that garlands are usually wreathed round the head ; a circumstance which adds great support to the emendation now made. So, Sidney:
“ A garland made, on temples for to wear.” It is observable that the same m take as this happened in Char. Is this the man ?-Is't you, sir, that know
Show him your hand.
CHAR. Good sir, give me good fortune.
loved. Char. I had rather heat my liver’ with drinking.
Coriolanus, where the same correction was made by Dr. Warburton, and adopted by all the subsequent editors :
“ And yet to charge thy sulphur with a bolt,
“That should but rive an oak.” The old copy there, as here, has change. Since this note was written, I have met with an example of the phrase--" to change with,” in Lyly's Maydes Metamorphosis, 1600 :
“ The sweetness of that banquet must forego,
“ Whose pleasant taste is chang`d with bitter woe.” I am still, however, of opinion that charge, and not change, the true reading, for the reasons already assigned. Malone.
“ To change his horns with [i. e. for] garlands " signifies, to be a triumphant cuckold ; à cuckold who will consider his state as an honourable one. Thus, says Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing : “ There is no staff more honourable than one tipt with horn."—We are not to look for serious argument in such a “skipping dialogue" as that before us. STEEVENS.
? I had rather heat my liver, &c.] So, in The Merchant of Venice :