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Enter Antony, with a Messenger and Attendants. Cleo. We will not look upon him : Go with us. [Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, ALEXAS,

Iras, CHARMIAN, Soothsayer, and At

tendants. Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field. Ant. Against my brother Lucius ?

Mess. Ay:
But soon that war had end, and the time's state
Made friends of them, jointing their force 'gainst

Cæsar;
Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,
Upon the first encounter drave them.
Ant.

Well, what worst ? Mess. The nature of bad news infects the teller. Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.—

On :
Things, that are past, are done, with me.-'Tis

thus;
Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
I hear him as he flatter'd.
MESS.

Labienus (This is stiff news !) hath, with his Parthian force, Extended Asia from Euphrătes”;

DRAVE them.] Drave is the ancient preterite of the verb to drive, and frequently occurs in the Bible. Thus, in Joshua, xxiv. 12: “ and drave them out from before you.” Again, in Chapman's version of the 24th Iliad:

to chariot he arose,

« Drave forth" STEVENS. 1 (This is stiff news)] So, in The Rape of Lucrece: Fearing some hard news from the warlike band.”

Malone. 2 Extended Asia from Euphrătes ;] i. e. widened or extended the bounds of the Lesser Asia. WARBURTON.

To extend, is a term used for to seize ; I know not whether this be not the sense here. Johnson.

His conquering banner shook, from Syria
To Lydia, and to lönia ;
Whilst-

Ant. Antony, thou would'st say, —
MESS.

O, my lord ! Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general

tongue; Name Cleopatra as she's calld in Rome : Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase; and taunt my faults With such full licence, as both truth and malice Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth

weeds,

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I believe Dr. Johnson's explanation is right. So, in Selimus, Emperor of the Turks, 1594:

Ay, though on all the world we make extent,

“ From the south pole unto the northern bear.” Again, in Twelfth-Night:

“ This uncivil and unjust extent

Against thy peace." Again, in Massinger's New Way to Pay Old Debts, the Extor

tioner says:

“ This manor is extended to my use." Mr. Tollet has likewise no doubt but that Dr. Johnson's explanation is just ; “ for (says he) Plutarch informs us that Labienus was by the Parthian king made general of his troops, and had over-run Asia from Euphrates and Syria to Lydia and lonia.” To extend is a law term used for to seize lands and tenements. In support of his assertion he adds the following instance : “ Those wasteful companions had neither lands to extend nor goods to be seized.” Savile's translation of Tacitus, dedicated to Queen Elizabeth. And then observes, that “Shakspeare knew the legal signification of the term, as appears from a passage in As You Like It:

And let my officers of such a nature

“ Make an extent upon his house and lands.” See vol. vi. p. 416.

Our ancient English writers almost always give us Euphrătes instead of Euphrātes. Thus, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song 21:

“ That gliding go in state, like swelling Euphrătes." See note on Cymbeline, Act III. Sc. III. Steevens,

When our quick minds lie still”; and our ills told us, Is as our earing. Fare thee well awhile.

3 When our quick winds lie still;] The sense is, that man, not agitated by censure, like soil not ventilated by quick winds, produces more evil than good. Johnson.

An idea, somewhat similar, occurs also in the The First Part of King Henry IV.: “ the cankers of a calm world and a long peace.Again, in The Puritan : hatched and nourished in the idle calms of peace.” Again, and yet more appositely, in King Henry VI. Part III. :

“ For what doth cherish weeds, but gentle air ?'' Dr. Warburton has proposed to read minds. It is at least a conjecture that deserves to be mentioned.

Dr. Johnson, however, might, in some degree, have countenanced his explanation by a singular epithet, that occurs twice in the Iliad—avELLOT PEDès ; literally, wind-nourished. In the first instance, 1. xi. 256, it is applied to the tree of which a spear had been made; in the second, 1. xv. 625, to a wave, impelled upon a ship. Steevens.

I suspect that quick winds is, or is a corruption of, some provincial word, signifying either arable lands, or the instruments of husbandry used in tilling them. Earing signifies plowing both here and in p. 204. So, in Genesis, c. xlv.: “ Yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.”

BLACKSTONE. This conjecture is well founded. The ridges left in lands turned up by the plough, that they may sweeten during their fallow state, are still called wind-rows. Quick winds, I suppose to be the same as teeming fallows ; for such fallows are always fruitful in weeds.

Wind-rows likewise signify heaps of manure, consisting of dung or lime mixed up with virgin earth, and distributed in long rows nnder hedges. If these wind-rows are suffered to lie still, in two senses, the farmer must fare the worse for his want of activity. First, if this compost be not frequently turned over, it will bring forth weeds spontaneously; secondly, if it be suffered to continue where it is made, the fields receive no benefit from it, being fit only in their turn to produce a crop of useless and obnoxious herbage. Steevens.

Mr. Steevens's description of wind-rows will gain him, I fear, but little reputation with the husbandman ; nor, were it more accurate, does it appear to be in point, unless it can be shown that quick winds and wind-rows are synonymous ; and, further, that his interpretation will suit with the context. Dr. Johnson hath con

Mess. At your noble pleasure.

[Exit. Ant. From Sicyon how the news ? Speak there.

sidered the position as a general one, which indeed it is; but being made by Antony, and applied to himself, he, figuratively, is the idle soil; the malice that speaks home, the quick, or cutting winds, whose frosty blasts destroy the profusion of weeds; whilst our ills (that is the truth faithfully) told us; a representation of our vices in their naked odiousness—" is as our earing ;” serves to plough up the neglected soil, and enable it to produce a profitable crop.

When the quick winds lie still, that is, in a mild winter, those weeds which “the tyrannous breathings of the north” would have cut off, will continue to grow and seed, to the no small detriment of the crop to follow. Henley. Whether

my
definition of winds or wind-1

l-rows be exact or erroneous, in justice to myself I must inform Mr. Henley, that I received it from an Essex farmer; observing, at the same time, that in different counties the same terms are differently applied.

STEEVENS. The words lie still are opposed to earing ; quick means pregnant; and the sense of the passage is: “When our pregnant minds lie idle and untilled, they bring forth weeds; but the telling us of our faults is a kind of culture to them.” The pronoun our before quick, shows that the substantive to which it refers must be something belonging to us, not merely an external object, as the wind is. To talk of quick winds lying still, is little better than nonsense.

M. Mason. The words-lie still, appear to have been technically used by those who borrow their metaphors from husbandry. Thus Ascham, in his Toxophilus, edit. 1589, p. 32: “ as a grounde which is apt for corne, &c. if a man let it lye still, &c. if it be wheate it will turne into rye.” Steevens.

Dr. Johnson thus explains the old reading :

“ The sense is, that man, not agitated by censure, like soil not ventilated by quick winds, produces more evil than good." This certainly is true of soil, but where did Dr. Johnson find the word soil in this passage? He found only winds, and was forced to substitute soil ventilated by winds in the room of the word in the old copy; as Mr. Steevens, in order to extract a meaning from it, supposes winds to mean fallows, because “the ridges left in lands turned up by the plough, are termed wind-rows ; ” though surely the obvious explication of the latter word, rows exposed to the wind, is the true one. Hence the rows of new-mown grass laid in heaps to dry, are also called wind-rows.

The emendation which I have adopted, and which was made by Dr. Warburton, makes all perfectly clear; for if in Dr. Johnson's

1 Art. The man from Sicyon.-Is there such an

one ?
2 Art. He stays upon your will *.
Ant.

Let him appear,These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,

Enter another Messenger.
Or lose myself in dotage.—What are you?

2 Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead.
ANT.

Where died she?
2 Mess. In Sicyon :
Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
Importeth thee to know, this bears.

[Gives a Letter.

note we substitute, not cultivated, instead of—“not ventilated by quick winds," we have a true interpretation of Antony's words as now exhibited. Our quick minds, means, our lively, apprehensive minds. So, in King Henry IV. Part II. : “ It ascends me into the brain ;-makes it apprehensive, quick, forgetive.”

Again, in this play: “ The quick comedians," &c.

It is, however, proper to add Dr. Warburton's own interpretation : “While the active principle within us lies immerged in sloth and luxury, we bring forth vices, instead of virtues, weeds instead of flowers and fruits; but the laying before us our ill condition plainly and honestly, is, as it were, the first culture of the mind, which gives hope of a future harvest."

Being at all times very unwilling to depart from the old copy, I should not have done it in this instance, but that the word winds, in the only sense in which it has yet been proved to be used, affords no meaning; and I had the less scruple on the present occasion, because the same error is found in King John, Act V. Sc. VII. where we have, in the only authentick copy :

“ Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts,
“ Leaves them invisible; and his siege is now

Against the wind.
Again, in Troilus and Cressida, folio 1632:

" Let it be call’d the mild and wand'ring food.” Malone. The observations of six commentators are here exhibited. To offer an additional line on this subject, (as the Messenger says to Lady Macduff,) were fell cruelty” to the reader.

STEEVENS. 4 He stays upon your will.] We meet with a similar phrase in Macbeth :

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