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can we cram
Most sovereign creature, -
For his bounty,
Shakspeare frequently uses O for an orb or circle. So, in King Henry V.:
“ Within this wooden () the very casques,” &c. Again, in A Midsummer Night's Dream :
• Than all yon fiery oes, and eyes of light.” Malone, 8 His legs bestrid the ocean : &c.] So, in Julius Cæsar :
Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world,
Crested the world :] Alluding to some of the old crests in heraldry, where a raised arm on a wreath was mounted on the helmet. PERCY.
And that to friends ;] Thus the old copy. The modern editors read, with no less obscurity :
when that to friends." STEEVENS. 2 - For his bounty,
There was no winter in't; an AUTUMN 'twas,
an Antony it was -There was certainly a contrast both in the thought and terms, designed here, which is lost in an accidental corruption. How could an Antony grow the more by reaping ? I'll venture, by a very easy change, to restore an exquisite fine allusion; which carries its reason with it too, why there was no winter in his bounty :
For his bounty,
grew the more by reaping.” I ought to take notice, that the ingenious Dr. Thirlby likewise started this very emendation, and had marked it in the margin of his book. THEOBALD.
The following lines in Shakspeare's 53d Sonnet add support to the emendation :
Were dolphin-like; they show'd his back above
Cleopatra, “ Speak of the spring, and foison of the year, “ The one doth shadow of your bounty show ; “ The other as your bounty doth appear,
“ And you in every blessed shape we know.” By the other, in the third line, i. e. the foison of the year, the poet means autumn, the season of plenty. Again, in The Tempest:
“ How does my bounteous sister (Ceres]?” Malone. 3 — His delights
Were DOLPHIN-LIKE; &c.] This image occurs in a short poem inserted in T. Lodge's Life and Death of William Longbeard, the most famous and witty English Traitor, &c. 1593, 4to. bl. 1. :
“Oh faire of fairest, Dolphin-like,
“Within the rivers of my plaint,” &c. Steevens. Instead of the foregoing note, Mr. Steevens, in his edition 1778, had the following: “I cannot resist the temptation to quote the following beautiful passage from Ben Jonson's New Inn on the subject of liberality :
“He gave me my first breeding, I acknowledge:
Then show'rd his bounties on me, like the hours,
And press the liberality of heaven
[Gifford's Jonson, vol. v. p. 347.) It is remarkable, that after all that had been said against Jonson by the commentators, Mr. Steevens should have expunged perhaps the only passage in which he has done justice to that great poet. Boswell. 4 As PLATES —] Plates mean, I believe, silver
money. in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, 1633 :
“ What's the price of this slave, 200 crowns- ?"
“ And if he has, he's worth 300 plates.” Again :
“ Rat’st thou this Moor but at 200 plates ?” Steevens. Mr. Steevens justly interprets plates to mean silver money, It is a term in heraldry. The balls or roundels in an escutcheon of arms, according to their different colours, have different names,
Cleo. Think you, there was, or might be, such
a man As this I dream'd of ? Dor.
Gentle madam, no. Cleo. You lie, up to the hearing of the gods. But, if there be, or ever were one such, It's past the size of dreaming: Nature wants stuff To vie strange forms with fancy; yet, to imagine An Antony, were nature's piece 'gainst fancy, Condemning shadows quite?. Dor.
Hear me, good madam: Your loss is as yourself, great ; and you bear it As answering to the weight: 'Would I might never O'ertake pursu'd success, but I do feel, By the rebound of your's, a grief that shoots My very heart at root.
If gules, or red, they are called torteauxes ; if or, or yellow,
“ Some others were new driven, and distent
has-nor ever, &c. The emendation was made by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
" To vis strange forms – ] To vie was a term at cards. See vol. v. p. 427. Steevens.
yet, to imagine
Condemning shadows quite.) The word piece, is a term appropriated to works of art. Here Nature and Fancy produce each their piece, and the piece done by Nature had the preference. Antony was in reality past the size of dreaming ; he was more by Nature than Fancy could present in sleep. Johnson.
shoots —] The old copy reads-suites. Steevens. The correction was made by Mr. Pope. The error arose from the two words, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, being pronounced alike. See vol. iv. p.
I thank you, sir. Know you, what Cæsar means to do with me? Dol. I am loath to tell you what I would you
knew. Cleo. Nay, pray you, sir,--Dol.
Though he be honourable, Cleo. He'll lead me then in triumph ? Dol. Madam, he will ; I know't.
Within. Make way there,-Cæsar. Enter CÆSAR, GALLUS, PROCULEIUS, MECÆNAS, SE
LEUCUS, and Attendants. Cæs. Which is the queen of Egypt ? Dol. 'Tis the emperor, madam.
[CLEOPATRA kneels. Cæs. Arise, you shall not kneel:-I pray you, rise; rise, Egypt. Cleo.
Sir, the gods
Cæs. Take to you no hard thoughts :
Sole sir o' the world, I cannot project mine own cause so well o
9 I cannot PROJECT mine own cause so well --] Project signifies to invent a cause, not to plead it; which is the sense here required. It is plain that we should read:
“I cannot proctor my own cause so well." The technical term, to plead by an advocate. WARBURTON. Sir T. Hanmer reads :
“ I cannot parget my own cause Meaning, I cannot whitewash, varnish, or gloss my cause. I believe the present reading to be right. To project a cause is to represent a cause ; to project it well, is to plan or contrive a scheme of defence. Johnson.
The old reading may certainly be the true one. Sir John Hara
To make it clear ; but do confess, I have
Cleo. And may, through all the world : 'tis yours;
Your 'scutcheons, and your signs of conquest,
shall Hang in what place you please. Here, my good
lord. Cæs. You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra”.
rington, in his Metamorphosis of Ajax, 1596, p. 79, says—"I have chosen Ajax for the project of this discourse.” Again, in Look About You, a comedy, 1600 :
“But quite dislike the project of your sute." Yet Sir Thomas Hanmer's conjecture may be likewise countenanced; for the word he wishes to bring in, is used in the 4th Eclogue of Drayton :
“ Scorn d paintings, pargit, and the borrow'd hair." And several times by Ben Jonson. So, in The Silent Woman :
she's above fifty too, and pargets.” STEEVENS. In Much Ado About Nothing, we find these lines :
She cannot love,
“ She is so self-endear'd.” I cannot project, &c. means, therefore, I cannot shape or form my cause, &c. Malone.
You shall advise me in all for Cleopatra.] You shall yourself