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ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.'
ACT I..... SCENE I.
Enter DEMETRIUS and Philo.
1 Among the entries in the books of the Stationers' Company, October 19, 1593, I find “ A Booke entituled the Tragedie of Cleopatra.” It is entered by Symon Waterson, for whom some of Daniel's works were printed; and therefore it is probably by that author, of whose Cleopatra there are several editions ; and, among others, one in 1594.
In the same volumes, May 20, 1608, Edward Blount entered “A Booke called Anthony and Cleopatra.” This is the first notice I have met with concerning any edition of this play more ancient than the folio, 1623. Steevens. Antony and Cleopatra was written, I imagine, in the year 1608.
Malone. 2 of our generals,] It has already been observed that this phraseology (not, of our general) was the common phraseology of Shakspeare's time. Malone,
An erroneous reference in Mr. Malone's edition, prevents me from doing complete justice to his remark. Steevens.
3_ reneges -] Renounces. Pope.
So, in King Lear: “ Renege, affirm,” &c. This word is likewise used by Stanyhurst, in his version of the second Book of Virgil's Æneid: “ To live now longer, Troy burnt, he flatly reneageth.”
Steevens. A And is become the bellows, and the fan,
To cool a gipsy's lust.] In this passage something seems to be wanting. The bellows and fan being commonly used for con
Flourish. Enter Antony and CLEOPATRA, with their
Trains; Eunuchs fanning her.
Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
trary purposes, were probably opposed by the author, who might perhaps have written :
is decome the bellows, and the fan, To kindle and to cool a gipsy's lust. Fohnson. In Lyly's Midas, 1592, the bellows is used both to cool and to kindle: “Methinks Venus and Nature stand with each of them a pair of bellows, one cooling my low birth, the other kindling my lofty affections." Steevens.
The text is undoubtedly right. The bellows, as well as the fan, cools the air by ventilation; and Shakspeare considered it here merely as an instrument of wind, without attending to the domestick use to which it is commonly applied. We meet with a similar phraseology in his Venus and Adonis:
* Then, with her windy sighs, and golden hairs,
“To fan and blow them dry again, she seeks." The following lines in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II, c. ix, at once support and explain the text:
“ But to delay the heat, lest by mischaunce
“ Continually, and cooling breath inspyre.” Malone. Johnson's amendment is unnecessary, and his reasons for it ill founded. The bellows and the fan have the same effects. When applied to a fire, they increase it; but when applied to any other warm substance, they cool it. M. Mason.
gipsy's lust.] Gipsy is here used both in the original meaning for an Ægyptian, and in its accidental sense for a bad woman.
. Johnson. 5 The triple pillar -] Triple is here used improperly for third, or one of three. One of the triumvirs, one of the three masters of the world. Warburton. So, in All's Well that Ends Well:
“ Which, as the dearest issue of his practice,
“ He bade me store up as a triple eye.” Malone. To sustain the pillars of the earth is a scriptural phrase. Thus, in Psalm 75: “ The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved. I bear up the pillars of it.” Steedens.
6 There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.] So, in Romeo and Juliet:
“ They are but beggars that can count their worth.”
Mart. L. VI, Ep. 36.
Cleo. I'll set a bourn? how far to be belov'd.
Enter an Attendant. Att. News, my good lord, from Rome. Ant.
Grates mei-The sum." Cleo. Nay, hear them,1 Antony: Fulvia, perchance, is angry; Or, who knows If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent His powerful mandate to you, Do this, or this; Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that; Perform 't, or else we damn thee.
How, my love! Cleo. Perchance,-nay, and most like, You must not stay here longer, your dismission Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony.-Where 's Fulvia's process?3 Cæsar's, I would say?
Both ? . Call in the messengers.--As I am Egypt's queen, Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine Is Cæsar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame, When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds. The messengers.
Ant. Let Rome in Tyber melt! and the wide arch Of the rang'd empire fall !4 Here is my space;
7_ bourn_] Bound or limit. Pope. So, in The Winter's Tale:
“ once that fixes
“ No bourn 'twixt his and mine.” Steevens. 8 Then must thou needs find out new heaven, &c.] Thou must set the boundary of my love at a greater distance than the present visible universe affords. Johnson. 9 - The sum.] Be brief, sum thy business in a few words.
Johnson. Nay, hear them,]i. e. the news. This word, in Shakspeare's time, was considered as plural. So, in Plutarch's Life of Antony:
“ Antonius hearing these newes,” &c. Malone. 2 Take in &c.] i. e. subdue, conquer. See Vol. VI, p. 289, n. 9; and Coriolanus, Act I, sc. ii. Reed. 3 Where's Fulvia's process !] Process here means summons.
M. Mason. “The writings of our common lawyers sometimes call that the processe, by which a man is called into the court and no more.” Minsheu's Dict. 1617, in v. Processe." To serve with processe. Vide to cite, to summon.” Ibid. Malone. 4 and the wide arch
of the rang'd empire fall!] Taken from the Roman custom
Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.
of raising triumphal arches to perpetuate their victories, Extremely noble. Warburton.
I am in doubt whether Shakspeare had any idea but of a fabric standing on pillars. The later editions have all printed the raised empire, for the ranged empire, as it was first given.
Fohnson. The rang'd empire is certainly right. Shakspeare uses the same expression in Coriolanus:
“ bury all which yet distinctly ranges,
“In heaps and piles of ruin." Again, in Much Ado about Nothing, Act II, sc. ii : “Whatsoever comes ath wart his affection, ranges evenly with mine.” Steevens.
The term range seems to have been applied, in a peculiar sense, to mason-work, in our author's time. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II, c. ix :
* It was a vault y-built for great dispence,"
“ With many raunges rear'd along the wall.” Malone. What, in ancient masons' or bricklayers' work, was denominated a range, is now called a course. Steevens.
5 - to weet, ] To know. Pope.
Ant. But stirrd by Cleopatra. ] But, in this passage, seems to have the old Saxon signification of without, unless, except. Antony, says the queen, will recollect his thoughts. Unless kept, he replies, in commotion by Cleopatra. Johnson.
What could Cleopatra mean by saying Antony will recollect his thoughts? What thoughts were they, for the recollection of which she was to applaud him? It was not for her purpose that he should think, or rouse himself from the lethargy in which
she wished to keep him. By Antony will be himself, she means to . say, “that Antony will act like the joint sovereign of the world,
and follow his own inclinations, without regard to the mandates of Cæsar, or the anger of Fulvia.” To which he replies, If but stirr'd by Cleopatra; that is, if moved to it, in the slightest des gree by her. M. Mason.
Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours,
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.
Fy wrangling queen!
? Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours,] For the love of Love, means, for the sake of the queen of love. So, in The Comedy of Errors:
“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.
8 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. 9 Whom every thing becomes, ] Quicquid enim dicit, seu facit, omne decet."
Marullus, Lib. II. Steevens, ? 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
“That in my mind thy worst all best exceeds ?” Malone. ? whose every passion fully strives -] So, in The Tempest:
“A space, whose every cubit
“Seems to cry out,” &c. See Vol. II, p. 60. Again, in Cymbeline, Act I, sc. vii:
"_ 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.
3 No messenger ; but thine and all alone, &c.] Cleopatra has said, “ Call in the messengers;" and afterwards, “ Hear 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. 4 To-night, we'll wander through the streets, &c.] So, in Sir Thomas North's translation of The Life of Antonius : « Some