Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

SCENE V.

The Palace in Alexandria.
Enter Cleopatra, Charmian, Iras, and Mardian.
Cleo. Charmian,-
Char. Madam?
Cleo. Ha, kha-give me to drink S mandragora.
Char. Why, madam ?

Cleo. That I might Neep out this great gap of time, My Antony is away.

Char. You think of him too much.
Cleo. O, 'tis treason.-
Char. Madam, I trust not fo.
Cleo. Thou! eunuch ! Mardian!
Mar. What's your highness' pleasure ?

Cleo. Not now to hear thee sing. I take no pleasure
In aught an eunuch has : 'tis well for thee,
That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts
May not fly forth of Ægypt. Haft thou affections ?

Mar. Yes, gracious madam.
Cleo. Indeed?

Mar. Nor in deed, madam; for I can do nothing
But what in deed is honest to be done :
Yet have I fierce affections, and think,
What Venus did with Mars.

Cleo. Oh, Charmian ! Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or fits he? Or does he walk ? or is he on his horse ? Oh happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony ! Do bravely, 'horse I for, wot'st thou, whom thou

moy'st?

5 ---mandragora.) A plant of which the infusion was supposed to procese sleep. Shakespeare mentions it in Orbello:

Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Can ever med cine thee to that sweet sleep. JOHNSON

The

The demy Atlas of this earth, the arm
• And burgonet of man. He's speaking now,
Or murmuring, “Where's my serpent of old Nile?--
For so he calls me; now I feed myself
With most delicious poison.-Think on me,
That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black,
And wrinkled deep in time ! ? Broad-fronted Cæsar,
When thou wast here above the ground, I was
A morsel for a monarch: and great Pompey
Would stand, and make his eyes grow in my brow;
There would he anchor his aspect, and die
With looking on his life.

Enter Alexas.
Alex. Sovereign of Ægypt, hail!

Cleo. How much art thou unlike Mark Antony !
Yet coming from him, that great medicine hach
With his tinct gilded thee.-
How
goes

it with my brave Mark Antony? Alex. Last thing he did, dear queen, He kiss'd, the last of many doubled kisses, This orient pearl:–His speech sticks in my heart.

Cleo. Mine ear must pluck it thence.

Alex. Good friend, quoth he, Say, the firm Roman to great Ægypt sends This treasure of an oyster : at whose foot, And lurgonet of man.) A burgoner is a kind of b. Imet. Hen. VI.

This day I'll wear aloft my burgonet. So in Heywood's Iron Age, 1632.

I'll bammer on thy proof-feeld burgonit. STEEVENS. ? Broad-fronted Cæfar.) Mr. Seyward is of opinion, that the poet wrote bald-fronted Cæfar.

STEEVENS : --that great medicine hath with his tinet gilded thee.] Allading to the philosopher's ftone, which, by its touch, converts base metal into gold." The alchemists call the maiter, whatever it be, by which they perform transmutation, a medicine.

JOHNSON.

6

To mend the petty present, I will piece
Her opulent throne with kingdoms. All the ent,
Say thou, frall call ker mijtress. So he nodded,
And soberly did mount an 'arm-gaunt fteed,
Who neigh'd so high, that what I would have spoke,
? Was beastly dumb by him.

Clea. What, was he sad or merry ?
Alex. Like to the time o' the year, between the

extreams

Of hot and cold; he was nor sad, nor merry.

Cleo. Oh well-divided difpofition! - Note him,
Note him, good Charmian.—'Tis the man. But

note him :
He was not sad, for he would shine on those
That make their looks by his : he was not merry,
Which seem’d to tell them, his remembrance lay
In Ægypt with his joy : but between both.
Oh heav'nly mingle! Be’ít thou sad, or merry,

[ocr errors]

arm-gaunt ferd.) i. e. his steed worn lean and thin by much service in war, So Fairfax, His sta l-worn feed ibe champion stout beffrode.

WARB. On this rote Mr. Ldwards has been very lavish of his pleafantry, and indeed has julfly censured the misquotation of Itallworri, for fall worih, which means ftreng, but makes no attempt to explain the word in the play, Mr. Seyward, in his preface to Beaumont, has very elaborately endeavoured to prove, that an arm-gaunt fred is a seed with lean fheulders. Arm is the Teutonick word for want, or jounty, Arm- auni may be therefore an old word, fignifying, lean for man', ill fed. Edwards's observation, that a worn out horle is not proper for Atlas to mount in battle, is impertinent; the horse here mentioned seems to be a poft horse, rather than a war horse. Yet as arm-grunt seems not intended to imply any defect it perhaps means, a horse so llender that a man might clasp him, and therefore formed for expedition. Hanmer reads, arm-girt fied.

JOHNSON. 'W'as beastly dumb by him.] Mr. Theobald reads dumb'd, put to filence. Alexas means, (savs he) the horse made such a neighing, Ikal if he had spoke be could not have b.en heard. JOHNSON,

The

The violence of either thee becomes,
So does it no man else. Met'st thou my posts ?

Alex. Ay, Madam, twenty several messengers.
Why do you send so thick?

Cleo. Who's born that day, When I forget to send to Antony, Shall die a beggar. --Ink and paper, Charmian.-Welcome, my good Alexas.-Did I, Charmian, Ever love Cæfar fo?

Cbar. Oh, that brave Cæsar!

Cleo. Be choak'd with such another emphasis !
Say, the brave Antony.

Char. The valiant Cæsar !
Cleo. By Isis I will give thee bloody teeth,
If thou with Cæfar paragon again
My man of men

Char. By your most gracious pardon,
I sing but after you.

Cleo. ' My sallad days !
When I was green in judgment. Cold in blood !
To say, as I laid then.-But come away ;

2 My fallait days!
When I was green in judgment, cold in blood!

To say, as I said then. ] This puzzles the late editor, Mr. Theobald. He says, Cleopatra may Speak very naturally here will contempt of ber judgment at that period: but how truly with regard to the coldness of her blood may admit fome quefa tion: and then employs his learoing to prove, that at this cold season of her blood, she had seen twenty good years. But yet he thinks his author may be juitified, becaule Plutarch calls Cleopatra at those years, Kógn, which by ill luck proves just the contrary; for that state which the Greeks designed by Kögn, was the very height of blood. But Shakespeare's belt juitification is restoring his own sense, which is done merely by a different pointing :

My sallad days ;
When I was green in judgment. Cild in blood!

To say as I said then. Cold in blocd, is an upbraiding expoftulation to her maid. Those, says she, were my saliad days, when I was green in judgment; but yeur blood is as cold as my ju igmini, if you have ibe lame opinion of ibings now as I had then.

WARBURTON.

Get me ink and paper: he shall have every day
A several greeting, or I'll 3 unpeople Ægypt.

[Exeunt.

A CT II.

SCEN E I.

Messina. Pompcy's House.
Enter 4 Pompey, Minecrates, and Menas.

POMPEY.

I

F the great Gods be just, they shall aslist

The deeds of justeft men.
Men. Know, worthy Pompey,
That what they do delay, they not deny.

Pomp. s While we are suitors to their throne, decays The thing we sue for.

Men.

3 —unpeople Egypt.) By sending out messengers. Johnson.

4 The persons are so named in the first edition ; but I know not why Menecrates appears ; Menas can do all without him.

Johnson. s While we are suitors to their throne, DECAYS

The ihing we sue for.] This nonsense should be read thus,

Wh.le we are suitors to their throne, delAY's

The thing we fue for. Menecrates had said, The Gods do nit deny that which ihry delay. The other turns his words to a different meaning, and replies, Delay is the very thing we beg of them, i.e. the delay of our enemies in making preparation against us : which he explains after. wards, by saying, Mark Antony was tied up by luft in Ægypt; Cæsar by avarice at Rome; and Lepidus employed in keeping well with both.

It is not always prudent to be too hasty in exclamation ; the reading which Dr. Warburton rejects as nonsens, is in my opinion

WARB.

« AnteriorContinuar »