Imagens da página

In the brave squares of war: yet now-no matter

Cleo. Ah, stand by,
Eros. The queen, my lord, the queen-

Iras. Go to him, madam, speak to him;
He is unqualitied with very shame.

Cleo. Well then, sustain me: oh!

Eros. Most noble fir, arise; the queen approaches; Her head's declin'd, and ? death will seize her ; but Your comfort makes the rescue.

Ant. I have offended reputation ; A most unnoble swerving,

Eros. Sir, the queen.

Ant. O whither halt thou led me, Ægypt? See, * How I convey my shame out of thine eyes; By looking back on what I have left behind, 'Stroy'd in dishonour.

Cleo. Oh, my lord, my lord ;
Forgive my fearful fails ! I little thought,
You would have follow'd.

Ant. Ægypt, thou knew'st too well,
My heart was to thy rudder 'ty'd by the strings
And thou shouldst towe me after. O'er my spirit...
Thy full supremacy thou knew'st; and that
Thy beck might from the bidding of the Gods
Command me.

Cleo. Oh, my pardon.

Ant. Now I must To the young man send humble treaties, dodge And palter in the shifts of lowness; who, With half the builk o'the world, play'd as I pleas’d, Making and marring fortunes. You did know,

7 di ath will seize her, but

Your comfort, &c.] Bu has here, as once before in this play, the force of except, or unless.

JOHNSON. 8 How I convey my shameHow, by looking another way, I withdraw my ignominy from your sight.

JOHNSON. 9-ly'd by the firing] That is by the heart fring. JOHNSON.


O 3

How much you were my conqueror; and that
My sword, made weak by my affection, would
Obey it on all cause.

Cleo. Pardon, pardon.

Ant. Fall not a tear, I fay; one of them rates
All that is won and loft : give me a kiss,
Even this repays me.-
We sent our schoolmaster ; is he come back?
Love, I am full of lead; some wine,
Within there, and our viands. Fortune knows,
We scorn her most, when most she offers blows.



Cæfar's camp, in Egypt.
Enter Cæfar, Dolabella, Tbyreus, with others.
Cas. Let him appear, that's come from Antony.-
Know you him?

Dol. Cæsar, 'tis his schoolmaster :
An argument that he is pluck’d, when hither
He sends so poor a pinion of his wing,
Which had superfluous kings for messengers,
Not many moons gone by.

Enter Ambassador from Antony.
Cæs. Approach, and speak.

Amb. Such as I am, I come from Antony:
I was of late as petty to his ends,
As is the morn-dew on the myrtle leaf
To his grand sea.


-as petty to his ends, As is the morn, dew on the myrtle leaf

To his grand fea.] Thus the old copy. To whose grand sea ? I know not. . Perhaps we should read, To this grand fea.


Caf. Be it so. Declare thine office.

Amb. Lord of his fortunes he falutes thee, and
Requires to live in Ægypt: which not granted,
He lefsens his requests; and to thee sues
To let him breathe between the heavens and earth
A private man in Athens. This for him.
Next, Cleopatra does confess thy greatness ;
Submits her to thy might, and of thee craves
· The circle of the Ptolemies for her heirs,
Now hazarded to thy grace.

Cef. For Antony,
I have no ears to his request. The queen
Of audience, nor desire, shall fail; so the
From Ægypt drive her all-disgraced friend,
Or take his life there.—This if the perform,
She shall not fue unheard. So to them both.

Amb. Fortune pursue thee!
Caf. Bring him through the bands.

[Exit Ambassador.
To try thy eloquence now 'tis time : dispatch,
From Antony win Cleopatra : promise, [To Thyreus.
And in our name, what she requires ; add more,
From thine invention, offers. Women are not
In their best fortunes, strong; but want will perjure
The ne'er-touch'd vestal. Try thy cunning, Thyreus;
Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we
Will answer as a law.

Tbyr. Cæsar, I go.

Cæs. Observe, a how Antony becomes his flaw; We may suppose that the sea was within view of Cæsar's camp, and at no great distance.

T. T. The modern editors arbitrarily read," the grand sea."

Steevens. * The circle of the Ptolomies] The diadem; the enlign of roy

JOHNSON. 3 -how Antony becomes his flaw;] That is, how Antony conforms himself to this breach of his fortune,





And what thou think'st his very action speaks
In every power that moves,
Thyr. Cæsar, I shall.




Enter Cleopatra, Enobarbus, Charmian, and Iras.
Cleo. What shall we do, Enobarbus?
Eno. 3 Think, and die.


3 Think, and die.] Read,

Drink, and die. This reply of Enobarbus seems grounded upon a peculiarity in the conduct of Antony and Cleopatra, which is related by Plutarch: that, after their defeat at Actium, they instituted a fociety of friends, who entered into engagement to die with them, not abating, in the mean time, any part of their luxury, excess, and riot, in which they had liv'd before.

HANMER. This reading, offered by fir T. Hanmer, is received by Dr. Warburton and Mr. Upton, but I have not advanced it into the page, not being convinced that it is necessary. Think, and die ; that is, Refleit on your folly, and leave ihe world, is a natural answer.

JOHNSON. Sir T. Hanmer reads,

Drink, and dir. And his emendation has been approved, it seems, by Dr. Warburton and Mr. Upton. Mr. Johnson, however,“ has not advanced “ it into the page, not being convinced that it is necessary. " I bink, and die;" says he, " that is, Reflect on your own felly, and leave the world, is a natural answer." I grant it would be, according to this explanation, a very proper answer from a moralist or a divine; but Enobarbus, I doubt, was neither the one nor the other. He is drawn as a plain, blunt soldier ; not likely, however, to offend so grofly in point of delicacy as fir T. Hanmer's alteration would make him. I believe the true reading is,

Wink, and die. When the ship is going to be cast away, in the Sea-voyage of Beaumont and Fletcher, (A& i. Scene 1.) and Aminta is lamenting, Tibalt says to her,


Cleo. Is Antony, or we, in fault for this?

Eno. Antony only, that would make his will
Lord of his reason. What though you fied
From that great face of war, whose several ranges
Frighted each other? why should he follow?
The itch of his affection should not then
Have nick'd his captainship; at such a point,
When half to half the world oppos’d, 4 he being
The meered question. 'Twas a shame no. less
Than was his loss, to course your Aying flags,
And leave his navy gazing.
Cleo. Pr’ythee, peace.

Enter Antony, with the Ambasador.
Ant. Is that his answer?
Amb. Ay, my lord.

Ant. The queen shall then have courtesy,
So she will yield us up.

Amb. He says so.

Ant. Let her know it.
To the boy Cæsar send this grizled head,
And he will fill thy wishes to the brim
With principalities.

Go, take your gilt Prayer-book, and to your business ; wink, and dit : infinuating plainly, that the was afraid to meet death with her eyes open. And the same infinuation, I think, Enobarbus might very naturally convey in his return to Cleopatra's desponding question.

Observations and Conjectures, &c. printed at Oxford, 1766. 4mbe being

The meered question. ]The meered question is a term I do not understand. I know not what to offer, excep's

The mooted question. That is, the disputed point, the subject of debate. Mere is indeed a boundary, and the meered question, if it can mean any thing, may, with some violence of language, mean, the dijputed écurdary.



« AnteriorContinuar »