Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

I am so lated in the world”, that I
Have lost my way for ever :--I have a ship
Laden with gold ; take that, divide it; fly,
And make your peace with Cæsar.
ATT. .

Fly! not we. Ant. I have fled myself; and have instructed

cowards To run, and show their shoulders.-Friends, be

gone; I have myself resolv'd upon a course, Which has no need of you ; be gone ? : My treasure's in the harbour, take it. -0, I follow'd that I blush to look upon : My very hairs do mutiny ; for the white Reprove the brown for rashness, and they them For fear and doting.–Friends, be gone; you shall Have letters from me to some friends, that will Sweep your way for you“. Pray you, look not sad, Nor make replies of loathness: take the hint Which my despair proclaims; let that be left Which leaves itself: to the sea side straightway : I will possess you of that ship and treasure. Leave me, I pray, a little: 'pray you now :Nay, do so; for, indeed, I have lost commando,

2 — SO Lated in the world,] Alluding to a benighted traveller. Johnson. So, in Macbeth, Act III. :

“ Now spurs the lated traveller apace.” Steevens. 3 — be gone :) We might, I think, safely complete the measure by reading :

be gone, I say." Steevens.
Sweep your way for you.] So, in Hamlet :

- they must sweep my way,
And marshall me to knavery.” Steevens.
- let that be left

Which leaves itself:] Old copy—“ let them,&c. Corrected by Mr. Capell. Malone.

ve lost command,] I am not maker of my own tions. Johnson.

4

[ocr errors]

6

Therefore I pray you :—I'll see you by and by.

[Sits down. Enter Eros, and CLEOPATRA, led by CHARMIAN

and Iras. Eros. Nay, gentle madam, to him :

-Comfort him. Iras. Do, most dear queen. CHAR. Do! Why, what else ? ? Cleo. Let me sit down. O Juno! Ant. No, no, no, no, no. Eros. See you here, sir ? Ant. O fye, fye, fye. Char. Madam, Iras. Madam ; O good empress Eros. Sir, sir,

Ant. Yes, my lord, yes ;-He, at Philippi, kept His sword e'en like a dancers; while I struck

Surely, he rather means,-1 entreat you to leave me, because I have lost all power to command your absence. STEEVENS. Mr. Steevens is certainly right. So, in King Richard III. : • Tell her, the king, that may command, entreats.

MALONE. 7 Do! Why, what else? &c.] Being uncertain whether these, and other short and interrupted speeches in the scene before us, were originally designed to form regular verses; and suspecting that in some degree they have been mutilated, I have made no attempt at their arrangement. STEEVENS. 8 - He, at Philippi, kept

His sword even like a dancer ;] In the Morisco, and perhaps anciently in the Pyrrhick dance, the dancers held swords in their hands with the points upward. Johnson.

I am told that the peasants in Northumberland have a sworddance which they always practise at Christmas. Seeevens.

The Goths, in one of their dances, held swords in their hands with the points upwards, sheathed and unsheathed. Might not the Moors in Spain borrow this custom of the Goths who intermixed with them? TOLLET.

I believe it means that Cæsar nerer offered to draw his sword, but kept it in the scabbard, like one who dances with a sword on, which was formerly the custom in England. There is a similar allusion in Titus Andronicus, Act II. Sc. I. :

[ocr errors]

The lean and wrinkled Cassius; and 'twas I,
That the mad Brutus endedo: he alone
Dealt on lieutenantry', and no practice had

9

our mother, unadvis'd, “ Gare you a dancing rapier by your side.” It may also be observed, that the dancers represented in one of the compartments of the shield of Achilles, had weapons by their sides :

οι δε μαχαίρας
Είχαν χρυσείας εξ αργυρέων τελαμώνων. .

Iliad, £. 597. STEEVENS. That Mr. Steevens's explanation is just, appears from a passage in All's Well That Ends Well. Bertram, lamenting that he is kept from the wars, says

" I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
“ Till honour be bought up, and no sword worn,

“ But one to dance with.” The word worn shows that in both passages our author was thinking of the English, and not of the Pyrrhick, or the Morisco, dance, (as Dr. Johnson supposed,) in which the sword was not worn at the side, but held in the hand with the point upward.

Malone. and 'twas I, That the mad Brutus ended :] Nothing can be more in character, than for an infamous debauched tyrant to call the heroick love of one's country and publick liberty, madness. WARBURTON. 1- he alone

Dealt on lieutenantry,) I know not whether the meaning is, that Cæsar acted only as lieutenant at Philippi, or that he made his attempts only on lieutenants, and left the generals to Antony. Johnson.

“ Dealt on lieutenantry," I believe, means only, —" fought by proxy,” made war by his lieutenants, or on the strength of his lieutenants. So, in a former scene, Ventidius observes

“ Cæsar and Antony have ever won

More in their officer, than person.”
Again, in The Countess of Pembroke's Antonie, 1595 :

Cassius and Brutus ill betid,
“ March'd against us, by us twice put to flight,
“ But by my sole conduct; for all the time,

“ Cæsar heart-sick with fear and feaver lay.” To deal on any thing, is an expression often used in the old plays. So, in The Roaring Girl, 1611 :

“ You will deal upon men's wives no more.”

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.

The prepositions on and upon are sometimes oddly employed by our ancient writers. So, in Drayton's Miseries of Queen Margaret :

“ That it amaz’d the marchers, to behold

“Men so ill arm'd, upon their bows so bold.” Upon their bows must here mean on the strength of their bows, relying on their bows.” Again, in Have With You to Saffron Walden, &c. by Nashe, 1596: “At Wolfe's he is billeted, sweating and dealing upon it most intentively." Again, in Othello :

Upon malicious bravery dost thou come

“ To start my quiet.” Again, in King Richard III. : are they that I would have thee deal upon."

STEEVENS. Steevens's explanation of this passage is just, and agreeable to the character here given of Augustus. Shakspeare represents him, in the next Act, as giving his orders to Agrippa, and remaining unengaged himself:

“ Go forth, Agrippa, and begin the fight” Again :

“Go, charge, Agrippa." M. MASON. In the Life of Antony, Shakspeare found the following passage:

- they were always more fortunate when they made warre by their lieutenants, than by themselves ; "—which fully explains that before us.

The subsequent words also—“and no practice had," &c. show that Mr. Steevens has rightly interpreted this passage. The phrase to deal on is likewise found in Pierce Pennylesse his Supplication to the Devil, by T. Nashe, 1592 : “When dice, lust

, and drunkenness, all have dealt upon him, if there be never a plaie for him to go to for his penie, he sits melancholie in his chamber.”

MALONE. 2 He is UNQUALITIED-] I suppose she means, he is unsola dier'd. Quality, in Shakspeare's age, was often used for profession. It has, I think, that meaning in the passage in Othello, in which Desdemona expresses her desire to accompany the Moor in his military service:

- My heart's subdued
“ Even to the very quality of my lord." MALONE,

Cleo. Well then, -Sustain me:-0!
Eros. Most noble sir, arise ; the queen ap-

proaches; 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. 0, whither hast thou led me, Egypt ? See,
How I convey my shame * out of thine eyes
By looking back on what I have left behind
'Stroy'd in dishonour.
Cleo.

O my lord, my lord!
Forgive my fearful sails ! I little thought,
You would have follow'd.
Ant.

Egypt, thou knew'st too well, My heart was to thy rudder tied by the strings 5, And thou should'st tow me after : O'er my spirit

Perhaps, unqualitied, only signifies unmanned in general, “ disarmed of his usual faculties," without any particular reference to soldiership. STEVENS. 3 — death will seize her ; BUT

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

I rather incline to think that but has here its ordinary signification. If it had been used for unless, Shakspeare would, I conceive, have written, according to his usual practices, make.

Malone. See Mr. Horne Tooke's explanation of but in his Diversions of Purley. Boswell.

4 How I convey my shame - How, by looking another way, I withdraw my ignominy from your sight. Johnson. 5 — tied by the strings.] That is, by the heart-strings.

Johnson. So, in The Tragedie of Antonie, done into English by the Countess of Pembroke, 1595 :

as if his soule
“ Unto his ladies soule had been enchained,

“ He left his men,” &c. Steevens.
-should'st row -] The old copy has-should'st stow me.

b

« ForrigeFortsett »