« AnteriorContinuar »
Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both!
the libertine in a field of feasts,
Again, in The Skynner's Play, among the Chester collection of Mysteries, MS. Harl. 1013. p. 152;
“ O blessed be thou ever and aye ;
“ Now wayned is all my woo. Yet this expression of Pompey's perhaps, after all, implies a wish only, that every charm of love may confer additional softness on the lips of Cleopatra : i. e. that her beauty may improve to the ruin of her lover : or, as Mr. Ritson expresses the same idea, that “ her lip, which was become pale and dry with age, may recover the colour and fofiness of her fallad days.”—The epithet wan might indeed have been added, only to fhow the speaker's private contempt of it. It may be remarked, that the lips of Africans and Asiatics are paler than those of European nations.
SteeVENS. Shakspeare's orthography (or that of bis ignorant publishers often adds a d at the end of a word. Thus, vile is (in the old editions) every where spelt vild. Laund is given instead of lawn: why not therefore wan'd for wan here?
If this however should not be accepted, suppose we read with the addition only of an apoft rophe, wan'd; i. e. waned, declined, gone off from its perfection; comparing Cleopatra's beauty to the moon past the full. Percy. + That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honour, Even till a Leihe'd dulness.] I suspect our author wrote:
That sleep and feeding may prorogue his hour, &c. So, in Timon of Athens :
let not that part of nature, " Which my
lord pay'd for, be of any power “ To expel fickness, but prolong his hour." The words honour and hour have been more than once confounded in these plays. What Pompey seems to wish is, that Antony should still remain with Cleopatra, totally forgetful of every other object.
To prorogue his honour,” does not convey to me at least, any precise notion. If however, there be no corruption, I suppole Pompey means to wish, that deep and feasting may prorogue to fo diftant a day all thoughts of fame and military achievement, that they may totally nide from Antony's mind. MALONE.
I could have given less matter
I cannot hope,
To prorogue his honour &c. undoubtedly means, to delay his sense of honour from exerting itself till he is become habitually fluggih.
STEEVENS. - fince he went from Ægypt, 'tis A space for further travel.) i. e. fince he quitted Agypt, a fpace of time has elapsed in which a longer journey might have been performed than from Ægypt to Rome. STEEVENS.
s I could have given &c.] I cannot help supposing, on account of
I could have given
- would have don'd his helm -] To don is to do on, to put on. So, in Webster's Dutchefs of Malfy, 1623 :
“ Call upon our dame aloud,
- Egypt's widow –) Julius Cæsar had married her to young Ptolemy, who was afterwards drowned. STEEVENS.
8 I cannot hope, &c.] Mr. Tyrwhitt, the judicious editor of the Canterbury Tales of Chaucer in five vols. 8vo. 1775, &c, observes that to hope on this occafion means to expect. So, in The Rece's Tale, v. 4027:
“ Our manciple I hope he wol be ded." STEEVENs."
His brother warr’d upon him ;' although, I think,
I know not, Menas,
9 warr'd upon him ;] The old copy has wan'd. The emendation, which was made by the editor of the second folio, is supported by a passage in the next scene, in which Cæfar says to Antony :
your wife and brother
-Square -] That is, quarrel. So, in The Shoemaker's Holiday, or the gentle Craft, 1600 : “ What? Square they, master Scott ?
Sir, no doubt: • Lovers are quickly in, and quickly out.” Steevens, See Vol. V. p. 32, n. 5. MALONE. 3
It only stands Our lives upon, &c.] i. e. to exert our utmost force, is the only consequential way of securing our lives. So, in King Richard III :
for it stands me much upon “ To stop all hopes” &c. i. e. is of the utmoft consequence to me. See Vol. X. p. 616, n. 2.
STEEVENS. * This play is not divided into acts by the author or first editors, and therefore the present division may be altered at pleasure. I think the first act may be commodiously continued to this place, and the second act opened with the interview of the chief persons, and a change of the state of action. Yet it must be confessed, that it is of small importance, where these unconnected and defultory scenes are interrupted. JOHNSON,
Rome. A Room in the House of Lepidus.
Enter ENOBARBUS and LePIDUS.
Lep. Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
I shall entreat him
'Tis not a time
Lep. But small to greater matters must give way.
Your speech is passion:
* Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,
I would not shav't to-day.] I believe he means, I would meet him undrefjed, without show of respect. JOHNSON.
Plutarch mentions that Antony “ after the overthrow he had at Modena, suffered his beard to grow at length, and never clipt it, that it was marvelous long." Perhaps this circumstance was in Shakspeare's thoughts. MALONE.
Enter ANTONY and VENTIDIUS.
And yonder, Cæsar.
Enter CÆSAR, MecÆNAS, and AGRIPPA.
I do not know,
'Tis spoken well:
CÆs. Welcome to Rome.
s If we compofe well here,] i. e. if we come to a lucky compofition, agreement. So afterwards,
“ I crave our composition may be written”-. i. e. the terms on which our differences are settled. STEVENS.
• Nor curstness grow to the matter. ] Let not ill-humour be added to the real subject of our difference. JOHNSON. 7 Cæs. Sit,
Ant. Sit, fir!!] Antony appears to be jealous of a circumstance