« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
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! Here is my space; Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life Is, to do thus; when such a mutual pair,
And such a twain can do't, in which, I bind
Excellent falshood! Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?—
and the wide arch
Of the rang'd empire fall!] Taken from the Roman custom of raising triumphal arches to perpetuate their victories. Extremely noble. WARBURTON.
I am in doubt whether Shakspeare had any idea but of a fabrick standing on pillars. The later editions have all printed the raised empire, for the ranged empire, as it was first given. JOHNSON.
The rang'd empire is certainly right. Shakspeare uses the same expression in Coriolanus:
"bury all which yet distinctly ranges,
Again, in Much Ado about Nothing, Act ii. sc. ii: "Whatsoever comes athwart his affection, ranges evenly with mine."
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.
to weet,] To know. POPE.
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.5— Now, for the love of Love, and her soft hours, Let's not confound the time with conference harsh: There's not a minute of our lives should stretch Without some pleasure now: What sport to-night? CLEO. Hear the ambassadors.
ANT. Fye, wrangling queen! Whom every thing becomes," to chide, to laugh,
Antony Will be himself.
Ant. But stirr'd 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 degree by her. M. MASON.
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.
"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,
Whom every thing becomes,]
Quicquid enim dicit, seu facit, omne decet."
To weep; whose every passion fully strives'
Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh,
whose every passion fully strives-] The folio readswho. It was corrected by Mr. Rowe; but "whose every passion" was not, I suspect, the phraseology of Shakspeare's time. The text however is undoubtedly corrupt. MALONE.
Whose every, is an undoubted phrase of our author. So, in The Tempest:
66 A space, whose every cubit
"Seems to cry out," &c.
See Vol. IV. p. 74. 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.
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.
To-night, we'll wander through the streets, &c.] So, in Sir Thomas North's translation of The Life of Antonius "Sometime also when he would goe up and downe the citie disguised like a slave in the night, and would peere into poore mens' windowes and their shops, and scold and brawl with them within the house; Cleopatra would be also in a chamber maides array, and amble up and down the streets with him," &c.
The qualities of people. Come, my queen;
I'm full sorry,
The same. Another Room.
Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.5
CHAR. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's the
That he approves the common liar,] Fame. That he proves the common liar, fame, in his case to be a true reporter.
So, in Hamlet:
"He may approve our eyes, and speak to it."
Enter Charmian, Iras, Alexas, and a Soothsayer.] The old copy reads: "Enter Enobarbus, Lamprius, a Soothsayer, Rannius, Lucilius, Charmian, Iras, Mardian the Eunuch, and Alexas."
Plutarch mentions his grandfather Lamprias, as his author for some of the stories he relates of the profuseness and luxury of Antony's entertainments at Alexandria. Shakspeare appears to have been very anxious in this play to introduce every inci
soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? O, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must change his horns with garlands!"
dent and every personage he met with in his historian. In the multitude of his characters, however, Lamprias is entirely overlooked, together with the others whose names we find in this stage-direction.
It is not impossible, indeed, that Lamprius, Rannius, Lucilius, &c. might have been speakers in this scene as it was first written down by Shakspeare, who afterwards thought proper to omit their speeches, though at the same time he forgot to erase their names as originally announced at their collective entrance. STEEVENS.
change his horns with garlands!] This is corrupt; the true reading evidently is:-must charge his horns with garlands, i. e. make him a rich and honourable cuckold, having his horns hung about with garlands. WARBURTON.
Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, not improbably, change for horns his garlands. I am in doubt whether to change is not merely to dress, or to dress with changes of garlands. JOHNSON.
So, Taylor, the water-poet, describing the habit of a coachman: “—with a cloak of some pyed colour, with two or three change of laces about." Change of clothes, in the time of Shakspeare, signified variety of them. Coriolanus says that he has received "change of honours" from the Patricians. Act II. sc. i.
That to change with, "applied to two things, one of which is to be put in the place of the other," is the language of Shakspeare, Mr. Malone might have learned from the following passage in Cymbeline, Act I. sc. vi. i. e. the Queen's speech to
-to shift his being,
"Is to exchange one misery with another." Again, in the 4th Book of Milton's Paradise Lost, v. 892: 66 where thou might'st hope to change
"Torment with ease." STEEVENS.
I once thought that these two words might have been often confounded, by their being both abbreviated, and written chuge. But an n, as the Bishop of Dromore observes to me, was sometimes omitted both in MS. and print, and the omission thus marked, but an r never. This therefore might account for a compositor inadvertently printing charge instead of change, but