صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

Come, your lord calls.

Enter some of the Guard.

Ant. Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides; 'Tis the last service that I shall command you.

1 Guard. Woe are we,7 sir, you may not live to wear All your true followers out.


Most heavy day!

Ant. Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp fate Το grace it with your sorrows: bid that welcome Which comes to punish us, and we punish it Seeming to bear it lightly. Take me up:

I have led you oft; carry me now, good friends,
And have my thanks for all. [Exeunt, bearing ANT.


The same. A Monument.

Enter above, CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, and IRAS. Cleo. O Charmian, I will never go from hence. Char. Be comforted, dear madam.

No, I will not:

All strange and terrible events are welcome,
But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow,
Proportion'd to our cause, must be as great
Enter DIOMedes.

As that which makes it.-How now? is he dead?
Dio. His death 's upon him, but not dead.s
Look out o' the other side your monument,
His guard have brought him thither.

Enter ANTONY, borne by the Guard.
O thou sun,
Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in!-darkling stand

7 Woe are we,] Old copy-Woe, woe,-. But as the second woe appears (for it spoils the verse) to have been accidentally repeated by the compositor, I have left it out. Steevens.

8 His death's upon him, but not dead.] The defective measure, and want of respect in the speaker, induce me to suppose, that this line originally stood thus:


His death's upon him, madam, but not dead. Steevens. darkling-] i. e. without light. So, in The Two angry Women of Abington, 1599:

[ocr errors]

my mother hath a torch, your wife "Goes darkling up and down." Steevens.

The varying shore o' the world!'-O Antony!
Antony, Antony!-Charmian, help;2 help, Iras;
Help, friends below; let 's draw him hither.
Not Cæsar's valour hath o'erthrown Antony,
But Antony's hath triumph'd on itself.

Cleo. So it should be, that none but Antony
Should conquer Antony; but woe 'tis so!
Ant. I am dying, Egypt, dying;3 only
I here impórtune death a while, until
Of many thousand kisses the poor last
I lay upon thy lips.-

I dare not, dear,
(Dear my lord, pardon,) I dare not,
Lest I be taken:5 not the imperious show

10 thou sun,


Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in!-darkling stand

The varying shore o' the world!] Thou is wanting in the old copy, and was supplied by Mr. Pope, whose reading may be justified on the authority of a similar passage in Timon of Athens: "Thou sun, that comfort'st, burn!" Steevens.

She desires the sun to burn his own orb, the vehicle of light, and then the earth will be dark. Johnson.

The varying shore o' the world! i. e. of the earth, where light and darkness make an incessant variation. Warburton.

According to the philosophy which prevailed from the age of Aristotle to that of Shakspeare, and long since, the sun was a planet, and was whirled round the earth by the motion of a solid sphere in which it was fixed.—If the sun therefore was to set fire to the sphere, so as to consume it, the consequence must be, that itself, for want of support, must drop through, and wander in endless space; and in this case the earth would be involved in endless night. Heath.

2 Charmian, help; &c.] Old copy

"The varring shore o' th' world. O Antony, Antony, Antony, "Helpe Charmian, helpe Iras helpe: helpe friends

"Below, let's draw him hither."

For the sake of somewhat like metre, one word has been omitted and others transposed. Steevens.


Egypt, dying;] Perhaps this line was originally completed by a further repetition of the participle; and stood thus: I am dying, Egypt, dying, dying; only &c.


4 I here impórtune death &c.] I solicit death to delay; or, I trouble death by keeping him in waiting. Johnson.

5 Cleo. I dare not, dear,

(Dear my lord, pardon,) I dare not,

Lest I be taken: Antony is supposed to be at the foot of the

Of the full-fortun'd Cæsars ever shall

Be brooch'd with me; if knife, drugs, serpents, have

monument, and tells Cleopatra that he there importunes death, till he can lay his last kiss upon her lips, which was intimating to her his desire that she should come to him for that purpose. She considers it in that light, and tells him that she dares not. M. Mason.

Antony has just said that he only solicits death to delay his end, till he has given her a farewel kiss. To this she replies that she dares not; and, in our author's licentious diction, she may mean, that she, now above in the monument, does not dare to descend that he may take leave of her. But, from the defect of the metre in the second line, I think it more probable that a word was omitted by the compositor, and that the poet wrote:

I dare not, dear,

(Dear my lord, pardon,) I dare not descend,

Lest I be taken.

Mr. Theobald amends the passage differently, by adding to the end of Antony's speech-Come down. Malone.

Theobald's insertion seems misplaced, and should be made at the end of the next line but one. I would therefore read:

[blocks in formation]

I dare not, dear,

(Dear my lord, pardon,) I dare not come down. Ritson. Of the full-fortun'd Cæsar -] So, in Othello:

“What a full-fortune doth the thick-lips owe?" Malone.

7 Be brooch'd with me;] Be brooch'd, i. e. adorn'd. A brooch was an ornament formerly worn in the hat. So, in Ben Jonson's Poetaster: "Honour 's a good brooch to wear in a man's hat at all times." Again, in his Staple of News:

"The very brooch o' the bench, gem of the city."

Again, in The Magnetick Lady: .

"The brooch to any true state cap in Europe."

The Rev. Mr. Lambe observes, in his notes on the ancient metrical History of Flodden Field, that brooches, in the North, are buckles set with stones, such as those with which shirt-bosoms and handkerchiefs are clasped. Steevens.

Be brooch'd with me;

Brooch is properly a bodkin, or some such instrument, (originally a spit) and ladies' bodkins being headed with gems, it sometimes stands for an ornamental trinket or jewel in general, in which sense it is perhaps used at present; or as probably in its original one, for pinned up, as we now say pin up the basket, brooch'd with me, i. e. pinned up, completed with having me to adorn his triumph. Percy.

A brooch is always an ornament; whether a buckle or pin for the breast, hat or hair, or whatever other shape it may assume. A broach is a spit: the spires of churches are likewise so called in the northern counties, as Darnton broach. Brooch'd, in the

Edge, sting, or operation, I am safe:
Your wife Octavia, with her modest eyes,
And still conclusion," shall acquire no honour
Demuring upon me.—But come, come, Antony,-
Help me, my women, we must draw thee up;—
Assist, good friends.


O, quick, or I am gone. Cleo. Here's sport, indeed!'-How heavy weighs my


Our strength is all gone into heaviness,2

That makes the weight: Had I great Juno's power,
The strong-wing'a Mercury should fetch thee up,
And set thee by Jove's side. Yet come a little,—
Wishers were ever fools;-O, come, come, come;
[They draw ANTONY up.
And welcome, welcome! die, where thou hast liv'd:3

text, certainly means adorn'd, as it has been properly explained by Mr. Steevens. Ritson.

8 if knife, drugs, serpents, have

Edge, sting, or operation,] Here is the same irregular position of the words, that Mr. Warner would avoid or amend in Hamlet; and yet Shakspeare seems to have attended to this matter in the play before us, Act III, sc. ii. Tollet.

This thought occurs in Queen Elizabeth's Entertainment in Suffolke and Norfolke, by Churchyard, no date, 4to. where Beautie says

"If he do dye, by mightie Jove I sweare

"I will not live, if sword or knife be found” &c. Again, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre:


"If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters deep,

"Untied I still my virgin knot will keep." Steevens.

still conclusion.] Sedate determination; silent coolness of resolution. Johnson.

1 Here's sport, indeed !] I suppose the meaning of these strange words is, here's trifling, you do not work in earnest. Johnson. Perhaps, rather, here's a curious game, the last we shall ever play with Antony! Or, perhaps, she is thinking of fishing with a line, a diversion of which we have been already told she was fond. Shakspeare has introduced ludicrous ideas with as much incongruity in other places. Malone.

Cleopatra, perhaps, by this affected levity, this phrase which has no determined signification, only wishes to inspire Antony with cheerfulness, and encourage those who are engaged in the melancholy task of drawing him up into the monument. Steevens. 2 into heaviness,] Heaviness is here used equivocally for sorrow and weight. Malone.

Quicken with kissing;4 had my lips that power,
Thus would I wear them out.


A heavy sight!
Ant. I am dying, Egypt, dying:

Give me some wine,5 and let me speak a little.
Cleo. No, let me speak; and let me rail so high,
That the false housewife Fortune break her wheel,
Provok'd by my offence.


One word, sweet queen:

Of Cæsar seek your honour, with your safety.-O!
Cleo. They do not go together.


Gentle, hear me:

None about Cæsar trust, but Proculeius.

Cleo. My resolution, and my hands, I'll trust; None about Cæsar.

Ant. The miserable change" now at my end, Lament nor sorrow at: but please your thoughts, In feeding them with those my former fortunes


·where thou hast liv'd:] Old copy—when thou, &c. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.


Quicken with kissing;] That is, Revive by my kiss. Johnson. So, in Heywood's Royal King, 1637 :

“And quickens most where he would most destroy."


5 Give me some wine, &c.] This circumstance, like almost every other, Shakspeare adopted from Plutarch. Sir Thomas North, in his translation, says-" Antony made her cease from lamenting, and called for wine, either because he was athirst, or else for that thereby to hasten his death. When he had dronke he, earnestly prayed her, and persuaded that she would seeke to save her life, if she could possible, without reproache and dishonour: and that she should chiefly trust Proculeius above any man else about Cæsar." Steevens.


housewife Fortune-] This despicable line has occurred before. Johnson.

See As you Like it, Vol. V, p. 16, n. 8: "Let us sit, and mock the good housewife Fortune from her wheel," &c. Malone.

7 The miserable change &c.] This speech stands thus in Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch: "As for himself, she should not lament nor sorrow for the miserable change of his fortune at the end of his days; but rather, that she should think him the more fortunate, for the former triumphs and honours he had received, considering that while he lived, he was the noblest and greatest prince of the world, and that now he was overcome, not cowardly, but valiantly, a Roman, by another Roman." Steevens.

« السابقةمتابعة »