Imágenes de páginas

CES. Good night.

[Exeunt CESAR and OCTAVIA. ANT. Now, sirrah! you do wish yourself in Egypt?

SOOTH. 'Would I had never come from thence, nor you


ANT. If you can, your reason?


I see it in My motion, have it not in my tongue': But yet Hie you again to Egypt.


Say to me,

Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Cæsar's, or mine?
SOOTH. Cæsar's.

Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side:
Thy dæmon, that's thy spirit which keeps thee, is
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,

tors have assigned to Octavia. I see no need of change. He addresses himself to Cæsar, who immediately replies, "Good night." MALONE.

I have followed the second folio, which puts these words (with sufficient propriety) into the mouth of Octavia. STeevens.

Antony has already said "Good night, sir," to Cæsar, in the three first words of his speech. The repetition would be absurd.

The editor of the second folio appears, from this and numberless other instances, to have had a copy of the first folio corrected by the players, or some other well-informed person. RITSON.

6 Would I had never come from thence, nor you

THITHER!] Both the sense and grammar require that we should read hither, instead of thither. To come hither is English, but to come thither is not. The Soothsayer advises Antony to hie back to Egypt, and for the same reason wishes he had never come to Rome; because when they were together, Cæsar's genius had the ascendant over his. M. MASON.

7 I see't in

My MOTION, have it not in my tongue :] i. e. the divinitory agitation. WARBURTON.

Mr. Theobald reads, with some probability, "I see it in my notion." MALONE.

8 Hie you again to Egypt.] Old copy, unmetrically: "Hie you to Egypt again." STEEVENS.

Where Cæsar's is not; but, near him, thy angel Becomes a Fear, as being o'erpower'd; therefore Make space enough between you.


Speak this no more. SOOTH. To none but thee; no more, but when to thee.

If thou dost play with him at any game,

9 Becomes a FEAR,] Mr. Upton reads: "Becomes afear'd

The common reading is more poetical. JOHNSON.

A Fear was a personage in some of the old moralities. Beaumont and Fletcher allude to it in The Maid's Tragedy, where Aspasia is instructing her servants how to describe her situation in needle-work :

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

and then a Fear:

"Do that Fear bravely, wench-—.”

Spenser had likewise personified Fear, in the 12th canto of the third book of his Fairy Queen. In the sacred writings Fear is also a person :

"I will put a Fear in the land of Egypt." Exodus. The whole thought is borrowed from Sir T. North's translation of Plutarch: "With Antonius there was a soothsayer or astronomer of Egypt, that coulde cast a figure, and iudge of men's natiuities, to tell them what should happen to them. He, either to please Cleopatra, or else for that he founde it so by his art, told Antonius plainly, that his fortune (which of it selfe was excellent good, and very great) was altogether blemished, and obscured by Cæsars fortune: and therefore he counselled him vtterly to leaue his company, and to get him as farre from him as he could. For thy Demon said he, (that is to say, the good angell and spirit that keepeth thee) is affraied of his: and being coragious and high when he is alone, becometh fearfull and timerous when he commeth neere vnto the other." STEEVEns.

Our author has a little lower expressed his meaning more plainly :



say again, thy spirit

"Is all afraid to govern thee near him.” We have this sentiment again in Macbeth : near him,



My genius is rebuk'd; as, it is said, "Mark Antony's was by Cæsar's."

The old copy reads- "that thy spirit." The correction, which was made in the second folio, is supported by the foregoing passage in Plutarch, but I doubt whether it is necessary. MALONE. VOL. XII.


Thou art sure to lose; and, of that natural luck,
He beats thee 'gainst the odds; thy lustre thickens1,
When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
But, he away 2, tis noble.

ANT. Get thee gone: Say to Ventidius, I would speak with him :[Exit Soothsayer. He shall to Parthia.-Be it art, or hap, He hath spoken true: The very dice obey him; And, in our sports, my better cunning faints Under his chance: if we draw lots, he speeds: His cocks do win the battle still of mine, When it is all to nought; and his quails ever Beat mine, inhoop'd, at odds*. I will to Egypt:


thy LUSTRE thickens,] So, in Macbeth :
light thickens-." STEEVENS.


2 But, he AWAY,] Old copy-alway. Corrected by Mr. Pope.



[ocr errors]

3 - his quails-] The ancients used to match quails as we match cocks. JOHNSON.

So, in the old translation of Plutarch: "For, it is said, that as often as they two drew cuts for pastime, who should haue any thing, or whether they plaied at dice, Antonius alway lost. Oftentimes when they were disposed to see cockefight, or quailes that were taught to fight one with another, Cæsars cockes or quailes did euer ouercome." STEEVEns.


INHOOP'D, at odds.] Thus the old copy. Inhoop'd is inclosed, confined, that they may fight. The modern editions read: "Beat mine, in whoop'd-at odds- -." JOHNSON.

Shakspeare gives us the practice of his own time; and there is no occasion for in whoop'd at, or any other alteration. John Davies begins one of his Epigrams upon Proverbs:

"He sets cocke on the hoope, in, you would


"For cocking in hoopes is now all the play." FARMer. The attempt at emendation, however, deserves some respect ; as, in As You Like It, Celia says: and after that out of all whooping." STEEvens.


At odds was the phraseology of Shakspeare's time. So, in Mortimeriados, by Michael Drayton, no date:

"She straight begins to bandy him about,

"At thousand odds, before the set goes out." MALONE.

And though I make this marriage for my peace,


I' the east my pleasure lies:-O, come, Ventidius, You must to Parthia; your commission's ready: Follow me, and receive it.



The Same. A Street.


LEP. Trouble yourselves no further: pray you, hasten

Your generals after.


Sir, Mark Antony Will e'en but kiss Octavia, and we'll follow. LEP. Till I shall see you in your soldier's dress, Which will become you both, farewell.


As I conceive the journey, be at Mount 5
Before you, Lepidus.


Your way is shorter, My purposes do draw me much about; You'll win two days upon me.


LEP. Farewell.

[ocr errors]

at Mount] i. e. Mount Misenum. STEEvens. Our author probably wrote-a' the mount.


We shall,

Sir, good success! [Exeunt.


Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.

Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAs, and ALEXAS. CLEO. Give me some musick; musick, moody food 6

Of us that trade in love.

The musick, ho!


CLEO. Let it alone; let us to billiards": Come, Charmian.

CHAR. My arm is sore, best play with Mardian. CLEO. As well a woman with an eunuch play'd,

As with a woman ;-Come, you'll play with me, sir?

MAR. As well as I can, madam.

CLEO. And when good will is show'd, though it come too short,

The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now:Give me mine angle,—We'll to the river: there,

6 musick, MOODY food-] The mood is the mind, or mental disposition. Van Haaren's panegyrick on the English begins, "Grootmoedig Volk [great minded nation]." Perhaps here is a poor jest intended between mood the mind and moods of musick. JOHNSON.

Moody, in this instance, means melancholy. Cotgrave explains moody, by the French words, morne and trifle. STEEVENS. So, in The Comedy of Errors:

"Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth ensue,
But moody and dull melancholy?" MALONE.

7-let us to BILLIARDS:] This is one of the numerous anachronisms that are found in these plays. This game was not known in ancient times. MALONE.

8 And when good will is show'd, though it come too short, The actor may plead pardon.] A similar sentiment has already appeared in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:

"For never any thing can be amiss,

"When simpleness and duty tender it." STEEVENS.

« AnteriorContinuar »