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I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors.
Fie, wrangling queen!
[Exeunt Ant. and Cleop. with their Train. Dem. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz'd so slight?
Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
sorry, That he approves the common liar, who Thus speaks of him at Rome; but I will hope Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy. [Exeunt.
The Same. Another Room.
Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer. Char. Lord Alexas, most sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas', almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer
- WHOSE every passion FULLY strives] The folio, 1623, has who for “whose,” the change having been made in the folio, 1632, and not left until Rowe's time, as Malone asserts : Steevens, who was so warm an advocate for the accuracy of the second folio, never detected Malone's mistake. For "fully strives” the corr. fo. 1632 has " filly strives,” without such decided improvement as to render the change imperative. “Fully strives ” may be understood as entirely, and successfully strives.
6 Lord Alexas, most sweet Alexas, most anything Alexas,] The word “most,” before “sweet " is from the corr. fo. 1632: by what follows it is clearly required, and we may be sure that it had, in some way, escaped in the press.
that you praised so to the queen? Oh! that I knew this husband, which, you say, must charge his horns with garlands?!
Alex. Soothsayer !
Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secresy
Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough, Cleopatra's health to drink.
Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.
be married to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all : let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion me with my mistress.
Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.
Sooth. You have seen, and proved, a fairer former fortune, Than that which is to approach.
Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no names. Pr’ythee, how many boys and wenches must I have ?
7 – must charge his horns with garlands!) The folio, 1623, reads “change bis horns,” &c., and the other editions in the same form repeat what Southern considered a misprint, having altered change to “charge” in his copy of the folio, 1685. We agree with Southern ; and in more than one place in the first folio, we have had a charge" misprinted change, and change " charge." Warburton also introduced "charge," and Malone followed his example.
Sooth. If every of your wishes had a womb, , And fruitful every wish ®, a million.
Char. Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.
Alex. You think, none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.
Char. Nay, come; tell Iras her's.
Eno. Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall be, drunk to bed.
Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.
Char. Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear.-Pr’ythee, tell her but a worky-day fortune.
Sooth. Your fortunes are alike.
Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than
husband's Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,come, his fortune', his fortune.—Oh! let him marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee: and let her die too, and give him a worse; and let worse follow worse, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold. Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight, good Isis, I beseech thee!
Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people ; for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a handsome man loose
8 And FRUITFUL every wish,] So the corr. fo. 1632, instead of foretell of the old copies. Warburton's emendation was fertile ; but we speak of a fruitful womb, rather than of a fertile one. Besides, just below Charmian repeats the very word, and in nearly the same connexion, when she speaks of the “fruitful prognostication" of "an oily palm.” The following lines from “Othello," A. iii. sc. 4, are in point:-
“ Oth. Give me your hand. This hand is moist, my lady.
Des. It yet has felt no age, nor known no sorrow.
Oth. This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart." In “Timon of Athens,” Vol. v. p. 267. fertile is most properly applied to the "earth's womb," but here the case is entirely different.
ALEXAS, --come, his fortune,] The printer of the folio, 1623, mistaking “Alexas” for a prefix, gave what followed as if spoken by him. The blunder was preserved in the later folios, as well as by Rowe; but it is corrected in MS. by the old annotator on our folio, 1632.
wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded : therefore, dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!
Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but they'd do't.
Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.
Not he; the queen.
Cleo. He was dispos’d to mirth; but on the sudden,
Enter ANTONY, with a Messenger and Attendants.
[Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, ALEXAS, IRAS,
CHARMIAN, Soothsayer, and Attendants.
Well, what worst?
Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward.—On:
Saw you my lord ?] “ Save you my lord " in the folio, 1623; but corrected by the editor of the second folio.
2 EXTENDED Asia from Euphrates;] TO “extend was anciently to seize ; and it is still used in this sense in law proceedings.
His conquering banner shook from Syria
Ant. Antony, thou wouldst say, —
Ant. Speak to me home, mince not the general tongue;
power to utter. Oh! then we bring forth weeds,
[Exit. Ant. From Sicyon, how the news"? Speak there. 1 Att. The man from Sicyon.--Is there such a one? 2 Att. He stays upon your will. Ant.
Let him appear. These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
Enter another Messenger. Or lose myself in dotage.—What are you?
2 Mess. Fulvia thy wife is dead.
Where died she?
[Giving a letter. Ant.
[Excit Messenger. There's a great spirit gone. Thus did I desire it: What our contempts do often hurl from us, We wish it our's again; the present pleasure,
3 When our quick winds lie still;) So printed in all the old copies, and Warburton altered “winds" to minds with more plausibility than necessity. Perhaps " winds ” ought to be spelt wints, which in Kent and Sussex is an agricultural term (in other parts of the country called a bout), meaning, “two furrows ploughed by the horses going to one end of the field and back again.” See Cooper's “Glossary of Provincialisms in use in the County of Sussex," 8vo, 1836; also Holloway's "General Provincial Dictionary," 8vo, 1838. “Our quick winds," therefore, is to be understood as our productive soil. “ Earing” in the next line is ploughiny; a sense in which we have had it often used (see Vol. ii. p. 543 ; Vol. iii. p. 269 ; Vol. iv. p. 716), and in which it occurs again in this drama, p. 148. The use of earing” shows that Antony had agriculture in his thoughts, with reference to “ winds" or wints.
* From Sicyon, how the news?] The corr. fo. 1632 has now for “how :" either may be right, and we are not warranted in deviating from the old editions. It is very possible that the true text is, “ From Sicyon, ho ! the news ?"