Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

To make this good ?
Cæs.

The power of Cæsar, and
His power unto Octavia.
Ant.

May I never
To this good purpose, that so fairly shows,
Dream of impediment !-Let me have thy hand :
Further this act of grace, and from this hour
The heart of brothers govern in our loves,
And sway our great designs !
Cas.

There is

my

hand.

[ANTONY takes it. A sister I bequeath you, whom no brother Did ever love so dearly: let her live To join our kingdoms, and our hearts; and never Fly off our loves again! Lep.

Happily, amen.
Ant. I did not think to draw my sword 'gainst Pompey;
For he hath laid strange courtesies, and great,
Of late upon me: I must thank him, only
Lest my remembrance suffer ill report;
At heel of that, defy him.
Lep.

Time calls upon us :
Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
Or else he seeks out us.
Ant.

Where lies he ?
Cees. About the Mount Misenum.
Ant.

What's his strength
By land ?

Cæs. Great, and increasing; but by sea
He is an absolute master.
Ant.

So is the fame.
Would we had spoke together! Haste we for it;
Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, dispatch we
The business we have talk'd of.
Cæs.

With most gladness;
And do invite you to my sister's view,
Whither straight I'll lead you.
Ant.

Let us, Lepidus,
Not lack your company.
Lep.

Noble Antony,
Not sickness should detain me.

[Flourish. Exeunt CESAR, ANTONY, and LEPIDUS. Mec. Welcome from Egypt, sir.

Eno. Half the heart of Cæsar, worthy Mecænas !—my honourable friend, Agrippa !

Agr. Good Enobarbus !

Mec. We have cause to be glad, that matters are so well digested. You stay'd well by it in Egypt.

Eno. Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance, and made the night light with drinking,

Mec. Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and but twelve persons there; is this true ?

Eno. This was but as a fly by an eagle: we had much more monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting

Mec. She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to her.

Eno. When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.

Agr. There she appeared indeed, or my reporter devised well for her. Eno. I will tell you.

I
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Burnd on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
The winds were love-sick with them : the oars were silver ;
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water which they beat to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes.

For her own person,
It beggar'd all description : she did lie
In her pavilion, (cloth of gold, and tissue ')
O'er-picturing that Venus, where we see,
The fancy out-work nature: on each side her,
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
With diverse-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks' which they did cool,
And what they undid, did.
Agr.

Oh, rare for Antony !
Eno. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes,

- (cloth of gold, and tissue)] “ Cloth of gold of tissue," as it stands in the old copies, is nonsense : it could not be "cloth of gold” if it were of tissue.” What was meant must have been that the "cloth of gold" of the pavilion was lined with “ tissue." The contraction for “and” was not unfrequently read of by old printers, and such, according to the corr. fo. 1632, seems to have been the case here.

1 To Glow the delicate cheeks] All the folios read, “ To glove,&c., but ylove is “glow" in the corr. fo. 1632, and such has been the usual text.

VOL. VI.

1

[ocr errors]

M

And made their bends adornings?: at the helm
A seeming mermaid steers; the silken tackle
Smell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
That yarely frame the office . From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthron'd i' the market-place, did sit alone,
Whistling to the air ; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
And made a gap in nature.
Agr.

Rare Egyptian!
Eno. Upon her landing Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper: she replied,
It should be better he became her guest,
Which she entreated. Our courteous Antony,
Whom ne'er the word of “No” woman heard speak,
Being barber'd ten times o'er, goes to the feast;
And for his ordinary pays his heart
For what his eyes eat only.
Agr.

Royal wench!
She made great Cæsar lay his sword to bed ;
He plough' her, and she cropp'd.
Eno.

I saw her once
Hop forty paces through the public street;
And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,

2

we

tended her l' THE EYES, And made their bends ADORNINGS :) Few passages in Shakespeare have excited more controversy than this, the effort of the commentators apparently having been, to render what was plain obscure, and to adopt almost any sense but that presented by the words of the poet : "tended her i’ the eyes " can mean nothing else but tended in her sight : in " Midsummer-Night's Dream have the expression “gambol in his eyes,” for “gambol in his sight:" " made their bends adornings” is probably to be understood, that they bowed with so much grace as to add to their beauty. Warburton would read adorings for “adornings”. with some plausibility ; but other conjectural emendations only display misapplied ingenuity. There is no change in the corr. fo. 1632.

the silken tackle Smell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,

That yarely frame the office.] “Smell” is swell in the old copies; but how was “the silken tackle" to swell ? The “ flower-soft hands” imparted a perfume to “the silken tackle," and we are told just afterwards that the “smell" reached even “the adjacent wharfs." “ Smell " is the emendation of the corr. fo. 1632. “Yarely” means dexterously: it has occurred as an adverb in “ The Tempest," A. i. sc. 1, and as an adjective we meet with it three times in this play, as well as in others : see " Twelfth Night,” A. iii. sc. 4, Vol. ii. p. 699, &c.

That she did make defect, perfection,
And, breathless, power breathe forth.

Mec. Now Antony must leave her utterly.

Eno. Never; he will not.
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety : other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry,
Where most she satisfies : for vilest things
Become themselves in her, that the holy priests
Bless her when she is riggish.

Mec. If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
The heart of Antony, Octavia is
A blessed lottery to him.

Agr.
Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest,
Whilst you abide here.
Eno.

Humbly, sir, I thank you. [Exeunt.

Let us go.

SCENE III.

The Same. A Room in CÆSAR's House.

Enter CÆSAR, ANTONY, OCTAVIA between them; Attendants.

Ant. The world, and my great office, will sometimes
Divide me from your bosom.
Octa.

All which time,
Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers
To them for you.
Ant.

Good night, sir.—My Octavia,
Read not my blemishes in the world's report:
I have not kept my square', but that to come
Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady.

Octa. Good night, siro.
Cæs. Good night.

[Exeunt CÆSAR and OCTAVIA.

shall bow my prayers] “ Bow with prayers” in the corr. fo. 1632; but if any change were desirable, it would rather be, “my prayers shall bow my knee."

-5 I have not kept my SQUARE,] The last part of the sentence explains the first, if explanation be needed. Respecting “square," or squire, see Vol. ii. p. 166 ; Vol. iii. pp. 81. 346.

. Good night, sir.] In the folio, 1632, these words are assigned to Octavia, while in the earlier edition they are made a continuation of the speech of Antony. The change is desirable : Octavia thus takes leave of Antony.

reason

Enter a Soothsayer'.
Ant. Now, sirrah : you do wish yourself in Egypt ?

Sooth. Would I had never come from thence, nor you thither! Ant. If you can, your

? Sooth. I see it in my motion', have it not in my tongue: but yet hie you to Egypt again.

Ant. Say to me, whose fortunes shall rise higher, Cæsar's, or mine?

Sooth. Cæsar's.
Therefore, oh Antony! stay not by his side:
Thy dæmon, that's thy spirit which keeps thee, is
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable,
Where Cæsar's is not; but near him thy angel
Becomes afeard', as being o'erpower'd: therefore,
Make space enough between you.
Ant.

Speak this no more.
Sooth. To none but thee; no more, but when to thee.
If thou dost play with him at any game,
Thou art sure to lose; and, of that natural luck,
He beats thee 'gainst the odds: thy lustre thickens
When he shines by. I say again, thy spirit
Is all afraid to govern thee near him,
But, he away, 'tis noble 0.

Ant.
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

Get thee gone :

? Enter a Soothsayer.] Every early impression makes the Soothsayer enter here : every modern edition introduces him, without any propriety, with Cæsar, Antony, and Octavia, at the opening of the scene.

& I see it in my motion,] Theobald altered “motion " to notion, doubtfully.

9 Becomes AFEARD,] In the old copies it is “thy angel becomes a fear," and we should not be disposed to disturb the text, if the emendation in the corr. fo. 1632 had not precisely agreed with that of Upton, approved by Johnson. The scene is taken from North's “ Plutarch:” “ For thy Demon, said he (that is to say, the good angell and spirit that kepeth thee), is affraied of his : and being coragious and bigh when he is alone, becometh fearfull and timerous when he com meth neare unto the other." Life of Antonius, p. 985, edit. 1579.

10 But, he awAY, 'tis noble.] Pope's emendation of “But he alway, 'tis noble” of the folio, 1623. Rowe printed from the folio, 1632, “But he alway is noble."

1

« ZurückWeiter »