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OCT. Do not say so, my lord.
I have eyes upon him,
My lord, in Athens.3
CES. No, my most wronged sister; Cleopatra Hath nodded him to her. He hath given his em pire
Up to a whore; who now are levying
Of Paphlagonia; the Thracian king, Adallas:
there is no such substantive as obstruct: besides, we say, an obstruction to a thing, but not between one thing and another.
As Mr. Malone, however, is contented with Dr. Warburton's reading, I have left it in our text. STEEVENS.
My lord, in Athens.] Some words, necessary to the metre, being here omitted, Sir Thomas Hanmer reads:
My lord, he is in Athens.
But I rather conceive the omission to have been in the former
My lord, in Athens.
STEEVENS. who now are levying-] That is, which two persons now are levying, &c. MALONE.
The kings o'the earth for war:] Mr. Upton remarks, that there are some errors in this enumeration of the auxiliary kings: but it is probable that the author did not much wish to be accurate. JOHNson.
Mr. Upton proposes to read:
Polemon and Amintas
Of Lycaonia; and the king of Mede." And this obviates all impropriety. STEEVENS.
The kings of Mede, and Lycaonia, with a
Ост. Ah me, most wretched, That have my heart parted betwixt two friends, That do afflict each other!
CES. Welcome hither: Your letters did withhold our breaking forth; Till we perceiv'd, both how you were wrong led, And we in negligent danger. Cheer your heart: Be you not troubled with the time, which drives O'er your content these strong necessities; But let determin'd things to destiny
Hold unbewail'd their way. Welcome to Rome:
MEC. Welcome, dear madam.
"them ministers-] Old copy-his ministers. Corrected by Mr. Capell. MALONE.
" — Best of comfort;] Thus the original copy. The connecting particle, and, seems to favour the old reading. According to the modern innovation, Be of comfort, (which was introduced by Mr. Rowe,) it stands very aukwardly," Best of comfort" may mean-Thou best of comforters! a phrase which we meet with again in The Tempest:
"A solemn air, and the best comforter
Cæsar, however, may mean, that what he had just mentioned is the best kind of comfort that Octavia can receive. MALONE.
This elliptical phrase, I believe, only signifies-May the best of comfort be yours! STEEVENS.
In his abominations, turns you off;
Is it so, sir?
CES. Most certain. Sister, welcome: Pray you, Be ever known to patience: My dearest sister!
potent regiment-] Regiment, is government, authority; he puts his power and his empire into the hands of a false
It may be observed, that trull was not, in our author's time, a term of mere infamy, but a word of slight contempt, as wench is now. JOHNSON.
Trull is used in The First Part of King Henry VI. as synonymous to harlot, and is rendered by the Latin word Scortum, in Cole's Dictionary, 1679. There can therefore be no doubt of the sense in which it is used here. MALone.
Regiment is used for regimen or government by most of our ancient writers. The old translation of The Schola Salernitana, is called The Regiment of Helth.
Again, in Lyly's Woman in the Moon, 1597: "Or Hecate in Pluto's regiment."
Again, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II. c. x:
Trull is not employed in an unfavourable sense by George Peele, in the Song of Coridon and Melampus, published in England's Helicon, 1600:
"When swaines sweete pipes are puft, and trulls are warme."
Again, in Damatas's Jigge in Praise of his Love, by John Wootton; printed in the same collection:
be thy mirth seene;
"Heard to each swaine, seene to each trull."
Again, in the eleventh Book of Virgil, Twyne's translation of the virgins attendant on Camilla, is
Mecanas, however by this appellation, most certainly means no compliment to Cleopatra. STEEVENS.
• That noises it against us.] Milton has adopted this uncommon verb in his Paradise Regained, Book IV. 488:
"though noising loud,
"And threatening nigh;-." STEEVENS.
Antony's Camp, near the Promontory of Actium.
Enter CLEOPATRA and ENOBARBUS.
CLEO. I will be even with thee, doubt it not. ENO. But why, why, why?
CLEO. Thou hast forspoke my being1 in these
And say'st, it is not fit.
Well, is it, is it?
-forspoke my being-] To forspeak, is to contradict, to speak against, as forbid is to order negatively. JOHNSON.
Thus, in The Arraignment of Paris, 1584: thy life forspoke by love."
To forspeak likewise signified to curse. So, in Drayton's Epistle from Elinor Cobham to Duke Humphrey :
"Or to forspeak whole flocks as they did feed." To forspeak, in the last instance, has the same power as to forbid, in Macbeth:
"He shall live a man forbid."
So, to forthink, meant anciently to unthink, and consequently to repent:
"Therefore of it be not to boolde,
"Lest thou forthink it when thou art too olde." Interlude of Youth, bl. 1. no date. And in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, B. I. to forshape is to mis-shape: "Out of a man into a stone "Forshape," &c.
To forspeak has generally reference to the mischiefs effected by enchantment. So, in Ben Jonson's Staple of News: "-a witch, gossip, to forspeak the matter thus." In Shakspeare it is the opposite of bespeak. STEEVENS.
CLEO. Is't not? Denounce against us," why should
Be there in person ?
ENO. [Aside.] Well, I could reply
If we should serve with horse and mares together, The horse were merely lost; the mares would bear A soldier, and his horse.
* Is't not? Denounce against us, &c.] The old copy reads: If not, denounc'd against us, &c.
Corrected by Mr. Rowe. STEEvens.
I would read:
Is't not? Denounce against us, why should not we
Cleopatra means to say, "Is not the war denounced against us? Why should we not then attend in person?" She says, a little lower,
66 A charge we bear i' the war,
"And, as the president of my kingdom, will
Appear there for a man."
She speaks of herself in the plural number, according to the usual style of sovereigns. M. MASON.
Mr. Malone reads with the old copy, introducing only the change of a single letter denounc't instead of denounc'd. I have followed Mr. Tyrwhitt.
So, in Turberville's translation of Ovid's Epistle from Phyllis to Demophoon :
Mr. Tyrwhitt proposed to read-denounce, but the slight alteration for which I am answerable, is nearer to the original copy. I am not however sure that the old reading is not right. not denounc'd," If there be no particular denunciation against me, why should we not be there in person? There is, however, in the folio, a comma after the word not, and no point of interrogation at the end of the sentence; which favours the emendation now made. MALONE.
"Denounce to me what I have doone
"But loud thee all to well?" STEEVENS.
Surely, no valid inference can be drawn from such uncertain premises as the punctuation of the old copy, which (to use the words of Rosalind and Touchstone in As you like it) is 66 as fortune will, or as the de decree." STEEVENS.