« ПредишнаНапред »
IRAS. Go to him, madam, speak to him; He is unqualitied with very shame.
CLEO. Well then,-Sustain me :-O!
EROS. Most noble sir, arise; the queen ap. proaches;
Her head's declin'd, and death will seize her; but Your comfort3 makes the rescue.
ANT. I have offended reputation; A most unnoble swerving.
Sir, the queen.
ANT. O, whither hast thou led me, Egypt? See, How I convey my shame out of thine eyes By looking back on what I have left behind 'Stroy'd in dishonour.
O my lord, my lord! Forgive my fearful sails! I little thought, You would have follow'd.
He is unqualitied-] I suppose she means, he is unsoldier'd. Quality, in Shakspeare's age, was often used for profession. It has, I think, that meaning in the passage in Othello, in which Desdemona expresses her desire to accompany the Moor in his military service:
"My heart's subdued
"Even to the very quality of my lord." MALONE.
Perhaps, unqualitied, only signifies unmanned in general, disarmed of his usual faculties, without any particular reference to soldiership. STEEVENS.
-death will seize her; but
Your comfort &c.] But has here, as once before in this play, the force of except, or unless. JOHNSON.
I rather incline to think that but has here its ordinary signification. If it had been used for unless, Shakspeare would, I conceive, have written, according to his usual practices, make.
How I convey my shame-] How, by looking another way, I withdraw my ignominy from your sight. JOHNSON.
Egypt, thou knew'st too well,
O, my pardon.
Now I must
O pardon, pardon.
ANT. Fall not a tear, I say; one of them rates
-tied by the strings,] That is, by the heart-string.
So, in The Tragedie of Antonie, done into English by the Countess of Pembroke, 1595:
66 -as if his soule
"Unto his ladies soule had been enchained,
—should'st tow-] The old copy has-should'st stow This is one of the many corruptions occasioned by the transcriber's ear deceiving him. The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.
Thy full supremacy-] Old copy-The full-. Corrected by Mr. Theobald.
one of them rates
All that is won and lost:] So, in Macbeth :
Some wine, within' there, and our viands:-Fortune knows,
We scorn her most, when most she offers blows.
CESAR'S Camp, in Egypt.
Enter CESAR, DOLABELLA, THYREUS,' and
CES. Let him appear that's come from Antony.— Know you him?
Cæsar, 'tis his schoolmaster:2 An argument that he is pluck'd, when hither He sends so poor a pinion of his wing, Which had superfluous kings for messengers, Not many moons gone by.
Approach, and speak. EUP. Such as I am, I come from Antony: I was of late as petty to his ends, As is the morn-dew on the myrtle leaf
-within-] This word might be fairly ejected, as it has no other force than to derange the metre. STEEVENS. -Thyreus,] In the old copy always-Thidias.
his schoolmaster:] The name of this person was Euphronius. STEEVENS.
He was schoolmaster to Antony's children by Cleopatra.
To his grand sea.3
Be it so; Declare thine office. EUP. Lord of his fortunes he salutes thee, and Requires to live in Egypt: which not granted, He lessens his requests; and to thee sues To let him breathe between the heavens and earth, A private man in Athens: This for him. Next, Cleopatra does confess thy greatness; Submits her to thy might; and of thee craves
—as petty to his ends,
As is the morn-dew on the myrtle leaf
To his grand sea.] Thus the old copy. To whose grand sea? I know not. Perhaps we should read:
To this grand sea.
We may suppose that the sea was within view of Cæsar's camp, and at no great distance. TYRWHITT.
The modern editors arbitrarily read:-the grand sea. I believe the old reading is the true one. His grand sea may mean his full tide of prosperity. So, in King Henry VI. P. I: "You are the fount that makes small brooks to flow; "Now stops thy spring; my sea shall suck them dry, "And swell so much the higher by their ebb." Again, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Fletcher:
though I know
"His ocean needs not my poor drops, yet they
There is a playhouse tradition that the first Act of this play was written by Shakspeare. Mr. Tollet offers a further expla nation of the change proposed by Mr. Tyrwhitt: "Alexandria, towards which Cæsar was marching, is situated on the coast of the Mediterranean sea, which is sometimes called mare magnum. Pliny terms it," immensa æquorum vastitas." I may add, that Sir John Mandeville, p. 89, calls that part of the Mediterranean which washes the coast of Palestine," the grete see."
Again, in A. Wyntown's Cronykil, B. IX. ch. xii. v. 40: the Mediterane,
"The gret se clerkis callis it swa."
The passage, however, is capable of yet another explanation. His grand sea may mean the sea from which the dew-drop is exhaled. Shakspeare might have considered the sea as the source of dews as well as rain. His is used instead of its. STEEVENS.
The circle of the Ptolemies for her heirs,
[To THYREUS. And in our name, what she requires; add more, From thine invention, offers: women are not, In their best fortunes, strong; but want will perjure The ne'er-touch'd vestal: Try thy cunning, Thy
Tyrwhitt's amendment is more likely to be right than Steevens's explanation. M. MASON.
I believe the last is the right explanation.
The last of Mr. Steevens's explanations certainly gives the sense of Shakspeare. If his be not used for its, he has made a person of the morn-drop. RITSON.
• The circle of the Ptolemies-] The diadem; the ensign of royalty. JOHNSON.
So, in Macbeth:
"All that impedes thee from the golden round,
"Would have thee crown'd withal." MALONE.
friend,] i. e. paramour. See Vol. XVIII. note on Cymbeline, Act I. sc. v. STEEVENS.
The ne'er-touch'd vestal:] So, in The Rape of Lucrece: "O Opportunity! thy guilt is great:
"Thou mak'st the vestal violate her oath."