« ПредишнаНапред »
Make thine own edict for thy pains, which we
CES. Observe how Antony becomes his flaw;" And what thou think'st his very action speaks In every power that moves."
Cæsar, I shall. [Exeunt.
Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
Enter CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, CHARMIAN, and
CLEO. What shall we do, Enobarbus ?9
Think, and die.1
how Antony becomes his flaw;] That is, how Antony
conforms himself to this breach of his fortune. JOHNSON.
And what thou think'st his very action speaks
In every power that moves.] So, in Troilus and Cressida: her foot speaks, her-spirits look out
"At every joint and motive of her body." STEEVENS. • What shall we do, Enobarbus?] I have little doubt but that the verb-do, which is injurious to the metre, was interpolated, and that some player or transcriber (as in many former instances) has here defeated the purpose of an ellipsis convenient to versification. What shall we? in ancient familiar language, is frequently understood to signify-What shall we do?
1 Think, and die.] Sir T. Hanmer reads: Drink, and die.
And his emendation has been approved, it seems, by Dr. Warburton and Mr. Upton. Dr. Johnson, however, "has not advanced it into the page, not being convinced that it is necessary." "Think, and die" says he, "that is, Reflect on your own folly,
CLEO. Is Antony, or we, in fault for this?
and leave the world, is a natural answer." I grant it would be, according to this explanation, a very proper answer from a moralist or a divine; but Enobarbus, I doubt, was neither the one nor the other. He is drawn as a plain, blunt soldier; not likely, however, to offend so grossly in point of delicacy as Sir T. Hanmer's alteration would make him. I believe the true reading is:
Wink, and die.
When the ship is going to be cast away, in The Sea Voyage of Beaumont and Fletcher, (Act I. sc. i.) and Aminta is lamenting, Tibalt says to her:
Go, take your gilt
"Prayer-book, and to your business; wink, and die :" insinuating plainly, that she was afraid to meet death with her eyes open. And the same insinuation, I think, Enobarbus might very naturally convey in his return to Cleopatra's desponding question. TYRWHITT.
I adhere to the old reading, which may be supported by the following passage in Julius Caesar:
all that he can do
"Is to himself; take thought, and die for Cæsar." Mr. Tollet observes, that the expression of taking thought, in our old English writers, is equivalent to the being anxious or solicitous, or laying a thing much to heart. So, says he, it is used in our translation of The New Testament, Matthew vi. 25, &c. So, in Holinshed, Vol. III. p. 50, or anno 1140: “ -taking thought for the losse of his houses and money, he pined away and died." In the margin thus: "The bishop of Salisburie dieth of thought." Again, in p. 833. Again, in Stowe's Chronicle, anno 1508: "Christopher Hawis shortened his life by thoughttaking." Again, in p. 546, edit. 1614. Again, in Leland's Collectanea, Vol. I. p. 234: “—their mother died for thought." Mr. Tyrwhitt, however, might have given additional support to the reading which he offers, from a passage in The Second Part of King Henry IV:
led his powers to death,
"And winking leap'd into destruction." STEEvens. After all that has been written upon this passage, I believe the old reading is right; but then we must understand think and die to mean the same as die of thought, or melancholy. In this sense is thought used below, Act IV. sc. vi. and by Holinshed, Chronicle of Ireland, p. 97: "His father lived in the Tower
ENO. Antony only, that would make his will Lord of his reason. What although you fled From that great face of war, whose several ranges Frighted each other? why should he follow ?3 The itch of his affection should not then Have nick'd his captainship; at such a point, When half to half the world oppos'd, he being The mered question :5 'Twas a shame no less
where for thought of the young man his follie he died." There is a passage almost exactly similar in The Beggar's Bush of Beaumont and Fletcher, Vol. II. p. 423:
"Can I not think away myself and die?" TYRWhitt. Think and die:-Consider what mode of ending your life is most preferable, and immediately adopt it. HENLEY. See Vol. V. p. 313, n. 7. MALONE.
although-] The first syllable of this word was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer, to complete the measure.
why should he follow?] Surely, for the sake of metre, we should read-follow you? STeevens.
Have nick'd his captainship;] i. e. set the mark of folly on it. So, in The Comedy of Errors:
and the while
"His man with scissars nicks him like a fool."
- he being
The mered question:] The mered question is a term I do not understand. I know not what to offer, except
The mooted question.
That is, the disputed point, the subject of debate. Mere is indeed a boundary, and the meered question, if it can mean any thing, may, with some violence of language, mean, the disputed boundary. JOHNSON.
So, in Stanyhurst's translation of Virgil, B. III. 1582:
"Whereto joinctlye mearing a cantel of Italye neereth." Barrett, in his Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580, interprets a meere-stone by lapis terminalis. Question is certainly the true reading. So, in Hamlet, Act I. sc. i:
"That was and is the question of these wars."
Than was his loss, to course your flying flags,
To the boy Cæsar send this grizled head,
That head, my lord?
ANT. To him again; Tell him, he wears the
Of youth upon him; from which, the world should
Something particular: his coin, ships, legions, May be a coward's; whose ministers would prevail Under the service of a child, as soon
As i' the command of Cæsar: I dare him therefore
Possibly Shakspeare might have coined the word meered, and derived it from the adjective mere or meer. In that case, the meered question might mean, the only cause of the dispute-the only subject of the quarrel. M. MASON.
Mered is, I suspect, a word of our author's formation, from mere: he being the sole, the entire subject or occasion of the war. MALONE.
"Let her know it.] To complete the verse, we might add Let her know it then. STEEVENS.
To lay his gay comparisons apart,
And answer me declin'd,' sword against sword, Ourselves alone: I'll write it; follow me.
[Exeunt ANTONY and EUPHRONIUS.
-his gay comparisons apart,
And answer me declin'd,] I require of Cæsar not to depend on that superiority which the comparison of our different fortunes may exhibit to him, but to answer me man to man, in this decline of my age or power. JOHNSON.
I have sometimes thought that Shakspeare wrote
his gay caparisons.
Let him "unstate his happiness," let him divest himself of the splendid trappings of power, his coin, ships, legions, &c. and meet me in single combat.
Caparison is frequently used by our author and his contemporaries for an ornamental dress. So, in As you like it, Act III. sc. ii:
though I am caparison'd like a man,-."
Again, in The Winter's Tale, Act IV.
"With die and drab I purchas'd this caparison."
The old reading however is supported by a passage in Macbeth: "Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof, "Confronted him with self-comparisons,
"Point against point, rebellious."
His gay comparisons may mean, those circumstances of splendour and power in which he, when compared with me, so much exceeds me.
Dr. Johnson's explanation of declin'd is certainly right. So, in Timon of Athens :
"Not one accompanying his declining foot."
Again, in Troilus and Cressida:
What the declin'd is,
"He shall as soon read in the eyes of others,
Again, in Daniel's Cleopatra, 1594:
"Before she had declining fortune prov'd." MALONE. The word gay seems rather to favour Malone's conjecture, that we should read caparisons. On the other hand, the following passage in the next speech, appears to countenance the present reading:
that he should dream,
"Knowing all measures, the full Cæsar will