Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

him marry a woman that cannot go, fweet Ifis, I beseech thee! And let her die too, and give him a worfe! and let worfe follow worfe, till the worst of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good Ifis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Ifis, I beseech thee!

IRAS. Amen. Dear goddefs, hear that prayer of the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to fee a handfome man loofe-wiv'd, fo it is a deadly forrow to behold a foul knave uncuckolded; Therefore, dear Ifis, keep decorum, and fortune him accordingly!

CHAR. Amen.

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. Hufh! here comes Antony.

CHAR.

Not he, the queen.

been printed without the very names of the perfons, he believes one might have applied them with certainty to every Speaker. But in how many inftances has Mr. Pope's want of judgment falfified this opinion? The fact is evidently this; Alexas brings a fortune-teller to Iras and Charmian, and fays himself, We'll know all our fortunes. Well; the foothfayer begins with the women; and some jokes pafs upon the fubject of husbands and chastity: after which, the women hoping for the fatisfaction of having fomething to laugh at in Alexas's fortune, call him to hold out his hand, and with hear tily that he may have the prognoftication of cuckoldom upon him. The whole speech, therefore, must be placed to Charmian. There needs no ftronger proof of this being a true correction, than the obfervation which Alexas immediately fubjoins on their wishes and zeal to hear him abufed. THEOBALD.

[blocks in formation]

CLEO. He was difpos'd to mirth but on the

fudden

A Roman thought hath struck him.-Enobarbus,ENO. Madam.

CLEO. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's. Alexas?

2

ALEX. Here, madam, at your fervice.-My lord approaches.

Enter ANTONY, with a Meffenger, and Attendants.

CLEO. We will not look upon him: Go with us. [Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, ALEXAS, IRAS, CHARMIAN, Soothfayer, and Attendants. MES. Fulvia thy wife firfl came into the field. ANT. Against my brother Lucius?

MES. Ay:

But foon that war had end, and the time's ftate Made friends of them, jointing their force 'against Cæfar;

Whofe better iffue in the war, from Italy,

Saw you my lord?] Old copy-Save you? Corrected by the editor of the fecond folio. Saw was formerly written fawe.

2

MALONE.

Here, madam,] The refpe& due from Alexas to his mistress, in my opinion points out the title-Madam, (which is wanting in the old copy) as a proper cure for the prefent defect in metre.

STEEVENS.

Upon the first encounter, drave them.3

ANT.

What worft?

Well,

MES. The nature of bad news infects the teller. ANT. When it concerns the fool, or coward.

On:

Things, that are paft, are done, with me.-'Tis

thus;

Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
I hear him as he flatter'd.

[blocks in formation]

(This is ftiff news) hath, with his Parthian force, Extended Afia from Euphrates; 5

66

3 drave them.] Drave is the ancient preterite of the verb, to drive, and frequently occurs in the Bible. Thus in Joshua, xxiv. 12: and drave them out from before you." STEEVENS. (This is ftiff news) - ]So, in The rape of Lucrece: Fearing fome hard news from the warlike band."

4

[ocr errors]

MALONE.

5 Extended Afra from Euphrates;] i. e. widened or extended the bounds of the Leffer Afia. WARBURTON.

To extend, is a term ufed for to feize; I know not whether that be not the fenfe here. JOHNSON.

I believe Dr. Johnson's explanation right. So, in Selimus, Em- 1 peror of the Turks, 1594:

"Ay, though on all the world we make extent,

"From the fouth pole unto the northern bear."

Again, in Twelfth Night:

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

this uncivil and unjuft extent

Against thy peace."

Again, in Maffinger's New Way to pay old Debts, the Extor tioner fays:

"This manor is extended to my ufe."

Mr. Tollet has likewife no doubt but that Dr. Johnfon's explanation is juft; for (fays he) Plutarch informs us that Labienus was by the Parthian king made general of his troops, and had over-run Afia from Euphrates and Syria to Lydia and lonia." To extent is a law term used for to feize lands and tenements. In fupport of his affertion he adds the following inftance: "Those wafteful companions had neither lands to extend nor goods to be

His conquering banner fhook, from Syria
To Lydia, and to Ionia;

Whilft

ANT.

MES.

Antony, thou would'st say,

O, my

lord!

ANT. Speak to me home, mince not the general

tongue!

Name Cleopatra as fhe's call'd in Rome:
Rail thou in Fulvia's phrafe; and taunt my faults
With fuch full licence, as both truth and malice
Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds,
When our quick winds lie ftill;5 and our ills told

us,

feized. Savile's Tranflation of Tacitus, dedicated to Q. Elizabeth:" and then observes, that “ Shakspeare knew the legal fignification of the term, as appears from a paffage in As you like it:

"And let my officers of fuch a nature

Make an extent upon his houfe and lands."

See Vol. VIII. p. 243, n. 9.

Our ancient English writers almost always give us Euphrates inftead of Euphrates.

Thus, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song 21:

That gliding go in ftate, like twelling Euphrates."

See note on Cymbeline, A& III. fc. iii. STEEVENS.

5 When our quick winds lie ftill; ] The fenfe is, that man, not agitated by cenfure, like foil not ventilated by quick winds, produces more evil than good. JOHNSON.

An idea fomewhat fimilar, occurs alfo in the Firft Part of Henry IV. " the cankers of a calm world and a long peace." in The Puritan: 66

peace."

[ocr errors]

Again,

- hatch'd and nourished in the idle calms of

Dr. Warburton has proposed to read-minds. conjecture that deferves to be mentioned.

It is at leaft a

Dr Johnfon, however, might in fome degree have countenanced his explanation by a fingular epithet, that occurs twice in the Iliad. avejope pès; literally, wind-nourished. In the firft inftauce L. XI. 256. it is applied to the tree of which a fpear had been made; in the fecond, L. XV. 625. to a wave, impelled upon a fhip. STEVENS.

I fufped that quick winds is, or is a corruption of, fome pro

Is as our earing. Fare thee well a while.
MES. At your noble pleasure.

[Exit.

vincial word fignifying either arable lands, or the intruments of hufbandry ufed in tilling them. Earing fignifies plowing both here and in page 202. So, in Genefis, c. 45: "Yet there are five years, in the which there fhall neither be earing nor harvest.” BLACKSTONE.

This conje&ure is well founded. The ridges left in lands turned up by the plough, that they may fweeten during their fallow ftate, are ftill called wind-rows. Quick winds, I fuppofe to be the fame as teeming fallows; for fuch fallows are always fruitful in weeds.

Wind-rows likewife fignify heaps of manure, confilling of dung, or lime mixed up with virgin earth, and diftributed in long rows under hedges. If these wind-rows are suffered to lie ftill, in two fenfes, the farmer muft fare, the worfe for his want of a&ivity. First, if this compoft be not frequently turned over, it will bring forth weeds fpontaneously; fecondly, if it be fuffered to continue where it is made, the fields receive no benefit from it, being fit only in their turn to produce a crop of useless and obnoxious berbage. STEEVENS.

Mr. Steevens's defcription of wind-rows will gain him, I fear, but little reputation with the husbandman; nor, were it more accurate, does it appear to be in point, unless it can be shown that quick winds and wind-rows are fynonymous; and, further, that his interpretation will fuit with the context.- Dr. Johnson hath confidered the pofition as a general one, which indeed it is; but being made by Antony, and applied to himself, he, figuratively, is the idle foil; the MALICE that speaks home, the quick, or cutting winds, whose frofty blafts deftroy the profufion of weeds; whilft our ILLS (that is the TRUTH faithfully) told us; a representation of our vices in their naked odiousness is as our EARING; ferves to plough up the neglected foil, and enable it to produce a profitable crop.

When the quick winds lie fill, that is, in a mild winter, thofe weeds which the tyrannous breathings of the north" would have cut off, will continue to grow and feed, to the no fmall detriment of the crop to follow. HENLEY.

Whether my definition of winds or wind-rows be exa& or erroneous, in juftice to myself I muft inform Mr. Henley that I received it from an Effex farmer;,obferving at the fame time, that in different counties the fame terms are differently applied. Mr. Henley is not apt to fufpe& there is any thing which, at a fingle glance, he does not perfectly underftand, and therefore his remarks

« ZurückWeiter »