« TrướcTiếp tục »
man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein,' that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented: this grief is crowned with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat :-and, indeed, the tears live in an onion, that should water this
ANT. The business she hath broached in the state, Cannot endure my absence.
it shows to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein, &c.] I have printed this after the original, which, though harsh and obscure, I know not how to amend. Thomas Hanmer reads-They show to man the tailors of the earth; comforting him therein, &c. I think the passage, with somewhat less alteration, for alteration is always dangerous, may stand thus-It shows to men the tailors of the earth, comforting them, &c. JOHNSON.
The meaning is this-As the gods have been pleased to take away your wife Fulvia, so they have provided you with a new one in Cleopatra; in like manner as the tailors of the earth, when your old garments are worn out, accommodate you with new ones. ANONYMOUS.
When the deities are pleased to take a man's wife from him, this act of theirs makes them appear to man like the tailors of the earth: affording this comfortable reflection, that the deities have made other women to supply the place of his former wife; as the tailor, when one robe is worn out, supplies him with another. MALONE.
the tears live in an onion, &c.] So, in The Noble Soldier, 1634: "So much water as you might squeeze out of an onion had been tears enough," &c. i. e. your sorrow should be a forced one. In another scene of this play we have onion-eyed ; and, in The Taming of a Shrew, the Lord says:
If the boy have not a woman's gift
"To rain a shower of commanded tears,
"An onion will do well."
Again, in Hall's Vigidemiarum, Lib. VI:
"Some strong-smeld onion shall stirre his eyes
"Rather than no salt tears shall then arise." STEEVENS.
ENO. And the business you have broached here cannot be without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.
ANT. No more light answers. Let our officers Have notice what we purpose. I shall break The cause of our expedience to the queen, And get her love to part. For not alone The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,5
3 The cause of our expedience-] Expedience for expedition. WARBURTON. See Vol. VIII. p. 82, n. 7. REED.
↑ And get her love to part.] I have no doubt but we should read leave, instead of love. So, afterwards:
"'Would she had never given you leave to come!"
M. MASON. The old reading may mean-And prevail on her love to consent to our separation. STEEvens.
I suspect the author wrote:
And get her leave to part.
The greater part of the succeeding scene is employed by Antony, in an endeavour to obtain Cleopatra's permission to depart, and in vows of everlasting constancy, not in persuading her to forget him, or love him no longer :
-I go from hence,
"Thy soldier, servant; making peace, or war,
I have lately observed that this emendation had been made by Mr. Pope.-If the old copy be right, the words must mean, I will get her love to permit and endure our separation. But the word get connects much more naturally with the word leave than with love.
The same error [as I have since observed] has happened in Titus Andronicus, and therefore I have no longer any doubt that leave was Shakspeare's word. In that play we find:
"He loves his pledges dearer than his life," instead of He leaves, &c. MALONE.
more urgent touches,]
Things that touch me more
sensibly, more pressing motives. JOHNSON.
So, Imogen says in Cymbeline:
a touch more rare
"Subdues all pangs, all fears." M. MASON.
Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too
Which, like the courser's hair," hath yet but life,
ENO. I shall do't.
• Petition us at home:] Wish us at home; call for us to reside at home. JOHNSON.
the courser's hair, &c.]
Alludes to an old idle notion that the hair of a horse dropt into corrupted water, will turn to an animal. POPE.
So, in Holinshed's Description of England, p. 224: “—A horse-haire laid in a pale full of the like water will in a short time stirre and become a living creature. But sith the certaintie of these things is rather proved by few," &c.
Again, in Churchyard's Discourse of Rebellion &c. 1570:
"Hit is of kinde much worsse then horses heare
"That lyes in donge, where on vyle serpents brede." STEEVENS.
Dr. Lister, in the Philosophical Transactions, showed that what were vulgarly called animated horse-hairs, are real insects. It was also affirmed, that they moved like serpents, and were poisonous to swallow. TOLLET.
Say, our pleasure,
To such whose place is under us, requires
Our quick remove from hence.] Say to those whose place
CLEO. See where he is, who's with him, what he does :
I did not send you :'-If you find him sad,
is under us, i. e. to our attendants, that our pleasure requires us to remove in haste from hence. The old copy has" whose places under us," and "require." The correction, which is certainly right, was made by the editor of the second folio.
I should read the passage thus:
Say our pleasure
To such who've places under us, requires
The amendment is as slight as that adopted by the editor, and makes the sense more clear.
I concur with Mr. Malone. Before I had seen his note, I had explained these words exactly in the same manner.
I learn, from an ancient Collection of Ordinances and Regulations for the Government of the Royal Household, &c. published by the Society of Antiquaries, 1790, that it was the office of "Gentlemen Ushers to give the whole house warning upon a remove.' STEEVENS.
2 Where is he?] The present defect of metre might be supplied, by reading:
Where is he now?
So, in Macbeth: "The thane of Fife had a wife; where is she now?"
I did not send you;] You must go as if you came without my order or knowledge. JOHNSON.
So, in Troilus and Cressida :
"We met by chance; you did not find me here."
Say, I am dancing; if in mirth, report
[Exit ALEX. CHAR. Madam, methinks, if you did love him
You do not hold the method to enforce
The like from him.
What should I do, I do not?
CHAR. In each thing give him way, cross him in
CLEO. Thou teachest like a fool; the way to lose
CHAR. Tempt him not so too far: I wish, for
In time we hate that which we often fear.
But here comes Antony.
I am sick, and sullen.
ANT. I am sorry to give breathing to my pur
CLEO. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall; It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature
Will not sustain it.2
Now, my dearest queen,
What's the matter?
CLEO. Pray you, stand further from me.
the sides of nature
Will not sustain it.] So, in Twelfth-Night:
"Can bide the beating of so strong a passion."