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Uct. According to his virtue let us use him, been purongly agitated in perusing it; and I think it some. With all respect and rites of burial.
what cold and unaffecting, compared with some other of Within my tent his bones to-night shall lie,
Shakspeare's plays: his adherence to the real story,
and to Roman nianners, seem to have impeded the Most like a soldier, order'd honourably.“
kalurai vigour of his genius.
JOHNSON. So, call the field to rest : and let's away,
Gildon has justly observed that this tragedy ought to To part the glories of this happy day. (Exeunt. have been called Murcus Brutus, Cæsar being a very
inconsiderable personage in the scene, and being killed Of this tragedy many particular passages deserve re. in the third act.. gard, and the contention and reconcilement of Brutus and Cassius is universally celebrated; but I have never
As all did govern, yet did all obey; In whom so mix'd the elements all lay,
His lively temper was so absolute, That none to one could sov'reignty impute;
That seem'd, when headen his modell first began, As all did govern, so did all obey :
In him it show'd perfection in a man.' He of a temper was so absolute,
The poem originally appeared under the title of Mor. As that it seem'd when nature him began,
timeriados,' in 1506; but Malone says, there is no trace She meant to show all that might be in man.'
of the stanza in the poem in that form. He is wrong He afterwards revised the poem, which was, I believe, in 1609. as the following title-page of my copy will
in asserting that the Barons' Wars were first published first published, under the title of the Barons' Wars, in show: The Barons' Wars, in the raigne of Edward 1603; and the stanza is thus exhibited in that edition :
the Second, with England's Heroicall Epistles, by Mi. Such one he was (of him we boldly say,)
chaell Drayton. At London, printed by J. R. for N In whose rich soule all soveraigne powers did sute; Ling, 1603. So that, if Malone be right in placing the In zlors in psace the elements all lay
| late of composition of Julius Cæsar in 1607, Shakspeare So mix d, as none could soveraigntie impute;
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
AFTER a perusal of this play, the reader will, I Warburton has observed that Antony was Shak I doubt not, be surprised when he sees what John. speare's hero ; and the defects of his character, o son has asserted :--That 'its power of delighting is lavish and luxurious spirit, seem almost virtues when
scene;'and that no character is very strongly dis. of Octavius Cæsar. But the ancient historians, hinum criminated. If our great poet has one superemi. | flatterers, had delivered the latter down ready cut anu nent dramatic quality in perfection, it is that of being dried for a hero ; and Shakspeare has extricated him able to go out of himself at pleasure to inform and self with great address from the dilemma. He has animate other existences. It is true, that in the number admitted all those great strokes of his character as he of characters many persons of historical importance found them, and yet has made him a very unainiablo are merely introduced as passing shadows in the character, deceitful, mean-spirited, proud, and ré. scene ; but the principal personages are most empha. | vengeful. cically distinguished by lineament and colouring, and Schlegel attributes this to the penetration of Shak. powerfully arrest the imagination. The character of speare, who was not to be led astray by the false glitter Cleopatra is indeed a masterpiece : though Johnson of historic fame, but saw through the disguise thrown pronounces that she is only distinguished by feminine around him by his successful fortunes, and distin. arts, some of which are too low.' It is true that her guished in Augustus a man of little mind. seductive arts are in no respect veiled over ; but she is Malone places the composition of this play in 1609 still the gorgeous Eastern Queen, remarkable for the No previous edition to that of the folio of 1623 has beer fascination of her manner, if not for the beauty of her hitherto discovered; but there is an entry of "A
son; and though she is vain, ostentatious, fickle, Booke called Antony and Cleopatra,' to Edward
her, which makes us, like Antony, forget her detects:
Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety. Other women cloy Th' appetites they feed; but she makes hungry Where most she satisfies.' The mutual passion of herself and Antony is without moral dignity, yet it excites our sympathy :-they scem formed for each other. Cleopatra is no less remarkable for her seductive charins, than Antony for the splendour of his martial achievements. Her death, 100, redeems one part of her character, and obliterates all faults.
Shakspeare followed Plutarch, and appears to have been anxious to introduce every incident and every personage he met with in his historian. Plutarch men. tions Lamprias his grandfather, as authority for some of the stories he relates of the profuseness and luxury of Antony's entertainments at Alexandria. In the stage-direction of Scene 2, Act i. in the old copy. Luinprias, Ramnus, and Lucilius are made to entei with the rest; but they have no part in the dialogo, nor do their names appear in the list ot' Dramatis Persone.
Attendants on Cleopatra.
| Ant. How, my love! SCENE I. Alexandria. A Room in Cleopatra's Cleo. Perchance,-nay, and most like, Palace. Enter DEMETRIUS und Philo.
You must not stay here longer, your disinission
Is come from Cæsar; therefore hear it, Antony.Philo.
Where's Fulvia's process ?8 Cæsar's, I would say? Nay, but this dotage of our general's
--Both ? O'erflows the measure : those his goodly eyes, Call in the messengers.As I am Egypt's queen, That o'er the files and musters of the war
Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn, Is Cæsar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame, The office and devotion of their view
When shrill-tongu'd Fulvia scolds.—The messenUpon a tawny front: his captain's heart,
Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike
bracing, their Trains ; Eunuchs fanning her.
And such a twain can do't, in which, I bind, Take hut good note, and you shall see in him
On pain of punishment, the world to weet, ?" The triple pillar of the world transform'd
We stand up peerless. Into a strumpet's fool : behold and see.
Excellent falsehood! Cleo. If it be love indeed, tell me how much.
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her ? Ant. There's beggary in the love that can be I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony reckon'd.3°
Will be himself. Cleo. I'll set a bourn how far to be belov'd.
Butll stirr'd by Cleopatra.Ant. Then must thou needs find out new heaven, Now, for the love of Love, 12 and her soft hours, new earth.4
Let's not confound13 the time with conference harsh Enter an Attendant.
There's not a minute of our lives should stretch · Ant. News, my good lord, from Rome.
Without some pleasure now: What sport to-night? Ant. Grates me :-The sum.
Cleo. Hear the ambassadors. Cleo. Nay, hear them, Antony:.
Fie, wrangling queen! Fulvia, perchance, is angry; Or, who knows
Whom every thing becomes, 14 to chide, to laugh, If the scarce-bearded Cæsar have not sent
To weep; whose is every passion fully strives
To make itself, in thee, fair and admir'd!
No messenger, but thine and all alone,
To-night, we'll wander through the streets, and note
Ti.e. renounces. The metre would be in proved by 3 Process here means summons. "Lawyers call leading rcneyes, or reneies, a word used by Chaucer that the processe by which a man is called into the and other of our elder writers: but we have in King court, and no more. To serve with processe is to cite, Lear, renege, affirm, &c. Stanyhurst, in his version to sumonon.'--Minsheu. of the second book of the Æneid, has the word :
9 The rang'd empire is the well arranged, weil or. : "To live now longer, Troy burnt, he flatly reneageth.' dered empire. Shakspeare uses the expression again
2 Triple is here used for third, or one of ihree ; one of in Coriolanus :the Triumvirs, one of the three inasters of the world,
bury all which yet distinctly ranges, To sustain the pillars of the earth is a scriptural phrase. In heaps and piles of ruins." Triple is used for third in All's Well that Ends Well: 10 To weet is to know.
Which, as the dearest issue of his practice; 11 I think that Johnson has entirely mistaken tho He bade me store up as a triple eye.'
meaning of this passage, and believe Mason's explana 3 So in Romeo and Juliet :
tion nearly correct. Cleopatra means to say that. An They are but beggars that can count their worth.: tony will act like himself, (i. e, nobly,) without regard Anil in Much Ado about Nothing:
to the mandates of Cæsar or the anger of Fulvia. To "I were but little happy, if I could say how much." which he replies, · But stirr:d by Cleopatra,'i. e. 'Add, Basia pauca cupit, qui numerare potest.'
lif moved to it by Cleopatra.' This is a compliment to
Martial, vi. 36. her. Johnson was wrong in su: sirg but to be used 4" Then must you set the boundary at a distance here in its exceptive sense. greater than the present visible universe affords.'
12 That is, for the sake of ue Queen of Love." 5 Be brief, suin thy business in a few words.'
13 To confound the time, is to consume it, to lose it 6 j. e. the news; which was considered plural in 14 'Quicquid enim dicit, seu facit, omne decet.' Shakespeare's time. See King Richard III. Act. iv.
Marel'us, lib. ii. Sc. 4.
See Shakspeare's 150th Sonnet 7 Take in, it has before been obscrved, signifies sub. 15 The fólio reads, who, every, &. : corrected her due, conquei
The qualities of people. Come, my queen; 1 Alex. We'll know all our furtunes.
[Exeunt Ant. and Cleo. with their Train. shall be drunk to bed. Dem. Is Cæsar with Antonius priz'd so slight? Iras. There's a palm presages chastity, if no
Phi. Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony, thing else. He comes too short of that great property
Char. Even as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth Which still should go with Antony.
I'm full sorry, Iras. Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot sooth That he approves the common liar, who
say. Thus speaks of him at Rome : But I will hope Char. Nay, if an oily palm bè not a fruitful prog: Or better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy! nostication, 9 I cannot scratch mine ear.-Prythoa
[Exeunt. tell her but a worky-day fortune. SCENE II. The same. Another Room. Enter
Sooth. Your fortunes are alike. CHARMAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer.
Iras. But how, but how? give me particulars.
Sooth. I have said. Char. Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any
Iras. Am I not an inch of fortune better than she ? thing Alexas, almost most absolute Alexas, where's
Char. Well, if you were but an inch of fortune the soothsayer that you praised so to the queen? | better than I, where would you choose it ? 0, that I knew this husband, which, you say, must Iras. Not in my husband's nose. charge his horns with garlands !3
Char. Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alex. Soothsayer.
Alexas,-come, his fortune, his fortune.-0, let him Sooth. Your will ?
marry a woman that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beChar. Is this the man?-Is't you, sir, that know
seech thee! And let her die, too, and give him a things?
worse! and let worse follow' worse, till the worst Sooth. In nature's infinite book of secrecy,
of all follow him laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a A little I can read.
cuckold! Good Isis, hear me this prayer, though Alex.
Show him your hand. thou deny me a matter of more weight; good Isis, Enter ENOBARBUS.
| I beseech thee! Eno. Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough,
Iras. Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of Cleopatra's health to drink.
the people! for, as it is a heart-breaking to see a Char. Good sir, give me good fortune.
handsome man loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorSooth. I make not, but foresee.
row to behold a foul knave uncuckolded : Therefore, Char. Pray then, foresee me one.
dear Isis, keep decorum, and fortune him accord Sooth. You sha!! be yet far fairer than you are.
har. Amen. Char. He reans, in flesh. Iras. No, you shall paint when you are old.
Alex. Lo, now! if it lay in their hands to make Char Wrinkles forbid!
me a cuckold, they would make themselves whores, Alex. Vex not his prescience; be attentive.
but they'd do't.
Eno. Hush! here comes Antony.
Not he, the queen. Char. I had rather heat my liver with drinking. 4
Enter CLEOPATRA. Alex. Nay, hear him.
Cleo. Saw you my lord ? Char. Good now, some excellent fortune! Let Eno. une be married to three kings in a forenoon, and Clen. widow them all: let me have a child at fifty, to Char. No, madam. whom Herod of Jewry may do homage :: find me Cleo. He was dispos'd to mirth; but on the sudden to marry me with Octavius Cæsar, and companion A Roman thought hath struck him.--Enobarbus, me with istress.
Eno. Madam. Sooth. You shall outlive the lady whom you serve. Cleo. Seek him, and bring him hither. Where's Char. O excellent! I love long life better than figs.
Alexas ? Sooth. You nave seen and proved a fairer former Alex. Here, madam, at your service.—My lord fortune
approaches. Than that which is to approach.
Enter Antony, with a Messenger and Attendants. Char. Then, belike, my children shall have no
Cleo. We will not look upon him: Go with us. names :6 Pr’ythee, how many boys and wenches
[Exeunt CLEOPATRA, ENOBARBUS, ALEXAS, must I have?
IRAS, CHARMIAN, Soothsayer, and AtSooth. If every of your wishes had a womb,
tendants. And fertile' every wish, a million.
Mess. Fulvia thy wife first came into the field Char. Out, fool; I forgive thee for a witch.8
Ant. Against my brother Lucius ? Alex. You think, none but your sheets are privy |
Mess. Xy: o your wishes.
But soon that war had end, and the time's state Char. Nay, come, tell Iras hers.
at such power and dominion that the proudest and 1 Sometime also when he would goe up and down fiercest monarchs of the earth may be brought under his :he city disguised like a slave in the night, and would
yoke. It should be remembered that Herod of Jewry peere into poor mens windows and their shops, and
was a favourite character in the mysteries of the old scold and brawl with them within the house; Cleopatra
stage, and that he was always represented a fierce, would be also in a chambermaid's array, and amble up haughty, blustering tyrant. and down the streets with him.'
6 That is, prove bastards. Thus in the Rape of Lu Life of Antonius in North's Plutarch.
crece:2 "That he proves the common liar, Fame, in his L " Thy issue blurrid with nameless bastardy. case to be a true reporter.' Shakspeare usually uses And Launce, in the third act of The Two Gentlemen of approve for prove, and approof for proof.
Verona:-- That's as much as to say bustard virtues, *Ž The old copy reads, change his horns,' &c A that indeed know not their fathers, an:l therefore hade similar error of change for charge is also found in Co- no names. A fairer fortune means a more serene orriolanus.
more prosperous fortune. 4 The liver being considered the seat of love, Char
7 The old copy reads, foretel. Warburton has the nian says she would rather heat her liver with drink.
merit of the emendation. ing than with love's fire. A heated liver was supposed 8 This has allusion to the common proverbial saying,
1 You'll never be burnt for a witch,' spoken to a silly i This (says Johnson) is one of Shakspeare's natu. rerson, who is indeed no conjuror. cal touches. Few circumstances are more flattering to ] 9 This prognostic is alluded to in Othello :che fair sex, than breeding at an advanced period of ife Charmian wishes for a son too who may arrive This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart'
No, ladytos he not here?
make a pimpled hanson) is one of Shakspeantering to
9 This progomist hand is moist, my lady