« PreviousContinue »
135. “ — The piece of virtue.”
i. e. The pattern of virtue.” 136. “ Farewell, my dearest sister, fare thee
well. The repetition of the farewell, here, I take to be interpolated, as it uselessly occasions a hemistic: “We will part here—farewell, my dearest sister.” 138. “ He has a cloud in's face.” '
Some words, I believe, have been lost; perhaps :
“ He has, indeed, a watry cloud in's face.” 139. “ The time shall not
“Outgo my thinking on you.” His thoughts of her would keep pace with time, i e. he would be continually thinking of her.
140." Is she as tall as me ?"
“Me” should be corrected in the text, to “I.” 141. "
Low voic'd. “ That's not so good.” Verily I do opine that Mr. Henley's voice in this place, as before, doth loudly call upon friend Amner to signify unto that gentleman's erratic imagination the plain road of the poet's meaning. -It was of little consequence whether Octavia's voice was said to be high or low, Cleopatra would be sure to find fault with it either way..
142. “ Her motion and her station are as one.”
Mr. Steevens, I suspect, has not given a just definition of station, which he says is the act of standing. This, undoubtedly, is its literal and primitive sense; but here, I believe, it means attitude, position; and might as well be the act of sitting. The messenger says, that whether she is still or in motion, she is alike ungraceful. 143. “ Go, make thee ready.”
A particle is wanting to the measure: “Most fit for business: Go, and make thee ready.”
i. e. Says Mr. Henley, literally, to hunt, and hence the word harrier. But I believe this is not correct; harriers are only such hounds as pursue the hare; and dogs for the fox and stag hunt are not so called; nevertheless, the word harry, in its metaphorical sense, is taken from its hunting import. 143. “ — Methinks, by him,
This creature's no such thing." “ By him,” i. e. by his description. “Thing" often occurs, when either an object of superlative dignity or remarkable insignificance is to be expressed; thus Coriolanus, blazing in the splendour of his victory, is accosted, “ Thou noble thing !” and thus, in the extremity of contempt, is Hostess Quickly saluted, “Thou thing!" Thing, at this day, is a colloquial term for excellence as well as worthlessness.
144. “ To public ear.”
“ To win the multitude.” 145. “ The gods will mock me presently,
“When I shall pray, 0, bless my lord and
• husband ! “ Undo that prayer, by crying out as
loud, "O, bless my brother ! husband win, win
brother. " Prays, and destroys the prayer.” " The words " and then” are necessary to the sense, after lord and husband. Volumnia expostulates, in the same manner, to Coriolanus : 56 - Thou bar'st us " Our prayers to the gods; for how can we, “ Alas! how can we for our country pray, " Whereto we are bound, together with thy victory,
. " Whereto we are bound ? alack! or we must lose “ The country, our dear nurse, or else thy person, “Our comfort in the country; we must find “ An evident calamity, though we had “ Our wish which side should win." .." 146. "
A war “ Shall stain your brother." Antony, I believe, only means, that whatever censure the war shall incur, will fall on Cæsar, who provoked it.
147. “The Jove of power make me most weak,
most weak " Your reconciler.” I believe we should read, “
Make me most weak, most strong, " Your reconciler."
“ Can equally move,” &c. I would read, metrically, “ Can equal, move with them: provide your go
SCENE VI. 152.". He frets,
“ That Lepidus, of the triumvirate . “Should be deposed; and, being, that we
detain.” The prepositions are often abused and confounded by the early writers, but rarely, I be
of the Triumvirate,” and “ being that we,' &c. and being so deposed, that we detain his revenue: the elision is unwarrantable.
“ Depos’d of the triumvirate.” This I take to be a Gallicism.
"Capel Loret. 153. “ And have prevented “ The ostent of our love, which, lefit un
shown, “ Is often left unlov’d.” : This is perplexed; " which” must refer either to “ love” or ostent;” if to love, what can be meant by “ love left unlov'd?” (perhaps unvalued.) If to “ ostent,” besides the tautology of ostent or ostentation left unshewn, what is intended by its being also left unloved ? (perhaps, as in the other case, unvalued.) I know not what to make of the passage. 154. " My lord, in Athens." We may add, for the measure, he is in Athens.
" He hath given his empire
“Up to a whore, who now are levying." This cannot be reduced to concord, "who" must refer to Cleopatra; the sense requires a correction of the text:
He hath given his empire “Up to a whore; and they're now levying
“ The kings,” &c.
Ah me! most wretched !"
SCENE VII. 157. “ But why, why, why ?"
Why should we have here three whys before one is answered ? Rejecting this superfluity, and omitting also the unnecessary “but,” we should obtain measure: " Why is s - Thou'st forespoke my being in these
Again, a warrantable contraction would give harmony to the following line: " And say'st it is not fit."