« AnteriorContinuar »
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.] Among the entries in the books of the Stationers' Company, October 19, 1593, I find "A Booke entituled the Tragedie of Cleopatra." It is entered by Symon Waterson, for whom some of Daniel's works were printed; and therefore it is probably by that author, of whose Cleopatra there are several editions; and, among others, one in 1594.
In the same volumes, May 20, 1608, Edward Blount entered "A Booke called Anthony and Cleopatra." This is the first notice I have met with concerning any edition of this play more ancient than the folio, 1623. STEEVENS.
Antony and Cleopatra was written, I imagine, in the year 1608. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. II. MALONE.
Friends of Antony.
Friends to Cæsar.
Friends of Pompey.
Taurus, Lieutenant-General to Cæsar.
Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt.
Officers, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Alexandria. A Room in Cleopatra's Palace.
Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO.
PHI. Nay, but this dotage of our general's,' O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes, That o'er the files and musters of the war Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn, The office and devotion of their view Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart, Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst The buckles on his breast, reneges' all temper;
- of our general's,] It has already been observed that this phraseology (not, of our general,) was the common phraseology of Shakspeare's time. MALONE.
An erroneous reference in Mr. Malone's edition, prevents me from doing complete justice to his remark. STEEVENS.
reneges-] Renounces. Pope.
So, in King Lear: "Renege, affirm," &c. This word is likewise used by Stanyhurst, in his version of the second Book of Virgil's Eneid:
"To live now longer, Troy burnt, he flatly reneageth." STEEVENS.
And is become the bellows, and the fan,
Look, where they come!
And is become the bellows, and the fun,
To cool a gipsy's lust.] In this passage something seems to be wanting. The bellows and fan being commonly used for contrary purposes, were probably opposed by the author, who might perhaps have written:
is become the bellows, and the fan, To kindle and to cool a gypsy's lust.
In Lyly's Midas, 1592, the bellows is used both to cool and to kindle: "Methinks Venus and Nature stand with each of them a pair of bellows, one cooling my low birth, the other kindling my lofty affections." STEEVENS.
The text is undoubtedly right. The bellows, as well as the fan, cools the air by ventilation; and Shakspeare considered it here merely as an instrument of wind, without attending to the domestick use to which it is commonly applied. We meet with a similar phraseology in his Venus and Adonis:
"Then, with her windy sighs, and golden hairs, "To fan and blow them dry again, she seeks." The following lines in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. II. c. ix. at once support and explain the text:
"But to delay the heat, lest by mischaunce
"It might breake out, and set the whole on fyre,
Johnson's amendment is unnecessary, and his reasons for it ill founded. The bellows and the fan have the same effects. When applied to a fire, they increase it; but when applied to any other warm substance, they cool it. M. MASON.
gipsy's lust.] Gipsy is here used both in the original meaning for an Egyptian, and in its accidental sense for a bad woman. JOHNSON.