Imatges de pÓgina
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Confin'd in all she has, her monument,
Of thy intents desires instruction;
That she preparedly may frame herself
To the way she's forced to.

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CES. Bid her have good heart; She soon shall know of us, by some of ours, How honourable and how kindly we Determine for her: for Cæsar cannot live To be ungentle 9.

MESS. So the gods preserve thee! [Exit. CES. Come hither, Proculeius; Go, and say, We purpose her no shame: give her what comforts The quality of her passion shall require; Lest, in her greatness, by some mortal stroke She do defeat us: for her life in Rome Would be eternal in our triumph': Go,

And, with your speediest, bring us what she says, And how you find of her.

PRO.

Cæsar, I shall. [Exit PROCULEIUS.

Ægyptian," that is, yet a servant of the Queen of Egypt," though soon to become a subject of Rome. JOHNSON.

8 HOW HONOURABLE and how kindly we-] Our author often uses adjectives adverbially. So, in Julius Cæsar :

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Young man, thou could'st not die more honourable."

See 228. The modern editors, however, all read-honourably. MALONE.

p.

9 for Cæsar cannot LIVE

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To be ungentle.] The old copy has leave. Mr. Pope made the emendation.

MALONE.

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her life in Rome

Would be ETERNAL IN our triumph :] Hanmer reads, judiciously enough, but without necessity:

"Would be eternalling our triumph."

The sense is, "If she dies here, she will be forgotten, but if I send her in triumph to Rome, her memory and my glory will be eternal." JOHNSON.

The following passage in The Scourge of Venus, &c. a poem, 1614, will sufficiently support the old reading :

"If some foule-swelling ebon cloud would fall,
"For her to hide herself eternal in." STEEVENS,

CES. Gallus, go you along.-Where's Dolabella, To second Proculeius? [Exit GALLUS.

AGR. MEC.

Dolabella!

CES. Let him alone, for I remember now
How he's employed; he shall in time be ready.
Go with me to my tent; where you shall see
How hardly I was drawn into this war;
How calm and gentle I proceeded still
In all my writings: Go with me, and see
What I can show in this.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Alexandria. A Room in the Monument.

Enter CLEOPATRA2, CHARMIAN, and Iras.
CLEO. My desolation does begin to make
A better life: 'Tis paltry to be Cæsar ;
Not being fortune, he's but fortune's knave3,
A minister of her will; And it is great

To do that thing that ends all other deeds;
Which shackles accidents, and bolts up change;
Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung,
The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's1.

2 Enter Cleopatra, &c.] Our author, here, (as in King Henry VIII. Act V. Sc. I.) has attempted to exhibit at once the outside and the inside of a building. It would be impossible to represent this scene in any way on the stage, but by making Cleopatra and her attendants speak all their speeches, till the queen is seized, within the monument. MALONE. JOHNSON.

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fortune's KNANE,] The servant of fortune.
And it is great

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To do that thing that ends all other deeds; Which shackles accidents, and bolts up change; Which sleeps, and never palates more the DUNG, The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's.] The difficulty of the passage, if any difficulty there be, arises only from this, that the act

Enter, to the Gates of the Monument, PROCULEIUS, GALLUS, and Soldiers.

PRO. Cæsar sends greeting to the queen of Egypt;

of suicide, and the state which is the effect of suicide, are confounded. Voluntary death, says she, is an act which bolts up change; it produces a state,

"Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung,
"The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's."

Which has no longer need of the gross and terrene sustenance, in the use of which Cæsar and the beggar are on a levei.

The speech is abrupt, but perturbation in such a state is surely natural. JOHNSON.

"The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's" means, I apprehend, ‘death,' (as Warburton has observed, in a note which I have restored,) and not, as Johnson supposed, the gross substance on which Cæsar and the beggar were fed. BOSWELL.

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It has been already said in this play, that
our dungy earth alike
"Feeds man as beast-

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And Mr. Tollet observes, "that in Herodotus, b. iii. the Ethiopian king, upon hearing a description of the nature of wheat, replied, that he was not at all surprized, if men, who eat nothing but dung, did not attain a longer life." Shakspeare has the same epithet in The Winter's Tale:

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the face to sweeten "Of the whole dungy earthAgain, in Timon :

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the earth's a thief

"That feeds and breeds by a composture stolen
"From general excrement." STEEVENS.

The action of suicide is here said to shackle accidents; to bolt up change; to be the beggar's nurse and Cæsar's. So far the description is intelligible. But when it is said that it sleeps and never palates more the dung, we find neither sense nor propriety : which is occasioned by the loss of a whole line between the third and fourth, and the corrupt reading of the last word in the fourth. We should read the passage thus:

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And it is great

"To do the thing that ends all other deeds;
"Which shackles accidents, and bolts up change;
"[Lulls wearied nature to a sound repose ;]

"Which sleeps, and never palates more the dugg:
"The beggar's nurse and Cæsar's."

That this line in hooks was the substance of that lost, is evident from its making sense of all the rest: which are to this ef

And bids thee study on what fair demands
Thou mean'st to have him grant thee.

CLEO. [Within.]

PRO. My name is Proculeius.
CLEO. [Within.]

Antony
Did tell me of you, bade me trust you; but
I do not greatly care to be deceiv'd,

That have no use for trusting. If your master

What's thy name?

Would have a queen his beggar, you must tell him,
That majesty, to keep decorum, must
No less beg than a kingdom: if he please
To give me conquer'd Egypt for my son,
He gives me so much of mine own, as I
Will kneel to him with thanks".

PRO.

Be of good cheer; You are fallen into a princely hand, fear nothing: Make your full reference freely to my lord, Who is so full of grace, that it flows over On all that need: Let me report to him Your sweet dependancy; and you shall find A conqueror, that will pray in aid for kindness", Where he for grace is kneel'd to.

CLEO. [Within.] Pray you, tell him I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him The greatness he has got". I hourly learn

fect.

"It is great to do that which frees us from all the accidents of humanity, lulls our over-wearied nature to pose, (which now sleeps and has no more appetite for worldly enjoyments,) and is equally the nurse of Cæsar and the beggar."

WARBurton.

5 He gives me so much of mine own, as I

Will kneel to him with thanks.] I would read—and I, instead of-as I. M. MASON.

I believe the old reading to be the true one.

6 that WILL PRAY IN AID for kindness,]

- send him

STEEVENS.

Praying in aid is

a term used for a petition made in a court of justice for the calling in of help from another that hath an interest in the cause in question.

HANMER.

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The greatness he has got.] I allow him to be my conqueror ; I own his superiority with complete submission. JOHNSON.

A doctrine of obedience; and would gladly
Look him i' the face.

PRO.

This I'll report, dear lady. Have comfort; for, I know, your plight is pitied Of him that caus'd it.

GAL. You see how easily she may be surpriz'd; [Here PROCULEIUS, and two of the Guard,

ascend the Monument by a Ladder placed against a Window, and having descended, come behind CLEOPATRA. Some of the Guard unbar and open the Gates3.

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A kindred idea seems to occur in The Tempest: Then, as my gift, and thy own acquisition, "Worthily purchas'd, take my daughter." STEEVENS. Johnson has mistaken the meaning of this passage, nor will the words bear the construction he gives them. It appears to me, that by the greatness he has got, she means her crown which he has won; and I suppose that when she pronounces these words, she delivers to Proculeius either her crown, or some other ensign or royalty. M. MASON.

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8 In the old copy there is no stage-direction. That which is now inserted is formed on the old translation of Plutarch: Proculeius came to the gates that were very thicke and strong, and surely barred; but yet there were some cranews through the which her voyce might be heard, and so they without understood that Cleopatra demaunded the kingdome of Egypt for her sonnes : and that Proculeius aunswered her, that she should be of good cheere and not be affrayed to refer all unto Cæsar. After he had viewed the place very well, he came and reported her aunswere unto Cæsar: who immediately sent Gallus to speak once againe with her, and bad him purposely hold her with talk, whilst Proculeius did set up a ladder against that high windowe by the which Antonius was tresed up, and came down into the monument with two of his men hard by the gate, where Cleopatra stood to hear what Gallus said unto her. One of her women which was shut in her monument with her, sawe Proculeius by chaunce, as he came downe, and shreeked out, O, poore Cleopatra, thou art taken. Then when she sawe Proculeius behind her as she came from the gate, she thought to have stabbed herself with a short dagger she wore of purpose by her side. But Proculeius came sodainly upon her, and taking her by both the hands, sayd unto her, Cleopatra, first thou shalt doe thy selfe great wrong, and secondly unto Cæsar, to deprive him of the occasion and opportunitie openlie to shew his

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