previous next


Scene II. Johnson: I think the First Act may be commodiously continued to this place, and the Second Act opened with the interview of the chief persons, and a change of the state of action. Yet it must be confessed, that it is of small importance, where these unconnected and desultory scenes are interrupted.

9. Were I the wearer, etc.] Capell (i, 32): ‘Alluding,’ says [Warburton], ‘to the phrase—I will beard him.’ But the speaker had no such thing in his head; but either meant as he spake, or—that he would put on his gruffest look. There is something uncommonly noble in the management of this interview, and the dignity of these great personages is wonderfully sustain'd; their entry without accosting each other, the conversation apart that each has with his friends, are circumstances finely

imagin'd.—Johnson: I believe he means, ‘I would meet him undressed, without show of respect.’


priuate stomacking Anger, resentment. See III, iv, 14.


pray you stirre No Embers vp Deighton: Do not rake up any old quarrels.

20. Enter Cæsar, etc.] Knight (Supp. Notice, p. 356): The interview between Cæsar and Antony is most masterly. The constrained courtesy on each side—the coldness of Cæsar—the frank apologies of Antony—the suggestion of Agrippa, so opportune, and yet apparently so unpremeditated—the ready assent of Antony—all this—matter for rhetorical flourishes of at least five hundred lines in the hands of an ordinary dramatist—may be read without a start or an elevation of the voice. It is solid business throughout. Antony we might think was a changed man. Enobarbus, who knows him, is of a different opinion.—Lloyd (p. 338): The fated superiority of the cool and steadfast gamester for power, over the ardent and dissipated, is set forth with admirable effect in the long scene with the Triumvirs, which never pauses, and flags not in a line, though the subject matter is no whit more vivacious in itself than the contents of interchanging protocols.


If we compose well Steevens: That is, if we come to a lucky composition, agreement. So afterwards is ‘composition’ used. See II, vi, 74.


Hearke Dyce (ed. ii) has, I think, rightly interpreted this as ‘Heark ye,’— possibly, misheard by the compositor.—Ed.


Nor curstnesse grow to'th'matter Johnson: Let not ill-humour be added to the real subject of our difference.


I should do thus Capell (i, 32): Meaning,—as Lepidus had entreated; talk the difference over gently, and not make it greater by reproaches and harsh language; for that is the import of the words which that entreaty is couch'd in.— [Collier's MS interpreted these words differently; he inserted a stage-direction, ‘They shake hands,’ which Collier adopted in his Second and Third Editions, followed by Singer and, in effect, Keightley. The ‘Flourish’ manifestly indicates some action; the trumpets would hardly blare at the mere expression of a sentiment. —Ed.]


Cæs. Sit. Ant, Sit sir. Steevens: Antony appears to be jealous of a circumstance which seemed to indicate a consciousness of superiority in his too successful partner in power; and accordingly resents the invitation of Cæsar to be seated: Cæsar answers, ‘Nay, then;’ i. e. if you are so ready to resent what I meant as an act of civility, there can be no reason to suppose you have temper enough for the business on which at present we are met. The former editors leave a full point

at the end of this, as well as the preceding speech.—Johnson: The following circumstance may serve to strengthen Mr Steevens's opinion: When the fictitious Sebastian made his appearance in Europe, he came to a conference with the Condé de Lemos; to whom, after the first exchange of civilities, he said, ‘Condé de Lemos, be covered.’ And being asked, by that nobleman, by what pretences he laid claim to the superiority expressed by such permission, he replied, ‘I do it by right of my birth; I am Sebastian.’—Malone: I believe, the author meant no more than that Cæsar should desire Antony to be seated: ‘Sit.’ To this Antony replies, Be you, sir, seated first: ‘Sit, sir.’ ‘Nay, then,’ rejoins Cæsar, if you stand on ceremony, to put an end to farther talk on a matter of so little moment, I will take my seat. However, I have too much respect for the two preceding editors, to set my judgment above their concurring opinions, and therefore have left the note of admiration placed by Mr Steevens at the end of Antony's speech, undisturbed.—Knight: We agree with Malone that they each desire the other to be seated; and that Cæsar puts an end to the bandying of compliments by taking his seat.—[I think there can be little doubt that Malone is right.]


Or being Abbott (§ 404): ‘Being’ is often used for it being, or being so, very much like ὄν and its compounds in Greek.—[See also III, vi, 32, which Abbott gives as a parallel example, but is capable of a different explanation.]


derogately Walker (Vers. 274) gives this word in the present passage as an example in his ‘Article lv:’ ‘We sometimes find two unaccented syllables inserted between what are ordinarily the fourth and fifth, or sixth and seventh, the whole form being included in one word.’


Did practise on my State Steevens: To ‘practise’ means to employ unwarrantable arts or stratagems. So, in the Countess of Pembroke's Antonic, ‘nothing killes me so, As that I so my Cleopatra see Practize with Cæsar.’ [Act III. For ‘practise’ in this sense, see Shakespeare passim.]

56, 57. their contestation Was Theame for you, you were the word of warre] Warburton: The only meaning of this can be, that the war, which Antony's wife and brother made upon Cæsar, was theme for Antony too to make war; or was the occasion why he did make war. But this is directly contrary to the context, which shows, Antony did neither encourage them to it, nor second them in it. We cannot doubt then, but the poet wrote: ‘—and their contestation Was them'd for you,’ i. e. The pretence of the war was on your account, they took up arms in your name, and you were made the theme and subject of their insurrection.—Johnson: I am neither satisfied with the reading nor the emendation: them'd is, I think, a word unauthorised, and very harsh. Perhaps we may read: ‘—their contestation Had theme from you,’ The dispute derived its subject from you. It may be corrected by mere transposition: ‘—their contestation You were theme for, you were the word—.’—Capell (i, 32): Though there can be no doubt made that [Warburton's] emendation is just [Capell adopted it.], and his interpretation also; yet is grammar made dreadfully free with, and the analogy of language: for, according to the latter, them'd can have no other sense but—propos'd as a theme, given out as such; and must, according to grammar, be govern'd of ‘contestation;’ but this sense and construction bring matters back nearly to the point they were in under the old reading —‘theame:’ the fault is in the Poet himself, whose licence of expression is sometimes excessive.—Steevens: ‘Was theme for you,’ I believe, means only, ‘was proposed as an example for you to follow on a yet more extensive plan;’ as themes are given for a writer to dilate upon. Shakspeare, however, may prove the best commentator on himself. Thus, in Coriolanus, I, i: ‘—throw forth greater themes For insurrection's arguing.’ Sicinius calls Coriolanus, ‘—the theme of our assembly.’—Malone: That is, ‘their contestation derived its theme or subject from you; you were their word of war;’ this affords a clear and consistent sense. To obtain the sense desired from Warburton's emendation, we should read—‘Was them'd from you—.’ So, in Tro. and Cress.: ‘She is a theme of honour and renown, A spur to valiant and magnanimous deeds.’ That he must have written from, appears by Antony's answer: ‘You do mistake your business; my brother never Did urge me in his act.’ i. e. ‘never made me the theme for insurrection's arguing.’—M. Mason: I should suppose that some of the words have been misplaced, and that it ought to stand thus: ‘—and for contestation Their theme was you; you were the word of war.’—Collier (ed. ii): Their contestation was not theme for Antony, but Antony was their theme for con

testation. ‘Was’ and ‘for’ accidentally changed places; therefore we read, ‘and their contestation For theme was you.’ This is all that is necessary, and it is strange that the commentators, in their ‘contestation,’ should not have discovered what was required.—[Thus it stood in Collier's Second Edition, but in his Third Edition, Collier himself failed to ‘discover what was required’ and his text follows the Folio, ‘Was theme for you,’ without comment.]—Staunton: The meaning is apparent, though the construction is obscure and perhaps corrupt. We ought possibly to read,—‘Had you for theme,’ etc.—Schmidt (Lex.) defines ‘theme’ in the present passage as ‘a matter, an enterprise undertaken in your interest.’—Deighton: (Conject. Readings, p. 41): Schmidt's explanation would be excellent, if only the words would bear that sense. Though ‘theme’ is spelt in the Folios ‘theame’ or ‘theam’ [or ‘theme,’ F3], I am satisfied that it is nothing else than then (thenne), perhaps sophisticated by a copyist who thought ‘the word of war’ was explanatory of it. [There is, possibly, one interpretation which may justify the text as it stands. Cæsar has just insinuated that Anthony while still in Egypt ‘practised’ against him, and is attempting to prove this, by what befell in Italy. His case would have been weak indeed, if he could assert merely that Anthony's wife and brother, in their war, had used Anthony's name as a pretext; in such circumstances, Anthony himself might be as innocent as the babe unborn. To prove Anthony guilty, therefore, Cæsar must connect him, personally, with this ‘contestation.’ He asserts, therefore, that this very contestation was cause enough, in itself, for Anthony's practises—the mere fact that it existed was sufficient matter for Anthony to work on, or as it stands, in the fewest possible words, in the text, ‘their contestation was theme for you.’ Then, in order to involve them all, Fulvia, Lucius, and Anthony, in one common ‘practise,’ Cæsar adds, ‘you were the word of war.’—Ed.]


you were the word of warre John Hunter: The signal word of battle. So in the Julius Cæsar of North's Plutarch, ‘Brutus' men ran to give charge upon their enemies, and tarried not the word of battle, nor commandment to give charge.’ [See, also, ‘death's the word,’ I, ii, 158.]


neuer Did vrge me in his Act Warburton: That is, never did make use of my name as a pretence for the war.


reports That is, reporters, the abstract for the concrete. See (in this ed.) Love's Lab. L. V, ii, 88, ‘incounters’ for encounterers, together with the following additional instances:—‘wrongs’ for wrongers.—Rich. II: II, iii, 128; ‘speculations’ for speculators.—Lear, III, i, 24; ‘chase’ for object of chase.—3 Hen. VI: II, iv, 11; possibly, there may be added, ‘slander’ for slanderer, Rich. II: I, i, 113.


Hauing alike your cause Johnson: The meaning seems to be, ‘having the same cause as you to be offended with me.’ But why, because he was offended with Antony, should he make war upon Cæsar? May it not read thus: ‘Hating alike our cause?’—Steevens: The old reading is immediately explained by Antony's being the partner with Octavius in the cause against which his brother fought.— Malone: That is, I having alike your cause. Did he not (says Antony) make wars against the inclination of me also, of me, who was engaged in the same cause with yourself? Dr Johnson supposed that having meant, he having, and hence has suggested an unnecessary emendation.


As Here equivalent to inasmuch as, since. See I, iv, 25.

As matter whole you haue to make it with Johnson: The original reading is without doubt erroneous.—Steevens: The old reading may be right. It seems to allude to Antony's acknowledged neglect in aiding Cæsar; but yet Antony does not allow himself to be faulty upon the present cause alleged against him.— Malone: I have not the smallest doubt that the correction made by Rowe is right. The structure of the sentence, ‘As matter,’ etc., proves decisively that not was omitted. Of all the errors that happen at the press, omission is the most frequent.— Knight (following the text): That is, if you'll patch a quarrel so as to seem the whole matter you have to make it with, you must not patch it with this complaint. Whole is opposed to patch.—Collier (also following the text): That is, do not find out a cause of quarrel where none exists; do not patch a quarrel when no patching is required, because the matter is whole.—Singer: The negative is absolutely necessary to make sense of the passage.—Staunton: The negative is clearly indispensable; but to satisfy the metre, Shakespeare may have adopted the old form n'have instead of have not.—Nichols (i, 9): The original text is right, and means, as if you have a whole matter to make it of, and wish to preserve to it the appearance of integrity, —of its being made out of a whole piece,—‘it must not be with this’—for this patch will show, will be seen. On the other hand, if [Rowe's not] be correct—if Cæsar did wish to ‘patch a quarrel’—not having matter whole to make it of, surely no better matter could offer itself for the purpose than that which he is here expressly told he could not use. The wife and brother of Antony had made war upon Cæsar. Cæsar accuses Antony, although he was in Egypt, of having instigated them; of being, as he says, ‘the word of war.’ Antony denies it; and, most likely, truly; but had Cæsar wanted to make use of the facts, as far as they went, for the purpose of patching a quarrel with Antony, public opinion, notwithstanding Antony's denial, would perhaps have gone with Cæsar; and though in itself, it might not have been a sufficient cause of quarrel, yet with the addition of a few other grievances, it might have been made to constitute one. Still, it would have borne the appearance, as Antony

says, of a patched quarrel, and not as made out of whole matter.—Ingleby (Sh. the Man, etc., i, 145) accepts the reading of the Folio, and interprets ‘you haue’ in the sense of obligation, you must. ‘Antony,’ he says, ‘refers to former letters, and Cæsar to former excuses; so that when Antony speaks of patching the quarrel, he means that the quarrel has been already worn out by discussion. Cæsar ought (he says) to be able to adduce a new and entire ground of complaint; but that if he will patch up the old quarrel he must do it with something else than the pretence that Antony's wife and brother have made wars upon him.’ Ingleby concludes somewhat in Warburtonian style: ‘This conclusive interpretation of the text was proposed to me by Prof. Sylvester, the world-renowned mathematician. After this, an editor who shall reprint the text with Rowe's emendation will only have the excuse of ignorance.’ —Hudson adopts in his text the emendation, ‘As matter whole you lack to make it with,’ and remarks, ‘I had conjectured lack but found afterwards that I had been anticipated by an anonymous writer.’ I do not know who this anonymous writer is; he is also, apparently, unknown to the Cambridge Editors.—The Cowden-Clarkes (following the text): That is, if you wish to botch up a quarrel, as you have whole and sound matter to make it good with, you must not use such flimsy stuff as this. We think that the phraseology is purposely equivocal here: Antony allowing Cæsar to understand either ‘If you desire to pick a quarrel with me, you could find stronger ground to base it upon than these frivolous causes of complaint,’ or ‘If you wish to make up the quarrel between us, you have better means of doing so than by ripping up these trivial grievances.’—Irving Edition finds Cowden-Clarke's suggestion that the phraseology is equivocal, ‘a forced interpretation. The meaning appears rather to be the reverse: make trivial things—mere bits and patches, as it were—the ground of quarrel. These slight occasions for disagreement are opposed to matter whole, or some serious cause for dissension.’—Rolfe: A few editors follow the Folio, but their attempts to explain the passage are forced and unsatisfactory.—Thiselton: ‘As’ is equivalent here to as though; compare I, ii, 110; IV, i, 1. The meaning is, ‘in such a way that it will seem to be made all of a piece.’ [To me the meaning seems to be, If you'll patch a quarrel, inasmuch as you must make the patch out of good whole material, you must not take this. I think Ingleby is entirely right in his interpretation.—Ed.]


laying defects of iudgement to me Capell (i, 32): The import of which in short, is—you praise yourself at my expense: and this being so, the word ‘me’ in the next line, must be spoke with an emphasis; which can not be lay'd upon it, in the situation it occupies in all former copies [see Text. Notes for Capell's text], and by this the transposition is justify'd: Mistakes of this sort are often made by the pen, and oftner [sic] still by the press; such presses especially as this Poet had the fate to come out of.


excuses Walker (Crit. i, 246): I think excuse is more Elizabethan.—Dyce (ed. ii) makes independently the same conjecture, which is adopted by Hudson.


I know you could not lacke, . . . mine owne peace Deighton: That is, I am certain that you could not help feeling how impossible it was for me, whose interests were the same as yours, to regard with favourable eyes those wars which were so opposed to my own peace. ‘Very’ is here an adjective, thorough. ‘Attend,’ in this sense, is more commonly applied to the ears than to the eyes.


gracefull eyes Steevens: We still say, I could not look handsomely on such or such a proceeding.


fronted Bradley (N. E. D. s. v. Front, v.1 3): To stand face to face with; especially to face in defiance or hostility; oppose.


I would you had her spirit, in such another Malone: Antony means to say, I wish you had the spirit of Fulvia, embodied in such another woman as her; I wish you were married to such another spirited woman. By the words, ‘you had her spirit,’ etc. Shakspeare, I apprehend, meant, ‘you were united to, or possessed of, a woman with her spirit.’ Having formerly misapprehended this passage, and supposed that Antony wished Augustus to be actuated by a spirit similar to Fulvia's, I proposed to read—e'en such another, in being frequently printed for e'en in these plays.—Steevens: The plain meaning of Antony is, I wish you had my wife's spirit in another wife; i. e. in a wife of your own. [See Appendix, Plutarch.]

spirit For the pronunciation of spirit, see Walker (Crit. i, 193) or I, ii, 143.


with a Snaffle, You may pace easie Schmidt (Lex. s. v. Pace. 2, transitive): To teach (a horse) to move according to the will of the rider.—[Quandoque bonus dormitat, etc.—Ed.]


that the men might go to Warres with the women Hudson: I am uncertain whether this means that the men might go to war in company with the women, or go to war against them.—[I think that the plural ‘warres’ decides in favour of Hudson's first meaning; the number of fighters on one side, at least, would be certainly doubled.—Ed.]


So much vncurbable, her Garboiles John Hunter observes that ‘vncurb

able’ is here an epithet to the pronoun ‘her;’ and Delius believes that it refers to the she involved in ‘her garboils,’ which amounts to about the same, and is, with the present text, an unavoidable explanation, for the simple reason that ‘vncurbable,’ which, as Madden (p. 313) says, ‘clearly has its origin in the stable,’ cannot rightfully be predicated of a ‘garboil.’ Keightley ingeniously evades the difficulty by leaving Anthony's previous speech unfinished and ending it, after Enobarbus's interruption, with ‘uncurbable.’ Thus:—‘with a snaffle You may pace easy, but not such a wife,[——]So much uncurbable. Her garboils,’ etc. His intention would have been possibly a little clearer, had he marked Enobarbus's speech as an Aside, which it probably is.—Ed.


Shrodenesse Spelled phonetically.—Ed.


I wrote to you, . . . out of audience The feeble punctuation of the Folio will readily give way to almost any punctuation of these lines. Dyce's, which has been followed by the Globe, the Cambridge, and the majority of subsequent editors: ‘I wrote to you When rioting in Alexandria;’ is somewhat objectionable, inasmuch as it is grammatically ambiguous whether Cæsar was rioting or Anthony. There should be at least a comma after ‘you’ (as in the Folio), but a semi-colon, as suggested by Lloyd (ap. Cam.), would be better. Capell's punctuation is good: ‘I wrote to you, When, rioting in Alexandria, you,’ etc. All colons or semi-colons after ‘Alexandria’ seem to me misplaced. Cæsar is enumerating Anthony's offences; to pocket up his letters is the first distinct and separate offence; to gibe his missive is the second; and the two should be distinguished as they are in the Folio, so it seems to me.—Ed.


Misiue Macbeth in his letter to his wife says that there came ‘missives from the king, who all-hailed me,’ etc.


I told him of my selfe Warburton: That is, told him the condition I was

in, when he had his last audience.—Delius questions Warburton's interpretation and holds the true meaning to be, ‘I told him of my own accord.’ Whereupon, Schmidt (Notes, p. 173) acutely remarks that had this been the meaning, the text should run ‘I told it him of myself.’


Be nothing of our strife Compare ‘but nothing of his ill-ta'ne suspition.’ —Wint. Tale, I, ii, 530; ‘nothing of that wonderfull promise,’ etc.—Twelfth Night, III, iv, 263.


No Walker (Vers. 289): Lines wanting the tenth or final syllable, are (as it appears to me) unknown to Shakespeare, as they are certainly at variance with his rhythm.—[Accordingly, Walker approves of the arrangement which was adopted first by Hanmer, whereby ‘No’ was separated from ‘Lepidus’ and made to follow ‘Cæsar.’ It is to be observed that the division of ll. 96, 97 into metrical lengths was made by Rowe, and it is quite possible so to change it as not to need ‘No’ for a tenth syllable,—an ineffable relief to the o'erfraught heart.—Ed.]


The Honour is Sacred Warburton: Sacred, for unbroken, unviolated. —Johnson: Warburton seems to understand this passage thus: ‘The honour which he talks of me as lacking, is unviolated. I never lacked it.’ This, perhaps, may be the true meaning; but, before I read the note, I understood it thus: Lepidus interrupts Cæsar, on the supposition that what he is about to say will be too harsh to be endured by Antony; to which Antony replies—‘No, Lepidus, let him speak; the security of honour on which he now speaks, on which this conference is held now, is sacred, even supposing that I lacked honour before.—Malone: Antony, in my opinion, means to say—The theme of honour which he now speaks of, namely, the religion of an oath, for which he supposes me not to have a due regard, is sacred; it is a tender point, and touches my character nearly. Let him therefore urge his charge, that I may vindicate myself.—M. Mason: I do not think that either Johnson's or Malone's explanation of this passage is satisfactory. The true meaning of it appears to be this:—Cæsar accuses Antony of a breach of honour in denying to send him aid when he required it, which was contrary to his oath. Antony says, in his defence, that he did not deny his aid, but, in the midst of dissipation, neglected to send it: that having now brought his forces to join him against Pompey, he had redeemed that error; and that therefore the honour which Cæsar talked of, was now

sacred and inviolate, supposing that he had been somewhat deficient before, in the performance of that engagement.—The adverb now refers to is, not to talks on; and the line should be pointed thus: ‘The honour's sacred that he talks on, now, Supposing that I lack'd it.’—[I cannot see that anything is here implied more than that Anthony's sacred honour having been impugned, there can be no remission of the explicit charge, made by him who had supposed that Anthony had violated it.—Ed.]


The Article of my oath A majority of editors have followed Theobald in placing a dash after ‘oath;’ implying an unfinished sentence. Would not an interrogation point be better? Anthony is repeating Cæsar's own words, and asking, I think, an explanation.—Ed.


had bound me vp From mine owne knowledge Deighton: That is, I had become a complete stranger to my nobler nature.


nor my power Worke without it Malone: Nor my greatness work without mine honesty.—Delius prefers to consider ‘it’ as referring not to ‘honesty’ but to ‘greatness,’ and thus paraphrases the sentence: the honesty with which I acknowledge my fault, cannot injure my greatness, cannot diminish the knowledge of my worth; nor can it cause my power to be proved worthless.


'Tis Noble spoken For many examples of adjectives used as adverbs, see, if need be, Abbott, § 1. Compare ‘How honourable . . . wee Determine for her,’ V, i, 71.

116. If it might please you, etc.] Capeli. (i, 33): This imperfect and conditional mode of expressing a wish, may be intended as a mark of submissiveness: in

any other light, is improper; and—Would were greatly better than ‘If.’—Thiselton (p. 12): The punctuation of the Folio indicates a deferential hesitancy in venturing to offer advice.—[If this ‘punctuation’ refers to the comma after ‘you,’ it is not peculiar to the Folio. There is, I think, no edition without it.—Ed.]


griefes That is, grievances.


the present neede, Thiselton (p. 12): The comma after ‘neede’ shows that that word is to be dwelt upon for emphasis.—[Independently of the fact that the punctuation of Shakespeare's compositors cannot be implicitly followed, it may be doubted that in the passage before us, ‘present’ be not the emphatic word. In the very next line above there is a comma after ‘quite’; does this indicate that ‘quite’ is more emphatic than ‘to forget?’—Ed.]


attone Murray (N. E. D. s. v.): Atone is formed on the adverbial phrase at one in its combined form as representing a simple idea, and 16th century pronunciation. Short for the phrase ‘set or make at one.’ . . . From the frequent phrases ‘set at one’ or ‘at onement,’ the combined atonement began to take the place of onement early in the 16th century, and atone to supplant one, verb, about 1550. Atone was not admitted into the Bible in 1611, though atonement had been in since Tindale.


spoken Dyce (ed. ii) conjectures that this should be spoke, overlooking the fact that it is so printed by Steevens in 1793, followed by the Variorums of 1803 and 1813, and is suggested by Walker (Crit. i, 131). This oversight, unaccountable in so careful an editor, beguiled the Cam. Edd. who record it as Dyce's conjecture in their footnotes.—Ed.


That trueth should be silent Steevens: We find a similar sentiment in King Lear: ‘Truth's a dog must to kennel,’ etc., I, iv, 124.—Walker (Crit. ii, 170): The structure of the sentence looks as if Enobarbus were referring to a proverb. —[Steevens and Staunton in the next note make a similar suggestion.]


your Considerate stone Johnson: This line is passed by all the editors, as if they understood it, and believed it universally intelligible. I cannot find in it any very obvious, and hardly any possible meaning. I would therefore read: ‘Go to then, you considerate ones.’ You who dislike my frankness and temerity of speech, and are so considerate and discreet, go to, do your own business.—Capell (i, 33), in this instance keener than Dr Johnson, gives the meaning of Enobarbus as that ‘he would, from thenceforth, be a very stone for silence, but he would think a little.’—Steevens: That is, if I must be chidden, henceforward I will be as mute as a marble statue, which seems to think, though it can say nothing. ‘As silent as a stone,’ however, might have been once a common phrase.—[Hereupon follow several examples which might be multiplied, drawn from old sources where a stone is used as a simile of silence or stillness.]—Blackstone: The metre of this line is deficient. It will be perfect, and the sense rather clearer, if we read (without altering a letter): ‘—your consideratest one.’ I doubt, indeed, whether this adjective is ever used in the superlative degree; but in the mouth of Enobarbus it might be pardoned.— Ritson (Cursory Crit. 85): As Enobarbus, to whom this line belongs, generally speaks in plain prose, there is no occasion for any further attempt to harmonize it.— Collier (ed. i): It may be a question whether Enobarbus means to call Antony ‘a considerate stone,’ or to say merely that he will be silent as a stone. If the former, we must, with Johnson, change ‘your’ to you; but the latter affords a clear meaning without any alteration of the ancient text.—Dyce (Remarks, 246): Enobarbus call Antony a stone! he would as soon have ventured to throw one at him. Johnson's proposed alteration, bad as it certainly was, did not involve such an absurdity. —Collier (ed. ii): That is, I will be as considerate as a stone. Johnson's notion [where?] that Enobarbus meant to call Antony a ‘considerate stone,’ does not seem to us, recollecting that the words were those of a rough free-spoken soldier, such an ‘absurdity’ as it appeared to the Rev. Mr Dyce. In speaking of the note in our first edition, he ought to have remembered two things, which he has entirely overlooked, viz., that we gave the very text he supports, and that we ourselves said no change was needed. If Mr Dyce had been more of a ‘considerate stone,’ he would have saved himself from the appearance of endeavouring to make a fault where he could not find one. We do not at all say that the suspicion would be just, but that he has laid himself open to it.—[Whoever wishes to hear the last word in this deplorable quarrel between two men who had been for many years fast friends, will find it in Dyce's Strictures, p. 203, where he exultantly proves that to Collier exclusively belongs the notion that Enobarbus called Antony a stone! Time did not abate the flush of Dyce's triumph. Seven years later he repeated these remarks in his Strictures at full length, in his Second Edition. Apparently, so far from being crushed under this appalling stigma of bad pree<*>minence, Collier in his Monovolume placidly printed ‘you considerate stone,’ and in his Third Edition, while returning to the old text, reprinted the substance of the note in his First Edition.]— Staunton: As silent as

a stone was an expression not unusual formerly, and the words in the text may hereafter be found to be proverbial; at present they are inexplicable.—Hudson: Meaning, apparently, I am your considerate stone; like a statue, which seems to speak, but does not.—Elze (p. 285) is, apparently, willing to be pilloried alongside of Collier, and suggests, although ‘with hesitation,’ ‘you're considerate stone,’ that is: ‘You are indeed considerate ( =discreet, circumspect), but at the same time “senseless as a stone,” inaccessible to conciliatory and tender emotions.’—[Instead of saying as in modern parlance, ‘All right. Your obedient servant,’ Enobarbus replies in effect, ‘I understand. Your intelligent and accommodating stone,’ with all that a ‘stone’ implies of dumbness, deafness, and impassivity. At least such is the interpretation of Enobarbus's words in the opinion of the present Ed.]

131, 132. I do not much dislike the matter, but The manner, etc.] Warburton: What, not dislike the matter of it? when he says presently after, that he would do everything to prevent the evil Enobarbus predicted. Besides are we to suppose that common civility would suffer him to take the same liberty with Antony's lieutenant, that Antony himself did? Shakespeare wrote ‘I do not much dislike the manner, but The matter of his speech,’ etc., i. e. 'tis not his liberty of speech, but the mischiefs he speaks of, which I dislike. This agrees with what follows, and is said with much urbanity, and show of friendship.—Heath (p. 454): That is, As to the matter of what he hath said, there is probably too much truth in it, though the want of respect in his manner of saying it may deserve blame. That this is the sense is most clearly evident from the confession of Cæsar which immediately follows.— Capell (i, 33): Here is another transposition; the words ‘manner’ and ‘matter’: the emendation was started by [Warburton], is confirm'd by what the speaker says afterwards, and recommended by much delicacy.—[The present play was the fifth that Capell printed (vol. i, p. 19, footnote). It is noteworthy how much in these early plays he was under the influence of Warburton. In the present instance, he preferred the speciousness of Warburton to the sound sense of Heath.—Ed.]— Johnson: ‘I do not (says Cæsar), think the man wrong, but too free of his interposition; for it cannot be, we shall remain in friendship; yet if it were possible, I would endeavour it.’


conditions That is, dispositions, natures, tempers.


What Hoope should hold vs staunch There is the same simile of a hoop about a cask in 2 Hen. IV: IV, iv, 43, ‘A hoop of gold to bind thy brothers in, That the united vessel of their blood . . . shall never leak.’—Corson (p. 277): It must evidently be understood by this speech, that a ‘hoop,’ and a very politic one, has been already decided upon by Octavius and his crafty counsellor, Agrippa. What

follows shows this; and affords a special illustration, too, of Antony's genius rebuked by Octavius's.


Giue me leaue Cæsar. It can hardly be that the comma and dash after ‘Cæsar,’ begun by Capell and continued by a large majority of modern editors, are right. Where all are so courtly in this conference, it cannot be likely that Cæsar would break in upon Agrippa's first words, especially if it were merely to tell him to continue speaking, a very needless permission; the end would have been gained by Cæsar's keeping silent. If we erase the period of the Folio, I think we should substitute an interrogation mark.—Ed.


a Sister by the Mothers side Octavia was Cæsar's own sister, by the same mother, Atia; but Shakespeare here follows Plutarch who says that her mother was Ancharia. See Appendix, Plutarch.


Say not, say Agrippa Corrected by Rowe. This is one of the very numerous instances collected by Walker (Crit. i, 314) in his fifty-eight pages of the ‘Substitution of Words,’ generally to be attributed, as here, to proximity.

your proofe Theobald said that he made ‘no scruple to restore “your approof.”’ Hanmer's text reads, ‘your reproof,’ and a footnote has ‘Warb. emend.’ Warburton's own text, however, follows Theobald, and he has no note on the passage. Heath (p. 451) gives a good interpretation of Theobald's text, but there is little need to reprint it, inasmuch as Warburton's emendation has been uniformly followed. M. Mason properly interpreted ‘your reproof’ as ‘the reproof you would undergo,’ and quoted as parallel a passage from Beaumont & Fletcher's Custom of the Country, V, iv, where ‘Your great opinion in the world’ is equivalent, so he said, to ‘the great opinion conceived of you;’ but he was herein possibly wrong as to the exact meaning. Malone detected the source of the error in the Folio, which lay in making the r in ‘your’ do double duty, for itself and for ‘reproof,’ and cited as a parallel case ‘Mine Nightingale,’ IV, viii, 24. This error was due, so Malone said, to the transcriber's ear deceiving him.—Abbott (§ 423):

Instead of ‘your reproof of rashness’ we should now say, ‘the reproof of your rashness’ (unless ‘of’ here means about, for).—Corson (p. 277): This speech seems to convey the impression that the proposal of marriage between Antony and Octavia, intimated in the last speech of Agrippa, was something new to Octavius. But he evidently knows just what's coming from Agrippa.


take Anthony For other examples of the subjunctive used imperatively, see Abbott § 364.


That which none else can vtter Wordsworth: That is, for themselves better than any one else can.


would be tales Walker (Vers. p. 165) approves of Hanmer's ‘would be but tales.’—Staunton: The remedy [for the defective metre] most accordant with the poet's manner is to read ‘would be half tales,’ etc.—[Herein Staunton was, unwittingly, anticipated by Rann, an editor far too often overlooked.—Ed.]—Hudson: The meaning here is somewhat dark, but may be explained thus: ‘Even true reports of differences between you will then pass for idle tales, and will not catch public credit; whereas now mere rumours of such differences easily gain belief, and so do all the mischief of truths.’ Here, as often, ‘where’ is equivalent to whereas. —Abbott (§ 508) gives this line as an instance of the omission of a foot [before ‘Truth's’].


is spoke See line 115, above.


If I would say Abbott (§ 331): This means, ‘If I wished, were disposed, to say.’


let me haue thy hand Note the instant change to the familiar ‘thy.’ Cæsar is not so warm-hearted; he retains the distant ‘you’ to the end.—Ed.


I bequeath you Murray (N. E. D. s. v.): An ancient word, the retention of which is due to the traditional language of wills. II. To ‘say (a thing) away;’ to give or part with by formal declaration. . . . b. To ‘leave’ by will. (The only surviving sense for which it is the proper term.)


Flie off In the same construction with ‘Let’ in line 176.


Least my remembrance, suffer ill report Johnson: Lest I be thought too willing to forget benefits, I must barely return him thanks, and then I will defy him.


At heele Abbott (§ 89) considers that the article is here omitted. It is also possible that it is absorbed in the t of ‘At.’


Of vs ‘Of’ is here used of the agent where we should say by.


About To complete the deficient line, ‘Or else he seekes out vs. Where lies he?’ Walker (§ Crit. iii, 298) would affix to it this ‘About’ and pronounce it 'Bout.

the Mount-Mesena Rolfe: The promontory in the Bay of Naples, now known as the Punta di Miseno.


Would we had spoke together Schmidt (Lex.): Sometimes, in a kind of euphemism, ‘speak’ is equivalent to exchange blows, to fight: ‘they lie in view, but have not spoke as yet.’—Coriol. I, iv, 4; ‘thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails; we'll speak with thee at sea’—the present play, II, vi, 30.—[The third and last of Schmidt's examples is the present line, which, in his translation of this play, he thus renders, ‘O wären wir schon an ihm!’ with the note (p. 173) that Tieck translates it: ‘“Hätt' ich ihn doch gesprochen!” in which sense,’ Schmidt goes on to say, ‘all other editors, to judge from their eloquent silence, have also taken

it.’ He then quotes the same examples which he gives in his Lexicon, with the remark that they can bear no possible meaning other than that which he gives.—Ed.]


With most gladnesse See Abbott (§ 17) for other examples where ‘most’ is used as the superlative of great.


Whether Walker (Vers. 105): The verse indicates that this is a monosyllable.


Halfe the heart Deighton: A translation of Horace's ‘animæ dimidium meæ.’—Ode I, iii, 8.

206. Eno. Halfe the heart, etc.] Delius (Sh. Jahrb. V, 267): Only once in the earnest political conference of the Triumvirs did Enobarbus venture, in prose, to interject a bold word, for which he was immediately checked; but now, therefore, after the departure of his rigorous masters, he enters with more freedom into a conversation in prose with Mæcenas. But as soon as the talk rises from the domain of mere gossip to a description of Antony's first meeting with Cleopatra, he resumes blank verse. The poet was well enough aware that only in blank verse could this majestic masterpiece be adequately portrayed, and, therefore, the humourous side of Enobarbus's character is here abandoned.


disgested An old, not uncommon form; it occurs again in Coriol. I, i, 154, in the Folio.

213. Eight Wilde-Boares, etc.] See Appendix, Plutarch.


This was but as a Flye by an Eagle By the few editors who have taken note of this phrase, it has been interpreted as conveying merely a comparison; the eight boars were merely as a fly by the side of, and so in comparison with, an eagle. Is it not capable of a different interpretation? Mæcenas wonders that eight boars should have been a breakfast for only twelve persons. Enobarbus replies, in effect, that so far from eight boars having been considered an inordinate repast, it was no more than a fly would be considered a hearty breakfast by an eagle.—Ed.


if report be square to her Steevens: That is, if report quadrates with her, or suits with her merits.


vpon the Riuer of Sidnis M. Mason: This passage is a strange instance of negligence and inattention in Shakspeare. Enobarbus is made to say that Cleopatra gained Antony's heart on the river Cydnus; but it appears from the conclusion of his own description, that Antony had never seen her there; that, whilst she was on the river, Antony was sitting alone, enthroned in the market-place, whistling to the air, all the people having left him to gaze upon her: and that, when she landed, he sent to her to invite her to supper.—Cowden-Clarke: The inattention is Mason's, not Shakespeare's; the expression ‘upon the river of Cydnus,’ is here used to signify ‘the district on the shores of the river of Cydnus,’ including the ‘city’ which ‘cast her people out upon her,’ and its ‘market-place’ wherein ‘Antony’ sat ‘enthroned.’ The idiom ‘upon the Seine,’ or ‘upon the Thames’ is employed to express the adjacent shores of those rivers, the country in their neighborhood.—Rolfe: Mason's criticism reminds one of Yellowplush's surprise at finding Boulogne-surMer was on the shore and not ‘on the sea.’

225. The Barge she sat in, etc.] Hazlitt (p. 97): The rich and poetical description of Cleopatra's person seems to prepare the way for, and almost to justify the subsequent infatuation of Antony when in the sea-fight at Actium, he leaves the battle, and ‘like a doating mallard’ follows her flying sails.—Hartley Coleridge (ii, 184): Beautiful as this description is, one might almost desire that it had been uttered by a more interesting personage. Dryden has transferred it to Antony,—copied it pretty closely,—or perhaps kept closer to Plutarch's prose. The poetry he almost suppresses; but he certainly introduces the story more artfully. Narration for its own sake is not, however, a frequent fault of Shakespeare.


were Loue-sicke. Knight (ed. i and ii) virtually adheres to the punctuation of the Folio, which he observes ‘is surely more poetical.’ Dyce quotes the observation, prints it in Italics, and affixes two exclamation marks; a cheap mode of expressing a patronizing superiority. In Knight's Second Edition, Revised, the Folio is abandoned and Capell followed.—Ed.


cloth of Gold, of Tissue Collier (ed. ii): This is nonsense; it could not be ‘cloth of gold’ if it were ‘of tissue.’ What was meant must have been that the ‘cloth of gold’ of the pavilion was lined with ‘tissue.’ The contraction for ‘and’ was not unfrequently read of by old printers, and such, according to the MS, seems to have been the case here.—Staunton: That is, cloth-of-gold on a ground of tissue. The expression so repeatedly occurs in early English books that we cannot imagine how anyone familiar with such reading can have missed it.—[Staunton here quotes Collier's note, which, he says, is made ‘with incredible simplicity.’ Collier in his Third Edition abandoned and, the reading of his MS.]


that Venns Theobald suggests that there is here a reference to the cele

brated Venus Anadyomene of Apelles which was painted from Campaspe as a model, whereof an account is given in Pliny's Natural History, Book xxxv, chap. 10. If Shakespeare had any particular Venus in mind, Theobald is possibly right. Warburton, for no reason, that I can see, other than jealousy of Theobald, asserts that it was the Venus of Protogenes and gives the reference to Pliny which Theobald did not give. Warburton's assertion, but not Theobald's suggestion, is repeated in the Variorum of 1821, and has been ever since, by those who have mentioned it at all, accepted as his own. Yet, had his reference been verified, it would have been found that while the Venus Anadyomene by Apelles is there twice described, there is not a word said of any Venus by Protogenes.—Ed.


what they vndid did Johnson: It might be read less harshly: ‘what they did, undid.’—Malone: The wind of the fans seemed to give a new colour to Cleopatra's cheeks, which they were employed to cool; and ‘what they undid,’ i. e. that warmth which they were intended to diminish or allay, they did, i. e., they seemed to produce.—Staunton: We should prefer, ‘what they undy'd, dy'd,’ that is, while diminishing the colour of Cleopatra's cheeks, by cooling them, they reflected a new glow from the warmth of their own tints.


Nereides Dyce (ed. ii): Here in my first edition I altered ‘Nereides’ to Nerei<*>ds,—wrongly; for formerly the word used to be written Nereides; see, for instance, the article ‘Nereides’ in Heywood's Various Historie concerninge Women, etc., p. 36, ed. 1624.


Mer-maides Coleridge (p. 317): I have the greatest difficulty in believing that Shakespeare wrote the first ‘mermaids.’ He never, I think, would have so weakened by useless anticipation the fine image immediately following. The epithet ‘seeming’ becomes so extremely improper after the whole number had been positively called ‘so many mermaids.’

243, 244. So many Mer-maides tended her i'th'eyes, And made their bends adornings] Warburton: This is sense indeed, and may be understood thus, her

maids bowed with so good an air, that it added new graces to them. But this is not what Shakespeare would say; Cleopatra, in this famous scene, personated Venus just rising from the waves; at which time, the mythologists tell us, the Sea-deities surrounded the goddess to adore, and pay her homage. Agreeably to this fable Cleopatra had dressed her maids, the poet tells us, like Nereids. To make the whole conformable to the story represented, we may be assured Shakspeare wrote: ‘And made their bends adorings.’ They did her observance in the posture of adoration, as if she had been Venus.—Heath (p. 455): I very much doubt whether such an affected flat expression as adorings came from Shakespeare. The word, bend, is here used for an arch, and the bends of the eyes are the eye-brows. Thus the sense will be, That these seeming nereids were employed in adjusting Cleopatra's eye-brows, as often as they happened to be discomposed by the fanning of the boys, or any other accident. This interpretation is confirmed by the preceding words, tended her in the eyes.—[The student is entreated not to condemn Heath utterly on account of this one aberration of mind; he is usually eminently sane.—Ed.]—Capell (i, 33): That is, watch'd her looks, to receive commandments from them: in the receiving of which, the submiss inclination of body was perform'd with so much elegance, that their other personal beauties were much set out by it. This is the obvious meaning of ‘made their bends adornings.’—Johnson: Perhaps ‘tended her by th' eyes,’ discovered her will by her eyes.—Steevens (Var. 1773): That Cleopatra personated Venus we know; but that Shakespeare was acquainted with the circumstance of homage being paid her by the Deities of the Sea [as stated by Warburton], is by no means as certain.—Tollet: I think ‘bends’ or bands is the same word, and means, in this place, the several companies of Nereids, that waited on Cleopatra.— [Although I have no idea at what age Tollet died, it is to be regretted that he did not live long enough to withdraw this conjecture.—Ed.]—Malone in the Var. of 1778 apprehended that ‘their bends’ refers to Cleopatra's eyes, and that ‘her attendants watched the motion of her eyes, the bends or movements of which added new lustre to her beauty.’ But he withdrew this interpretation in his edition of 1790, and gave in his adhesion to Warburton's adorings. And in the Var. of 1821, he conceded that ‘tended her i'the eyes’ ‘may only mean they performed their duty in the sight of their mistress.’—Steevens (Var. 1793): Perhaps ‘tended her i'the eyes’ may signify that the attendants on Cleopatra looked observantly into her eyes, to catch her meaning, without giving her the trouble of verbal explanation. After all, I believe it only means waited before her, in her sight. So, in Hamlet, IV, iv, 5: ‘If that his majesty would aught of us, We shall express our duty in his eye,’ i. e. in our personal attendance on him, by giving him ocular proof of our respect. Henley explains it thus: ‘obeyed her looks without waiting for her words.’—Monck Mason: The passage, as it stands, appears to me wholly unintelligible; but it may be amended by a very slight deviation from the text, by reading, the guise, instead of ‘the eyes,’ and then it will run thus: ‘Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides, So many mermaids, tended her i' the guise, And made their bends, adornings.’ ‘In the guise,’ means in the form of mermaids, who were supposed to have the head and body of a beautiful woman, concluding in a fish's tail: and by the bends which they made adornings, Enobarbus means the flexure of the fictitious fishes' tails, in which the limbs of the women were necessarily involved, in order to carry on the deception, and which it seems they adapted with so much art as to make them an ornament, instead of a deformity. This conjecture is supported by the very

next sentence, where Enobarbus, proceeding in his description, says: ‘at the helm A seeming mermaid steers.’—[This note of Mason with its harmless allusion to the ‘flexure of the fictitious tails,’ afforded Steevens too good an opportunity to be lost. Accordingly, after observing that Mason's conjecture, guise, could not be thus used absolutely, without a limiting noun, he turns to the mermaids, who, ‘whatever grace the tails of legitimate mermaids might boast of in their native element, must have produced but awkward effects when taken out of it, and exhibited on the deck of a galley. . . . I will undertake, in short, the expense of providing characteristic tails for any set of mimick Nereids, if my opponent will engage to teach them the exercise of these adscititious terminations, so as “to render them a grace instead of a deformity.” . . . It may be added also, that the Sirens and descendants of Nereus, are understood to have been complete and beautiful women, whose breed was uncrossed by the salmon or dolphin tribe.’ Finally, with the malicious smile still on his face, Steevens proposed to amend the phrase ‘merely by the omission of a single letter, and read “made their ends adornings.”’ Mason replied very temperately, like the Right Honourable gentleman that he was, in an Appendix to his Comments on Beaumont and Fletcher, maintaining his ground and concluding with the assertion that he could ‘find no sense in the passage as’ Steevens and Malone ‘have printed it.’ The foregoing notes which I have condensed are ‘so very long, as originally written,’ that in the Variorum of 1821 Boswell transferred them ‘to the end of the play’; there the student may read them at length; but, as in all such controversies, he will find but a ha'porth of Shakespeare to an intolerable deal of the disputants.—Ed.] Z. Jackson, whose insufferable book was many years ago banned from these pages, must now be heard, inasmuch as his contribution to the discussion happens to be of value. He believes (p. 293) that ‘bends’ is here used in a nautical sense (the ‘bends’ are, according to Admiral Smyth's Sailor's WordBook, ‘the thickest and strongest planks on the outward part of the ship's side, between the plank-streaks on which men set their feet in climbing up’); the ‘eyes’ also is nautical and means the ‘dead eyes’ (a dead-eye, also according to Admiral Smyth, is ‘a sort of round flattish wooden block, . . . pierced with three holes through the flat part, in order to receive a rope called a laniard, which, corresponding with three holes in another dead-eye on the shroud end, creates a purchase to extend the shrouds, etc.’); ‘on the bends of Cleopatra's barge, therefore, stood her gentlewomen, uncovered to the waist,’ with an artificial mermaid's tail floating on the water. Thus Cleopatra's attendants, ‘as so many mermaids, tended her i'the eyes (for there they held by the rigging, connected with the eyes), and made the bends (whereon they stood) adornings, i. e. they adorned the bends, which otherwise would have remained devoid of ornaments.’ Accordingly, Jackson proposed to read:—‘And made the bends adornings.’ [Jackson is undoubtedly the earliest to apply a nautical interpretation to ‘bends’ and ‘eyes,’—an interpretation to which the most recent criticism seems to be drifting. Unfortunately Jackson restricted ‘eyes’ to the ‘dead eyes.’]—Knight: We hold to the ‘adornings’ of the original.— Collier: ‘Tended her i'the eyes’ seems to mean nothing else but tended in her sight; Mr Barron Field truly remarks, that in Mid. N. D., we have the expression ‘gambol in his eyes,’ for gambol in his sight; ‘made their bends adornings’ is probably to be understood, that they bowed with so much grace as to add to their beauty. —[Zachary Jackson believed, as we have seen, that ‘th'eyes’ refers to ‘dead eyes,’ for the nautical use of which term there is good authority; in the following note

‘th'eyes’ is supposed to refer to the hawse-holes,—a use for which, in Shakespeare's time, authority is thus far lacking. The note is much condensed and paraphrased, as indeed all the notes on this vexed question are, of necessity.]—C. F. B. (Putnam's Maga., March, 1857): In Webster's Dict. under the article ‘Eye’ there will be found a phrase ‘the eyes of a ship,’ with the definition that they are ‘the parts which lie near the hawse-holes.’ [‘The foremost part of the bows of a ship, where formerly eyes were painted; also the hawse holes.’—Webster, Dict. 1891.] It is a phrase in common use, at present, among mariners, when speaking of the interior bows of a vessel. Bearing in mind the foregoing definition, and also that ‘tended’ may be an abbreviation of attended, I think we shall find no difficulty in reading the passage as it now stands. If we follow Enobarbus's sketch we shall find that the size and interior arrangements of the barge were such as to allow no other space for ‘her gentlewomen’ to occupy, and that they must be stationed in the bows. The pavilion was too small and the air too warm to admit any more than the ‘dimpled boys’ on each side of Cleopatra and they were endeavouring to keep its fair owner cool. There can be no space for the majority of the gentlewomen near the pavilion, while, stationed in the bows, or eyes of the barge, their various and ever-changing attitudes and movements (either while waiting on Cleopatra's commands or when gazing on the crowd that lined the shore) added to and improved the general effect of the scene, or ‘made their bends adornings.’—Walker (Crit. iii, 299): Undoubtedly, adorings is the true reading. In the play of Dr. Dodypol [I, i, p. 101, ed. Bullen] the same erratum occurs,—‘And devout people would from farre repaire, Like Pilgrims, with their dutuous sacrifice, Adorning thee as Regent of their loves.’ Undoubtedly, adoring; and so correct in Spenser, Virgil's Gnat,—‘Wherefore ye Sisters which the glorie bee Of the Pierian streames, fayre Naiades, Go too, and dauncing all in companie, Adorne that God.’ [ll. 25-28, ed. Grosart.] Original, v. 18,—‘ite, sorores, Naïdes, et celebrate deum plaudente chorea.’—Dyce (ed. ii), who cites, but does not quote, this note of Walker, pronounces adoring ‘a more than plausible emendation.’—R. G. White: ‘In the eye’ was a universally recognized idiom for in the presence, before the face, and was particularly used to express service before a superior. Thus, Cymbeline, III, v, 142, ‘first kill him, and in her eyes; there shall she see my valour.’—[White's text reads ‘adornings,’ but his note implies that he had adopted adorings. He asks, ‘is it not clear that we have here an instance of the superfluous s final, and that “adoring” is not a substantive, but a participle?’ In his Second Edition, 1883, he still follows the Folio, and pronounces the phrase, ‘incomprehensible;’ and adds, ‘no acceptable explanation or correction has been proposed.’] —Staunton: By adopting [Warburton's] likely substitution, and supposing the not improbable transposition of ‘eyes’ and ‘bends,’ we may at least obtain a meaning: —‘tended her in the bends, And made their eyes adorings.’ It may count for something, though not much, in favour of the transposition we assume, that in Pericles, II, iv, we find,—‘That all those eyes adored him.’—John Hunter: That is, Attended on her with their eyes; and by their gaze directed towards her formed ornamental appendages to the main figure. Compare Psalms, cxxiii, 2: ‘As the eyes of a maiden look unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait,’ etc.—Schmidt (Trans., note, p. 174): In the only other passage in Shakespeare where ‘bend’ occurs as a substantive, it refers, not to a bending or bowing, but to the eyes, ‘that same eye whose bend doth awe the world.’—Jul. Cæs., I, ii, 123. . . . ‘Their’ in

the present passage refers to ‘eyes’ in the preceding line, and the literal translation runs: ‘sie erwiesen ihr in (oder mit) den Augen Huldigung, und machten deren Blick (oder Ausdruck) zu einem Schmuck.’ In his Lexicon (s. v. Adornings) Schmidt paraphrases the sentence thus:—‘regarded her with such veneration as to reflect beauty on her, to make her more beautiful, by their looks.’—C. M. Ingleby (Sh. Hermeneutics, etc. 1875, p. 119, footnote): We read, after Zachary Jackson, ‘the bends' adornings.’ [Z. J. wrote bends without an apostrophe.] Both ‘eyes’ and ‘bends’ were parts of Cleopatra's barge. The eyes of a ship are the hawseholes; the bends are the wales, or thickest planks in the ship's sides. North has it: ‘others tending the tackle and ropes of the barge;’ which settles the question as to the meaning of eyes; and that once fixed, the other part of the interpretation is inevitable. What could the hardy soldier, Enobarbus, care for the curves of the mermaid's bodies? To us it is obvious that if the girls tended Cleopatra at the eyes, they would there be the natural ornaments of the bends.—[Jackson held the ‘eyes’ of the barge to be the ‘dead-eyes,’ for which he had authority in so far as ‘dead mens eyes’ is mentioned, together with ‘pullies, blockes, shiuers, caskets and crowes feete,’ in Captain Smith's Accidence for yong Seamen, 1626, p. 15; Ingleby changes these ‘eyes’ to the ‘hawse holes’ for which to be sure he has modern authority in Admiral Smyth's Sailor's Word-Book, 1867, s. v. Eyes of her, but it is open to doubt that this use was known in Shakespeare's time. I can find no trace of it in the N. E. D. Finally, how Ingleby's quotation from North ‘settles the question as to the meaning of eyes’ is, I fear to me, incomprehensible.—Ed.]—F. J. Furnivall (N. & Qu. 1875, V, iv, 103) quotes North's words, ‘others tending the tackle and ropes of the barge,’ and then continues:— I think that Shakespeare's repetition of North's tend strengthens the position of those who urge that the eyes were the eyes of the barge,—the bows; near the hawseholes or eyes, through which the anchor chains passed,—and not Cleopatra's eyes; while on the other hand, North's allusion to the Graces makes it certain that ‘their bends’ is the curves of the ladies' bodies, and not the bends or prominent streaks,—qy. including the gunwale,—of the boat, as has been suggested with the reading ‘the bend's.’ . . . To the meaning generally given to ‘tended her i'the eyes,’ ‘attended to the movements of her eyes, watched her eyes for orders,’ I do not take.—E. H. Pickersgill (N. & Qu. 1875, V, iv, 365): Plutarch speaks of ‘tending the tackle,’ but, according to Shakespeare, the gentlewomen, who are first mentioned ‘tended her’ (Cleopatra) i. e. were in waiting upon her. . . . ‘Tended her i'the eyes’ is equivalent (I take it) to tended her with their eyes, gave her (in a sense different from that in which the term is usually employed) eye-service. Compare Hamlet, IV, iii, 4, ‘the distracted multitude, Who like not in their judgement, but their eyes,’—that is, like in their eyes. If one may be said to like in eyes, why not also tend in eyes? I presume that Mr Furnivall has found contemporary authority for the use of the word ‘eyes’ in the sense of the bows of a ship, although he has not produced any reference.—J. E. Smith (N. & Qu. 1890, VII, x, 402): The suggestion now made is that ‘tended her i'the eyes’ should be bended to the oars. This change would make clear the meaning, mend the measure [is it defective?—Ed.], and complete the description. We now see the Nereides rowing, steering, and sailing the barge, instead of ‘tending Cleopatra i'th'eyes,’ an inscrutable function not to be found in Plutarch. . . . Oars is spelt differently on each of the three occasions when it occurs in the Folio: ‘oares,’ in Two Gent. II, iii; ‘ores,’ Much Ado, III, i; and ‘Owers’ in line 229 of the present speech. Now if

in the MS it were indistinct, or had been subjected to any other orthographical variation, or spelt as in Much Ado, what more likely than that the printers, at their wits' end, should set it up as ‘eyes’? Then ‘tended’ would be a very probable mistake for bended.—[This ingenious but extremely violent emendation deeply stirred the contributors to Notes and Queries. R. M. Spence (1890, VII, x, 483) termed the supposition that the female attendants rowed the heavy silver oars, ‘preposterous.’ T. A. Trollope (1891, VII, xi, 82) came to the rescue, declaring that he considered the emendation ‘peculiarly and strikingly happy,’ and furthermore ‘humbly submitted’ that ‘tended her i'the eyes’ is ‘sheer nonsense.’ In the same volume (p. 182) H. Ingleby, Br. Nicholson, and R. M. Spence, all horrorstruck at the stigma of ‘sheer nonsense,’ pleaded for the original text, with here and there a withering sneer at the proposed emendation. On p. 363, Trollope replied in a long communication (adhering inflexibly to his original opinion), written so brilliantly throughout and with such good-humoured benignity that his opponents must have been glad, I should think, that they had been the means of eliciting it. Of course their own opinions were not a whit changed by it. He who can acknowledge that he is convicted of an error is unfit to enter into a discussion; e'en though vanquished he must argue still. And so, in vol. xii (of the same Series), p. 62, H. Ingleby rejoined; J. E. Smith, the fons et origo of the discussion, unrepentant, reinforced his original position; G. Joicey asked whether the line would not have run either ‘tended in her eyes,’ or ‘tended her wi' their eyes,’ if Titania's ‘gambol in his eyes’ is to be taken as a parallel phrase (as had been alleged by Spence and earlier by Barron Field); and C. C. B. suggested ‘tended on her eyes.’ On p. 202 (of the same volume), we have Trollope again master of fence and, apparently, of the situation; and Br. Nicholson and Spence, and W. F. Prideaux joins in. Finally, on p. 261, Trollope ‘feels obliged to write yet a few words (my last on this subject);’ G. Joicey suggests ‘tend her in her eyes And make their bends adornings;’ H. Ingleby suggests that ‘bends’ ‘may be the equivalent in nautical phraseology, to knots;’ C. E. Seaman asks whether there might not lie in this description some allusion to the heightened effect of Cleopatra's eyes by the use of stibium or antimony. ‘By this the eyes' bends (i. e. either the curves of the eyelids, or every motion to which her eyes were “bent”) had been made adornings.’ The Editor of Notes and Queries here threw down his warder with the remark that ‘he ventured to think this passage has received a full share of attention,’ whereto I think every one will agree. The discussion had lasted from the 22nd of November, 1890 to the 3rd of October, 1891 and I think every one of the disputants would have been supposed upon a book that he ended precisely where he began. During its course, however, but not in connection with it, W. W. Lloyd (Ibid. VII, xii, 4) proposed the emendation ‘'tended her i'the eyes, And marked their bends, adoring.’ The discussion had a brief recrudescence in 1902, when N. H. Prenter (IX, ix, 222) revived the idea that the ‘eyes’ were the hawseholes, the ‘bends’ were the sailors' knots, etc. On p. 342 of the same volume, J. Marshall argued that the ‘eyes’ were sailors' loops, etc. In the meantime, while this discussion was going on, Deighton gave his paraphrase of the original text:—‘the mermaids waited upon her, ever observant of her wishes as shown by her looks, and lent fresh beauty to the picture by the grace with which they paid their homage.’ H. Littledale, in his admirable edition of Dyce's Glossary, gives, as a definition of ‘bends’ in the present passage, ‘glances; their eyes turned towards h<*>r, and by their bright glances

adorned her.’ The latest voice to be heard on the question, and one worthy of all respect, is that of Rolfe, who says, ‘The part of North's account which corresponds to “made their bends adornings” seems to be the statement that the gentlewomen were apparelled “like the Graces,” and this must suggest a reference to grace in their movements. I believe that in all that has been written on the passage, no one has called attention to the very close paraphrase of North which Shakespeare gives: “Her ladies and gentlewomen . . . were apparelled like the nymphs Nereids (which are the mermaids of the waters) and”—after getting so far we have only to seek a parallel for “like the Graces;” and may we not find it in “made their bends adornings?”—made their very obeisance, as they tended her, like that of the Graces waiting on Venus.’ I doubt that there is any corruption in this passage. A paraphrase by Rann has been reserved as a final word. To me it adequately expresses the meaning of the whole phrase:—‘Her gentlewomen took their orders from the motion of her eyes, which gave her the happy opportunity of adding, by her looks, new lustre to her beauty; and made their obeisance with the utmost imaginable grace.’—Ed.]

246. Swell with the touches, etc.] Collier (ed. ii) adopts the change, smell, of his MS. In a note he asks, ‘how was “the silken tackle” to “swell”? The “flower-soft hands” imparted a perfume to “the silken tackle,” and we are told just afterwards that the “smell” reached even “the adjacent wharfs.”’—R. G. White (Sh.'s Scholar, p. 450): If Mr Collier must be literal, does he not know that cordage will swell with handling?—Dyce (Strictures, etc. p. 204): Mr Collier ought certainly to have accounted for so remarkable a circumstance [as set forth in preceding note] on physical grounds, and also to have shown (what may be doubted) that, in Shakespeare's days, the verb ‘smell’ was ever followed by the preposition with.—Thiselton (p. 13): The yielding softness of their hands gives rise to the illusion that the silken tackle swells.—[There is to me something peculiarly disagreeable in the emendation of Collier's MS; the idea that any smell results from a human touch is offensive, and wain-ropes cannot hale me to the belief that smell is Shakespeare's word. I do not forget ‘Since when it grows and smells, I swear, Not of itself but thee,’ and I also do not forget that the rosy wreath was perfumed because ‘Thou thereon didst only breathe,’—a very different thing from smelling because it had been handled. It is my firm belief that the silken tackle actually swelled with sheer delight at having been clasped by those flower-soft hands.—Ed.]


Flower-soft Compare ‘marble-constant’ V, ii, 291; and for many another similar compound see Abbott, § 430.


yarely frame the office Steevens: That is, readily and dexterously perform the task they undertake.—[See Tempest, I, i, 4, and elsewhere in that play.]


Wharfes Schmidt (Lex.): The banks of a river; as in Hamlet, I, v, 33: ‘the fat weed that rots itself in ease on Lethe wharf.’—W. W. Skeat (Academy, 6 April, 1878): The root of ‘wharf’ is the same as that which appears in Anglo-Saxon hweorfan, to turn, so that wharf is rightly spelt with initial wh. But the word wharf, in the sense of bank or sea-shore, is misspelt. It should rather be warf, and even then it is a corruption—viz. of the Middle English warth. The derivation is from a Teutonic base wara, meaning ‘sea.’ Hence was formed Anglo-Saxon wæroth or warth, meaning ‘sea-shore,’ or ‘shore,’ ‘bank.’


And made a gap in Nature Warburton: Alluding to an axiom in the peripatetic philosophy, then in vogue, that ‘Nature abhors a vaouum.’—Malone: ‘But for vacancy’ means for fear of a vacuum.—Corson (Introd. etc. p. 265): What is chiefly remarkable, are the additions which Shakespeare makes to his prose original; his imagination projects itself into inanimate things and impassions them. For example, the winds are represented as love-sick with the perfumes from the sails; the water beat by silver oars, follows faster, as if amorous of their strokes; the silken tackle swell with the touches of the flower-soft hands that tend them; the very air of the city, whose inhabitants had all gone out to gaze on Cleopatra, is represented as eager to go and gaze upon her too, but that it feared to make a gap in nature! In such a highly-colored and richly-sensuous passage, the great artist creates the atmosphere in which the passion-fated pair are exhibited.


Supper ‘With vs the nobilities, gentrie, and students, doo ordinarilie go to dinner at eleuen before noone, and to supper at fiue, or betueene fiue and six at afternoone. The merchants dine and sup seldome before twelue at noone, and six at night especialie in London. . . . As for the poorest sort they generallie dine and sup when they may.’—Harrison, Description of England, etc. 1587; prefixed to Holinshed's Chronicles, Bk. II, cap. vi. p. 171 (p. 166, New Sh. Soc. Reprint).


It should be better For this use of ‘should,’ see Abbott, § 326.


woman hard speake ‘Hard’ is here probably a phonetic spelling of the compositors. Possibly this pronunciation of heard may still exist in New England. It was common enough fifty years ago.—Ed.


ordinary Nares: A public dinner, where each person pays his share. The word, in this sense, is certainly not obsolete; but it is here [i. e. in Nares's own Glossary] inserted for the sake of observing that ordinaries were long the universal resort of gentlemen, particularly in the reign of James I. They were, as a modern writer well observes, ‘The lounging-places of the men of the town and the fantastic gallants who herded together. Ordinaries were the exchange for news, the echoing places for all sorts of town-talk; there they might hear of the last new play and poem; these resorts were attended also to save charges of housekeeping.’—Curiosities of Literature, iii, 82. In 1608, a common price for a genteel ordinary was two shillings.


Wench This is by no means always a derogatory term. In the most tragic moment of his life Othello calls his dead Desdemona ‘O ill-starr'd wench!’ —Ed.


And breathlesse powre breath forth Capell (i, 33): ‘Power’ is— power of charming; this, says Enobarbus, Cleopatra breath'd forth even by being breathless; making (as he express'd it before) defects perfections, by the grace that went along with her panting.—Daniel (p. 80): The Third and Fourth Folio, for ‘breath’ have breathe, and on their authority (?) the line has always, I believe, been given thus,—‘And, breathless, power breathe forth.’ If we modernise the spelling, I think we should read, what I believe to be the sense of the First Folio,—‘And, breathless, pour breath forth.’ ‘Powre,’ of the First Folio is the form in which the verb pour is frequently there printed; as, indeed, to the present day it is still frequently pronounced.—Staunton (Athenæum, 12 April, 1873): Long before I read Daniel's happy conjecture, the true lection occurred to me on copying the passage from the history where this not very feminine exploit is narrated. There we are

told that the all-conquering, unconquerable Queen, after hopping till breath seemed gone, to show the contrary, began to sing. It was evident to me at once that ‘pour breath forth’ was only a poetical way of saying that she sang; breath being sometimes used of old to signify song. [Daniel's felicitous interpretation, enforced by Staunton's illustration, is, it seems to me, indisputable.—Ed.]


Neuer he will not: Dyce (ed. ii): The Folio has no point after ‘Never;’ but this does not read like a passage where the author meant to use the double negative.


Age cannot wither her, nor custome stale Her infinite variety Steevens: Such is the praise bestowed by Shakspeare on his heroine; a praise that well deserves the consideration of our female readers. Cleopatra, as appears from the tetradrachms of Antony, was no Venus; and indeed the majority of ladies who most successfully enslaved the hearts of princes, are known to have been less remarkable for personal than mental attractions. The reign of insipid beauty is seldom lasting; but permanent must be the rule of a woman who can diversify the sameness of life by an inexhausted variety of accomplishments. To ‘stale’ is a verb employed by Heywood, in The Iron Age, 1632: ‘One that hath stal'd his courtly tricks at home.’


Riggish Nares: Having the inclinations of a bad woman. Hence, wanton, immodest.


A blessed Lottery to him Warburton: Methinks, it is a very indifferent compliment in Mecænas to call Octavia a ‘lottery,’ as if she might turn up blank, as well as prove a prize to Antony. The poet wrote, as I have reformed the text, Allottery, there being as much difference between ‘lottery’ and allottery, as between

a present designation and a future chance.—[Again, the influence of Warburton on Capell is noteworthy (see Text. Notes). Fortunately this influence ceased with Capell.]

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: