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ANT. "Tis said, man ;-and farewell.
EROS. Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now? ANT.
Now, Eros. EROS. Why, there then :- [Falls on his Sword.
Thus do I escape the sorrow
Of Antony's death.
Thrice nobler than myself!
Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what
I should, and thou could'st not. My queen and Eros Have, by their brave instruction, got upon me
A nobleness in record: But I will be
A bridegroom in my death, and run into't
[Falling on his Sword. I learn'd of thee. How! not dead? not dead?The guard!-ho!-O, despatch me.
A bridegroom in my death, &c.] This thought has occurred before in Measure for Measure:
"I will encounter darkness as a bride,
Dryden's Don Sebastian has the same image, though more luxuriantly expressed :
The sprightly bridegroom on his wedding night
"More gladly enters not the lists of love:
Why, 'tis enjoyment to be summon'd thus." STEEVENS. Stowe, describing the execution of Sir Charles Davers, one of the Earl of Essex's associates, says, that “ having put off his gown and doublet in a most cheerful manner, rather like a bridegroom than a prisoner appointed for death, he prayed very devoutly." MALONE.
4 -not YET dead?] Yet, which is wanting in the old copy, was supplied by Mr. Pope. STEEVENS.
5 The guard!-HO!] [Old copy-guard how.] I suspect the poet wrote:
"The guard, ho! O, despatch me!" So, afterwards:
What, ho! the emperor's guard!' In the last scene of the third Act, he has said
Enter DERCETAS and Guard.
What's the noise?
ANT. I have done my work ill, friends; O, make
Of what I have begun.
1 GUARD. And time is at his period.
ANT. Let him that loves me, strike me dead.
2 GUARD. Nor I.
3 GUARD. Nor any one.
The star is fallen.
Alas, and woe!
DER. Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers
This sword but shown to Cæsar, with this tidings, Shall enter me with him.
DIO. Where's Antony?
DER. There, Diomed, there.
DIO. Lives he?
Wilt thou not answer, man?
"Authority melts from me.
Of late, when I cried ho,
"Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth,
"And cry, your will? ›
The same mistake has happened in The Merchant of Venice.
See vol. v. p. 143, n. 2.
And twice in the original copy of Hamlet, 1604:
"Queen. Help, how!
"Pol. What how, help."
Again, in the last Act:
"O villainy! how, let the door be lock'd."
The emendation which I have proposed, ought therefore certainly to be admitted into the text.
I find this emendation already admitted into the text of edition
Mr. Steevens should have added that it was so admitted in consequence of my having suggested it. MALONE.
ANT. Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword, and give me
Sufficing strokes for death.
My mistress Cleopatra sent me to thee.
Most absolute lord,
Now, my lord.
Where is she?
She had a pro
DIO. Lock'd in her monument.
phesying fear 6
Of what hath come to pass: for when she saw
But, fearing since how it might work, hath sent
ANT. Too late, good Diomed:-Call my guard,
Dio. What, ho! the emperor's guard! The guard, what, ho!
Come, your lord calls.
Enter some of the Guard.
ANT. Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides;
'Tis the last service that I shall command you. 1 GUARD. Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wear
All your true followers out.
6 - a PROPHESYING fear-] I suppose our author designed we should read:
a prophet's fear
7 She had DISPOS'D with Cæsar,] To dispose, in this instance, perhaps signifies to make terms, to settle matters. STEEVENS. 8 Woe are we,] Old copy-Woe, woe—. But as the second woe appears (for it spoils the verse) to have been accidentally repeated by the compositor, I have left it out. STEEvens.
Most heavy day!
ANT. Nay, good my fellows, do not please sharp
To grace it with your sorrows: bid that welcome
I have led you oft: carry me now, good friends,
[Exeunt, bearing ANTONY.
The Same. A Monument.
Enter above, Cleopatra, CHARMIAN, and IRAs. CLEO. O Charmian, I will never go from hence. CHAR. Be comforted, dear madam.
CLEO. No, I will not: All strange and terrible events are welcome, But comforts we despise; our size of sorrow, Proportion'd to our cause, must be as great
As that which makes it.-How now? is he dead?
Enter ANTONY, borne by the Guard.
CLEO. O sun,
Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in!-darkling
his death's upon him, but not dead.] The defective measure, and want of respect in the speaker, induce me to suppose, that this line originally stood thus:
"His death's upon him, madam, but not dead." Steevens.
The varying shore o' th' world 2. O Antony, Antony,
Help, Charmian, help, Iras, help: help, friends
Not Cæsar's valour hath o'erthrown Antony,
CLEO. So it should be, that none but Antony
darkling -] i. e. without light. So, in The Two
Angry Women of Abington, 1599:
my mother hath a torch, your wife "Goes darkling up and down." STEEVENS.
20 THOU sun,
Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in !-darkling stand
The VARYING shore o' the world!] Thou is wanting in the old copy, and was supplied by Mr. Pope, whose reading may be justified on the authority of a similar passage in Timon of Athens: "Thou sun, that comfort'st, burn! STEEVENS.
She desires the sun to burn his own orb, the vehicle of light, and then the earth will be dark. JOHNSON.
"The varying shore o' the world!" i. e. of the earth, where light and darkness make an incessant variation. WARBURTON.
According to the philosophy which prevailed from the age of Aristotle to that of Shakspeare, and long since, the sun was a planet, and was whirled round the earth by the motion of a solid sphere in which it was fixed.—If the sun therefore was to set fire to the sphere, so as to consume it, the consequence must be, that itself, for want of support, must drop through, and wander in endless space; and in this case the earth would be involved in endless night. HEATH.
Charmian, help, &c.] Mr. Steevens has thus altered this
"The varying shore o' the world-O Antony!
Antony, Antony!-Charmian, help; help, Iras;
Help, friends below; let's draw him hither." BOSWELL. For the sake of somewhat like metre, one word has been omitted and others transposed. STEEVENS.
Egypt, DYING ;] Perhaps this line was originally completed by a further repetition of the participle; and stood thus:
"I am dying, Egypt, dying, dying; only," &c. STEEVENS.