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By repetition souring, does become
Eno. What's your pleasure, sir ?
Eno. Why, then, we kill all our women. We see how mortal an unkindness is to them: if they suffer our departure, death's the word.
Ant. I must be gone.
Eno. Under a compelling occasion, let women die: it were pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between them and a great cause, they should be esteemed nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of this, dies instantly: I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment.
I do think, there is mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon her, she hath such a celerity in dying.
Ant. She is cunning past man's thought.
Eno. Alack, sir! no; her passions are made of nothing but the finest part of pure love. We cannot call her winds and waters, sighs and tears; they are greater storms and tempests than almanacs can report: this cannot be cunning
the present pleasure, By REPETITION SOURING, does become
The opposite of itself :) Our text has been furnished here by the corr. fo. 1632, and we cannot doubt that it is what the poet wrote, and not “ By revolution lowering,” &c. The meaning of course is, that pleasure, souring by repetition, becomes the reverse of itself. The old compositor misread “repetition” (the same word was mistaken in “ The Winter's Tale,” A. iii. sc. 2, Vol. iii. p. 57) revolution, and “sowering" (as the word was then often spelt) lowering, and thus made almost nonsense of the whole passage. The restoration by the old anno. tator can hardly have been a mere guess.
6 I must from this ENCHANTING queen] It is a great error in the second folio to omit "enchanting ;' and it was not corrected in the folios, 1664 or 1685, which were printed from each other. “ Enchanting" is found inserted in the margin of the corr. fo. 1632, but Rowe printed “ Egyptian queen.”
7 Ho! Enobarbus!) Antony calls Enobarbus, who enters immediately: in all the early copies it is “ How now ! Enobarbus!” certainly, as the Rev. Mr. Dyce says, (" Few Notes," p. 150,) an unusual form of summoning a person to the presence of another. The error arose from the old printing of “Ho!” How, and the careless insertion of now. For a similar reason we have suggested, on the previous page, that “ From Sicyon, how the news?" ought, perhaps, to be “ From Sicyon, ho! the news?”
in her; if it be, she makes a shower of rain as well as Jove.
Ant. Would I had never seen her!
Eno. Oh, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece of work, which not to have been blessed withal would have discredited your travel.
Ant. Fulvia is dead.
Eno. Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth : comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new. If there were no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut, and the case to be lamented: this grief is crowned with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new petticoat; and, indeed, the tears live in an onion, that should water this sorrow.
Ant. The business she hath broached in the state Cannot endure my absence.
Eno. And the business you have broached here cannot be without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which wholly depends on your abode.
Ant. No more light answers. Let our officers
8 The cause of our EXPEDIENCE] i.e. Of our expedition. See Vol. iii. p. 322, where “expedience " is used precisely in the same way: so "expedient,” in Shakespeare, constantly means expeditious. See Vol. iii. pp. 136. 239, &c.
9 And get her LEAVE to part:) This was Pope's emendation for “ love to part” of the folios : it is entirely confirmed by the corr. fo. 1632, where love is altered to “ leave." Monck Mason and Malone were both for "leave."
Pompey the great, and all his dignities,
I shall do it.
Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS.
Cleo. Where is he?
I did not see him since.
Char. Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
What should I do, I do not?
And not a serpent's poison.] There was an old superstition that horse-hair laid in water turned to serpents. Coleridge, in his “Literary Remains," Vol. ii. p. 145, informs us that a notion of the kind still prevails in Cumberland and Westmoreland. “This,” he says, " is so far true to appearance, that a horse-hair laid, as Holinshed says, in a pail of water, will become the supporter of, seemingly, one worm, though probably of an immense number of small, slimy water-lice. The hair will twirl round the finger, and sensibly compress it. It is a common experiment with school boys in Cumberland and Westmoreland.”
2 Thou teachest, like a fool, the way to lose him.] Here we have an instance of decided improvement in punctuation by the old annotator on the fo. 1632. In all the folios, and indeed in all editions from 1623 to our own day, this line has been thus given :
“ Thou teachest like a fool: the way to lose him." There can be no dispute that this mode of pointing the passage is wrong, and in the corr. fo. 1632 it stands as in our text. Without any knowledge that such an emendation had ever been made, we gave the line rightly in our first impression ; and it has been very properly followed by Mr. Singer, although certainly a trifle you are.
Char. Tempt him not so too far; I wish, forbear:
I am sick, and sullen.
Cleo. Help me away, dear Charmian, I shall fall :
Now, my dearest queen,-
What's the matter?
her's Ant. The gods best know,Cleo.
Oh! never was there queen
Most sweet queen,
How now, lady! hardly worth acknowledgment—as indeed he seems to have considered it. We only mention the matter, in order to show that in the corr. fo. 1632 the alteration had been made, and that the old annotator was on the watch even for such ordinary perversions of the meaning of the poet. The wonder is, how Rowe, Pope, Theobald, and so down to Steevens, Johnson, and Malone, could have reiterated the blundering punctuation.
Cleo. I would, I had thy inches ; thou shouldst know,
Hear me, queen.
Cleo. Though age from folly could not give me freedom, It does from childishness.-Can Fulvia die ?
Ant. She's dead, my queen.
Oh, most false love!
Ant. Quarrel no more, but be prepar’d to know
Cut my lace, Charmian, come.
3 The GARBOILS she awak'd ;] “Garboils” was a common word for commotions in the time of Shakespeare: it occurs again afterwards, p. 157; and it was used by Drayton and other good authors, although Stanyhurst fell for it under the ridicule of Hall, in his 6th Satire, of Book i.
“Manhood and garboils shall he chant with changed feet." Stanghurst employs the word in the opening of his English-hexameter translation of the Æneid, 1584, in the line,
“Now, manhood and garboils I chaunt, and martial horror.” Elsewhere he often shows his fondness for the same term.