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And with those hands, that grasp'd the heaviest
Subdue my worthiest self. The witch shall die; To the young Roman boy she hath sold me, and I fall
Under this plot: she dies for't.-Eros, ho! [Exit.
Alexandria. A Room in the Palace.
Enter CLEOPATra, Charmian, Iras, and MardiAN. CLEO. Help me, my women! O, he is more mad Than Telamon for his shield; the boar of Thessaly Was never so emboss'd 9.
To the monument; There lock yourself, and send him word you are
"Hee quaak't and shaak't and looked pale, and fearfully gan make
"Excuse. But as with humbled hands hee kneeling too him spake,
"The furious Hercule caught him up, and swindging him about
"His head a halfe a doozen tymes or more, he floong him
"Into th' Euboyan sea, with force surmounting any sling; "He hardened intoo peble stone as in the ayre he hing," &c. STEEVENS.
7-the Roman boy-] Old copy-the young Roman boy-. See p. 355, n. 9, where a similar interpolation has been already ejected, for similar reasons. STEEVENS.
" Than Telamon for his shield ;] i. e. than Ajax Telamon for the armour of Achilles, the most valuable part of which was the shield. The boar of Thessaly was the boar killed by Meleager. STEEVENS.
9 Was never so EMBOSS'D.] A hunting term: when a deer is hard run, and foams at the mouth, he is said to be imbost.
See vol. v. p. 361. MALONE.
The soul and body rive not more in parting,
To the monument :
Mardian, go tell him I have slain myself;
The Same. Another Room.
Enter ANTONY and EROS.
ANT. Eros, thou yet behold'st me?
Ay, noble lord.
ANT. Sometime, we see a cloud that's dragonish2;
1 The soul and body rive not more in parting,
Than greatness going off.] So, in King Henry VIII.: ·
it is a sufferance, panging
"As soul and body's severing." MALONE.
2 Sometime, we see a cloud that's dragonish; &c.] So, Aristophanes, Nubes, v. 345:
Ἤδη ποτ' ἀναβλέψας εἶδες νεφέλην Κενταύρω ὁμοίαν ;
SIR W. RAWLINSON. Perhaps Shakspeare received the thought from P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History, b. ii. ch. iii. : our eiesight testifieth the same, whiles in one place there appeareth the resemblance of a waine or chariot, in another of a beare, the figure of a bull in this part," &c. or from Chapman's Monsieur D'Olive, 1606:
"Like to a mass of clouds that now seem like
I find the same thought in Chapman's Bussy d'Ambois, 1607:
like empty clouds,
"In which our faulty apprehensions forge
A vapour, sometime, like a bear, or lion,
A forked mountain, or blue promontory
With trees upon't 3, that nod unto the world,
They are black vesper's pageants *.
Ay, my lord. ANT. That, which is now a horse, even with a
The rack dislimns5; and makes it indistinct,
As water is in water.
It does, my lord.
ANT. My good knave, Eros, now thy captain is Even such a body: here I am Antony;
Perhaps, however, Shakspeare had the following passage in A Treatise of Spectres, &c. quarto, 1605, particularly in his thoughts: "The cloudes sometimes will seem to be monsters, lions, bulls, and wolves; painted and figured: albeit in truth the same be nothing but a moyst humour mounted in the ayre, and drawne up from the earth, not having any figure or colour, but such as the ayre is able to give unto it." MALOne.
3 blue promontory
With TREES UPON'T,] Thus, says Commodore Byron, (speaking of the deceptions of a fog-bank,) the master of a ship, not long since, made oath, that he had seen an island between the west end of Ireland and Newfoundland, and even distinguished the trees that grew upon it. Yet it is certain that no such island exists," &c. Byron's Voyage, 4to. p. 10. STEEVENS.
4 They are black vesper's pageants.] The beauty both of the expression and the allusion is lost, unless we recollect the frequency and the nature of these shows in Shakspeare's age.
5 The rack dislimns ;] i. e. The fleeting away of the clouds destroys the picture. STEEVENS.
6 My good KNAVE, Eros,] Knave is servant. So, in A Mery Geste of Robyn Hoode, bl. 1. no date:
"I shall thee lende lyttle John my man,
"For he shall be thy knave."
Again, in the old metrical romance of Syr Degore, bl. 1. no date: "He sent the chylde to her full rathe,
"With much money by his knave."
Yet cannot hold this visible shape, my knave.
A million more, now lost,-she, Eros, has
Pack'd cards with Cæsar, and false play'd my glory Unto an enemy's triumph 7.
7 PACK'D CARDS with Cæsar, and FALSE PLAY'D my glory Unto an enemy's TRIUMPH.] Shakspeare has here, as usual, taken his metaphor from a low trivial subject; but has enobled it with much art, by so contriving that the principal term in the subject from whence the metaphor was taken, should belong to, and suit the dignity of the subject to which the metaphor is transferred: thereby providing at once for the integrity of the figure, and the nobleness of the thought. And this by the word triumph, which either signifies Octavius's conquest, or what we now call, contractedly, the trump at cards, then called the triumph or the triumphing sort. WARBURTON.
This explanation is very just; the thought did not deserve so good an annotation. JOHNSON.
This use of the word triumph comes to us from the French, who at this day call the trump at cards, le triomphe. STEEVENS.
It is evident that Ben Jonson did not consider the word trump as derived from triumph, but from the French tromper, to deceive, as appears from the following passage in his New Inn:
"Yet all, sir, are not sons of the white hen ;
"Out in the game, which all the world is." M. MASON. I believe Dr. Warburton here, as in many other places, saw more than his author meant. Shakspeare, I think, only intended to say, that Cleopatra, by collusion, played the great game they were engaged in falsely, so as to sacrifice Antony's fame to that of his enemy. The playing false to the adversary's trump card (as Dr. Warburton explains the words) conveys no distinct idea. The plain sense of the passage will appear from the following dialogue in Florio's Second Frutes, 1591: "S. What a shouffling do you keepe with those cardes?-A. I plaie fair playe, and shooffel them as I ought. S. Methinks you packe, and set them.”
Nay, weep not, gentle Eros; there is left us
She has robb'd me of
My mistress lov'd thee, and her fortunes mingled With thine entirely.
ANT. Hence, saucy eunuch; peace; She hath betray'd me, and shall die the death.
MAR. Death of one person can be paid but once; And that she has discharg'd: What thou would'st
Is done unto thy hand; the last she spake
Then in the midst a tearing groan did break
Between her heart and lips: she render'd life,
ANT. Unarm, Eros; the long day's task is done, And we must sleep:-That thou depart'st hence
Does pay thy labour richly; Go.-Off, pluck off;-
8 Eros, unarm;] Old copy, in defiance of metre-Unarm, Eros. STEEvens.
See the Essay on Shakspeare's Versification. BOSWELL.
9 The SEVEN-FOLD SHIELD of Ajax cannot keep, &c.] This thought might have been taken from the Epistle prefixed to Wit's Commonwealth, 1598: "Which neyther a seaven-fold shielde, nor Pallas' Ægis can avoyde." STEEVENS.
I THE battery from my heart.] I would read:
"This battery from my heart- -." JOHNSON.
"The battery from my heart" means, I apprehend, 'the battery proceeding from my heart, which is strong enough to break