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Says, it will come to the full. Mark Antony
Looking for Antony: But all the charms of love, Salt Cleopatra, soften thy wan'd lip '!
to hope, nor in concord to powers. The poet's allusion is to the moon; and Pompey would say, he is yet but a half moon, or crescent; but his hopes tell him, that crescent will come to a full orb. THEOBALD.
6-charms-] Old copy-" the charms-." The article is here omitted, on account of metre.
thy WAN'D lip!] In the old edition it is-
Perhaps, for fond lip, or warm lip, says Dr. Johnson. Wand, if it stand, is either a corruption of wan, the adjective, or a contraction of wanned, or made wan, a participle. So, in Hamlet: "That, from her working, all his visage wan'd." Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Queen of Corinth : "Now you look wan and pale; lips' ghosts you are." Again, in Marston's Antonio and Mellida :
a cheek "Not as yet wan'd."
Or perhaps waned lip, i. e. decreased, like the moon, in its beauty. So, in The Tragedy of Mariam, 1613:
"And Cleopatra then to seek had been
Again, in The Skynner's Play, among the Chester collection of Mysteries, MS. Harl. 1013, p. 152:
"O blessed be thou ever and aye;
Yet this expression of Pompey's, perhaps, after all, implies a wish only, that every charm of love may confer additional softness on the lips of Cleopatra: i. e. that her beauty may improve to the
Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both!
ruin of her lover: or, as Mr. Ritson expresses the same idea, that "her lip, which was become pale and dry with age, may recover the colour and softness of her sallad days." The epithet wan might indeed have been added, only to show the speaker's private contempt of it. It may be remarked, that the lips of Africans and Asiaticks are paler than those of European nations.
Shakspeare's orthography often adds a d at the end of a word. Thus, vile is (in the old editions) every where spelt vild. Laund is given instead of lawn: why not therefore wan'd for wan here?
If this however should not be accepted, suppose we read with the addition only of an apostrophe, wan'd; i. e. waned, declined, gone off from its perfection; comparing Cleopatra's beauty to the moon past the full. PERCY.
8 That sleep and feeding may prorogue HIS HONour,
Even TILL a Lethe'd dulness.] I suspect our author wrote: 'That sleep and feeding may prorogue his hour," &c. So, in Timon of Athens:
- let not that part of nature,
"Which my lord paid for, be of any power
The words honour and hour have been more than once confounded in these plays What Pompey seems to wish is, that Antony should still remain with Cleopatra, totally forgetful of every other object.
"To prorogue his honour," does not convey to me at least any precise notion. If, however, there be no corruption, I suppose Pompey means to wish, that sleep and feasting may prorogue to so distant a day all thoughts of fame and military achievement, that they may totally slide from Antony's mind. MALONE.
"Even till a Lethe'd duiness." i. e. to a Lethe'd dulness. That till was sometimes used instead of to, may be ascertained from the following passage in Chapman's version of the eighteenth Iliad:
"They all ascended, two and two; and trod the honor'd shore
"Till where the fleete of myrmidons, drawn up in heaps, it bore."
VAR. This is most certain that I shall deliver:
A better ear.-Menas, I did not think,
This amorous surfeiter would have don'd his helm 2
Is twice the other twain: But let us rear
I could have given 1 less matter
Again, in Candlemas Day, 1512, p. 13:
I cannot hope*,
"Thu lurdeyn, take hed what I sey the tyll."
To "prorogue his honour," &c. undoubtedly means, to delay his sense of honour from exerting itself till he is become habitually sluggish.' STEEVENS.
9 since he went from Egypt, 'tis
A space for further travel.] i. e. since he quitted Egypt, a space of time has elapsed in which a longer journey might have been performed than from Egypt to Rome. STEEVENS.
I could have given, &c.] I cannot help supposing, on account of the present irregularity of metre, that the name of Menas is an interpolation, and that the passage originally stood as follows:
I could have given "Less matter better ear.-I did not think-."
would have DON'D his helm-] To don is to do on, to put So, in Webster's Dutchess of Malfy, 1623:
"Call upon our dame aloud,
"Bid her quickly don her shrowd." STEEVENS. 3-Egypt's WIDOW] Julius Cæsar had married her to young Ptolemy, who was afterwards drowned. STEEVENS.
4 I cannot HOPE, &c.] Mr. Tyrwhitt, the judicious editor of The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer, in five vols. 8vo. 1775, &c. observes, that to hope, on this occasion, means to expect. So, in The Reve's Tale, v. 4027:
Cæsar and Antony shall well greet together:
Ром. I know not, Menas, How lesser enmities may give way to greater. Were't not that we stand up against them all, "Twere pregnant they should square between themselves;
For they have entertained cause enough
To draw their swords: but how the fear of us
"Our manciple I hope he wol be ded." STEEVENS. Yet from the following passage in Puttenham, it would seem to have been considered as a blundering expression in the days of Queen Elizabeth: "Such manner of uncouth speech did the Tanner of Tamworth use to king Edward the fourth, which Tanner having a great while mistaken him, and used very broad talke with him, at length perceiving by his traine that it was the king, was afraide he should be punished for it, said thus with a certaine rude repentance:
I hope I shall be hanged to-morrow!" For [I feare me] I shall be hanged, whereat the king laughed agood, not only to see the Tanners vaine feare, but also to heare his ill-shapen terme." Boswell.
-WARR'D upon him;] The old copy has-wan'd. The emendation, which was made by the editor of the second folio, is supported by a passage in the next scene, in which Cæsar Antony :
your wife and brother
"Made wars upon me." MALONE.
square] This is, quarrel. So, in The Shoemaker's Holiday, or the Gentle Craft, 1600:
"What? square they, master Scott? "
"Lovers are quickly in, and quickly out." STEEVens. See vol. v. p. 202. MALONE.
Rome. A Room in the House of Lepidus.
Enter ENOBArbus and Lepidus.
LEP. Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed, And shall become you well, to entreat your captain To soft and gentle speech.
I shall entreat him
"Tis not a time
For private stomaching.
It only stands
Our lives upon, &c.] i. e. to exert our utmost force, is the only consequential way of securing our lives.
So, in King Richard III.:
for it stands me much upon
"To stop all hopes," &c.
i. e. is of the utmost consequence to me. See Richard IIl. Act IV. Sc. II. STEEVENS.
: 8 This play is not divided into Acts by the author or first editors, and therefore the present division may be altered at pleasure. 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. JOHNSON.
9 Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,
I would not shave't to-day.] I believe he means, 'I would meet him undressed, without show of respect.' JOHNSON.
Plutarch mentions that Antony, "after the overthrow he had at Modena, suffered his beard to grow at length, and never clipt it, that it was marvelous long." Perhaps this circumstance was in Shakspeare's thoughts. MALONE.