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There would he anchor his aspéct, and die
With looking on his life.



Sovereign of Egypt, hail!

CLEO. How much unlike art thou Mark Antony! Yet, coming from him, that great medicine hath With his tinct gilded thee.—

How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?


ALEX. Last thing he did, dear queen, He kiss'd, the last of many doubled kisses, This orient pearl ;-His speech sticks in my CLEO. Mine ear must pluck it thence. ALEX. Good friend, quoth he, Say, the firm Roman to great Egypt sends This treasure of an oyster; at whose foot To mend the petty present, I will piece

Her opulent throne with kingdoms; All the east,

anchor his aspect,] So, in Measure for Measure:
"Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
"Anchors on Isabel."

that great medicine hath


With his tinct gilded thee.] Alluding to the philosopher's stone, which, by its touch, converts base metal into gold. The alchemists call the matter, whatever it be, by which they perform transmutation, a medicine. JOHNSON.

Thus Chapman, in his Shadow of Night, 1594:

"O then, thou great elixir of all treasures."

And on this passage he has the following note: "The philosopher's stone, or philosophica medicina, is called the great Elixir, to which he here alludes." Thus, in The Chanones Yemannes Tale of Chaucer, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 16,330:

"the philosophre's stone,

"Elixir cleped, we seken fast eche on.".

See Vol. IV. p. 169, n. 2. STEEvens.

Say thou, shall call her mistress. So he nodded, And soberly did mount a termagant steed,"

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termagant steed,] Old copy-arm-gaunt; i. e. his steed worn lean and thin by much service in war. So, Fairfax: "His stall-worn steed the champion stout bestrode."


On this note Mr. Edwards has been very lavish of his pleasantry, and indeed has justly censured the misquotation of stallworn, for stall-worth, which means strong, but makes no attempt to explain the word in the play. Mr. Seward, in his preface to Beaumont and Fletcher, has very elaborately endeavoured to prove, that an arm-gaunt steed is a steed with lean shoulders. Arm is the Teutonick word for want, or poverty. Arm-gaunt may be therefore an old word, signifying, lean for want, ill fed. Edwards's observation, that a worn-out horse is not proper for Atlas to mount in battle, is impertinent; the horse here mentioned seems to be a post-horse, rather than a war-horse. Yet as arm-gaunt seems not intended to imply any defect, it perhaps means, a horse so slender that a man might clasp him, and therefore formed for expedition. Hanmer reads:

arm-girt steed. JOHNSON.

On this passage, which I believe to be corrupt, I have nothing satisfactory to propose. It is clear, that whatever epithet was used, it was intended as descriptive of a beautiful horse, such (we may presume) as our author has described in his Venus and Adonis.

Dr. Johnson must have looked into some early edition of Mr. Edwards's book, for in his seventh edition he has this note: "I have sometimes thought, that the meaning may possibly be, thin-shoulder'd, by a strange composition of Latin and English:gaunt quoad armos." MALONE.

I suppose there must be some error in the passage, and should amend it by reading:

And soberly did mount a termagant steed,
That neigh'd &c.

Termagant means furious.

So Douglas, in Henry IV. is called the termagant Scot, an epithet that agrees well with the steed's neighing so high. Besides, by saying that Antony mounted composedly a horse of such mettle, Alexas presents Cleopatra with a flattering image of her hero, which his mounting slowly a jaded post-horse, would not have done. M. MASON.

Who neigh'd so high, that what I would have spoke Was beastly dumb'd by him.



What, was he sad, or merry? ALEX. Like to the time o'the year between the


Of hot and cold; he was nor sad, nor merry.

CLEO. O well-divided disposition!-Note him, Note him, good Charmian, 'tis the man; but note him:

He was not sad; for he would shine on those That make their looks by his: he was not merry; Which seem'd to tell them, his remembrance lay

When I first met with Mr. Mason's conjecture, I own I was startled at its boldness; but that I have since been reconciled to it, its appearance in the present text of Shakspeare will sufficiently prove.

It ought to be observed, in defence of this emendation, that the word termagaunt (originally the proper name of a clamorous Saracenical deity) did not, without passing through several gradations of meaning, become appropriated (as at present) to a turbulent female. I may add, that the sobriety displayed by Antony in mounting a steed of temper so opposite, reminds us of a similar contrast in Addison's celebrated comparison of the Angel:

"Calm and serene he drives the furious blast."

Let the critick who can furnish a conjecture nearer than termagaunt to the traces of the old reading arm-gaunt, or can make any change productive of sense more apposite and commodious, displace Mr. M. Mason's amendment, which, in my opinion, is to be numbered among the feliciter audentia of criticism, and meets at least with my own unequivocal approbation. STEEVENS.

Was beastly dumb'd by him.] The old copy has dumbe. The correction was made by Mr. Theobald. "Alexas means (says he) the horse made such a neighing, that if he had spoke, he could not have been heard." MALONE.

The verb which Mr. Theobald would introduce, is found in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609:


Deep clerks she dumbs" &c. STEEVENS.

In Egypt with his joy: but between both :
O heavenly mingle!-Be'st thou sad, or merry,
The violence of either thee becomes s;

So does it no man else.-Met'st thou my posts?
ALEX. Ay, madam, twenty several messengers:
Why do
you send so thick?9


Who's born that day

When I forget to send to Antony,

Shall die a beggar.-Ink and paper, Charmian.Welcome, my good Alexas.-Did I, Charmian, Ever love Cæsar so?


O that brave Cæsar!

CLEO. Be chok'd with such another emphasis ! Say, the brave Antony.


The valiant Cæsar!

CLEO. By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth, If thou with Cæsar paragon again

My man of men.


By your most gracious pardon,

I sing but after you.


My sallad days;

When I was green in judgment:-Cold in blood,
To say, as I said then!'-But, come, away:
Get me ink and paper: he shall have every day
A several greeting, or I'll unpeople Egypt.2




so thick?] i. e. in such quick succession. So, in

As thick as tale,
"Came post with post,-."

See Vol. X. p. 44, n. 3.

My sallad days;


When I was green in judgment:-Cold in blood,

To say, as I said then!] Cold in blood, is an upbraiding


Messina. A Room in Pompey's House.


POM. If the great gods be just, they shall assist The deeds of justest men.


Know, worthy Pompey,

That what they do delay, they not deny.

POм. Whiles we are suitors to their throne, de


The thing we sue for.


We, ignorant of ourselves,

expostulation to her maid. Those, says she, were my sallad days, when I was green in judgment; but your blood is as cold as my judgment, if you have the same opinion of things now as I had then. WARBURTON.


-unpeople Egypt.] By sending out messengers.


The persons are so named in the first edition; but I know not why Menecrates appears: Menas can do all without him. JOHNSON.

All the speeches in this scene that are not spoken by Pompey and Varrius, are marked in the old copy, Mene, which must stand for Menecrates. The course of the dialogue shows that some of them at least belong to Menas; and accordingly they are to him attributed in the modern editions; or rather, a syllable [Men.] has been prefixed, that will serve equally to denote the one or the other of these personages. I have given the first two speeches to Menecrates, and the rest to Menas. It is a matter of little consequence. MALone.

• Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays

The thing we sue for.] The meaning is, While we are praying, the thing for which we pray is losing its value.


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