Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Critical Reference Edition, Vol. 2

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Sc. 223.10

[Canidius] Marcheth with his Land Army one way ouer the stage, and Towrus the Lieutenant of Cæsar the other way: After their going in, is heard the noise of a Sea-fight.Critical ApparatusAlarum. Enter [Enobarbus].

Eno. Naught, naught, al naught, I can behold no longer:

2Thantoniad, the Egyptian Admirall,

3With all their sixty flye, and turne the Rudder:

Critical Apparatus4To see't, mine eyes are blasted.

Enter Scarrus.

Scar. Gods, & Goddesses,

5All the whol synod of them!

Eno. What's thy passion.


Scar. The greater Cantle of the world, is lost

7With very ignorance, we haue kist away

8Kingdomes, and Prouinces.

Eno. How appeares the Fight?


Scar. On our side, like the Token'd Pestilence,

Critical Apparatus10Where death is sure. [Yonder ribaud] Nagge of Egypt,

11(Whom Leprosie o're-take) i'th'midst o'th'fight,

pg 331112When vantage like a payre of Twinnes appear'd

13Both as the same, or rather ours the elder;

Critical Apparatus14(The Breeze vpon her) like a Cow in [Iune],

15Hoists Sailes, and flyes.

Eno. That I beheld:

16Mine eyes did sicken at the sight, and could not

Critical Apparatus17Indure a further view.

Scar. She once being looft,

18The Noble ruine of her Magicke, Anthony,

19Claps on his Sea-wing, and (like a doting Mallard)

20Leauing the Fight in heighth, flyes after her:

21I neuer saw an Action of such shame;

22Experience, Man-hood, Honor, ne're before,

23Did violate so it selfe.

Enob. Alacke, alacke.

Enter [Canidius].

[Can.] Our Fortune on the Sea is out of breath,

25And sinkes most lamentably. Had our Generall

26Bin what he knew himselfe, it had gone well:

Critical Apparatus27Oh [he] ha's giuen example for our flight,

28Most grossely by his owne.

Critical Apparatus29

Enob. I, are you thereabouts? Why then goodnight indeede.


[Can.] Toward Peloponnesus are they fled.

Critical Apparatus31

Scar. 'Tis easie toot, and there I will attend

32What further comes.

[Canid.] To Cæsar will I render

33My Legions and my Horse, sixe Kings alreadie

34Shew me the way of yeelding.

Eno. Ile yet follow

35The wounded chance of Anthony, though my reason

36Sits in the winde against me.

Notes Settings


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22.0.4 Enobarbus rowe3; Enobarbus and Scarrus jaggard. Either this direction or the separate entrance for Scarrus four lines below must be an error. Such duplications are usually a sign of theatrical annotation of a manuscript, and in this instance may be related to the identification of the 'Soldier' as 'Scarrus'.
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22.4–5 Gods … them! theobald; 1 line jaggard
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22.10 Yonder ribaud this edition (Cairncross); Yon ribaudred jaggard; Yon ribauld rowe; Yon ribald-rid malone (Steevens); Yon riband red wells (Thiselton); Yon ribanded neill (Gould). There are no parallels for jaggard's 'ribaudred', and no convincing explanations of it as a coinage. It also produces a metrically awkward line, with an extra syllable in the middle of the second half of the line, not associated with the caesura or the line break, or any kind of punctuated or dramatic pause. A general dissatisfaction with earlier emendations is indicated by two recent alternatives—and by the fact that neither has been picked up by other editors. Both wells and neill imagine ribbons (ribands) adorning a horse, and ribaud/riband would certainly be an easy misreading. But Cleopatra's wardrobe is hardly the most pressing issue in the middle of a battle, and it seems counterintuitive to remove the insulting 'ribaud' (good-for-nothing, low-class, villain, slut, whore, jester, actor) and replace it by introducing into the play some relatively innocuous ribbons. Shakespeare's other uses of 'riband' and 'ribbon' are positive—'A very riband in the cap of youth' (Hamlet 17.74)—or trivial ('tying his new shoes with old riband' in Romeo and Juliet 13.23). By contrast, Shakespeare elsewhere uses 'ribald' negatively, in association with illicit sex and animality: 'ribald crows' (Troilus and Cressida 11.11, Troilus speaking after his night of sex with Cressida). neill's emendation alters two letters instead of one, gives no explanation for jaggard's alleged interpolation of 'r', and lays even more stress on the ribbons (making them three syllables instead of two). The wells emendation is more conservative and plausible. However, although ribbons may be red, we can find no parallels in the period in EEBO–TCP for Cleopatra, or a nag, ever being associated with 'red'. wells, followed by neill, associates red with the 'fatal, red death-tokens of the plague', but the plague was not associated with horses, and to our knowledge the plague pustules were not compared to ribbons. 'Nag' is clearly slang for a prostitute (with examples in Shakespeare, Dekker, and Middleton). But it also refers to a pretty, and small, horse; the size is important in relation to a boy actor. This point is also relevant to malone's emendation, which imagines Cleopatra (the 'nag of Egypt') being ridden by a ribald—who must be Antony, or Antony among many others; the implicit sexual metaphor would be appropriate, but the image seems to contradict the repeated claim that she controls him ('our leader's led'). The classical image of a runaway horse, representing the passions which the rider (reason) fails to control, has often been invoked here, but that allegory usually requires a stallion, not a 'nag' in any of its senses. Finally, like malone, both wells and neill emend the line but still leave the metrical problem intact. This violates the general principle that metrical confusion is often associated with semantic confusion, and that the most convincing solution to one problem should also solve the other. Of the various emendations adopted over the last three centuries, rowe's 'ribauld' is the only one that solves the metrical problem and does not introduce any extraneous or debatable new meanings into the line. His 'ribauld' is merely a modernization of the older spelling 'ribaud', and we likewise interpret it as 'ribald' in Modern (but retain the obsolete spelling here). Rowe also recognized that the word was always stressed on the first syllable. But although the sense and the meter seem right, rowe gave no explanation for jaggard's last three letters, which he simply omitted. The conjecture by Cairncross builds upon rowe's, but attempts to explain 'the residual letters' red, which he regarded as 'printer's pie, attached to "ribaud" to make what looked like a past participle, either in the original setting, or after some conjectural tinkering with the text without reference to the copy'. Taylor independently arrived at the same solution, but provides a more precise explanation for the anomalous red. Those three letters 'red' spell 'der' backward. A compositor might set these three letters in reverse order when restoring type that got pied during imposition on the stone, or type that fell out while the forme was being carried from the stone to the press, or type that got pied when some furniture failed during machining, or type that got plucked out of the press during inking. In each of these scenarios, the compositor might well reinstate first the letters that are easiest to reinstate, regardless of their reading order. Metrically, this emendation moves the extra syllable from the middle of a phrase to the first syllable after a strong sentence-ending caesura; a stressed initial syllable after the caesura is acceptable at every period of Shakespeare's verse, and especially so in his later work. This emendation thus produces the same sense as rowe's, but unlike rowe's it explains the error—and produces an emphatic, speakable, intelligible line on stage.
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22.14 Iune allot; Inne jaggard
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22.17 looft = luffed
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22.27 he ha's allot; his ha's jaggard. Contamination from the following word.
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22.29 I, … indeede. rowe; prose jaggard
Critical Apparatus
22.31–2 'Tis … comes. theobald; toot,| jaggard
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