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Enter a Messenger.
Go, charge Agrippa
Eno. Alexas did revolt; and went to Jewry, on Affairs of Antony; there did persuade Great Herod to incline himself to Cæsar, And leave his master Antony : for this pains, Cæsar hath hang'd him. Canidius, and the rest That fell away, have entertainment, but No honourable trust. I have done ill; Of which I do accuse myself so sorely, That I will joy no more.
Enter a Soldier of Cæsan's. Sold.
Enobarbus, Antony Hath after thee sent all thy treasure “, with His bounty overplus : The messenger Came on my guard; and at thy tent is now, Unloading of his mules.
persuade -] The old copy has dissuade, perhaps rightly.
Johnson. It is undoubtedly corrupt. The words in the old translation of Plutarch are: “for where he should have kept Herodes from revolting from him, he persuaded him to turne to Cæsar.”
MALONE. 4 Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch : “ Furthermore, he delt very friendly and courteously with Domitius, and against Cleopatraes mynde. For, he being sicke of an agewe when he went, and took a little boate to go to Cæsar's campe, Antonius was very sory for it, but yet he sent after him all his caryage, trayne, and men : and the same Domitius, as though he gaue him to vnderstand that he repented his open treason, he died immediately after.”
Eno. I give it you.
Sold. Mock not', Enobarbus.
heart': If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean
5 Mock me not,] Me was supplied by Mr. Theobald.
STEEVENS. Best That-] For the insertion of the pronoun-that, to assist the metre, I am answerable. STEEVENS.
7 SAF'd the bringer -] I find this verb in Chapman's version of the fourth book of Homer's Odyssey :
and make all his craft “ Sail with his ruin, for his father saft.” Steevens. 8 And feel I am so most.] That is, and feel I am so, more than any one else thinks it. M. Mason.
Surely, this explanation cannot be right. “ I am alone the villain of the earth,” means, “ I am pre-eminently the first, the greatest villain of the earth.” To stand alone, is still used in that sense, where any one towers above his competitors.
“ And feel 1 am so most,” must signify, I feel or know it myself, more than any other person can or does feel it.” Reed. This blows my heart:] All the latter editions have :
This bows my heart : I have given the original word again the place from which I think it unjustly excluded. This generosity, (says Enobarbus,) swells my heart, so that it will quickly break, " if thought break it not, a swifter mean. Johnson
That to blow means to puff or swell, the following instance, in the last scene of this play, will sufficiently prove :
on her breast “ There is a vent of blood, and something blown.” Again, in King Lear:
“ No blown ambition doth our arms excite-." STEEVENS.
Shall outstrike thought : but thought will do't, I
Field of Battle between the Camps.
Alarum. Drums and Trumpets. Enter AGRIPPA,
and Others. AGR. Retire, we have engag'd ourselves too far: Cæsar himself has work, and our oppression? Exceeds what we expected.
[Exeunt. Alarum. Enter Antony and SCARUS, wounded. SCAR. O my brave emperor, this is fought in
deed ! Had we done so at first, we had driven them home With clouts about their heads. Ant.
Thou bleed'st apace. SCAR. I had a wound here that was like a T, But now 'tis made an H. Ant.
They do retire.
but thought will do't, I feel.] Thought, in this passage, as in many others, signifies melancholy. See p. 318, n. i.
MALONE. 2 — and our OPPRESSION -] Oppression, for opposition.
WARBURTON. Sir T. Hanmer has received opposition. Perhaps rightly.
Johnson. Our oppression means, the force by which we are oppressed or overpowered. Malone. So, in Romeo and Juliet :
“ At thy good heart's oppression." Steevens.
SCAR. We'll beat 'em into bench-holes : ; I have
yet Room for six scotches more.
Enter EROS. Eros. They are beaten, sir; and our advantage
For a fair victory.
Let us score their backs,
I will reward thee
P'll halt after. [Exeunt.
Under the Walls of Alexandria.
Alarum. Enter Antony, marching ; SCARUS, and
Forces. Ant. We have beat him to his camp; Run one
before, And let the queen know of our guests * -To-mor
row, Before the sun shall see us, we'll spill the blood
- bench-holes ;] The hole in a bench, ad levandum alvum. So, in Cecil's Secret Correspondence, published by Lord Hailes, 1766 : “ And beside until a man be sure that this embryo is likely to receive life, I will leave it like an abort in a bench-hole."
MALONE. Run one before, And let the queen know of our guests.] Antony, after his success, intends to bring his officers to sup with Cleopatra, and orders notice to be given of their guests. Johnson.
That has to-day escap'd. I thank you
all; For doughty-handed are you; and have fought Not as you serv'd the cause, but as it had been Each man's like mine; you have shown all Hectors. Enter the city, clip your wives *, your friends, Tell them your feats; whilst they with joyful tears Wash the congealment from your wounds, and kiss The honour'd gashes whole.--Give me thy hand;
[TO SCARUS. Enter CLEOPATRA, attended. To this great fairy • I'll commend thy acts, Make her thanks bless thee.-0 thou day o' the
world, Chain mine arm'd neck ; leap thou, attire and all, Through proof of harness to my heart, and there Ride on the pants triumphing?.
CLIP your wives,] To clip is to embrace. STEEVENS. s To this great FAIRY –] Mr. Upton has well observed, that fairy, which Dr. Warburton and Sir T. Hanmer explain by Inchantress, comprises the idea of power and beauty. Johnson.
Fairy, in former times, did not signify only a diminutive imaginary being, but an inchanter, in which last sense, as has been observed, it is used here. But Mr. Upton's assertion, that it comprizes the idea of beauty as well as power, seems questionable ; for Sir W. D'Avenant employs the word in describing the weird sisters, (who certainly were not beautiful,) in the argument prefixed to his alteration of Macbeth, 4to. 1674 : “ These two, travelling together through a forest, were met by three fairie witches, (weirds the Scotch call them,)” &c. See also vol. iy. p. 224, n. 4.
MALONE. Surely, Mr. Upton's remark is not indefensible. Beauty united with power, was the popular characteristick of Fairies generally considered. Such was that of The Fairy Queen of Spenser, and Titania, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream. Sir W. D'Avenant's particular use of any word is by no means decisive. That the language of Shakspeare was unfamiliar to him, his own contemptible alterations of it have sufficiently demonstrated.
Steevens. proof of HARNESS -- ] i. e. armour of proof. Harnois, Fr. Arnese, Ital. STEEVENS.
See vol. xi. p. 267, n. 6. MALONE.