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The while, I'll place you: Then the boy shall sing;
[Musick plays. ENOBARBUS places them hand
Come, thou monarch of the vine,
In old editions
7 The holding every man shall BEAR,] "The holding every man shall beatThe company were to join in the burden, which the poet styles the holding. But how were they to beat this with their sides? I am persuaded the poet wrote;
"The holding every man shall bear, as loud
The breast and sides are immediately concerned in straining to sing as loud and forcibly as a man can. THEOBALD.
Mr. Theobald's emendation is very plausible; and yet beat might have been the poet's word, however harsh it may appear at present. In Henry VIII. we find a similar expression: let the musick knock it." STEEVENS.
"The holding every man shall beat." Every man shall accompany the chorus by drumming on his sides, in token of concurrence and applause. JOHNSON.
I have no doubt but bear is the right reading. To bear the burden, or, as it is here called, the holding of a song, is the phrase at this day. The passage quoted by Mr. Steevens from King Henry VIII. relates to instrumental musick, not to vocal. "Loud as his sides can volley," means, "with the utmost exertion of his voice." So we say, he laughed till he split his sides. M. MASON.
Theobald's emendation appears to me so plausible, and the change is so small, that I have given it a place in the text, as did Mr. Steevens, in his edition.
The meaning of the holding is ascertained by a passage in an old pamphlet called The Serving Man's Comfort, 4to. 1598:
- where a song is to be sung the under-song or holding whereof is, It is merrie in haul where beards wag all." Malone.
8 with PINK eyne :] Dr. Johnson, in his Dictionary, says a pink eye is a small eye, and quotes this passage for his authority. Pink eyne, however, may be red eyes: eyes inflamed with drinking, are very well appropriated to Bacchus. So, in Julius Cæsar : such ferret and such firy eyes.”
In thy cats our cares be drown'd;
CES. What would you more ?-Pompey, good night. Good brother,
Let me request you off: our graver business
Is weaker than the wine; and mine own tongue
You have my father's house,-But what? we are friends:
Come, down into the boat.
¿ So, Greene, in his Defence of Coney-Catching, 1592: “—like a pink-ey'd ferret." Again, in a song sung by a drunken Clown in Marius and Sylla, 1594:
"Thou makest some to stumble, and many mo to fumble, "And me have pinky eyne, most brave and jolly wine!'
It should be observed, however, that from the following passage in P. Holland's translation of the 11th book of Pliny's Natural History, it appears that pink-eyed signified the smallness of eyes: also them that were pinke-eyed and had verie small eies, they termed ocellæ." STEEVENS.
9 O, Antony,
You have my father's house,] See the passage in Plutarch's Life of Antony, which Shakspeare here had in his thoughts, p. 256.
The historian Paterculus says: cum Pompeio quoque circa Misenum pax inita: Qui haud absurdè, cum in navi Cæsaremque et Antonium cœna exciperet, dixit: In carinis suis se cœnam dare referens hoc dictum ad loci nomen, in quo paterna domus ab An
Take heed you fall not.[Exeunt POMPEY, CESAR, ANTONY, and
Menas, I'll not on shore.
No, to my cabin.These drums!-these trumpets, flutes! what!Let Neptune hear we bid a loud farewell To these great fellows: Sound, and be hang'd, sound out.
[A Flourish of Trumpets, with Drums. ENO. Ho, says 'a !-There's my cap. MEN.
Ho!-noble captain! come. [Exeunt.
ACT III. SCENE I.
A Plain in Syria.
Enter VENTIDIUS, as after Conquest, with SILIUS, and other Romans, Officers, and Soldiers; the dead Body of PACORUS borne before him.
VEN. Now, darting Parthia, art thou struck 1; and now
Pleas'd fortune does of Marcus Crassus' death
tonio possidebatur." Our author, though he lost the joke, yet seems willing to commemorate the story. WARBUrton.
The joke of which the learned editor seems to lament the loss, could not be found in the old translation of Plutarch, and Shakspeare looked no further. Steevens.
1-struck;] Alludes to darting. Thou whose darts have so often struck others, art struck now thyself. JOHNSON.
- Thy Pacorus, Orodes,] Pacorus was the son of Orodes, King of Parthia. STEEVENS.
Whilst yet with Parthian blood thy sword is warm, The fugitive Parthians follow; spur through Media, Mesopotamia, and the shelters whither
The routed fly: so thy grand captain Antony
O Silius, Silius, I have done enough: A lower place, note well, May make too great an act: For learn this, Silius; Better to leave undone 3, than by our deed Acquire too high a fame, when him we serve's away*. Cæsar, and Antony, have ever won More in their officer, than person: Sossius, One of my place in Syria, his lieutenant, For quick accumulation of renown,
Which he achiev'd by the minute, lost his favour.
I could do more to do Antonius good,
Thou hast, Ventidius, that
3 Better leave undone, &c.] Old copies, unmetrically (because the players were unacquainted with the most common ellipsis) : "Better to leave undone," &c. STEEVENS. The text is that of the old copy. Mr. Steevens reads: "Better leave undone, than by our deed acquire
"Too high a fame, when him we serve's away." Boswell. when HIM we serve's away.] Thus the old copy, and such certainly was our author's phraseology. So, in The Winter's Tale:
I am appointed him to murder you.”
So also Coriolanus, Act V. Sc. V.:
Him I accuse
"The city ports by this hath entered —."
The modern editors, however, all read, more grammatically, when he we serve, &c. MALONE.
Without the which a soldier, and his sword, Grants scarce distinction". Thou wilt write to
VEN. I'll humbly signify what in his name,
Where is he now? VEN. He purposeth to Athens: whither with what haste
The weight we must convey with us will permit, We shall appear before him.-On, there; pass along. [Exeunt.
Rome. An Ante-Chamber in CÆSAR's House.
Enter AGRIPPA, and ENOBARBUS, meeting. AGR. What, are the brothers parted?
ENO. They have despatch'd with Pompey, he is gone;
5 That without which-] Here again, regardless of metre, the old copies read:
"That without the which-."
In the old copy this speech is printed as prose. By the arrangement in the text, which is the same that I had adopted in my mer edition, the supposed fault of the metre is done away with. MALONE.
6 That without which a soldier, and his sword,
GRANTS Scarce distinction.] Grant, for afford. It is badly and obscurely expressed; but the sense is this: Thou hast that, Ventidius, which if thou didst want, there would be no distinction between thee and thy sword. You would be both equally cutting and senseless." This was wisdom or knowledge of the world. Ventidius had told him the reasons why he did not pursue his advantages; and his friend, by this compliment, acknowledges them to be of weight. WARBURTON,
We have somewhat of the same idea in Coriolanus :