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Enter a Messenger.
Go, charge Agrippa
[Exeunt CÆs. and his Train. Eno. Alexas did revolt; and went to Jewry, On affairs of Antony; there did persuade2 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 Cæsar's. Sold.
Enobarbus, Antony Hath after thee sent all thy treasure,3 with
So, Lyly, in Euphues and his England, 1580: “ The island is in fashion three-corner'd,” &c. Malone..
Shall bear the olive freely.] i. e. shall spring up every where spontaneously and without culture. Warburton.
Dr. Warburton mistakes the sense of the passage. To bear does not mean to produce, but to carry; and the meaning is, that the world shall then enjoy the blessings of peace, of which olive branches were the emblem. The success of Augustus could not 80 change the nature of things, as to make the olive-tree grow without culture in all climates, but it shut the gates of the temple of Janus. M. Mason.
I doubt whether Mr. M. Mason's explication of the word bear be just. The poet certainly did not intend to speak literally; and might only mean, that, should this prove a prosperous day, there would be no occasion to labour to effect a peace throughout the world; it would take place without any effort or negociation.
Malone. My explanation of this passage is supported by the following lines in The Second Part of King Henry IV, Vol. IX, p. 140, where Westmorland says
“ There is not now a rebel's sword unsheath'd,
“ But peace puts forth her olive every where.” M. Mason. 2 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, be persuaded him to turne to Cæsar." Malone.
His bounty overplus: The messenger
Eno. I give it you.
Mock me not,4 Enobarbus.
3 Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: “ Furthermore, he dealt very friendly and courteously with Domitius, and against Cleopatraes mynde. For, he being sicke of an agewe when he went, and tooke 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.” Steevens.
4 Mock me not, ] Me was supplied by Mr. Theobald. Steevens.
5 Best that -] For the insertion of the pronoun--that, to assist the metre, I am answerable. Steevens.
6 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 saf't." Steevens. 7 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 vil. fain of the earth. To stand alone, is still used in that sense, where any one towers above his competitors.-- And feel I am so most, must signify, I feel or know it myself, more than any other person can or does feel it. Reed. 8 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
If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean
Thou bleed'st apace.
They do retire.
Let us score their backs,
I will reward thee
Again, in King Lear:
“ No blown ambition doth our arms excite -" Steevens: 9 — but thought will do 't, I feel.] Thought, in this passage, as in many others, signifies melancholy. See p. 314, n. 1. Malone. 1- and our oppression -] Oppression for opposition.
Warburton. Sir T. Hanmer has received opposition. Perhaps rightly. Fohnson
Our oppression means, the force by which we are oppressed or overpowered. Malone. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
“At thy good heart's oppression." Steedens. :
I'll halt after. [Exeunt. SCENE VIII.
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.l-To-morrow, Before the sun shall see us, we 'll spill the blood 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,3 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 SCÀR. Enter CLEOPATRA, attended. To this great fairyt I 'll commend thy acts,
% Run one before,
And let the queen know of our guests.] Antony, after his suc. cess, intends to bring his officers to sup with Cleopatra, and orders notice to be given of their guests. Fohnson.
3 clip your wives, ] To clip is to embrace. See Vol. II, p. 104, n. 3; and Vol. VI, p. 312, n. 9. Steevens.
4 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. Fohnson.
Fairy, in former times, did not signify only a diminutive imamo ginary 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. VI, p. 378, n. 6. 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.
Make her thanks bless thee.-0 thou day o' the world,
Lord of lords!
My nightingale, We have beat them to their beds. What, girl? though
I'll give thee, friend,
5 proof of harness -]i. e. armour of proof. Harnois, Fr. Arnese, Ital. Steevens. See Vol. VII, p. 234, n. 3. Malone.
6 triúmphing.] This word is so accented by Chapman, in his version of the Eleventh Iliad:
“ Crept from his covert and triúmph'd: Now thou art
maim’d, said he.” Steevens. 7 The world's great snare -] i.e. the war. So, in the 116th Psalm : “ The snares of death compassed me round about." Thus also Statius :
“ circum undique lethi
“ Vallavere plage.” Steevens. 8 with our brown;] Old copy---younger brown : but as this epithet, without improving the idea, spoils the measure, I have not scrupled, with Sir Thomas Hanmer and others, to omit it as an interpolation. See p. 356, n. 6. Steevens.
9 Get goal for goal of youth.] At all plays of barriers, the boun. dary is called a goal, to win a goal, is to be superior in a contest of activity. Johnson.
1- it was a king's.] So, in Sir T. North's translation of Plu. tarch: “ Then came Antony again to the palace greatly boasting of this victory, and sweetly kissed Cleopatra, armed as he was when he came from the fight, recommending one of his men of arms unto her, that had valiantly fought in this skirmish. Cleopatra, to reward his manliness, gave him an armour and head. piece of clean gold.” Steevens.