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Cæs. I do not much dislike the matter, but The manner of his speech *: for it cannot be, We shall remain in friendship, our conditions So differing in their acts. Yet, if I knew What hoop should hold us staunch”, from edge to
edge O' the world I would pursue it. AGR.
Give me leave, Cæsar,Cæs. Speak, Agrippa.
AGR. Thou hast a sister by the mother's side,
Say not so, Agrippa o;
The metre of this line is deficient. It will be perfect, and the sense rather clearer, if we read (without altering a letter):
your consideratest one." I doubt, indeed, whether this adjective is ever used in the superlative degree ; but in the mouth of Enobarbus it might be pardoned. BLACKSTONE.
As Enobarbus, to whom this line belongs, generally speaks in plain prose, there is no occasion for any further attempt to harmonize it. Ritson. 4 I do not much dislike the MATTER, but
The manner of his speech :) I do not, (says Cæsar,) think the man wrong, but too free of his interposition ; for it cannot be, we shall remain in friendship : yet if it were possible, I would endeavour it.' Johnson.
5 What hoop should hold us staunch,] So, in King Henry IV. Part II. :
“ A hoop of gold, to bind thy brothers in —," STEEVENS. o Say not so, Agrippa ;] The old copy has—“Say not say." Mr. Rowe made this necessary correction. MALONE.
- your reproof
“ Were well deserved -." which Mr. Theobald, with his usual triumph, changes to approof, which he explains allowance. Dr. Warburton inserted reproof very properly into Hanmer's edition, but forgot it in his own.
Ant. I am not married, Cæsar: let me hear Agrippa further speak.
AGR. To hold you in perpetual amity, To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts With an unslipping knot, take Antony Octavia to his wife: whose beauty claims No worse a husband than the best of men; Whose virtue, and whose general graces, speak That which none else can utter. By this marriage, All little jealousies, which now seem great, And all great fears, which now import their dangers, Would then be nothing: truths would be tales Where now half tales be truths: her love to both, Would, each to other, and all loves to both, Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke ; For ’tis a studied, not a present thought, By duty ruminated.
Will Cæsar speak ? Cæs. Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd With what is spoke already.
“ Your reproof,” &c. That is, you might be reproved for your rashness, and would well deserve it.— Your reproof, means, the reproof you would undergo. The expression is rather licentious : but one of a similar nature occurs in The Custom of the Country, where Arnoldo, speaking to the Physician, says :
And by your success
“ Your great opinion in the world.”
M. Mason. Dr. Warburton's emendation is certainly right. The error was many which are found in the old
of the transcriber's ear deceiving him. So, in another scene of this play, we find in the first copy—mine nightingale, instead of my nightingale; in Coriolanus, news is coming, for news is come in ; in the same play, higher for hire, &c. &c. Malone.
8 - But tales,] The conjunction—but, was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer, to perfect the metre. We might read, I think, with less alliteration-as tales. STEEVENS.
already.] This adverb may be fairly considered as an interpolation. Without enforcing the sense, it violates the measure.
What power is in Agrippa,
The power of Cæsar, and
May I never
There is my hand.
Time calls upon us :
Where lies he?
What's his strength By land ?
Cæs. Great, and increasing: but by sea He is an absolute master.
i Lest my remembrance suffer ill report ;] Lest I be thought too willing to forget benefits, I must barely return him thanks, and then I will defy him. Johnson.
2 Of us, &c.] In the language of Shakspeare's time, means by us. MALONE.
3 And where -] And was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer, for the sake of metre. STEEVENS.
So is the fame. 'Would, we had spoke together? Haste we for it: Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, despatch we The business we have talk'd of. CÆS.
With most gladness * ; And do invite you to my sister's view, Whither straight I will lead you. ANT.
Let us, Lepidus, Not lack your company. LEP.
Noble Antony, Not sickness should detain me.
[Flourish. Exeunt CÆSAR, Antony, and
Eno. Half the heart of Cæsar, worthy Mecænas! -my honourable friend, Agrippa !
Agr. Good Enobarbus!
Mec. We have cause to be glad, that matters are so well digested. You stay'd well by it in Egypt.
Eno. Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance, and made the night light with drinking.
Mec. Eight wild boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and but twelve persons there; is this true ?
Eno. This was but as a fly by an eagle: we had much more monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.
Mec. She's a most triumphant lady, if report be
square to her 5.
Eno. When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up his heart, upon the river of Cydnus .
4 — Most gladness ;] i. e. greatest. So, in King Henry VI. Part I. :
“But always resolute in most extremes.” Steevens.
be SQUARE to her.] i. e. if report quadrates with her, or suits with her merits. .STEEVENS.
6 When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.] This passage is a strange instance of
Agr. There she appeared indeed; or my reporter devised well for her.
Eno. I will tell you : The barge she sat in’, like a burnish'd throne, Burn'd on the water 8: the poop was beaten gold; Purple the sails, and so perfumed, that
negligence and inattention in Shakspeare. Enobarbus is made to say that Cleopatra gained Antony's heart on the river Cydnus ; but it appears from the conclusion of his own description, that Antony had never seen her there; that, whilst she was on the river, Antony was sitting alone, enthroned in the market-place, whistling to the air, all the people having left him to gaze upon her: and that, when she landed, he sent to her to invite her to supper. M. Mason.
7 The barge she sat in, &c.] The reader may not be displeased with the present opportunity of comparing our author's description with that of Dryden:
“ Her galley down the silver Cydnus row'd,
Neglecting she could take 'em : Boys, like Cupids,
Stood fanning with their painted wings the winds
like a burnish'd THRONE, Burn's on the water :] The same idea occurs in Chapman's translation of the tenth book of the Odyssey :
In a throne she plac'd My welcome person. Of a curious frame 'Twas, and so bright, I sat as in a flame.” Steevens