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As we rate boys; who, being mature in knowledge, Pawn their experience to their present pleasure, And so rebel to judgment.
Enter a Messenger. Lep.
Here's more news, Mess. Thy biddings have been done: and every
Most noble Cæsar, shalt thou have report
I should have known no less :-
Cæsar, I bring thee word,
6 · Those whom not love but fear made adherents to Cæsar, now show their affection for Pompey.'
7 That is, the malecontents. So in King Henry VI. Part 1. Act v. Sc. 1:
that may please the eye Of fickle changelings and poor discontents.' 8 The old copy reads, “Comes feard by being lack’d. Warburton made the correction, which was necessary to the sense. Coriolanus says:
• I shall be lov'd when I am lack'd. We should perhaps read in the preceding line :
ne'er lov'd till not worth love.' 9 The folio reads, “lashing the varying tide. The emendation, which is well supported by Steevens, was made by Theobald. Perhaps another Messenger should be noted as entering here with fresh news.
Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,
Antony, Leave thy lascivious wassals 13. When thou once Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against, Though daintily brought up, with patience more Than savages
could suffer: Thou didst drink The stale of horses, and the gilded puddle 14 Which beasts would cough at: thy palate then did
deign The roughest berry on the rudest hedge; Yea, like a stag, when snow the pasture sheets, The barks of trees thou browsed’st; on the Alps It is reported, thou didst eat strange flesh, Which some did die to look on: And all this (It wounds thine honour, that I speak it now), Was borne so like a soldier, that thy cheek So much as lank'd not. Lep.
'Tis pity of him. Cæs. Let his shames quickly Drive him to Rome: 'Tis time we twain
11 i.e. turn pale. 12 Flush youth is youth ripened to manhood; youth whose blood is at the flow.
13 Wassals, or wassailes, is here put for intemperance in general. See vol. iv. p. 237, note 11.
14 All these circumstances of Antony's distress are literally taken from Plutarch. VOL. VIII.
Did show ourselves i'the field; and, to that end,
Till which encounter,
mean time Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech
sir, To let me be partaker. Cæs.
Doubt not, sir;
Cleo. Ha, ha!
You think of him
Cleo. 0, 'tis treason!
" A plant, of which the infusion was supposed to procure sleep. Thus in Adlington's translation of The Golden Ass of Apuleius. 'I gave him no poyson but a doling drink of mandragoras, which is of such force, that it will cause any man to sleepe as though he were dead.' See Pliny's Natural History by Holland, 1601 ;, and Plutarch's Morals, 1602, p. 19.
Madam, I trust, not so. Cleo. Thou, eunuch! Mardian ! Mar.
What's your highness' pleasure ?
Mar. Yes, gracious madam.
Mar. Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing
brow; There would he anchor his aspect, and die With looking on his life.
Sovereign of Egypt, hail !
• Still drink delicious poison from thine eye.' Broad-fronted,' in allusion to Cæsar's baldness.
Yet, coming from him, that great medicine hath
brave Mark Antony?
Cleo. Mine ear must pluck it thence.
Good friend, quoth he,
5 Alluding to the philosopher's stone, which, by its touch, converts base metal into gold. The alchymists call the matter, whatever it be, by which they perform transmutation a medicine. Thus Chapman in his Shadow of Night, 1594:
O then, thou great elixir of all treasures.' And on this passage he has the following note:— The philosopher's stone, or philosophica medicina, is called the great elixir.'
6 The old copy reads. an arm-gaunt steed,' upon which conjecture has been vainly employed. Steevens adopted Monck Mason's suggestion of a termagant steed,' with high commendation. A striking objection to that reading, which escaped Mr. Steevens in adopting it, is that an could never stand before termagant. The epithet now admitted into the text is the happy suggestion of Mr. Boaden, and is to be preferred both on account of its more striking propriety, and because it admits of the original article an retaining its place before it. That it is an epithet fitly applied to the steed of Antony, may be shown by high poetical authority. In the Auraco Domado of Lope de Vega, the reader will find the following passage:
“Y el cavallo arrogante, en que subido
Monstruosa fiera que sies pies tenia.' Termayant, it should be observed, is furious; arrogant, which answers to the Latin ferox, is only fierce, proud. Our great poet
of imagination all compact,' is the greatest master of poetic diction the world has yet produced; he could not have any knowledge of the Spanish poet, but has anticipated him in the use of this expressive epithet. The word arrogaunt, as written in old MSS. inight easily be mistaken for arm-gaunt.