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Once name you derogately, when to sound your Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts Did gibe my missive out of audience.
It not concern'd me. ANT.
My being in Egypt, Cæsar, What was 't to you?
CES. No more than my residing here at Rome Might be to you in Egypt: yet, if you there Did practise on my state, your being in Egypt Might be my question.
How intend you, practis'd? CES. You may be pleas'd to catch at mine intent
By what did here befal me. Your wife and brother
Did urge me in his act: I did inquire it;
Discredit my authority with yours;
And make the wars alike against my stomach, Having alike your cause? Of this, my letters Before did satisfy you. If you'll patch a quarrel,
As matter whole you have not to make it with, It must not be with this.
You praise yourself By laying defects of judgment to me; but You patch'd up your excuses.
Not so, not so; I know you could not lack, I am certain on 't, Very necessity of this thought, that I, Your partner in the cause 'gainst which he fought, Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars Which fronted mine own peace. As for my wife, As for my wife, I would you had her spirit in such another: The third o' the world is yours; which with a snaffle
You may pace easy, but not such a wife.
Exo. Would we had all such wives, that the men might go to wars with the women!
ANT. So much uncurbable, her garboils, Cæsar, Made out of her impatience,—which not wanted Shrewdness of policy too,-I grieving grant Did you too much disquiet: for that, you must But say, I could not help it.
I wrote to you When rioting in Alexandria; you
e As matter whole you hare not to make i! with,-] The negative was inserted by Rowe, and is clearly indispensable; but, to satisfy the metre, Shakespeare may have adopted the old form n'have instead of have not,
"As matter whole you n'have to make it with." So likewise in "Henry the Fifth," Act V. Sc. 2, where the original has, "—for they are all girdled with maiden walls, that war hath entered," we ought probably to read, "n'hath entered."
Say not so, Agrippa;
If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
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,
Would then be nothing: truths would be tales,d
Will Cæsar speak?
A sister I bequeath you, whom no brother
To join our kingdoms and our hearts: and never
ANT. I did not think to draw my sword 'gainst
For he hath laid strange courtesies and great
Time calls upon 's:
Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
With most gladness ;
Not sickness should detain me. [Flourish. Exeunt CESAR, ANT., and LEPIDUS. MEC. Welcome from Egypt, sir.
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 stayed 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.
(*) Old text, Mount-Mesena.
The meaning apparently is, The reproof you would receive were well deserved for the rashness of your speech.
truths would be tales, Where now half tales be truths:]
Theobald, to perfect the metre, inserted but,
and Steevens, for the same purpose, proposed,-" as tales.” the remedy most accordant with the poet's manner is to read,"truths would be half tales,
Where now half tales be truths."
The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
AGR. O, rare for Antony! ENO. Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides, many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes, And made their bends adornings: at the helm A seeming mermaid steers; the silken tackle Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands, That yarely frame the office. From the barge A strange invisible pérfume hits the sense Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast Her people out upon her; and Antony, Enthron'd 'n the market-place, did sit alone, Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy, Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too, And made a gap in nature.(2)
ENO. Upon her landing, Antony scut to her, Invited her to supper: she replied,
It should be better he became her guest;
(*) Old text, glove.
(cloth-of-gold of tissue)-] That is, cloth-of-gold on a ground of tissue. The expression so repeatedly occurs in early English books that we cannot imagine how any one familiar with such reading can have missed it. And yet Mr. Coll er, adopting the modernization of his annotator cloth of gold and tissue," observes with incredible simplicity that "cloth of gold of tissue,' as it stands in the old copies, is nonsense; it could not be cloth of gold if it were of tissue."!
The disputation on this crux in the Variorum extends over six closely printed pages, and though amusing, is not very instructive. For "tended her i' the eyes," which, if it have any sense, must signify waited upon her in her sight,-Mason proposed "tended her i' the guise," that is, the guise of mermaids, understanding "their bends which they made adornings" to mean the caudal appendages which common opinion has always assigned to the descendants of Nereus! This is sufficiently absurd, and has been mercilessly ridiculed by Steevens. Warburton's suggestion to read adorings for "adornings" is of a very different character. By adopting this likely substitution, and supposing the not improbable transposition of "eyes" and "bends," we may at least obtain a meaning:"tended her i' the bends, And made their eyes adorings."
It may count for something, though not much, in favour of the transposition we assume, that in "Pericles," Act II. Sc. 4, we find,
"That all those eyes ador'd them."
ANT. Now, sirrah,-you do wish yourself in Egypt?
SOOTH. Would I had never come from thence, nor you thither!
ANT. If you can, your reason?
SOOTH. I see it in my motion, have it not in my tongue but yet hie you to Egypt again. ANT. Say to me,
Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Cæsar's or mine?
Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side:
a Good night, sir.] So the second folio; in the first, these words form a portion of Antony's speech.
b Becomes a Fear,-] The personification of fear renders the passage more poetical; but it may be questioned, considering the
Where Cæsar's is not; but, near him, thy angel
If thou dost play with him at any game,
When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit
Get thee gone:
ANT. Say to Ventidius I would speak with him:[Exit Soothsayer.
He shall to Parthia.-Be it art or hap,
(*) Old text, alway.
old text has, "Becomes a feare," whether Upten's conjectural emendation," Becomes afeard," is not the true reading.
CLEO. And when good will is show'd, though 't come too short,
The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now:-