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I shall entreat him
'Tis not a time
Lep. But small to greater matters must give way.
Your speech is passion : But, pray you, stir no embers
Here comes The noble Antony.
Enter ANTONY and VENTIDIUS.
And yonder, Cæsar.
Enter CÆSAR, MECÆNAS, and AGRIPPA.
I do not know,
'Tis spoken well.
[They shake hands? Cæs. Welcome to Rome. Ant.
? They shake hands.] This stage-direction is from the corr. fo. 1632. It is not in any ancient or modern impression, and Mr. Singer has properly availed himself of it. Afterwards, when Cæsar offers his hand, on the conclusion of their engagement, we are told that Antony takes it.
Ant. I learn, you take things ill, which are not so;
I must be laugh'd at,
My being in Egypt, Cæsar,
Cæs. No more than my residing here at Rome
How intend you, practis’d ?
Did he not rather
have to make it with “,
3 For theme was you ;] Their contestation was not theme for Antony, but Antony was their theme for contestation. “ Was ” and “for” accidentally changed places : therefore we read,
" and their contestation For theme was you ; you were the word of war." This is all that is necessary, and it is strange that the commentators, in their “contestation," should not have discovered what was required.
4 As matter whole you have to MAKE it with,] The meaning seems to be, “ Do not find out a cause of quarrel where none exists : do not patch a quarrel when no patching is required, because the matter is whole." Rowe put a negative into the line, “ You have not to make it with ;' but Southern seems to have found no deficiency, and therefore made no correction, in his folio, 1685. All the folios, subsequent to the first, corruptly read, “ to take it with ;" hut it is altered to “ make it with " in the corr. fo. 1632, and there too the line begins with a
It must not be with this.
You praise yourself
Not so, not so;
may pace easy, but not such a wife. Eno. Would we all had such wives, that the men might go to wars with the women!
Ant. So much uncurbable, her garboils, Cæsar,
I wrote to you,
You have broken
negative, “ No matter whole,” &c. The passage may be corrupt; but it is, at all events, very doubtful how it should be set right.
• Did gibe my missive out of audience.] The word “missive" is used by Shakespeare, and sometimes by other authors, either for a letter, or for the bearer of a letter, just as in the previous page he makes “reports ” stand for reporters :
* some true reports, That drew their swords with you."
Ant. No, Lepidus, let him speak :
Cæs. To lend me arms and aid when I requir'd them,
'Tis nobly spoken.
Worthily spoken, Mecænas. Eno. Or, if you borrow one another's love for the instant, you may, when you hear no more words of Pompey, return it again : you shall have time to wrangle in, when you have nothing else to do.
Ant. Thou art a soldier only: speak no more.
Cæs. I do not much dislike the matter, but
to ATONE you.] i. e. To at one you, reconcile you. See Vol. iv. p. 694, and Vol. v. p. 289. Above, the corr. fo. 1632 reads “nobly spoken."
7 — your considerate stone.] i.e. I will be as considerate as a stone. Johnson's notion that Enobarbus meant to call Antony a “considerate stone," does not seem to us, recollecting that the words were those of a rough free-spoken soldier, such “ an absurdity" as it appeared to the Rev. Mr. Dyce (“ Remarks,” p. 246). In speaking of the note in our first edition, he ought to have remembered two things, which he has entirely overlooked, viz. that we gave the very text he supports, and that we ourselves said that no change was needed. If Mr. Dyce had been more of a “considerate stone,” he would have saved himself from the appearance of endeavouring to make a fault where he could not find one. We do not at all say that the suspicion would be just, but that he has laid himself open to it.
We shall remain in friendship, our conditions.
Give me leave, Cæsar,
Agr. Thou hast a sister by the mother's side,
Say not so, Agrippa :
Ant. I am not married, Cæsar: let me hear
Agr. To hold you in perpetual amity,
Will Cæsar speak ?
What power is in Agrippa,
$ Were well deserv'd of rashness.] There are several misprints in this short speech, as it stands in prose in the folio, 1623, viz. “Say not, say Agrippa ; if Cleopater heard you, your proof were well deserved of rashness.” Of these modern editors take no notice, but silently change say to “so," and proof to “ reproof," as if such were the ancient text. Theobald recommended approof instead of proof : but Hanmer's correction of “reproof” seems much preferable : the meaning then is, “ your reproof were well deserved on account of rashness.” In the corr. fo. 1632 proof is made “reproof,” and “of," in the next line, changed to for : we do not hold the last to be at all necessary, since “of” is so to be understood, and was so understood in the time of Shakespeare.