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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 :2 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.
Eno. When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up3 his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.
Agr. There she appeared indeed ; or my reporter devised well 4 for her.
Eno. I will tell you.5
For her own person,
1 Digested.] Arranged.
• I will tell you.] The description that follows is founded on that in North's Plutarch. See Extracts, 10.
Cloth of gold of tissue.] This is the expression in North’s Plutarch, and means cloth of gold on a ground of tissue.
O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
: 2 each side her
O, rare for Antony !
many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes, 4
Oerpicturing.] Excelling the pictorial beauty of. 2 Outwork nature.] Surpass the work of nature.
3 And what they undid did.] And did, or promoted, what they were meant to undo or obviate. Shakspeare often employs the language of paradox. Thus, in Macbeth, i. 3, • Nothing is but what is not;' and in Othello, i. 1, 'I am not what I am ;' iii. 4, 'My lord is not my lord ;' iv. 1, . They have it very oft that have it not.'
* Tended her i the eyes.] Attended on her with their eyes. Compare Psalms, cxxiii, 2, ' As the eyes of a maiden look unto the hand of her mistress, so our eyes wait,' &c. We wonder that this clause and the one following should have so much perplexed the commentators.
5 And made their bends adornings.] And by their gaze directed towards her formed ornamental appendages to the main figure, * And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world.' Julius Caesar, i. 2.
6 Swell with the touches of.] Swell in the breeze when held or shifted by.
? Yarely frame the office.] Expertly imitate the manœuvres of boatmen. Sce the Editor's Tempest, p. 4, note 2.
Whistling to the air ; which, but for vacancy,
Rare Egyptian !
Eno. I saw her once
Mec. Now Antony must leave her utterly.
Eno. Never; he will not; age cannot wither her,
Mec. If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
Which but for vacancy, fc.] The air which, but that Nature abhors a vacuum, would have gone, &c. ? For his ordinary.] As the price of his entertainment.
That.] In such a way that. • Power breathe forth.] Breathe forth power.
Let us go
abide here. Eno. Humbly, sir, I thank you.
SCENE III.-The same.
A Room in Cæsar's House.
Enter CÆSAR, ANTONY, OCTAVIA between them, and
All which time
Good night, sir.—My Octavia,
Octa. Good night, sir.
[Exeunt CÆSAR and OCTAVIA.
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.
i Shall bow.] Shall humbly present.
2 I see it in my motion.] I discern it through the impulse or inspiration that moves or actuates me.
Ant. Say to me,
Speak this no more.
Get thee gone : Say to Ventidius I would speak with him ::
[Exit Soothsayer. He shall to Parthia. 4_Be it art or hap, He 5 hath spoken true: the very dice obey him; And, in our sports, my better cunning faints Under his chance : 6 if we draw lots, he speeds;
That thy spirit.] That spirit or genius of thine. So in Julius Cæsar, v. 5, 'For that our love of old.' See Extracts from Plutarch, 23. In Macbeth, iii. 1, Macbeth says of Banquo, . Under him my genius is rebuked, as it is said Mark Antony's was by Cæsar.'
? A Fear.] Upton conjectured afеard to be the genuine reading. 8 Of.] Out of, or through. * He shall to Parthia.] Ventidius shall go to Parthia for me. • He ] The soothsayer.
My better cunning, fc.] My skill, though greater than Cæsar's, succumbs to his luck.