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I lose myself: better I were not yours,
Than yours so branchless 7. But, as you requested, Yourself shall go between us: The mean time, lady, I'll raise the preparation of a war
Shall stain your brothers; Make your soonest haste; So your desires are yours.
7 Than YOURS so branchless.] Old copy-your. Corrected in the second folio. This is one of the many mistakes that have arisen from the transcriber's ear deceiving him, your so and yours so, being scarcely distinguishable in pronunciation. MALONE. 8 The mean time, lady,
I'll raise the preparation of a war
Shall STAIN your brother;] Thus the printed copies. But, sure, Antony, whose business here is to mollify Octavia, does it with a very ill grace: and 'tis a very odd way of satisfying her, to tell her the war, he raises, shall stain, i. e. cast an odium upon her brother. I have no doubt, but we must read, with the addition only of a single letter
"Shall strain your brother;
i. e. shall lay him under constraints; shall put him to such shifts, that he shall neither be able to make a progress against, or to prejudice me. Plutarch says, that Octavius, understanding the sudden and wonderful preparations of Antony, was astonished at it; for he himself was in many wants, and the people were sorely oppressed with grievous exactions. THEOBALD.
I do not see but stain may be allowed to remain unaltered, meaning no more than shame or disgrace. JOHNSON.
So, in some anonymous stanzas among the poems of Surrey and Wyatt :
here at hand approacheth one
"Whose face will stain you all."
Again, in Shore's Wife, by Churchyard, 1593:
"So Shore's wife's face made foule Browneta blush,
Again, in Churchyard's Charitie, 1595:
"Whose beautie staines the faire Helen of Greece." STEEVENS.
I believe a line betwixt these two has been lost, the purport of which probably was, "unless I am compelled in my own defence, I will do no act that shall stain," &c.
After Antony has told Octavia that she shall be a mediatrix between him and his adversary, it is surely strange to add that he will do an act that shall disgrace her brother. MALONE.
Thanks to my lord.
The Jove of power make me most weak, most
Your reconciler! Wars 'twixt you twain would be1 As if the world should cleave, and that slain men Should solder up the rift.
ANT. When it appears to you where this begins, Turn your displeasure that way; for our faults Can never be so equal, that your love
Can equally move with them. Provide your going; Choose your own company, and command what
Your heart has mind to.
The Same. Another Room in the Same.
Enter ENOBARBUS and EROS, meeting.
ENO. How now, friend Eros?
EROS. There's strange news come, sir.
ENO. What, man?
EROS. Cæsar and Lepidus have made wars upon
ENO. This is old; What is the success?
Perhaps we should read:
"Shall stay your brother;
Shall check and make him pause in his hostile designs.
9 YOUR reconciler!] The old copy has you. This manifest error of the press, which appears to have arisen from the same cause as that noticed above, was corrected in the second folio.
-Wars 'twixt you twain would be, &c.] The sense is, that war between Cæsar and Antony would engage the world between them, and that the slaughter would be great in so extensive a commotion. JOHNSON.
EROS. Cæsar, having made use of him in the wars 'gainst Pompey, presently denied him rivality 2; would not let him partake in the glory of the action : and not resting here, accuses him of letters he had formerly wrote to Pompey; upon his own appeal3, seizes him: So the poor third is up, till death enlarge his confine.
ENO. Then, world, thou hast a pair of chaps, no
And throw between them all the food thou hast, They'll grind the one the other, Where's Antony * ?
2- rivality;] Equal rank. JOHNSON.
So, in Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus are styled by Bernardo "the rivals" of his watch. STEEVENS.
3-upon his own APPEAL,] To appeal, in Shakspeare, is to accuse; Cæsar seized Lepidus without any other proof than Casar's accusation. JOHNSON.
4 Then, WORLD, &C.] Old copy-" Then 'would thou had'st a pair of chaps, no more; and throw between them all the food thou hast, they'll grind the other. Where's Antony?" This is obscure; I read it thus:
Then, world, thou hast a pair of chaps, no more;
And throw between them all the food thou hast,
They'll grind the one the other. Where's Antony? Cæsar and Antony will make war on each other, though they have the world to prey upon between them. JOHNSON.
Though in general very reluctant to depart from the old copy, I have not, in the present instance, any scruples on that head. The passage, as it stands in the folio, is nonsense, there being nothing to which thou can be referred. World and would were easily confounded, and the omission in the last line, which Dr. Johnson has supplied, is one of those errors that happen in almost every sheet that passes through the press, when the same words are repeated near to each other in the same sentence. Thus, in a note on Timon of Athens, [edit. 1790] Act III. Sc. II. now before me, these words ought to have been printed : "Dr. Farmer, however, suspects a quibble between honour in its common acceptation and honour (i. e. the lordship of a place) in its legal sense." But the words" in its common acceptation and were omitted in the proof sheet by the compositor, by his eye (after he had composed the first honour) glancing on the last, by which the intermediate words were lost. In the passage before us, I have no doubt that the compositor's eye in like manner glancing on the second the, VOL. XII.
EROS. He's walking in the garden-thus; and
The rush that lies before him; cries, Fool, Lepidus! And threats the throat of that his officer,
That murder'd Pompey.
EROS. For Italy, and Cæsar.
My lord desires you presently: my news
Our great navy's rigged.
"Twill be naught:
I might have told hereafter.
But let it be.-Bring me to Antony.
EROS. Come, sir.
after the first had been composed, the two words now recovered were omitted. So, in Troilus and Cressida, the two lines printed in Italicks, were omitted in the folio, from the same cause:
"The bearer knows not; but commends itself
To others' eyes; nor doth the eye itself,
"That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself,
In the first folio edition of Hamlet, Act II. is the following passage: "I will leave him, and suddenly contrive the means of meeting between him and my daughter." But in the original quarto copy the words in the Italick character are omitted. The printer's eye, after the words I will leave him were composed, glanced on the second him, and thus all the intervening words were lost.
I have lately observed that Sir Thomas Hanmer had made the same emendation. As, in a subsequent scene, Shakspeare, with allusion to the triumvirs, calls the world three-nook'd, so he here supposes it to have had three chaps. No more does not signify no longer, but has the same meaning as if Shakspeare had writtenand no more. Thou hast now a pair of chaps, and only a pair.
More, Domitius;] I have something more to tell you, which I might have told at first, and delayed my news. Antony requires your presence. JOHNSON.
Rome. A Room in CÆSAR'S House.
Enter CESAR, AGRIPPA, and MECENAS. CES. Contemning Rome, he has done all this, and more,
In Alexandria:-here's the manner of it,-
"I' the market-place,] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: "For he assembled all the people in the show place, where younge men doe exercise them selues, and there vpon a high tribunall siluered, he set two chayres of gold, the one for him selfe, and the other for Cleopatra, and lower chaires for his children : then he openly published before the assembly, that first of all he did establish Cleopatra queene of Egypt, of Cyprvs, of Lydia, and of the lower Syria, and at that time also, Cæsarion king of the same realmes. This Cæsarion was supposed to be the sonne of Julius Cæsar, who had left Cleopatra great with child. Secondly, he called the sonnes he had by her, the kings of kings, and gaue Alexander for his portion, Armenia, Media, and Parthia, when he had conquered the country and vnto Ptolemy for his portion, Phenicia, Syria, and Cilicia." STEEVENS.
7 Lydia,] For Lydia, Mr. Upton, from Plutarch, has restored Lybia. JOHNSON.
In the translation from the French of Amyot, by Thos. North, in folio, 1597,* will be seen at once the origin of this mistake:
* I find the character of this work pretty early delineated :
"'Twas Greek at first, that Greek was Latin made,