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SCENE V.

ANTONY'S Camp near Alexandria.

Trumpets sound. Enter ANTONY and EROS; a Soldier meeting them.

SOLD. The gods make this a happy day to Antony 8!

ANT. 'Would, thou and those thy scars had once

prevail'd

To make me fight at land!

Had'st thou done so,

SOLD. The kings that have revolted, and the soldier That has this morning left thee, would have still Follow'd thy heels.

ANT.

SOLD.

Who's gone this morning?

Who?

One ever near thee: Call for Enobarbus,
He shall not hear thee; or from Cæsar's camp

Say, I am none of thine.

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8 Sold. The gods make this a happy day to Antony!] 'Tis evident, as Dr. Thirlby likewise conjectured, by what Antony immediately replies, that this line should not be placed to Eros, but to the Soldier, who, before the battle of Actium, advised Antony to try his fate at land. THEOBALD.

The same mistake has, I think, happened in the next two speeches addressed to Antony, which are also given in the old copy to Eros. I have given them to the Soldier, who would naturally reply to what Antony said. Antony's words, "What sayst thou?" compared with what follows, show that the speech beginning, "Who? One ever near thee: &c. belongs to the Soldier. This regulation was made by Mr. Capell. MALONE.

ANT. GO, Eros, send his treasure after; do it; Detain no jot, I charge thee: write to him (I will subscribe) gentle adieus, and greetings: Say, that I wish he never find more cause To change a master.-O, my fortunes have Corrupted honest men :-Despatch:-Enobarbus"!

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9 - Eros, despatch.] Thus the second folio; except that these two words are here, for the sake of metre, transposed. The first folio has

"Dispatch Enobarbus." Dr. Johnson would read

"Despatch! To Enobarbus;

And Mr. Holt White supposes that "Antony, being astonished at the news of the desertion of Enobarbus, merely repeats his name in a tone of surprize."

In my opinion, Antony was designed only to enforce the order he had already given to Eros. I have therefore followed the second folio. STEEVENS.

It will be evident to any person who consults the second folio with attention and candour, that many of the alterations must have been furnished by some corrected copy of the first folio, or an authority of equal weight, being such as no person, much less one so ignorant and capricious as the editor has been represented, could have possibly hit upon, without that sort of information. Among these valuable emendations is the present, which affords a striking improvement both of the sense and of the metre, and should of course be inserted in the text, thus :

"Corrupted honest men. Eros, despatch." The same transposition, which is a mere, though frequent, inadvertence of the press, has happened in a subsequent scene: Unarm, Eros; the long days task is done : Where the measure plainly requires, as the author must have written," Eros, unarm." RITSON.

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Our will is, Antony be took alive ';

Make it so known.

AGR. Cæsar, I shall.

[Exit AGRIPPA.

CES. The time of universal peace is near: Prove this a prosperous day, the three-nook'd world Shall bear the olive freely 2.

Our will is, Antony be took alive;] It is observable with what judgment Shakspeare draws the character of Octavius. Antony was his hero; so the other was not to shine: yet being an historical character, there was a necessity to draw him like. But the ancient historians, his flatterers, had delivered him down so fair, that he seems ready cut and dried for a hero. Amidst these difficulties Shakspeare has extricated himself with great address. He has admitted all those great strokes of his character as he found them, and yet has made him a very unamiable character, deceitful, mean-spirited, narrow-minded, proud, and revengeful. WARBURTON.

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-the THREE-NOOK'D WORLD

Shall bear the olive freely.] So, in King John:

"Now these her princes are come home again,
"Come the three corners of the world in arms,
"And we shall shock them."

So, Lyly, in Euphues and his England, 1580: "The island is in fashion three-corner'd," &c. MALONE.

"Shall bear the olive freely," i. e. shall spring up every where spontaneously and without culture. WARBURTON.

Dr. Warburton mistakes the sense of the passage. To bear does not mean to produce, but to carry; and the meaning is, that the world shall then enjoy the blessings of peace, of which olive-branches were the emblem. The success of Augustus could not so change the nature of things, as to make the olive-tree grow without culture in all climates, but it shut the gates of the temple of Janus. M. MASON.

I doubt whether Mr. M. Mason's explication of the word bear be just. The poet certainly did not intend to speak literally; and might only mean, that, should this prove a prosperous day, there would be no occasion to labour to effect a peace throughout the world; it would take place without any effort or negociation. MALONE.

My explanation of this passage is supported by the following lines in The Second Part of King Henry IV. Act IV. Sc, IV. where Westmoreland says

"There is not now a rebel's sword unsheath'd,

"But peace puts forth her olive every where." M. MASON.

MESS.

Enter a Messenger.

Is come into the field.

CES.

Antony

Go, charge Agrippa

Plant those that have revolted in the van,

That Antony may seem to spend his fury

Upon himself.

[Exeunt CESAR and his Train. ENO. Alexas did revolt; and went to Jewry, on Affairs of Antony; there did persuade

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Great Herod to incline himself to Cæsar,

And leave his master Antony: for this pains,
Cæsar hath hang'd him. Canidius, and the rest
That fell away, have entertainment, but
No honourable trust. I have done ill;
Of which I do accuse myself so sorely,
That I will joy no more.

SOLD.

Enter a Soldier of CESAR'S.

Enobarbus, Antony

Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, with
His bounty overplus: The messenger
Came on my guard; and at thy tent is now,
Unloading of his mules.

3 persuade ] The old copy has dissuade, perhaps rightly. JOHNSON.

It is undoubtedly corrupt. The words in the old translation of Plutarch are: "for where he should have kept Herodes from revolting from him, he persuaded him to turne to Cæsar."

MALONE.

4 Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: "Furthermore, he delt very friendly and courteously with Domitius, and against Cleopatraes mynde. For, he being sicke of an agewe when he went, and took a little boate to go to Cæsar's campe, Antonius was very sory for it, but yet he sent after him all his caryage, trayne, and men and the same Domitius, as though he gaue him to vnderstand that he repented his open treason, he died immediately after."

STEEVENS.

ENO. I give it you.

SOLD. Mock not ", Enobarbus.

5,

I tell you true: Best you saf'd the bringer"
Out of the host; I must attend mine office,
Or would have done't myself. Your emperor
Continues still a Jove.

[Exit Soldier. ENO. I am alone the villain of the earth, And feel I am so most 8. O Antony,

Thou mine of bounty, how would'st thou have paid My better service, when my turpitude

Thou dost so crown with gold! This blows my heart 9:

If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean

5 Mock ME not,] Me was supplied by Mr. Theobald.

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STEEVENS. For the insertion of the pronoun-that, STEEvens.

to assist the metre, I am answerable.

7 SAF'D the bringer -] I find this verb in Chapman's version of the fourth book of Homer's Odyssey:

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and make all his craft

"Sail with his ruin, for his father saf't." STEEVENS. 8 And feel I am so most.] That is, and feel I am so, more

than any one else thinks it. M. MASON.

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"I am alone the vil

Surely, this explanation cannot be right. lain of the earth," means, "I am pre-eminently the first, the greatest villain of the earth." To stand alone, is still used in that sense, where any one towers above his competitors. And feel I am so most," must signify, "I feel or know it myself, more than any other person can or does feel it." REED.

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This BLOWS my heart:] All the latter editions have:

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I have given the original word again the place from which I think it unjustly excluded. This generosity, (says Enobarbus,) swells my heart, so that it will quickly break, "if thought break it not, a swifter mean. JOHNSON.

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That to blow means to puff or swell, the following; instance, in the last scene of this play, will sufficiently prove:

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on her breast

"There is a vent of blood, and something blown,"

Again, in King Lear:

"No blown ambition doth our arms excite-"" STEEVENS.

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