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CES. To lend me arms, and aid, when I requir'd
The which you both denied.
Work without it: Truth is, that Fulvia,
'Tis noble spoken 3.
MEC. If it might please you, to enforce no fur
The griefs between ye: to forget them quite,
Speaks to atone you'.
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.
7 nor my power
Work without it:] Nor my greatness work without mine honesty. MALONE.
8 'Tis NOBLY spoken.] Thus the second folio. The firstnoble. STEEVENS.
Substantives were frequently used adjectively by Shakspeare. See vol. x. p. 438. I have adhered to the old reading. MALONE. 9 The GRIEFS -] i. e. grievances. See vol. xi. p. 506.
to ATONE you.] i. e. reconcile you. See Cymbeline, Act I. Sc. V. STEEVENS.
ENO. That truth should be silent 2, I had almost forgot.
ANT. You wrong this presence, therefore speak
ENO. Go to then; your considerate stone 3.
2 That truth should be silent,] We find a similar sentiment in King Lear: "Truth's a dog that must to kennel-."
your considerate stone.] This line is passed by all the editors, as if they understood it, and believed it universally intelligible. I cannot find in it any very obvious, and hardly any possible meaning. I would therefore read:
"Go to then, you considerate ones." You who dislike my frankness and temerity of speech, and are so considerate and discreet, go to, do your own business.
I believe, "Go to then; your considerate stone," means only this-If I must be chidden, henceforward I will be mute as a marble statue, which seems to think, though it can say nothing. "As silent as a stone," however, might have been once a common phrase. So, in the interlude of Jacob and Esau, 1598 :
Bring thou in thine, Mido, and see thou be a stone.
Rebecca.] I meant thou should'st nothing say." Again, in the old metrical romance of Syr Guy of Warwick, bl. 1. no date :
Guy let it passe as still as stone,
"And to the steward word spake none." Again, in Titus Andronicus, Act III. Sc. I. : "A stone is silent and offendeth not."
Again, Chaucer :
To riden by the way, dombe as a stone."
In Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, Part I. Sect. 2, Memb. 3, Subs. 15, is the following quotation from Horace :
statua taciturnior exit,
Plurumque et risum populi quatit.
The same idea, perhaps, in a more dilated form, will be found in our author's King Henry VIII. :
If we shall stand still,
"In fear our motion should be mock'd or carp'd at,
"We should take root here where we sit, or sit
"State statues only."
Mr. Tollet explains the passage in question thus: "I will henceforth seem senseless as a stone, however I may observe and consider your words and actions." STEEVENS.
CES. I do not much dislike the matter, but The manner of his speech: for it cannot be, We shall remain in friendship, our conditions So differing in their acts. Yet, if I knew What hoop should hold us staunch, from edge to edge
O' the world I would pursue it.
CES. Speak, Agrippa.
Give me leave, Cæsar,
AGR. Thou hast a sister by the mother's side, Admir'd Octavia: great Mark Antony
Is now a widower.
Say not so, Agrippa o;
If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
The metre of this line is deficient. It will be perfect, and the sense rather clearer, if we read (without altering a letter) :
your consideratest one."
I doubt, indeed, whether this adjective is ever used in the superlative degree; but in the mouth of Enobarbus it might be pardoned. BLACKSTONE.
As Enobarbus, to whom this line belongs, generally speaks in plain prose, there is no occasion for any further attempt to harmonize it. RITSON.
4 I do not much dislike the MATTER, but
The manner of his speech :] I do not, (says Cæsar,) think the man wrong, but too free of his interposition; for it cannot be, we shall remain in friendship: yet if it were possible, I would endeavour it.' JOHNSON.
5 What HOOP should hold us staunch,] So, in King Henry IV. Part II.:
"A hoop of gold, to bind thy brothers in —."
6 Say not so, Agrippa;] The old copy has-" Say not say," Mr. Rowe made this necessary correction. MALONE.
Were well deserv'd-] In the old edition :
which Mr. Theobald, with his usual triumph, changes to approof, which he explains allowance. Dr. Warburton inserted reproof very properly into Hanmer's edition, but forgot it in his own.
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
By duty ruminated.
Will Cæsar speak?
CES. Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd With what is spoke already".
"Your reproof," &c. That is, you might be reproved for your rashness, and would well deserve it. Your reproof, means, the reproof you would undergo. The expression is rather licentious: but one of a similar nature occurs in The Custom of the Country, where Arnoldo, speaking to the Physician, says:
And by your success
"In all your undertakings, propagate
Here, your opinion means, the opinion conceived of you.
Dr. Warburton's emendation is certainly right. The error was one of many which are found in the old copy, in consequence of the transcriber's ear deceiving him. So, in another scene of this play, we find in the first copy-mine nightingale, instead of my nightingale; in Coriolanus, news is coming, for news is come in; in the same play, higher for hire, &c. &c. MALONE.
8 - BUT tales,] The conjunction-but, was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer, to perfect the metre. We might read, I think, with less alliteration-a -as tales. STEEVENS.
9 - already.] This adverb may be fairly considered as an interpolation. Without enforcing the sense, it violates the measure.
To this good purpose, that so fairly shows,
Dream of impediment !-Let me have thy hand: Further this act of grace; and, from this hour,
The heart of brothers govern in our loves,
And sway our great designs!
There is my hand.
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,
Of us 2 must Pompey presently be sought,
Or else he seeks out us.
Time calls upon us :
What's his strength
CES. About the Mount Misenum.
CES. Great, and increasing: but by sea
He is an absolute master.
1 Lest my remembrance suffer ill report ;] Lest I be thought too willing to forget benefits, I must barely return him thanks, and then I will defy him. JOHNSON.
2 Of us, &c.] In the language of Shakspeare's time, meansby us. MALONE.
3 AND where-] And was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer, for the sake of metre. STEEVENS.