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Not in the power on 't:3 So our leader 's led,
You keep by land
Can. Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius, .
While he was yet in Rome.
Who's his lieutenant, hear you?
Well I know the man.
Enter a Messenger. Mess. The emperor calls for Canidius.7 Can. With news the time 's with labour; and throes
forth, Each minute, some.
3 Sold. By Hercules, I think, I am i' the right.
Can. Soldier, thou art : but his whole action grows Not in the power on 't:] That is, his whole conduct becomes ungoverned by the right, or by reason. Johnson.
I think the sense is very different, and that Canidius means to say, His whole conduct in the war is not founded upon that which is his greatest strength, (namely, his land force,) but on the caprice of a woman who wishes that he should fight by sea. Dr. Johnson refers the word on’t to right in the preceding speech. I apprehend, it refers to action in the speech before us. Malone.
4 Carries beyond belief.] Perhaps this phrase is from archery. So, in King Henry IV, P. II: “ he would have carried you a forehand shaft a fourteen and fourteen and a half.” Steevens.
5 While he was - ] Of what use are the words--he was, except to vitiate the metre? Steevens.
distractions,] Detachments, separate bodies. Johnson. The word is thus used by Sir Paul Rycaut, in his Maxims of Turkish Polity: “ – - and not suffer his affections to wander on other wives, slaves, or distractions of his love." Steevens.
7. The emperor calls for Canidius.] The preposition-for, was judiciously inserted by Sir Thomas Hanmer, to complete the measure. So, in a future scene:
call for Enobarbus, Steevens.
and throes forth,] i. e. emits as in parturition. So, in The Tempest:
proclaim a birth
A Plain near Actium.
Strike not by land; keep whole: Provoke not battle, till we have done at sea. Do not exceed the prescript of this scroll: Our fortune lies upon this jump..
[Exeunt. Enter Antony and ENOBARBUS. Ant. Set we our squadrons on yon' side o' the hill, In eye of Cæsar's battle; from which place We may the number of the ships behold, And so proceed accordingly.
[Exeunt. Enter CANIDIUS, marching with his Land Army one Way
over the Stage; and TAURUS, the Lieutenant of Cæsar, the other Way. After their going in, is heard the Noise of a Sea-Fight.
Alarum. Re-enter ENOBARBUS.
Gods, and goddesses, All the whole synod of them! Eno.
What's thy passion? Scar. The greater cantle? of the world is lost
this jump.] i. e. hazard. So, in Macbeth:
“We'd jump the life to come.” Steevens. 1 The Antoniad, &c.] Which Plutarch says, was the name of Cleopatra's ship. Pope.
2 The greater cantle - ] A piece or lump. Pope.
Cantle is rather a corner. Cæsar, in this play, mentions the three-nook'd world. Of this triangular world every triumvir had a corner. Johnson.
The word is used by Chaucer, in The Knight's Tale, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 3010:
“Of no partie ne cantel of a thing." Steevens. See Vol. VIII, p. 258, n. 3. Jalone.
With very ignorance; we have kiss'd away
How appears the fight?
token'd-] Spotted. Johnson. The death of those visited by the plague was certain, when particular eruptions appeared on the skin; and these were called God's tokens. So, in the comedy of Two Wise Men and all the rest Fools, in seven Acts, 1619: “A will and a tolling bell are as present death as God's tokens.” Again, in Herod and Antipater, 1622:
“ His sickness, madam, rageth like a plague,
“Once spotted, never cur’d.” Again, in Love's Labour 's Lost :
“ For the Lori's tokens on you both I see.” See Vol. IV, p. 129, n. 9. Steevens.
– ribald —] A luxurious squanderer. Pope. The word is in the old edition ribaudred, which I do not understand, but mention it, in hopes others may raise some happy conjecture. Fohnson. A ribald is a lewd fellow. So, in Arden of Feversham, 1592 :
that injurious riball that attempts “ To vyolate my dear wyve's chastity.” Again:
“ Injurious strumpet, and thou ribald knave.” Ribaudred, the old reading, is, I believe, no more than a corrruption. Shakspeare, who is not always very nice about his versification, miglit have written:
Yon ribald-rid nag of Egypt, i. e. Yon strumpet, who is common to every wanton fellow.
We find, however, in The Golden Legend, Wynkyn de Worde's edit. fol. 186, b. that “ Antony was wylde, ioly, and rybauldous, and had ye syster of Octauyan to his wyfe.” Steevens.
I have adopted the happy emendation proposed by Mr. Stee. Tens. Ribaud was only the old spelling of ribald; and the misprint of red for rid is easily accounted for. Whenever, by any negligence in writing, a dot is omitted over an i, compositors at the press invariably print an e. Of this I have had experience in many sheets of my edition of Shakspeare, being very often guilty of that negligence which probably produced the error in the passage before us.
In our author's own edition of his Rape of Lucrece, 1594, I have lately observed the same error:
“ Afflict him in his bed with bed-red groans.” Again, in Hamlet, 1604, sign. B 3, Act I, sc. ii:
“ Who impotent, and bed-red, scarcely hears 10 Of this his nephew's purpose.”
Whom leprosy o'ertake !5 i' the midst o' the fight-
That I beheld: mine eyes
By ribald, Scarus, I think, means the lewd Antony in partico. lår, not "every lewd fellow,” as Mr. Steevens has explained it.
Malone. Yon ribald nag of Egypt,] I believe we should read-haz. What follows seems to prove it:
She once being loof'd,
“ Claps on his sea-wing.” Tyrwhitt. Odd as this use of nag might appear to Mr. Tyrwhitt, jade is daily used in the same manner. Henley.
The brieze, or æstrum, the fly that stings cattle, proves that nag is the right word. Johnson.
5 Whom leprosy o'ertake! ] Leprosy, an epidemical distemper of the Ægyptians; to which Horace probably alludes in the controverted line:
“ Contaminato cum grege turpium
“ Morbo virorum.” Johnson. Leprosy was one of the various names by which the Lues venerea was distinguished. So, in Greene's Disputation between a He Coneycatcher and a She Coneycacther, 1592: “ Into what jeopardy a man will thrust himself for her that he loves, although for his sweet villanie he be brought to loathsome leprosie.” Steedens.
Pliny, who says, the white leprosy, or elephantiasis, was not seen in Italy before the time of Pompey the Great, adds, it is “a peculiar maladie, and naturall to the Ægyptians ; but looke when any of their kings fell into it, woe worth the subjects and poore people: for then were the tubs and bathing vessels wherein they sate in the baine, filled with men's bloud for their cure." Phile.. mon Holland's Translation, B. XXVI, c. i. Reed.
6 Both as the same, or rather ours the elder,] So, in Julius Cæsar:
“ We were two lions, litter'd in one day,
“ But I the elder and more terrible.” Steevens. 7 The brize upon her,] The brize is the gad-fly. So, in Spenser":
a brize, a scorned little creature, Through his fair hide his angry sting did threaten.”
Steevens. • Did sicken at the right on ’t,] For the insertion of-on't, to complete the measure, I am answerable, being backed, howerer, by the authority of the following passage in Cymbeline :
the sweet view on't
Endure a further view.
She once being loof'd,
Eno. Ay, are you thereabouts? Why then, good night Indeed.
To Cæsar will I render
I'll yet follow
being loof'd,] To loof is to bring a ship close to the wind. This expression is in the old translation of Plutarch. It also occurs frequently in Hackluyt's Voyages. See Vol. III, 589.
Steevens. ? The woundeil chance of Antony,] I know not whether the author, who loves to draw his images from the sports of the field, might not have written:
The wounded chase of Antony, The allusion is to a deer wounded and chased; whom all other deer avoid. I will, says Enobarbus, follow Antony, though chased and wounded.
The common reading, however, may very well stand. Johnson.
The woundeil chance of Antony, is a phrase nearly of the same import as the broken fortunes of Antony. The old reading is indisputably the true one. So, in the fifth Act:
*" Or I shall show the cinders of my spirit,
“ Through the ashes of my chance." Malone. Mr. Malone has judiciously defended the old reading. In Othello we have a phrase somewhat similar to wounded chance ; viz, “ mangled matter.” Steevens: