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That head, my lord ? Ant. To him again; Tell him, he wears the rose Of youth upon him; from which, the world should note Something particular: his coin, ships, legions, May be a coward's; whose ministers would prevail Under the service of a child, as soon As i’ the command of Cæsar: I dare him therefore To lay his gay comparisons apart, And answer me declin’d,? sword against sword, Qurselves alone: I 'll write it ; follow me.
(Exeunt Ant. and Eup.
- his gay comparisons apart, And answer me declin'd,] I require of Cæsar not to depend on that superiority which the comparison of our different fortunes may exhibit to him, but to answer me man to man, in this decline of my age or power. Johnson. I have sometimes thought that Shakspeare wrote
- his gay caparisons. Let him “ unstate his happiness,” let him divest himself of the splendid trappings of power, his coin, ships, legions, &c. and meet me in single combat.
Caparison is frequently used by our author and his contempo. raries, for an ornamental dress. So, in As You Like It, Act III, sc. ii:
- though I am caparison'd like a man, —." Again, in The Winter's Tale, Act IV, sc.
“ With die and drab I purchas'd this caparison." The old reading however is supported by a passage in Macbeth:
“Till that Bellona's bridegroom, lapp'd in proof,
“ Point against point, rebellious.” His gay comparisons may mean, those circumstances of splendour and power in which he, when compared with me, so much exceeds me.
Dr. Johnson's explanation of declin'd is certainly right. So, in Timon of Athens :
* Not one accompanying his declining foot.” Again, in Troilus and Cressida:
- What the declin'd is,
66 As feel in his own fall.” Again, in Daniel's Cleopatra, 1594:
“ Before she had declining fortune prov'd.” Malone. The word gay seems rather to favour Malone's conjecture, that we should read caparisons. On the other hand, the following passage in the next speech, appears to countenance the present reading:
that he should dream,
Eno. Yes, like enough, high-battled Cæsar will
Enter an Attendant.
A messenger from Cæsar. - Cleo. What, no more ceremony?-See, my women! Against the blown rose may they stop their nose, That kneel'd unto the buds.-Admit him, sir.
Eno. Mine honesty, and I, begin to square. [Aside. The loyalty, well held to fools, does make Our faith mere folly :-Yet, he, that can endure To follow with allegiance a fallen lord, Does conquer him that did his master conquer, And earns a place i' the story.
-best:g'l to the show,] So, Goff, in his Raging Turk, 1631:
as if he stag'd
Steevens. Be stag’d to show,—that is, exhibited, like conflicting gladiators, to the public gaze. Henley.
A parcel of their fortunes ;] i. e. as we should say at present, are of a piece with them. Steevens.
to square.] i. e. to quarrel. See A Midsummer Night's Dream, Vol. II, p. 264, n. 3. Steevens.
2 The loyalty, well held to fools, &c.] After Enobarbus has said, that his honesty and he begin to quarrel, he immediately falls into this generous reflection : “ Though loyalty, stubbornly preserv'd to a master in his declined fortunes, seems folly in the eyes of fools; yet he, who can be so obstinately loyal, will make as great a figure on record, as the conqueror." I therefore read:
Though loyalty, well held to fools, does make
Theobald. I have preserved the old reading: Enobarbus is deliberating upon desertion, and finding it is more prudent to forsake a fool, and more reputable to be faithful to him, makes no positive conclusion. Sir T. Hanmer follows Theobald. Dr. Warburton retains the old reading. Fohnson.
None but friends ;3 say boldly, Thyr. So, haply, are they friends to Antony.
Eno. He needs as many, sir, as Cæsar has; Or needs not us. If Cæsar please, our master Will leap to be his friend: For us, you know, Whose he is, we are; and that 's, Cæsar's. Thyr.
So. Thus then, thou most renown'd; Cæsar entreats, Not to consider in what case thou stand'st, Further than he is Cæsar.4
3 None but friends ;] I suppose, for the sake of measure, we ought to read in this place with Sir Thomas Hanmer:
“ None here but friends.” Steevens.
Further than he is Cæsar.] Thus the second folio; and on this reading the subsequent explanation by Dr. Warburton is founded. The first folio, which brings obscurity with it, has
than he Cæsar's.” See Mr. Malone's note. Steevens.
i. e. Cæsar entreats, that at the same time you consider your desperate fortunes, you would consider he is Cæsar: That is, generous and forgiving, able and willing to restore them. Warburton.
It has been just said, that whatever Antony is, all his followers are; that is, Cæsar's." Thyreus now informs Cleopatra that Cæsar entreats her not to consider herself in a state of subjection, further than as she is connected with Antony, who is Cesar's: intimating to her, (according to the instructions he had received from Cæsar, to detach Cleopatra from Antony-see p. 314,) that she might make separate and advantageous terms for herself.
I suspect that the preceding speech belongs to Cleopatra, not to Enobarbus. Printers usually keep the names of the persons who appear in each scene, ready composed; in consequence of which, speeches are often attributed to those to whom they do not belong. Is it probable that Enobarbus should presume to interfere here? The whole dialogue naturally proceeds between Cleopatra and Thyreus, till Enobarbus thinks it necessary to attend to his own interest, and says what he speaks when he goes out. The plural number, (us,) which suits Cleopatra, who throughout the play assumes that royal style, strengthens my conjecture. The words, our master, 'it may be said, are inconsistent with this supposition; but I apprehend, Cleopatra might have thus described Antony, with sufficient propriety. They are afterwards explained : “ Whose he is, we are.” Antony was the master of her fate. Malone.
Go on: Right royal.
He is a god, and knows
To be sure of that, [Aside.
[Exit Exo. Thyr.
Shall I say to Cæsar
What's your name?
Most kind messenger's
Enobarbus, who is the buffoon of the play, has already presumed (see p. 238,] to interfere between the jarring Triumvirs, and might therefore have been equally flippant on the occasion before is. For this reason, as well as others, I conceive the speech in question to have been rightly appropriated in the old copy.-What a diminution of Shakspeare's praise would it be, if four lines that exactly suit the mouth of Enobarbus, could come with equal propriety from the lips of Cleopatra! Steevens.
embrace not -] The author probably wrote embrac’d. Malone.
-thou ’rt so leaky, &c.
the very rats
Say to great Cæsar this, In deputation
To lay my crown at his feet, and there to kneel:
i. e. by proxy; I depute you to pay him that duty in my name.
Warburton. I am not certain that this change is necessary. I kiss his hand in disputation—may mean, I own he has the better in the controversy. I confess my inability to dispute or contend with him. To dispute may have no immediate reference to words or language by which controversies are agitated. So, in Macbeth: " Dispute it like a man;" and Macduff, to whom this short speech is ad. dressed, is disputing or contending with himself only. Again, in Twelfth Night: “ For though my soul disputes well with my sense.” If Ďr. Warburton's change be adopted, we should read -“by deputation.” Steevens.
I have no doubt but deputation is the right reading. Steevens having proved, with much labour and ingenuity, that it is but by a forced and unnatural construction that any sense can be ex. torted from the words as they stand. It is not necessary to read by deputation, instead of in. That amendment indeed would render the passage more strictly grammatical, but Shakspeare is, frequently, at least as licentious in the use of his particles.
M. Mason. I think Dr. Warburton's conjecture extremely probable. The objection founded on the particle in being used, is, in my apprehension, of little weight. Though by deputation is the phraseology of the present day, the other might have been common in the time of Shakspeare. Thus a Deputy says in the first scene of King John:
“ Thus, after greeting, speaks the king of France,
“ The borrow'd majesty of England here." Again, in King Henry IV, P.I:
“Of all the favourites that the absent king
“ In deputation left behind him here." Again: Bacon, in his History of Henry VII, says, “- if he relied upon that title, he could be but a king at courtesie.” We should now say, “by courtesy.” So, “in any hand,” was the phrase of Shakspeare's time, for which, at any hand,” was afterwards used.
Supposing disputation to mean, as Mr. Steevens conceives, not verbal controversy, but struggle for power, or the contention of adversaries, to say that one kisses the hand of another in contention, is surely a strange phrase : but to kiss by proxy, and to marry by proxy, was the language of Shakspeare's time, and is the language of this day. I have, however, found no example of in deputation being used in the sense required here. Malone.
8 Tell him, from his all-obeying breath &c.] Doom is declared rather by an all-commanding than an all-obeying breath. I suppose we ought to read,
all-obeyed breath. Fohnson: