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I could do more to do Antonius good,
Thou hast, Ventidius,
Ven. I'll humbly signify what in his name,
Where is he now?
what hafte The weight we must convey with us will permit, We shall appear before him.-On, there ; pass along.
That without which -] Here again, regardless of metre, the old copies read :
That without the which STEEVENS. 8 That without which a soldier, and his sword,
Grants scarce diftin&tion.] Grant, for afford. It is badly and obscurely expressed: but the sense is this, Thou hast that, Ventidius, which if thou didł want, there would be no diftinction between thee and thy sword. You would be both equally cutting and senseless. This was wisdom or knowledge of the world. Ventidius had told him the reasons why he did not pursue his advantages : and his friend, by this compliment, acknowledges them to be of weight.
WARBURTON We have somewhat of the same idea in Coriolanus :
Who, Jensible, outdares his fenfelejs sword.” STEEVENS.
An Ante-chamber in Cæsar's House.
Enter AGRIPPA, and ENOBARBUS, meeting.
Agr. What, are the brothers parted ?
'Tis a noble Lepidus. Eno. A very fine one: 0, how he loves Cæsar! Agr. Nay, but how dearly he adores Mark An
tony! Eno. Cæsar? Why, he's the Jupiter of men. AGR. What's Antony? The god of Jupiter. Eno. Spake you of Cæsar? How?o the nonpa
reil ! Agr. O Antony! O thou Arabian bird ! 2 Eno. Would you praise Cæsar, say,—Cæsar ;-
go no further.
How?] I believe, was here, as in another place in this play, printed by mistake, for ho. See also Vol. V. p. 532, n. 3.
“ She is alone the Arabian bird, and I
Cæfar ;--go no further.) I fufpect that this line was de
Agr. Indeed, he ply'd them both with excellent
Think, speak, cast, write, fing, number, ho, his love
figned to be metrical, and that (omitting the impertinent go) we
STEEVENS. bards, poets,] Not only the tautology of bards and poets, but the want of a correspondent action for the poet, whose business in the next line is only to number, makes me fuspect some fault in this passage, which I know not how to mend. · JOHNSON
I suspect no fault. The ancient bard sung his compositions to the harp; the poet only commits them to paper. Verses are often called numbers, and to number, a verb (in this senfe) of Shakspeare's coining, is to make verfes.
This puerile arrangement of words was much studied in the age of Shakspeare, even by the first writers.
So, in An excellent Sornet of a Nimph, by Sir P. Sidney; printed in England's Helicon, 1600:
“ Vertue, beauty, and speach, did strike, wound, charme, ** My hart, eyes, eares, with wonder, love, delight: *
First, second, laft, did binde, enforce, and arne, “ His works, showes, futes, with wit, grace, and vowes-might: “ Thus honour, liking, trust, much, farre, and deepe,
Held, pearft, poffeft, my judgement, fence, and will ;
“ For nothing, time, nor place, can loose, quench, case,
“ Yet I will weep, vow, pray to cruell Mee;
To Antony. But as for Cæsar,
Both he loves. Eno. They are his shards, and he their beetle. So,
[Trumpets. This is to horse.—Adieu, noble Agrippa.
Agr. Good fortune, worthy soldier; and farewell.
Enter CÆSAR, Antony, LEPIDUS, and OCTAVIA. Ant. No further, sir.
Cæs. You take from me a great part of myself; Use me well in it.-Sister, prove such a wife As my thoughts make thee, and as my furthest band" Shall pass on thy approof.--Moft noble Antony, Let not the piece of virtue,' which is set Betwixt us, as the cement of our love, To keep it builded, be the ram, to batter
4 They are his shards, and he their beetle.] i e. They are the avings that raise this heavy lumpih infex from the ground. So, in Macbeth:
the hard-borne beetle." See Vol. VII. p. 466, n. 9. STEEVENS. s You take from me a great part of myself;] So, in The Tempest:
“ I have given you here a third of my own life.” Steevens. Again, in Troilus and Cressida :
“ I have a kind of self resides in you.” Malone.
as my furthest band -] As I will venture the greatest pledge of security, on the trial of thy conduct. JOHNSON.
Band and bond in our author's time were synonymous.
- the piece of virtue,] So, in The Tempeft:
Thy mother was a piece of virtue". Again, in Pericles:
“ Thou art a piece of virtue" &c. STEVENS.
the cement of our love,
And ruin'd love, when it is built anew,
Eno. He were the worse for that, were he a
horse; So is he, being a man. AGR.
No, sweet Octavia,
Come, sir, come; I'll wrestle with you in my strength of love: Look, here I have you ; thus I let you go, And give you to the gods.
were he a horse ;] A horse is said to have a cloud ik bis face, when he has a black or dark-coloured spot in his forehead between his eyes. This gives him a four look, and being supposed to indicate an ill-temper, is of course regarded as a great blemish.
Steevens. * What willingly he did confound, he waild:] So, in Macbeth:
wail his fall “ Whom I myself ftruck down." STEVENS. To confound is to destroy. See Vol. IX. p. 351, n. 8.
MALONE. s Believe it, till I weep too.] I have ventured to alter the tense of the verb here, against the authority of all the copies. There was no sense in it, I think, as it stood before. THEOBALD.
I am afraid there was better sense in this passage as it originally stood, than Mr. Theobald's alteration will afford us. Believe it, (says Enobarbus,) that Antony did so, i. e. that he wept over such an event, till you fee me weeping on the fame occasion, when I shall be obliged to you for putting such a construction on my tears, which, in reality, (like bis) will be tears of joy. I have replaced the old reading. Mr. Theobald reads till I wept too.