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Line 282. The cause of our expedience-] Expedience for ex
Line 284. more sensibly, more pressing motives.
-more urgent touches,] Things that touch me
Line 287. Petition us at home:] Wish us at home; call for us to reside at home.
Line 299. the courser's hair, &c.] Alludes to an old idle notion that the hair of a horse dropt into corrupted water, will turn to an animal.
Say, our pleasure,
To such whose place is under us, requires
Our quick remove from hence.] Say to those whose
place is under us, i. e. to our attendants, that our pleasure requires us to remove in haste from hence.
ACT I. SCENE III.
-I did not send you ;] You must go as if you
came without my order or knowledge. • Line 357. - a race of heaven:] i. e. had a smack or flavour of heaven. . Line 367. Remains in use- -] The poet seems to allude to the legal distinction between the use and absolute possession. JOHNSON.
Line 379. should safe my going,] i. e. should render my going not dangerous, not likely to produce any mischief to you. MALONE.
. Line 383. It does from childishness:-Can Fulvia die?] Though age has not exempted me from folly, I am not so childish, as to have apprehensions from a rival that is no more. And is Fulvia dead indeed?" Such, I think, is the meaning.
Line 386. The garboils she awak'd ;] Garboil means hurlyburly.
Where be the sacred vials thou should'st fill
tory vials, or bottles of tears, which the Romans sometimes put into the urn of a friend.
Line 407. →→→→to Egypt:] To me, the Queen of Egypt.
-424. But that your royalty,
Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
For idleness itself.] i. e. But that your charms hold me, who am the greatest fool on earth, in chains, I should have adjudged you to be the greatest. That this is the sense is shown by her answer:
'Tis sweating labour,
To bear such idleness so near the heart,
As Cleopatra this.—
ACT I. SCENE IV.
-as the spots of heaven,
More fiery by night's blackness;] The meaning seems to be-As the stars or spots of heaven are not obscured, but rather rendered more bright, by the blackness of the night, so neither is the goodness of Antony eclipsed by his evil qualities, but, on the contrary, his faults seem enlarged and aggravated by his virtues. MALONE.
Line 456. purchas'd;] Procured by his own fault or endeavour. JOHNSON.
Line 470. So great weight in his lightness.] The word light is one of Shakspeare's favourite play-things. The sense is-His trifling levity throws so much burden upon us. JOHNSON.
Line 473. Call on him for't:] Call on him, is, visit him. Says Cæsar-If Antony followed his debaucheries at a time of leisure, I should leave him to be punished by their natural consequences, by surfeits and dry bones. JOHNSON.
Line 476. boys; who, being mature in knowledge,] By boys mature in knowledge, are meant, boys old enough to know their duty.
Line 485. That only have fear'd Casar:] Those whom not love but fear made adherents to Cæsar, now show their affection for Pompey. Line 496. Goes to, and back, lackeying the varying tide,
To rot itself with motion.]
lackeying the varying tide,
i. e. floating backwards and forwards with the variation of the tide, like a page, or lackey, at his master's heels. THEOBALD. Line 500. -—which they ear-] To ear, is to plough; a common metaphor.
JOHNSON. Line 504. Lack blood to think on't,] Turn pale at the thought of it. JOHNSON. Line 504. and flush youth-] Flush youth is youth ripened to manhood; youth whose blood is at the flow. STEEVENS.
ACT I. SCENE V.
Line 547. - mandragora.] A plant of which the infusion was supposed to procure sleep.
Line 577. And burgonet of men.] A burgonet is a kind of helmet.
-that great medicine hath With his tinct gilded thee.] Alluding to the philosopher's stone, which, by its touch, converts base metal into gold. The alchemists call the matter, whatever it be, by which they perform transmutation, a medicine. JOHNSON.
Line 605. Was beastly dumb'd by him.] " Alexis means (says he) the horse made such a neighing, that if he had spoke, he could not have been heard."
Line 636. My sallad days;
When I was green in judgment :-Cold in blood,
To say, as I said then!] Cold in blood, is an up
braiding expostulation to her maid. Those, says she, were my sallad days, when I was green in judgment; but your blood is as cold as my judgment, if you have the same opinion of things now as I had then. WARBURTON. Line 640. unpeopled Egypt.] By sending out messengers.
ACT II. SCENE I.
POMPEY, &c.] The persons are so named in the first edition; but I know not why Menecrates appears; Menas can do all without him.
Whiles we are suiters to their throne, decays
we are praying, the thing for which we pray is losing its va lue. JOHNSON.
Line 28. thy wan'd lip!] Perhaps, for fond lip, or warm lip, says Dr. Johnson. Wan'd, if it stand, is either a corruption of wan, the adjective, or a contraction of wanned, or made wan, a participle.
Line 55. -square-] That is, quarrel.
Exeunt.] This play is not divided into Acts by the author or first editors, and therefore the present division may be altered at pleasure. I think the first Act may be commodiously continued to this place, and the second Act opened with the interview of the chief persons, and a change of the state of action. Yet it must be confessed, that it is of small importance where these unconnected and desultory scenes are interrupted.
ACT II. SCENE II.
Line 72. Were I the wearer of Antonins' beard,
I would not shave to-day.] I believe he means, I
would meet him undressed, without show of respect.
Line 96. Nor curstness grow to the matter.] Let not illhumour be added to the real subject of our difference.
Did urge me in his act ;] i. e. Never did make use
of my name as a pretence for the war.
-true reports,] Reports for reporters. STEEV. -fronted-] i. e. Opposed.
I was in, when he had his last audience.
168. I told him of myself;] i. e. told him the condition WARBURTON. Line 178. The honour's sacred-] Sacred, for unbroken, unWARBURTON. violated.
Dr. Warburton seems to understand this passage thus; The honour which he talks of me as lacking, is unviolated. I never lacked it. This, perhaps, may be the true meaning; but, before I read the note, I understood it thus: Lepidus interrupts Cæsar, on the supposition that what he is about to say will be too harsh
to be endured by Antony; to which Antony replies—No, Lepidus, let him speak; the security of honour on which he now speaks, on which this conference is held now, is sacred, even supposing that I lacked honour before. JOHNSON.
Line 209. your considerate stone.] 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. STEEVENS.
Line 210. 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.
Line 266. 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.
Line 318. O'er-picturing that Venus, where we see, &c.] Meaning the Venus of Protogenes, mentioned by Pliny, L. XXXV.
tended her i' the eyes,]
WARBURTON. Perhaps tended her by
th' eyes, discovered her will by her eyes. Line 335. which, but for vacancy,
Had gone-] Alluding to an axiom in the peripa
tetic philosophy then in vogue, that Nature abhors a vacuum,
But for cacancy, means, for fear of a vacuum.
ACT II. SCENE III.
Line 390. I see 't in
My motion, have it not in my tongue:] i. e. the di-
Line 400. Becomes a Fear,] A Fear was a personage of some
of the old moralities.
as we match cocks. Line 419.
-his quails-] The ancients used to match quails
inhoop'd, at odds.] Inhoop'd is inclosed, con
fined, that they may fight.