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Ant. You do mistake your business ; my brother never Did urge me in his act?: I did enquire it; context, which mews, Antony did neither encourage them to it, nog second them in it. We cannot doubt then, but the poet wrote:
and ibrir conteftation
Was them'd f»r you. i. e. The pretence of war was on your account, they took up arms in your name, and you were made the theme and subject of their insure rection. WARBURTON.
I am neither satisfied with the reading nor the emendation; tbem'd is, I think, a word unauthorised, and very harsh. Perhaps we may read:
- their contestation
Had i beme from you, you were obe word of war. Tbe dispuse derived its subjeEt from you. It may be corrected by mere transpofition;
ibeir contestation You were theme for, you were the word JOHNSON. Was theme for you, I believe means only, was proposed as an ex. ample for you to follow on a yet more extenfive plan; as bemes are given for a writer to dilate upon. Shakspeare, however, may prove the best commentator on himself. Thus, in Coriolanus, Act I. ic. i:
throw forth greater themes « For insurrection's arguing." Sicinius calls Coriolanus,“ che ebeme of our afiembly." STEIT.
Mr. Steevens's interpretation is certainly a just one, as the words now stand; but the sense of the words thus interpreted, being directly repugnant to the remaining words, which are evidently put in apposition with what has preceded, shows that there must be some corruption. If their contestation was a beme for Antony ra diate upon, an example for bim to follow, what congruity is there between these words and the conclusion of the passage-"you were the word of war: i. e. your name was employed by them to draw troops to their standard ? On the other hand, their contestation derived its i beme or subject from you; you were their word of war," affords a clear and consistent sense. "Dr. Warburton's emendation, however, does not go far enough. To obtain the sense delired, we !hould read
Was tbem'd from you,.-• So, in Hamlet :
So like the king, " That was and is the question of these wars." In almost every one of Shakipeare's plays, substantives are used as verbs. That he must have written from, appears by Antony's answer.
“ You do mistake your busines; my brother never
“ Did urge me in his act. i. e, never made me the theme for "insurrection's arguing." MALONII 7 my brorber never
Did urge me in his act :) i. e. never did make use of my name as pretence for the war. WARBURTON.
And have my learning from some true reports,
Cas. You praise yourself
Ant. Not so, not so:
true reports,] Reports for reporters. Mr. Tollet observes that Holin shed, p. 1181, uses records for voucbers. STEEVENS.
9 Having alike your cause?). That is, I having alike your cause. The meaning is the same as if, instead of “ against my stomach," our authour had written-against tbe ftomacb of me.
Did he not (says Antony,) make wars against the inclination of me also, of me, who was engaged in the same cause with yourself? Dr. Johnson supposed that having meant, be having, and hence has suggested an unnecessary emendation. MALONE.
The meaning seems to be, baving the same cause as you to be offended with me. But why, because he was offended with Antony, should he make war upon Cæsar? May it not be read thus :
Did be not rather
Hating alike our causes JOHNSON.
STEEVENS. As matter wbole you have not to make it wirby] The original copy reads :
As matter wbcle you have to make it witb. Without doubt erroneously; I therefore only observe it, that the reader may more readily admit the liberties which the editors of this authour's works have necessarily taken. JOHNSON.
I have not the smallest doubt that the correction, which was made by Mr. Rowe, is right. The structure of the sentence, “ As matter,” &c. proves decisively that not was omitted. Of all the errors that happen at the pres:, omiflion is the most frequent. MALONE.
The old reading may be right. li seems to allude to Antony's acknowledged neglect in aiding Cæsar; but yet Antony does not allow himself to be faulty upon the present cause alledged against him.
Very necellity of this thought, that I,
Eno. 'Would, we had all such wives, that the men might go to wars with the women!
Ant. So much uncurbable, her garboils, Cæsar,
Cæf. I wrote to you,
2 — wiib graceful eyes] Thus the old copy reads, and I believes rightly. We ftill say, I could not look handsomely on such or such a proceeding. The modern editors read-gratefulSTEEVENS.
3-fronted-] 1. e. opposed. JOHNSON.
4 I would you bad ber spirit in fucb anorber:] Antony means to say, I wish you had the spirit of Fulvia, embodied in such another woman as her; I wish you were married to such another spirited woman; and then would find, that though you can govern the third part of the world, you the management of such a woman is not an eafy matter.
By the words, you bad her spirit, &c. Shakspeare, I apprehend, meant, you were united to, or posieffed of, a woman with her spirit.
Having formerly misapprehended this pasl'age, and Tupposed that Antony withed Augustus to be a&tuated by a spirit fimilar to Fulvia's, I proposed to read-een such another, in being frequently printed for c'es in these plays. But there is no need of change. MALONE.
5 1 cold bim of myself ;-] i. e. told him the condition I was in, when he had his last audience. WARBURTON,
Caf. You have broken
shall never Have tongue to charge me with.
Lep. Soft, Cæfar.
Ant. No, Lepidus, let him speak;
Cas. To lend me arms, and aid, when I requir'd them;
Ant. Neglected, rather;
Lep. 'Tis noble spoken.
Mec. If it might please you, to enforce no further
Lep. Worthily spoken, Mecænas.
6 The bonour's Sacred wbicb be talks on now,
Suppofing ibat Ilack'd it :] Lepidus interrupts Cæsar, on the supposition that what he is about to say will be too harth to be endured by Antony; to which 'Antony replies, No, Lepidus, let him speak; the fecurity of honour on which he now fpeaks, on wbich this conference is beld now, is facred, even fuppofing that I lacked boncur before.' JOHNSON,
Antony, in my opinion, means to say, -The theme of honour which he now speaks of, namely, the religion of an oath, for which he supposes me not to have a due regard, is facred; it is a tender point, and touches my character nearly. Let him therefore urge his charge, that I may vindicate myself. MALONE. 7 -- mor my power Work without it :) Nor my greatness work without mine honesty.
MALONE. : Tbe griefs-}i. e. gricvances. See Vol. V. p. 237, n. 9. MALONE. VOL.VII.
Eno. Or, if you borrow one another's love for the ine ftant, 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. Eno. That truth should be filent, I had almost forgot. Ant. You wrong this presence, therefore speak no
more. Eno. Go to then ; your confiderate stone. Cæs. I do not much disike the matter, but
- your confiderate ftone.] 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 tben, you considerate ones. You who disike my frankness and temerity of speech, and are so cene fiderate and discreet, go 10, do your own business. JOHNSON.
I believe, Go to sben, your confiderare ftone, means only this : If I eaf be cbidden, benceforward I will be mute as a marble flatue, wbicb seems to obink, rbougb it can say norbing. As filent as a fone, however, might have been once a common phrase. So, in the Interlude of Jacob and Efau, 1568:
“ Bring thou in thine, Mido, and see thou be a fore.
“ Rebecca.] 'I meant obou shoulds nothing say." Again, in the old metrical romance of Syr Guy of Warwick, bl. 1. as date :
« Guy let it passe as ftill as stone,
« And to the steward word spake none, Again, in Tirus Andronicus, A& III.sc.i:
“ A fone is filent, and offendeth not." Again, Chaucer :
“ To riden by the way, dombe as ebe ftone." Mr. Tollet explains the passage in question, thus : " I will hence. forth seem senseless as a stone, however I may observe and confider your words and actions." STEEVENS.
The metre of this line is deficient. It will be perfect, and the senfe rather clearer, if we read (without altering a letter):
- your confideratest one." I doubt indeed whether this adjective is ever used in the fuperlative degree; but in the mouth of Enobarbus it might be pardoned.
BLACKSTONE. Your, like bour, &c. is used as a disfyllable; the metre therefore is not defective. MALONI.