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The horse were merely lost'; the mares would bear
What is't you say?
time, What should not then be spar'd. He is already Traduc'd for levity; and 'tis said in Rome, That Photinus an eunuch, and your maids, Manage this war.
Cleo. Sink Rome; and their tongues rot, That speak against us! A charge we bear i' the war, And, as the president of my kingdom, will Appear there for a man. Speak not against it ; I will not stay
Nay, I have done : Here comes the emperor.
Enter Antony and CANIDIUS. ANT.
Is't not strange, Canidius,
A good rebuke,
3 — MERELY lost ;] i. e. entirely, absolutely lost. So, in Hamlet :
things rank, and gross in nature
“ Possess it merely.” Steevens. * And TAKB IN Toryne?] To take in is to gain by conquest. So, in Chapman's version of the second Iliad:
for now Troy's broad-way'd towne “ He shall take in." Steevens.
To taunt at slackness.-Canidius, we
By sea ! What else ?
For that he dares us 5 to't. Evo. So hath my lord dar'd him to single fight.
Can. Ay, and to wage this battle at Pharsalia, Where Cæsar fought with Pompey: But these
Your ships are not well mann'd:
By sea, by sea. Eno. Most worthy sir, you therein throw away The absolute soldiership you have by land ;
s For he dares us -] i.e. because he dares us." So, in Othello :
Haply, for I am black—," The old copy redundantly reads—For that he. See note on Cymbeline, Act IV. Sc. I. Steevens.
6 Your mariners are mulITERS, reapers, &c.] The old copy has militers. The correction was made by the editor of the second folio. It is confirmed by the old translation of Plutarch: “ – for lacke of watermen his captains did presse by force all sortes of men out of Græce, that they could rake up in the field, as travellers, muliters, reapers, harvest men,” &c. Muliter was the old spelling of muleteer. So, in The Battell of Alcazar, 1594 :
“ Besides a number almost numberlesse,
“ Of drudges, negroes, slaves, and muliters." Malone. 7 Their ships are yare; yours, heavy.] So, in Sir Thomas North's Plutarch : “ Cæsar's ships were not built for pomp, high and great, &c. but they were light of yarage." Yare generally signifies, dextrous, manageable. See Tempest, Act I. Sc. I.
Distract your army, which doth most consist
I'll fight at sea.
Ant. Our overplus of shipping will we burn; And, with the rest full-mann'd, from the head of
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. The news is true, my lord; he is descried; Cæsar has taken Toryne.
Ant. Can he be there in person? 'tis impossible;
Enter a Soldier.
8 – Cæsar none better.] I must suppose this mutilated line to have originally ran thus : "I have sixty sails, Cæsar himself none better."
STEEVENS. 9 Strange, that his POWER should be.] It is strange that his forces should be there. So, afterwards, in this scene :
“ His power went out in such distractions, as
Beguild all spies.” Again, in our author's Rape of Lucrece: “ Before the which was drawn the power of Greece."
MALONE. '-my Thetis !) Antony may address Cleopatra by the name of this sea-nymph, because she had just promised him assistance in his naval expedition; or perhaps in allusion to her voyage down the Cydnus, when she appeared like Thetis surrounded by the Nereids. STEEVENS.
Sold. O noble emperor', do not fight by sea;
Well, well, away.
Sold. By Hercules, I think, I am i' the right.
You keep by land
Can. Marcus Octavius, Marcus Justeius,
2 O noble emperor, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: “Now, as he was setting his men in order of battel, there was a captaine, & a valiant man, that had serued Antonius in many battels & conflicts, & had all his body hacked and cut : who as Antonius passed by him, cryed out vnto him, and sayd : 0, noble emperor, how commeth it to passe that you trust to these vile brittle shippes ? what, doe you mistrust these woundes of myne, and this sword ? let the Ægyptians and Phænicians fight by sea, and set vs on the maine land, where we vse to conquer, or to be slayne on our feete. Antonius passed by him, and sayd neuer a word, but only beckoned to him with his hand and head, as though he willed him to be of good corage, although indeede he had no great corage himselfe.” STEEVENS. 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 greatesi 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,
Publicola, and Cælius, are for sea :
While he was yet in Rome,
Who's his lieutenant, hear you ? Sold. They say, one Taurus. Can.
Well I know the man.
Enter a Messenger. Mess. The emperor calls Canidius ?. Can. With news the time's with labour; and
throes forth, Each minute, some.
A Plain near Actium.
Enter CÆSAR, TAURUS, Officers, and Others.
+ Carries beyond belief.] Perhaps this phrase is from archery. So, in King Henry IV. Part II. : “ — he would have carried you a forehand shaft a fourteen and fourteen and a half." STEEVENS.
s 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 mea. So, in a future scene :
call for Enobarbus” Steevens. 8 — and THROes forth,] i. e. emits as in parturition.' So, in The Tempest:
proclaim a birth