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Cin. Briefly, I dwell by the Capitol.
4 Cit. Tear him for his bad verses, tear him for his bad verses.
Cin. I am not Cinna the conspirator.
4 Cit. It is no matter, his name's Cinna; pluck but his name out of his heart, and turn him going.
3 Cit. Tear him, tear him. Come, brands, ho! firebrands. To Brutus', to Cassius'; burn all. Some to Decius' house, and some to Casca's; some to Ligarius': away; go.
ACT IV ..... SCENE I.
The same. A Room in Antony's House 4 ANTONY, OCTAVIUS, and LEPIDUS, seated at a Table. Ant. These many then shall die ; their names are
Antony's House.] Mr. Rowe, and Mr. Pope after him, have marked the scene here to be at Rome. The old copies say nothing of the place. Shakspeare, 'I dare say, knew from Plutarch, that these triumvirs met, upon the proscription, in a little island ; which Appian, who is more particular, says, lay near Mutina, upon the river Lavinius. Theobald.
A smali island in the litile river Rhenus near Bononia. Hanmer.
So, in the old translation of Plutarch: “ Thereuppon all three met together (to wete, Cæsar, Antonius, & Lepidus,) in an island enuyroned round about with a little riuer, & there remayned three dayes together. Now as touching all other matters, they were easily agreed, & did deuide all the empire of Rome betwene them, as if it had bene their owne inheritance. But yet they could hardly agree whom they would put to death : for euery one of them would kill their enemies, and saue their kinsinen and friends. Yet at length, giving place to their greedy desire to be reuenged of their enemies, they spurned all reuerence of blood and holiness of friendship at their feete For Cæsar left Cicero to Antonius' will, Antonius also forsooke Lucius Cæsar, who was his vncle by his mother: and both of them together suffred Lepidus to kill his own brother Paulus.” That Shakspeare, however, meant the scene to be at Rome, may be inferred from what almost immediately follows:
Oct. Your brother too must die; Consent you, Lepidus?
Prick him down, Antony.
Ant. He shall not live; look, with a spot I damn him.
Lep. What, shall I find you here?
Or here, or at
So you thought him ;
Ant. Octavius, I have seen more days than you:
“ Lep. What, shall I find you here?
“ Oct. Or here, or at the Capitol.” Steevens. The passage quoted by Steevens, clearly proves that the scene should be laid in Rome. M. Mason.
It is manifest that Shakspeare intended the scene to be at Rome, and therefore I have placed it in Antony's house. Malone.
5 Upon condition Publius shall not live,] Mr. Upton has sufficiently proved that the poet made a mistake as to this character mentioned by Lepidus ; Lucius, not Publius, was the person meant, who was uncle by the mother's side to Mark Antony: and in consequence of this, he concludes that Shakspeare wrote:
You are his sister's son, Mark Antony. The mistake, however, is more like the mistake of the author, than of his transcriber or printer. Steevens.
damn him.] i. e. condemn him. So, in Promos and Cassandra, 1578:
“ Vouchsafe to give my damned husband life.” Again, in Chaucer's Knightes Tale, v. 1747, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit:
- by your confession
as the ass bears gold,] This image had occurred before in Measure for Measure, Act III, sc. i: VOL. XIV.
and sweat under the business,
your But he's a tried and valiant soldier.
Ant. So is my horse, Octavius; and, for that,
- like an ass whose back with ingots bows,
On abject orts, i. e. on the scraps and fragments of things rejected and despised by others. Theobald.
Sure, it is easy enough to find a reason why that devotee to pleasure and ambition, Autony, should call him barren-spirited who could be content to feed his mind with objects, i. e. speculative knowledge, or arts, i.e. mechanick operations. I have therefore brought back the old reading, though Mr. Theobald's emendation is still left before the reader. Lepidus, in the tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra, is represented as inquisitive about the structures of Egypt, and that too when he is almost in a siate of intoxication. Antony, as at present, makes a jest of him, and returns him unintelligible answers to very reasonable questions.
Objects, however, may mean things objected or thrown out to him.
Which, out of use, and stald by other men,
A man who can avail himself of neglected hints thrown out by others, though without original ideas of his own, is no uncommon character. Steevens.
Objects means, in Shakspeare's language, whatever is presented to the eye. So, in Timon of Athens : “ Swear against objects," which Mr. Steevens has well illustrated by a line in our poet's 152d Sonnet:
“ And made them swear against the thing they see.” Malone.
and stald by other men, Begin his fashion:] Shakspeare has already woven this circumstance into the character of Justice Shallow : “ He came ever in the rearward of the fashion; and sung those tunes that he heard the carmen whistle.” Steevens.
a property.) i. e. as a thing quite at our disposal, and to be treated as we please. So, in Twelfth Night: “They have here propertied me, kept me in darkness," &c.
Steevens. 2 Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out;] In the old copy, by the carelessness of the transcriber or printer, this line is thus imperfectly exhibited :
" Our best friends made, our means stretch'd ;" The editor of the second folio stipplied the line by reading-
“ Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out." This emendation, which all the modern editors have adopied, was, like almost all the other corrections of the second folio, as ill con. ceived as possible. For what is best means? Means, or abilities, if stretch'd out, receive no additional strength from the word best, nor does means, when considered without reference to others, as the power of an individual, or the aggregated abilities of a body of men, seem to admit of a degree of comparison. However that may be, it is highly improbable that a transcriber or compositor should be guilty of three errors in the same line; that he should omit the word and in "the middle of it; then the word best after our, and lastly the concluding word. It is much more probable that the omission was only at the end of the line, (an error which is found in other places in these plays) and that the author wrote, as I have printed :
Our best friends made, our means stretch'd to the utmost. So, in a former scene:
and, you know, his means, “ If he improve them, may well stretch so far, —." Again, in the following passage in Coriolanus, which, I trust, will justify the emendation now made:
And let us presently go sit in council,
Oct. Let us do so: for we are at the stake,
Before Brutus' Tent, in the Camp near Sardis.
TITINIUS and PINDARUS meeting them,
Luc. He is at hand; and Pindarus is come
[Pın. gives a Letter to BRU. Bru. He greets me well. Your master, Pindarus, In his own change, or by ill officers,
· for thy revenge “ Wrench up your power to the highest." Malone. I am satisfied with the reading of the second folio, in which I per. ceive neither awkwardness nor want of perspicuity. Best is a word of mere enforcement, and is frequently introduced by Shakspeare. Thus, in King Henry VIII:
My life itself and the best heart of it." Why does best, in this instance, seem more significant than when it is applied to means? Steevens.
at the stake,] An allusion to bear baiting. So, in Macbeth, Act V:
“ They have chaind me to a stake, I cannot fly,
“ But bear-like I must fight the course." Steevens. 4 In his own change, or by ill officers,] The sense of which is this: Either your master, by the change of his virtucus nature, or by his officers abiising the power he had intrusted to them, haih done some things I could wish undone. This implies a Joubt which of the two was the case Yet, immediately at:er, on Pindarus's saying, His master was full of regard and honour, he replies, He is not doubted. To reconcile this we should read :
In his own charge, or by ill officers, i. e. Either by those under his immediate command, or under the command of his lieut nants, who had abused their trust. Charge is so usual a word in Shakspeare, to signify the forces committed to