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sition, he cries out, no more; reconciles them to his entreaty, and himself to the drink.

1 SERV. But it raises the greater war between him and his discretion.

2 SERV. Why, this it is to have a name in great men's fellowship: I had as lief have a reed that will do me no service, as a partizan I could not heave.

1 SERV. To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in't, are the holes where eyes should be, which pitifully disaster the cheeks.5"


As they pinch one another by the disposition,] A phrase equivalent to that now in use, of Touching one in a sore place. WARBURTON,

a partizan-] A pike. JOHNSON.

So, in Hamlet:

"Shall I strike at it with my partizan?" STEEVENS.

To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in't, are the holes where eyes should be, which pitifully disaster the cheeks.] This speech seems to be mutilated; to supply the deficiencies is impossible, but perhaps the sense was originally approaching to this:

To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in it, is a very ignominious state; great offices are the holes where eyes should be, which, if eyes be wanting, pitifully disaster the cheeks. JOHNSON.

In the eighth Book of The Civil Wars, by Daniel, st. 103, is a passage which resembles this, though it will hardly serve to explain it. The Earl of Warwick says to his confessor:

"I know that I am fix'd unto a sphere
"That is ordain'd to move.. It is the place
"My fate appoints me; and the region where
"I must, whatever happens there embrace.
"Disturbance, travail, labour, hope and fear,
"Are of that clime, ingender'd in that place;
"And action best, I see, becomes the best:
“The stars that have most glory, have no rest.”


The thought, though miserably expressed, appears to be this: That a man called into a high sphere, without being seen to

A Sennet sounded. Enter CESAR, ANTONY, POMPEY, LEPIDUS, AGRIPPA, MECENAS, ENOBARBUS, MENAS, with other Captains.

ANT. Thus do they, sir: [To CESAR.] They take the flow o'the Nile'

move in it, is a sight as unseemly as the holes where the eyes should be, without the eyes to fill them. M. MASON.

I do not believe a single word has been omitted. The being called into a huge sphere, and not being seen to move in it, these two circumstances, says the speaker, resemble sockets in a face where eyes should be, [but are not] which empty sockets, or holes without eyes, pitifully disfigure the countenance.

The sphere in which the eye moves is an expression which Shakspeare has often used. Thus, in his 119th Sonnet;

"How have mine eyes out of their spheres been fitted,”


Again, in Hamlet:

"Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their. spheres." MALONE.


They take the flow o'the Nile-] Pliny, speaking of the Nile, says: "How high it riseth, is knowne by markes and measures taken of certain pits. The ordinary height of it is sixteen cubites. Under that gage, the waters overflow not all. Above that stint, there are a let and hindrance, by reason that the later it is ere they bee fallen and downe againe. By these the seed-time is much of it spent, for that the earth is too wet. By the other there is none at all, by reason that the ground is drie and thirstie. The province taketh good keepe and reckoning of both, the one as well as the other. For when it is no higher than 12 cubites, it findeth extreame famine: yea, and at 13 it feeleth hunger still; 14 cubites comforts their hearts, 15 bids them take no care, but 16 affordeth them plentie and delicious dainties. So soone as any part of the land is freed from the water, streight waies it is sowed." Philemon Holland's translation, 1601, B. V. c. ix. Reed.

Shakspeare seems rather to have derived his knowledge of this fact from Leo's History of Africa, translated by John Pory, folio, 1600: " Upon another side of the island standeth an house alone by itselfe, in the midst whereof there is a foure


By certain scales i'the pyramid; they know,
By the height, the lowness, or the mean, if dearth,
Or foizon, follow: The higher Nilus swells,
The more it promises: as it ebbs, the seedsman
Upon the slime and ooze scatters his grain,
And shortly comes to harvest.

LEP. You have strange serpents there.

ANT. Ay, Lepidus.

LEP. Your serpent of Egypt is bred now of your mud by the operation of your sun: so is codile.

your cro


ANT. They are so.

POм. Sit, and some wine.-A health to Lepidus.

LEP. I am not so well as I should be, but I'll ne'er out.

ENO. Not till you have slept; I fear me, you'll be in, till then.

square cesterne or channel of eighteen cubits deep, whereinto the water of Nilus is conveyed by a certaine sluice under ground. And in the midst of the cisterne there is erected a certaine piller, which is marked and divided into so many cubits as the cisterne containeth in depth. And upon the seventeenth of June, when Nilus beginning to overflow, the water thereof conveied by the said sluce into the channel, increaseth daily. If the water reacheth only to the fifteenth cubit of the said piller, they hope for a fruitful yeere following; but if stayeth between the twelfth cubit and the fifteenth, then the increase of the yeere will prove but mean; if it resteth between the tenth and twelfth cubits, then it is a sign that corne will be solde ten ducates the bushel."



-the mean,] i. e. the middle. STEEVENS.

Or foizon, follow:] Foizon is a French word signifying plenty, abundance. I am told that it is still in common use in the North.

See Vol. IV. p. 66, n. 4. STEEVEns.

LEP. Nay, certainly, I have heard, the Ptolemies' pyramises are very goodly things; without contradiction, I have heard that.

MEN. Pompey, a word.



Say in mine ear: What is't? MEN. Forsake thy seat, I do beseech thee, captain. [Aside.

And hear me speak a word.1


Forbear me till anon.

This wine for Lepidus.

LEP. What manner o'thing is your crocodile?

ANT. It is shaped, sir, like itself; and it is as broad as it hath breadth: it is just so high as it is, and moves with its own organs: it lives by that which nourisheth it; and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates.

LEP. What colour is it of?

• I have heard, the Ptolemies' pyramises are very goodly things;] Pyramis for pyramid was in common use in our author's time. So, in Bishop Corbet's Poems, 1647:

"Nor need the chancellor boast, whose pyramis
"Above the host and altar reared is."

From this word Shakspeare formed the English plural, pyramises, to mark the indistinct pronunciation of a man nearly intoxicated, whose tongue is now beginning to "split what it speaks." In other places he has introduced the Latin plural pyramides, which was constantly used by our ancient writers. So, in this play:

"My country's high pyramides—.” Again, in Sir Aston Cockain's Poems, 1658:

"Neither advise I thee to pass the seas,
"To take a view of the pyramides."

Again, in Braithwaite's Survey of Histories, 1614: "Thou art now for building a second pyramides in the air." MALONE.

And hear me speak a word.] The two last words of this hemistich are, I believe, an interpolation. They add not to the sense, but disturb the measure. STEEVENS.

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ANT. Of its own colour too.

LEP. 'Tis a strange serpent.
ANT. 'Tis so.
CES. Will this description satisfy him?

ANT. With the health that Pompey gives him, else he is a very epicure.

And the tears of it are wet.2

POм. [TO MENAS aside.] Go, hang, sir, hang!
Tell me of that? away!


Do as I bid you.-Where's this cup I call'd for?
MEN. If for the sake of merit thou wilt hear me,
Rise from thy stool.
I think, thou'rt mad. The matter?
[Rises, and walks aside.
MEN. I have ever held my cap off to thy fortunes.
POм. Thou hast serv'd me with much faith:
What's else to say?

Be jolly, lords.


These quick-sands, Lepidus,

Keep off them, for you sink.

MEN. Wilt thou be lord of all the world?

What say'st thou?
MEN. Wilt thou be lord of the whole world?
That's twice.

Ром. How should that be?

But entertain it, and,
Although thou think me poor, I am the man
Will give thee all the world.


Hast thou drunk well? MEN. No, Pompey, I have kept me from the cup.


-the tears of it are wet.] "Be your tears wet?" says Lear to Cordelia, Act IV. sc. vii. MALONE.

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