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THYR. 'Tis your noblest course. Wisdom and fortune combating together, If that the former dare but what it can,
No chance may shake it. Give me grace' to lay My duty on your hand.
Your Cæsar's father Oft, when he hath mus'd of taking kingdoms in,'' Bestow'd his lips on that unworthy place, As it rain'd kisses.2
Re-enter ANTONY and ENOBARBUS.
ANT. Favours, by Jove that thunders!What art thou, fellow?
There is no need of change. In The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Shakspeare uses longing, a participle active, with a passive signification:
"To furnish me upon any longing journey." i. e. my journey long'd for.
In The Unnatural Combat, by Massinger, the active participle is yet more irregularly employed:
"For the recovery of a strangling husband.”
i. e. one that was to be strangled. STEEVENS.
All-obeying breath is, in Shakspeare's language, breath which all obey. Obeying for obeyed. So, inexpressive for inexpressible, delighted for delighting, &c.
Give me grace-] Grant me the favour. JOHNSON. taking kingdoms in,] See p. 159, n. 4. REED. * As it rain'd kisses.] This strong expression is adopted in Pope's version of the 17th Odyssey:
in his embraces dies,
"Rains kisses on his neck, his face, his eyes."
the fullest man,] The most complete, and perfect. So, in Othello:
"What a full fortune doth the thick-lips owe." See Vol. VI. p. 80, n. 7. MALONE.
To have command obey'd.
You will be whipp'd.
ANT. Approach, there :-Ay, you kite!-Now gods and devils!
Authority melts from me: Of late, when I cry'd, ho!
Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth,
Antony yet. Take hence this Jack," and whip him.
Moon and stars! Whip him :-Were't twenty of the greatest tributaries
That do acknowledge Cæsar, should I find them
Since she was Cleopatra?")-Whip him, fellows,
* Like boys unto a muss,] i. e. a scramble. PoPe.
So used by Ben Jonson, in his Magnetick Lady: nor are they thrown
"To make a muss among the gamesome suitors." Again, in The Spanish Gipsie, by Middleton and Rowley, 1653: "To see if thou be'st alcumy or no, "They'll throw down gold in musses.”
This word was current so late as in the year 1690: "Bauble and cap no sooner are thrown down,
"But there's a muss of more than half the town." Dryden's Prologue to The Widow Ranter, by Mrs. Behn.
(What's her name, Since she was Cleopatra?] That is, since she ceased to be Cleopatra. So, when Ludovico says:
Till, like a boy, you see him cringe his face, And whine aloud for mercy: Take him hence.
THYR. Mark Antony,
Tug him away: being whipp'd, Bring him again:-This Jack' of Cæsar's shall Bear us an errand to him.-
[Exeunt Attend. with THYREUS. You were half blasted ere I knew you :-Ha! Have I my pillow left unpress'd in Rome, Forborne the getting of a lawful race, And by a gem of women, to be abus'd By one that looks on feeders??
"Where is this rash and most unfortunate man ?" Othello replies,
"That's he that was Othello. Here I am." M. MASON, This Jack-] Old copy-The Jack. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE.
a gem of women,] man's version of the Iliad.
This term is often found in Chap
66 which though I use not here,
In short, beautiful horses, rich garments, &c. in our trans
lator's language, are frequently spoken of as gems. of a man," is a phrase still in use among the vulgar.
By one that looks on feeders?] One that waits at the table while others are eating. JOHNSON.
A feeder, or an eater, was anciently the term of reproach for a servant. So, in Ben Jonson's Silent Woman: "Bar my doors. Where are all my eaters? My mouths now? bar up my doors, my varlets."
Again, in The Wits, a comedy, by Sir W. D'Avenant: tall eaters in blew coats,
One who looks on feeders, is one who throws away her regard on servants, such as Antony would represent Thyreus to be. Thus, in Cymbeline :
that base wretch,
"One bred of alms, and foster'd with cold dishes,
Good my lord,
ANT. You have been a boggler ever :But when we in our viciousness grow hard,
I incline to think Dr. Johnson's interpretation of this passage the true one. Neither of the quotations, in my apprehension, support Mr. Steevens's explication of feeders as synonymous to a servant. So fantastick and pedantick a writer as Ben Jonson, having in one passage made one of his characters call his attendants, his eaters, appears to me a very slender ground for suppos ing feeders and servants to be synonymous. In Timon of Athens, this word occurs again;
So the gods bless me,
"When all our offices have been oppress'd
There also Mr. Steevens supposes feeders to mean servants. But I do not see why "all our offices" may not mean all the apartments in Timon's house; (for certainly the Steward did not mean to lament the excesses of Timon's retinue only, without at all noticing that of his master and his guests;) or, if offices can only mean such parts of a dwelling-house as are assigned to servants, I do not conceive that, because feeders is there descriptive of those menial attendants who were thus fed, the word used by itself, unaccompanied by others that determine its meaning, as in the passage before us, should necessarily signify a servant.
It must, however, be acknowledged, that a subsequent passage may be urged in favour of the interpretation which Mr. Steevens has given:
"To flatter Cæsar, would you mingle eyes
On maturer consideration, Mr. Malone will find that Timon's Steward has not left the excesses of his master, and his guests, unnoticed; for though he first adverts to the luxury of their servants, he immediately afterwards alludes to their own, which he confines to the rooms (not offices) that " blaz'd with lights, and bray'd with minstrelsy." My definition, therefore, of the termoffices, will still maintain its ground.
In further support of it, see a note on Macbeth, Vol. X. p. 94, n. 8, where offices occurs, a reading which Mr. Malone has overlooked, and consequently left without remark.
Duncan would hardly have " sent forth" largess to Macbeth's offices, had these offices been (as Mr. Malone seems willing to represent them) "all the apartments in the house."
(O misery on't!) the wise gods seel our eyes;1 In our own filth drop our clear judgments; make
Adore our errors; laugh at us, while we strut
O, is it come to this?
ANT. I found you as a morsel, cold upon Dead Cæsar's trencher: nay, you were a fragment Of Cneius Pompey's; besides what hotter hours, Unregister'd in vulgar fame, you have Luxuriously pick'd out:3-For, I am sure, Though you can guess what temperance should be,
You know not what it is.
Wherefore is this?
ANT. To let a fellow that will take rewards, And say, God quit you! be familiar with
·seel our eyes; &c.] This passage should be pointed
•seel our eyes;
In our own filth drop our clear judgments.
I have adopted this punctuation. Formerly, seel our eyes
In our own filth; &c. STEEVENS.
In our own filth drop our clear judgments;] If I understand the foregoing allusion, it is such as scarce deserves illustration, which, however, may be caught from a simile in Mr. Pope's Dunciad:
"As what a Dutchman plumps into the lakes," &c. In King Henry V. Act III. sc. v. we have already met with a conceit of similar indelicacy:
"He'll drop his heart into the sink of fear.”
STEEVENS. Luxuriously pick'd out:] Luxuriously means wantonly. So, in King Lear:
"To't, luxury, pellmell, for I lack soldiers." STEEvens. See Vol. VI. p. 414, n. 5; and Vol. V. p. 210, n. 7.