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If fortune be not ours to-day, it is

Because we brave her.-Come.


What's this for?


Nay, I'll help too.2

Ah, let be, let be! thou art

The armourer of my heart :-False, false; this, this. CLEO. Sooth, la, I'll help : Thus it must be.

ANT. Well, well; We shall thrive now.-Seest thou, my good fellow? Go, put on thy defences.


Briefly, sir.3

CLEO. Is not this buckled well?

ANT. Rarely, rarely: He that unbuckles this, till we do please To doff't for our repose, shall hear a storm.Thou fumblest, Eros; and my queen's a squire

Thine iron is the iron which thou hast in thy hand, i. e. Antony's armour. So, in King Henry V. Henry says to a soldier, "Give me thy glove;" meaning Henry's own glove, which the soldier at that moment had in his hat. MALONE.

Nay, I'll help too.] These three little speeches, which in the other editions are only one, and given to Cleopatra, were happily disentangled by Sir T. Hanmer. JOHNSON.

In the old copy the words stand thus: Cleo. Nay I'll help too, Antony. What's this for? Ah let be, let be; &c. Sooth, la, I'll help Thus it must be.

Sir Thomas Hanmer gave the words-" What's this for?" to Antony; but that they belong to Cleopatra, appears clearly, I think, from the subsequent words, which have been rightly attributed to Antony. What's this piece of your armour for ? says the queen. Let it alone, replies Antony; "false, false; this, this." This is the piece that you ought to have given me, and not that of which you asked the use. 'Briefly, sir.] That is, quickly, sir. To doff't-] To doff is to do off, STEEVENS.

p. 421, n. 5.



to put off. See Vol. X.


More tight at this, than thou: Despatch.-O love, That thou could'st see my wars to-day, and knew'st The royal occupation! thou should'st see

Enter an Officer, armed.

A workman in't.-Good morrow to thee; welcome: Thou look'st like him that knows a warlike charge: To business that we love, we rise betime,

And go to it with delight.

1 OFF.

A thousand, sir,

Early though it be, have on their riveted trim,6
And at the port expect you.

[Shout. Trumpets. Flourish.

Enter other Officers, and Soldiers.

2 OFF. The morn is fair.-Good morrow, ge


ALL. Good morrow, general.


'Tis well blown, lads.

This morning, like the spirit of a youth

That means to be of note, begins betimes.

So, so; come, give me that: this way; well said. Fare thee well, dame, whate'er becomes of me:


More tight at this, than thou:] So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor:

Tight is handy, adroit. "bear you these letters

tightly." In the country, a tight lass still signifies a handy one.




have on their riveted trim,] So, in King Henry V: "The armourers accomplishing the knights, "With busy hammers closing rivets up." The morn is fair.-Good morrow, general.] This speech, in the old copy, is erroneously given to Alexas. STEEVENS.

Alexas had now revolted, and therefore could not be the speaker. See p. 215. MALONE.

This is a soldier's kiss: rebukable, [Kisses her. And worthy shameful check it were, to stand On more mechanick compliment; I'll leave thee Now, like a man of steel.-You, that will fight, Follow me close; I'll bring you to't.-Adieu. [Exeunt ANTONY, EROS, Officers, and Soldiers.

CHAR. Please you, retire to your chamber? CLEO. Lead me. He goes forth gallantly. That he and Cæsar might Determine this great war in single fight! Then, Antony,-But now,-Well, on. [Exeunt.


Antony's Camp near Alexandria.

Trumpets sound. Enter ANTONY and EROS; a Soldier meeting them.

SOLD. The gods make this a happy day to Antony !s

Sold. The gods make this a happy day to Antony!] 'Tis evident, as Dr. Thirlby likewise conjectured, by what Antony immediately replies, that this line should not be placed to Eros, but to the Soldier, who, before the battle of Actium, advised Antony to try his fate at land. THEOBALD.

The same mistake has, I think, happened in the next two speeches addressed to Antony, which are also given in the old copy to Eros. I have given them to the Soldier, who would naturally reply to what Antony said. Antony's words, "What sayst thou compared with what follows, show that the speech beginning, "Who? One ever near thee:" &c. belongs to the Soldier. This regulation was made by Mr. Capell. MALONE.

ANT. 'Would, thou and those thy scars had once


To make me fight at land!

SOLD. Had'st thou done so, The kings that have revolted, and the soldier That has this morning left thee, would have still Follow'd thy heels.



Who's gone this morning?


One ever near thee: Call for Enobarbus,
He shall not hear thee; or from Cæsar's camp

Say, I am none of thine.

[blocks in formation]

ANT. Go, Eros, send his treasure after; do it; Detain no jot, I charge thee: write to him (I will subscribe) gentle adieus, and greetings: Say, that I wish he never find more cause To change a master.-O, my fortunes have Corrupted honest men:-Eros, despatch.' [Exeunt.

9 Eros, despatch.] Thus the second folio; except that these two words are here, for the sake of metre, transposed. The first folio has

Dispatch Enobarbus.

Dr. Johnson would read

Despatch! To Enobarbus;

And Mr. Holt White supposes that " Antony, being astonished at the news of the desertion of Enobarbus, merely repeats his name in a tone of surprize."


Cæsar's Camp before Alexandria.

Flourish. Enter CESAR, with AGRIPPA, ENOBARBUS, and Others.

CES. Go forth, Agrippa, and begin the fight: Our will is, Antony be took alive ;1

Make it so known.

In my opinion, Antony was designed only to enforce the order he had already given to Eros. I have therefore followed the second folio. STEEVENS.

It will be evident to any person who consults the second folio with attention and candour, that many of the alterations must have been furnished by some corrected copy of the first folio, or an authority of equal weight, being such as no person, much less one so ignorant and capricious as the editor has been represented, could have possibly hit upon, without that sort of information. Among these valuable emendations is the present, which affords a striking improvement both of the sense and of the metre, and should of course be inserted in the text, thus:

Corrupted honest men. Eros, despatch.

The same transposition, which is a mere, though frequent, inadvertence of the press, has happened in a subsequent scene: "Unarm, Eros; the long days task is done:"

where the measure plainly requires, as the author must have written,-Eros, unarm. RITSON.

Our will is, Antony be took alive;] It is observable with what judgment Shakspeare draws the character of Octavius. Antony was his hero; so the other was not to shine: yet being an historical character, there was a necessity to draw him like. But the ancient historians, his flatterers, had delivered him down so fair, that he seems ready cut and dried for a hero. Amidst these difficulties Shakspeare has extricated himself with great address. He has admitted all those great strokes of his character as he found them, and yet has made him a very unamiable character, deceitful, mean-spirited, narrow-minded, proud, and revengeful. WARBURTON.

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