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Enter a Messenger.

MESS. The emperor calls for Canidius."
CAN. With news the time's with labour; and
throes forth,8

Each minute, some.



A Plain near Actium.

Enter CESAR, TAURUS, Officers, and Others.

CES. Taurus,


My lord.


Strike not by land; keep whole:
Provoke not battle, till we have done at sea.
Do not exceed the prescript of this scroll:
Our fortune lies upon this jump.9


Enter ANTONY and ENOBARbus.

ANT. Set we our squadrons on yon' side o'the hill,
In eye of Cæsar's battle; from which place
We may the number of the ships behold,
And so proceed accordingly.


The emperor calls for Canidius.] The preposition-for, was judiciously inserted by Sir Thomas Hanmer, to complete the measure. So, in a future scene:

"call for Enobarbus,-." STEEVENS.

• — and throes forth,] i. e. emits as in parturition. So, in The Tempest:

proclaim a birth

"Which throes thee much to yield." STEEVENS.
this jump.] i. e. hazard. So, in Macbeth:
"We'd jump the life to come." STEEVENS.

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Enter CANIDIUS, marching with his Land Army one Way over the Stage; and TAURUS, the Lieutenant of Cæsar, the other Way. After their going in, is heard the Noise of a Sea-Fight.

Alarum. Re-enter ENOBarbus.

ENO. Naught, naught, all naught! I can behold
no longer :

The Antoniad,' the Egyptian admiral,
With all their sixty, fly, and turn the rudder ;
To see't, mine eyes are blasted.


Gods, and goddesses,


All the whole synod of them!


What's thy passion?

SCAR. The greater cantle of the world is lost With very ignorance; we have kiss'd away Kingdoms and provinces.

How appears the fight?
SCAR. On our side like the token'd3 pestilence,

The Antoniad, &c.] Which Plutarch says, was the name of Cleopatra's ship. POPE.

The greater cantle-] A piece or lump. POPE.

Cantle is rather a corner. Cæsar, in this play, mentions the three-nook'd world. Of this triangular world every triumvir had a corner. JOHNSON.

The word is used by Chaucer, in The Knight's Tale, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. v. 3010:

"Of no partie ne cantel of a thing." STEEVENS.

See Vol. XI. p. 323, n. 3. MALOne. -token'd-] Spotted. JOHNSON.


Where death is sure. Yon' ribald-rid* nag of Egypt,

The death of those visited by the plague was certain, when particular eruptions appeared on the skin; and these were called God's tokens. So, in the comedy of Two Wise Men and all the rest Fools, in seven Acts, 1619: "A will and a tolling bell are as present death as God's tokens." Again, in Herod and Antipater, 1622:

"His sickness, madam, rageth like a plague, "Once spotted, never cur'd.” Again, in Love's Labour's Lost:

"For the Lord's tokens on you both I see." See Vol. VII. p. 172, n. 9. STEEVENS.


――ribald-] A luxurious squanderer. POPE,

The word is in the old edition ribaudred, which I do not understand, but mention it, in hopes others may raise some happy conjecture. JOHNSON.

A ribald is a lewd fellow. So, in Arden of Feversham, 1592;
that injurious riball that attempts
"To vyolate my dear wyve's chastity."

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Injurious strumpet, and thou ribald knave.” Ribaudred, the old reading, is, I believe, no more than a corruption. Shakspeare, who is not always very nice about his versification, might have written:

Yon ribald-rid nag of Egypt,

i. e. Yon strumpet, who is common to every wanton fellow.
We find, however, in The Golden Legend, Wynkyn de
Worde's edit. fol. 186, b. that "Antony was wylde, ioly, and
rybauldous, and had ye syster of Octauyan to his wyfe."


I have adopted the happy emendation proposed by Mr. Steevens. Ribaud was only the old spelling of ribald; and the misprint of red for rid is easily accounted for. Whenever, by any negligence in writing, a dot is omitted over an i, compositors at the press invariably print an e. Of this I have had experience in many sheets of my edition of Shakspeare, being very often guilty of that negligence which probably produced the error in the pas sage before us.

In our author's own edition of his Rape of Lucrece, 1594, I have lately observed the same error:

"Afflict him in his bed with bed-red groans." Again, in Hamlet, 1604, sign. B 3, Act I. sc. ii: "Who impotent, and bed-red, scarcely hears "Of this his nephew's purpose."

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Whom leprosy o'ertake! i' the midst o' the fight,-
When vantage like a pair of twins appear'd,
Both as the same, or rather ours the elder,
The brize upon her,' like a cow in June,

By ribald, Scarus, I think, means the lewd Antony in particular, not "every lewd fellow," as Mr. Steevens has explained it. MALONE.

Yon ribald nag of Egypt,] I believe we should readhag. What follows seems to prove it: She once being loof'd,

66 —

"The noble ruin of her magick, Antony,
"Claps on his sea-wing.".


Odd as this use of nag might appear to Mr. Tyrwhitt, jade is daily used in the same manner. HENLEY.

The brieze, or strum, the fly that stings cattle, proves that nag is the right word. JOHNSON.

Whom leprosy o'ertake!] Leprosy, an epidemical distemper of the Egyptians; to which Horace probably alludes in the controverted line:

"Contaminato cum grege turpium
"Morbo virorum." JOHNSON.

Leprosy was one of the various names by which the Lues venerea was distinguished. So, in Greene's Disputation between a He Coneycatcher and a She Coneycatcher, 1592: "Into what jeopardy a man will thrust himself for her that he loves, although for his sweete villanie he be brought to loathsome leprosie."


Pliny, who says, the white leprosy, or elephantiasis, was not seen in Italy before the time of Pompey the Great, adds, it is "a peculiar maladie, and naturall to the Egyptians; but looke when any of their kings fell into it, woe worth the subjects and poore people: for then were the tubs and bathing vessels wherein they sate in the baine, filled with men's bloud for their cure." Philemon Holland's Translation, B. XXVI. c. i. REED.

So, in Julius

• Both as the same, or rather ours the elder,] Cæsar:

"We were two lions, litter'd in one day,
"But I the elder and more terrible." STEEvens.

"The brize upon her,] The brize is the gad-fly. So, in Spenser:

<< -a brize, a scorned little creature,


Through his fair hide his angry sting did threaten."

Hoists sails, and flies.

ENO. That I beheld: mine eyes Did sicken at the sight on't, and could not Endure a further view.


SCAR. She once being loof'd, The noble ruin of her magick, Antony, Claps on his sea-wing, and like a doting mallard, Leaving the fight in height, flies after her: I never saw an action of such shame; Experience, manhood, honour, ne'er before Did violate so itself.


Alack, alack!


CAN. Our fortune on the sea is out of breath, And sinks most lamentably. Had our general Been what he knew himself, it had gone well: O, he has given example for our flight, Most grossly, by his own.

ENO. Ay, are you thereabouts? Why then, good night



CAN. Towards Peloponnesus are they fled. SCAR. 'Tis easy to't; and there I will attend What further comes,

Did sicken at the sight on't,] For the insertion of-on't, to complete the measure, I am answerable, being backed, however, by the authority of the following passage in Cymbeline:

the sweet view on't

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Might well have warm'd old Saturn,-." STEEvens. 9-being loof'd,] To loof is to bring a ship close to the wind. This expression is in the old translation of Plutarch. It also occurs frequently in Hackluyt's Voyages. See Vol. III. 589. STEEVENS.

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