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AGR. Cæsar, I shall.
CES. The time of universal peace is near:
Prove this a prosperous day, the three-nook'd world Shall bear the olive freely.2
Shall bear the olive freely.] So, in King John:
"Now these her princes are come home again,
So, Lyly, in Euphues and his England, 1580: "The island is in fashion three-corner'd," &c. MALONE.
Shall bear the olive freely.] i. e. shall spring up every where spontaneously and without culture. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton mistakes the sense of the passage. To bear does not mean to produce, but to carry; and the meaning is, that the world shall then enjoy the blessings of peace, of which olive branches were the emblem. The success of Augustus could not so change the nature of things, as to make the olive-tree grow without culture in all climates, but it shut the gates of the temple of Janus. M. MASON.
I doubt whether Mr. M. Mason's explication of the word bear be just. The poet certainly did not intend to speak literally; and might only mean, that, should this prove a prosperous day, there would be no occasion to labour to effect a peace throughout the world; it would take place without any effort or negociation. MALONE.
My explanation of this passage is supported by the following fines in The Second Part of King Henry IV. Vol. XII. p. 193, where Westmorland says
"There is not now a rebel's sword unsheath'd,
That Antony may seem to spend his fury
[Exeunt CESAR and his Train.
Enter a Soldier of Cæsar's.
Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, with
ENO. I give it you.
Mock me not,5 Enobarbus.
- persuade-] The old copy has dissuade, perhaps rightly. JOHNSON.
It is undoubtedly corrupt. The words in the old translation of Plutarch are: "for where he should have kept Herodes from revolting from him, he persuaded him to turne to Cæsar."
Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: "Furthermore, he delt very friendly and courteously with Domitius, and against Cleopatraes mynde. For, he being sicke of an agewe when he went, and took a little boate to go to Cæsar's campe, Antonius was very sory for it, but yet he sent after him all his caryage, trayne, and men: and the same Domitius, as though he gaue him to vnderstand that he repented his open treason, he died immediately after."
5 Mock me not,] Me was supplied by Mr. Theobald.
I tell you true: Best that you saf'd the bringer"
Continues still a Jove.
ENO. I am alone the villain of the earth, And feel I am so most. O Antony,
Thou mine of bounty, how would'st thou have paid My better service, when my turpitude
Thou dost so crown with gold!
This blows my
If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean
-Best that-] For the insertion of the pronoun-that, to assist the metre, I am answerable. STEEVENS.
7-saf'd the bringer-] I find this verb in Chapman's version of the fourth Book of Homer's Odyssey:
"Sail with his ruin, for his father saf't." STEEVENs. And feel I am so most.] than any one else thinks it.
That is, and feel I am so, more M. MASON.
Surely, this explanation cannot be right. I am alone the villain of the earth, means, I am pre-eminently the first, the greatest villain of the earth. To stand alone, is still used in that sense, where any one towers above his competitors. And feel I am so most, must signify, I feel or know it myself, more than any other person can or does feel it. REED.
This blows my heart:] All the latter editions have:
I have given the original word again the place from which I think it unjustly excluded. This generosity, (says Enobarbus,) swells my heart, so that it will quickly break, if thought break it not, a swifter mean. JOHNSON.
That to blow means to puff or swell, the following instance, in the last scene of this play, will sufficiently prove:
on her breast
"There is a vent of blood, and something blown." Again, in King Lear:
"No blown ambition doth our arms excite-."
Shall outstrike thought: but thought will do't, I feel.1
I fight against thee!-No: I will go seek
Field of Battle between the Camps.
Alarum. Drums and Trumpets. Enter AGRippa, and Others.
AGR. Retire, we have engag'd ourselves too far: Cæsar himself has work, and our oppression2 Exceeds what we expected.
Alarum. Enter ANTONY and SCARUS, wounded.
SCAR. O my brave emperor, this is fought in
Had we done so at first, we had driven them home With clouts about their heads.
Thou bleed'st apace.
but thought will do't, I feel.] Thought, in this passage, as in many others, signifies melancholy. See p. 179, n. 1.
' — and our oppression-] Oppression for opposition.
Sir T. Hanmer has received opposition. Perhaps rightly.
Our oppression means, the force by which we are oppressed or overpowered. MALONE.
So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"At thy good heart's oppression." STEEVENS,
SCAR. I had a wound here that was like a T, But now 'tis made an H.
They do retire.
SCAR. We'll beat 'em into bench-holes; I have
EROS. They are beaten, sir; and our advantage
For a fair victory.
Let us score their backs,
And snatch 'em up, as we take hares, behind; 'Tis sport to maul a runner.
I will reward thee
I'll halt after. [Exeunt.
Under the Walls of Alexandria.
Alarum. Enter ANTONY, marching; SCARUS, and Forces.
ANT. We have beat him to his camp; Run one before,
And let the queen know of our guests.3-To-mor
Run one before,
And let the queen know of our guests.] Antony, after his