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Is come, indeed,) when I should see behind me
Disgrace and horror, that, on my command,
Thou strik'st not me, 'tis Cæsar thou defeat'st.
EROS. The gods withhold me! Shall I do that, which all the Parthian darts, Though enemy, lost aim, and could not?
Eros, Would'st thou be window'd in great Rome, and see Thy master thus with pleach'd arms, bending down His corrigible neck, his face subdued
To penetrative shame; whilst the wheel'd seat
I would not see't. ANT. Come then; for with a wound I must be cur'd.
Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn Most useful for thy country.
There may still, however, remain a slight corruption, viz. noble instead of nobly. I would therefore read
condemn myself to lack
66 The courage of a woman; less nobly mind
i. e. am less nobly inclined than she is. STEEVENS.
7 - pleach'd arms,] Arms folded in each other. JOHNSON. A passage very like this occurs in Thomas Kyd's translation of Robert Garnier's Cornelia, published in 1594:
"Now shalt thou march (thy hands fast bound behind thee,)
"With crowned front triumphing follows thee." STEEVENS. 8 His CORRIGIBLE neck,] Corrigible for corrected, and afterwards penetrative for penetrating. So Virgil has "penetrabile frigus" for "penetrans frigus," in his Georgicks. STEEVENS.
9 His baseness that ensued?] The poor conquered wretch that followed. JOHNSON.
To do this when I bade thee? Do it at once;
Draw, and come.
EROS. Turn from me then that noble countenance,
Wherein the worship of the whole world2 lies. ANT. Lo thee. [Turning from him.
EROS. My sword is drawn.
The thing why thou hast drawn it.
Then let it do at once
My dear master, My captain, and my emperor! let me say, Before I strike this bloody stroke, farewell.
I When I did make thee free, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch: "Now he had a man of his called Eros, whom he loued and trusted much, and whom he had long before caused to sweare vnto him, that he should kill him when he did commaunde him and then he willed him to keepe his promise. His man drawing his sworde, lift it vp, as though he had ment to haue striken his maister: but turning his head at one side, he thrust his sword into him selfe, and fell downe dead at his maister's foote. Then said Antonius, O noble Eros, I thanke thee for this, and it is valiantly done of thee, to show me what I should do to my selfe, which thou couldest not doe for me. Therewithall he tooke his sword, and thrust it into his bellie, and so fell downe vpon a little bed. The wounde he had, killed him not presently, for the blood stinted a little when he was layed: and when he came somewhat to him selfe again, he praied them that were about him to dispatch him. But they all fled out of the chamber, and left him crying out and tormenting him selfe: vntil at last there came a secretarie vnto him called Diomedes, who was commaunded to bring him into the tombe or monument where Cleopatra was. When he heard that she was aliue, he verie earnestlie prayed his men to carie his bodie thither, and so he was caried in his men's armes into the entry of the monument." STEEVENS. the WORSHIP of the whole world -] The worship, is the dignity, the authority. JOHNSON.
So, in King John;
By giving it the worship of revenge." STEEVENS,
ANT. 'Tis said, man ;-and farewell.
EROS. Farewell, great chief. Shall I strike now? ANT. Now, Eros. EROS. Why, there then :- [Falls on his Sword. Thus do I escape the sorrow Of Antony's death. [Dies.
Thrice nobler than myself!
Thou teachest me, O valiant Eros, what
A bridegroom in my
death 3, and run into't
[Falling on his Sword.
I learn'd of thee. How! not dead? not dead?— The guard!-ho!-O, despatch me.
3 but I will be
A bridegroom in my death, &c.] This thought has occurred before in Measure for Measure:
"I will encounter darkness as a bride,
"And hug it in my arms."
Dryden's Don Sebastian has the same image, though more luxuriantly expressed :
"The sprightly bridegroom on his wedding night
Why, 'tis enjoyment to be summon'd thus." STEEVENS. Stowe, describing the execution of Sir Charles Davers, one of the Earl of Essex's associates, says, that "having put off his gown and doublet in a most cheerful manner, rather like a bridegroom than a prisoner appointed for death, he prayed very devoutly." MALONE.
not YET dead?] Yet, which is wanting in the old copy, was supplied by Mr. Pope. STEEVENS.
5 The guard!-HO!] [Old copy-guard how.] I suspect the poet wrote:
"The guard, ho! O, despatch me!" So, afterwards:
What, ho! the emperor's guard!"
Enter DERCETAS and Guard.
What's the noise ? ANT. I have done my work ill, friends; O, make
Of what I have begun.
1 GUARD. And time is at his period.
The star is fallen.
Alas, and woe!
ANT. Let him that loves me, strike me dead. 1 GUARD.
2 GUARD. Nor I.
3 GUARD. Nor any one.
DER. Thy death and fortunes bid thy followers
This sword but shown to Cæsar, with this tidings, Shall enter me with him.
DIO. Where's Antony?
Wilt thou not answer, man?
"Authority melts from me.
Of late, when I cried ho, "Like boys unto a muss, kings would start forth, "And cry, your will?
The same mistake has happened in The Merchant of Venice. See vol. v. p. 143, n. 2.
And twice in the original copy of Hamlet, 1604:
"Pol. What how, help."
Again, in the last Act:
"O villainy! how, let the door be lock'd."
The emendation which I have proposed, ought therefore certainly to be admitted into the text. MALONE.
I find this emendation already admitted into the text of edition 1785. STEEVENS.
Mr. Steevens should have added that it was so admitted in consequence of my having suggested it. MALONE.
ANT. Art thou there, Diomed? Draw thy sword, and give me
Sufficing strokes for death.
Most absolute lord,
DIO. Lock'd in her monument.
Of what hath come to pass: for when she saw
But, fearing since how it might work, hath sent
Now, my lord.
ANT. Too late, good Diomed:-Call my guard, I pr'ythee.
DIO. What, ho! the emperor's guard! The guard, what, ho!
Come, your lord calls.
Enter some of the Guard.
ANT. Bear me, good friends, where Cleopatra bides;
Where is she?
'Tis the last service that I shall command you. 1 GUARD. Woe, woe are we, sir, you may not live to wear
All your true followers out.
a PROPHESYING fear-] I suppose our author designed we should read:
a prophet's fear .." STEEVENS. 7 She had DISPOS'D with Cæsar,] To dispose, in this instance, perhaps signifies to make terms, to settle matters. STEEVENS.
8 Woe are we,] Old copy-Woe, woe―. But as the second woe appears (for it spoils the verse) to have been accidentally repeated by the compositor, I have left it out.