Main Text

Editor’s Note3.4

Enter Anthony and Octavia.

anthony Nay, nay Octavia, not only that—

2That were excusable, that and thousands more

Editor’s Note Link 3Of semblable import—but he hath waged

Editor’s Note4New wars 'gainst Pompey; made his will, and read it

Critical Apparatus5To public ear!

Editor’s Note Link 6Spoke scantly of me; when perforce he could not

Critical Apparatus7But pay me terms of honour, cold and sickly

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus Link 8He vented them, most narrow measure lent me;

Critical Apparatus9When the best hint was given him, he not took't,

Editor’s Note10Or did it from his teeth.

octavia O, my good lord,

Editor’s Note11Believe not all, or if you must believe,

Editor’s Note12Stomach not all. A more unhappy lady,

pg 22913If this division chance, ne'er stood between,

14Praying for both parts.

Editor’s Note15The good gods will mock me presently

16When I shall pray, '0 bless my lord and husband!',

Editor’s Note17Undo that prayer by crying out as loud,

18'O bless my brother!' Husband win, win brother

Editor’s Note Link 19Prays, and destroys the prayer—no midway

Editor’s Note20'Twixt these extremes at all.

anthony Gentle Octavia,

Editor’s Note21Let your best love draw to that point which seeks

22Best to preserve it. If I lose mine honour,

23I lose my self: better I were not yours

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus Link 24Than yours so branchless. But as you requested,

Link 25Yourself shall go between's. The meantime, lady,

26I'll raise the preparation of a war

Editor’s Note Link 27Shall stain your brother. Make your soonest haste;

28So your desires are yours.

octavia Thanks to my lord.

29The Jove of power make me, most weak, most weak,

Critical Apparatus30Your reconciler. Wars 'twixt you twain would be

31As if the world should cleave, and that slain men

Link 32Should solder up the rift.

Editor’s Note33

anthony When it appears to you where this begins,

Editor’s Note34Turn your displeasure that way, for our faults

35Can never be so equal that your love

Editor’s Note Link 36Can equally move with them. Provide your going,

pg 23037Choose your own company, and command what cost

Critical Apparatus38Your heart has mind to. Exeunt

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
3.4 The action here Is closely based on Plutarch (see Appendix A).
Editor’s Note
3 semblable similar
Editor’s Note
4 New wars 'gainst Pompey Plutarch places this detail after Octavia's meeting with her brother and the temporary reconciliation with Antonius which she effected (see Appendix A). made his will In Plutarch, it is Caesar who, in order to rouse ill-feeling against his rival, reads Anthony's will, drawing public attention to the provision that even if he dies in Rome he must be buried in Egypt (see Appendix A). Accordingly editors have suspected textual corruption here, which might account also for some of the speech's oddities of punctuation and Ilneatlon.
Critical Apparatus
3.4.5–6 To public … not ] This edition; f divides at 'me'
Editor’s Note
6 scantly grudgingly, meanly
Critical Apparatus
3.4.7–8 honour, cold … them, most … lent me; | When … him,] rowe (subs.); Honour: cold … then most … measure: lent me, | When … him: f
Critical Apparatus
8 them] rowe; then f
Editor’s Note
8 narrowme treated me most ungenerously
Critical Apparatus
9 took't] theobald (conj. Thirlby); look't, f
Editor’s Note
10 from his teeth i.e. merely outwardly, Insincerely; a common expression (more usually 'from the teeth outward'—see OED tooth sb. 8b)
Editor’s Note
11 you The lone of Anthony's relation with Octavia is Indicated by the way in which both continue to use the respectful but distant plural pronoun to one another (as they did upon their first meeting in 2.3); cf. Appndix C.
Editor’s Note
12 Stomach resent
Editor’s Note
12–20 A moreat all Octavla's speech closely parallels that of Blanche, an- other victim of political marriage torn between warring kin, at a similar point In the action of King John (3.1.253–62). Here, as at 3.2.48–50, the figurative language emphasizes the tense balancing of opposite forces at this critical turning-point In the action. In Plutarch Octavla's final parting from Antonius takes place in Athens; although Athens is not specified until 3.6, It is important that this scene be imagined as taking place at some midpoint between Rome and Egypt.
Editor’s Note
15 presently immediately; inevitably
Editor’s Note
17 undo (1) unmake, cancel, rescind; (2) ruin, destroy
Editor’s Note
19 prayer Octavia probably quibbles on the secondary sense, 'she who utters the prayer'.
Editor’s Note
20–4 Gentlebranchless 33–6 Whenthem There Is something deliberately equivocal about the way in which Anthony approaches the question of apportioning love and blame here, as if (while being careful to preserve the decencies) he were actually inviting Octavia to leave him.
Editor’s Note
21 drawpoint move to that extreme (i.e. one of the two extremes represented by Caesar and himself)
Critical Apparatus
24 yours] f2; your, f1
Editor’s Note
24 branchless maimed, diminished
Editor’s Note
27 Shall stain that will damage the reputation of
Critical Apparatus
30 Your] f2; You, f1
Editor’s Note
33 Whenbegins when it is clear to you who began this quarrel
Editor’s Note
34–6 our faultswith them it is impossible that Caesar's faults and mine can be so evenly balanced that your love can remain impartially attached to both
Editor’s Note
36 Provide your going get ready to leave
Critical Apparatus
38 has] f2; he's, f1
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