Main Text

4.6

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus Flourish. Enter Caesar and Agrippa, with Enobarbus, and Dolabella
1

caesar Go forth, Agrippa, and begin the fight.

2Our will is Anthony be took alive—

Critical Apparatus3Make it so known.

agrippa Caesar, I shall. Exit

Editor’s Note4

caesar The time of universal peace is near.

Editor’s Note Link 5Prove this a prosperous day, the three-nooked world

pg 271Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus Link 6Shall bear the olive freely.

Enter a Messenger

messenger Anthony

7Is come into the field.

caesar Go charge Agrippa

Critical Apparatus8Plant those that have revolted in the van,

Editor’s Note Link 9That Anthony may seem to spend his fury

10Upon himself.

Critical Apparatus Exeunt all but Enobarbus
Editor’s Note11

enobarbus Alexas did revolt, and went to Jewry on

Editor’s Note12Affairs of Anthony; there did dissuade

13Great Herod to incline himself to Caesar,

14And leave his master, Anthony. For this pains,

Critical Apparatus15Caesar hath hanged him. Camidius and the rest

Editor’s Note16That fell away have entertainment, but

17No honourable trust. I have done ill,

Link 18Of which I do accuse myself so sorely

Critical Apparatus19That I will joy no more.

Enter a Soldier of Caesar's

soldier Enobarbus, Anthony

20Hath after thee sent all thy treasure, with

Link 21His bounty overplus. The messenger

Editor’s Note22Came on my guard, and at thy tent is now

23Unloading of his mules.

enobarbus I give it you.

24

soldier Mock not, Enobarbus,

Editor’s Note Link 25I tell you true. Best you safed the bringer

pg 272Editor’s Note26Out of the host—I must attend mine office,

27Or would have done't myself. Your Emperor

Editor’s Note Link 28Continues still a Jove. Exit

Editor’s Note29

enobarbus I am alone the villain of the earth,

30And feel I am so most. O Anthony,

Editor’s Note31Thou mine of bounty, how wouldst thou have paid

Link 32My better service, when my turpitude

Editor’s NoteCritical Apparatus Link 33Thou dost so crown with gold! This blows my heart—

Editor’s Note34If swift thought break it not, a swifter mean

Link 35Shall outstrike thought; but thought will do't, I feel.

Link 36I fight against thee? No, I will go seek

37Some ditch wherein to die—the foul'st best fits

38My latter part of life. Exit

Notes Settings

Notes

Critical Apparatus
4.6.0 EnterAgrippa] This edition; Enter Agrippa, Cæsar f
Editor’s Note
4.6.0 Enter … Agrippa F reverses the normal order of precedence for no apparent reason. Ridley conjectures that entry by different doors is indicated, but this seems unlikely. Perhaps one of the names was left out and inserted later in the manuscript, resulting in an accidental ordering by the compositor.
Critical Apparatus
3 Exit] capell (subs.); not in f
Editor’s Note
4lime of universal peace Christian commentary habitually associated the Pax Romana established under Octavius (the Emperor Augustus) with the Pax Christiana ushered in by the beginning of the Christian era, with which it roughly coincided; the loci classici for such interpretation were Virgil's Aeneld 6.791–5 and especially his Fourth Eclogue, which prophesied the advent of a new Golden Age following the birth of Augustus's son in terms that were readily transferable to Christ. In the final chorus of Garnier's Tragedy of Antony, loosely modelled on Virgil's poem, a group of Roman soldiers proclaim that, following their defeat of Antony, war and discord will end and 'our banks shall cherish now | the branchy pale-hued bow | of Olive' (4.1758–60; Bullough, p.400). See also note to 1.1.17. For a discussion of this passage that relates it to the play's pattern of Christian allusions, see Andrew Fichter, 'Antony and Cleopatra: the Time of Universal Peace', SSu 33 (1980), pp.99–111. The Fourth Eclogue had developed a particular currency in England because of its association of the new Golden Age with the return of the virgin goddess Astraea—one of the cult names appropriated to Queen Elizabeth; but here the prophecy is probably meant to flatter James I's notion of himself as the peacemaker of Europe.
Editor’s Note
5 three-nooked three-cornered. Various explanations have been offered: it refers to the political division of the world between the triumvirs; or to its racial division amongst the offspring of the three sons of Noah (Shem, Ham, and Japhet); or to its geographical division into the three continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa; or to its elemental division into earth, sea, and sky (Ovid's triplex mundus).
Critical Apparatus
4.6.6–7 Anthony … field ] capell; as one line f
Editor’s Note
6 olive (emblem of peace)
Critical Apparatus
8 van] f (vant)
Editor’s Note
9–10 Anthonyhimself Caesar's order turns the battle into an enactment of Anthony's self-division.
Critical Apparatus
10.1 all but Enobarbus] capell (subs.); not in f
Editor’s Note
11–15 Alexashanged him to Caesar, And leave his master, Anthony. For this pains, Caesar hath hanged For Plutarch's description of this episode, in which it is Herod who executes Alexas (albeit at Caesar's behest) see Appendix A.
Editor’s Note
12 dissuade Sometimes emended to 'persuade'; but Johnson originally justified 'dissuade' as meaning 'persuade away from his allegiance'.
Critical Apparatus
15 Camidius] f (Camindius)
Editor’s Note
16 entertainment maintenance, pay
Critical Apparatus
19 more]f2; mote f1
Editor’s Note
22 on my guard during my watch
Editor’s Note
25 safed gave safe-conduct to
Editor’s Note
26 office duties
Editor’s Note
28 a Jove i.e. godlike in his generosity
Editor’s Note
29 alone the villain the single most villainous person
Editor’s Note
31 mine of bounty cf. 1 Henry IV 3.1. 164–5 'as bountiful | As mines of India' (Case). Antony's liberality and bounty, stressed in this scene, as well as in Cleopatra's great aria of lament (5.5.77–93), is one of the themes of Plutarch's characterization.
Critical Apparatus
33–6 heart— | If … not, a … thought; but … do't, I feel. | I … thee?] rowe (subs); hart, | If … not: a … thought, but … doo't. | feele | I … thee: f
Editor’s Note
33 blows Usually glossed as 'swells', but 'break' and 'outstrike' suggest that 'beats upon' may be the more appropriate sense. Perhaps a quibble on the two is intended.
Editor’s Note
34, 35 thought Usually glossed as 'melancholy', but this seems not quite appropriate to 'swift thought'; perhaps as Enobarbus reiterates the word its sense slides between 'grief' and 'thinking'. Compare his earlier 'Think, and die' (3.13.1). For the proverbial swiftness of thought see Dent T240.
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