« 上一頁繼續 »
It seems to me, I confess, to be sufficiently in Shakespeare's manner. The First Folio has“Our best Friends made, our meanes stretcht," —which, at any rate, it is quite impossible to believe to be what he wrote.
498. And let us presently go sit in council, etc.—The more ordinary phraseology would be “ Let us sit in consultation how,” or “ Let us consult how.” It may be questioned, notwithstanding the “Councell” of the First Edition, whether we ought not to print “ sit in counsel.” Vid. 263.
499. And bayed about with many enemies.-Vid. 349 (for bayed), and 363 (for with).
499. Millions of mischiefs. This is the reading of all the old editions. Mr. Knight has “mischief," no doubt by an error of the press.
Scene II.—The original heading here is “Drum. Enter Brutus, Lucillius, and the Army. Titinius and Pindarus meete them.” The modern editors after the name of Lucilius introduce that of Lucius. See the note on 521.
502. What now, Lucilius, is Cassius near ?—Here the ius is dissyllabic in Lucilius and monosyllabic in Cassius. 503. To do
salutation.-Another of the old applications of do which we have now lost. Vid. 147. The stage direction about the Letter is modern.
504. He greets me well.—The meaning seems to be, He salutes me in a friendly manner. Yet this can hardly be regarded as a legitimate employment of well. For
greet see 242. 504. In his own change, etc.—The meaning seems to be, either through a change that has taken place in his own feelings and conduct, or through the misconduct of his officers.
504. Some worthy cause.—Some reasonable or sufficient cause, some cause of worth, value, or power to justify the wish. The word worth is the Anglo-Saxon weorth, wurth, or wyrth, connected with which are weorscipe, worship, and weorthian, to hold in esteem or honour. But there may also perhaps be a connexion with weorthan, or wurthan, to become, or to be, the same word with the modern German werden, and still in a single fragment remaining in use among ourselves in the phrase woe worth, that is, woe be. If this be so, either what we call worth is that which anything emphatically is, or, when we say that a thing is, we are only saying that it is worth in a broad or vague sense, according to a common manner of forming a term of general out of one of particular import. In the latter case worth may be connected with vir, and virtus, and vireo. Vid. 209.
506. He is not doubted, etc.—Brutus here, it will be observed, makes two speeches ; first he addresses himself to Pindarus, then to Lucilius. Even if the prosody did not admonish us to the same effect, it would, in these circumstances, be better to print the passage as I have given it, with two hemistichs or broken lines.
506. Let me be resolved.-Vid. 339.
507. But not with such familiar instances. The word still in use that most nearly expresses this obsolete sense of instances is, perhaps, assiduities. As instance should mean standing upon, so assiduity should mean sitting upon.
Assiduitas is used by Cicero; instantia, I believe, is not found in the best age of the Latin tongue. The English word is employed by Shakespeare in other senses besides this that are now obsolete. “ To comfort you the more,”
says the Earl of Warwick to the King, in the Second Part of King Henry the Fourth, iii. 1,
"I have received
A certain instance that Glendower is dead;"
that is, a certain assurance. Again, in King Richard the Third, "Tell him," says Lord Hastings in reply to the message from Lord Stanley, iii. 2,
"Tell him his fears are shallow, without instance ;”.
that is, apparently, without any fact to support or justify them. Again, in Hamlet, iii. 2, in the Play acted before the King and Queen we have
"The instances that second marriage move
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love;"
that is, the inducements, as we should now say, are base considerations of thrift, or pecuniary advantage. We e now use instance in something like its proper sense only in the phrase "at the instance of," and even there the notion of pressure or urgency is nearly lost; the word is understood as meaning little, if anything, more than merely so much of application, request, or suggestion as the mere mention of what is wanted might carry with it. In another phrase in which it has come to be used, " in the first instance," it is not very obvious what its meaning really is, or how, at least, it has got the meaning which it appears to have. Do we, or can we, say "in the second, or third, instance ?" By instance as commonly used, for a particular fact, we ought to understand a fact bearing upon the matter in hand; and this seems to be still always kept in mind in the familiar expression instance."
508. Like horses hot at hand.-That is, apparently,
when held by the hand, or led. Or rather, perhaps, when acted upon only by the rein. So in Harington's Ariosto, vii. 67, Melyssa says that she will try to make Rogero's griffith horse "gentle to the spur and hand." But has not "at hand" always meant, as it always does now, only near or hard by? That meaning will not do here. The commentators afford us no light or help. Perhaps Shakespeare wrote " in hand.”
508. They fall their crests.—This use of fall, as an active verb, is not common in Shakespeare; but it may be found in writers of considerably later date.
508. Sink in the trial.-One may suspect that it should be shrink.
509. Instead of the stage direction “ March within” at the end of this speech, the original text has "Low March within" in the middle of 508. And instead of "Enter Cassius and Soldiers," it is there "Enter Cassius and his powers."
513, 514, 515.-The Within prefixed to these three speeches is the insertion of the modern editors. In the First Folio the three repetitions of the "Stand" are on so many distinct lines, but all as if they formed part of the speech of Brutus. Mr. Collier has at 515 the Stage Direction, "One after the other, and fainter."
519. Cassius, be content.-That is, be continent; contain, or restrain, yourself.
519. Speak your griefs softly.-Vid. 129 and 436. 519. Nothing but love from us.-From each of us to
519. Enlarge your griefs.-State them with all fulness of eloquent exposition; as we still say Enlarge upon.-Vid. 129 and 436.
It is strange
521. Lucius, do you the like ; etc.—The original text is
“ Lucillius, do you the like, and let no man
Let Lucius and Titinius guard our doore.” To cure the prosody in the first line, Steevens and other modern writers strike out the you. that no one should have been struck with the absurdity of such an association as Lucius and Titinius for the guarding of the door—an officer of rank and a servant boy-the boy, too, being named first. The function of Lucius was to carry messages. As Cassius sends his servant Pindarus with a message to his division of the force, Brutus sends his servant Lucius with a similar message to his division. Nothing can be clearer than that Lucilius in the first line is a misprint for Lucius, and Lucius in the third a misprint for Lucilius. Or the error may have been in the copy;
and the insertion of the Let was probably an attempt of the printer, or editor, to save the prosody of that line, as the omission of the you is of the modern editors to save that of the other. The present restoration sets everything to rights. At the close of the conference we have Brutus, in 580, again addressing himself to Lucilius and Titinius, who had evidently kept together all the time it lasted. Lucius (who in the original text is commonly called the Boy) and Titinius are nowhere mentioned together. In the heading of Scene III., indeed, the modern editors have again “ Lucius and Titinius at some distance;" but this is their own manufacture. All that we have in the old copies is, “ Manet Brutus and Cassius.” See also 571.
522. Wherein my leiters . . . were slighted off.