« 上一頁繼續 »
strangely escaped the acuteness of Warburton, whose interpretation (1747) is “So much resistance still on foot, that thou wilt choose to rid me out of the way, that thou mayst go, without the embarras of prisoners, to the assistance of thy friends who still want it.” The true explanation is very well given by Heath in replying to this (in his Revisal of Shakespeare's Text, 1765) “There is so much money for thee, on condition that thou wilt kill me straight."
753. We must not.-A noble prisoner !—The original edition places the entry of Antony immediately after this speech.
755. I'll tell the news. -This is the conjectural emendation of Theobald. All the Folios, and also both Rowe and Pope, have thee for the. Mr. Collier adopts the emendation.
758. And see whe'r Brutus be alive or dead.-Vid. 16 and 745. It is “where” again in the original text.
758. How everything is chanced.-Vid. 69 and 374.
The heading of Scene V., with the locality, is, as usual, modern.
761. Sit thee down. In this common form, apparently, the neuter verb to sit has taken the place of the active to seat. Or perhaps we ought rather to say that both in Sit thee and in Hark thee, which we have in the next line and again in 765, thee has usurped the function of thou. We have a similar irregularity in Fare (that is, go) thee well.—The marginal“ Whispering” at this speech is modern ; and so is the Whispers him” at 765. 771. That it runs over.-So that, as in 15.
774. Here in Philippi fields.-A common enough form of expression; as Chelsea Fields, Kensington
Gardens. There is no need of an apostrophe to Phi
776. Hold thou my sword hilts.—Vid. 726.
778. There is no tarrying here.—So in Macbeth, v. 5, "There is nor flying hence, nor tarrying here.” The expression is from North's Plutarch :-" Volumnius denied his request, and so did many others. And, amongst the rest, one of them said, there was no tarrying for them there, but that they must needs fly."
779. Farewell to you;-etc.—Mr. Collier appends the stage direction, “ Shaking hands severally.”
779. Farewell to thee too, Strato.—In all the Folios this stands ;-" Farewell to thee, to Strato." The correction is one of the many made by Theobald which have been universally acquiesced in. Mr. Collier does not tell us whether it has escaped his MS. annotator.
781. Hence; I will follow.-This is the reading of all the old copies. Pope added thee, in order to make a complete line of the two hemistichs.-The " Exeunt Clitus," etc., is modern.
781. Thou art a fellow of a good respect. Vid. 48. 781. Thy life hath had some smatch of honour in it. -Smatch is only another form of smack, meaning taste. Smack is the word which Shakespeare commonly uses, both as noun and verb.
In the early editions, the stage direction after the last speech of Brutus (783) is, simply, "Dies ;" and in the Entry that follows Antony is placed before Octavius, and "their Army" is "the Army."
788. I will entertain them.-Receive them into my
788. Wilt thou bestow thy time with me?-Here is another sense of bestow, in addition to that in 139,
Bestow thy time with me means
which is now lost.
789. If Messala will prefer me to you.fer," Reed observes, seems to have been the established phrase for recommending a servant." And he quotes from The Merchant of Venice, ii. 2, what Bassanio says to Launcelot,
"Shylock, thy master, spoke with me this day,
But to prefer was more than merely to recommend. It was rather to transfer, or hand over; as might be inferred even from what Octavius here rejoins, "Do so, good Messala." That it had come usually to imply also something of promotion may be seen from what Bassanio goes on to say:
-"if it be preferment
To leave a rich Jew's service, to become
791. How did my master, Strato?-So the First Folio. The Second, by a misprint, omits master. The Third and Fourth have "my lord."
793. Octavius, then take him, etc.-That is, accept or receive him from me. It is not, I request you to allow him to enter your service; but I give him to you. Vid. 789.
794. He only in a generous honest thought Of common good, etc.-We are indebted for this reading to Mr. Collier's MS. annotator. It is surely a great improvement upon the old text
"He only in a general honest thought,
To act "in a general honest thought" is perhaps in
telligible, though barely so; but, besides the tautology which must be admitted on the common interpretation, what is to act in “a common good to all ?”
794. Made one of them.- In this still familiar idiom made is equivalent to formed, constituted, and one must be considered as the accusative governed by it. Fecit unum ex eis (by joining himself to them).
Here is the prose of Plutarch, as translated by North, out of which this poetry has been wrought:“For it was said that Antonius spake it openly divers times, that he thought, that, of all them that had slain Cæsar, there was none but Brutus only that was moved to it as thinking the act commendable of itself; but that all the other conspirators did conspire his death for some private malice or envy that they otherwise did bear unto him."
794. His life was gentle, and the elements, etc.This passage is remarkable from its resemblance to a passage in Drayton's poem of The Barons' Wars. Drayton's poem was originally published some years before the close of the sixteenth century (according to Ritson, Bibl. Poet., under the title of “Mortemeriados. . . . Printed by J. R. for Matthew Lownes, 1596,” 4to); but there is, it seems, no trace of the passage in question in that edition. The first edition in which it is found is that of 1608, in which it stands thus:
“Such one he was (of him we boldly say)
That’t seemed, when heaven his model first began,
In him it showed perfection in a man.” In a subsequent edition published in 1619 it is remodelled as follows:
“He was a man (then boldly dare to say)
In whose rich soul the virtues well did suit ;
She meant to show all that might be in man.” Malone, who holds that Shakespeare's play of Julius Cæsar was probably produced about 1607, is inclined to think that Drayton was the copyist, even as his verses originally stood. “In the altered stanza,” he adds, "he certainly was." Steevens, in the mistaken notion that Drayton's stanza as found in the edition of his Barons' Wars published in 1619 had appeared in the original poem, published, as he conceives, in 1598, had supposed that Shakespeare had in this instance deigned to imitate or borrow from his contemporary.
795. To part the glories of this happy day.-That is, to distribute to each man his due share in its glories. The original stage direction is “ Exeunt omnes.”