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says, “ Bring it hither to me in the orchard.” A Garden (or yard, as it is still called in Scotland) means merely a piece of ground girded in or enclosed; and an Orchard (properly Ortyard) is, literally, such an enclosure for worts, or herbs. At one time Orchard used to be written Hortyard, under the mistaken notion that it was derived from hortus (which may, however, be of the same stock).
143. How near to day.--How near it may be to the day.
143. I would it were my fault. Compare the use of fault here with its sense in 120.
143. When, Lucius ? when ?—This exclamation had not formerly the high tragic or heroic sound which it would now have. It was merely a customary way of calling impatiently to one who had not obeyed a previous sum
So in Richard the Second (i. 2) John of Gaunt calls to his son—"When, Harry? when ? Obedience bids, I should not bid again.”
147. But for the general.--The general was formerly a common expression for what we now call the community ur the people. Thus Angelo in Measure for Measure, ii. 4:
“The general, subject to a well-wished king,
Crowd to his presence.” 147. And that craves.-It might be questioned whether that here be the demonstrative (as it is commonly considered) or the relative (to the antecedent “the bright day").
147. Crown him? That. Here the emphatic that appears to be used exactly as 80 (etymologically of the same import) often is. Vid. 57. Either, or any equivalent term, thus used, might obviously serve very well for the sign of affirmation; in the present passage we might substitute yes for that with the same effect. It used to be held that the French oui, anciently oyl, was merely the
ill of the classic ill-e, ill-a, ill-ud, and that the old Provençal oc was hoc. It appears however, that oui or oyl is really voul (or je voul), the old present of vouloir. The common word for yes in Italian, again, si (not unknown in the same sense to the French tongue), may be another form of so. The three languages used to be distinguished as the Langue d'Oyl (or Lingua Oytana), the Langue d'Oc (or Lingua Occitana), and the Lingua di Si.—The pointing in the First Folio here is “ Crowne him that, And then,” etc.
147. Do danger.—Danger, which we have borrowed from the French, is a corruption of the middle age Latin domigerium, formed from damno. It is, in fact, radically the same with damage. A detail of the variations of meaning which the word has undergone in both languages would make a long history. In French also it anciently bore the same sense (that of mischief) which it has here. Sometimes, again, in both languages, it signified power to do mischief or to injure; as when Portia, in The Merchant of Venice (iv. 1), speaking to Antonio of Shylock, says, “You stand within his danger, do you not ? ”
147. The abuse of greatness is, etc.—The meaning apparently is, " The abuse to which greatness is most subject is when it deadens in its possessor the natural sense of humanity, or of that which binds us to our kind; and this I do not say that it has yet done in the case of Cæsar; I have never known that in him selfish affection, or mere passion, has carried it over reason.” Remorse is generally used by Shakespeare in a wider sense than that to which it is now restricted.
147. But 'tis a common proof. — A thing commonly proved or experienced (what commonly, as we should say, proves to be the case).
A frequent word with Shakespeare for to prove is to approve. Thus, in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, v. 4, we have
“0, 'tis the curse in love, and still approved,
When women cannot love where they're beloved.” So, in Much Ado About Nothing, we have, in iv. 1, “an approved wanton,” and afterwards “ Is he not approved in the height a villain ? " When Don Pedro in the same Play, ii. 1, describes Benedick as “of approved valour," the words cannot be understood as conveying any notion of what we now call approval, or approbation; the meaning is merely, that he had proved his valour by his conduct. This is, no doubt, also, the meaning of the word in the last verse of Sir Thomas Wyat’s passionately earnest lines entitled “ To his Mistress” (supposed to be Anne Boleyn) :
· Forget not, then, thine own approved,
Forget not this !” So in Hamlet, i. 1, Marcellus says, speaking of Horatio and the Ghost,
-I have entreated him along
He may approve our eyes, and speak to it; that is, prove our eyes true. And in Meas. for Meas., i. 3, Claudio says,
“This day my sister should the cloister enter,
And there receive her approbation for what we now call probation. This sense of the word (which we still retain in the law-term an approver, in Latin probator) occurs repeatedly both in the Bible and in Milton, and in fact is the most common sense which it has in our earlier English. It is strange that it should not be noticed at all by Nares, and that the only reference for it in Boucher is in the following insertion by Stephen
“To bring proof of.—Matabrun in likewise en
devored her on the other syde to approve the said iniury
bi hir commised and purpensed.'-Heylas, p. 27." 147. Whereto the climber upward, etc.
- There is no hyphen in the original text connecting climber and upward, as there is in some modern editions ; but any doubt as to whether the adverb should be taken along with climber or with turns might be held to be determined by the expression in Macbeth, iv. 2:-“Things at the worst will cease, or else climb upwards To what they were before."
147. The upmost round. The step of a ladder has come to be called a round, I suppose, from its being usually cylindrically shaped. Mr Knight (whose collation of the old copies is in general so remarkably careful) has here (probably by a typographical error) utmost.
147. The base degrees.-The lower steps of the ladder -les bas degrés (from the Latin gradus) of the French. The epithet base, however, must be understood to express something of contempt, as well as to designate the position
of the steps.
147. By which he did ascend. It is not the syntax of our modern English to use the auxiliary verb in such a case as this.
Vid. 16. 147. Then, lest he may, prevent. We should not now say to prevent lest. But the word prevent continued to convey its original import of to come before more distinctly in Shakespeare's day than it does now. Vid. 161 and 709.
147. Will bear no colour for the thing he is.—. Will take no shew, no plausibility, no appearance of being a just quarrel, if professed to be founded upon what Cæsar at present actually is. The use of colour, and colourable, in this sense is still familiar.
147. What he is, augmented.—What he now is, if augmented or heightened (as it is the nature of things that it should be).
147. Would run to these, etc.--To such and such ex
tremities (which we must suppose to be stated and explained). Vid. 109.
147. Think him as.-The verb to think has now lost this sense, though we might still say “Think him a serpent's egg,” “Think him good, or wicked," and also " To think a good or evil thought.”
147. As his kind.-Like his species.
147. And kill him in the shell.--It is impossible not to feel the expressive effect of the hemistich here. The line itself is, as it were, killed in the shell.
148. This speech is headed in the Folios “ Enter Lucius.” The old stage direction,“ Gives him the Letter," is omitted by most of the modern editors.
149. The ides of March. The reading of all the ancient copies is “the first of March ;” it was Theobald who first made the correction, which has been adopted by all succeeding editors (on the ground that the day was actually that of the ides). At the same time, it does not seem to be impossible that the poet may have intended to present a strong image of the absorption of Brutus by making him forget the true time of the month. The reply of Lucius after consulting the Calendar-"Sir, March is wasted fourteen days"-sounds very
much as if he were correcting rather than confirming his master's notion. Against this view we have the considerations stated by Warburton :-“We can never suppose the speaker to have lost fourteen days in his account. He is here plainly ruminating on what the Soothsayer told Cæsar [1. 2] in his presence [Beware the ides of March].” Mr Collier also prints “ the ides ; " but the correction does not appear to be made by his MS. annotator. Mr Knight, I apprehend, must be mistaken in saying that Shakespeare found “the first of March” in North’s Plutarch : the present incident is not, I believe, anywhere related by Plutarch.
153. Brutus, thou sleep'st; awake. I have endeavour