Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Henry the Sixth, iii. 1, as well as with regard to that of the compound which occurs in Troilus and Cressida,

iii. 2,

“And mighty states characterless are grated

To dusty nothing.” -The stage direction near the beginning of this speech is merely Knock in the original edition.

214. Lucius, who's that knocks ? —Who is that who knocks? The omission of the relative is a familiar ellipsis. Vid. 34. Who's, and not who is, is the reading of all the Folios. It is unnecessary to suppose that the two broken lines were intended to make a whole between them. They are best regarded as distinct hemistichs. Mr Collier, however, prints " Who is't that knocks ?” Does he follow his MS. annotator in this ?

217. The Lig. (for Ligarius) is Cai. throughout in the original text. The authority for the prænomen Çaius, by which Ligarius is distinguished throughout the Play, is Plutarch, in his Life of Brutus, towards the beginning.

218. To wear a kerchief:-Kerchief is cover-chief, the chief being the French chef, head (from the Latin Cap-ut, which is also the same word with the English Head and the German Haupt). But, the proper import of chief being forgotten or neglected, the name kerchief came to be given to any cloth used as a piece of dress. In this sense the word is still familiar in handkerchief, though both kerchief itself and its other compound neckerchief are nearly gone out. In King John, iv. 1, and also in As You Like It, iv. 3 and v. 2, the word in the early editions is handkercher; and this is likewise the form in the Quarto edition of Othello.

218. Would you were not sick !—I do not understand upon what principle, or in what notion, it is that the Shakespearian editors print would in such a construction as this with an apostrophe ('Would). Even if it is to be taken to mean I would, the I will not be a part of the

[ocr errors]

word which has been cut off, like the i of it in the contraction 'tis.

221. Thou, like an exorcist.-—“Here,” says Mason, , "and in all other places where the word occurs in Shakespeare, to exorcise means to raise spirits, not to lay them; and I believe he is singular in his acceptation of it." The only other instances of its occurrence, according to Mrs Clarke, are ;--in the song in Cymbeline, iv. 2 :

“No exorciser harm thee!
Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
Ghost unlaid forbear thee!

Nothing ill come near thee!”
in All's Well that Ends Well, v. 3, where, on the ap-
pearance of Helena, thought to be dead, the King ex-
claims,

" Is there no exorcist Beguiles the truer office of mine eyes ?and in the Second Part of King Henry the Sixth, i. 4, where Bolingbroke asks,“ Will her ladyship (the Duchess of Gloster] behold and hear our exorcisms ?” meaning the incantations and other operations by which they were to raise certain spirits.- In Mr Collier's regulated text, in this speech, at the words “ Soul of Rome," we have the stage direction, " Throwing away his bandage."

221. My mortified spirit.-Mor-ti-fi-ed here makes four syllables, spirit counting for only one. And mortified has its literal meaning of deadened.

224. As we are going To whom it must be done. While we are on our way to those whom it must be done to. The ellipsis is the same as we have in 105, “From that it is disposed.” I do not understand how the words are to be interpreted if we are to separate going from what follows by a comma, as is done in most editions.

225. Set on your foot. This was probably a somewhat energetic or emphatic mode of expression. In Scotland they say, "Put down your foot" in exhorting one to walk

on briskly.- At the end of this speech the old copies have Thunder as a stage direction.

SCENE II.-The same.

A Room in CÆSAR's Palace.

Thunder and Lightning. Enter CÆSAR in his night-goron. 227. Cæs. Nor heaven, nor earth, have been at peace to-night:

Thrice hath Calphurnia in her sleep cried out,
Help, ho! they murder Cæsar!--Who's within ?

Enter a SERVANT.
Serv. My lord ?
229. Cæs. Go bid the priests do present sacrifice,
And bring me their opinions of success.
Serv. I will, my lord.

[Erit.
Enter CALPHURNIA.
Cal. What mean you, Cæsar? Think you to walk forth?
You shall not stir out of your house to-day.

Cæs. Cæsar shall forth: The things that threatened me
Ne'er looked but on my back; when they shall see

The face of Cæsar, they are vanished.
233. Cal. Cæsar, I never stood on ceremonies,

Yet now they fright me. There is one within,
Besides the things that we have heard and seen,
Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch.
A lioness hath whelped in the streets ;
And graves have yawned, and yielded up their dead:
Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds,
In ranks and squadrons, and right form of war,
Which drizzled blood upon the Capitol :
The noise of battle hurtled in the air,
Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan;
And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.
O Cæsar! these things are beyond all use,

And I do fear them.
234. Cæs. What can be avoided,

Whose end is purposed by the mighty gods ?
Yet Cæsar shall go forth ; for these predictions
Are to the world in general, as to Cæsar.

Cal. When beggars die, there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes 236. Cæs. Cowards die many times before their deaths;

The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come, when it will come.

Re-enter a SERVANT.
What say the augurers ?

Serv. They would not have you to stir forth to-day. Plucking the entrails of an offering forth,

They could not find a heart within the beast. 238. Cæs. The gods do this in shame of cowardice:

Cæsar should be a beast without a heart,
If he should stay at home to-day for fear.
No, Cæsar shall not; Danger knows full well
That Cæsar is more dangerous than he.
We are two lions littered in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible ;

And Cæsar shall go forth. 239. Cal. Alas, my lord,

Your wisdom is consumed in confidence.
Do not go forth to-day: Call it my fear,
That keeps you in the house, and not your own,
We'll send Mark Antony to the senate-house;
And he shall say, you are not well to-day:

Let me, upon my knee, prevail in this.
240. Cæs. Mark Antony shall say, I am not well;
And, for thy humour, I will stay at home.

Enter DECIUS. Here's Decius Brutus, he shall tell them so. 241. Dec. Cæsar, all hail! Good morrow, worthy Cæsar :

I come to fetch you to the senate-house.
242. Cæs. And you are come in very happy time

To bear my greeting to the senators,
And tell them, that I will not come to-day:
Cannot, is false ; and that I dare not, falser:
I will not come to-day: Tell them so, Decius.

Cal. Say, he is sick.
244. Cæs. Shall Cæsar send a lie?

Have I in conquest stretched mine arm so far
To be afeared to tell grey-beards the truth?
Decius, go tell them, Cæsar will not come.
Dec. Most mighty Cæsar, let me know some cause,

Lest I be laughed at when I tell them so. 245. Cæs. The cause is in my will, I will not come;

That is enough to satisfy the senate.
But, for your private satisfaction,
Because I love you, I will let you know.
Calphurnia here, my wife, stays me at home :
She dreamt to-night she saw my statue,
Which like a fountain, with an hundred spouts,
Did run pure blood; and many lusty Romans
Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it.
And these does she apply for warnings and portents
Of evils imminent; and on her knee

Hath begged, that I will stay at home to-day. 246. Dec. This dream is all amiss interpreted:

It was a vision fair and fortunate:
Your statue spouting blood in many pipes,
In which so many smiling Romans bathed,
Signifies that from you great Rome shall suck
Reviving blood; and that great men shall press
For tinctures, stains, relics, and cognizance.
This by Calphurnia's dream is signified.

Cæs. And this way have you well expounded it. 249. Dec. I have, when you have heard what I can say:

And know it now; The senate have concluded
To give this day a crown to mighty Cæsar.
If you shall send them word you will not come,
Their minds may change. Besides, it were a mock
Apt to be rendered, for some one to say,
Break up the senate till another time,
When Cæsar's wife shall meet with better dreams.
If Cæsar hide himself, shall they not whisper,
Lo, Cæsar is afraid ?
Pardon me,

Cæsar; for my dear, dear love
To your proceeding bids me tell you this;

And reason to my love is liable. 250. Cæs. How foolish do your fears seem now, Calphurnia!

I am ashamed I did yield to them.

Give me my robe, for I will go :Enter PUBLIUS, BRUTUS, LIGARIUS, METELLUS, CASCA, TREBONIUS,

and CINNA. And look where Publius is come to fetch me.

Pub. Good morrow, Cæsar.

« ПредишнаНапред »