Графични страници
PDF файл

Shakespeare's use of the word success may be further illustrated by the following examples :

"Is your blood

So madly hot, that no discourse of reason,
Nor fear of bad success in a bad cause,

Can qualify the same?"-Troil. and Cress., ii. 2;

"Commend me to my brother: soon at night

I'll send him certain word of my success."
Meas. for Meas., i. 5;

"Let this be so, and doubt not but success
Will fashion the event in better shape
Than I can lay it down in likelihood."

Much Ado About Noth., iv. 1;

"And so success of mischief shall be born,

And heir from heir shall hold this quarrel up."

Second Part of Henry IV., iv. 2;

"Should you do so, my lord,

My speech should fall into such vile success

Which my thoughts aimed not."— Othello, iii. 3.

233. I never stood on ceremonies.-Vid. 194.

233. Recounts most horrid sights.-Who recounts. As in 34 and 214.

233. Which drizzled blood.-To drizzle is to shed (or to fall) in small drops. The Dictionaries bring it from the German rieseln (of the same signification); but the English word probably derives a main part of its peculiar effect from the same initial dr which we have in drip, drop, drivel, etc.

233. The noise of battle hurtled in the air.—The three last Folios substitute hurried for hurtled. Hurtle is probably the same word with hurl (of which, again, whirl may be another variation). Chaucer uses it as an active verb in the sense of to push forcibly and with violence; as in C. T. 2618:

[ocr errors]

"And he him hurtleth with his hors adoun;"

and again in C. T. 4717 :


"O firste moving cruel firmament!

With thy diurnal swegh that croudest ay,
And hurtlest all from est til occident,
That naturally wold hold another way.”

Its sound makes it an expressive word for any kind of rude and crushing, or "insupportably advancing," movement. Hustle and justle (or jostle) may be considered, if not as other forms, or somewhat softened modifications, of the same vocal utterance of thought, as at least fashioned upon the same principle.

233. Horses did neigh, and dying men did groan.—This is the reading of the Second and subsequent Folios. The First has "Horses do neigh, and dying men did grone." We may confidently affirm that no degree of mental agitation ever expressed itself in any human being in such a jumble and confusion of tenses as this,-not even insanity or drunkenness. The "Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds," which we have a few lines before, is not a case in point. It is perfectly natural in animated. narrative or description to rise occasionally from the past tense to the present; but who ever heard of two facts or circumstances equally past, strung together, as here, with an and, and enunciated in the same breath, being presented the one as now going on, the other as only having taken place? Mr Collier's MS. annotator, it is to be presumed, approves or accepts the" did neigh" of the Second Folio.

233. And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets. -It is rare to find Shakespeare coming so near upon the same words in two places as he does here and in dealing with the same subject in Hamlet, i. 1:

"In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,

The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets."

This passage, however, is found only in the Quarto editions of Hamlet, and is omitted in all the Folios.

233. Beyond all use. We might still say "beyond all use and wont."

234. Whose end is purposed, etc.-The end, or completion, of which is designed by the gods.

236. What say the augurers ?—Vid. 194.-The preceding stage direction is in the original edition, "Enter a Servant."

238. In shame of cowardice.-For the shame of cowardice, to put cowardice to shame.

238. Cæsar should be a beast.-We should now say Cæsar would be a beast. It is the same use of shall where we now use will that has been noticed at 181. So in Merchant of Venice, i. 2, Nerissa, conversing with her mistress Portia about her German suitor, the nephew of the Duke of Saxony, says, "If he should offer to choose, and choose the right casket, you should refuse to perform your father's will if you should refuse to accept him." Yet the fashion of saying It should appear, or It should seem (instead of It would), which has come up with the revived study of our old literature, is equally at variance with the principle by which our modern employment of shall and will is regulated.

238. We are two lions.-The old reading, in all the Folios, is We heare (or hear in the Third and Fourth). Nobody, as far as I am aware, has defended it, or affected to be able to make any sense of it. Theobald proposed We were, which has been generally adopted. But We are, as recommended by Upton, is at once nearer to the original and much more spirited. It is a singularly happy restoration, and one in regard to which, I conceive, there can scarcely be the shadow of a doubt. It is, however, confirmed, if it needed any confirmation, by its being found among the corrections of Mr Collier's MS. annotator.

239. Is consumed in confidence.-As anything is consumed in fire.

[ocr errors]

240. For thy humour. For the gratification of thy whim or caprice. Vid. 205. Mr Collier's MS. annotator directs that Cæsar should here raise Calphurnia, as he had that she should deliver the last line of her preceding speech kneeling.

241. Cæsar, all hail !—Hail in this sense is the Original English hael or hál, meaning hale, whole, or healthy (the modern German heil). It ought rather to be spelled hale. Hail, frozen rain, is from haegl, haegel, otherwise hagol, hagul, or haegol (in modern German hagel).

242. To bear my greeting.—To greet in this sense is the Original English gretan, to go to meet, to welcome, to salute (the grüssen of the modern German). The greet of the Scotch and other northern dialects, which is found in Spenser, represents quite another verb of the old language, greotan, or graetan, to lament, apparently the same root which we have in the French regret and the Italian regretto, as well as in our own regret (obtained immediately from the French).

244. To be afeard.-The common Scotch form for afraid is still feared, or feard, from the verb to fear, taken in the sense of to make afraid; in which sense it is sometimes found in Shakespeare; as in Measure for Measure, ii. 1:"We must not make a scarecrow of the law, Setting it up to fear the beasts of prey;"

And in Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 6:—

"Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails."

In The Taming of the Shrew, i. 2, we have in a single line (or two hemistichs) both senses of the verb to fear : "Tush! tush! fear boys with bugs," says Petrucio in scorn; to which his servant Grumio rejoins, aside, “For he fears none."

246. That is enough to satisfy the senate.-Not (as the

words might in other circumstances mean) enough to ensure their being satisfied, but enough for me to do towards that end.

246. She dreamt to-night she saw my statue.-It may be mentioned that both Rowe and Pope substitute last night, which would, indeed, seem to be the most natural expression; but it is unsupported by any of the old copies.The word statue is of frequent occurrence in Shakespeare; and in general it is undoubtedly only a dissyllable. In the present Play, for instance, in the very next speech we have

"Your statue spouting blood in many pipes."

And so likewise in 138, and again in 378. Only in one line, which occurs in Richard the Third, iii. 7,

"But like dumb statües or breathing stones,"

is it absolutely necessary that it should be regarded as of three syllables, if the received reading be correct. In that passage also, however, as in every other, the word in the First Folio is printed simply statues, exactly as it always is in the English which we now write and speak.

On the other hand, it is certain that statue was frequently written statua in Shakespeare's age; Bacon, for example, always, I believe, so writes it; and it is not impossible that its full pronunciation may have been always trisyllabic, and that it became a dissyllable only by the two short vowels, as in other cases, being run together so as to connt prosodically only for one.

"From authors of the times," says Reed, in a note on The Two Gentlemen of Verona, iv. 4, "it would not be difficult to fill whole pages with instances to prove that statue was at that period a trisyllable." But unfortunately he does not favour us with one such instance. Nor, with the exception of the single line in Richard the Third, the received reading of which has been suspected for an

« ПредишнаНапред »