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exerted by the memory of the old pronunciation of the two terminations just mentioned even after it had come to be universally or generally disused. For instance, although the word satisfaction had already come in the age of Shakespeare to be generally pronounced exactly as it is at the present day, the line “ But for your private satisfaction” was the more readily accepted as a sufficient verse by reason of the old syllabication of the word, which, even by those who had abandoned it (as Shakespeare himself evidently had done), was not forgotten. Other lines having nothing more for their tenth syllable than the verbal affix ed, in which also an elision had become usual, would be acted upon in the same manner; the ed would still retain something of the effect of a separate syllable even when it had ceased to be generally so pronounced. But after the public ear had thus become reconciled and accustomed to such a form of verse, it might be expected to be sometimes indulged in by poetic writers when it had to be produced in another way than through the instrumentality of the half separable ed and the half dissyllabic tion. The line "But for your private satisfaction," pronounced as we have assumed it to have been, would make such a line as “She dreamt to-night she saw my statue" seem to have an equal right to be accounted legitimate, seeing that its effect upon the ear was precisely
Still the conservative principle in language would keep the later and more decided deviation from the normal form comparatively infrequent. Sometimes a singular effect of suddenness and abruptness is produced by such a form of verse; as in the sharp appeal of Menenius, in the opening scene of Coriolanus, to the loud and grandiloquent leader of the mutinous citizens,—
“ What do you think, You, the great toe of this assembly?” Unless, indeed, we are to assume the verse here to be
complete and regular, and that assembly is to be read as a word of four syllables, as-sem-bl-y. In the present Play, however, at 295, we have an instance to which that objec-. tion does not apply. The line there—“Look, how he makes to Cesar: mark him "-is of precisely the same rhythm with “She dreamt to-night she saw my statue," and also with the one by which it is immediately preceded,
“I fear our purpose is discovered” (in 294), as well as with “He says he does; being then most flattered” (in 195), and many others, read (as it is probable they were intended to be) without the distinct syllabication of the ed.
After all, Shakespeare's word may really have been statua, as Reed and Steevens suppose. This is decidedly the opinion of Mr Dyce, who, in his Remarks on Mr Collier's and Mr Knight's editions (p. 186), calls attention to the following line from a copy of verses by John Harris, prefixed to the 1647 Folio of the Plays of Beaumont and Fletcher;
“ Defaced statua and martyrd book.” "I therefore have not,” he adds, “the slightest doubt that wherever statue occurs, while the metre requires three syllables, it is a typographical error for statua." Perhaps the best way would be to print statua in all cases, and to assume that that was the form which Shakespeare always wrote. Statua would have the prosodical value either of a dissyllable or of a trisyllable according to cir. cumstances, just as Mantua, for instance, has throughout Romeo and Juliet, where we have in one place such a
“For then thou canst not pass to Mantu-a" (iii. 3),
“ But I will write again to Mantu-a" (v. 2), and in another such as
“ Sojourn in Mantua; I'll find out your man” (ii. 3),
“So that my speed to Mantua there was stayed” (r. 2).
We have a rare example of the termination -tion forming a dissyllable with Shakespeare in the middle of a line in Jaques's description of the Fool Touchstone (As You Like It, ii. 2):
"He hath strange places crammed With observation, the which he vents
In mangled forms." This may be compared with the similar prolongation of the -trance in the sublime chant of Lady Macbeth (Macbeth, i. 5) :
“The raven himself is hoarse That croaks the fatal entrance of Duncan
Under my battlements;”-
56 And that hath dazzled my reason's light;”
“O me! you juggler! you canker-blossom.”
The following are examples of what is much more common, the extension or division of similar combinations at the end of a line :
“The parts and graces of the wrestler."
As You Like It, ii. 2;
Twelfth Night, i. 1;
Ibid., 3. 3;
Much Ado About Noth., iii. 1' “0, how this spring of love resembleth.”
Two Gent. of Ver., 1. 3 ;
“And these two Dromios, one in semblance."
Com. of Err. i. 1;
Tam. of Shrew, iv. 5. In other cases, however, the line must apparently be held to be a regular hemistich (or truncated verse) of nine syllables; as in “Of our dear souls. Meantime sweet sister."
Twelfth Night, v. 1; “I'll follow you and tell what answer."
Third Part of Henry VI., iv. 3. “ Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandment.”
Mer. of Ven., iv. 1. Unless, indeed, in this last instance we ought not to read commandement (in four syllables), as Spenser occasionally has it; although I am not aware of the occurrence of such a form of the word elsewhere in Shakespeare.
246. Which, like a fountain with an hundred spouts.This is the reading of both the First and Second Folio. Mr Collier, however, has "a hundred."
246. And these does she apply for warnings and portents. -This is the reading of all the Folios. It is not quite satisfactory; and the suspected corruption has been attempted to be cured in various ways. Shakespeare's habitual accentuation of portent seems to have been on the last syllable. If the passage were in any one of certain others of the Plays, I should be inclined to arrange the lines as follows:
“And these does she apply for warnings and
Hath begged that I will stay at home to-day.” The crowding of short syllables which this woulà occasion in the second line is much less harsh and awkward than what the received arrangement produces in the first. But
so slight a monosyllable as and in the tenth place would give us a structure of verse of which, although common in several of the other Plays, we have no example in this. See Prolegomena, sect. vi.
246. Of evils imminent.-- This conjectural emendation, which appears to be Warburton's, had long been generally accepted; but it has now the authority of Mr Collier's manuscript annotator. The reading in all the old copies is “ And evils.”
247. For tinctures, etc.---Tinctures and stains are understood both by Malone and Steevens as carrying an allusion to the practice of persons dipping their handkerchiefs in the blood of those whom they regarded as martyrs. And it must be confessed that the general strain of the passage, and more especially the expression "shall press for tinctures," etc., will not easily allow us to reject this interpretation. Yet does it not make the speaker assign to Cæsar by implication the very kind of death Calphurnia’s apprehension of which he professes to regard as visionary? The pressing for tinctures and stains, it is true, would be a confutation of so much of Calphurnia's dream as seemed to imply that the Roman people would be delighted with his death,
“ Many lusty Romans Came smiling, and did bathe their hands in it.” Do we refine too much in supposing that this inconsistency between the purpose and the language of Decius is intended by the poet, and that in this brief dialogue between him and Cæsar, in which the latter suffers himself to be so easily won over,-persuaded and relieved by the very words that ought naturally to have confirmed his fears, --we are to feel the presence of an unseen power driving on both the unconscious prophet and the blinded victim ? Compare 408.
Johnson takes both tinctures and cognizance in the heraldic sense as meaning distinctive marks of honour