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“Even as one heat another heat expels,
Or as one nail by strength drives out another,
Is by a newer object quite forgotten.” This is probably also the thought which we have in the heroic Bastard's exhortation to his uncle, in King John, v. 1:
“Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
346. For your part. — We should not now use this phrase in the sense which it has here (in so far as regards you).
346. Our arms, in strength of welcome.-The reading in all the old printed copies is, “in strength of malice.” Steevens interprets this, “strong in the deed of malice they have just performed,” and Malone accepts the explanation as a very happy one.
But who can believe that Brutus would ever have characterized the lofty patriotic passion by which he and his associates had been impelled and nerved to their great deed as strength of malice? It is simply impossible. The earlier editors, accordingly, seeing that the passage as it stood was nonsense, attempted to correct it conjecturally in various ways. Pope boldly printed“ exempt from malice.” Capel, more ingeniously, proposed "no strength of malice," connecting the words, not with those that follow, but with those that precede. But the mention of malice at all is manifestly in the highest degree unnatural. Nevertheless the word has stood in every edition down to that in one volume produced by Mr Collier in 1853; and there, for the first time, instead of “strength of malice," we have "strength of welcome.” This turns the nonsense into excellent sense; and the two words are by no means so unlike as that, in a cramp hand or an injured or somewhat faded
the one might not easily have been mistaken by the first printer or editor for the other. The “welcome” would probably
be written welcõe. Presuming the correction to have been made on documentary authority, it is one of the most valuable for which we are indebted to the old annotator. Even as a mere conjecture, it would be well entitled to notice and consideration.
346. Of brothers' temper. - Brothers, that is, to one another (not to you, Antony).
348. Beside themselves. Other forms of the same figure are Out of themselves, Out of their senses. And in the same notion we say of a person whose mind is deranged that he is not himself.
348. And then we will deliver you the cause.—The history of the word deliver (properly to set free, to let go forth, and hence, as applied to what is expressed in words, to declare, to pronounce) presents some points worthy of notice. In Latin (besides liber, bark, or a book, and its derivative delibrare, to peel off, with which we have at present no concern), there are the adjective liber, free (to which liberi, children, no doubt belongs), and the substantive libra, signifying both a balance and the weight which we call a pound or twelve ounces. Whether liber and libra be connected may be doubted. The Greek form of libra, Xitpa, and the probable identity of liber with élevdepos are rather against the supposition that they are. At the same time, that which is free, whether understood as meaning that which is free to move in any direction, or that which hangs even and without being inclined more to one side than another, would be a natural enough description of a balance. And libra (a balance), it may be added, had anciently also the form of libera. At any rate, from liber, free, we have the verb liberare, to make free ; and from libra, a balance, or weight, librare, to weigh.
So far all is regular and consistent. But then, when we come to the compound verb deliberare, we find that it takes its signification (and must therefore have taken its
origin), not from liberare and liber, but from librare and libra; it means, not to free, but to weigh. And, such being the state of things in the Latin language, the French has from deliberare formed délibérer, having the same signification (to weigh); but it has also from liber formed another verb délivrer, with the sense of to free. From the French délibérer and délivrer we have, in like manner, in English, and with the same significations, deliberate and deliver. Thus the deviation begun in the Latin deliberare has been carried out and generalized, till the derivatives from liber have assumed the form that would have been more proper
for those from libra, as the latter had previously usurped that belonging to the former.
It is from deliver, no doubt, that we have fabricated our modern abbreviation clever. The ancient forms for what we now call clever and cleverly were deliver and deliverly. Thus in Chaucer (Prol. to C. T. 84), the Knight's son, the young Squire, is described as "wonderly deliver, and grete of strengthe;" and in the Nuns' Priest's Tale of the Cock and the Fox (C. T. 15,422), we have
“The Fox answered, In faith it shal be don:
And high upon a tree he flew anon.” Deliver, rapidly pronounced, became dliver or dlever, and that was inevitably converted into clever by the euphonic genius of the language, in which such a combination as dl cannot live.*
* According, indeed, to Dr Webster, -who, however, gives no hint of the above etymology, --clever would be actually only another way of writing tlever. One of his rules (the 23rd) for English pronunciation is as follows:- “The letters cl, answering to kl, are pronounced as if written tl : clear, clean are pronounced tlear, tlean. Gl are pronounced as dl: glory is pronounced dlory." I transcribe this from the edition of the “ Dictionary of the English Language,” in 2 vols. 4to, Lon. 1832, professing to be “reprinted by E. H. Barker, Esq., of Thetford, Norfolk, from a copy communicated by the author, and containing many
Somewhat curious, too, are the variations of import through which the word clever has passed, or among which it still wanders. Johnson, after giving its modern or common signification as “ dexterous, skilful,” and noticing that Pope has used it in the sense of "just, fit," and Arbuthnot in that of " well-shaped,” concludes by describing it as “a low word applied to anything a man likes, without a settled meaning.” Webster, omitting “well-shaped,” gives the New England sense, "good-natured, amiable;" and then adds :—“In some of the United States, it is said, this word is applied to the intellect, denoting ingenious, knowing, discerning.” This last, it need scarcely be observed, is in fact nearly the modern sense of the word in England. The American lexicographer erroneously supposes that its use in Great Britain is distinguished from its use in America by its being in the former country "applied to the body or its movements."
348. When I struck him.-In the original printed text it is “strooke him."
349. Let each man render me his bloody hand. — Give me back in return for mine. Here, according to the stage direction of Mr Collier's MS. annotator, Antony "takes one after another of the conspirators by the hand, and turns to the body, and bends over it, while he says, That I did love thee, Cæsar, O! 'tis true,'” etc.
manuscript corrections and additions.” The American lexicographer's sense of hearing would appear to have been peculiarly constituted. Another thing that he tells us is, that, when he was in England, he paid particular attention to the practice of public speakers in regard to the sound of the vowel u, and was happy to find that very few of them made
distinction between the u in such words as cube or duke and the u in rude or true. I do not know whether he means to say that he found cube to be generally called coob, or rude to be pronounced as if it were written ryude. What is most surprising is that all this should have been reproduced by an English editor without either a word of dissent or so much as a note of admiration.
349. Will I shake with you. It is not to be supposed that there was anything undignified in this phraseology in Shakespeare's age.
349. Though last, not least.--So in King Lear, i. 1, Although the last, not least in our dear love;" as is noted by Malone, who adds that “the same expression occurs more than once in Plays exhibited before the time of Shakespeare.” We have it also in the passage of Spenser's Colin Clout's Come Home Again in which Shakespeare has been supposed to be referred to :
“And there, though last, not least, is Ætion;
Doth like himself heroically sound.”
349. You must conceit me.--Vid. 142.
349. Shall it not grieve thee dearer than thy death ? Of this use of dear we have several other instances in Shakespeare. One of the most remarkable is in Hamlet, i. 2, where Hamlet exclaims
“Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
Ere I had seen that day!” Horne Tooke (Div. of Purley, 612, etc.) makes a plausible case in favour of dear being derived from the ancient verb derian, to hurt, to annoy, and of its proper meaning being, therefore, injurious or hateful. His notion seems to be that from this derian we have dearth, meaning properly that sort of injury which is done by the weather, and that, a usual consequence of dearth being to make the produce of the earth high-priced, the adjective dear has thence taken its common meaning of precious. This is not all distinctly asserted; but what of it may not be explicitly set forth is supposed and implied. It is, however, against an explanation which has been generally accepted, that there is no appearance of connexion between derian and the contemporary word answering to dear in