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terite was common in all the persons." In a note on the passage in The Merchant of Venice, ii. 9, "There be fools, alive, I wis [as they all print it], Silvered o'er,” Steevens writes (Variorum edition, V. 71) :-" I wis, I know. Wissen, German. So in King Henry the Sixth: 'I wis your grandam had no worser match.' Again, in the Comedy of King Cambyses: 'Yea, I wis, shall you, and that with all speed.' Sydney, Ascham, and Waller use the word." The line here quoted from Shakespeare is not in King Henry the Sixth, but in Richard the Third, i. 3, and runs, “I wis [Ywis] your grandam had a worser match." So in the Taming of the Shrew, i. 1," Ywis, it is not half way to her heart." Chaucer, though his adverb is commonly ywis, has at least in one instance simply wis:

"Nay, nay, quod she, God help me so, as wis

This is to much, and it were Goddes wil."

C. T. 11,781. The syllable wis is no doubt the same element that we have both in the German wissen and in our English guess.

395. We are blest that Rome is rid of him.-The Second Folio has “We are glad." But Mr Collier in his one volume restores blest, although it does not appear to be one of the corrections of his MS. annotator.

399. Here, under leave of Brutus, and the rest.—Compare "By your pardon" of 358.

399. When that the poor have cried.-The that in such cases as this is merely a summary or compendious expression of what follows, which was convenient, perhaps, in a ruder condition of the language, as more distinctly marking out the clause to be comprehended under the when. We still commonly use it with now, when it serves to discriminate the conjunction from the adverb, although not with other conjunctions which are never adverbs. Chaucer often introduces with a that even the clause that follows a relative pronoun; as (C. T. 982):-"The Minotaur

which that he slew in Crete;" or (C. T. 988) Creon, which that was of Thebes king."


399. You all did see, that on the Lupercal. Vid. 17. 399. What cause withholds you, then, to mourn for him ? We should now say, "Withholds you from mourning." . We could not use withhold followed by the infinitive.

403. Has he not, masters?— The common reading is "Has he, masters ?" The prosody clearly demands the insertion of some monosyllable; Capell accordingly inserted my before masters; but the word required by the sense and the connexion evidently is not. The correction, though conjectural, is therefore one which may be regarded as of nearly absolute necessity and certainty.Masters was the common term of address to a miscellaneous assembly formerly. So again in 408; where, however, the word is Maisters in both the First and Second Folios, although not usually so elsewhere.

404. Some will dear abide it.-Vid. 327.

408. And none so poor to do him reverence.—The omission of one of two correlative words (such as the as answering to the so here) is, when no ambiguity is thereby occasioned, allowable in almost all circumstances.The manner in which the clause is hung on to what precedes by the conjunction is such as to preclude the necessity of a new copula or affirmative term. It is as if it were "with none so poor," etc. And and is logically (whatever it may be etymologically) equivalent to with. So in 164, "Yes every man of them; and no man here But honours you."

408. Let but the commons hear this testament.-The commonalty, the common people.

408. And dip their napkins in his sacred blood.—A napkin (connected with napery, from the French nappe, a cloth, which, again, appears to be a corruption of the Latin mappa, of the same signification, the original also

of our map, and of the mappe of the French mappemonde, that is mappa mundi) is still the common name for a pocket handkerchief in Scotland. It is also that commonly employed by Shakespeare; See the Third Act of Othello, and the Fourth Act of As you Like It.-Compare 247.

412. Read the will; etc.—This and most of the subsequent exclamations of the populace need not be considered

as verse.

413. I have o'ershot myself, to tell you of it.-That is, I have overshot myself (done more than I had intended) by telling you of it.

419. He comes down, etc.-This stage direction is not in the older copies.

422. Stand from the hearse.—The hearse was the frame or stand on which the body lay. It is the French herse or herce, meaning a portcullis or harrow; whence the English term seems to have been applied to whatever was constructed of bars or beams laid crosswise.

426. That day he overcame the Nervii.-These words certainly ought not to be made a direct statement, as they are by the punctuation of the Variorum and of most other modern editions, though not by that of Mr Collier's regulated text.

426. As rushing out of doors, to be resolved.--Vid. 339. 426. This was the most unkindest cut of all. Vid. 337. 426. For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel.—I cannot think that the meaning can be, as Boswell suggests, his guardian angel. It is much more natural to understand it as being simply his best beloved, his darling.

426. For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab.-The him is here strongly emphatic, notwithstanding its occupation of one of the places assigned by the common rule to short or unaccented syllables. Vid. 436.

426. Even at the base of Pompey's statue.-Vid. 246. The measure, Malone remarks, will be defective (unless

we read statua) if even be a monosyllable, which he says it usually is in Shakespeare. He thinks that it would be all right with the prosody if even could be taken as a dissyllable!

426. Which all the while ran blood.-This is almost in the words of North's Plutarch :- CC Against the very base whereon Pompey's statue stood, which ran all a gore of blood." Gore is an Original English word meaning anything muddy, possibly connected with the German gähren, to ferment, and other German words.

426. Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.-Surely this can mean nothing more than that treason triumphed, -put forth, as it were, its flowers,-shot up into vigorous efflorescence,—over us. Yet the only interpretation the Variorum commentators supply is that of Steevens, who says that flourishes means flourishes its sword, and quotes from Romeo and Juliet, i. 1, the line, " And flourishes his blade in spite of me,” -as if that would prove that to flourish used absolutely meant or could mean to flourish a sword.

426. The dint of pity.-Dint seems to be the same word with dent, or indentation, that is, the impression. made as by a tooth. It is commonly dent in the old writers.

426. These are gracious drops.—Falling, the thought seems to be, like the bountiful and refreshing rain from heaven.

426. Marred, as you see, with traitors.—Vid. 363. 432. We will be revenged, etc.—This speech is printed in the First Folio as if it were verse, thus:"We will be revenged: revenge;

Let not a traitor live."

433. Stay, countrymen.-To this speech Mr Collier's MS. annotator appends the stage direction, "They are rushing out."

436. What private griefs they have.-Vid. 129.-Griefs with Shakespeare involves the notion rather of to aggrieve than that expressed by to grieve. So again in 519: 'Speak your griefs softly;" and "Enlarge your griefs."


436. That gave me public leave to speak of him.—The Second Folio has "That give me." Mr Collier restores


436. For I have neither wit, etc.-This is the reading of the Second Folio. The First has writ, which Malone actually adopts and defends! Here is a most animated and admirable enumeration of the various powers, faculties, and arts by which a great orator is enabled "to stir men's blood," beginning, naturally, with that gift of imagination and invention which is at once the highest of them all and the fountain of most of the others; and this editor, rather than admit the probability of the misprint of a single letter in a volume swarming with undeniable typographical errata, would make Antony substitute the ridiculous remark that the first requisite for his purpose, and that in which he was chiefly deficient, was what he calls a writ, meaning a written speech! Is it possible that such a critic can have had the smallest feeling of anything in Shakespeare above the level of the merest prose? Wit," he goes on to tell us, "in our author's time had not its present signification, but meant understanding." The fact is, that there are numerous passages in Shakespeare in which the word has exactly its present signification. "Sir Thurio," says Valentine to Silvia, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona (ii. 4), "borrows his wit from your ladyship's looks, and spends what he borrows, kindly, in your company.' Sir," replies Thurio, “if you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt." So in Much Ado About Nothing, i. 1, "There is a kind of merry war," says Leonato, speaking of his niece Beatrice, "betwixt Signior Benedick and her: they never meet but there is a skirmish of wit between them."


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