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for the first time by Mr Richard Taylor in his Additional Notes to Tooke's Diversions of Purley, 1829 and 1840; vid. edition of 1840, pp. xxxix.-liv. The old termination of the present participle in English was and or end; and when that part of the verb was used substantively it denoted the agent, or performer of the verbal act. Thus, Haelend signified the Healer, or Saviour; Scyppend, the Shaper, or Creator. Ing or ung, on the other hand, was the regular termination of that description of verbal substantive which denoted the act. Thus Brennung was what in Latin would be called Combustio, and what in our modern English is still called the Burning. In other tongues of the same Gothic stock to which our own in part belongs both forms are still preserved. In German, for instance, we have, as anciently in English, end for the termination universally of the present participle, and ung for that of a numerous class of verbal substantives all signifying the act or thing done. It never could have been supposed that in that language these verbal substantives in ung were present participles.
But in English the fact is, as Mr Taylor has observed, that it is not the verbal substantive denoting the act which has assumed the form of the present participle, but the latter which has thrown away its own proper termination and adopted that of the former. This change appears to have commenced as early as the twelfth century, and to have been completely established by the fourteenth. Even after the middle of the sixteenth century, however, we have the old distinction between the two terminations (the end or and for the present participle, or the agent, and the ing for the verbal act) still adhered to by the Scottish writers.
The consequence of the two forms having thus become confounded is, as Dr Latham has remarked (English Language, 3rd edit. pp. 349, 350), that we now construct our verbal substantives in ing upon a false analogy. It
has long been understood, or assumed, at least, that the present participle of any English verb may be used substantively to express the verbal act or state.
1. What trade art thou?-The rationale of this mode of expression may be seen from the answer to the question:- 66 Why, Sir, a carpenter." The trade and the person practising it are used indifferently the one for the other: "What trade art thou?" is equivalent to "What tradesman art thou?" So in 6 we have-" A trade . . . which is, indeed, a mender of bad soles." The thou, as here and in 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, was still common in the English of Shakespeare's age; it was the ordinary form in addressing an inferior; only when he was treated, or affected to be treated, as a gentleman, the mechanic received the more honourable compellation of you;-as in 3, "You, Sir, what trade are you?" Thou, Sir, would have been incongruous in the circumstances.
6. Soles. - Quasi souls; an immemorial quibble, doubtless. It is found also (as Malone notes) in Fletcher's Woman Pleased. Yet we might seem to have a distinction of pronunciation between soul and sole indicated in The Merchant of Venice, iv. 1, " Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew."
7. This speech in the old copies is given to Flavius ; and it is restored to him by Mr Knight, who observes that the modern editors " assume that only one [of the tribunes] should take the lead; whereas it is clear that the dialogue is more natural, certainly more dramatic, according to the original arrangement, where Flavius and Marullus alternately rate the people, like two smiths smiting on the same anvil." But this will not explain or account for the "mend me" of Marullus in 9. That proves beyond controversy that the preceding speech (8) was addressed to Marullus; and it is equally clear that the you of speech 8 is the person to whom speech 7 belongs. The rating, besides, is as much alternate, or in
termingled, in the one way as in the other: Mr Knight gives six speeches to Flavius and five to Marullus; the common arrangement gives five to Flavius and six to Marullus. Mr Collier, however, also gives the present speech to Flavius.
The other changes which Mr Knight charges the modern editors with proposing unnecessarily in the allotment of the speeches in this scene were all proposed, I believe, before the substitution of Marullus for Flavius in 7, which was made by Capell.
8. Be not out with me; yet, if you be out.-The two senses of being out are obvious: "They are out with one another," or, simply, "They are out;" and "He is out at the elbows," or in any other part of his dress. For another play upon the various senses of the word out see the dialogue between Rosalind and Orlando in As You Like It, iv. 1.
9. Mend me. The answer shows that mend, not me, is the emphatic word.
12. But with awl.—Mr Knight and Mr Collier print "with all." This, apparently, would accord with Farmer's notion, who maintains that the true reading is "I meddle with no trade, man's matters," etc., understanding with awl, or with all, I suppose, to involve, as one of its meanings, that of "with all trades." The original reading is, "but withal I am indeed, Sir, a surgeon,” etc. And the Second Folio has "woman's matters.'
12. As proper men.—A proper man is a man such as he should be. In The Tempest, ii. 2, we have the same expression that we have here distributed into two successive speeches of the drunken Stephano:-" As proper a man as ever went on four legs;" and "Any emperor that ever trod on neat's leather." But, in the prevailing tone of its inspiration at least, it is not with the present Play that one would compare The Tempest, but rather with The Winter's Tale.
15. Wherefore rejoice? etc.-This was in the beginning of B. c. 44 (A. u. c. 709), when Cæsar, having returned from Spain in the preceding October, after defeating the sons of Pompey at the Battle of Munda (fought 17th March, B. c. 45), had been appointed Consul for the next ten years and Dictator for life. The festival of the Lupercalia, at which he was offered and declined the crown, was celebrated 13th February, B. c. 44; and he was assassinated 15th March following, being then in his fifty-sixth year.
15. Many a time and oft.-This old phrase, which is still familiar, may be held to be equivalent to many and many a time, that is, many times and yet again many more times. The old pointing of this line is, "Knew you not Pompey many a time and oft ?" It is like what all the Folios give us in Macbeth, i. 5:—
"Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters, to beguile the time."
What follows,-"Have you climbed up," etc.,-is, of course, made a second question.
15. To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome.— In modern English to pass a street, or a bridge, is to abstain from walking along it. It would be satisfactory with respect to this line, if other instances could be produced of the usage of the language being different in Shakespeare's day.
15. That Tiber trembled underneath her banks.-The proper antecedent of that (so, or in such wise) is left unexpressed, as sufficiently obvious.-Some of the modern editors have taken the unwarrantable liberty of changing her into his in this line and the next but one, because Tiber is one of those names of rivers which are always masculine in Latin. This is to give us both language and a conception different from Shakespeare's.
15. Made in her concave shores.-An imperfect line (or
hemistich, as it is commonly called), but prosodically regular so far as it goes, which is all we have a right to look for. The occasional use of such shortened lines would seem to be, at least in dramatic poetry, one of the proper and natural prerogatives of blank verse, according well, as it does, with the variety of pause and cadence which makes the distinctive charm of verse of that form. But, apparently, it need not be assumed, as is always done, that the fragment must necessarily be in all cases the beginning of a line. Why should not the poet be supposed sometimes, when he begins a new sentence or paragraph in this manner, to intend that it should be connected, in the prosody as well as in the meaning, with what follows, not with what precedes? A few lines lower down, for instance, the words "Be gone" might be either the first foot of the verse or the last.
16. Weep your tears.—We should scarcely now speak of weeping tears absolutely, though we might say "to weep tears of blood, or of agony, or of bitterness,” or "to weep an ocean of tears, or our fill of tears." This sense of the verb weep is quite distinct from the sense it commonly has when used transitively, which is to weep for, or to lament; as when in Cymbeline (i. 5) Iachimo speaks of "those that weep this lamentable divorce." It more resembles what we have in the phrases To sin the sin, To die the death, To sing a song ;--expressive forms, to which the genius of our tongue has never been very prone, and to which it is now decidedly averse. They owe their effect, in part, indeed, to a certain naturalness, or disregard of strict propriety, which a full-grown and educated language is apt to feel ashamed of as something rustic or childish. Perhaps, however, a distinction should be drawn between such an expression as To weep tears and such as To sin the sin, To sing a song, in which the verb is merely a synonyme for to act, to perform, to execute.
16. Till the lowest stream, etc.-The hot-tempered tri