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Come home to me, and I will wait for you.
Cas. I will do so:-till then, think of the world.
Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
And, after this, let Cæsar seat him sure;
For we will shake him, or worse days endure.
Scene II.-The original heading here is:-"Enter Cæsar, Antony for the Course, Calphurnia, Portia, Decius, Cicero, Brutus, Cassius, Caska, a Soothsayer: after them Murellus and Flavius." The three stage directions about the Music are all modern.
23. Stand you directly, etc.-The sacerdotal runners wore only a cincture of goat-skins, the same material of which their thongs were made. The passage in Plutarch's Life of Julius Cæsar as translated by Sir Thomas North is as follows::
"At that time the feast Lupercalia was celebrated, the which in old time, men say, was the feast of Shepherds or Herdsmen, and is much like unto the feast of Lyceians [Avкɛia] in Arcadia. But, howsoever it is, that day there are divers noblemen's sons, young men (and some of them magistrates themselves that govern them), which run naked through the city, striking in sport them they meet in their way with leather thongs. And many noble women and gentlewomen also go of purpose to stand in their way, and do put forth their hands to be stricken, persuading themselves that, being with child, they shall have good delivery, and also, being barren, that it will make them conceive with child. Cæsar sat to behold that sport upon the pulpit for ora
tions, in a chair of gold, apparelled in triumphant manner.
who was Consul at that time, was one of them that ronne this holy
Here, and in 25, as generally throughout the Play, Antonius is Antonio in the original text, and in all the editions down to that of Pope.
25. Their sterile curse.-Our English formations from Latin words terminating in -ilis are in an unsatisfactory state in respect both of spelling and pronunciation. Of the Latin words some have the il long, others short; and the former ought naturally to give in English -ile (sounded as in mile), the latter -il. But, instead of this, the common usage is to spell them all indiscriminately with the e, and to pronounce them as if they were without it. Thus we have not only puerile, servile, subtile, juvenile, hostile (from puerīlis, servīlis, juvenīlis, hostīlis), but also docile, sterile, versatile, agile, fragile (from docilis, sterilis, versatilis, agilis, fragilis). And, as for the pronunciation, while Walker, holding the general rule to be that the i is short, makes Exile, Senile, Edile, and Infantile (together with Reconcile, Chamomile, and Estipile,-which last, however, is not in his Dictionary, or in any other that I have consulted), to be the only exceptions, Smart (1849) gives no rule upon the subject (that I can find), leaves. Senile unmarked, and (omitting both Estipile and Chamomile) seems to add Mercantile, and distinctly adds. Gentile, to Exile and Edile, as having the i long, and in Infantile seems to give it short in the Dictionary, but distinctly marks it as long in the section of his " Principles " to which a reference is made from the word. Further, as if the confusion were not bad enough without such mechanical carelessness and blundering, in the stereotyped 8vo edition of Walker, 1819 (called the 21st edition), in a list given at page 36 (the same page in which the strange word Estipile occurs) the i is printed with the long instead of the short mark in Gentile, Virile, Sub
tile, Coctile, Quintile, Hostile, Servile, and Sextile, in direct contradiction both to the Dictionary and to the very statement with which the list is headed and introduced. The present tendency of our pronunciation seems to be to extend the dominion of the long i both in these forms and even in the termination ite. In reading, at least, the—ile is now perhaps more usually pronounced long than short in Hostile, Servile, and some other similar instances; and we sometimes hear even infinite pronounced with the ite long (as in finite), though such a pronunciation is still only that of the uneducated populace in Opposite or Favourite.
32. The Ides of March.-In the Roman Kalendar the Ides (Idus) fell on the 15th of March, May, July, and October, and on the 13th of the eight remaining months. 34. A soothsayer, bids.-That is, It is a soothsayer, who bids. It would not otherwise be an answer to Cæsar's question. The omission of the relative in such a construction is still common.
39. The old stage direction here is ;- "Sennet. Exeunt. Manet Brut. et Cass." The word Sennet is also variously written Sennit, Senet, Synnet, Cynet, Signet, and Signate. Nares explains it as "a word chiefly occurring in the stage directions of the old plays, and seeming to indicate a particular set of notes on the trumpet, or cornet, different from a flourish." In Shakespeare it occurs again in the present Play at 67, in the heading to Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 7, in King Henry VIII, ii. 4, and in Coriolanus, i. 1 and 2, where in the first scene we have "A Sennet. Trumpets sound." In the heading of the second scene of the fifth act of Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of Malta we have "Synnet, i. e. Flourish of Trumpets." But in Dekker's Satiromastix (1602) we have "Trumpets sound a flourish, and then a sennet." Steevens says;—
"I have been informed that sennet is derived from senneste, an antiquated French tune formerly used in the
army; but the Dictionaries which I have consulted exhibit no such word."
44. That gentleness . . . as I was, etc.-We should now say "that gentleness that I was wont to have." But that and as are by origin words of the same signification; that, or thaet, being the neuter form of the Original English article or demonstrative, and as being in all probability (as remarked by Horne Tooke, Diversions of Purley, p. 147) identical with the German es (still in continual use in that language for our that or it). "The word as," observes Dr Latham (English Language, p. 423), "properly a conjunction, is occasionally used as a relativethe man as rides to market. This expression is not to be imitated." Clearly not. Such syntax is no longer, if it ever was, a part of the language. But in many other expressions which everybody uses, and the propriety of which nobody has ever questioned, as is manifestly not a conjunction, but a relative pronoun. For example, in Pope's "All such reading as was never read," as is the nominative to the verb. It acts in the same capacity in the common phrases, "as is said," as regards, as appears," and others similarly constructed. It is not very long since the conjunction as was used at least in one case in which we now always employ that. "So-as," says Bishop Lowth (Introd. to Eng. Gram.), "was used by the writers of the last [17th] century to express a consequence, instead of so-that. Swift [who died 1745], I believe, is the last of our good writers who has frequently used this manner of expression. It seems improper, and is deservedly grown obsolete." That it is obsolete cannot be disputed, and it would therefore be an impropriety in modern writing; but Horne Tooke is right in objecting to Lowth that there is nothing naturally or essentially wrong in it; it is wrong, if at all, only conventionally. Exactly corresponding to this formerly common use of the conjunctions so and as is Shakespeare's
use in the present passage, and many others, of the pronouns that and as. In " as I was wont to have," as is the accusative of the relative pronoun governed by have, "that gentleness, and show of love," being the antecedent. The practice, common in most or all languages, of employing the same word as demonstrative and relative, is familiarized to us in English by our habitual use of that in both capacities.
44. Over your friend that loves you.—It is friends in the Second Folio.
45. Merely upon myself.-Merely (from the Latin merus and mere) means purely, only. It separates that which it designates or qualifies from everything else. But in so doing the chief or most emphatic reference may be made either to that which is included, or to that which is excluded. In modern English it is always to the latter; by "merely upon myself" we should now mean upon nothing else except myself; the nothing else is that which the merely makes prominent. In Shakespeare's day the other reference was the more common, that namely to what was included; and "merely upon myself" meant upon myself altogether, or without regard to anything else. Myself was that which the merely made prominent. So when Hamlet, speaking of the world, says (i. 2) "Things rank and gross in nature possess it merely," he by the merely brings the possession before the mind, and characterizes it as complete and absolute; but by the same term now the prominence would be given to something else from which the possession might be conceived to be separable; "possess it merely" would mean have nothing beyond simply the possession of it (have, it might be, no right to it, or no enjoyment of it). It is not necessary that that which is included, though thus emphasized, should therefore be more definitely conceived than that with which it is contrasted. So, again, when in Henry VIII., iii. 2 (whoever may have written that Play, or this passage),