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observed, nowhere makes the apparition to have been the ghost of Cæsar.
653. Why, I will see thee. This is an addition by Shakespeare to the dialogue as given by Plutarch in both lives. And even Plutarch's simple affirmative I shall see thee appears to be converted into an interrogation in 651. It is remarkable that in our next English Plutarch, which passes as having been superintended by Dryden, we have “I will see thee” in both lives. The Greek is, in both passages, merely "Ovouai (I shall see thee).
653. Boy! Lucius ! —Varro! Claudius ! — Here again, as in 635, all the Folios, in this and the next line, have Varrus and Claudio. So also in 661.
661. Sleep again, Lucius, etc.-It is hardly necessary to attempt to make verse of this. In the original text Fellow is made to stand as part of the first line. - 669. Go, and commend me to my brother Cassius.Vid. 279.
669. Bid him set on his powers betimes before.— The only sense which the expression to set on now retains is to excite or instigate to make an attack. The other senses which it had in Shakespeare's day may be seen from 27 (“Set on; and leave no ceremony out”'); from the passage before us, in which it means to lead forward or set out with ; from 714 (“Let them set on at once”); from 746 (“ Labeo and Flavius, set our battles on”).-Betimes (meaning early) is commonly supposed to be a corruption of by times, that is, it is said, by the proper time. But this is far from satisfactory. Shakespeare has occasionally betime.
The heading,“ Scene I. The Plains of Philippi,” -is modern, as usual.
671. Their battles are at hand.-Battle is common in our old writers with the sense of a division of an army, or what might now be called a battalion. So again in 674. When employed more precisely the word means the central or main division.
671. They mean to warn us.—To warn was formerly the common word for what we now call to summon. Persons charged with offences, or against whom complaints were made, were warned to appear to make their answers; members were warned to attend the meetings of the companies or other associations to which they belonged ; and in war either of the hostile parties, as here, was said to be warned when in any way called upon or appealed to by the other. Thus in King John, ii. 1, the citizens of Angiers, making their appearance in answer to the French and English trumpets, exclaim, “ Who is it that hath warned us to the walls ?” The word, which is connected with ware and wary, is from the Anglo-Saxon warnian. But the Anglo-Norman dialect of the French has also garner and garnisher with the same meaning. · 672. With fearful bravery.— With bravery full of fear or apprehension. The context is entirely opposed to Malone's notion, that “ fearful is used here, as in many other places, in an active sense,-producing fear
-intimidating.” Steevens suggests that the expression is probably to be interpreted by the following passage from the Second Book of Sidney's Arcadia : _" Her horse, fair and lusty; which she rid so as might show a fearful boldness, daring to do that which she knew that she knew not how to do.” The meaning is only so as showed (not so as should show). In like manner a few pages before we have; “But his father had so deeply engraved the suspicion in his heart, that he thought his flight rather to proceed of a fearful guiltiness, than of an humble faithfulness.”
672. By this face.—By this show or pretence of courage.
672. To fasten in our thoughts that they have courage. -We have now lost the power of construing to fasten in this way, as if it belonged to the same class of verbs with to think, to believe, to suppose, to imagine, to say, to assert, to affirm, to declare, to swear, to convince, to inform, to remember, to forget, etc., the distinction of which seems to be that they are all significant either of an operation performed by, or at least with the aid of, or of an effect produced upon, the mind.
674. Octavius, lead your battle softly on.-Vid. 671.
674. Upon the left hand of the even field. Does this mean the smooth or level ground ? Or is not “the even field” rather to be understood as meaning the even ranks, the army as it stands before any part of it has begun to advance, presenting one long unbroken line of front? I am not aware, however, of any other instance of such an application of the term field, unless it may be thought that we have one afterwards in the last line but one of the present Play:—“So, call the field to rest."
675. Keep thou the left.—Ritson remarks ;—“The tenor of the conversation evidently requires us to read you.” He means, apparently, that you and your are the words used elsewhere throughout the conversation. But he forgets that the singular pronoun is peculiarly emphatic in this line, as being placed in contrast or opposition to the I. It is true, however, that thou and you were apt to be mistaken for one another in old handwriting from the similarity of the characters used for th and y, which is such that the printers have in many cases been led to represent the one by the other, giving us, for instance, ye for the, yereof, or y" of, for thereof, etc.*
676. Why do you cross me in this exigent.—This is Shakespeare's word for what we now call an exigence, or exigency. Both forms, however, were already in use in his day. Exigent, too, as Nares observes, appears to have then sometimes borne the sense of ex
* This confusion in writing between the th and the y is, I have no doubt, what has given rise to such forms of expression as “The more one has, the more he would have," “ The more haste, the less speed," etc. It is admitted that the the here cannot be the common definite article. Vid. Latham, Eng. Lang. 239, 264, 282. Neither in French nor in Italian is any article used in such cases. But it is the German that shows us what the word really is. “Je mehr einer hat, je mehr er haben will" is literally “ Ever more one has, ever more he would have.” And je represented according to the English system of spelling is ye. This is apparently what the pedantry of the book language, misled by the ignorance of transcribers, has perverted into our modern the. Je (or ye) is in fact the same word with our still not unfamiliar aye, always. Very probably it is also the same with yea, the adverb of affirmation. Always, or an equivalent term, would be in most cases a natural enough expression of affirmation or assent. In the word every, again, or everye, as it was anciently spelled, we have perhaps the opposite process of the conversion of the into ye; for the English “ever-y man" is, apparently, in form as well as in sense, the German “je-der mann."
tremity or end, which is a very slight extension of its proper import of great or extreme pressure.
678. Drum, etc.—“ Lucilius, Titinius, Messala, and Others ” is a modern addition to the heading here.
680. Shall we give sign of battle ? —We should now say “ give signal.” .
681. We will answer on their charge.—We will wait till they begin to make their advance.
681. Make forth.—To make, a word which is still used with perhaps as much latitude and variety of application as any other in the language, was, like to do, employed formerly in a number of ways in which it has now ceased to serve us. Nares arranges its obsolete senses under seven heads, no one of which, however, exactly comprehends the sense it bears in the present expression. Make forth is merely Go forth, retire, move away. The whole passage, however, is not easily interpreted. From what Octavius immediately subjoins — “Stir not until the signal” — it would almost seem that he had understood Antony's “Make forth" to be the word of command to the troops to advance against the enemy. Yet Antony had just opposed the proposition of Octavius to give the signal of battle, and declared his determination not to move till the enemy should make their charge. Besides, what is their dispute about ? At first it appears to be about whether or no the signal of battle should be given; afterwards, about whether the troops should stir from their position till the signal had been given. It seems a strange procedure, too, on the part of Antony, when he would confer in private with Octavius, to order the troops to make forth, whether he may mean them to advance upon the enemy or only to retire to a little distance.