« ПредишнаНапред »
and possibly some words have dropped out. “By reflection, by some other things," is hardly Shakespeare's style. It is not customary with him to employ a word which he finds it necessary thus to attempt immediately to amend, or supplement, or explain, by another. It is remarkable that in the first line of this speech the three last Folios turn the itself into himself. [White reads "thing."] ]
There is a remarkable coincidence, both of thought and of expression, between what we have here and the following passage in Troilus and Cressida, iii. 3:
Nor doth the eye itself, That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself. And it may be worth noting that these lines appear only in the two original Quarto editions of the Play (1609), and are not in any of the Folios.
48. Many of the best respect. — A lost phrase, no longer permissible even in poetry, although our only modern equivalent is the utterly unpoetical " many persons of the highest respectability.” So, again, in the present Play, we have in 779, 66 Thou art a fellow of a good respect.”
50. Therefore, good Brutus, etc. — The eager, impatient temper of Cassius, absorbed in his own one idea, is vividly expressed by his thus continuing his argument as if without appearing to have even heard Brutus's interrupting question ; for such is the only interpretation which his therefore would seem to admit of.
50. And be not jealous on me. This is the reading of all the Folios; and it has been restored to the text by Mr. Knight, who does not, however, produce any other example of the same syntax. The other modern editors generally, with the exception of Mr.
Collier, have changed the on into of. [Dyce, Hud-
The ivy which had hid my princely trunk,
and hast put thyself
From me, the lord on't. So also in Macbeth, iii. 1:
Acquaint you with the perfect spy o’the time,
The moment on't. And v. 1:
Banquo's buried; he cannot come out on's grave. Compare i Sam. xxvii. 11.] 50. Were I a common laugher.
Pope made this correction, in which he has been followed by all subsequent editors. In all the editions before his the
reading is laughter; and the necessity or propriety of the change is perhaps not so unquestionable as it has been generally thought. Neither word seems to be perfectly satisfactory. “ Were I a laughter” might seem to derive some support from the expression of the same speaker in 561 : “ Hath Cassius lived to be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus?”
50. To stale with ordinary oaths my love. -Johnson, the only commentator who notices this expression, interprets it as meaning, “ to invite every new protester to my affection by the stale, or allurement, of customary oaths.” But surely the more common sense of the word stale, both the verb and the noun, involving the notion of insipid or of little worth or estimation, is far more natural here. Who forgets Enobarbus's phrase in his enthusiastic description of Cleopatra (Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 3), “Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety”? So in 497, “ Staled by other men.” [White follows Johnson. Hudson has anticipated Craik in the explanation here given.]
50. And after scandal them. - We have lost the verb scandal altogether, and we scarcely use the other form, to scandalize, except in the sense of the Hellenistic oxavdan.ifw, to shock, to give offence. Both had formerly also the sense of to defame or traduce.
51. What means this shouting? etc. Here is the manner in which this passage is given in the original edition :
Bru. What means this Showting?
Cassi. I, do you feare it?
53. If it be aught toward. - All that the prosody demands here is that the word toward be pronounced in two syllables; the accent may be either on the first or the second. Toward when an adjective has, I believe, always the accent on the first syllable in Shakespeare ; but its customary pronunciation may have been otherwise in his day when it was a preposition, as it is here. Milton, however, in the few cases in which he does not run the two syllables into one, always accents the first. And he uses both toward and towards.
53. Set Honor in one eye, etc. has occasioned some discussion. Johnson's explanation is, 6. When Brutus first names Honour and Death, he calmly declares them indifferent; but, as the image kindles in his mind, he sets Honour above life." [Coleridge says, “ Warburton would read death for both; but I prefer the old text.
There are here three things — the public good, the individual Brutus' honour, and his death. The latter two so balanced each other, that he could decide for the first by equipoise; nay, — the thought growing, that honour had more weight than death. That Cassius understood it as Warburton, is the beauty of Cassius as contrasted with Brutus.”] It does not seem to be necessary to suppose any such change or growth either of the image or the sentiment. What Brutus means by saying that he will look upon Honor and Death indifferently, if they present themselves together, is merely that, for the sake of the honor, he will not mind the death, or the risk of death, by which it may be accompanied; he will look as fearlessly and steadily upon the one as upon the other. He will think the honor to be cheaply purchased even by the loss of life; that price will never make him falter or hesitate in clutching at such a prize. He must be understood to set honor above life from the first; that he should ever have felt otherwise for a moment would have been the height of the unheroic. — The convenient elisions o the and othe have been almost lost to our modern English verse, at least in composition of the ordinary regularity and dignity. Byron, however, has in a well-known passage ventured upon
66 Hived in our bosoms like the bag o’the bee.” [Compare Tennyson (Mariana): “The blue fly sung i’ the pane."] ]
54. Your outward favour. - A man's favor is his aspect or appearance. “In beauty," says Bacon, in his 43d Essay, “ that of favour is more than that of colour; and that of decent and gracious motion more than that of favour.” [Compare Proverbs, xxxi. 30.] The word is now lost to us in that sense ; but we still use favored with well, ill, and perhaps other qualifying terms, for featured or looking; as in Gen. xli.
4, 66 The ill-favoured and lean-fleshed kine did eat up the seven well-favoured and fat kine.” Favor seems to be used for face from the same confusion or natural transference of meaning between the expressions for the feeling in the mind and the outward indication of it in the look that has led to the word countenance, which commonly denotes the latter, being sometimes employed, by a process the reverse of what we have in the case of favor, in the sense of at least one modification of the former; as when we speak of any one giving something his countenance, or countenancing it. however, it ought to be observed that countenance has the meaning, not simply of favorable feeling or approbation, but of its expression or avowal. The French terms from which we have borrowed our
In this case,