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Whatever may be the etymology of by, its primary meaning seems to be alongside of (the same, apparently, with that of the Greek Tapú). It is only by inference that instrumentality is expressed either by it or by with (the radical notion involved in which appears to be that of joining or uniting).
344. The choice and master spirits of this age.Choice here may be understood either in the substantive sense as the élite, or, better perhaps, as an adjective in concord with spirits.
345. O Antony! beg not your death of us. That is, If you prefer death, or if you are resolved upon death, let it not be of us that ask it. The sequel of the speech seems decisive in regard to the us being the emphatic word.
345. And this the bleeding business. - Only a more vivid expression for the bloody business, the sanguinary act.
345. Our hearts you see not, they are pitiful. Probably the primary sense of the Latin pius and pietas may have been nothing more than emotion, or affection, generally. But the words had come to be confined to the expression of reverential affection towards a superior, such as the gods or a parent. From pietas the Italian language has received pietà (anciently pietade), which has the senses both of reverence and of compassion. The French have moulded the word into two forms, which (according to what frequently takes place in language) have been respectively appropriated to the two senses; and from their piété and pitié we have borrowed, and applied in the same manner, our piety and pity. To the former, moreover, we have assigned the adjective pious; to the latter, piteous. But pity, which meant at one time reverence, and afterwards compassion, has come in some of its uses to suffer still further degradation. By pitiful (or full of pity) Shakespeare, as we see here, means full of compassion ; but the modern sense of pitiful is contemptible or despicable. “Pity,” it has been said, or sung,
“ melts the soul to love ;” but this would seem to show that it is also near akin to a very different passion. And, instead of turning to love, it would seem more likely that it should sometimes pass on from contempt to aversion and hatred. In many cases, too, when we say that we pity an individual, we mean that we despise or loathe him.
345. As fire drives out fire, so pity pity. - In this line the first fire is a dissyllable (like hour in 255), the second a monosyllable. The illustration we have here is a favorite one with Shakespeare. “Tut, man,” says Benvolio to his friend Romeo (Romeo and Juliet, i. 2),–
one fire burns out another's burning, One pain is lessened by another's anguish.
One fire burns out one fire; one nail, one nail, exclaims Tullus Aufidius, in Coriolanus (iv. 7). But we have the thought most fully expressed in the soliloquy of Proteus in the Fourth Scene of the Second Act of The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
Even as one heat another heat expels,
Is by a newer object quite forgotten.
Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire;
345. For your part. We should not now use this phrase in the sense which it has here (in so far as regards you).
345. Our arms, in strength of welcome. - The reading in all the old printed copies is, “ in strength of malice.” Steevens interprets this, " strong in the deed of malice they have just performed,” and Malone accepts the explanation as a very happy one. But who can believe that Brutus would ever have characterized the lofty patriotic passion by which he and his associates had been impelled and nerved to their great deed as strength of malice? It is simply impossible. The earlier editors, accordingly, seeing that the passage as it stood was nonsense, attempted to correct it conjecturally in various ways. Pope boldly printed "exempt from malice.” Capel, more ingeniously, proposed “no strength of malice,” connecting the words, not with those that follow, but with those that precede. [So Hudson.] But the mention of malice at all is manifestly in the highest degree unnatural. Nevertheless the word has stood in every
edition down to that in one volume produced by Mr. Collier in 1853 ; and there, for the first time, instead of " strength of malice," we have " strength of welcome.” This turns the nonsense into excellent sense; and the two words are by no means so unlike as that, in a cramp hand or an injured or somewhat faded page, the one might not easily have been mistaken by the first printer or editor for the other. The “ welcome ” would probably be written welcõe. Presuming the correction to have been made on documentary authority, it is one of the most valuable for which we are indebted to the old annotator. Even as a mere conjecture, it would be well entitled to notice and consideration.
[White says, “ The difficulty found in this passage, which even Mr. Dyce suspects to be corrupt, seems to result from a forgetfulness of the preceding context.
Though now we must appear bloody and cruel,
And pity to the general wrong of Rome, etc. So (Brutus continues) our arms, even in the intensity of their hatred to Cæsar's tyranny, and our hearts in their brotherly love to all Romans, do receive you in."]
345. Of brothers' temper. - Brothers, that is, to one another (not to you, Antony).
347. Beside themselves. Other forms of the same figure are Out of themselves, Out of their
And in the same notion we say of a person whose mind is deranged that he is not himself.
347. And then we will deliver you the cause. — The history of the word deliver (properly to set free, to let go forth, and hence, as applied to what is expressed in words, to declare, to pronounce) presents some points worthy of notice. In Latin (besides liber, bark, or a book, and its derivative delibrare, to peel off, with which we have at present no concern), there are the adjective liber, free (to which liberi, children, probably belongs), and the substantive libra, signifying both a balance and the weight which we call a pound or twelve ounces. Whether liber and libra be connected
be doubted. The Greek form of libra, dispa, and the probable identity of liber with & mɛúbegos are against the supposition that they are. At the same time, that which is free, whether understood as meaning
that which is free to move in any direction, or that which hangs even and without being inclined more to one side than another, would be a natural enough description of a balance. And libra (a balance), it may be added, had anciently also the form of libera. At any rate, from liber, free, we have the verb liberare, to make free; and from libra, a balance, or weight, librare, to weigh.
So far all is regular and consistent. But then, when we come to the compound verb deliberare, we find that it takes its signification (and must therefore have taken its origin), not from liberare and liber, but from librare and libra; it means, not to free, but to weigh. And, such being the state of things in the Latin language, the French has from deliberare formed délibérer, having the same signification (to weigh); but it has also from liber formed another verb délivrer, with the sense of to free. From the French délibérer and délivrer we have, in like manner, in English, and with the same significations, deliberate and deliver. Thus the deviation begun in the Latin deliberare has been carried out and generalized, till the derivatives from liber have assumed the form that would have been more proper for those from libra, as the latter had previously usurped that belonging to the former.
[There is also the Old English deliver = active, nimble.
Having chosen his soldiers, of nimble, leane, and deliver men. — Holinshed, 1577.
Brave archers and deliver men, since nor before so good. - Warner, Albion's Eng., 1586. This comes directly from the French delivre, which is used in the same sense. It gets its meaning “probably from the notion of free, unencumbered