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We will be revenged: revenge;
About, — seek, – burn, - fire, — kill, - slay!

Let not a traitor live. 432. Stay, countrymen. — To this speech Mr. Collier's MS. annotator appends the stage direction, They are rushing out."

435. What private griefs they have. - See 129. So again in 518: “Speak your griefs softly;” and Enlarge your griefs.”

435. That gave me public leave to speak of him. The Second Folio has “ That give me.” Mr. Collier restores gave.

435. For I have neither wit, etc.- This is the reading of the Second Folio. The First has writ, which Malone actually adopts and defends! Here is a most animated and admirable enumeration of the various powers, faculties, and arts by which a great orator is enabled " to stir men's blood,” beginning, naturally, with that gift of imagination and invention which is at once the highest of them all and the fountain of most of the others; and this editor, rather than admit the probability of the misprint of a single letter in a volume swarming with undeniable typographical errata, would make Antony substitute the ridiculous remark that the first requisite for his purpose, and that in which he was chiefly deficient, was what he calls a writ, meaning a written.speech! Is it possible that such a critic can have had the smallest feeling of anything in Shakespeare above the level of the merest prose? “ Wit,” he goes on to tell us, " in our author's time had not its present signification, but ineant understanding." The fact is, that there are numerous passages in Shakespeare in which the word has exactly its present signification.

66 Sir Thurio,” says Valentine to Silvia, in The Two Gen

tlemen of Verona (ii. 4), "borrows his wit from your ladyship’s looks, and spends what he borrows, kindly, in our company." “Sir,” replies Thurio, “ if you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt.” So in Much Ado About Nothing, i. I: “There is a kind of merry war,” says Leonato, speaking of his niece Beatrice, “betwixt Signior Benedick and her ; they never meet but there is a skirmish of wit between them.Or, to go no farther, how would Malone, or those who think with him (if there be any), explain the conversation about Benedick's wit in the First Scene of the Fifth Act of the last-mentioned Play without taking the word as there used in the sense which it now ordinarily bears? In the passage before us, to be sure, its meaning is more comprehensive, corresponding nearly to what it still conveys in the expression “the wit of man.”

We have the same natural conjunction of terms that we have here in Measure for Measure, v. I, where the Duke addresses the discomfited Angelo :

Hast thou or word, or wit, or impudence,

That yet can do thee office? 435. And bid them speak for me. — The them here, emphatic and yet occupying a place in the verse in which it is commonly laid down that only a short or unaccented syllable can properly stand, is in precisely the same predicament with the him of 6. When the noble Cæsar saw him stab,” of 425. See 536. 443. To every several man.

Several is connected with the verb sever, which is from the Latin separo, through the French sevrer (though that language has also séparer, as we too have separate). Every several man is

every man by himself or in his individual capacity. “These properties of arts

or policy, and dissimulation or closeness,” says Ba-
con, in his 6th Essay, “ are, indeed, habits and fac-
ulties several, and to be distinguished.” [See also
Numbers xxviii. 13, 29; 2 Kings xv. 5; Matthew
XXV. 15. So Milton:
Each fettered ghost slips to his several grave.

Hymn on Nativ. 234.
Which he, to grace his tributary gods,
By course commits to several government.

Comus, 24.] 448. He hath left them you. — The emphasis is

on you.

449. And with the brands fire the traitors' houses. — This is the reading of the First Folio : the Second has “ all the traitors' houses,” which may

be right; for the prolongation of fire into a dissyllable, though it will give us the requisite number of syllables (which satisfies both Malone and Steevens), will not make a very musical verse. Yet the harshness and dissonance produced by the irregular fall of the accent, in addition to the diæresis, in the case of the word fire, may be thought to add to the force and expressiveness of the line. Mr. Collier omits the "all.” [So Dyce, Hudson, and White.]

453. Take thou what course thou wilt! - How now, fellow ? — It is impossible not to suspect that Shakespeare must have written “ Take now what course thou wilt.” The emphatic pronoun, or even a pronoun at all, is unaccountable here. The abruptness, or unexpectedness, of the appearance of the Servant is vividly expressed by the unusual construction of this verse, in which we have an example of the extreme license, or deviation from the normal form, consisting in the reversal of the regular accentuation in the last foot. Thus we have in Milton, Paradise Lost, x. 840,

Beyond all past example and future; and again, xi. 683,

To whom thus Michael : These are the product. At least, future, which is common in his verse, has everywhere else the accent on the first syllable. Product is found nowhere else in Milton, and nowhere in Shakespeare. The stage directions before and after this speech are in the original edition, Exit Plebeians," and “Enter Servant."

457. He comes upon a wish. - Coincidently with, as it were upon the back of, my wish for him. See


458. I heard them say. - In all the old copies it is “I heard him say;" which Jennens explains thus: “Him evidently refers to Octavius, who, as he was coming into Rome, had seen Brutus and Cassius riding like madmen through the gates, and had related the same in the presence of the servant.” The conjectural emendation of them, however, which appears to have been first proposed by Capell, had been long generally received, and is confirmed by the authority of Mr. Collier's manuscript annotator. [White calls it "a needless change." Dyce and Hudson also read "him."]

458. Are rid like madmen.

459. Belike they had some notice of the people. – This now obsolete word belike (probably) is commonly held to be a compound of by and like. But it may perhaps be rather the ancient gelice (in like manner), with a slight change of meaning. See 389.- .“ Some notice of the people” is some notice respecting the people.

See 373

SCENE III.- 460. And things unlikely charge my fantasy. - Instead of unlikely the old text has unluckily. Unlikely, which appears for the first time in Mr. Collier's one volume edition, is the restoration of his MS. annotator. It at once, and in the most satisfactory manner, turns nonsense into sense. [Dyce, Hudson, Staunton, and White give "unlucky,” which is quite as satisfactory.]

460. I have no will, etc. Very well illustrated by Steevens in a quotation from The Merchant of Venice, ii. 5, where Shylock says, –

I have no mind of feasting forth to-night:

But I will go. The only stage direction here in the original edition is before this speech: “Enter Cinna the Poet, and after him the Plebeians."

468. Ay, and truly, you were best. — This is strictly equivalent to “ You would be best,” and might perhaps be more easily resolved than the more common idiom, “ You had best.” But all languages have phraseologies coming under the same head with this, which are not to be explained upon strictly logical principles. Witness the various applications of the Greek šxsl, the French il y a, etc. In the following sentence from As You Like It, i. I, we have. both the idioms that have been referred to: • I had as lief thou didst break his neck as his finger, and thou wert best look to it.” [See on 54.]

469. Wisely, I say, I am a bachelor. - Cinna's meaning evidently is, Wisely I am a bachelor. But that is not conveyed by the way in which the passage has hitherto been always pointed “Wisely I say."

470. You'll bear me a bang for that. – You'll get a bang for that (from some one). The me goes for nothing. See 89 and 205.

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