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482. Cin. I am not, etc. This speech was carelessly omitted in the generality of the modern texts, including that of the standard edition of Malone and Boswell, till restored by Mr. Knight. It is given, however, in Jennens's collation (1774), and he does not note its omission by any preceding editor.
483. Turn him going. – Turn him off; let him go. The expression occurs also in As You Like It, iii. I: “Do this expediently, and turn him going." So in Sir Thomas Urquhart's translation of Rabelais, B. i. ch. 35: “ Avoid hence, and get thee going.' This story of Cinna is told by Plutarch in his Life of Cæsar. He says, the people; falling upon him in their rage, slew him outright in the market-place.
The stage direction with which the Act terminates in the original edition is, “ Exeunt all the Plebeians.”
A Room in Antony's House. - The original heading is only, “Enter Antony, Octavius, and Lepidus." The Same, meaning at Rome, was supplied by Rowe. It is evident (especially from 491 and 492) that the scene is placed at Rome, although in point of fact the triumvirs held their meeting on a small island in the river Rhenus (now the Reno) near Bononia (Bologna), where, Plutarch says, they remained three days together. 485. These many.
An archaic form for so many, this number.
485. Their names are pricked.
489. Who is your sister's son, Mark Antony. This is a mistake. The person meant is Lucius
Cæsar, who was Mark Antony's uncle, the brother of his mother.
490. Look, with a spot I damn him. —Note him as condemned, by a mark or stigma (called pricking his name in 485, and pricking him down in 488, and pricking him in 494).
490. Fetch the will hither, and we shall determine. - This is the reading of all the old copies, and is properly retained by Mr. Knight. In the Variorum edition we have (and without warning) will substituted for shall.
493. This is a slight unmeritable man. - So afterwards in 534, “ Away, slight man!” said by Brutus, in momentary anger, to Cassius. See 521.– Unmeritable should mean incapable of deserving.
493. Meet to be sent on errands. — Errand is a Saxon word, ærend (perhaps from ær, or ar, before, whence also ere and early). It has no connection with errant, wandering (from the Latin erro, whence also err, and error, and erroneous).
495. To groan and sweat under the business. Business is commonly only a dissyllable with Shakespeare; and it may be no more here upon the principle explained in the note on “She dreamt to-night she saw my statue” in 246. There are a good many more instances of lines concluding with business, in which either it is a trisyllable (although commonly only a dissyllable in the middle of a line) or the verse must be regarded as a hemistich, or truncated verse, of nine syllables.
495. Either led or driven, etc. The three last Folios, and also Rowe, have "print the way." The we of this line, and the our and the we of the next, are all emphatic. There is the common irregularity of a single short superfluous syllable (the er of either). 495. And graze on commons. In is the reading of all the old copies. [So Dyce, Hudson, and White.] On is the correction of Mr. Collier's MS. annotator.
497. Store of provender. - Provender, which Johnson explains to mean " dry food for brutes," and which also appears in the forms provand and provant, is immediately from the French provende, having the same signification, and derived probably from the Latin providere.
497. And, in some taste. - It might seem at first that this phrase, as it may be said to be equivalent in effect to our common in some sense,” so is only another wording of the same conception or figure, what is called a sense in the one form being called a taste in the other. But, although taste is reckoned one of the senses, this would certainly be a wrong explanation. The expression “in some sense” has nothing to do with the powers of sensation or perception; sense here is signification, meaning, import. Neither does taste stand for the sense of taste in the other expression. The taste which is here referred to is a taste in contradistinction to a more full enjoyment or participation, a taste merely. "In some taste” is another way of saying, not “in some sense,” but “in some measure, or degree.”
497. On objects, arts, and imitations, etc. - This passage, as it stands in the Folios, with the sentence terminating at “imitations,” has much perplexed the commentators; and, indeed, may be said to have proved quite inexplicable, till a comma was substituted for the full point by Mr. Knight, which slight change makes everything plain and easy. Antony's assertion is, that Lepidus feeds, not on objects, arts, and imitations generally, but on such of them as
are out of use and staled (or worn out: see 50) by other people, which, notwithstanding, begin his fashion (or with which his following the fashion begins.) [Theobald proposed “On abject orts and imitations," which Dyce adopts and defends in a long note. White, in Shakespeare's Scholar, suggests " abject arts and imitations,” but in his edition of the poet, wisely returns to the reading of the Folio as amended by Knight. Staunton has “ abjects, orts, and imitations,” and defines abjects as “things thrown away as worthless.” The word occurs with that meaning in old English (see Bible Word-Book, s.v.), but much more commonly it means a worthless, despicable person — the only sense recognized by Nares as in Richard III. i. I: 66 We are the queen's abjects, and must obey." Compare Psalms xxxv. 15.]
497. Listen great things. — Listen has now ceased to be used as an active verb.
497. [Are levying powers. - Power and powers, in the sense of army, forces, are very common in old writers :
So soon as we had gathered us a power
We dallied not. Heywood, 2 Ed. IV. ii. 2. Lord Lovel was at hand with a great power of men.
Bacon, Hen. VII. p. 17. See also 2 Chron. xxxii. 9. For examples in Shakespeare see Mrs. Clarke. In the present play, compare 597, 668, and 727. Puissance is used in the same sense in old English. See an example in note on 303.]
497. Our best friends made, and our best means stretched out. - This is the reading of the Second Folio. It seems to me, I confess, to be sufficiently in · Shakespeare's manner. The First Folio has
“Our best Friends made, our meanes stretcht," which, at any rate, it is quite impossible to believe to be what he wrote. [Dyce and White follow the First Folio, but both consider the line a mutilated one.]
497. And let us presently go sit in counsel, etc. The more ordinary phraseology would be “Let us sit in consultation how,” or “Let us consult how." The word in the First Folio is “ Councell," and most, if not all, modern editions have “ sit in council.” But see 262.
498. And bayed about with many enemies. — See 348 (for bayed), and 362 (for with).
498. Millions of mischiefs. - This is the reading of all the old editions. Mr. Knight has “mischief," no doubt by an error of the press. In the Winter's Tale, iv. 2, however, we have, in a speech of the Clown, A million of beating may come to a great matter."
SCENE II. The original heading here is “Drum. Enter Brutus, Lucillius, and the Army. Titinius and Pindarus meete them.” The modern editors after the name of Lucilius introduce that of Lucius. See the note on 520.
501. What now, Lucilius? is Cassius near? Here the ius is dissyllabic in Lucilius and monosyllabic in Cassius.
salutation. - Another of the old applications of do which we have now lost. See 147. The stage direction about the Letter is modern.
503. He greets me well. - The meaning seems to be, He salutes me in a friendly manner. Yet this can hardly be regarded as a legitimate employment of well.
503. In his own change, etc. — The meaning
502. To do