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seems to be, either through a change that has taken place in his own feelings and conduct, or through the misconduct of his officers.
503. Some worthy cause. Some reasonable or sufficient cause, some cause of worth, value, or power to justify the wish. Our modern worth is the Saxon weorth, wurth, or wyrth, connected with which are weorscipe, worship, and weorthian, to hold in esteem or honor. But there
perhaps be a connection with weorthan, or wurthan, to become, or to be, the same word with the modern German werden, and still in a single fragment remaining in use among ourselves in the phrase woe worth, that is, woe be. (See Ezekiel xxx. 2.] If this be so, either what we call worth is that which anything emphatically is, or, when we say that a thing is, we are only saying that it is worth in a broad or vague sense, according to a common manner of forming a term of general out of one of particular import.
505. He is not doubted. A word, etc. Brutus here, it will be observed, makes two speeches; first he addresses himself to Pindarus, then to Lucilius. Even if the prosody did not admonish us to the same effect, it would, in these circumstances, be better to print the passage as I have given it, with two hemistichs or broken lines.
505. Let me be resolved.
506. But not with such familiar instances. The word still in use that most nearly expresses this obsolete sense of instances is, perhaps, assiduities. As instance should mean standing upon, so assiduity should mean sitting upon. Assiduitas is used by Cicero; instantia, I believe, is not found in the best age of the Latin tongue. The English word is em
ployed by Shakespeare in other senses besides this that are now obsolete.“ To comfort you the more,” says the Earl of Warwick to the King, in 2 Henry IV. jii. I,
I have received A certain instance that Glendower is dead, that is, a certain assurance. Again, in Richard III. iii. 2,
Tell him his fears are shallow, without instance, that is, apparently, without any fact to support or justify them. Again, in Hamlet, iii. 2, we have
The instances that second marriage move
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love, that is, the inducements, as we should now say, are base considerations of thrift, or pecuniary advantage. We now use instance in something like its proper sense only in the phrase “at the instance of,” and even there the notion of pressure or urgency is nearly lost; the word is understood as meaning little, if anything, more than merely so much of application, request, or suggestion as the mere mention of what is wanted might carry with it. In another phrase in which it has come to be used, " in the first instance,” it is not very obvious what its meaning really is, or how, at least, it has got the meaning which it appears to have. Do we, or can we, say “ in the second, or third, instance”? By instance, as commonly used, for a particular fact, we ought to understand a fact bearing upon the matter in hand; and this seems to be still always kept in mind in the familiar expression “ for instance."
Shakespeare's use of the word may be further illustrated by the following passages: “They will scarcely believe this without trial: offer them in
stances; which shall bear no less likelihood than to see me at her chamber window ; hear me call Margaret, Hero; hear Margaret term me Claudio;" etc. (Much Ado About Nothing, ii. 2);
Instance! O instance! strong as Pluto's gates;
Troil. and Cress. v. 2. 507. Like horses hot at hand.
That is, apparently, when held by the hand, or led. [Compare Henry VIII., v. 2 (v. 3 in Globe Ed.):
those that tame wild horses Pace 'em not in their hands to make 'em gentle, But stop their mouths with stubborn bits, and spur 'em,
Till they obey the manage.] Or rather, perhaps, when acted upon only by the rein. So in Harington's Ariosto, vii. 67, Melyssa says that she will try to make Rogero's griffith horse “gentle to the spur and hand.” But has not 6 at hand" always meant, as it always does now, only near or hard by? That meaning will not do here. The commentators afford us no light or help. Perhaps Shakespeare wrote “ in hand.” The two expressions in hand and at hand are commonly distinguished in the Plays as they are in our present usage ; and we also have on hand and at the hands of in the modern senses, as well as to bear in hand (“ to keep in expectation, to amuse with false pretences” – Nares) and at any hand (that is, in any case), which are now obsolete. In The Comedy of Errors, ii. 1, at hand, used by his mistress Adriana in the common sense, furnishes matter for the wordcatching wit of Dromio of Ephesus after he has been beaten, as he thinks, by his master : "Adr. Say,
We now say
is your tardy master now at hand? Dro. E. Nay, he's at two hands with me, and that my two ears can witness." In King John, v. 2, however, we have “ like a lion fostered up at hand,” that is, as we should now say, by hand. In another similar phrase, we may remark, at has now taken the place of the in or into of a former
To march at the head of, and also To place at the head of, and we use in the head and into the head in quite other senses; but here is the way in which Clarendon expresses himself: “ They said ... that there should be an army of thirty thousand men immediately transported into England with the Prince of Wales in the head of them” (Hist., Book x.) ; “ The King was only expected to be nearer England, how disguised soever, that he might quickly put himself into the head of the army, that would be ready to receive him ".(Id., Book xiv.); “ These cashiered officers found so much encouragement, that, at a time appointed, they put themselves into the heads of their regiments, and marched with them into the field ” (Id., Book xvi.); “That Lord [Fairfax] had called together some of his old disbanded officers and soldiers, and many principal men of the country, and marched in the head of them into York” (Ibid.); “Upon that very day they [the Parliament] received a petition, which they had fomented, presented . . . by a man notorious in those times, Praise-God Barebone, in the head of a crowd of sectaries” (Ibid.) ; He [the Chancellor] informed him [Admiral Montague] of Sir George Booth's being possessed of Chester, and in the head of an army” (Ibid.).
507. They fall their crests. — This use of fall, as an active verb, is not common in Shakespeare;
but it may
be found in writers of considerably later date.
508. Instead of the stage direction “March within” at the end of this speech, the original text has “Low March within ” in the middle of 507. And instead of “Enter Cassius and Soldiers,” it is there "Enter Cassius and his powers."
512, 513, 514. - The Within prefixed to these three speeches is the insertion of the modern editors. In the First Folio the three repetitions of the “Stand” are on so many distinct lines, but all as if they formed part of the speech of Brutus. Mr. Collier has at 514 the stage direction, “One after the other, and fainter.”
518. Cassius, be content. - That is, be continent; contain, or restrain, yourself. [The phrase occurs also in the Bible (Fudges xix. 6; 2 Kings v. 23, vi. 3; Job vi. 28); but the meaning there is “be pleased” or “let it please thee,” as the Hebrew is translated in 2 Sam. vii. 29. See Bible WordBook, s. v.]
518. Speak your griefs softly. — See 129 and 435.
518. Nothing but love from us. - From each of us to the other.
518. Enlarge your griefs. - State them with all fulness of eloquent exposition; as we still say Enlarge upon. See 129 and 435. Clarendon uses the verb to enlarge differently both from Shakespeare and from the modern language; thus : as his lordship had finished his oration, which was received with marvellous acclamations, Mr. Pym enlarged himself, in a speech then printed, upon the several parts of the King's answer" (Hist., Book vi.).
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