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was rather more common than the hilt. Shakespeare uses both forms. Hilt is a Saxon word, and is connected, apparently, with healdan, to hold.
725. Even with the sword that killed thee. See 362. The stage directions, Dies and Exit, are • modern ; and for “Re-enter Titinius, with Messala,” the old copies have “Enter,” etc.
727. It is bút change. — The battle is only a succession of alternations or vicissitudes.
734. No, this was he, Messala. — With the emphasis on was.
734. As in thy red rays thou dost sink to night.
The to night here seems to be generally understood as meaning this night. Both Mr. Collier and Mr. Knight print “to-night." But surely a far nobler sense is given to the words by taking sink to night to be an expression of the same kind with sink to rest or sink to sleep. The colorless dulness of the coming night is contrasted with the red glow in which the luminary is descending. “O setting sun, Thou dost sink," meaning simply thou dost set, is not much in Shakespeare's manner. Besides, we hardly say, absolutely, that the sun sinks, whether we mean that it is setting or only that it is descending. And the emphasis given by the to-night to the mere expression of the time seems uncalled-for and unnatural. There is no trace of a hyphen in the old copies. [In his second edition Collier omits the hyphen, “at the instance of Mr. Craik.” Dyce, Hudson, Staunton, and White also have " to night.” White prints “do'st,” confounding doest and dost, the latter of which is the established form when the verb is an auxiliary, as here. Dost is sometimes found in old writers for doest (as in 3, “What dost thou,” etc., where White so prints it), but I believe
doest is not found for dost. In 737, White prints 66 did'st” for “ didst.” He has also such forms as “ cri'd,” “tri'd,” and “di'st,” which, though contractions of legitimate words, are none the less offensive to the eye.]
734, 735. Mistrust of my success, etc. - These two lines may show us that the word success was not yet when Shakespeare wrote quite fixed in the sense which it now bears. It is plain that success simply was not understood to imply all that was conveyed by the expression good success. By “mistrust of my success” Titinius must be interpreted as meaning no more than mistrust, doubt, or apprehension of what I had met with ; in conformity with what he afterwards says in apostrophizing Cassius, “ Alas, thou hast misconstrued everything.” [Compare Josh. i. 8. Hall (Henry IV.), 1548, has “unfortunate success; ” and North (Plutarch's Aratus), 1597, "good success.”
For other examples see 229.]
735. O hateful Error! Melancholy's child! – Error and Melancholy are personages, and the words are proper names, here. [Dyce, Hudson, and White do not use the capitals.]
735. To the apt thoughts of men. -See 344. 738. Hie you, Messala. - See 139.
738. And I will seek for Pindarus the while. We are still familiar enough with the while, for meanwhile, or in the mean time, in poetry, in which so many phrases not of the day are preserved; but the expression no longer forms part of what can properly be called our living English.
The stage direction, “Exit Messala," is modern. 738. And bid me give it thee? etc. - This is no
Alexandrine, but only a common heroic verse with two supernumerary short syllables.
738. But hold thee. - Equivalent to our modern But hold, or but stop.
738. Brutus, come apace. — Apace is literally at, or rather on, pace; that is, by the exertion of all your power of pacing. See 65.
738. By your leave, gods. — See 357. The stage direction that follows this speech in the original edition is, Alarum. Enter Brutus, Messala, yong Cato, Strato, Volumnius, and Lucillius."
740. Titinius mourning it. - An unusual construction of the verb to mourn in this sense. We speak commonly enough of mourning the death of a person, or'any other thing that may have happened ; we might even perhaps speak of mourning the person who is dead or the thing that is lost; but we only mourn over the dead body. So with lament. We lament the death or the loss, the man or the thing, but not the body out of which the spirit
743. In our own proper entrails. into, as we should now say. [See 12, 45, and 122.]
744. Look whe'r he have not. — That is, whether he have not.” See 16. The word is here again printed “where" in the original edition.
745. The last of all the Romans. - This is the reading of all the Folios; and it is left untouched by Mr. Collier's MS. corrector. • Thou last” is the conjectural emendation of Rowe. [Dyce, Hudson, and White have "the."]
745. I owe moe tears. - Moe (or mo) is the word as it stands in both the First and the Second Folio. See 158.
745. To Thassos send his body. - Thassos is misprinted Tharsus in all the Folios, and the error was first corrected by Theobald. Thassos is the place mentioned by Plutarch (in his Life of Brutus) as that to which the body was sent to be interred, and the name is correctly given in North's translation, which Shakespeare had before him. [The Cambridge Edition gives Thasos, which is the more correct form of the name.]
745. His funerals. - As we still say nuptials, so they formerly often said funerals. [Hudson has “funeral" here. Compare Titus Andronicus, i. 1:
and wise Laertes' son Did graciously plead for his funerals.] So funérailles in French and funera in Latin. On the other hand, Shakespeare's word is always nuptial. Nuptials occurs only in one passage of the very corrupt text of Pericles: “ We'll celebrate their nuptials” (v. 3), and in one other passage of Othello as it stands in the Quarto : “ It is the celebration of his nuptials (ii. 2), where, however, all the other old copies have nuptial, as elsewhere.
745. Labeo and Flavius, etc. - In the First Folio, “ Labio and Flavio;” in the others, “Labio and Flavius.”
For 66 set our battles on
745. 'Tis threc o'clock. - In the original edition, " three a clocke.” See 85.
SCENE IV. All that we have in the Folios for the heading of this Scene is, “Alarum. Enter Brutus, Messala, Cato, Lucilius, and Flavius." And the only stage directions that we have throughout the Scene are “Enter Soldiers, and fight,” immediately before the speech of Brutus (746), and the " Exeunt” at the end.
747. What bastard doth not?
751. There is so much, that thou wilt kill me straight. The evident meaning of these words has strangely escaped the acuteness of Warburton, whose interpretation (1747) is, “So much resistance still on foot, that thou wilt choose to rid me out of the way, that thou mayst go, without the embarras of prisoners, to the assistance of thy friends who still want it.” The true explanation is very well given by Heath in replying to this (in his Revisal of Shakespeare's Text, 1765): “There is so much money for thee, on condition that thou wilt kill me straight.”
752. We must not. - A noble prisoner ! - The original edition places the entry of Antony immediately after this speech.
754. I'll tell the news. This is the conjectural einendation of Theobald. All the Folios, and also both Rowe and Pope, have thee for the. Mr. Collier adopts the emendation. [So do Dyce, Hudson, and White.]
757. And see whe'r Brutus be alive or dead. See 16 and 744. It is “ where” again in the original text.
757. How everything is chanced. - See 69 and 373.
SCENE V. The heading of Scene V., with the locality, is, as usual, modern.
760. Sit thee down. - In this common phrase, apparently, the neuter verb to sit has taken the place of the active to seat. Or perhaps we ought rather to say that both in Sit thee and in Hark thee, which we have in the next line and again in 764, thee has usurped the function of thou. We have a similar