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tience and passion (both from the Latin patior) equally mean suffering; the notions of quiet and of agitation which they have severally acquired, and which have made the common signification of the one almost the opposite of that of the other, are merely accidental adjuncts. It may be seen, however, from the use of the word passion here and in the preceding speech, that its proper meaning was not so completely obscured and lost sight of in Shakespeare's day as it has come to be in ours, when it retains the notion of suffering only in two or three antique expressions; such as, the iliac passion, and the passion of our Saviour (with Passion Week). — Though it is no longer accounted correct to say, I have mistook, or I have wrote, such forms were in common use even till far on in the last century. Nor has the analogy of the reformed manner of expression been yet completely carried out. In some cases we have even lost the more correct form after having once had it: we no longer, for instance, say, I have stricken, as they did in Shakespeare's day, but only, I have struck.
47. But by reflection, etc. — The other things must, apparently, if we interpret the words with reference to their connection, be the reflectors or mirrors spoken of by Cassius. Taken by itself, however, the expression might rather seem to mean that the
discovers its own existence by its power of seeing other things. The verse in the present speech is thus ingeniously broken up in the original edition:
No Cassius :
By some other things.
and possibly some words have dropped out. Ву reflection, by some other things,” is hardly Shakespeare's style. It is not customary with him to employ a word which he finds it necessary thus to attempt immediately to amend, or supplement, or explain, by another. — It is remarkable that in the first line of this speech the three last Folios turn the itself into himself. [White reads "thing."]
There is a remarkable coincidence, both of thought and of expression, between what we have here and the following passage in Troilus and Cressida, iii. 3:—
Nor doth the eye itself, That most pure spirit of sense, behold itself. And it may be worth noting that these lines appear only in the two original Quarto editions of the Play (1609), and are not in any of the Folios.
48. Many of the best respect. — A lost phrase, no longer permissible even in poetry, although our only modern equivalent is the utterly unpoetical “ many persons of the highest respectability.” So, again, in the present Play, we have in 779, “ Thou art a fellow of a good respect.”
50. Therefore, good Brutus, etc. — The eager, impatient temper of Cassius, absorbed in his own one idea, is vividly expressed by his thus continuing his argument as if without appearing to have even heard Brutus's interrupting question; for such is the only interpretation which his therefore would seem to admit of.
50. And be not jealous on me. This is the reading of all the Folios; and it has been restored to the text by Mr. Knight, who does not, however, produce any
other example of the same syntax. The other modern editors generally, with the exception of Mr.
Collier, have changed the on into of. [Dyce, Hud-
The ivy which had hid my princely trunk,
and hast put thyself
From me, the lord on't.
Acquaint you with the perfect spy o' the time,
The moinent on't. And v. I:
Banquo's buried; he cannot come out on's grave. Compare i Sam. xxvii. 11.]
50. Were I a common laugher. - Pope made this correction, in which he has been followed by all subsequent editors. In all the editions before his the
reading is laughter; and the necessity or propriety of the change is perhaps not so unquestionable as it has been generally thought. Neither word seems to be perfectly satisfactory. “ Were I a common laughter might seem to derive some support from the expression of the same speaker in 561 : “ Hath Cassius lived to be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus?"
50. To stale with ordinary oaths my love.-Johnson, the only commentator who notices this exprèssion, interprets it as meaning, “to invite every new protester to my affection by the stale, or allurement, of customary oaths.” But surely the more common sense of the word stale, both the verb and the noun, involving the notion of insipid or of little worth or estimation, is far more natural here. Who forgets Enobarbus's phrase in his enthusiastic description of Cleopatra (Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 3), “ Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale Her infinite variety" ? So in 497, “Staled by other men.” [White follows Johnson. Hudson has anticipated Craik in the explanation here given.]
50. And after scandal them. We have lost the verb scandal altogether, and we scarcely use the other form, to scandalize, except in the sense of the Hellenistic oxavdanifw, to shock, to give offence. Both had formerly also the sense of to defame or traduce.
51. What means this shouting? etc. Here is the manner in which this passage is given in the original edition :
Bru. What means this Showting?
Cassi. I, do you feare it?
53. If it be aught toward. - All that the prosody demands here is that the word toward be pronounced in two syllables; the accent may be either on the first or the second. Toward when an adjective has, I believe, always the accent on the first syllable in Shakespeare ; but its customary pronunciation may have been otherwise in his day when it was a preposition, as it is here. Milton, however, in the few cases in which he does not run the two syllables into one, always accents the first. And he uses both toward and towards.
53. Set Honor in one eye, etc. has occasioned some discussion. Johnson's explanation is, “ When Brutus first names Honour and Death, he calmly declares them indifferent; but, as the image kindles in his mind, he sets Honour above life.” [Coleridge says, “ Warburton would read death for both; but I prefer the old text.
There are here three things — the public good, the individual Brutus' honour, and his death. The latter two so. balanced each other, that he could decide for the first by equipoise ; nay, — the thought growing, that honour had more weight than death. That Cassius understood it as Warburton, is the beauty of Cassius as contrasted with Brutus.”] It does not seem to be necessary to suppose any such change or growth either of the image or the sentiment. What Brutus means by saying that he will look upon Honor and Death indifferently, if they present themselves together, is merely that, for the sake of the honor, he will not mind the death, or the risk of death, by which it may be accompanied; he will look as fearlessly and steadily upon the one as upon the other. He will think the honor to be cheaply purchased even by the loss of life ; that price will