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the rule which he himself lays down,* his edition is not " worthy of confidence.” He has its in seven places where the Folio of 1623 has either it's or it (Temp. i. 2, bis; R. & 7. i. 3; A. & C. ii. 7, bis; Hen. V. v. 2; 2 Hen. VI. iii. 2), but in the passage from Henry VIII., quoted in his Preface as the earliest instance of its, he has iťs, which is correct. In Meas. for Meas. (i. 2), the date of which he makes ten years earlier than Henry VIII., he has its, which is also correct. As we have seen, this last is the one instance of its in the Folio. In Temp. ii. 1, also, White has its, but corrects it in the "Additional Notes" prefixed to his last (First) volume.

I hardly need add that no argument in regard to the date of the different Plays can be based upon

the occurrence of these various forms of the possessive its. We find all three in some of the earliest Plays, two different forms in the very same Play, and it's in Henry VIII., which, according to White, is the latest of the Plays. The simple fact is, that Shakespeare wrote in the early part of that transitional period when its was beginning to displace his and her as the possessive of it, and that just at that time the forms it and it's were more common than its, though this last was occasionally used even befere the end of the sixteenth century.

* [I do not think that they should be thus judged; and I am very sure that accidental variations from the text of 1623 are by no means so frequent in White's Shakespeare as one might infer from the examples here quoted. Nor are the notes on this word to be taken as a fair sample of the general character of White's annotations, which, with rare exceptions, deserve, I doubt not, all the commendation they have received from critics “older in practice, abler than myself to make conditions.”

Besides the authorities already mentioned, see Marsh, Lect. on Eng. Lang., First Series, p. 397.]

54, 55. And bear the palm alone. Another general shout! Two hemistichs or broken lines thus following one another are not necessarily to be regarded as prosodically connected, any more than if they were several sentences asunder. The notion that two such consecutive fragments were always intended by Shakespeare to make a complete verse, has led the modern editors, more especially Steevens, into a great deal of uncalled-for chopping and tinkering of the old text.

56. But in ourselves. - In the original edition it is divided" our selves,” exactly as our stars in the preceding line. And so always with our self, your self, her self, my self, thy self, and also it self, but never with himself or themselves. See 54.

56. What should be in that Cæsar? — A form of speech now gone out. It was a less blunt and direct way of saying What is there? or What may there be? These more subtle and delicate modes of expression, by the use of the subjunctive (or potential, as some call it] for the indicative, and of the past for the present, which characterize not only the Greek and Latin languages, but even the German, have for the greater part perished in our modern English. The deep insight and creative force — the “great creating nature” – which gave birth to our tongue has dried up under the benumbing touch of the logic by which it has been trained and cultivated.

56. More than yours. — See Prolegomena, Sect. v. p. 27. [Than and then are different forms of the same word, often used interchangeably by old writers. See Richardson's Dict., etc. Milton has than for then in the Hymn on the Nativity, 88.]

56. Become the mouth as well. Always aswell, as one word, in the First Folio.

56. The breed of noble bloods.-We scarcely now use this plural. Shakespeare has it several times; as afterwards in 644, “ I know young bloods look for a time of rest;" in Much Ado About Nothing, iii. 3, where Boracio remarks how giddily fashion “turns about all the hot bloods between fourteen and five and thirty ;” in The Winter's Tale, i. I, where Leontes says, “ To mingle friendship far is mingling bloods;" in King John, ii. I, where Philip of France, to the boast of John before the walls of Angiers that he brings as witnesses to his right and title “ twice fifteen thousand hearts of English breed," replies (aside) that

As many and as well-born bloods as those

Stand in his face to contradict his claim. 56. That her wide walls encompassed but one man. — The old reading is “ wide walks.Despite the critical canon which warns us against easy or obvious amendments, it is impossible not to believe that we have a misprint here. What Rome's wide walks may mean is not obvious; still less, how she could be encompassed by her walks, however wide. [Hudson has walks; Collier, Dyce, and White, walls.]

56. Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough. Shakespeare's pronunciation of Rome seems to have been Room. Besides the passage before us we have afterwards in the present Play (367) “No Rome of safety for Octavius yet;” and in King John, iii. I, " That I have room with Rome to curse a while." In the First Part of King Henry the Sixth, it is true, we have the other pronunciation; there (iii. 2), the Bishop of Winchester having exclaimed “Rome

shall remedy this,” Warwick replies “Roam thither, then." This little fact is not without its significance in reference to the claim of that Play to be laid at Shakespeare's door. [Staunton quotes Prime, Commentary on Galatians, p. 122, 1587: “Rome is too narrow a Room for the church of God.”]

56. But one only man. In the original text “but one onely man,” probably indicating that the pronunciation of the numeral and of the first syllable of the adverb was the same.

57. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous. I am nowise jealous, doubtful, suspicious, in regard to its being the fact that you love me.

This seems to be the grammatical resolution of a construction which, like many similar ones familiar to the freer spirit of the language two centuries ago, would now scarcely be ventured upon.

57. I have some aim. -Aim, in old French eyme, esme, and estme, is the same word with esteem (from the Latin aestimatio and aestimare), and should therefore signify properly a judgment or conjecture of the mind, which is very nearly its meaning here. We might now say, in the same sense, I have some notion. In modern English the word has acquired the additional meaning of an intention to hit, or catch, or in some other way attain, that to which the view is directed. It does not seem impossible that the French name for the loadstone, aimant, may be from the same root, although it has usually been considered to be a corruption of adamant. A ship's reckonings are called in French estimes, which is undoubtedly the same word with our aims. In the French of the early part of the sixteenth century we find esme and esmé (or esmez, as it was commonly written) confounded with the totally different aimer,

to love. Rabelais, for instance, writes bien aymez for bien esmez, well disposed. See Duchat's Note on liv. i., ch. 5.

57. For this present. — So in the Absolution, " that those things may please him which we do at this present.” This expression, formerly in universal use and good repute, now remains only a musty law phrase, never admitted into ordinary composition except for ludicrous effect.

57. So with love I might entreat you. — This form of expression is still preserved both in our own language and in German. Thus (John i. 25), “ Warum taufest du denn, so du nicht Christus bist? ” or, “So Gott will ” (If God please). The conjunction thus used is commonly said to be equivalent to if. But so, according to Horne Tooke (D. of P. 147), is merely the Meso-Gothic demonstrative pronoun, and signifies properly this or that. In German, though commonly, as with ourselves, only an adverb or conjunction, it may still be also used pronominally; as Das Buch, so ihr mir gegeben habt (the book which you gave me). Upon this theory, all that so will perform in such a passage as the present will be to mark and separate the clause which it heads by an emphatic introductory compendium - That (or this), namely, that with love I might, etc.; and the fact of the statement in the clause being a supposition, or assumption, will be left to be inferred. The First Folio points, blunderingly, “I would not so (with love I might intreat you).”

57. Chew upon this. - We have lost the Saxon word in this application; but we retain the metaphor, only translating chew into the Latin equivalent, ruminate.

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