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Taylor says, “It requires a long search in Chaucer's works to find a participle in ande.”
See also Marsh, Lect. on Eng. Lang., First Series, pp. 649–658.]
I. What trade art thou? The rationale of this mode of expression may be seen from the answer to the question: “Why, Sir, a carpenter.” The trade and the person practising it are used indifferently the one for the other : 6 What trade art thou?” is equivalent to “ What tradesman art thou ?” So in 6 we have 66 A trade ... which is, indeed, a mender of bad soles.” The thou, as here and in 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, was still common in the English of Shakespeare's age; it was the ordinary form in addressing an inferior; only when he was treated, or affected to be treated, as a gentleman, the mechanic received the more honorable compellation of you; - as in 3, “You, Sir, what trade are you?” Thou, Sir, would have been incongruous in the circumstances.
6. Soles. - Quasi souls; - an immemorial quibble, doubtless. It is found also (as Malone notes) in Fletcher's Woman Pleased. Yet we might seem to have a distinction of pronunciation between soul and sole indicated in The Merchant of Venice, iv. I, “ Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew.”
7. This speech in the old copies is given tú Flavius; and it is restored to him by Mr. Knight, who observes that the modern editors assume that only one of the tribunes should take the lead; whereas it is clear that the dialogue is more natural, certainly more dramatic, according to the original arrangement, where Flavius and Marullus alternately rate the people, like two smiths smiting on the same anvil.” But this will not explain or ac
count for the “ mend me” of Marullus in
That proves beyond controversy that the preceding speech (8) was addressed to Marullus; and it is equally clear that the you of speech 8 is the person to whom speech 7 belongs. The rating, besides, is as much alternate, or intermingled, in the one way as in the other : Mr. Knight gives six speeches to Flavius and five to Marullus ; the common arrangement gives five to Flavius and six to Marullus. [Collier, Dyce, and White give the speech to Marullus; Hudson, to Flavius.]
8. Be not out with me; yet, if you be out. The two senses of being out are obvious : “ They are out with one another,” or, simply, “ They are out;” and " He is out at the elbows,” or in any other part of his dress.
9. Mend me. The answer shows that mend, not me, is the emphatic word.
12. But with awl. - Mr. Knight and Mr. Collier [and Hudson] print “ with all.” This, apparently, would accord with Farmer's notion, who maintains that the true reading is, “I meddle with no trade, man's matters," etc., understanding with awl, or with all, I suppose, to involve, as one of its meanings, that of " with all trades.” The original reading (which White adopts] is, “but withal I am indeed, Sir, a surgeon,” etc. And the Second Folio has a woman's matters."
12. As proper men. - A proper man is a man such as he should be. In The Tempest, ii. 2, we have the same expression that we have here distributed into two successive speeches of the drunken Stephano :- “ As proper a man as ever went on four legs ;” and “ Any emperor that ever trod on neat's leather."
[A proper man, a proper fellow, a proper gentlewoman, etc., are very common expressions in Shakespeare. See Mrs. Clarke's Concordance. Compare Hebrews, xi. 23.
For the word in its other sense, one's own, peculiar, see 45 and 743 ; also, i Chron. xxix. 3 ; Acts i. 19; 1 Cor. vii. 7.]
15. Wherefore rejoice? etc. — This was in the beginning of B. C. 44 (A. U. C. 709), when Cæsar, having returned from Spain in the preceding October, after defeating the sons of Pompey at the Battle of Munda (fought 17th March, B. C. 45), had been appointed Consul for the next ten years and Dictator for life. The festival of the Lupercalia, at which he was offered and declined the crown, was celebrated 13th February, B. C. 44; and he was assassinated 15th March following, being in his fifty-sixth year.
15. Many a time and oft. - This old phrase, which is still familiar, may be held to be equivalent to many and many a time, that is, many times and yet again many more times. The old pointing of this line is, “ Knew you not Pompey many a time and oft?” It is like what all the Folios give us in Macbeth, i. 5:
Your face, my thane, is as a book where men
May read strange matters, to beguile the time. What follows, -" Have you climbed up," etc., is, of course, made a second question.
15. That Tiber trembled underneath her banks.
The proper antecedent of that (so, or in such wise) is left unexpressed, as sufficiently obvious. — Some of the modern editors have taken the unwarrantable liberty of changing her into his in this line and the next but one, because Tiber is masculine in Latin. This is to give us both language and a con cention different from Shakespeare's.
15. Made in her concave shores. — An imperfect line (or hemistich, as it is commonly called), but prosodically regular so far as it goes, which is all we have a right to look for. The occasional use of such shortened lines would seem to be, at least in dramatic poetry, one of the proper and natural prerogatives of blank verse, according well, as it does, with the variety of pause and cadence which makes the distinctive charm of verse of that form. ently, it need not be assumed, as is always done, that the fragment must necessarily be in all cases the beginning of a line. Why should not the poet be supposed sometimes, when he begins a new sentence or paragraph in this manner, to intend that it should be connected, in the prosody as well as in the meaning, with what follows, not with what precedes? A few lines lower down, for instance, the words "Be gone” might be either the first foot of the verse or the last.
16. Weep your tears. We should scarcely now speak of weeping tears absolutely, though we might say to weep tears of blood, or of agony, or of bitterness,” or “ to weep an ocean of tears, or our fill of tears.” This sense of the verb weep is quite distinct from the sense it commonly has when used transitively, which is to weep for, or to lament; as when in Cymbeline (i. 5) Iachimo speaks of “ those that weep
this lamentable divorce.” It more resembles what we have in the phrases To sin the sin, To die the death, To sing a song; — expressive forms, to which the genius of our tongue has never been very prone, and to which it is now decidedly averse. They owe their effect, in part, indeed, to a certain naturalness, or disregard of strict propriety, which a full-grown and educated language is apt to feel
ashamed of as something rustic or childish. Perhaps, however, a distinction should be drawn between such an expression as to weep tears and such as To sin a sin, To sing a song, in which the verb is merely a synonyme for to act, to perform, to execute. [Compare Milton's “ tears such as angels weep.” P. L. i. 620.]
16. Till the lowest stream, etc. - In the do kiss we have a common archaism, the retention of the auxiliary, now come to be regarded, when it is not emphatic, as a pleonasm enfeebling the expression, and consequently denied alike to the writer of prose and to the writer of verse. It is thus in even a worse predicament than the separate pronunciation of the final ed in the preterite indicative or past participle passive. In the age of Shakespeare they were both, though beginning to be abandoned, still part and parcel of the living language, and instances of both are numerous in the present Play. The modern forms probably were as yet completely established only in the spoken language, which commonly goes before that which is written and read, in such economical innovations. - For the modern stage direction Exeunt Citizens, the original text has here Exeunt all the Commoners.
16. See whe'r their basest metal. Whe'r is whether. The contraction is common both in Shakespeare and in other writers of his age. [So in earlier writers, as Chaucer and Gower.] Thus we have, in his 59th Sonnet,
Whether we are mended, or whe'r better they,*
* [Collier adopts the reading of the edition of 1609, s. Whether we are mended, or where better they,” meaning,