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gifan, to give; and this etymology is adopted in the last revision of Webster's Dict. Wedgwood, on the other hand, regards the word as a fragment of even, and Marsh, in his edition of Wedgwood, allows this derivation and the long disquisition upon it, to pass without'comment. See also Richardson's Dict., and the Bible Word-Book.]
95. Marullus and Flavius. — In this instance the Marullus is Murrellus in the First Folio (instead of Murellus, as elsewhere).
97. I am promised forth. – An old phrase for, I have an engagement.
102. He was quick mettle. — This is the reading of all the old copies. I have allowed the distinction made by the modern editors between metal and mettle to stand throughout the Play, although the latter form is merely a corruption of the former. In the First Folio it is always mettle; in 16 and 105, as well as here and in 177 and 505.
103. However he puts on. — We should hardly now use however, in this sense, with the indicative mood. We should have to say,
6. However he may put on.” —This tardy form: this shape, semblance, of tardiness or dulness. 104. I will come home to you
. Come home to To come home to one, for to come to one's house, is another once common phrase which is now gone out of use.
105. Think of the world. — The only meaning that this can have seems to be, Think of the state in which the world is.
105. From that it is disposed. Here we have the omission, not only of the relative, which can easily be dispensed with, but also of the preposition governing it, which is an essential part of the verb;
but, illegitimate as such syntax may be, it is common with our writers down to a date long subsequent to Shakespeare's age. See 224.
105. Therefore it is meet. - It is (instead of 'tis) is the reading of the First Folio, which has been restored by Mr. Knight. [So Dyce.] The excess here is of a syllable (the fore of therefore) not quite so manageable as usual, and it makes the verse move ponderously, if we must not say halt; but perhaps such a prosody may be thought to be in accordance with the grave and severe spirit of the passage.
105. With their likes. - We scarcely use this substantive now.
105. Cæsar doth bear me hard. -Evidently an old phrase for, does not like me, bears me a grudge. It occurs again in 199, and a third time in 344. In 199, and there only, the editor of the Second Folio has changed hard into hatred, in which he has been followed by the Third and Fourth Folios, and also by Rowe, Pope, Hanmer, and even Capel. Mr. Collier's MS. annotator restores the hard. It is remarkable that the expression, meeting us so often in this one Play, should be found nowhere else in Shakespeare. Nor have the commentators been able to refer to an instance of its occurrence in any other writer.
[Staunton considers the phrase "equivalent, literally, to keeps a tight rein upon me, and metaphorically, to does not trust me, or fears, or doubts me.” In 199 Dyce, Hudson, and White have hard.]
105. He should not humour me. The meaning seems to be, If I were in his position (a favorite with Cæsar), and he in mine (disliked by Cæsar), he should not cajole, or turn and wind, me, as I now do him. He and me are to be contrasted by the em
phasis, in the same manner as I and he in the preceding line. This is Warburton's explanation; whose remark, however, that the words convey a reflection on Brutus's ingratitude, seems unfounded. It is rather Brutus's simplicity that Cassius has in his mind. It would be more satisfactory, however, if other examples could be produced of the use of the verb to humor in the sense assumed. Johnson appears to have quite mistaken the meaning of the passage: he takes the he to be, not Brutus, but Cæsar; and his interpretation is, “ his (that is, Cæsar's) love should not take hold of my affection, so as to make me forget my principles.”
105. In several hands. - Writings in several hands.
105. Let Cæsar seat him sure. Seat himself firmly (as on horseback).
SCENE III. The heading of Scene Ill. in the old copies is only “ Thunder and Lightning. Enter Casca, and Cicero."
106. Brought you Cæsar home? - Bring, which is now ordinarily restricted to the sense of carrying hither (so that we cannot say, Bring there), was formerly used in that of carrying or conveying generally. To bring one on his way, for instance, was to accompany him even if he had been leaving the speaker. So “ Brought you Cæsar home?” is, Did you go home with Cæsar? [Compare Genesis xviii. 16; Acts xxi. 5; Romans xv. 24.] To fetch, again, seems always to have meant more than to bring or to carry.
6. A horse cannot fetch, but only carry," says Launce in The Two Gent. of Ver. iii. I.
107. All the sway of earth. - That is, the bal. anced swing of earth.
107. Like a thing unfirm. We have now lost the adjective unfirm, and we have appropriated infirm almost exclusively to the human body and mind, and their states and movements. For infirm generally we can only say not firm.
107. Have rived. — We have nearly lost tl.is form, which is the one Shakespeare uses in the only two passages in which (if we may trust to Mrs. Clarke) the past participle passive of the verb to rive is found in his works. The other is also in this Play: “ Brutus hath rived my heart,” in 553. Milton, again, has our modern riven in the only passage of his poetry in which any part of the verb to rive occurs, (P. L. vi. 449) : “ His riven arms to havoc hewn.” 107. To be exalted with.
That is, in order, or in the effort, to be raised to the same height with.
107. A tempest dropping fire. - In the original text these three words are joined together by hyphens.
107. A civil strife in heaven. — A strife in which one part of heaven wars with another.
108. Any thing more wonderful. - That is, anything more that was wonderful. So in Coriolanus, iv. 6:
The slave's report is seconded, and more,
More fearful, is delivered.
Some reasons of this double coronation I have possessed you with, and think them strong; And more, more strong, I shall endue you with. 109. You know him well by sight. — Is it to be supposed that Casca really means to say that the common slave whom he chanced to meet was a par.
ticular individual well known to Cicero? Of what importance could that circumstance be? Or for wliat purpose should Casca notice it, even supposing him to have been acquainted with the fact that Cicero knew the man well, and yet knew him only by sight? It is impossible not to suspect some interpolation or corruption. Perhaps the true reading may be, “You knew him well by sight,” meaning that any one would have known him at once to be but a common slave (notwithstanding the preternatural appearance, as if almost of something godlike, which his uplifted hand exhibited, burning but unhurt). [The incident is taken from North’s Plutarch. 66 There was a slave of the souldiers that did cast a marvellous burning flame out of his hands, insomuch as they that saw it thought he had been burnt; but when the fire was out, it was found that he had no hurt.” — Life of Julius Cæsar. “You know him well by sight” seems to me a less singular expression than the one which Craik suggests as an emendation. It is nothing strange that both Cicero and Casca should happen to know a particular slave by sight, and it is natural enough that Casca in relating this prodigy to his friend should say, And you yourself know the man.]
109. Besides (I have not since, etc. - In the Folios, “ I ha' not since.”
109. Against the Capitol. – Over against, opposite to.
109. Who glared upon me. — In all the Folios the word is glazed. Pope first changed it to glared. Malone afterwards substituted gazed, partly on the strength of a passage in Stowe's Chronicle, - which gave Steevens an opportunity of maliciously rejoining, after quoting other instances of Shakespeare's use of glare, “I therefore continue to repair the