« ПредишнаНапред »
poet with his own animated phraseology, rather than with the cold expression suggested by the narrative of Stowe; who, having been a tailor, was undoubtedly equal to the task of mending Shakespeare's hose, but, on poetical emergencies, must not be allowed to patch his dialogue.” Glared is also the correction of Mr. Collier's MS. annotator.
109. Drawn upon a heap. - Gathered together in a heap, or crowd. “ Among this princely heap," says Gloster in Richard III. ii. 1.. Heap was in common use in this sense throughout the seventeenth century. [Compare Chaucer, Prioresses Tale:
A litel scole of Cristen folk ther stood
Children an hepe comen of Cristen blood.] 109. The bird of night. — The owl; as the "bird of dawning” (the cock) in Hamlet, i. 1.
109. Hooting and shrieking: – Howting is the word in the first three Folios, houting in the Fourth.
109. Even at noonday, etc. - There may be a question as to the prosody of this line; whether we are to count even a monosyllable and throw the accent upon day, or making even a dissyllable and accenting noon, to reckon day supernumerary.
109. These are their reasons, etc. That such and such are their reasons. It is the same form of expression that we have afterwards in 147: “Would run to these and these extremities.” But the present line has no claim to either a distinctive type or inverted
It is not as if it were “ These are our reasons.” [Collier in his “Regulated Text” adopts the emnendation, seasons, of his MS. annotator, but in his second edition he returns to the old reading.] 109. Unto the climate.
The region of the earth, according to the old geographical division of the
globe into so many Climates, which had no reference, or only an accidental one, to differences of tenperature.
110. A strange-disposed time. - We should now have to use the adverb in this kind of combination. If we still say strange-shaped, it is because there we seem to have a substantive for the adjective to qual ify; just as we have in high-mind-ed, strong-minded, able-bodi-ed, and other similar forms. In other cases, again, it is the adjective, and not the adverb, that enters into the composition of the verb; thus we say strange-looking, mad-looking, heavy-looking, etc., because the verb is to look strange, etc., not to look strangely (which has quite another meaning) Foreign-built may be regarded as an irregular for mation, occasioned probably by our having no such adverb as foreignly. Even in home-built, homebaked, home-brewed, home-grown, home-made, etc., the adverb home has a meaning (at home) which it never has when standing alone.
110. Clean from the purpose. - A use of clean (for completely) now come to be accounted inelegant, though common in the translation of the Bible. [See Ps. lxxvii. 8; Isa. xxiv. 19, etc.] "From the purpose” is away from the purpose.
112. The metre of this speech stands, or rather stumbles, thus in the original edition :
Good night then, Caska:
This disturbed Skie is not to walke in. 117. Your ear is good, etc. — The old copies have “What night is this?” But, notwithstanding the supernumerary short syllable, the only possible reading seems to be the one which I have given :
66 Cassius, what a night is this !” The a is plainly indispensable; for surely Casca cannot be supposed to ask what day of the month it is. What he says can only be understood as an exclamation, similar to that of Cinna, in 135: “What a fearful night is this !” As for the slight irregularity in the prosody, it is of perpetual occurrence. [“What night is this !” is equivalent to “ What a night,” etc. In such exclamations it was not unusual to omit “a”. Compare in Two Gent. of Verona, i. 2, —
What fool is she, that knows I am a maid,
view! and in Twelfth Night, ii. 5,
Fab. What dish o' poison has she dressed him!
I 20. So full of faults. — The word fault, formerly, though often signifying no more than it now does, carried sometimes (as here) a much greater weight of meaning than we now attach to it. Compare 143
120. The thunder-stone. - The thunder-stone is the imaginary product of the thunder, which the ancients called Brontia, mentioned by Pliny (N. H. xxxvii. 10) as a species of gem, and as that which, falling with the lightning, does the mischief. It is the fossil commonly called the Belemnite, or Fingerstone, and now known to be a shell. We still talk of the thunder-bolt, which, however, is commonly confounded with the lightning. The thunder-stone was held to be quite distinct from the lightning, as may be seen from the song of Guiderius and Arviragus in Cymbeline, iv. 2:
Guid. Fear no more the lightning-flash.
Arv. Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone.
Are there no stones in heaven,
122. You are dull, etc. The commencement of this speech is a brilliant specimen of the blank verse of the original edition:
You are dull, Caska : And those sparkes of Life, that should be in a Roman, You doe want, or else you use not. You looke pale, and gaze, and put on feare, And cast yourselfe in wonder,
122. Cast yourself in wonder. - Does this mean throw yourself into a paroxysm of wonder? Or may cast yourself mean cast your self, or your mind, about, as in idle conjecture? The commentators are mute. Shakespeare sometimes has in where we should now use into. In an earlier stage of the language, the distinction now established between in and into was constantly disregarded ; and in some idiomatic expressions, the radical fibres of a national speech, we still have in used to express what is commonly and regularly expressed by into. To fall in love is a familiar example. Perhaps we continue to say in love as marking more forcibly the opposition to what Julia in the concluding line of Act IV. of The Two Gentlemen of Verona calls out of love. The expression cast yourself in wonder seems to be most closely paralleled by another in Richard III. i. 3: 6. Clarence, whom I, indeed, have cast in darkness," as it stands in the First Folio, although the preceding Quartos (of which there were five, 1597, 1598, 1602, 1612 or 1613, 1622) have all“ laid in darkness.” We have another instance of Shakespeare's use of in where we should now say into in the familiar lines in The Merchant of Venice, v. I:
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
[Collier, Dyce, Hudson, and Staunton have cast. White substitutes case, and quotes Much Ado, iv. I: “I am so attired in wonder.” Other instances of in for into are, Dost thou come here to whine? To outface me with leaping in her grave?
Hamlet, v. I.
Richard III. i. 2. See also Deuteron. xxiv. 1 ; 2 Kings ix. 25.]
122. Why old men, etc.— Blackstone's novel pointing of this passage is ingenious: “Why old men fools" (i. e. why we have all these fires, etc., why we have old men fools). [So Collier, Dyce, and Staunton. White has “ Why old men fool,” etc; Hudson, "Why old men, fools, and children," etc. I prefer White's reading.] But the amendment is hardly required; or, at any rate, it would not go far to give us a perfectly satisfactory text. Nor does there seem to be any necessity for assigning to calculate the singular sense of prophesy (which the expression adduced by Johnson, to calculate a nativity, is altogether insufficient to authorize). There is probably some corruption; but the present line may be very well understood as meaning merely, why not only old men, but even fools and children, speculate upon
the future; or, still more simply, why all persons, old and young, and the foolish as well as the wise, take part in such speculating and prognosticating. Shakespeare may have been so far from thinking, with Blackstone, that it was something unnatural and prodigious for old men ever to be fools, that he has even designed to classify them with foolish persons