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495. And graze on commons. - In is the reading of all the old copies. [So Dyce, Hudson, and White.] On is the correction of Mr. Collier's MS. annotator.
497. Store of provender. - Provender, which Johnson explains to mean “ dry food for brutes,” and which also appears in the forms provand and provant, is immediately from the French provende, having the same signification, and derived probably from the Latin providere.
497. And, in some taste. It might seem at first that this phrase, as it may be said to be equivalent in effect to our common “in some sense,' so is only another wording of the same conception or figure, what is called a sense in the one form being called a taste in the other. But, although taste is reckoned one of the senses, this would certainly be a wrong explanation. The expression “in some sense” has nothing to do with the powers of sensation or perception; sense here is signification, meaning, import. Neither does taste stand for the sense of taste in the other expression. The taste which is here referred to is a taste in contradistinction to a more full enjoyment or participation, a taste merely. “In some taste” is another way of saying, not“ in some sense,” but “in some measure, or degree.”
497. On objects, arts, and imitations, etc.- This passage, as it stands in the Folios, with the sentence terminating at “imitations," has much perplexed the commentators; and, indeed, may be said to have proved quite inexplicable, till a comma was substituted for the full point by Mr. Knight, which slight change makes everything plain and easy. Antony's assertion is, that Lepidus feeds, not on objects, arts, and imitations generally, but on such of them as are out of use and staled (or worn out: see 50) by other people, which, notwithstanding, begin his fashion (or with which his following the fashion begins.) [Theobald proposed “On abject orts and imitations,” which Dyce adopts and defends in a long note. White, in Shakespeare's Scholar, suggests " abject arts and imitations,” but in his edition of the poet, wisely returns to the reading of the Folio as amended by Knight. Staunton has “ abjects, orts, and imitations," and defines abjects as "things thrown away as worthless.” The word occurs with that meaning in old English (see Bible Word-Book, s. v.), but much more commonly it means a worthless, despicable person -- the only sense recognized by Nares - as in Richard III. i. I: “ We are the queen's abjects, and must obey." Compare Psalms xxxv. 15.]
497. Listen great things. - Listen has now ceased to be used as an active verb.
497. [Are levying powers. - Power and powers, in the sense of army, forces, are very common in old writers:
So soon as we had gathered us a power
We dallied not. Heywood, 2 Ed. IV. ii. 2. Lord Lovel was at hand with a great power of men.
Bacon, Hen. VII. p. 17. See also 2 Chron. xxxii. 9. For examples in Shakespeare see Mrs. Clarke. In the present play, compare 597, 668, and 727. Puissance is used in the same sense in old English. See an example in note on 303.]
497. Our best friends made, and our best means stretched out. - This is the reading of the Second Folio. It seems to me, I confess, to be sufficiently in Shakespeare's manner. The First Folio has
"Our best Friends made, our meanes stretcht,” which, at any rate, it is quite impossible to believe to be what he wrote. [Iyce and White follow the First Folio, but both consider the line a mutilated one.]
497. And let us presently go sit in counsel, etc. The more ordinary phraseology would be “Let us sit in consultation how,” or “ Let us consult how." The word in the First Folio is “Councell,” and most, if not all, modern editions have “ sit in coun. cil.” But see 262.
498. And bayed about with many enemies. - See 348 (for bayed), and 362 (for with).
498. Millions of mischiefs. — This is the reading of all the old editions. Mr. Knight has “mischief," no doubt by an error of the press.
In the Winter's Tale, iv. 2, however, we have, in a speech of the Clown, “ A million of beating may come to a great matter."
SCENE II. The original heading here is “Drum. Enter Brutus, Lucillius, and the Army. Titinius and Pindarus meete them.” The modern editors after the name of Lucilius introduce that of Lucius. See the note on 520.
501. What now, Lucilius? is Cassius near ? Here the ius is dissyllabic in Lucilius and monosyllabic in Cassius.
502. To do you salutation. - Another of the old applications of do which we have now lost. See 147. The stage direction about the Letter is modern.
503. He greets me well. — The meaning seems to be, He salutes me in a friendly manner. Yet this can hardly be regarded as a legitimate employment of well.
503. In his own change, etc. — The meaning
seems to be, either through a change that has taken place in his own feelings and conduct, or through the misconduct of his officers.
503. Some worthy cause. Some reasonable or sufficient cause, some cause of worth, value, or power to justify the wish. Our modern worth is the Saxon weorth, wurth, or wyrth, connected with which are weorscipe, worship, and weorthian, to hold in esteem or honor. But there may also
perhaps be a connection with weorthan, or wurthan, to become, or to be, the same word with the modern German werden, and still in a single fragment remaining in use among ourselves in the phrase woe worth, that is, woe be. [See Ezekiel xxx. 2.) If this be so, either what we call worth is that which anything emphatically is, or, when we say that a thing is, we are only saying that it is worth in a broad or vague sense, according to a common manner of forming a term of general out of one of particular import. 505. He is not doubted.
A word, etc. Brutus here, it will be observed, makes two speeches; first he addresses himself to Pindarus, then to Lucilius. Even if the prosody did not admonish us to the same effect, it would, in these circumstances, be better to print the passage as I have given it, with two hemistichs or broken lines. 505. Let me be resolved.
See 338. 506. But not with such familiar instances. The word still in use that most nearly expresses this obsolete sense of instances is, perhaps, assiduities. As instance should mean standing upon, so assiduity should mean sitting upon. Assiduitas is used by Cicero ; instantia, I believe, is not found in the best age of the Latin tongue. The English word is em
ployed by Shakespeare in other senses besides this that are now obsolete. 66 To comfort
the more,” says the Earl of Warwick to the King, in 2 Henry IV. jii. 1, —
I have received A certain instance that Glendower is dead, that is, a certain assurance. Again, in Richard III. iii. 2,
Tell tim his fears are shallow, without instance, – that is, apparently, without any fact to support or justify them. Again, in Hamlet, iii. 2, we have
The instances that second marriage move
Are base respects of thrift, but none of love, – that is, the inducements, as we should now say, are base considerations of thrift, or pecuniary advantage. We now use instance in something like its proper sense only in the phrase "at the instance of,” and even there the notion of pressure or urgency is nearly lost; the word is understood as meaning little, if anything, more than merely so much of application, request, or suggestion as the mere mention of what is wanted might carry with it. In another phrase in which it has come to be used, “ in the first instance," it is not very obvious what its meaning really is, or how, at least, it has got the meaning which it appears to have. Do we, or can we, say
66 in the second, or third, instance"? By instance, as commonly used, for a particular fact, we ouglit to understand a fact bearing upon the matter in hand; and this seems to be still always kept in mind in the familiar expression “ for instance.”
Shakespeare's use of the word may be further illustrated by the following passages : “ They will scarcely believe this without trial: offer them in.