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stances; which shall bear no less likelihood than to see me at her chamber window ; hear me call Margaret, Hero; hear Margaret term me Claudio;" etc. (Much Ado About Nothing, ii. 2);-
Instance! O instance! strong as Pluto's gates;
Troil. and Cress. v. 2. 507. Like horses hot at hand.
That is, apparently, when held by the hand, or led. [Compare Henry VIII., v. 2 (v. 3 in Globe Ed.):
those that tame wild horses Pace 'em not in their hands to make 'em gentle, But stop their mouths with stubborn bits, and spur 'em,
Till they obey the manage.] Or rather, perhaps, when acted upon only by the rein. So in Harington's Ariosto, vii. 67, Melyssa says that she will try to make Rogero's griffith horse
gentle to the spur and hand.” But has not “ at hand” always meant, as it always does now, only near or hard by? That meaning will not do here. The commentators afford us no light or help. Perhaps Shakespeare wrote “ in hand.” The two expressions in hand and at hand are commonly distinguished in the Plays as they are in our present lisage; and we also have on hand and at the hands of in the modern senses, as well as to bear in hana ("to keep in expectation, to amuse with false pretences” – Nares) and at any hand (that is, in any case), which are now obsolete. In The Comedy of Errors, ii. I, at hand, used by his mistress Adriana in the common sense, furnishes matter for the wordcatching wit of Dromio of Ephesus after he has been beaten, as he thinks, by his master: “Adr. Say,
is your tardy master now at hand? Dro. E. Nay, he's at two hands with me, and that my two ears can witness." In King John, v. 2, however, we have “ like a lion fostered up at hand,” that is, as we should now say, by hand. In another similar phrase, we may remark, at has now taken the place of the in or into of a former age. We now say To march at the head of, and also To place at the head of, and we use in the head and into the head in quite other senses ; but here is the way in which Clarendon expresses himself: “They said ... that there should be an army of thirty thousand men immediately transported into England with the Prince of Wales in the head of them” (Hist., Book x.); "The King was only expected to be nearer England, how disguised soever, that he might quickly put himself into the head of the army, that would be ready to receive him” (Id., Book xiv.); “ These cashiered officers ... found so much encouragement, that, at a time appointed, they put themselves into the heads of their regiments, and marched with them into the field ” (Id., Book xvi.); “ That Lord [Fairfax] had called together some of his old disbanded officers and soldiers, and many principal inen of the country, and marched in the head of them into York” (Ibid.); “Upon that very day they (the Parliament] received a petition, which they had fomented, presented ... by a man notorious in those times, .. Praise-God Barebone, in the head of a crowd of sectaries“ (Ibid.); [the Chancellor] informed him [Adiniral Montague] of Sir George Booth's being possessed of Chester, and in the head of an army” (Ibid.).
507. They fall their crests. — This use of fall, as an active verb, is not common in Shakespeare,
but it may be found in writers of considerably later date. [See page 382.]
508. Instead of the stage direction “March within” at the end of this speech, the original text has “Low March within ” in the middle of 507. And instead of “Enter Cassius and Soldiers,” it is there “Enter Cassius and his powers."
512, 513, 514. - The Within prefixed to these three speeches is the insertion of the modern editors In the First Folio the three repetitions of the “Stand" are on so many distinct lines, but all as if they formed part of the speech of Brutus. Mr. Collier has at 514 the stage direction, “One after the other, and fainter.”
518. Cassius, be content. - That is, be continent, contain, or restrain, yourself. [The phrase occurs also in the Bible (Judges xix. 6; 2 Kings v. 23, vi. 3; fob vi. 28); but the meaning there is “be pleased " or "let it please thee," as the Hebrew is translated in 2 Sam. vii. 29.
See Bible WordBook, s. v.]
518. Speak your griefs softly. — See 129 and 435.
518. Nothing but love from us. — From each of us to the other.
518. Enlarge your griefs. - State them with all fulness of eloquent exposition; as we still say Enlarge upon. See 129 and 435. Clarendon uses the verb to enlarge differently both from Shakespeare and from the modern language; thus: “ As soon as his lordship had finished his oration, which was received with marvellous acclamations, Mr. Pym enlarged himself, in a speech then printed, upon the several parts of the King's answer” (Hist., Book vi.).
520. Lucius, do you the like; etc. — The original text is,
Lucillius, do you the like, and let no man
Let Lucius and Titinius guard our doore. To cure the prosody in the first line, Steevens and other modern editors strike out the you. It is strange that no one should have been struck with the absurdity of such an association as Lucius and Titinius for the guarding of the door
an officer of rank and a servant boy -- the boy, too, being named first. The function of Lucius was to carry messages. As Cassius sends his servant Pindarus with a message to his division of the force, Brutus sends his servant Lucius with a similar message to his division. Nothing can be clearer than that Lucilius in the first line is a misprint for Lucius, and Lucius in the third a misprint for Lucilius. Or the error may have been in the copy; and the insertion of the Let was probably an attempt of the printer, or editor, to save the prosody of that line, as the omission of the you is of the modern editors to save that of the other. The present restoration sets everything to rights. [White adopts Craik's emendation, but Collier and Dyce take no notice of it.] At the close of the conference we have Brutus, in 579, again addressing himself to Lucilius and Titinius, who had evidently kept together all the time it lasted. Lucius (who in the original text is commonly called the Boy) and Titinius are nowhere mentioned together. In the heading of Scene III., indeed, the modern editors have again “Lucius and Titinius at some distance ;” but this is their own manufacture. All that we have in the old copies is, “Manet Brutus and Cassius.” See also 570.
SCENE III. [Plutarch in his Life of Marcus Brutus (North's translation, 1579, p. 1071), says, “ Therefore, before they fell in hand with any
other matter, they went into a little chamber together, and bad every man avoyde, and did shut the dores to them. Then they beganne to powre out their complaints, one to the other, and grew hot and lowde, earnestly accusing one another, and at length fell both a weeping. Their friends, that were without the chamber, hearing them lowd within and angry betwene them selves, they were both amased, and affrayd also, lest it would grow to further matter."]
521. [You have condemned and noted. Compare North's Plutarch: “The next day after, Brutus, upon complaint of the Sardians, did condemn and note Lucius Pella for a defamed person,” etc.]
521. Wherein my letters . . . were slighted off. - The printer of the First Folio, evidently mis understanding the passage, gives us, –
Wherein my Letters, praying on his side,
Because I knew the man was slighted off. The Second Folio has, –
Wherein my Letter, praying on his side,
Because I knew the man, was slighted off. [White adopts this reading.] At a date considerably later than Shakespeare we have still slighted over (for to treat or perform carelessly). It is used by Dryden in the end of the seventeenth century, as it had been by Bacon in the beginning. The connection of the various modifications of the term slight is sufficiently obvious. They all involve the notion of quickly and easily escaping or being despatched and got rid of.