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of the numeral and of the first syllable of the adverb was the same.
56. There was a Brutus once, that would have brooked. -To brook (originally brucan), for to endure, to submit to, is one of those old words which every one still understands but no one uses, unless it may be some studious imitator of the antique.
57. That you do love me, I am nothing jealous.--I an nowhat jealous, doubtful, suspicious, in regard to its being the fact that you love me. This seems to be the grammatical resolution of a construction which, like many similar ones familiar to the freer spirit of the language two centuries ago, would now scarcely be ren
57. I have some aim.-Aim, in old French eyme, esme, and estme, is the same word with esteem (from the Latin æstimatio and æstimare), and should therefore signify properly a judgment or conjecture of the mind, which is very nearly its meaning here. We might now say, in the same sense, I have some notion. In modern English the word has acquired the additional meaning of an intention to hit, or catch, or in some other way attain, that to which the view is directed. It does not seem impossible that the French name for the loadstone, aimant, may be from the same root, although it has usually been considered to be a corruption of adamant. A ship's reckonings are called in French estimes, which is undoubtedly the same word with our aims. In the French of the early part of the sixteenth century we find esme and esmé (or esmez, as it was commonly written) confounded with the totally different aimer, to love. Rabelais, for instance, writes bien aymez for bien esmez, well disposed. See Duchat's Note on liv. I., ch. 5.
57. For this present.—So, in the Absolution, that those things may please him which we do at this present.” This expression, formerly in universal use and good repute,
now remains only a musty law phrase, never admitted into ordinary composition except for ludicrous effect.
57. So with love I might entreat you. This form of expression is still preserved both in our own language and in German. Thus (John 1. 25):-“Warum taufest du denn, so du nicht Christus bist?” or, “So Gott will” (If God please). The conjunction thus used is commonly said to be equivalent to if. But so, according to Home Tooke (D. of P., 147), is merely the Meso-Gothic demonstrative pronoun, and signifies properly this or that. In German, though commonly, as with ourselves, only an adverb or conjunction, it may still be also used pronominally; as Das Buch, so ihr mir gegeben habt (the book which you gave me). Something of the same kind, as we have already seen (44), takes place even in English with as, which is perhaps only another form of so or sa. Upon this theory, all that so will perform in such a passage as the present will be to mark, and separate the clause which it heads by an emphatic introductory compendium : - That (or this), namely, that with love I might, etc. and the fact of the statement in the clause being a supposition, or assumption, will be left to be inferred. That fact, however, would be expressed by the so according to the doctrine of Dr Webster, who conceives the word to be derived from some Hebrew or other root signifying to compose, to set, to still.
“This sense,” he affirms, “ is retained in the use of the word by milkmaids, who
to Cows so, so, that is, stand still, remain as you are.” Such an application of the term, I apprehend, is not peculiar to the milkmaid tongue,-a familiarity with which, however, is certainly carrying linguistic knowledge a great way.-The First Folio points, blunderingly, “I would not so (with love I might intreat you)."
57. Be any further moved.—Here again, as in 45, Mr Collier prints farther, though further is the reading of both the First and the Second Folio.
57. Chew upon this. We have lost the native word in this application; but we retain the metaphor, only translating chew into the Latin equivalent, ruminate.
57. Brutus had rather be . . . than to repute.-The sense of the verb Have in the phrase Had rather is peculiar. Johnson calls it barbarous. Webster asks, “ Is not this phrase a corruption of would rather?" It has the same sense, as we have seen (54), in Had as lief, and in the older Had liefer, or lever. This verb (one very variously applied in some other languages, -witness the 20
y a of the French, the vi ha or havvi of the Italian, the ha or hay, of the Spanish, as well as certain constructions of the Greek éxelv) may have been employed by us formerly with more latitude of signification than now. We still
say Have at him, and, with a somewhat different sense, Have at you. Even Shakespeare has, in Rich. II., iii. 3,
“Me rather had my heart might feel your love
Than my unpleasęd eye see your courtesy.” There is also the phrase, Had like, not yet quite gone out, of which all that Dr Webster has to say is, that it seems to be a corruption, -unless, he adds, like be here a noun, and used for resemblance or probability (which it may be safely affirmed that it is not). The to before repute is, apparently, to be defended, if at all, upon the ground that had rather is equivalent in import to would prefer, and that, although it is only an auxiliary before be a villager, it is to be taken as a common verb before to repute. It is true that, as we have seen (1), the to was in a certain stage of the language sometimes inserted, sometimes omitted, both after auxiliaries and after other verbs; but that was hardly the style of Shakespeare's age. We certainly could not now say “I had rather to repute;" and I do not suppose that any one would have directly so written or spoken then. The irregularity is softened or disguised in the passage before us by the interrening words.
57. Under these hard conditions as.---This is the reading in all the old copies; these—as where we should now say such—as, or those—that. If such, so, as, that (or this) be all etymologically of the same or nearly the same signification, they would naturally, till custom regulated their use, and assigned a distinct function to each, be interchangeable one with another. Thus in 129 we have “To such a man That is no fleering tell-tale.” Although those~as, or that—as, is common, however, these-as is certainly at any rate unusual. Mr Collier prints, upon the authority of his MS. corrector, “under such hard conditions.” I should suspect the true reading to be “under those hard conditions.” Vid. 44.
57. Is like. This form of expression is not quite, but nearly, gone out. We now commonly say is likely.
58. I am glad that my weak words. In this first line of the speech of Cassius and the last of the preceding speech of Brutus we have two hemistichs, having no prosodical connexion. It was never intended that they should form one line, and no torturing can make them
Re-enter Cæsar.-In the original text it is Enter.
60. What hath proceeded. That is, simply, happened, -a sense which the verb has now lost.
61. I will do so, etc.—Throughout the Play, the ius of Cassius (as also of Lucilius) makes sometimes only one syllable, sometimes two, as here.
62. Being crossed in conference, etc.-If the being and conference be fully enunciated, as they will be in any but the most slovenly reading, we have two supernumerary syllables in this line, but both so short that neither the mechanism nor the melody of the verse is at all impaired by them.
65. Let me have men about me, etc.--Some of the expressions in this speech are evidently suggested by those of North in his translation of Plutarch's Life of Cæsar:
“When Cæsar's friends complained unto him of Antonius and Dolabella, that they pretended [i. e. intended] some mischief towards him, he answered; As for those fat men and smooth-combed heads (quoth he), I reckon of them; but these pale-visaged and carrion-lean people, I fear them most; meaning Brutus and Cassius.”
65. Such as sleep o' nights. That is, on nights; as o'clock is on clock, and also as aboard is on board, aside on side, aloft on loft, alive in life, etc. In the older stages of the language the meanings that we now discriminate by on and in are confused, and are both expressed by an, on, un, in, or in composition by the contractions a
The form here in the original text is a-nights. 65. Yond Cassius.—Though yond is no longer in. use, we still have both yon and yonder. The d is probably no proper part of the word, but has been added to strengthen the sound, as in the word sound itself (from the French son), and in many other cases. See, upon the origin of Yonder, Dr Latham's Eng. Lang. 375.
66. Well given.--Although we no longer say absolutely well or ill given (for well or ill disposed), we still say given to study, given to drinking, etc.
67. Yet, if my name.--A poetic idiom for “Yet, if I, bearing the name I do.” In the case of Cæsar the name was even more than the representative and most precise expression of the person; it was that in which his power chiefly resided, his renown. Every reader of Milton will remember the magnificent passage (P. L. i. 961) :-
“ Behold the throne
Of Demogorgon.” 67. Liable to fear. The word liable has been somewhat restricted in its application since Shakespeare's time.