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239. Is consumed in confidence.--As anything is consumed in fire.
240. For thy humour. - For the gratification of thy whim or caprice. Vid. 205. Mr Collier's MS. annotator directs that Cæsar should here raise Calphurnia, as he had that she should deliver the last line of her preceding speech kneeling.
241. Cæsar, all hail!--Hail in this sense is the Original English hael or hál, meaning hale, whole, or healthy (the modern German heil). It ought rather to be spelled hale. Hail, frozen rain, is from haegl, haegel, otherwise hagol, hagul, or haegol (in modern German hagel).
242. To bear my greeting. To greet in this sense is the Original English gretan, to go to meet, to welcome, to salute (the grüssen of the modern German). The greet of the Scotch and other northern dialects, which is found in Spenser, represents quite another verb of the old language, greotan, or graetan, to lament, apparently the same root which we have in the French regret and the Italian regretto, as well as in our own regret (obtained immediately front the French).
244. To be afeard.-The common Scotch form for afraid is still feared, or feard, from the verb to fear, taken in the sense of to make afraid ; in which sense it is sometimes found in Shakespeare; as in Measure for Measure, ii. 1:
“We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
Setting it up to fear the beasts of prey; " And in Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 6:
“Thou canst not fear us, Pompey, with thy sails.” In The Taming of the Shrew, i. 2, we have in a single line (or two hemistichs) both senses of the verb to fear :
“ Tush! tush! fear boys with bugs,” says Petrucio in scorn; to which his servant Grumio rejoins, aside, “For he fears none."
246. That is enough to satisfy the senate.- Not (as the
words might in other circumstances mean) enough to ensure their being satisfied, but enough for me to do towards that end.
246. She dreamt to-night she saw my statue.-It may be mentioned that both Rowe and Pope substitute last night, which would, indeed, seem to be the most natural expression; but it is unsupported by any of the old copies.The word statue is of frequent occurrence in Shakespeare; and in general it is undoubtedly only a dissyllable. In the present Play, for instance, in the very next speech
“ Your statue spouting blood in many pipes.” And so likewise in 138, and again in 378. Only in one line, which occurs in Richard the Third, ii. 7,
“But like dumb statües or breathing stones,” is it absolutely necessary that it should be regarded as of three syllables, if the received reading be correct. that passage also, however, as in every other, the word in the First Folio is printed simply statues, exactly as it always is in the English which we now write and speak.
On the other hand, it is certain that statue was frequently written statua in Shakespeare's age; Bacon, for example, always, I believe, so writes it; and it is not impossible that its full pronunciation may have been always trisyllabic, and that it became a dissyllable only by the two short vowels, as in other cases, being run together so as to connt prosodically only for one.
From authors of the times,” says Reed, in a note on The Two Gentlemen of Verona, iv. 4, “it would not be difficult to fill whole pages with instances to prove that statue was at that period a trisyllable.” But unfortunately he does not favour us with one such instance, Nor, with the exception of the single line in Richard the Third, the received reading of which has been suspected for an
other reason (breathing stones being not improbably, it has been thought, a misprint for unbreathing stones), has any decisive instance been produced either by Steevens, who refers at that passage to what he designates as Reed's
very decisive note,” or by any of the other commentators anywhere, or by Nares, who also commences his account of the word in his Glossary by telling us that it "was long used in English as a trisyllable."
The only other lines in Shakespeare in which it has been conceived to be other than a word of two syllables are the one now under examination, and another which also occurs in the present Play, in 426:
6 Even at the base of Pompey's statue.” These two lines, it will be observed, are similarly constructed in so far as this word is concerned; in both the supposed trisyllable concludes the verse.
Now, we have many verses terminated in exactly the same manner by other words, and yet it is very far from being certain that such verses were intended to be accounted verses of ten syllables, or were ever so pronounced.
First, there is the whole class of those ending with words in tion or sion. This termination, it is true, usually makes two syllables in Chaucer, and it may do so sometimes, though it does not generally, in Spenser; it is frequently dissyllabic, in indisputable instances, even with some of the dramatists of the early part of the seventeenth century, and particularly with Beaumont and Fletcher ; but it is only on the rarest occasions that it is other than monosyllabic in the middle of the line with Shakespeare. Is it, then, to be supposed that he employed it habitually as a dissyllable at the end of a line? It is of continual occurrence in both positions. For example, in the following line of the present speech,
“But for your private satisfaction,' can we think that the concluding word was intended to
have any different pronunciation from that which it has in the line of Romeo and Juliet (ii. 2),
“What satisfaction canst thou have to-night ?” or in this other from Othello (iii. 3),
“But for a satisfaction of my thought ? " Is it probable that it was customary then, any more than it is now, to divide tion into two syllables in the one case more than in the other?
Secondly, there are numerous verses terminating with the verbal affix ed, the sign of the preterite indicative active or of the past participle passive. This termination is not circumstanced exactly as tion is : the utterance of it as a separate syllable is the rare exception in our modern pronunciation; but it evidently was not so in Shakespeare's day; the distinct syllabication of the ed would rather seem to have been almost as common then as its absorption in the preceding syllable. For instance, when Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet, iii. 2, repeating the Nurse's words, exclaims,
“Tybalt is dead, and Romeo banished :
Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts,” the ed in That banished clearly makes a distinct syllable; and, that being the case, it must be held to be equally such in the two other repetitions of the word. But in other cases its coalescence with the preceding syllable will only produce the same effect to which we are accustomed when we disregard the antiquated pronunciation of the tion at the end of a line, and read it as one syllable. In the present Play, for example, it might be so read in 305,
“Thy brother by decree is banished; "as it was probably intended (in another prosodical position) to be read afterwards in 310,
66 That I was constant Cimber should be banished," and as it must be read in 306,—
“For the repealing of my banished brother." Yet, although most readers in the present day would elide the e in all the three instances, it ought to be observed that in the original edition the word is printed in full in the first and with the apostrophe in the two others. And this distinction in the printing is employed to indicate the pronunciation throughout the volume. How such a
“ Thy brother by decree is banished,”– being a very common prosodical form in Shakespeare,– was intended by him to be read, or was commonly read in his day, must therefore remain somewhat doubtful. If, however, the e was elided in the pronunciation, such verses would be prosodically exactly of the same form or structure with those, also of very frequent occurrence, in which all that we have for a fifth foot is the affix or termination tion, on the assumption that that was pronounced only as one syllable.
One way of disposing of such lines would be to regard them as a species of hemistich or truncated line. Verses which, although not completed, are correctly constructed as far as they go, occur in every Play in great numbers and of all dimensions; and those in question would be such verses wanting the last syllable, as others do the two or three or four or five last. This explanation would take in the case of the lines, “She dreamt to-night she saw my statue,” and “Even at the base of Pompey's statue,” and of others similarly constructed, supposing statue to be only a dissyllable, as well as all those having in the last foot only tion or ed. But most probably this particular kind of truncated line, consisting of nine syllables, would not occur so frequently as it does but for the influence