« ПредишнаНапред »
The meaning seems to be, "If I could employ prayers (as you can do) to move (others), then I should be moved by prayers (as you might be)." But it is somewhat dark. The commentators see no difficulty, or at least give us no help. "The oracles are dumb."
310. But I am constant as the northern star.-Vid. 263. Both in this line and in the two last lines of the present speech, the term firm would more nearly express the notion in our modern English.
310. Resting quality.-Quality or property of remaining at rest or immovable.
310. But there's but one in all doth hold his place.— That is, its place, as we should now say. Vid. 54.
310. Apprehensive.--Possessed of the power of apprehension, or intelligence. The word is now confined to another meaning.
310. That unassailable, etc.—Holds on his rank probably means continues to hold his place; and unshaked of motion, perhaps, unshaken by any motion, or solicitation, that may be addressed to him. Or, possibly, it may be, Holds on his course unshaken in his motion, or with perfectly steady movement.
312. Wilt thou lift up Olympus?-Wilt thou attempt an impossibility? Think you, with your clamour, to upset what is immovable as the everlasting seat of the Gods?
314. Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?-Has not Brutus been refused, and shall any other be listened to? It is surprising that Dr Johnson should have missed seeing this, and proposed to read "Do not, Brutus, bootless kneel." That, however (which Johnson does not appear to have known), is also the reading of the Second Folio, -except, indeed, that the point of interrogation is, notwithstanding, still preserved. Mr Collier in his regulated text adheres to the reading of the First Folio; but it does not appear that he has the sanction of any restoration of
that reading, or correction of that of the Second Folio, by his MS. annotator.
315.-The only stage direction after this speech in the original edition is, " They stab Cæsar."
316. Et tu, Brute.-There is no ancient Latin authority, I believe, for this famous exclamation, although in Suetonius, I. 82, Cæsar is made to address Brutus Kai où, TÉKVOV; (And thou too, my son ?). It may have occurred as it stands here in the Latin play on the same subject which is recorded to have been acted at Oxford in 1582; and it is found in The True Tragedy of Richard Duke of York, first printed in 1595, on which the Third Part of King Henry the Sixth is founded, as also in a poem by S. Nicholson, entitled Acolastus his Afterwit, printed in 1600, in both of which nearly contemporary productions we have the same line:- “Et tu, Brute? Wilt thou stab Cæsar too?" It may just be noticed, as the historical fact, that the meeting of the Senate at which Cæsar was assassinated was held, not, as is here assumed, in the Capitol, but in the Curia in which the statue of Pompey stood, being, as Plutarch tells us, one of the edifices which Pompey had built, and had given, along with his famous Theatre, to the public. It adjoined the Theatre, which is spoken of (with the Portico surrounding it) in 130, 138, and 140. The mistake which we have here is found also in Hamlet, where (iii. 2) Hamlet questions Polonius about his histrionic performances when at the University: "I did enact Julius Cæsar," says Polonius; "I was killed i' the Capitol; Brutus killed me; to which the Prince replies, "It was a brute part of him to kill so capital a calf there." So also, in Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 6:
Made the all-honoured, honest, Roman Brutus,
With the armed rest, courtiers of beauteous freedom,
Even Beaumont and Fletcher, in their Tragedy entitled
The False One, in defending themselves from the imputation of having taken up the same subject which had been already brought on the stage in the present Play, say:"Sure to tell
Of Cæsar's amorous heats, and how he fell
I' the Capitol, can never be the same
To the judicious.”
In the old copies the only stage direction at the end of this speech is the word "Dies."
319. Ambition's debt is paid.-Its debt to the country and to justice. Unless, as a friend suggests, the meaning may be-Ambition has now received its reward, its due.
325. Nor to no Roman else.-Where, as here, the sense cannot be mistaken, the reduplication of the negative is a very natural way of strengthening the expression. Steevens remarks that, according to Hickes, we have in the English of the times before the Conquest sometimes so many as four negatives employed in combination for this end.
327. And let no man abide this deed. Let no man be held responsible for, or be required to stand any consequences that may follow upon any penalty that may have to be paid on account of, this deed. Another form of the verb to abide is to aby; as in A Midsummer Night's Dream, iii. 2:
"If thou dost intend
Never so little shew of love to her,
and in the same scene, a little before, "Lest to thy peril thou aby it dear;" and, a little after, "Thou shalt 'by this dear." So in the Old Version of the Psalms, iii. 26, “Thou shalt dear aby this blow." It may be questioned whether abide in this sense has any connexion with the common word. To aby has been supposed by some to be the same with buy.-The original stage direction is Enter Trebonius.
328. Where's Antony.—In the original text, "Where is Antony."
329. As it were doomsday.-Assuming the proper meaning of as to be what was explained in the note on 44, as it were will mean literally no more than that it were, and there will be no express intimation of the clause being suppositive or conditional; that will be left to be merely inferred from the obvious requirements of the context, as many things in language continually are where no doubt can exist. The full expression would be as if it were doomsday."-The doom of doomsday is no doubt the same word with deem, and means essentially only thought or judging, whether favourable or unfavourable. The Judges in the Isle of Man and in Jersey are called Deemsters, meaning, apparently, only pronouncers of judgment upon the cases brought before them. On the other hand, however, in Scotland formerly the Dempster of Court was the legal name for the common hangman. This might suggest a possible connexion between deem or doom and the Latin damno (or demno, as in condemno). But the name Dempster in Scotland also designated a species of judge. The Dempsters of Caraldstone in Forfarshire were so called as being hereditary judges to the great Abbey of Aberbrothock. Lord Hailes, under the year 1370, refers to an entry in the Chartulary recording that one of them had become bound to the Abbot and Abbey that he and his heirs should furnish a person to administer justice in their courts at an annual salary of twenty shillings sterling (facient ipsis deserviri de officio judicis, etc.).-Annals, II. 336 [edit. of 1819]. We continue to use deem indifferently; but another word originally of the same general signification, censure, has within the last two centuries lost its old sense, and has come to be restricted to that of pronouncing an unfavourable judgment. The other sense, however, is still retained in census, recension, and censor, with its derivative censorship
(as it is in the French forms for the two last-mentioned, censeur and censure).
331. Why, he that cuts off, etc.-The modern editors, generally, give this speech to Cassius; but it is assigned to Casca in all the old copies. We may suspect a misprint, -for not only is it more in the manner of Cassius, but it does not seem to be so suitable to the comparatively subordinate position of Casca at the present moment;-still, considerations of this kind are not decisive enough to warrant us in departing from the only text which claims to be of authority. No alteration is made by Mr Collier's MS. corrector. But it certainly would be nothing more than what we should expect that some confusion should have taken place in the printing of this Play between Cassius and Casca, as well as between Lucilius and Lucius.
333. Stoop, then, and wash.--So in Coriolanus, i. 10, we have-" Wash my fierce hand in his heart." In both passages wash, which is an Original English word (preserved also in the German waschen), is used in what is probably its primitive sense of immersing in or covering with liquid. Thus we say to wash with gold or silver. So in Antony and Cleopatra, v. 1, Octavius, on being told of the death of Antony, exclaims, "It is a tidings To wash the eyes of kings."
333. In states unborn.-The First Folio, and that only, has "In state unborn,"-palpably a typographical error, and as such now given up by everybody, but a reading which Malone, in his abject subservience to the earliest text, actually retained, or restored, interpreting it as meaning "in theatric pomp as yet undisplayed."
334. That now on Pompey's basis lies along.—At the base of Pompey's statue, as in 426.-In the copy of the First Folio before me it is "lye along ;" but I do not find such a variation anywhere noticed, -not even in Jen nens's collation. Lyes is the word in the Second Folio. 335. The men that gave their country liberty.—This is