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360. You shall not in your funeral speech blame us. The sense and the prosody concur in demanding an emphasis on us.
360. And say you do't.—We do not now in serious or elevated writing use this kind of contraction.
362. The original stage direction after this speech is, "Exeunt. Manet Antony."
363. O pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth.-So in all the early editions, and also in the greater number of those of the last century; but unaccountably altered into "thou piece of bleeding earth" in the Variorum edition of Malone and Boswell, the text of which was generally taken as the standard for subsequent reprints, till the true reading was restored by Mr Knight.
363. That ever lived in the tide of times.—This must mean, apparently, in the course or flow of times. Tide and time, however, properly mean the same thing. Tide is only another form of Zeit, the German word answering to our English time. Time, again, is the French tems, or temps, a corruption of the Latin tempus (which has also in one of its senses, the part of the head where time is indicated to the touch by the pulsations of the blood, been strangely corrupted, both in French and English, into temple,—distinguished, however, in the former tongue from temple, a church, by a difference of gender, and also otherwise written tempe).
363. A curse shall light upon the loins of men.-This is one of the most remarkable of the new readings for which we are indebted to Mr Collier's MS. annotator. The old printed text, "the limbs of men," was felt by every editor not enslaved to the First Folio to be in the highest degree suspicious. By most of them the limbs of men seems to have been understood to mean nothing more than the bodies or persons of men generally. Steevens, however, says;-" Antony means that a future curse shall commence in distempers seizing on the limbs
of men, and be succeeded by commotion, cruelty, and desolation over Italy." A strangely precise style of prophecy! For limbs Warburton proposed to substitute line, Hanmer kind, and Johnson lives,-" unless," he adds, we read these lymmes of men, that is, these bloodhounds of men." The lymm, lym, lime, limer, or limehound was used in hunting the wild boar. The loins of men means, of course, the generations of men. Even if proposed as nothing more, this would have been one of the most plausible of conjectures, and would probably have at once commanded general acceptance. Warburton hit upon nearly what seems to have been the meaning of Shakespeare with his line of men; but how much less Shakespearian the expression!
363. Quartered with the hands of war.-So afterwards, in 426, “Here is himself, marred, as you see, with traitors." Vid. 124. We should now rather regard the hands as the agents, and say "by the hands of war."
363. With Ate by his side.-This Homeric goddess had taken a strong hold of Shakespeare's imagination. In Much Ado about Nothing, ii. 1, Benedick, inveighing to Don Pedro against the Lady Beatrice, says, "You shall find her the infernal Ate in good apparel." In King John, iv. 1, John's mother, Queen Elinor, is described by Chatillon as an Ate stirring him to blood and strife." And in Love's Labour's Lost, v. 2, Biron, at the representation of the Nine Worthies, calls out "More Ates, more Ates; stir them on! stir them on!" Where did Shakespeare get acquainted with this divinity, whose name does not occur, I believe, even in any Latin author?
363. Cry Havoc !-Havoc is the Original English hafoc, meaning waste, destruction; whence the hawk, so called as the bird of waste and ravage. Johnson states on the authority of a learned correspondent (known to be Sir William Blackstone), that, "in the military operations of old times, havoc was the word by which declaration was
Milton in one
made that no quarter should be given." place makes a verb of this substantive :-"To waste and havoc yonder world" (Par. Lost, x. 617).
363. Let slip the dogs of war.-Notwithstanding the apparently considerable difference between schlüpfen and schlafen, by which they are severally represented in modern German, slip may possibly have been originally the same word with sleep. In the English of the time before the Conquest, although the common form is slæpan for to sleep and slipan for to slip, we find indications of slepan having been used for both. To sleep, or fall asleep, may have been regarded as a gliding, or softly moving, away.-To let slip a dog at a deer, etc., was, as Malone remarks, the technical phrase of Shakespeare's time. Hence the leash, out of which it was thus allowed to escape, was called the slips. The proper meaning, indeed, of leash (in French lesse, or laisse, from laisser) is that which lets go; and this is probably also the true meaning of the Spanish lasso; although, that which lets go, or from which we let go, being also necessarily that which has previously detained, lesse, lasso, leash, and also lease, have all, as well as slip, come to be regarded as involving rather the latter notion (of detention or tenure), that being really the principal or most important office which what is called a slip or leash seems to perform. It was perhaps in this way also that the verb to let acquired the sense (now nearly obsolete) of to hinder, as well as its more ordinary sense of to permit.
It is observed by Steele in The Tatler, No. 137, that by "the dogs of war" Shakespeare probably meant fire, sword, and famine, according to what is said in the Chorus to Act First of King Henry the Fifth :
"Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
Assume the port of Mars; and, at his heels,
Leashed in like hounds, should Famine, Sword, and Fire
To this we might add what Talbot says, in the First Part of King Henry the Sixth, iv. 2, to the Captains of the French forces before Bordeaux :
"You tempt the fury of my three attendants,
Lean Famine, quartering Steel, and climbing Fire."
In illustration of the passage from Henry the Fifth Steevens quotes what Holinshed makes that King to have said to the people of Roan (or Rouen):-" He declared that the Goddess of Battle, called Bellona, had three handmaidens ever of necessity attending upon her, as Blood, Fire, and Famine." And at that from Henry the Sixth Malone gives the following extract from Hall's Chronicle:- "The Goddess of War, called Bellona, . . hath these three handmaids ever of necessity attending on her; Blood, Fire, and Famine; which three damosels be of that force and strength that every one of them alone is able and sufficient to torment and afflict a proud prince; and they all joined together are of puissance to destroy the most populous country and most richest region of the world."
It might, perhaps, be questioned whether the words, “And let slip the dogs of war" ought not to be considered as also part of the exclamation of Cæsar's spirit. 363. That this foul deed, etc.-So that.
363. With carrion men.-Vid. 177.-The stage direction in the original edition is "Enter Octavio's Servant."
363. You serve Octavius Cæsar.—So called throughout both this Play and that of Antony and Cleopatra. He was properly now Cæsar Octavianus.
366. The stage direction, Seeing the Body, is modern. 367. For mine eyes.-This, which is clearly right, is the reading of the Second Folio. The First has "Passion I see is catching from mine eyes."
369. Tell him what hath chanced.- Vid. 69.
369. No Rome of safety.-Vid. 56.
369. Till I have borne this corpse.-Corpse (or corse) here is a modern conjectural substitution for the course of the First and Second Folios and the coarse of the Third and Fourth.
369. The cruel issue of these bloody men.-The result or end which they have brought about.
369. According to the which.-This archaism occurs occasionally in Shakespeare, as it does also in the common translation of the Scriptures :-"Every tree in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed” (Gen. i. 29).
369. Lend me your hand.-We should now rather say a hand.―The stage direction that follows is in the original edition, "Exeunt. Enter Brutus and goes into the Pulpit, and Cassius with the Plebeians."
SCENE II.-The same. The Forum.
Enter BRUTUS and CASSIUS, and a throng of CITIZENS.
370. Cit. We will be satisfied; let us be satisfied.
371. Bru. Then follow me, and give me audience, friends.— Cassius, go you into the other street,
And part the numbers.
Those that will hear me speak, let 'em stay here;
Those that will follow Cassius, go with him;
And public reasons shall be rendered
Of Cæsar's death.
1 Cit. I will hear Brutus speak.
373. 2 Cit. I will hear Cassius; and compare their reasons,
When severally we hear them rendered.
[Exit CASSIUS, with some of the CITIZENS. BRUTUS goes into the Rostrum.
374. 3 Cit. The noble Brutus is ascended: Silence!
375. Bru. Be patient till the last.
Romans, countrymen, and lovers! hear me for my cause; and be silent, that you may hear: believe me for mine honour; and have respect to mine honour, that you may believe: censure me in your wisdom; and awake your senses, that you may the better judge. If there be any in this assembly, any dear friend of Cæsar's, to him I say, that Brutus' love to Cæsar was no less than his. If, then,