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perial court, whence our modern Counts or Earls, and other nobility, were certainly not regarded as being the equals of the Emperor, any more than a Companion to a lady is now looked upon as the equal of her mistress. We have our modern fellow from the Saxon felaw, companion (with company) immediately from the French compagnon and the Italian compagno, which have been variously deduced from com-panis, com-paganus, combino (Low Latin, from binus), com-benno (one of two or more riders in the same bennå, or cart), etc. [It is pretty certainly from the Low Latin companium, compounded of con and panis. Wedgwood compares the Old High German gi-mazo, or gi-leip, boardfellow, from mazo, meat, or leip, bread; and the Gothic gahlaiba, fellow-disciple (John xi. 16), from hlaibs, bread.] We have an instance of the use of Companion in the same sense in which we still commonly employ fellow, even in so late a work as Smolletts Roderick Random, published in 1748: “ The young ladies, who thought themselves too much concerned to contain themselves any longer, set up their throats all together against my protector. *Scurvy companion! Saucy tarpaulin! Rude impertinent fellow ! Did he think to prescribe to grandpapa !'" Vol. I. ch. 3. In considering this meaning of the terms companion and fellow, we may also remember the proverb which tells us that “Familiarity breeds Contempt.”
Neither the entry nor the exit of Lucilius and Titinius is noticed in the old copies.
579. Lucilius and Titinius, bid the commanders. - The only irregularity in the prosody of this line is the common one of the one superfluous short syllable, the ius of Titinius.
580. Immediately to us, etc.— If this, as may be the case, is to form a complete line with the words of Brutus that follow, two of the six syllables must be regarded as superabundant. But there might perhaps be a question as to the accentuation of the us.
588. Upon what sickness? - That is, after or in consequence of what sickness. It is the same use of upon which we have in 457, and which is still familiar to us in such phrases as “upon this,” “ upon that," "upon his return,” etc., though we no longer speak of a person as dying upon a particular sickness or disease.
589. Impatient of my absence, etc. - This speech is throughout a striking exemplification of the tendency of strong emotion to break through the logical forms of grammar, and of how possible it is for language to be perfectly intelligible and highly expressive, sometimes, with the grammar in a more or less chaotic or uncertain state. It does not matter much whether we take grief to be a nominative, or a second genitive governed by impatient. In principle, though not perhaps according to rule and established usage, “Octavius with Mark Antony” is as much entitled to a plural verb 66 Octavius and Mark Antony.” Tidings, which is a frequent word with Shakespeare, is commonly used by him as a plural noun; in this same Play we have afterwards “ these tidings” in 728; but there are other instances besides the present in which it is treated as singular. It is remarkable that we should have exactly the same state of things in the case of the almost synonymous term news (the final s of which, however, has been sometimes attempted to be accounted for as a remnant of -ess or -ness, though its exact correspondence in form with the French
nouvelles, of the same signification, would seem conclusively enough to indicate what it really is). At any rate tiding and new (as a substantive) are both alike unknown to the language.
589. She fell distract. — In Shakespeare's day the language possessed the three forms distracted, distract, and distraught; he uses them all. We have now only the first. [See on 252.]
592. The original stage direction here is, "Enter Boy with Wine and Tapers.” The second“ Drinks” at the end of 594 is modern; and the “Reenter Titinius,” etc., is “Enter” in the original.
595. And call in question. - Here we have probably rather a figurative expression of the poet than a common idiom of his time. Then as well as now, we may suppose, it was not things, but only persons, that were spoken of in ordinary language as called in question.
597. Bending their expedition. — Rather what we should now call their march (or movement) though perhaps implying that they were pressing on-than their expedition (or enterprise).
598. Myself have letters. — We have now lost the right of using such forms as either myself or himself as sufficient nominatives, though they still remain perfectly unobjectionable accusatives. We can say “I blame myself,” and “I saw himself;' but it must be “I myself blame him,” and “He himself saw it.” Here, as everywhere else, in the original text the myself is in two words, “ My selfe.” And tenour in all the Folios, and also in both Rowe's edition and Pope's, is tenure, a form of the word which we now reserve for another sense.
600. That by proscription, and bills of outlawry. The word outlawry taking the accent on the first syllable, this line will be most naturally read by being regarded as characterized by the common peculiarity of a supernumerary short syllable - the tion or the and — to be disposed of, as usual, by the two being rapidly enunciated as one. It will in this way be exactly of the same prosody with another that we have presently : 66 Struck Cæsar on the neck. - you flatterers” (689). It might, indeed, be reduced to perfect regularity by the tion being distributed into a dissyllable, -ti-on,-in which case the prosody would be completed at out, and the two following unaccented syllables would count for nothing (or be what is called hypercatalectic), unless, indeed, any one should insist upon taking them for an additional foot, and so holding the verse to be an Alexandrine. But taste and probability alike protest against either of these ways of managing the matter. (See what is said in regard to the dissyllabication of the tion or sion by Shakespeare in the note on 246: She dreamt to-night she saw my statue.) Nay, even the running together of the tion and the and is not necessary, nor the way that would be taken by a good reader; that is not how the line would be read, but only how it might be scanned : in reading it, the and would be rather combined with the bills, and short pause would, in fact, be made after the tion, as the pointing and the sense require. So entirely unfounded is the notion that a pause, of whatever length, occurring in the course of a verse can ever have anything of the prosodical effect of a word or syllable.
603. Cicero is dead. - In the original printed text these words are run into one line with “ and by that order of proscription.”
The text of the Variorum edition presents the same arrangement, with
the addition of Ay as a prefix to the whole.
6 For the insertion of the affirmative adverb, to complete the verse," says Steevens in a note, “ I am answerable.” According to Jennens, however, this addition was also made by Capell. In any case, it is plain that, if we receive the Ay, we must make two lines, the first ending with the word dead. But we are not entitled to exact or to expect a perfect observance of the punctilios of regular prosody in such brief expressions of strong emotion as the dialogue is here broken into. What do the followers of Steevens profess to be able to make, in the way of prosody, of the very next utterance that we have from Bru
is, — the “No, Messala” of 604? The best thing we can do is to regard Cassius's “ Cicero one?” and Messala's responsive “Cicero is dead” either as hemistichs (the one the commencement, the other the conclusion, of a line), or, if that view be preferred, as having no distinct or precise prosodical character whatever. Every sense of harmony and propriety, however, revolts against running “Cicero is dead” into the same line with “ And by that order," etc. [Collier, Dyce, Hudson, and White, all omit“ Ay,” and arrange the lines as here.]
612. With meditating that she must die once. For this use of with see 362. Once has here the same meaning which it has in such common forms of expression as “ Once, when I was in London," “Once upon a time,” etc. that is to say, it means once without, as in other cases, restriction to that particular number. Steevens, correctly enough, interprets it as equivalent to “ at some time or other;" and quotes in illustration, from The Merry Wives of Windsor, iii. 4, “I pray thee, once to-night Give my sweet Nan this ring.” [Compare Jeremiah xiii.