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And do you now strew flowers in his way,
That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood?
Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
16. Flav. Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,
Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
You know, it is the feast of Lupercal.
Who else would soar above the view of men,
And keep us all in servile fearfulness.
[Exeunt Act I. Scene I., etc.—The heading here in the original text is:-" Actus Primus. Scoena Prima. Enter Flavius, Murellus, and certaine Commoners over the Stage." Murellus stands throughout not only in all the Folios, but also in the editions of both Rowe and Pope. The right name was first inserted by Theobald.
This opening scene may be compared with the first part of that of Coriolanus, to which it bears a strong general resemblance.
1. You ought not walk.-The history and explanation of this now disused construction may be best collected from a valuable paper by Dr Guest "On English Verbs, Substantive and Auxiliary," read before the Philological Society, 13th March, 1846, and printed in their Proceed
ings, II. 223. "Originally," says Dr Guest, "the to was prefixed to the gerund, but never to the present infinitive; as, however, the custom gradually prevailed of using the latter in place of the former, the to was more and more frequently prefixed to the infinitive, till it came to be considered as an almost necessary appendage of it. Many idioms, however, had sunk too deeply into the language to admit of alteration; and other phrases, to which the popular ear had been familiarized, long resisted the intrusive particle." The ancient syntax is still retained in all cases with the auxiliary verbs, as they are called, shall, will, can, may, do, and also with must and let, and oftener than not with bid, dare, hear, make, see, and perhaps some others. Vid. 634. Cause is frequently so used; and so is help, sometimes,-as in Milton's Sonnet to his friend Lawrence:
"Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day?
But, even since the language may be said to have entered upon the stage of its existence in which it still is, several of the verbs just enumerated as not admitting the to are occasionally found following the common example and taking it; and others, again, which at the present day have completely conformed to the ordinary construction, formerly used now and then to dispense with it. One of Dr Guest's quotations exemplifies both these archaisms; it is from the portion of The Mirror for Magistrates contributed by John Higgins in 1574 (King Albanact, 16) :
"And, though we owe the fall of Troy requite,
yet let re
That is, "Though we ought to requite, . . . venge light," as we should now say. Here we have let with the to, and owe (of which ought or owed is the preterite), as in Shakespeare's expression before us, without it. Others of Dr Guest's citations from the same writer
exhibit the auxiliaries may, will, can with the to. And he also produces from Spenser (F. Q., iv. 7. 32),"Whom when on ground she grovelling saw to roll;"
and from Shakespeare (Othello, iv. 2)—
“I durst, my Lord, to wager she is honest."
Other verbs that are found in Shakespeare sometimes construed in the same manner are endure, forbid, intend, vouchsafe; as,
"The treason that my haste forbids me show."
Rich. II., v. 3.
"How long within this wood intend you stay?"
Mid. N. Dr., ii. 1.
"Your betters have endured me say my mind."
Tam. of Shrew, iv. 3.
"Most mighty Duke, vouchsafe me speak a word."
Com. of Er. v. 1.
The verb to owe, it may further be observed, is etymologically the same with own. Shakespeare repeatedly has owe where own would be now employed; as in Iago's diabolical self-gratulation (in Othello, iii. 3):
"Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrops of the world,
The original English word is ágan,—the ag, or radical part,
nexation which the vowel sound is apt to seek as a support or rest for itself, or, probably, in this case it may be the en of the ancient past participle (úgen) or the an of the infinitive (ágan). So we have both to awake and to awaken, to ope and to open. In so short a word as the one under consideration, and one in such active service, these affixes would be the more liable to get confounded with the root. It may sound odd to speak of a man as owning what he owes; yet, if we will think of it, there are few things that can rightly be said to be more a man's own than his debts; they are emphatically proper to him, or his property, clinging to him, as they do, like a part of himself. Again, that which a man owns in this sense, or owes, is that which it is proper for him, or which he has, to perform or to discharge (as the case may be); hence the secondary meaning of ought as applied to that which is one's duty, or which is fitting. For another explanation of these forms, however, the reader is referred to the Second Edition of Dr Latham's Handbook of the English Language (1855), pp. 304 and 309. Dr Latham distinguishes the own in such expressions as " He owned his fault" by the name of the Own concedentis (of concession or acknowledgment). But may not this sense be explained as equivalent to I make my own, I take as my own?
1. Upon a labouring day.-Labouring is here a substantive, not a participle. It is as when we say that we love labouring, or that labouring is conducive to health of mind as well as of body. It is not meant that the day labours; as when we speak of a labouring man, or a labouring ship, or a labouring line
("When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move slow").
A labouring day is an expression of the same kind with a walking stick, or a riding coat; in which it is not asserted that the stick walks, or that the coat rides; but,
two substantives being conjoined, the one characterizes or qualifies the other,-performs, in fact, the part of an adjective, just as happens in the expressions a gold ring, a silver tankard, a leather apron, a morning draught, the evening bells.
An expression used by Cowper (in his verses composed in the name of Alexander Selkirk), "the sound of the church-going bell," has been passionately reprobated by Wordsworth. 'The epithet church-going applied to a bell," observes the critic (in an Appendix upon the subject of Poetic Diction, first attached, I believe, in 1820 to the Preface originally published with the Second Edition of the Lyrical Ballads, 1800), " and that by so chaste a writer as Cowper, is an instance of the strange abuses which poets have introduced into their language, till they and their readers take them as matters of course, if they do not single them out expressly as matters of admiration." A church-going bell is merely a bell for church-going; and the expression is constructed on the same principle with a thousand others that are and always have been in familiar use ;-such as a marauding or a sight-seeing expedition, a banking or a house-building speculation, a fox-hunting country, a lending library, a writing desk, a looking glass, a dining room, a dancing school, a dwelling house, a lying-in hospital, etc., etc. What would Wordsworth have said to such a daring and extreme employment of the same form as we have in Shakespeare, where he makes Cleopatra (in Antony and Cleopatra, iii. 11) say, speaking of the victorious Cæsar,"From his all-obeying breath I hear The doom of Egypt?"
But these audacities of language are of the
The peculiar class of substantives under consideration cannot, properly speaking, be regarded as even present participles in disguise. Their true history has been given