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“And that were much he should ; for he is given “To sports, to wildness, and much company.” It is not probable, says Brutus, that Anthony should devote himself to grief and melancholy, who is so much addicted to levity and mirth. If there be any longer a doubt remaining, that “melancholy” is meant by “thought,” in these instances, it must vanish, I suppose, entirely, upon the appearance of the following lines of Enobarbus : “O sovereign mistress of true melancholy, “The poisonous damp of night dispunge upon me, “That life, a very rebel to my will, “May hang no longer on me.”
This interpretation of thought, I find illustrated in Bacon's Historie of the Raigne of King Henry the Seuenth :
“Hawis, an alderman of London, was put in trouble, and died with thought and anguish, before his businesse came to an end.”
305. “ Let me work.”
Mr. Steevens, upon this fragment remarks:— “These words, as they stand, being quite unmetrical, I suppose our author to have originally written—Let me to work; i. e. go to work!”. I fear this emendation will not be much commended. More probable words, I believe, would be, Leave me to work ; (i.e. let me alone to manage this matter.) But who can say that the words, as they stand, are unmetrical, while we are unacquainted with what were to follow them 2–these, for instance, would make harmony: .
“Let me work on him ; I can humour him.” 307. “Enjoy the honey-heavy dew of slumber” Honey-heavy; i. e. sweetly-oppressive.
308. “Is Brutus sick 2 and is it physical
“To walk unbraced;
“And will he steal out of his wholesome bed,
“To dare the vile contagion of the night 9”
to c No, my Brutus;
“You have some sick offence within your mind,” &c.
A good deal of this scene has been borrowed by Dr. Young; where Zanga, leaving his bed, to brood upon his revenge, during a tempest like this described by Shakspeare, is assailed by the tender solicitations of Isabella:
“Is this a night for contemplation ?
“Physical,” for medicinal, occurs in Coriolanus:
“The blood I drop is rather physical.”
“I charm you.”
I enjoin you by the influence of what is sacred. I fear the poet is at his old tricks: he would have said, “I conjure you;” but then “cónjure” started up, and, to make the matter sure that way, he wrote “charm.”
312. “Vouchsafe good morrow from a feeble tongue.”
i. e. Vouchsafe to receive good morrow. It is very harsh construction.
312. “O, what a time have you chose out, brave Caius, “To wear a kerchief ?”
This thought occurs in the First Part of King Henry IV.
“’Zounds ! how has he the leisure to be sick,
And it is also introduced by Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Loyal Subject:
“The general sick now ! Is this a time
315. “ Drizzled blood upon the Capitol.”
This tremendous phaenomenon has been found by modern naturalists to be nothing more than excremental evacuations from hovering swarms of a certain kind of beetles.
“The noise of battle hurtled in the air.”
Gray has introduced this word into one of his odes:
Out of the scope of usage or custom. Thus in Macbeth :
“And make my seated heart knock at my ribs, “Against the use of nature.”
C & These predictions
In the same way does King Richard the Third console himself under the ominous seclusion of the sun :
“Not shine to-day ! why what is that to me,
“More than to Richmond P since the self-same heaven
“That frowns on me, looks lowring upon him.”
322. “Bid them prepare within.”
We might save the metre, by reading, elliptically,
323. “That every like is not the same.”
That every thing is not really what it appears. Thus Iago, less honestly, remarks:
& & Men should be what they seem, “Or, those that be not, would they might seem none.” w
326. “None that I know will be : much that I fear may chance.”
The obscurity of oracular responses would, perhaps, justify the restoration of the metre, here, by reading, elliptically,
“None that I know will be: much, fear, will chance.” VO L. II. C
ACT III. SCENE. I.
329. “ Cassius, be constant.” Be steady; let not your resolution be affected, disconcerted, or changed, by this circumstance.
I wish that Mr. Tyrwhitt, who undertook to defend this expression, as it is supposed originally to have stood, had favoured us with an example, in any other English author, of “wrong's” being used with a meaning different from that of injury. Until this can be shown, I fear the votaries of Shakspeare's muse must abide the sarcasms of Jonson, howsoever they disrelish his malignity. The passage cited by Mr. Malone from the Rape of Lucrece to support Mr. Tyrwhitt, I fear, is insufficient, as the word “wrong,” there, seems to have been adopted merely for the sake of the jingle and alliteration; and, as to what Mr. Steevens produces from K. Henry IV, where Justice Shallow tells Davy, that his friend shall have no wrong, I cannot discover any other meaning in it than that the fellow, although “an errant knave,” should not be treated with unjust rigour. But, even if both those cases were applicable, how would it mitigate or remove the severity of Ben, to prove that the inaccuracy which he was exposing was not only really existent but common with our poet.
333. “ Freedom of repeal.” Freedom that repeal will give.