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This thought, without the extravagance of the hyperbole, occurs in As You Like It: " -- Thus the hairy fool “Stood on the extremest verge of the swift brook,
Augmenting it with tears.
261. “When Cæsar says, do this, it is per
form'd." “Sit lux et lux fuit." 263. Br. “ I'll leave you.”
This, like many other fragments, is evidently an idle interpolation; it is utterly useless to the sense and spirit of the dialogue, and disfigures the verse. The removal of this hemistic would obviate Mr. Steevens's anxiety about the prosody in what follows. “ I have not from your eyes that gentleness,
And shew of love, as I was wont to have."
This mode of speech, the using “as,” for that, is an abuse which our poet himself seems to have been prompt to reprehend, if I mistake not, the meaning of a passage in Coriolanus, where Menenius, railing at the citizens, says, “I find the ass (quibble upon ass and as) in compound with the major part of your syllables.
If I have veild my look,
Merely upon myself.” I do not know what Brutus could mean by veiling his countenance, unless he wore a mask,
which is by no means'implied: I believe the word has been misprinted, and that we should read “ vaild,” if I appear to have a dejected, or cast down look ::" to vail,” in the sense of to bow, submit, is frequently occurring : “ If he have power, then vail your ignorance.”
Coriolanus. Vailing their high tops lower than their ribs.”
Merchant of Venice. - Vexed I am,
Of late, with passions of some difference.” With contending passions. 264. “ Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your
passion.” This abuse of the tense may be found in writers who are supposed to be, generally, more correct than Shakspeare. We might, however, easily read, for “mistook,” mista'en.
“ 'Tis just.”
This fragment might be spared, and Cassius proceed, connectedly enough, without such interruption of the measure.
“For that which is not in me.” Both the metre and the sense of the context shew that some words have been lost here : Cassius, I suppose, replied,
Nay, it is, “ Therefore,” &c.
Be not jealous of me.” i. e. Be not suspicious.”
265. “Set honour in one eye, and death i the
other, “ And I will look on both indifferently." “In the eye,” for in my view. I cannot think that Dr. Johnson has accurately explained this passage: the meaning of “indifferently” is not, I apprehend, without preference, but serenely, coolly, without that alarm or perturbation which might prevent my chusing properly. A sentiment resembling this occurs in K. Henry IV. where Hotspur exclaims, “Send danger from the East unto the West, “ So honour cross it from the North to South; “ And let them grapple.” 266. The troubled Tyber chafing with her
shores.” This mistake of the gender of Tyber was noted before in the first scene, by Mr. Steevens; it is very uncouth, and ought, I think, to be corrected in the text.
Ere we could arrive the point,” &c. Arrive, as a verb active, is used in other places; and we find it so applied by Milton : Arrived the happy coast.
Paradise Lost. 267. I, as Æneas,” &c.
The nominative pronoun, here, has no verb belonging to it. The awkward pleonasm might be removed by reading, for “I,"
“ Then, as Æneas,” &c.
The hypermeter, here, might be obviated without much violence :
As Æneas, our great ancestor, Did, from Troy's flames, upon his shoulders
bear “ The old Anchises, so, from the waves of Ty
ber,” &c. Or Tyber's waves.
“ A man of such a feeble temper." Cassius seems, here, to pay a compliment to Cæsar that he did not intend; he wonders that Cæsar should be liable to the attack of a fever. or the common incidents of humanity. 268. “ Another general shout !"
There is no occasion for the word “ general,” here, which only spoils the measure : “And bear the palm alone. (Shout.)
Another shout." " Men, at some time are masters of their fates.”
Every man has it in his power, at some time or other, to achieve his fortune or assert his dignity. A similar reflection occurs again: " There is a tide in the affairs of men, “Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.” “ Brutus and Cæsar : what should be in (that)
Cæsar " “ That” should be omitted. “ Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cesar.”
The word sprite, which in other places is put for spirit, would improve the measure.
269. “ Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,”
&c. I wish there was no room for this pun,
“ Room énough,” &c. The occasion to pun was too tempting, as it seems to be at present.
B. STRUTT. I am nothing jealous." “ Jealous,” for doubtful.
The eternal devil." Eternity is here ascribed to the devil, generally, as an attribute; and not, as Mr. Steevens supposes, with any reference to the continuance of his reign in Rome. 270. “ Under these hard conditions, as this time
“ Is like to lay upon us."
&See Coriolanus, Act 2, Scene 1, 67.
“ I am glad, that my weak words." This is too much for the measure,
66 weak” might be omitted, and “upon us,” in the component part of the line, compressed to two syllables : “ Is like to lay upon ús.
I am glad my words."
Cicero “ Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes, “ As we have seen him in the Capitol.
The construction is wrong; a verb is wanting; We might obtain concord by reading, * As i' the capitol he's wont to shew,
Being cross’d,” &c.