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I slew the coward, and did take it from him.
Who, having some advantage on Octavius,
Pin. Fly further off, my lord, fly further off;
1ο Fly, therefore, noble Cassius, fly far off. Cas. This hill is far enough. Look, look, Titinius;
Are those my tents where I perceive the fire?
Titinius, if thou lov'st me,
Whether yond troops are friend or enemy.
20 My sight was ever thick; regard Titinius, 20. higher] F 1; thither F 2, 3, 4. in this passage.
If it means 19. even with a thought] as quick "standard - bearer," then "it” in as thought. Compare Odyssey, vii. the next line stands for the standard 36; Iliad, xv. 80, 82; Macbeth, ini. suggested, but not expressed by the iv. 55; and Beaumont and Fletcher's word. If it means "standard," then Bonduca, 1. i.: "the coward” is the cowardly stand
"The light shadows ard-bearer implied in the standard That in a thought scur o'er the turning back. 'In the former case we fields of corn. must understand from “this” that Cassius points to the standard-bearer
21. thick] dim. Compare Taming lying dead at his feet. In the latter of the Shrew, v. ii. 143 : case "this” indicates that Cassius
“Like a fountain troubled held the standard in his hand, or Muddy, ill-seeming, thick "; rather that, as Plutarch records, he and “thick-eyed musing," 1 Henry had "stuck it fast at his feet." IV. II. iij. 49. Plutarch says that
And tell me what thou not'st about the field.
[Pindarus ascends the hill.
Sirrah, what news ?
With horsemen, that make to him on the spur;
[Shout. And, hark! they shout for joy. Cas. Come down; behold no more.
O! coward that I am, to live so long,
That whatsoever I did bid thee do, “Cassius himself saw nothing, for his 34. O! coward that I am] “Desirsight was very bad."
ing too much to live, I have lived to 23. I breathed first] See i. 72. see one of my best friends taken"
25. his compass) its complete course. (Plutarch). Forhis," see note on 1. ii. 123. 38. swore thee] made thee swear.
25. Sirrah] This modification of 38. saving of thy life] Compare "sir" is used in addressing inferiors, Lear, 11. i. 41, "Here stood he as in 111. i. 10, iv. iii. 133.
mumbling of wicked charms," and 31. Now, Titinius] He means other instances given in Abbott, sec. that now is the time for Titinius to 178. The participle is confused with turn and fly to his friends. He shows and given the construction of a verbal his intense interest in Titinius' move- noun. This is one of the many cases ments by addressing him aloud, in which a Shakespearian usage although his voice could not possibly survives as a vulgarism. Compare be heard at such a distance.
Thou should'st attempt it. Come now, keep thine
40 Now be a freeman; and with this good sword, That ran through Cæsar's bowels, search this bosom. Stand not to answer; here, take thou the hilts; And, when my face is cover'd, as 'tis now, Guide thou the sword. Cæsar, thou art reveng'd,
45 Even with the sword that kill'd thee. [Dies. Pin. So, I am free; yet would not so have been,
Durst I have done my will. O Cassius !
Re-enter TITINIUS with MESSALA. Mes. It is but change, Titinius; for Octavius
Is overthrown by noble Brutus' power,
As Cassius' legions are by Antony.
41. be a freeman) earn thy freedom 43. hilts] Compare v. 28. The by killing me. See 47.
plural is used because the handle of 42. ran through Cæsar's bowels) a single sword consists of many This poetical retribution comes from parts. Plutarch, who relates that Cassius 44. when my face is cover d] See "slew himself with the same sword note on I11. ii. 194. with the which he strake Cæsar.” 49. Pindarus shall run] “ After We may say of Cassius' death, as that time Pindarus was seen no more. Othello does of what he thought a Whereupon some took occasion to say similarly exact retribution, "Good, that he had slain his master without good ; the justice of it pleases ; very his commandment” (Plutarch). good” (Othello, iv. i. 222). Plus 51. change] exchange, as opposed tarch relates that Callipus, who plotted to distinct gain for either side. The the murder of Dion, was slain with victory of Brutus could be set against the very same sword with which Dion the victory of Antony. had been assassinated.
All disconsolate, 55
No, this was he, Messala,
Mistrust of my success hath done this deed. 65 Mes. Mistrust of good success hath done this deed.
O hateful error, melancholy's child !
70 But kill'st the mother that engender'd thee, 59. this was he] For the use of the 66. Mistrust, etc.] The last words past tense, compare Æneid, ii. 325: of Titinius are repeated by Messala as Fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium.'
a text for his melancholy reflections. 60. O setting sun !] This address to Compare 11. i. 48. Owing to the the setting sun is quite inconsistent change of speakers “my” has to diswith line 109, in which we learn that it appear, and is replaced by "good" is only three o'clock in the afternoon. without alteration of the meaning,
61. sink to night] descend into the although the application of the epithet darkness of night. There is some "good" to success indicates that in confusion of ideas in the image, as Shakespeare's time success" meant wherever the sun goes there can be a result
which might be either good or no night. This confusion is avoided bad. Compare 11. ii. 6. by Knight, who reads “to-night,” but 67. melancholy's child) because the alteration weakens the force of despondent people imagine evil that the line.
does not exist. 62. So in his red blood] For the 71. the mother that engender'd thee] comparison of a dying warrior to the the person that conceived the error setting sun, compare Troilus and and is ruined by it. It is rather conCressida, v. viii. 5-8, and Rokeby, vi. fusing to have two different mothers xxi. 19-26.
assigned to Error in one short speech.
Tit. What, Pindarus! Where art thou, Pindarus ?
The noble Brutus, thrusting this report
As tidings of this sight.
Hie you, Messala,
[Kills himself. 72. What] See note on 11. i. I. 88. regarded] honoured, as in
74. thrusting) Compare Antony Coriolanus, v. vi. 143. and Cleopatra, il v. 24.
89. By your leave, gods] In accord. 85. hold thee) hold thou, i.e. do ance with the Platonic view referred thou receive. The subject takes the to in i. 101, Titinius implies that objective form, because it follows the he cannot voluntarily depart from verb and has the usual place of the life without the permission of the object. Compare "Hold thee, there's gods. my purse" (All's Well, iv. v. 46), 89. a Roman's part) Compare "Come thee on" (Antony and Cleo- Macbeth, v. viii. 1: patra, IV. vii. 16), “hark thee," “Why should I play the Roman "haste thee," "look thee," and fool, and die “fare thee well" (99).
On mine own sword ? ”