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Why are you breathless ? and why stare you so ? Casca. Are not you mov'd, when all the sway of
earth? Shakes, like a thing unfirm ? O Cicero, I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds Have riv'd the knotty oaks; and I have seen The ambitious ocean swell, and rage, and foam, To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds : But never till to-night, never till now, Did I go through a tempest dropping fire. Either there is a civil strife in heaven; Or else the world, too saucy with the gods, Incenses them to send destruction.
Cic. Why, saw you any thing more wonderful ? Casca. A common slave? (you know him well
by sight) Held up his left hand, which did flame, and burn Like twenty torches join'd; and yet his hand, Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd. Besides, (I have not since put up my sword) Against the Capitol I met a lion, Who gaz'd upon me', and went surly by,
- Sway of earth -] The whole weight or momentum of this globe. Johnson. 2 A common slave, &c.] So, in the old translation of Plutarch:
a slave of the souldiers that did cast a marvelous burning flame out of his hande, insomuch as they that saw it, thought he had bene burnt; but when the fire was out, it was found he had no hurt.” Steevens. 3 Who Glar'd upon me,] The first (and second) edition reads :
“Who glaz'd upon me Perhaps, “Who gaz'd upon me.”. Johnson. Glar'd is certainly right. So, in King Lear :
“ Look where he stands and glares !” Again, in Hamlet :
“Look you, how pale he glares ! ” Again, Skelton in his Crowne of Lawrell, describing a lybbard :"
“ As gastly that glaris, as grimly that grones." Again, in the Ashridge MS. of Milton's Comus, as published by the ingenious and learned Mr. Todd, verse 416 :
Without annoying me: And there were drawn
“And yawning denns, where glaringe monsters house." To gaze is only to look stedfastly, or with admiration. Glard has a singular propriety, as it expresses the furious scintillation of a lion's eye: and, that a lion should appear full of fury, and yet attempt no violence, augments the prodigy. Steevens.
The old copy reads-glaz’d, for which Mr. Pope substituted glard, and this reading has been adopted by all the subsequent editors. Glar'd certainly is to our ears a more forcible expression ; I have however adopted a reading proposed by Dr. Johnson, gaz'd; induced by the following passage in Stowe's Chronicle, 1615, from which the word gaze seems in our author's time to have been peculiarly applied to the fierce aspect of a lion, and therefore may be presumed to have been the word here intended. The writer is describing a trial of valour (as he calls it,) between a lion, a bear, a stone-horse, and a mastift; which was exhibited in the Tower, in the year 1609, before the king and all the royal family, diverse great lords, and
others : Then was the great lyon put forth, who gazed awhile, but never offered to assault or approach the bear.” Again : “the above mentioned young lusty lyon and lyoness were put together, to see if they would rescue the third, but they would not, but fearfully (that is, dreadfully) gazed upon the dogs." Again : "The lyon having fought long, and his tongue being torne, lay staring and panting a pretty while, so as all the beholders thought he had been utterly spoyled and spent; and upon a sodaine gazed upon that dog which remained, and so soon as he had spoyled and worried, almost destroyed him."
In this last instance gaz'd seems to be used as exactly synonymous to the modern word glar'd, for the lion immediately afterwards proceeds to worry and destroy the dog. Malone.
That glar'd is no modern word, is sufficiently ascertained by the following passage in Macbeth, and two others already quoted from King Lear and Hamlet
“ Thou hast no speculation in those eyes
“ That thou dost glare with.” I therefore continue to repair the poet with his own animated phraseology, rather than with the cold expression suggested by the narrative of Stowe; who, having been a tailor, was undoubtedly
, equal to the task of mending Shakspeare's hose; but, on poetical emergencies, must not be allowed to patch his dialogue.
Steevens. The word glaize is used, but I know not with what meaning, in King James's translation of The Urania of Dubartas, in his Essayes of a Prentise in the divine Art of Poesie:
Transformed with their fear; who swore, they saw
Cic. Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time:
Casca. He doth; for he did bid Antonius Send word to you, he would be there to-morrow.
Cic. Good night then, Casca: this disturbed sky Is not to walk in.
Casca. Farewell, Cicero. [Exit CICERO.
Casca, by your voice.
" I whyles essaied the Grece in Frenche to praise
Whyles in that toung I gave a lusty glaise
" For to descryve the Trojan Kings of olde.” Dubartas's original affords us no assistance; and, for once, I have applied to Dr. Jamieson's valuable Dictionary in vain. Boswell,
4 Clean from the purpose -] Clean is altogether, entirely. It is still so used in low language. MALONE.
Submitting me unto the perilous night;
the heavens ?
life That should be in a Roman, you do want, Or else you use not: You look pale, and gaze, And put on fear, and cast yourself in wonder, To see the strange impatience of the heavens : But if you would consider the true cause, Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts, Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind; Why old men fools, and children calculate?;
thunder-stone:] A stone fabulously supposed to be discharged by thunder. So, in Cymbeline :
Fear no more the lightning-flash,
“ Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone." STEEVENS. Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind ; &c.] That is, Why they deviate from quality and nature. This line might perhaps be more properly placed after the next line :
Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind,
Johnson. and children CALCULATE;] Calculate here signifies to foretel or prophesy: for the custom of foretelling fortunes by judicial astrology (which was at that time much in vogue) being performed by a long tedious calculation, Shakspeare, with his usual liberty, employs the species (calculate) for the genus [foretel].
WARBURTON. Shakspeare found the liberty established. " To calculate the nativity,” is the technical term.
So, in The Paradise of Daintie Deuises, edit. 1576, Art. 54, signed, M. Bew:
Why all these things change, from their ordinance,
Casca. Indeed, they say, the senators to-morrow Mean to establish Cæsar as a king :
“Thei calculate, thei chaunt, thei charme,
“ To conquere us that meane no harme.” This author is speaking of women. Steevens.
There is certainly no prodigy in old men's calculating from their past experience. The wonder is, that old men should not, and that children should. I would therefore [instead of old men, fools, and children, &c.] point thus : Why old men fools, and children calculate.”
BLACKSTONE. PRODIGIOU8 grown,] Prodigious is portentous. So, in Troilus and Cressida :
“ It is prodigious, there will be some change." See vol. viii. p. 406. STEEVENS.
9 Have Thewes and limbs —] Thewes is an obsolete word implying nerves or muscular strength. It is used by Falstaff in The Second Part of King Henry IV. and in Hamlet :
“For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
" In the wes and bulk." The two last folios, [1664 and 1685,] in which some words are injudiciously modernized, read-sinews. STEEVENS.