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because he hoped to recommend himself to Cæsar. He saw himself out of office, and, looking for new preferment, he thought that this truth-telling would seem a merit in Cæsar's eyes.
Others' merits in our name
Are therefore to be pitied. It is well argued. If we great ones have to answer for all the misdeeds of others, it is a shame and a pity that, when we have fallen, they should assume merits at our expense. That is to say, at the expense of her good name; hence “in our name."
Furness understands Cleopatra's conclusion to mean that “from the eminence of our position, therefore, we are to be pitied.” But Cleopatra is talking about something more than simply that. The present condition of these lines is due to a failure to see that she has any reference to Seleucas. She is dealing with the case in hand.
LORD BARDOLPH'S REPLY
L. Bardolph. Yes, if this present quality of war
(Neilson's ed. 1906)
(Globe ed. and Cambridge)
(Malone, White, Gollancz, etc.)
(First Folio, 1623)
Let the reader note first where the full stop (period or colon) comes. Neilson and the Globe have it after action; a large number of other editors have it after war; the First Folio has it after action. Note next the changes that have been made in wording and compare them with the First Folio. Where the Folio has indeed Neilson has needed. Again, where the original text has if, Malone, White and others have in. Here we have a view of the struggles with this passage from the early edi
tors up to the present day; and the comparatively recent Globe edition, which was thought to be the final word in Shakespearean scholarship, is so unsatisfactory that the latest scholarly edition (1906) cannot accept it as making satisfactory sense. And yet, this present-day reading is only had by substituting needed, a word for which there is no authority except editorial conjecture; all of which must leave us' in an unsatisfactory state of mind as to what we are to understand here.
I hope the reader has begun to gather that in solving these "cruxes” I am not depending upon verbal quibbles or mere antiquarian conjecture. The editorial and critical mind has most often failed by its inability to follow character as Shakespeare, by carefully laid plot and circumstance, brings it to our attention. In explaining cruxes by a knowledge of plot and character, therefore, we are not devoting our time to a mere word or line; we are, in a most important way, throwing light upon the whole work.
Let me invite the reader to go back a few lines and see how interestingly Shakespeare reveals character in this play. The present lines come in the course of a warm argument between three men who are debating the advisability of leading their troops into battle. There is a fourth also — Mowbray — who is the sort of officer who says nothing, but listens till the matter is decided and at once becomes a man
of action. These four, the Archbishop, Hastings, Mowbray and Bardolph are in command of the rebel forces. But they have been disappointed by the failure of Northumberland to unite himself with them; and now they are arguing as to whether they should engage in battle with the king or not. These four men are of different and strongly contrasted types of character. Shakespeare knew that a thing is best defined by comparison and the noting of differences; he therefore throws groups of contrasting characters together; and this arrangement upon
part serves to throw their various characteristics into high relief.
Hastings is a type of man with whom we are all familiar. He is too sanguine. Once he has started upon an undertaking his hopes completely take the place of his judgment; he deludes himself with the sort of optimism which will not look plain facts in the face. When circumstances arise which should give him pause, he meets the facts by deluding himself still further; he cannot admit to his mind anything which conflicts with his fond hopes. Cool judgment is not a part of his makeup; he is one of the kind who rush forth to disaster and only see it afterward. He is for going into battle at once.
Lord Bardolph is the very opposite; he has no patience with that visionary, childish spirit in a military officer. With him war is cool business; and first of all he wants to know the
facts. Thus he will decide whether to delay for reinforcements, or to lead a forlorn hope, or to give over the undertaking entirely. He acts upon judgment, and judgment must deal with facts; he wishes to have them all before him whether they are favorable to his hopes or not. Hastings is hasty; he would never do to plan a battle or conduct a campaign. But Lord Bardolph is a typical commanding General. He does not hesitate nor yet rush ahead; he has the force of mind to look at facts and insist that they be taken into consideration.
The Archbishop is entirely different; he is not a soldier at all. His nature is diplomatic, his training is that of the scholar, academic and polemic. While the others contrast with each other as soldiers, the Archbishop is thrown into definite relief by putting him into a position where he had no business in the first place - – at the head of troops. Not being a practical soldier he cannot take the initiative in pointing the way to a decision; he wishes to hear the various views of the others. But while he is no military man he does not therefore abstain from having opinions, one side and then the other, but quite the opposite. Being a man of polemic training, he says much as the argument develops the facts to work on; he feels his way and inclines first to a point of Lord Bardolph's and then to the more hopeful view as Hastings insists upon it. And finally, as there is complete disagreement between Bar