« AnteriorContinua »
So the folio. (See vol. iii. p. 658, note (55)).—The quartos have "I will seeke him," &c.
P. 654. (45)
"Through the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind.”
So the quartos.-The folio has "through the sharpe Hauthorne blow the windes;" which Mr. Knight and Delius adopt, though in the next page Edgar repeats, "Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind,"-a quotation doubtless from some ballad.
P. 654. (46)
"go to thy cold bed, and warm thee."
So the quartos: and the very same words (which, originally intended to ridicule a passage of The Spanish Tragedy, appear to have passed into a sort of proverbial expression) occur in the Induction to The Taming of the Shrew. The folio has only "goe to thy bed and warme thee;" though, as Capell observes, "the banter's essence is 'cold,' and that word as necessary in this place as the other, for their intentions are like." Notes, &c. vol. i. P. ii. 166. (Delius, who, with the folio, omits "cold," conjectures that Shakespeare himself may have struck out the word, in order to get rid of the comic turn which it gives to the sentence:-if so, why did not Shakespeare also strike out what Edgar presently says about "eating cow-dung for sallets"? The fact is, the poet has studiously made the assumed madness of Edgar somewhat akin to the comic, that it might contrast the better with the real insanity of Lear.— Elsewhere in this play passim Delius has adopted from the quartos a great number of words that are wanting in the folio, without any misgivings that they may have been struck out by the author.)
The quartos have "keepe thy words iustly," &c.-The first folio has “keepe thy words Iustice," &c.; and the second folio "keepe thy word, justice," &c.— Mr. Knight and Delius make out from the first folio the ridiculous reading "keep thy word's justice," &c.
P. 656. (49)
a little fire in a wild field," &c.
Mr. W. N. Lettsom informs me that here the late Sydney Walker read “
Is usually altered to "the wild," &c.: but see Farmer's note ad l., and Nares's
P. 659. (50) "All the power of his wits have given way," &c.
See vol. ii. p. 169, note (45).
The quartos have "learned iustice," &c.-This portion of the scene, from the preceding speech but one, "Edg. The foul fiend bites my back" to "False justicer, why hast thou let her scape ?" inclusive, is omitted in the folio.
The quartos have "the broome," &c.-See the preceding note.
The old eds. have "or him," &c., and "or hym," &c.
P. 661. (54)
"This rest might yet have balm'd thy broken sinews," &c.
Here Theobald's very specious alteration of "sinews" to "senses" is generally adopted (and without any note by Mr. Knight, who seems to take it for the original reading).—This speech, and all that follows to the end of the scene, excepting "Glo. Come, come, away," is omitted in the folio.
The quartos have "thoughts defile thee," &c.-See the preceding note.
P. 664. (56)
"To see some mischief on him.”
on them" or "— on 'em" (i. e. on Cornwall and Regan)? for "them" and "'em" are often confounded with "him" by transcribers and printers so afterwards in this play, p. 699, the folio has erroneously, “I would have made him [the quartos rightly "them"] skip," &c. And compare what the other Servants say at the close of the present scene,-“If this man come to good"-"If she live long," &c.
P. 666. (57)
"Our means secure us, and our mere defects
Pope printed" Our mean secures us;" Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector substitutes “Our wants secure us," &c.; the late Sidney Walker (as Mr. W. N. Lettsom informs me) was confident that the true lection is "Our maims secure us," &c.; and Mr. Singer (Shakespeare Vindicated, &c. p. 272) proposes "Our needs secure us," &c.-In some remarks on this passage (Notes and Queries, vol. xii. p. 98), Mr. Arrowsmith says; "I affirm that not only is means or
meanes the right reading, but secures is so likewise; that is, I affirm the cor*rectness of the two first folios in both these words." Now, I, in my turn, "affirm" that neither the first nor the second folio has "secures;" they both agree with the other old eds. in reading "secure."
According to Delius, here Shakespeare wrote "'Tis the time's plague, when,” &c.,-which is by no means certain. Compare Sec. Part of Henry IV., “The times are wild," &c., act i. sc. 1; "to dignify the times," &c. ibid.; as the times do brawl," &c., act i. sc. 3; "the visage of the times," &c., act ii. sc. 3: King John, "the times conspire with you," &c., act iii. sc. 4: The Merchant of Venice, "the chaff and ruin of the times," &c., act ii. sc. 8.
The quartos have "of mobing, and Mohing," &c.-The latter part of this speech, from "five fiends have been" inclusive, is omitted in the folio.
The quartos have “Humanly must,” &c.—This speech, and indeed the greater portion of the present dialogue between Albany and Goneril, is omitted in the folio.
P. 670. (61) "To let these hands obey my blood," &c.
A mutilated line.-Theobald printed "— my boiling blood," &c.-This speech is not in the folio: see the preceding note.
P. 671. (62) "The Marshal of France, Monsieur La Far."
Here "Marshal" is usually altered to "Mareschal" (see vol. iv. p. 92, note (67)); and "La Far" to "Le Fer," because there is in Henry V. act iv. sc. 4, a common soldier of the latter name, whom Pistol threatens to fer, firk, and ferret. The whole of this scene is omitted in the folio.
Theobald's correction.-The quartos have "I say she," &c.-See the preceding note.
Pope's correction.-The quartos have "sorrow streme," &c.-See note (*).
The quartos have ". — a better way," &c., which, though retained and defended by Delius, cannot be right.-I prefer, on the whole, the reading in the text to the other modern alteration, — a better May," &c.-See note (62).
The quartos have "femiter," &c.; the folio has "Fenitar," &c.
The quartos have "hor-docks," &c.: the folio has "Hardokes," &c.—Perhaps the right reading is "harlocks:" see notes ad l. in the Varior. Shakespeare.
P. 680. (69)
"Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear," &c.
The quartos have " through tattered ragges small vices," &c.-The folio has Thorough tatter'd cloathes great Vices," &c.
Pope's correction (and an obvious one).-The folio has "Place sinnes with Gold," &c.-From these words to "accuser's lips" inclusive is only in the folio.
The usual modern reading is "doth pierce it,"❞—which may be preferable on account of the "does" in the next line; but that reading has no earlier authority than the third folio.
Here I follow Sidney Walker (see his Shakespeare's Versification, &c. p. 80) in marking "This'" as the contraction of "This is." (Walker, ibid. p. 81, observes that the same contraction ought to be introduced in a passage of The Taming of the Shrew-where I introduced it of my own accord, Walker's essay having not yet appeared when I was occupied with that play see vol. ii. p. 502, note (18).)-After these words an interrogation-point or an exclamation-point is usually put, in opposition to the old eds.-Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector substitutes ""Tis a good plot :" but see Steevens's note ad l.
So the folio. The quartos read "haue a chirurgeon," &c.-(Most of the modern editors print silently "have a surgeon.")
P. 681. (74)
"Ay, and laying autumn's dust."
Steevens, "for the sake of metre," printed Ay, and for laying," &c.,-Mr. Collier and Mr. Knight silently give the same reading: but qy. is "for" in any of the old eds.?
P. 682. (75)
"made tame to fortune's blows," &c.
So the folio.-The quartos have "made lame by fortunes blowes," &c. (which Malone considers to be the right reading, because in our author's xxxvii Sonnet we find, "So I, made lame by fortune's dearest spite," &c.)
"Let's see these pockets: the letters that he speaks of
This is the reading of the folio; and I see no reason for preferring that of the quartos,
"lets see his pockets,
These letters that he speakes of," &c.
P. 683. (78) “O undistinguish'd spe of woman's wili!”
The quartos have “O vndistinguisht space of womans wit:" the first folio has "Oh indinguish'd space of Womans will;" the second and third folios have "Of indinguish'd space of Womans will;" and the fourth folio has "Of indistinguish'd space of Womans will.”—The reading of the quartos, except in the last word, is no doubt the right one: and the sense is plain enough, “ undistinguish'd space" meaning space whose limits are not to be distinguished.-Here Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector makes one of his unhappiest emendations,-“ 0, unextinguish'd blaze of woman's will!" and Mr. Singer (Shakespeare Vindicated, &c. p. 273) offers a brace of conjectures, which I must take the liberty of saying he ought to have suppressed.
According to the folio, the two parts of the Doctor and the Gentleman seem to have been combined, and played by the same actor. In the quartos, they are distinct, and have separate prefixes. We have followed the latter, because the scene was, in all probability, so originally written, and because merely the economy of performers seems to have led to the union of the two characters in the folio." COLLIER.-See also Malone's first note on this scene.
After these words, Delius inserts, with the folio, the stage-direction “ Enter LEAR on [in] a chair carried by Servants;" and he says that "from Cordelia's question it is plain that Lear is not on the stage at the beginning of this scene." But, as Capell long ago observed, "their [the folios'] mode of bringing in Lear was a mere stage-convenience." Notes, &c. vol. i. p. ii. p. 181. Cordelia has evidently come with Kent into the chamber where her father is asleep on a bed, the curtains of which conceal him from view; and a subsequent exclamation of the Physician, "Louder the music there!" shows that soft music is playing while he sleeps.