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ACT II.....SCENE I.
A Court within the Castle of the Earl of Gloster.
Enter EDMUND and CURAN, meeting. Edm. Save thee, Curan.
Cur. And you, sir. I have been with your father; and given him notice, that the duke of Cornwall, and Regan his duchess, will be here with him to-night.
Edm. How comes that?
Cur. Nay, I know not: You have heard of the news abroad; I mean, the whispered ones, for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments ?4
Edm. Not I; 'Pray you, what are they?
Cur,5 Have you heard of no likely wars toward, 'twixt the dukes of Cornwall and Albany?
Edm. Not a word.
Edm. The duke be here to-night? The better! Best!
ear-kissing arguments.?] Ear-kissing arguments means that they are yet in reality only whisperd ones. Steevens.
5 Cur.] This, and the following speech, are omitted in one of the quartos.
queazy question, ] Something of a suspicious, questionable, and uncertain nature. This is, I think, the meaning. Fohnson.
Queazy, I believe, rather means delicate, unsettled, what requires to be handled nicely. So, Ben Jonson, in Sejanus :
“ Those times are somewhat queazy to be touch'd.
“ Have you not seen or read part of his book ?" Again, in Much Ado about Nothing :
“ Despight of his quick wit, and queazy stomach.” Steevens. Queazy is still used in Devonshire, to express that sickishness of stomach which the slightest disgust is apt to provoke. Henley.
He's coming hither; now i'the night, i' the haste,
I am sure on 't, not a word.
:-come before my father ;-Light, ho, here! Fly, brother;— Torches ! torches !
Exit EDG. Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion
[Wounds his Arm. Of my more fierce endeavour: I have seen drunkards Do more than this in sport.1-Father! father! Stop, stop! No help?
Enter GlosTER, and Servants with Torches. Glo. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?
Edm. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out, Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon?
i' the haste,] I should have supposed we ought to read only -in haste, had I not met with our author's present phrase in XII merry Jests of the Wyddow Edyth, 1573
“ To London they tooke in all the haste
Have you nothing said Upon his party 'gainst the duke of Albany?] The meaning is, have you said nothing upon the party formed by him against the duke of Albany?
Haniner. I cannot but think the line corrupted, and would read :
Against his party, for the duke of Albany? Johnson. Upon his party-] i. e. on his behalf. Henley. 9 Advise yourself. ] i. e. consider, recollect yourself. So, in Twelfth Night: “ Advise you what you say.”
Steevens. I have seen drunkards Do more than this in sport.] So, in a passage already quoted in a note on The Winter's Tale. Act II, sc.ij. “ Have I not been drunk for your health, eat glasses, drunk urine, stabbeii arms, and done all offices of protested gallantry for your sake?' - Marston's Dutch Courtezan Steevens
2 Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon —] This was a proper circumstance to urge to Gloster; who appears, by what passed between him and his bastard son in a foregoing scene, to be very superstitious with regard to this matter. Warburton.
The quartos read, warbling instead of mumbling. Steevens.
To stand his auspicious mistress :3
But where is he?
Where is the villain, Edmund ? Edm. Fled this way, sir. When by no means he could Glo. Pursue him, ho!-Go after.- [Exit Serv.] By
no means,—what? Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your lordship; But that I told him, the revenging gods 'Gainst parricides did all their thunders4 bend; Spoke, with how manifold and strong a bond The child was bound to the father ;-Sir, in fine, Seeing how lothly opposite I stood To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion, With his prepared sword, he charges home My unprovided body, lanc'd mine arm: But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits, Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to the encounter, Or whether gasted by the noise I made, Full suddenly he fled. Glo.
Let him fly far: Not in this land shall he remain uncaught; And'found-Despatch.—The noble duke my master, My worthy arch> and patron, comes to-night: By his authority I will proclaim it, That he, which finds him, shall deserve our thanks,
found , dispatched
- conjuring the moon To stand his auspicious mistress :) So, in All's Well that Enis Well :
And fortune play upon thy prosperous helm, “ As thy auspicious mistress.'
Malone. - their thunders —] First quarto; the rest have it the thunder.
Johnson. - gasted -] Frighted. Johnson. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit at several Weapons:“ – either the sight of the lady las gusted him, or else he's drunk.” Steevens. 6 Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;
And found- Despatch.-- The noble duke &c.] The sense is interrupted. He shall be caught-and found, he shall be punish'd Despatch. Fohnson.
arch - ]i. e. Chief ; a word now used only in composition, as arch-angel, arch-duke. So, in Heywood's If you know not me, you know Nobody, 1613:
“ Poole, that arch for truth and honesty.” Steevens.
Bringing the murderous cowards to the stake;
Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
Strong and fasten'd villain !5
[Trumpets within. Hark, the duke's trumpets! I know not why he comes :
murderous coward -] The first edition reads caitif:
Johnson. 9 And
found him pight to do it, with curst speech -] Pight is pitched, fixed, settled. Curst is severe, harsh, vehemently angry. Johnson. So, in the old morality of Lusty Juventus, 1561:
“ Therefore my heart is surely pyght
- Of her alone to have a sight.” Thus, in Troilus and Cressida:
“ Thus proudly pight upon our Phrygian plains.” Steevens.
would the reposal - ] i. e. Would any opinion that men have reposed in thy trust, virtue, &c. Warburton. The old quarto reads, could the reposure. Steevens.
though thou didst produce My very character, -) i.e. my very handwriting. Malone.
make a dullard of the world,] So, in Cymbeline : • What, maks't thou me a dullard in this act?" Steevens.
- pregnant and potential spurs —] Thus the quartos. Folio: potential spirits. Malone.
5 Strong and faster'd villain!] Thus the quartos. The folio reads - strange and fasten'd villain. Malone.
6 Would he deny his letter?-I never got him.] Thus the quartos. The folio omits the words- I never got him; and, instead of them, substitutes-said he? Malone.
All ports I 'll bar; the villain shall not ’scape ;
Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, and Attendants. Corn. How now, my noble friend? since I came hither, (Which I can call but now) I have heard strange news.8
Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short, Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my lord ?
Glo. O, madam, my old heart is crack'd, is crack'd!
Reg. What, did my father's godson seek your life? He whom my father nam’d? your Edgar? Your hair,
Glo. O, lady, lady, shame would have it hid!
Reg. Was he'nöt“companion with the riotous knights
I know not, madam:
Yes, madam, he was.9
of my land, To make thee capable.] i. e. capable of succeeding to my land, notwithstanding the legal bar of thy illegitimacy.
So, in The Life and Death of TVill Summers, &c.-" The king next demanded of him (he being a fool) whether he were capable to in. herit any land,” &c. Steevens.
strange news.] Thus the quartos. Instead of these words tle folio has-strangeness. Malone.
9 Yes, madam, he was.] Thus the quartos. The folio deranges the metre by adding
of that consort. Steevens. 1 To have the waste and spoil of his revenues.] Thus quarto B. The other quarto reads
To have these--and waste of this his revenues. The folio:
To have the expense and waste of his revenues. These in quarto A was, I suppose, a misprint for—the use. Malone,
The remark made in p. 186, n. 5, is confirmed by the present circumstance; for both my quartos read with Mr. Malone's quarto A:
To have these and waste of this his revenues.