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Such a use of the comparative as, * each worse than the other,' < each uglier than the other/ is common, idiomatic, and expressive.
p. 249. "And make them dreaded, to the doer's thrift": — i. e., < And make the evil deeds of these men awaken a dread of the doers, which enables them to go on with impunity in their selfish wickedness.' The folio has, "And make them dread it," &c. I have little hesitation in adopting Theobald's emendation, which is based upon a typographical error easily made. Among several suggested corrections, no other seems worthy of notice.
p. 250. "■«■ or could this carl": — i> e., this churl; the two
words were originally the same.
p. 252. "Close by the battle " : — This incident of the arrest of the British rout by Belarius is taken from Holinshed's Chronicle of Scotland, in which it is told of the Hays, father and sons, said to be the ancestors of the noble family of Hay. ""So long, a breeding": — i. e., so long a life. His
service to his country made him worthy of the great age indicated by his beard.
"il- the way which they stoop'd eagles": — The
folio, "stopt eagles," and in the next line, "the victors made " — misprints hardly worth notice.
p. 253. "The mortal bugs " :•— i. e., the mortal terrors.
p. 254. "- in a silly habit":—■ i. e., an unpretending, simple habit. Rustics were of old called silly swains.
""Enter Cymbeline," &c. :—This is one of those inex
plicable dumb shows to which Hamlet refers. I doubt whether the latter part of this Scene — from the end of Posthumus* description of the battle ■— is by Shakespeare.
p. 255. "Desir'd, more than constrain'd: to satisfy," &c. : — i. e., the gyves were worn more with willingness than from constraint. The remainder of the sentence is somewhat obscure, and possibly corrupt. It seems, however, unmistakably to mean, 'If to satisfy, i. e., if expiation, is the main part, the most important requisite, to my freedom of conscience, take no stricter render of me than my all, i. e., my life.' Posthumus goes on to expand this thought. I believe that the passage stands as it was originally written.
256. "Solemn music" &c.: —It is almost needless to say to any careful reader of these plays that this dumb show and the succeeding speeches of the characters in it are not Shakespeare's work.
, 258. "—— look out"; — The folio repeats, «look ;' accidentally without a doubt.
, 259. "——A book" : — It was not a volume but a single leaf. Of old any writing was called a book.
,261." or take upon yourself": —The folio, accidentally, "or to take," &c.
"" ox jump the after inquiry" : — i. e., take the risk
of the after inquiry. So Macbeth says, "we'd jump the life to come."
, 262. "—— I never saw one so prone "; — i. e., so bent on a downward course, so headlong.
, 263. "Arise, my knights o' thy battle": — Knighthood given upon the field was eminently honorable.
. 264. "~— a mortal mineral" : — There can be little doubt that the slow poisons of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were all preparations of white arsenic, the mortal mineral still most effectual for the poisoner's purposes.
// a that heard her flattery": — The folio, "that
, 265. "So feat" : — i. e., so clever, or rather so handy.
// a I know not why [iior] wherefore" : — 'Nor,'
necessary to the sense, was supplied by Howe, The foregoing line seems to have been mutilated.
,267. ""One sand another" &c. :—-The comparison in this sentence is imperfectly expressed; but it cannot be misunderstood; and I do not doubt that we have it as it was originally written. "*« But we saw him dead" : —The folio, "But we see" &c.
,268." or straight-pight Minerva": —i. e., straightpitched, strait-built Minerva.
. 269. «( (O cunning, how I got [it]) "; — 'It,' omitted in the first folio, was added in the second.
.271. "Think that you are upon a rock" : — A passage of impenetrable obscurity. There is probably a corruption of all the last five words. "Rock" may be a misprint of «neck;' and perhaps the original words were something like 'Think she's upon your neck.' No explanation has been given that is worth repeating.
p. 273." I am sorry for thee " : — The first folio, "lam
sorrow" &c, which was corrected in the second.
;/ "Had ever scarre for " : — So the folio, which reading
has been hitherto regarded as but the old spelling of "Had ever scar for," and understood as meaning, had ever received wounds in endeavoring to merit. But Cloten had received no wounds in the king's cause; he was killed before hostilities commenced. We have here, it would seem, the same word which has made so much trouble in All's Well that Ends Well, Act IV. Sc. 2, "men make hopes in such a scarre." See the Supplementary Notes upon that passage.
p. 274. "Your pleasure was my mere offence" : — i. e., my offence existed merely in your caprice. The folio misprints "ne&re offence," which manifest error was left for Tyrwhitt's correction.
p. 276. "When you were so indeed": — The folio, "When toe" &c. Possibly Rowe erred in making the change.
n a This fierce abridgment": — i. e., this impetuously,
hastily uttered, abridgment of .your story.
'' "How parted with your brothers?" — The folio has
the insignificant misprint, "your Brother"
If "Will serve our long inter''gator ies" :— In the folio,
"our long interrogatories." But the rhythm makes it plain that we should read, «inter'gatories,' as in The Merchant of Venice, Act V. Sc. 1, "and charge us there upon inter'gatories." p. 278. "Whenas a lioris whelp" : — This scroll and the four following speeches are, in my judgment, plainly not from Shakespeare's pen, which, however, I trace again in the last lines of the play.
""Is thy most constant wife" i — The folio, "Is this,"
a not uncommon misprint. The Soothsayer here manifestly addresses Posthumus again, and the pronoun is required as an antecedent to « who,' which else must refer to Cymbeline, who was not embraced by Imogen; and if he had been, "the letter of the oracle" would not have been thereby fulfilled.
p. 279. "Of yet this scarce cold battle": — The third folio, "Of this yet scarce," &c, which modernization of the text has been hitherto received. The reading of the first folio is in accordance with the usage of Shakespeare's time.
"The late, And much admired play, called Pericles, Prince of Tyra With the true Relation of the whole Historie, aduentures, and fortunes of the said Prince: As also, The no lesse strange, and worthy accidents, in the Birth and Life, of his Daughter Mariana, As it hath been diuers and sundry times acted by his Maiesties Seruants, at the Globe on the Banck-side. By William Shakespeare. Imprinted at London for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold at the signe of the Sunne in Pater-noster row, &c. 1609." 4to. 35 leaves. [collier.