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P. 255. (18) " It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness," In this line the spelling of the quartos is “murder," that of the folio “mur. ther.”-Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector substitutes
“It is no vicious blot, nor other foulness :" and undoubtedly the original reading is a very suspicious one, though a critic in Blackwood's Magazine for Oct. 1853, p. 464, defends it as follows ; " The King of France has just before said,
'Sure her offence Must be of such unnatural degree
That monsters it;' that is, that makes a monster of it-it can be nothing short of some crime of the deepest dye; and therefore 'murder' does not seem to be so much out of place in the mouth of Cordelia :"—who had been described by Lear as
"a wretch whom nature is asham'd
Almost t’ acknowledge hers.”— 1865. “What has 'murder to do here? Read • umber.'” Walker's Crit. Exam. &c. vol. iii. p. 275.
P. 257. (20)
“ Ye jewels" The old eds, have “The ienels.”—See note 167 on The Third Part of King Henry VI. vol. v. p. 342 ; note 43 on Coriolanus, vol. vi. p. 245; and note 107 on Julius Cæsar, vol. vi. p. 708.—Walker ( Crit. E.ram. &c. vol. iii. p. 276) would support the old text by passages of Spenser and Browne, which are not parallel to the present one.
P. 257. (21)
“ Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides:
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
Well may you prosper !" “So the quartos (excepting that 'cover,' by a very common error, is misprinted covers), correctly; and the folio, corruptly, at last with shame derides”.” COLLIER. — But Mr. Knight and Delius have brought back the reading of the folio, “Who covers faults, at last with shame derides,"'understanding "Who” as the relative to “ time,” and supposing,-very erroneously, I think,-that the line unaltered will bear the same meaning as it does with Hanmer's alteration, "Who cover'd [Mason proposes “covert"] faults at last with shame derides.”—I adhere to the quartos, because I feel convinced that “Il no” refers to people in general,—“ Those who,” &c. :—and it certainly would seem that here, as Henley observes, Cordelia alludes to a passage in Scripture, Prov. xxviii. 18, “He that cmereth his sins shall not prosper,” &c. As to the “with" of the folio (which, by the by, Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector changes to “them"), I can no more account for it, than for the hundreds of other strange things which the folio exhibits.
P. 257. (22) " the observation we have made of it hath not been little :" Here the “ not” happens to have dropt out of the folio; and accordingly Mr. Knight and Delius, in defiance of common sense, print the observation we have made of it hath been little."
“hit together : if our father carry authority with such dispositions" So the quartos ("hit, i.e. agree." STEEVENS).—The folio has “sit together, if our Father carry authority with such disposition as," &c. ; which Mr. Knight gives, though “sit” is a stark misprint. As to “dispositions" or "disposition,"either reading may stand : we have afterwards from the mouth of the present speaker, p. 269,
- and put away These dispositions ;"
and p. 271,
“But let his disposition have that scope."
P. 258. (24)
“Shall top the legitimate. I grow ; 1 prosper :-" The quartos have “shall tooth' legitimate : I grow, I prosper.”—The folio has
“ Shall to' th’ Legitimate : I grow, I prosper.”— Rowe printed“ Shall to th' legitimate-1 grow, I prosper," supposing the sentence to be imperfect; which it evidently is not.-Theobald reads " Shall be th' legitimate," &c.-Hanmer gives “Shall toe th' legitimate,” &c.— I have adopted the more probable correction of Edwards.
P. 260. (25)
" though the wisdom of nature yet nature,” &c. Possibly wrong.” Walker's Crit. Eram. &c. vol. i. p. 287.- For the first "nature” Hanmer substituted “mankind.” — Johnson's explanation of the text is, “though natural philosophy can give account of eclipses, yet we feel their consequences.”
P. 261. (26)
“ Tut," The folio omits this interjection ; but without it the sentence has a baldness. (In all the quartos I have seen it stands “ Fut;" which seems to be a misprint for “ Tut," rather than intended for “ Foot” or “'Sfoot.”)
P. 266. (28)
"Kent. Why, fool ?” So the quartos — The folio has “ Lear. Why my Boy ?”—the eye of the transcriber or compositor having most probably caught the next speech but one.
-Here Mr. Collier and Delius adhere to the folio, and consequently mark the words “Why, for taking one's part that's out of favour" (which they wrongly point, with the folio, “Why? for taking,” &c.) as spoken by the Fool to Lear. But it is plain that the Fool addresses the king for the first time when he says "How now, nuncle," &c.
P. 266. (29)
“ when the lady brach” So the folio.- The quartos have “when lady oth'e brach.”—This has been altered to “rehen the lady's brach," and to “ when Lady, the brach" (as in The First Part of King Henry IV. act iii. sc. 1, " Lady, my brach”). – Steevens cites from “ the old black-letter Booke of Huntyng,” &c., no date, “and small ladi popies," &c. : and see Nares's Gloss, in v. " Brach,”
P. 267. (31) “lords and great men will not let me; if I had a mono
poly out, they would have part on't : and ladies too, they will not let
me have all fool to myself; they'll be snatching.” From “ Fool. That lord that counsellid thee” down to the end of the present quotation is only in the quartos ; which have here "loades” and “lodes" instead of " ladies.”—“Modern editors," observes Mr. Collier, "without the slightest authority, read 'and ladies too,' when the old copies have not a word about ladies : all the fool means to say is, that if he had a monopoly of folly, great men would have part of it, and a large part too." But mark the ridiculous inconsistency of expression in the passage, if the Fool be speaking of lords only,—"they would have part on't"-"and loads too"
-" they'll be snatching."
P. 269. (32) " That it had its head bit off by its young." The old eds. have “ That it (and “it's”] had it head bit off beit [and " by it”] young."-See Preface to the present edition, p. xv., note,
P. 269. (33)
" I had daughters." Walker (Crit. Exam. &c. vol. i. p. 4) would read “That I had daughters.”— This speech is only in the quartos, where it stands as prose.
P. 269. (34)
"savour" “ The folios, Steevens's reprint of the 4tos, [Rowe], Pope, Theobald, [Hanmer], and Knight have 'savour' here ; while Capell, Var. 1821, and Collier, [Staunton, and Grant White] have farour,' all in silence.” W. N. LETTSOM, pote on Walker's Shakespeare's Versification, &c. p. 230.— "Whether the word of some old editions be · favour' or 'savour' is hard pronouncing ; nor is there much choice between them, in this place : all the moderns have inclined towards 'savour.'” CAPELL, Notes, &c. vol. i. P. ii. p. 152.-".
-6farour,' i. e. complexion. So in Julius Cæsar, 'In favour's like the work we have in hand.'” STEEVENS.
P. 269. (35) “As you are old and reverend, should be wise." So the folio.—The quartos have “ As you are old and reverend, you should be wise." —Rowe printed “ You, as you are old and reverend, should be wise." -Steevens proposes “ As you are old and reverend, be wise.”
P. 270. (36)
“ The worships of their name.” Qy. "The worships of their names," or "The worship of their name” ?
P. 270. (37)
It may be so, my lord,” &c. So this passage (which, slightly different, stands as prose in the quartos) is divided in the folio.-A modern arrangement is
“Lear. It may be so, my lord.—Hear, nature, hear;
P. 271. (38)
“I have another daughter," So the folio; which I follow in preference to the reading of the quartos, "yet haue I left a daughter,” because we have already had, p. 270,
“Degenerate bastard ! I'll not trouble thee :
Yet hare I left a daughter."
P. 271. (39) " Arrange
“ Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril," &c.
'I cannot be so partial, Goneril,
Pray you, content.
P. 272. (40)
"As may compact it more. Get you gone ;" “Qu. “Go, get you gone." Walker's Crit. Exam. &c. vol. ii. p. 258.-Most probably a word has dropt out from this line, though our old poets seem occasionally to have used "more” as a dissyllable.
P. 273. (42)
“brains" “ • Brain' surely; and so Pope and some others." Walker's Crit. Exam, &c. vol. i. p. 256.
P. 276. (43)
“the rerenging gods 'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend ;" So the quartos. — The folio has “ did all the thunder bend,"-a vile reading; which, however, Mr. Knight, Delius, and Mr. Grant White prefer.
P. 276. (44)
And found_dispatch.” “Warburton reads · And found, dispatch'd ;' as also does Mr. Collier's an. notator. But the old text is right : thus in [Middleton's] ‘Blurt, Master Constable,' Act v. Sc. 1,— There to find Fontinelle : found to kill him.'" STAUNTON.-I cannot see that Mr. Staunton's quotation supports the old reading.
P. 276. (45)
"potential spurs" In this passage “ spurs,” which is the reading of the quartos, means, of course, incitements. The folio has “
- potentiall spirits ;" which Delius adopts, and defends by what he considers to be a parallelism,—" As he is very potent with such spirits,” Hamlet, act ii. sc. 2. But here the lection of the folio, “spirits," is as evidently wrong as is its reading “strange,” in the commencement of the next speech ; “O strange [instead of “Strong," i. e. determined] and fastend villaine ;" which, however, Mr. Knight and Delius prefer.
P. 277. (47) Yes, madam, he was of that consort."
he was one of that consort” ?—Here the quartos have merely · Yes, madam, he was."
P. 279. (48) “ Edm. How now! What's the matter?
Kent. With you, good man boy,” &c. So the quartos.—The folio has
“Bast. Hon non, what's the matter ? Part.
Kent. With you goodman Boy,” &c. But “Part” is undoubtedly a stage-direction. This is clear from its interference with the dialogue : Edmund asks “What's the matter ?” and Kent immediately replies, “ With you [i.e, the matter is with you, I will deal with you], goodman boy,” &c.— The stage-direction “ Part” is found in other old dramas : e.g.