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P. 46. (81)
6 Enter HECATE.” Here the stage-direction of the folio is “ Enter Hecat, and the other three Witches :" but, beyond all doubt, it means nothing more than that Hecate joins the three Witches already on the stage.- Various dramas, written long after Vacbeth, afford examples of stage-directions worded in the same unintelligible style. E. g. Cowley's Cutter of Coleman Street opens with a soliloquy by Trueman Junior: his father presently joins him, and the stage-direction is, “Enter Trueman Senior, AND TRUEMAN JUN.” Again, the second act of that play commences with a soliloquy by Aurelia ; and when Jane joins her we find “ Enter AURELIA, Jane."
P. 46. (82)
"Music and song, 'Black spirits,' &c.” This song is found entire in Middleton's Ilitch, act v. sc. 2,- Works, vol. iii. p. 328, ed. Dyce. The two first lines of it (and whether or not more was introduced into Macbeth on our old stage is uncertain) are,
“Black spirits and white, red spirits and gray,
Mingle, mingle, mingle, you that mingle may !"According to Steevens, “the song was, in all probability, a traditional one;" and Mr. Collier, more confidently, says, “ Doubtless it does not belong to Middleton more than to Shakespeare ; but it was inserted in both dramas because it was appropriate :" but qy ?-See note 69.
P. 47. (83)
“bladed corn" “Mr. Collieris annotator proposes to read 'bleaded corn ;' and, although the impropriety of the alteration has been clearly shown, Mr. Collier has not hesitated to substitute it for the genuine word. Had he turned to Chap. iv. Book i. of. Scot's Discovery of Witchcraft,'--& work the poet was undoubt. edly well read in,-he would have found, among other actions imputed to witches, that they can transferre corn in the blade from one place to ano. ther.' And from the article on Husbandry in Comenius, Janua Linguarum, 1673, he might have learned that 'As soon as standing corn shoots up to a blade, it is in danger of scathe by a tempest.'” STAUNTON.
P. 47. (84)
“nature's germens" So Theobald.—The folio has “ Natures Germaine,”—with which compare its spelling in King Lear, act iii. sc. 2;
“Cracke Natures mould, all germaines spill at once
That makes ingratefull Man.”(On the present passage a critic, quoted by Mr. Halliwell, has the following nonsensical remarks ; “The lection of the ancient text has been modernly altered into germins, or seeds, to the annihilation of its true meaning, and the unspeakable depreciation of its force. Nature’s german (or germaine, as it was formerly written) are nature's kindred, or those who stand in the relation of brotherhood to one another; that is, mankind in general. The treasure of nature's german is, therefore, the treasure, the best of the human race," &c. &c.)
P. 48. (85) " Rebellion's head, rise never," The folio has “Rebellious dead, rise neuer.”—Theobald printed “ Rebellious head," &c. ; i. e., he says, “let Rebellion never make head against me till,” &c.—But Hanmer's reading, “ Rebellion's head," &c. (which Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector also gives), is evidently the right one ; though Capell (Notes, &c. vol. ii. P. iii. p. 22) gravely assures us that it “ impairs harmony, and ruins poetry," &c. (In Richard II. act iii. sc. 2, the old eds., with the exception of the two earliest quartos, have the misprint “ Shall falter vnder foule rebellious armes.")
P. 49. (86)
our high-plac'd Macbeth” "Read ' your high-plac'd Macbeth.' See Walker's Crit. Exam. &c. Art. xlvi.” W. N. LETTSOM.
P. 49. (87)
“Were I but twenty-one,
P. 49. (88)
" Now” Has been amended to “Nay, novo” and to “Ay, now.”
P. 50. (89)
without some show of reason,
“But no more sights !" Here the two Ms. Correctors-Mr. Collier's and Mr. Singer's—alter “ sights” to “ flights ;” and the same alteration occurred to Mr. Grant White (Shakespeare's Scholar, &c. p. 105).-—" The Ms. Corrector proposes flights ; and not
Macbeth has just been informed that Macduff has filed to England, and the escape has evidently discomposed him, as placing beyond his reach his most deadly enemy. Accordingly he is supposed by the Ms. Corrector to exclaim, 'No more flights ! I must take care that no more of that party escape me. But, on the other hand, Macbeth, a minute before, has been inveighing against the witches. He says,
'Infected be the air whereon they ride,
And damn'd all those that trust them !' So that ' But no more sights’ may mean, I will have no more dealings with these infernal hags [who have just been showing him a succession of sights, -apparitions ; the last of which drew from him the exclamation, “ Hor. rible sight !"). The word " But seems to be out of place in connection with *Alights? —and therefore we pronounce in favour of the old reading.” Blackwood's Magazine for Oct. 1853, p. 461.
In my opinion the word “But” makes not a little against the new lection.—1865. Mr. Grant White, in his edition of Shakespeare, prints " But no more sprites,”—most unhappily, I
P. 51. (90)
“And do not know ourselves ;” Hanmer prints "And do not know't ourselves ;” and so Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector.
P. 52. (91)
P. 53. (92)
“thou shag-hair'd villain !"' The folio has “thou shagge-ear'd Villaine,”—“ear'd” being a corruption of “heard,” which is an old spelling of “hair'd:” so in King John the folio has “vn-heard” for “unhaird;" see note 124, vol. iv. p. 96.—Of the many examples which might be adduced of "hear” for “hair,” I subjoin, “But now in dust his beard bedaubd, his hear with blood is clonge."
Phaer's Virgil's Æneidos, Book ii, sig. C vii. ed. 1584. “We straight his burning hear gan shake, all trembling dead for dreede.”
Id, sig. D v.
P. 54. (94)
“ You may deserve of him through me; and wisdom
To offer up”
through me; 'tis wisdom
through me; and wisdom
P. 54. (95)
“But I shall crave your pardon;" Walker (Crit. Exam. &c. vol. i. p. 77) would read “ But 'crare your pardon” (the earlier modern alteration being “ I crave your pardon”); and, in the next speech of Malcolm, he would alter “ I pray you” to “ "Pray you :': but the latter line seems to be faulty, not from the redundant “I,” but from the omission of some word or words.
P. 54. (96)
“Thy title is affeer'd !” The folio has “The title,” &c. : but Malone's alteration of “ The” to “Thy" is hardly to be doubted. Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector makes the same change.
P. 56. (98)
summer-seeming" Warburton reads "summer-teeming ;" Blackstone proposes ing;" and Mr. Staunton “summer-seaming."
P. 56. (99)
“Uproar” "Read 'Uproot.'” W. N. LETTSOM.- I believe the old reading is right.
P. 56. (100) “Died every day she lived. Fare thee well !" In my former edition I printed, with the folio, “ Died every day she liv'd,” at the bidding of Walker (Shakespeare's Versification, &c. p. 139), who, considering “ Fare" to be used here as a dissyllable, observes, “ Certainly not * lirèd;' Shakespeare would as soon have made · died' a dissyllable.” But the late Mr. W. W. Williams (see The Parthenon for Nov. 1, 1862, p. 849) has since shown that Walker is wrong, by the following quotation from Julius Cæsar, act iii, sc. 1 ;
" Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
"thy here-approach," The folio has “ they heere approach.”—Corrected in the second folio.
P. 57. (102)
“Already at a point," Has been altered, most improperly, to “ All ready at a point.”
P. 60. (103) Perhaps rol, č. p. 15.
"Did you say all ?-O hell-kitel-All?" O vulture ! hell-kite! - All?” Walker's Crit. Exam. &c.
Bring thou,"'which I should have retained, under the idea that, since we have before had “heaven” used as a plural (see note 10, vol
. iv. p. 184), we might here accept “ heavens” as a singular,---were it not that in Macduff's preceding
speech we have “hearen look on” and “hearen rest them now," and at the conclusion of the present speech “ Hearen forgive him too !”
“ This tune goes manly." The folio has “ This time goes manly;" which is retained by Mr. Knight. “Gifford,” he says, “has shown, in a note on Massinger, that the two words were once synonymous, in a musical acceptation; and that time was the more ancient and common term.” Who, except Mr. Knight, will suppose that Gifford would have defended the reading “time" in such a passage
P. 62. (106)
“ God, God" “A misprint, probably, for 'Good God,'” says Mr. Staunton, not being aware that such was Hanmer's reading.
P. 63. (107) “ He cannot buckle his distemper'd course” So Walker (Crit. Eram. &c. vol. i. p. 302) and Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector, - The folio has " - his distemper'd cause,” &c. (A critic in Blackwood's Magazine for Oct. 1853, p. 461, says that "'cause’ fits the place perfectly well, if taken for his affairs generally, his whole system of procedure." But will the context allow us to take it in that sense ?) The words “course" and “ cause" are often confounded by printers: see note 162, vol. vi. p. 378.
P. 64. (108)
* This push Will chair me erer, or dis-seat me now.” The folio has “Will cheere me cuer, or dis-eate me non.” (The second folio
or disease me none.")-That “cheere" is a mistake for chaire," I should have felt confident, even if I had never known that the latter word was substituted both by Percy and by Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector. (Chair, in the sense of throne, was very common. So in our author's King Richard III, act v. sc. 3,
“A base foul stone, made precious by the foil
Of England's chair, where he is falsely set.” So too in Peele's Darid and Bethsabe,
“ The man of Israel that hath rul'd as king,
Or rather as the tyrant of the land,
Works, p. 478, ed. Dyce, 1861.)— Mr. Halliwell, who retains the old reading “cheer,” remarks (taking “push" in its literal sense) that “a push does not usually chair a person, though it may disseat him.” Does Mr. Halliwell, then, think that “a push usually cheers a person”?