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to be corrected. The meaning of
What's the matter?
the heir of his
Warburton has corrected with more
caution, but less improvement:
This passage is so difficult, that comrnentators i
that is, than the bloods of our couTtiers; but our bloods, like
In The Yorkshire Tragedy, 1608, which has been attributed to
For 'tis our blood to love what we are forbidden."
" As I saw it inclin'd." STEEVENS.
The only error that I can find in this passage is, the mark of the it is this:-“ Our difpofitions no more obey the heavens than our 6 2. Gent:
expressions of our author too frequently require, will make emen-
by the temper of the blood, —10 more obey the laws of heaven, which direct us to appear what we really are,—than our courtiers:
Again, in King Lear, A& IV. sc. ii:
Were it my fitness
subject to your countenance, glad, or forry,
You do not meer a man but frowns : our bloods
wear their faces to the bent *. Of the king's look." TYRWHITT.
He purpos'd to his wife's sole son, (a widow,
None but the king? 1. Gent. He, that hath lost her, too: so is the
queen, That most desir'd the match: But not a courtier,
courtiers do; they still seem as the king's does.” The obscurity arises from the omiffion of the pronoun they, by a common poetical licence. M. Mason.
Blood is so frequently used by Shakspeare for natural disposition, that there can be no doubt concerning the meaning here. So, in All's well that ends well :
“ Now his important blood will nought deny
6. That she'll demand." See also Timon of Athens, Vol. XI. p. 578, n. 5.
I have followed the regulation of the old copy, in separating the word courtiers from what follows, by placing a semicolon after it. “ Still seem"—for “ they still seem," or " our bloods still seem," is common in Shakspeare. The mark of the genitive case, which has been affixed in the late editions to the word courtiers, does not appear to me necessary, as the poet might intend to say—“ than our courtiers obey the heavens :" though, it must be owned, the mo. dern regulation derives some support from what follows:
but not a courtier,
“ Of the king's looks, We have again, in Antony and Cleopatra, a sentiment fimilar to that before us :
for he would shine on those
She's wed; ber husband banib'd; lhe imprison'd:
All's outward forrow; &c. Wed is used for wedded, in The Comedy of Errors : “ In Syracusa was I born, and wed," STERVENS.
« Crowd us and crush us in this monstrous form."
himself: my praise, however extenfive, is within his merit.
My elogium, however extended it may seem, is short of his real
" Nor doth he of himself know them for aught,
" Where they are extended," &c. STEEVENS.
Although they wear their faces to the bent
And why so?
You speak him far.
A You speak bim far.) i.e. you praise bim extensively. STEVENS,
You are lavish in your encomiums on him: your elogium has a
wonderfully to extend
lines , Act
no man is the lord of
6 Crush bim -] So, in King Henry IV. P. II:
What's his name, and birth? 1. Gent. I cannot delve him to the root: His
father Was calla Sicilius, who did join his honour, Against the Romans, with Cassibelan; But had his titles by Tenantius,” whom He serv'd with glory and admir'd success; So gain'd the sur-addition, Leonatus : And had, besides this gentleman in question, Two other sons; who, in the wars o'the time, Died with their swords in hand; for which, their
father (Then old and fond of issue,) took such sorrow, That he quit being; and his gentle lady, Big of this gentleman, our theme, deceas'd As he was born. The king, he takes the babe To his protection; calls him Posthumus;8
- Tenantius,] was the father of Cymbeline, and nephew of Caflibelan, being the younger son of his elder brother Lud, king of the southern part of Britain ; on whose death Caffibelan was admitted king. Caffibelan repulsed the Romans on their first attack, but being vanquished by Julius Cæfar on his second invasion of Britain, he agreed to pay an annual tribute to Rome. After his death, Tenantius, Lud's younger son, (his elder brother Androgeus having fled to Rome) was established on the throne, of which they had been unjustly deprived by their uncle. According to some authorities, Tenantius quietly payed the tribute ftipulated by Callibelan; according to others, he refused to pay it, and warred with the Romans. Shakspeare supposes the latter to be the truth. Holinshed, who furnished our poet with these facts, furnished him also with the name of Sicilius, who was admitted king of Britain, A. M. 3659. The name of Leonatus he found in Sidney's Arcadia. Leonatus is there the legitimate son of the blind king of Paphlagonia, on whose story the episode of Glofter, Edgar, and Edmund, is formed in King Lear. See Arcadia, p. 69, edit, 1593. MALONE.
Shakspeare, having already introduced Leonato among the characters in Much Ado about Noihing, had not far to go for Leonatus.
Steevens. Pofthumus;] Old copy-Pofthumus Leonatus. Resp.
CEMBELINE. 6 2. Gent.
But what's the matter? 1. GENT. His daughter, and the heir of his
This passage is so difficult, that commentators may differ concerning it without animosity or shame. Of the two emendations proposed, Sir Thomas Hanmer's is the more licentious; but he makes the fense clear, and leaves the reader an easy passage. Dr. Warburton has corrected with more caution, but less improvement : his reasoning upon his own reading is fo obscure and perplexed, that I suspect some injury of the press.-I am now to tell my opinion, which is, that the lines ftand as they were originally written, and that a paraphrase, such as the licentious and abrupt expressions of our author too frequently require, will make emendation unnecessary. We do not meet a man but frowns; our bloods our countenances, which, in popular speech, are said to be regulated by the temper of the blood, no more obey the laws of heaven, —which direct us to appear what we really are,-than our courtiers: that is, than the bloods of our courtiers; but our bloods, like theirs,-ftill feem, as doth the king's. Johnson.
In The Yorkshire Tragedy, 1608, which has been attributed to Shakspeare, blood appears to be used for inclination :
“ For 'tis our blood to love what we are forbidden." Again, in King Lear, Act IV. sc. ii :
Were it my fitness “ 'To let these bands obey my blood." In King Henry VIII. Act III. sc. iv. is the same thought :
subject to your countenance, glad, or forry,
You do not meet a man but frowns : our bloods
Still feem, as does the king.
wear their faces to the bent “ Of the king's look.” TYRWHITT. The only error that I can find in this passage is, the mark of the genitive case annexed to the word courtiers, which appears to be a modern innovation, and ought to be corrected. The meaning of it is this :" Our dispositions no more obey the heavens than our