« AnteriorContinuar »
except in the last word, is no doubt the right one: and the sense is plain enough, "undistinguish'd space" meaning space whose limits are not to be distinguished.-Here Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector makes one of his unhappiest emendations,—“ O, unextinguish'd blaze of woman's will!”
P. 330. (112)
"According to the folio, the two parts of the Doctor and the Gentleman were combined, and played by the same actor: in the 4tos they are distinct characters, and have separate prefixes. We have followed the latter, because the scene was, in all probability, so originally written, and because merely the economy of the old stage seems to have led to the union of the two characters in the folio. It is singular that, at the earlier date, the more expensive course should have been pursued." COLLIER.
P. 330. (113)
"Is he array'd?"
After these words Delius inserts, with the folio, the stage-direction "Enter LEAR on [in] a chair carried by Servants;" and he says that "from Cordelia's question it is plain that Lear is not on the stage at the beginning of this scene." But, as Capell long ago observed, "their [the folios'] mode of bringing in Lear was a mere stage-convenience." Notes, &c. vol. i. P. ii. p. 181. Cordelia has evidently come with Kent into the chamber where her father is asleep on a bed, the curtains of which conceal him from view; and a subsequent exclamation of the Physician, "Louder the music there!" shows that soft music is playing while he sleeps.
P. 330. (114)
"Gent. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of sleep
Doct. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him;
One quarto gives the first of these speeches to "Doct." and the second to "Kent," the other two quartos give the first to "Doct." and the second to "Gent.:" and the folio gives both to "Gent."-Mr. Collier adheres to the quartos which assign the first speech to " Doct." and the second to "Kent;" and remarks that "some modern editors (following Malone) have adopted a course consistent with no authority, by giving the two first lines to the Gentleman, and the two next to the Doctor." But where the old copies are so strangely at variance with each other, some liberty may be allowed to an editor; and the usual modern distribution of these speeches appears to me the only one which is at all satisfactory.
P. 331. (115)
Of quick, cross lightning? to watch-poor perdu !—”
"Is not lightning a trisyllable? Pronounce, I think, pérdu; the flow of the verse shows this; and the instances I have met with of the use of the word mostly agree with this supposition." Walker's Shakespeare's Versification, &c. p. 17.
P. 331. (116)
P. 334. (117)
"Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less;"
In this passage the folio alone has the words "not an hour more nor less." -Walker (Shakespeare's Versification, &c. p. 156) observes, "They are nonsense, it is true: but are they out of place in the mouth of Lear?"
"With the ancient of war on our proceedings."
"Possibly, 'With th' ancient men of war,' &c." Walker's Crit. Exam. &c. vol. iii. p. 283.
P. 335. (118)
carry out my side,"
Walker (Crit. Exam. &c. vol. iii. p. 283) proposes to substitute “suit" for "side." But the old reading is quite right: see Glossary.
P. 336. (119)
"The goujeers shall”
The quartos have “The good shall.”—The folio has "The good yeares shall.”
P. 338. (120)
"the walls are thine:"
So the second folio.-The first folio has "the walls is thine."-This line is not in the quartos.-"A metaphorical phrase taken from the camp, and signifying to surrender at discretion." WARBURTON. - Hanmer printed 66 they all are thine."-"Has not the editor of the second folio altered this improperly? and may we not read 'yea, all is thine' ?" W. N. LETTSOM.
The folio has
"Yet am I noble as the adversary
P. 339. (121)
Here most of the modern editors insert, from the quartos, "withal" after cope;" but unnecessarily compare Troilus and Cressida, act ii, sc. 3, "Ajax shall cope the best."
P. 340. (122) “Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,
The quartos have
"Behold it is the priviledge of my tongue,
"Behold it is my priuiledge,
P. 340. (123)
"Alb. Save him, save him!
This is practice, Gloster:"
Theobald (printing "O, save him," &c.) gave these two hemistichs to Goneril, and remarked, "Tis absurd that Albany, who knew Edmund's treasons and his own wife's passion for him, should be solicitous to have his life saved."-According to Johnson, "Albany desires that Edmund's life might be spared at present, only to obtain his confession, and to convict him openly by his own letter."-Walker (Crit. Exam. &c. vol. ii. p. 185) says, "Theobald was right in giving the words 'O, save him, save him' (as he properly read) to Goneril."
P. 340. (124)
Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil :—”
Delius says that "Hold, sir," is a command to Edgar to forbear further violence on Edmund, and that the next line is addressed to Edmund, to whom Albany hands Goneril's letter found on Oswald. About "the next line" Delius is no doubt right; but (like Malone and Mr. Collier, as shown by the note of the former and the punctuation of the latter) he is quite mistaken about the "Hold, sir," which is also spoken to Edmund,-" Hold" being formerly a word commonly used when any one presented any thing to another compare our author's Measure for Measure, “ Hold, therefore, Angelo," &c. act i. sc. 1 (see note 4, vol. i. p. 523); and Julius Cæsar, “ Hold, my hand," &c. act i. sc. 3; "But, hold thee, take this garland on thy brow," &c. act v. sc. 3 (see note 106, vol. vi. p. 708).—1865. Mr. Grant White prints "[To EDG.] Hold, sir!" &c.
P. 341. (126)
P. 341. (125) “Gon.
Ask me not what I know.
So the quartos.-"The folio," as Mr. Collier observes, "having erroneously fixed Goneril's exit earlier, transfers Ask me not what I know' to Edmund." And to Edmund both Mr. Knight and Delius assign the words, though they are manifestly those of Goneril in her desperation, and proved by Edmund's next speech not to belong to him.
"That with the pain of death we'd hourly die"
So the quartos, except that, instead of "we'd" (Malone's alteration), they have "would."-The folio has "That we the paine of death would hourely dye."
P. 342. (127)
The quartos have "me."-This speech and the two next speeches are not in the folio.
P. 342. (128) "Possibly 'piersant'." Walker's Crit, Exam, &c. vol. iii. p. 284.
P. 344. (129)
The old eds. have "stones." (So in King Richard III, act iii. sc. 7, the old eds, make Gloster say "I am not made of stones.")
P. 344. (130)
"This is a dull sight."
Here Walker (Shakespeare's Versification, &c. p. 80) would alter "This is” to the contracted form "This'" (see note 106); and with the following arrangement;
"This speech from the authority of the old quarto is rightly placed to Albany in the edition by the players it is given to Edgar, by whom, I doubt not, it was of custom spoken. And the case was this: he who played Edgar being a more favourite actor than he who personated Albany, in spite of decorum it was thought proper he should have the last word." THEOBALD. -"Here, however, it seems to me just possible-yet hardly so-that the folio may be right." Walker's Crit. Exam, &c. vol. ii. p. 185.-Hanmer altered the last line of this speech (which is certainly obscure in meaning) to “Shall never see so much, live e'er so long."