« PreviousContinue »
Banish'd this frail sepulchre of our flesh,
Nor. No, Bolingbroke; if ever I were traitor,
(Erit. K. Rich. Uncle, even in the glasses of thine
this frail sepulchre of our flesh,] So, afterwards :
thou King Richard's tomb,
“ And not King Richard —.” And Milton, in Samson Agonistes :
“Myself my sepulchre, a moving grave." Henley.
“The world was all before them, where to choose
Now no way can I stray, “ Save back to England :-all the world's my way." There's no way for me to go wrong, except back to England.
M. Mason. Most certainly, by such a punctuation, the poet's meaning would be lost. MALONE.
Four lagging winters and four wanton springs,
Gaunt. I thank my liege, that, in regard of me
give: Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow, And pluck nights from me, but not lend a mor
Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
K. Rich. Thy son is banish'd upon good advice",
GAUNT. Things sweet to taste, prove in digestion
You urg'd me as a judge; but I had rather,
6 And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow :] It is matter of very melancholy consideration, that all human advantages confer more power of doing evil than good. Johnson.
upon good advice,] Upon great consideration. Malone. So, in King Henry VI. Part II. :
“ But with advice and silent secrecy.” Steevens. - A PARTY-verdict gave ;] i. e. you had yourself a part or share in the verdict that I pronounced. Malone.
O, had it been a stranger, not my child,
K. Rich. Cousin, farewell:-and, uncle, bid him
Six years we banish him, and he shall go.
(Flourish. Exeunt King Richard and Train. Aum. Cousin, farewell : what presence must not
know, From where you do remain, let paper
show. Mar. My lord, no leave take I; for I will ride, As far as land will let me, by your side. Gaunt. O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy
words, That thou return'st no greeting to thy friends ?
Boling. I have too few to take my leave of you,
Gaunt. Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
* Quarto 1597, aboundant. 9 O, had it been a stranger,] This couplet is wanting in the folio. STEEVENS.
"A partial slander -] That is, the reproach of partiality. This is a just picture of the struggle between principle and affection. Johnson.
This couplet, which is wanting in the folio edition, has been arbitrarily placed by some of the modern editors at the conclusion of Gaunt's speech. In the three oldest quartos it follows the fifth line of it. In the fourth quarto, which seems copied from the folio, the passage is omitted. STEEVENS.
Boling. To men in joy; but grief makes one
hour ten. Gaunt. Call it a travel that thou tak’st for plea
Boling. My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
Gaunt. The sullen passage of thy weary steps
* Quartos, 1598, 1608, and 1615, what deal.
2 Boling. Nay, rather, every tedious stride I make-) This, and the six verses which follow, I have ventured to supply from the old quarto. The allusion, it is true, to an apprenticeship, and becoming a journeyman, is not in the sublime taste; nor, as Horace has expressed it: “spirat tragicum satis :" however, as there is no doubt of the passage being genuine, the lines are not so despicable as to deserve being quite lost. Theobald.
3 — journeyman to grief?] I am afraid our author in this place designed a very poor quibble, as journey signifies both travel and a day's work. However, he is not to be censured for what he himself rejected. Johnson.
The quarto, in which these lines are found, is said in its titlepage to have been corrected by the author; and the play is indeed more accurately printed than most of the other single copies. There is now, however, no certain method of knowing by whom the rejection was made. Steevens.
Mr. Steevens has here made a great mistake. The lines in question are found in the first quarto of 1597, and continued in those of 1598, 1608, and 1615, all of which are now before me; but what these late copies read, what they insert, or what they omit, it is quite loss of time to examine. Not the smallest authority belongs to them; nor would they carry any with them, even if their titlepages announced that they were revised and corrected by the
Gaunt. All places that the eye of heaven visits *,
Look, To lie Suppo The
"B before 1579, Among
author. But the title-pages of not one of these copies contains any such assertion : though in some other of his plays, the booksellers were hardy enough to add those words.
Unquestionably, Shakspeare never revised a single quarto copy of any of his plays, whether in a first or second edition; nor is the edition of Romeo and Juliet, in 1599, an exception to this assertion. It was not revised by him, but printed from an enlarged and corrected copy. To suppose that he did, is to shut our eyes to his habits, character, and history. He suffered plays to be imputed to him (with his name affixed to them), of which he had not written a word. When Thorpe, a bookseller, in 1609, printed his beautiful poem, entitled The Lover's Complaint, together with his Sonnets, in the most incorrect manner, he never took the trouble to print a second edition, or even to point out the numerous errors of the press with which these pieces abound. Can it then be supposed that he would revise or correct the second or third editions of such of his plays as had been fraudulently obtained from the players, against his will, and against his interest? MALONE.
4 All places that the EYE OF HEAVEN visits, &c.] So, Nonnus : asdepos Oje na: i. e. the sun.
“ And Titan, tired in the mid-day heat,
“With burning eye did hotly overlook them." Again, in his Lucrece, 1594 :
“ The eye of heaven is out." So also Spencer, Faery Queene, b. i. c. iii. st. 4:
Her angel face, “ As the great eye of heaven, shyned bright." MALONE. The fourteen verses that follow are found in the first edition.
Pope. The whole of this speech and the preceding one, are omitted in the folio ; but they are found in all the quartos. Boswell.
I am inclined to believe that what Mr. Theobald and Mr. Pope have restored were expunged in the revision by the author : If these lines are omitted, the sense is more coherent. Nothing is more frequent among dramatic writers, than to shorten their dialogues for the stage. Johnson.
did banish thee;] Read :