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P. 708. (154)
“ I've had no letter": So Hanmer (which Capell slightly altered to “ I have had no letter").—The folio has “ I heard no Letter;" which is thus defended by Malone: “Perhaps 'letter' here means, not an epistle, but the elemental part of a syllable. This might have been a phrase in Shakespeare's time. We yet say-I have not heard a syllable from him.”
P. 708. (155)
" find we in life,” The folio has “we finde in life."-Corrected in the second folio.
P. 709. (157)
“o'ergronn," Understanding this word to refer more particularly to the hair and beard of Belarius, I observed in my Remarks on Mr. Collier's and Mr. Knight's eds. of Shakespeare, p. 260; “ Its meaning is sufficiently explained by what Posthumus afterwards says of Belarius,
• who deserv'd So long a breeding as his white beard came to';" and I noticed the strange inappositeness of a quotation from Spenser which Steevens adduces to illustrate it. Hence, in the second edition of his Shakespeare Mr. Collier writes as follows; “The Rev. Mr. Dyce would poorly limit the meaning of 'o'ergrown' to the beard of Belarius; and he laughs at Steevens for quoting Spenser in some lines where 'o'ergrown with old decay' occurs. Such unquestionably was the meaning of 'o'ergrown' in this passage in Cymbeline,' the white beard' of Belarius being only a small part of the change produced in him by age. No reference could well be more apposite than that of Steevens; and we cannot but smile when we find Mr. Dyce, with surprising simplicity, complaining of commentators, who fancy that quotations are illustrative, merely because they contain a particular word in the text (“ Remarks,' p. 259).”
It is plain that Mr. Collier knows the passage in Spenser only from the note of Steevens,—who (cunning dog, as he always showed himself !) puro posely gave it thus mutilated ;
“o'ergrorn with old decay,
The hue thereof."
“ Both roofe, and floore, and walls, were all of gold,
The Fairie Queene, B. ii. c. vii. st. 29. and if Mr. Collier still imagines that Spenser's description of THE CAVE OF MAMMON, "o'ergrowne with dust and old decay" (i.e. covered with dust and
mouldiness-pulvere et situ), illustrates the word “o'ergrown" as applied by Shakespeare to Belarius, he is welcome to his opinion for me, and may continue to "smile at my surprising simplicity” in thinking that the quotation is altogether inapposite, and that Steevens, with equal propriety, might have cited from st. 4 of the same Book and Canto
“His yron cote, all overgronne with rust,
Was underneath enveloped with gold," &c. In conclusion, I may mention that Sir John Harington in his version of the Orlando Furioso has “Whose beard with age was overgrowne and gray."
B. xv. st. 30. “ This while Adonio, looking pale and wan, As erst I told, and overgrown with haire," &c.
B. xliii, st, 89.
P. 709. (158)
“what thing is it that I never
Did see man die !" The modern editors (misled by the folio, which sometimes, as here, puts the interrogation-point for the exclamation-point) very improperly make this passage interrogative. By "what thing is it,” &c., Arviragus means “what a thing is it,” &c.,—the “a” in such exclamations being frequently omitted by our early writers : see note 23 on Julius Cæsar, vol. vi. p. 691,
P. 710. (159)
" for I wish'd" So Pope.—The folio has "for I am risht;" which Mr. Singer (Shakespeare, 1856) alters to "for I e'en wish'd" (weakening the sense not a little).
P. 710. (160)
you some permit
And make them dread it, to the doers' thrift." In the last line of this very obscure passage Theobald altered "dread it" to “ dreaded.” As to "elder," I agree with Malone that Shakespeare here “considered the later evil deed as the elder,"
P, 713. (161)
“they stoop'd eaglos; slaves, The strides they victors made :"
The folio has
"they stopt Eagles, slaues The strides the Victor's made."
P. 714. (162)
“Still going ?" “i.e. You run away from me, as you did from the enemy." Walker's Crit. Exam. &c. vol. iii. p. 327.
P. 714. (163) "For being now a favourer to the Briton,” &c. “This is spoken of death,' whom the speaker is seeking : but despairing to find him among the Britains, of whom he was ó now a favourer, I, no more a Britain,' says he, have resum'd the part I came in, the Roman, and will meet with him there.” Capell's Notes, &c. vol. i. P. i. p. 118.-Hanmer substituted " For being now a favourer to the Roman,” &c.
P. 715. (165)
“ Is't enough" “ Does not the sense require · Is't not enough'? The metre would admit it." Note by Mr. W. N. Lettsom apud Walker's Crit. Exam. &c. vol. iii. p. 328.
P. 716. (166) “If you will take this audit, take this life,"
Who of their broken debtors take a third,
For Imogen's dear life take mine;
Though light, take pieces for the figure's sake."
P. 717. (167)
come,” The folio has "came;" manifestly wrong.
P. 717. (168)
“ look out ;" The folio has “looke, looke out.”—Corrected in the second folio.
P. 719. (169) “'Tis still a dream,” &c.
• 'Tis still a dream ; or else such stuff as madmen
Walker's Crit. Exam. &c. vol, iii. p. 329.
P. 720. (170) “of this contradiction you shall now be quit.-0, the
charity of a penny cord !" The folio has “Oh, of this contradiction you shall now be quit; Oh, the
charity,” &c.; the first “Oh” having been evidently inserted by mistake, in consequence of the transcriber's or compositor's eye resting on the second
P. 720. (171) "or take upon yourself that which I am sure you do not
know; or jump the after-inquiry on your own peril : and how you shall
speed in your journey's end, I think you'll never return to tell one,” The folio has “or to take upon your selfe," &c. : it also has a blur (occasioned by the sticking up of what is technically called a space) before the next “or;" which blur Mr. Knight considers to be an f, and prints “for, jump the after-inquiry on your own peril, and how you shall speed in your journey's end, I think you'll never return to tell one.”—1865. The Cam. bridge Editors (Globe Shakespeare) print “or do take upon yourself," &c. : but I feel sure that the "to" of the folio was repeated by mistake from the immediately preceding “to know.”
P. 721. (172) “ Stepp'd before targes of proof,” &c.
P. 722. (173)
"yes, and in time, When she had fitted you with her craft,” Here the "yes" is from the second folio; an insertion which, I confess, I hardly like, and which is pronounced to be "wrong" by Walker, who (Crit. Exam. &c. vol, iii. p. 329) proposes "and in due time.”—In the second line Walker (id, vol. i. p. 294) would substitute “fit" for "fitted ;” an altera. tion which seems less necessary here than in the Taming of the Shrew; see note 7 on that play, vol. iii. p. 182.
P. 723. (174)
“ heard" The folio has "heare."-Corrected in the second folio.
P. 724. (176)
“One sand another Not more resembles that sweet rosy lad
Who died, and was Fidele.” Imperfectly as this is expressed, I am inclined to agree with Mr. Knight in thinking that we have here what Shakespeare wrote. It has been altered in various ways.—Walker supposes that half a line has dropped out: he says, “Qu.,
One sand another
P. 725. (178) “ Thou'lt torture me," &c. In case this should seem obscure to some readers, I may otice that the meaning is—“Instead of torturing me to speak, thou wouldst (if thou wert wise, or aware) torture me to prevent my speaking that,” &c.
P. 725. (179) " I'm glad to be constrain'd to utter that
Which torments me to conceal." Here the “Which” (though we have "that which" in Iachimo's preceding speech) would seem to be an addition by the transcriber or printer, A modern arrangement is,
“ I am glad to be constrain’d to utter that which
Torments me," &c.; and Boswell says, “If we lay an emphasis on that, it will be an hypermetri. cal line of eleven syllables. There is scarcely a page in Fletcher's plays where this sort of versification is not to be found,"— Fletcher's versification being essentially different from our author's !
P. 728. (182)
“ dead." "i.e, insensible, fainting, in a state of suspended animation,” says Mr. W. N. Lettsom apud Crit. Exam. &c. vol. iii. p. 330, by Walker, who quotes “Stage Direction, iv. 2, fol. p. 389, col. i. 'Enter Arviragus, with Imogen dead, bearing her in his Armes”;” and “Spenser, F. Q., B. iv. C. vii, st. ix.,
For she (deare ladie) all the while was dead,
P. 729. (183) “ Think that you are upon a rock; and now
Throw me again." “A passage of impenetrable obscurity. There is probably a corruption of all the last five words. “Rock’ may be a misprint of 'neck;' and perhaps the original words were something like • Think she's upon your neck.' No explanation has been given that is worth repeating.” GRANT WHITE.-I believe the simple meaning of this affecting passage is ; “Now prove your love ; if you throw me from your arms now, my fall will be as fatal to me as if you had precipitated me from a rock."