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Yet none of you would once plead for his lifc.-
[ Exeunt King, Queen, Hast. Riv. Dor.and GREY.
[Exeunt. SCENE II.
The same. Enter the Duchess of York,s with a Son and Daughter
of Clarence. Sün. Good grandam, tell us, is our father dead? Duch. No, boy.
Daugh. Why do you weep so oft? and beat your breast; And cry-O Clarence, my unhappy son!
Son. Why do you look on us, and shake your head,
Duch. My pretty cousins, you mistake me both;
4 Come, Hastings, help me to my closet.] Hastings was Lord Chamberlain to King Edward IV. Malone.
5 Enter the Duchess of York,] Cecily, daughter of Ralph Neville first Earl of Westmoreland, and widow of Richard Duke of York, who was killed at the battle of Wakefield in 1460. She survived her husband thirty-five years, living till the year 1495.
Malone. 0 - my pretty cousins,] "The Duchess is here addressing her grand-children, but cousin was the term used in Shakspeare's time, by uncles to nephews and nieces, grandfathers to grandchildren, &c. It seems to have been used instead of our kinsinan, and kins woman, and to have supplied the place of both.
Malone See note on Othello, Act I, sc. i. Steevens.
It were lost sorrow, to wail one that 's lost.
Son. Then, grandam, you conclude that he is dead.
Daugh. And so will I.
Son. Grandam, we can : for my good uncle Gloster Told me, the king, provok'd to 't by the queen, Devis'd impeachments to imprison him : And when iny uncle told me so, he wept, And pitied me, and kindly kiss'd my cheek; Bade me rely on him, as on my father, And he would love me dearly as his child.
Duch. Ah, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes,
Son. Think you, my uncle did dissemble,8 grandam?
· DORSET, following her.
Duch. What means this scene of rude impatience?
Q. Eliz. To make an act of tragick violence:Edward, my lord, thy son, our king, is dead.
7 Incapable and shallow innocents, ] Incapable is unintelligent.
Malone. So, in Hamlet:
“ As one incapable of her own distress.” Steevens. 8 — my uncle did dissemble,] Sbakspeare uses dissemble in the sense of acting fraudulently, feigning what we do not feel or think; though strictly it means to conceal our real thoughts or affections. So also Milton in the passage quoted in p. 61, n. 6.
Why grow the branches, when the root is gone?
Duch. Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow,
Son. Ah, aunt! you wept not for our father's death; How can we aid you with our kindred tears?
Daugh. Our fatherless distress was left unmoan'd, Your widow-dolour likewise be unwept!
Q. Eliz. Give me no help in lamentation,
9- of perpetual rest.) So the quarto. The folio reads-of ne'er changing night. Malone. In his images: ] The children by whom he was represented.
Fohnson. So, in The Rape of Lucrece, Lucretius says to his daughter:
“O, from thy cheeks my image thou hast torn." Malone. 2 But now, two mirrors of his princely semblance
Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death ;] So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:
“ Poor broken glass, I often did behold
Shows me a bare-bon'd death by time out-worn."
“ Thou art tiiy mother's glass,' &c. Malone
That I, being govern’d by the watry moon, 3
Chil. Ah, for our father, for our dear lord Clarence!
Duch. Was never mother, had so dear a loss.
3-— being govern'd by the watry moon,] That I may live hereafter under the influence of the moon, which governs the tides, and by the help of that influence drown the world. The introduction of the moon is not very natural. Fohnson.
The same thought has already occurred in K Henry IV, P.I: "_ being governed, as the sea is, by the moon.” Steevens.
1— and so do 1:] So the quarto. The variation of the folio is remarkable: It reads-so do not they. Malone.
51 for an Edward weep, so do not they:) The text is here made out partly from the folio and partly from the quarto. In the quarto this and the preceding line stand thus :
“ These babes for Clarence weep, and so do I;
“ I for an Edward weep, and so do they." The end of the second line is evidently corrupted. In the MS. from which the folio was printed, or in a corrected quarto copy, the two lines undoubtedly were right:
" These babes for Clarence weep, (and so do I;
“I for an Edward weep, so do not they." But the compositor's eye passing over two half lines, the pas. sage was printed thus in the folio, in one line :
" These babes for Clarence weep, so do not they." I have stated this matter thus particularly, because it confirms an observation that I have more than once had occasion to make in revising these plays; that there is reason to suspect that many of the difficulties in our author's works have arisen from the omis. sion of either single words, single lines, or the latter half of one line with the balf of the next: a solution which readers are very slow to admit, and generally consider as chimerical. One week's acquaintance with the business of the press (without those proofs.
Alas! you three, on me, threefold distress'd,
Dor. Comfort, dear mother; God is much displeas'd,6
Riv. Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother,
RATCLIFF, and Others.
which a collation of the quartos with each other and with the first folio affords) would soon convince them that my supposition is not a mere offspring of imagination. In the plays, of which there is no authentick copy but the first folio, there is no means of prow
ing such omissions to have happened; but the present and other · proofs of their having actually happened in the other plays, lay surely a reasonable ground for conjecturing that similar errors have happened in those pieces, of which there is only a single an. cient copy extant, and entitle such conjectures to indulgence.
See Vol. VII, p. 87, n. 4; Vol. VIII, p. 51, n. 2, and p. 296, n. 2; Vol. X, p. 220, n. 5; Coriolanus, Vol. XIII, Act II, sc. ii; and Antony and Cleopatra, Vol. XIII, Act IV, sc. X.
In this note, and throughout this play, where I have spoken of the quarto, without any specification of the year when printed, I meant the quarto 1598, the earliest which I had then seen. The quarto 1597, I find, corresponds with the text. Malone.
6 Comfort, dear mother ; &c.] This line and the following eleven lines are found only in the folio. Malone.
?— to be thus opposite with heaven,] This was the phraseology of the time. Malone. 8 For it requires li. e. because. So, in Othello : “ Haply, for I am black"