Page images

Bringing the murderous cowards to the stake ;
He, that conceals him, death.

Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
And found him pight to do it, with curst speech
I threaten'd to discover him : He replied,
Thou unpossessing bastard! dost thou think,
If I would stand against thee, would the reposali
Of any trust, virtue, or worth, in thee
Make thy words faith'd? No: what I should deny,
(As this I would ; ay, though thou didst produce
My very character,2) I'd turn it all
To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice :
And thou must make a dullard of the world,3
If they not thought the profits of my death
Were very pregnant and potential spurse
To make thee seek it.

Strong and fasten’d villain !5
Would he deny his letter?-I never got him.;

[Trumpets within. Hark, the duke's trumpets! I know not why he comes :

[ocr errors]

murderous coward -] The first edition reads caitiff.

Fohnson. 9 And

found him pight to do it, with curst speech -] Pight is pitched, fixed, settled. Curst is severe, harsh, vehemently angry. Fohnson. So, in the old morality of Lusty Juventus. 1561:

- Therefore my heart is surely pyght

- Of her alone to have a sight.” Thus, in Troilus and Cressida:

[ocr errors][merged small]




“ Thus proudly pight upon our Phrygian plains.” Steevens.

would the reposal – ] i. e. Would any opinion that men have reposed in thy trust, virtue, &c. Warburton. The old quarto reads, could the reposure. Steevens.

though thou didst produce My very character, -] i.e. my very handwriting. Malone.

make a dullard of the world,] So, in Cymbeline : “ What, maks't thou me a dullard in this act ?” Steedens.

- pregnant and potential spurs --] Thus the quartos. Folio: potential spirits. Malone. 5 Strong and fasten'd villain!] Thus the quartos. The folio reads

strange and fastend villain. Malone. 6 Would he deny his letter?--I never got him.] Thus the quartos. The folio omits the wordsI never got him; and, instead of them, substitutes said he? Malone:


All ports I 'll bar; the villain shall not ’scape;
The duke must grant me that: besides, his picture
I will send far and near, that all the kingdom
May have due note of him; and of my land,
Loyal and natural boy, I 'll work the means
To make thee capable.?

Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, and Attendants. Corn. How now, my noble friend? since I came hither, (Which I can call but now) I have heard strange news.:

Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short, Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my lord ?

Glo. O, madam, my old heart is crack’d, is crack'd!

Reg. What, did my father's godson seek your life? He whom my father nam’d? your Edgar?

Glo. O, lady, lady, shame would have it hid !

Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous knights
That tend upon my father?

I know not, madam:
It is too bad, too bad.

Yes, madam, he was.9
Reg. No marvel then, though he were ill affected;
'Tis they have put him on the old man's death,
To have the waste and spoil of his revenues.1



of my land, To make thee capable.] i. e. capable of succeeding to my land, notwithstanding the legal bar of thy illegitimacy.

So, in The Life and Death of Will Sunnmers, &c.-" The king next demanded of him (he being a fool) whether he were capable to inherit any

land,” &c. Steevens.

- strange news.] Thus the quartos. Instead of these words the folio has-strangeness. Malone.

9 Yes, madam, he was.] Thus the quartos. The folio deranges the metre by addingof that consort.

Steevens. 1 To have the waste and spoil of his revenues. ] Thus quarto B. The other quarto reads

To have these and waste of this his revenues. The folio:

To have the expense and waste of his revenues. These in quarto A was, I suppose, a misprint for--the use. Malone.

The remark made in p. 186, n. 5, is confirmed by the present circumstance; for both my quartos read with Mr. Malone's quarto A:

To have these--and waste of this his revenues.
It is certain therefore that there is a third quarto which I have



never seen.

I have this present evening from my sister
Been well inform’d of them; and with such cautions,
That, if they come to sojourn at my house,
I'll not be there.

Nor I, assure thee, Regan..
Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
A child-like office.

Edm. 'Twas my duty, sir.

Glo. He did bewray his practice ;2 and receiv'd
This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.

Corn. Is he pursued ?

Ay, my good lord, he is.3
Corn. If he be taken, he shall never more
Be fear’d of doing harm: make your own purpose,
llow in my strength you please.--For you, Edmund,
Whose virtue and obedience doth4 this instant
So much commend itself, you shall be ours;
Natures of such deep trust we shall much need;
You we first seize on.

I shall serve you, sir,
Truly, however else.

For him I thank your grace.5
Corn. You know not why we came to visit you,
Reg. Thus out of season; threading dark-eyed night.

2 He did bewray his practice;] i. e. Discover, betray. So, in The Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601:

• We were bewray'd, beset, and forc'd to yield.” Again, in The Devil's Charter, 1607:

Thy solitary passions should bewray

" Some discontent." Practice is always used by Shakspeare for insidious mischief. So, in Sidney's Arcadic, Book II: “ his heart fainted and gat a conceit, that with bewraying this practice, he might obtaine pardon."

The quartos read-betray. Steevens.

See Minsheu's Dict. 1617, in v. “To bewraie, or disclose, a Goth. bewrye.” Malone.

he is.] These words were supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer to complete the measure. Steevens. 4 Whose virtue and obedience doth —]i.e. whose virtuous obedience.

Malone. 5 For him I thank your grace.] Sir Thomas Hanmer, judiciously, il my opinion, omits-For him, as needless to the sense, and injurious to the metre. Steevens.

threading dark.ey'd night.] The quarto reads:

threat'ning dark-ey'd night. Johnson.

Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poise,?
Wherein we must have use of your advice:
Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
Of differences, which I best thought it fit
To answer from our home ;8 the several messengers
From hence attend despatch. Our good old friend,
Lay comforts to your bosom; and bestow
Your needful counsel to our business,
Which craves the instant use.

I serve you, madam:
Your graces are right welcome.


SCENE II. Before Gloster's Castle. Enter Kent and Steward, severally. Stew. Good dawning to thee, friend:1 Art of the house ??



Shakspeare uses the former of these expressions in Coriolanus, Act III:

“ They would not thread the gates.” Steevens.

- of some poize,] i. e. of some weight or moment. So, in Othello:

full of poize and difficulty, « And fearful to be granted.” Thus the quarto B. The other quarto of 1608, and the folio, have prize. Malone.

Here again both my quartos read with Mr. Malone's quarto A.prize; though poize is undoubtedly the preferable reading. Steevens. - from our home;] Not at home, but at some other place.

Fohnson. Thus the folio. The quarto B reads—which I lest thought it fit to answer from our home. The other quarto :-which I best thought it fit to answer from our hand. Malone. Both my quartos-best,--and-from our hand. Steevens. to our business,] Thus the quartos. Folio:--to our businesses.

Malone. 1 Good dawning to thee, friend :] Thus the folio. The quartosGood even

Steevens. We should read with the folio-"Good dawning to thee, friend." The latter end of this scene shows that it passed in the morning ; for when Kent is placed in the stocks, Cornwall says, “ There he shall sit 'till noon;" and Regan replies, “ 'Till noon, 'till night:” and it passed very early in the morning; for Regan tells Gloster, in the preceding page, that she had been threading dark-ey'd night to come to him. M. Mason.

Dawning is again used in Cymbeline as a substantive, for morning :


Kent. Ay.
Stew. Where may we set our horses?
Kent. l’the mire.
Stew. Pr’ythee, if thou love me, tell me.
Kent. I love thee not.
Stew. Why, then I care not for thee.

Kirit. If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold,3 I would make thee care for me.


[ocr errors]

that dawning “ May bare the raven's eye.” It is clear from various passages in this scene, that the morning is now just beginning to dawn, though the moon is still up, and though Kent early in the scene calls it still night. Towards the close of it, he vishes Gloster good morrow, as the latter goes out, and immediately after calls on the sun to shine, that he may read a letter. Malone. of the house?] So the quartos. Folio-of this house.

Malone: Lipsbury pinfold,] The allusion which seems to be contained in this line I do not understand. In the violent eruption of re. proaches which bursts from Kent in this dialogue, there are some epithets which the coinmentators have left unexpounded, and which I am not very able to make clear. Of a three-suited knave I know not the meaning, unless it be that he has different dresses for different occupations. Lily-liver'd is cowardly; white-blooded and white-liver'd are still in vulgar use. An one-trunk-inheriting slave, I take to be a wearer of old cast-off clothes, an inheritor of torn breeches. Johnson.

I do not find the name of Lifsbury: it may be a cant phrase, with some corruption, taken froin a place where the fines were arbitrary. Three-suited should, I believe, be third-suited, wearing clothes at the third hand. Edgar, in his pride, had three suits unly. Farmer.

Lipsbury pinfold may be a cant expression importing the same as Lob's pound. So, in Massinger's Dicke of Milan:

- To marry her, and say he was the party

« Found in Lob's Pound." A Pinfolil is a pound. Thus, in Gascoigne’s Dan Bartholemew of Bathe, 1587:

“ In such a pin.folde were his pleasures pent.” Three-suited knave might mean, in an age of ostentatious finery like that of Shakspeare, one who had no greater change of raiment than three suits would furnish him with ; so, in Ben Jonson's Silent Wo.

wert a pitiful fellow, and hadst nothing but three suits of apparel." or it may signify a fellow thrice-sued at law, who has three suits for debt standing out against him. A one-trunk-inheriting slave may be a term used to describe a fellow, the whole of whose possessions are confined to one coffer, and that too inherited from his father, who was no better provided, or had nothing more to bequeath to his successor in poverty; a poor rogue hereditary, as Timon calls A pemantus. A worsted-stocking knave is another reproach of the same kind. The stockings in England, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, (as I learn

anan :


« PreviousContinue »