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where the metre does not run on regularly from speech to speech, are innumerable.
The preceding passage is given by Mr. Knight from the folio, thus ;
“ Infect her beauty,
To fall and blister,”— which is a sheer corruption.
SCENE 4.-C. p. 412.
Necessity's sharp pinch ! — Return with her ?" I cannot imagine how Mr. Collier understood the words “ Necessity's sharp pinch," when he disconnected them from what precedes by a full-point. The other modern editors give what is obviously the right punctuation;
“ To be a comrade with the wolf and owl,-
SCENE 4.-C. p. 415. “ Gon. 'Tis his own blame hath put himself from rest, And must needs taste his folly.” Is, with the above punctuation, nonsense. Point, as the other modern editors do ;
“ Gon. 'Tis his own blame ; hath put himself from rest,
And must needs taste his folly.” “hath," of course, is equivalent to he hath.
SCENE 2.-C. p. 420; K. p. 83. “ Lear. No, I will be the pattern of all patience; I will say nothing.”
So also Mr. Knight. But this speech ought to be (like all the other speeches of Lear in this scene) verse;
“Lear. No, I will be the pattern of all patience; I will say nothing."
SCENE 6.-C. p. 436.
Fool. And I'll go bed at noon." Read, with all the old eds. which contain this speech, and all the other modern ones;
“ Fool. And I'll go to bed at noon.”
SCENE 7.-C. p. 440 ; K. p. 97.
To whose hands
Wherefore To Dover? Wast thou not charg'd at peril—” Of the first of these speeches Messrs. Malone and Knight give the right arrangement, viz. ;
* Reg. To whose hands have you sent the lunatic king ? Speak.”
Of the second speech Mr. Knight alone gives the right arrangement, viz.;
Reg. Wherefore to Dover? Wast thou not charg’d at peril—” that it was intended to stand as a single line, is evident from the next speech;
“ Corn. Wherefore to Dover? Let him answer that.”
“ Glo. Because I would not see thy cruel nails Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister
In his anointed flesh rash boarish fangs.” “So the quartos: the folio poorly reads stick boarish fangs,' &c. COLLIER.
The other modern editors agree in adopting the reading of the folio, " stick."
On the passage, “Sir, I mist my purpose in his arm, rash'd his doublet-sleeve," &c. Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour, - Works, ii. 153, Gifford remarks ;
“To rash, (a verb which we have improvidently suffered to grow obsolete,) is to strike obliquely with violence, as a wild boar does with his tusk. It is observable with what accuracy Shakspeare has corrected the old quarto of King Lear, which read,
nor thy fierce sister In his anointed flesh rash boarish fangs,' for which he has properly given, stick boarish fangs.””
Scene 7.-C. p. 441.
“ Corn. If you see, vengeance,There ought to be no point after“ see”: Cornwall alludes to what Gloster has just said ;
“ but I shall see
SCENE 6.-C. p. 458.
"If Edgar live, O, bless him ! Now, fellow, fare thee well. [He leaps, and fulls along. Edg.
Gone, sir: farewell. I know not how conceit may rob,” &c. The stage-direction is wrongly placed: Gloster certainly does not “ leap," till after Edgar has said “Gone, sir: farewell.”
Mr. Knight rightly explains “Gone, sir;"
“Gloster has previously told Edgar, 'go thou further off ;' and when Gloster again speaks to him, he says, 'Gone, sir.'”
SCENE 7.-C. p. 469.
die ?” “ So the folio, and two of the quartos: the other quarto, 'When did you die?' The difference is not material, but modern editors, who profess most to follow the folio, have here, as in many
other instances, deserted it without notice.” COLLIER.
No wonder that the other modern editors deserted the folio here; for the reading
- Where" is all but nonsense.
SCENE 1.-C. p. 472; K. p. 134.
Fear me not.-
Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, and Soldiers.” So, too, Messrs. Malone and Knight very improperly put a comma and break at the end of Edmund's speech, as if it were imperfect. On the contrary, it is complete:
She, and the duke her husband.” i. e. 'Here she comes, and the duke her husband.'
SCENE 3.-C. p..484.
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him," &c. “ So every quarto; but some modern editors read threw him on my father,' without assigning any reason for the unauthorised change. We adhere to the old text, admitting, however, that it is more likely that Kent, in grief, should have thrown himself upon Gloster, than that, in his awkward violence, he should have thrown Edgar upon his father's body.” COLLIER.
Malone, like Mr. Collier, retains the old reading; “ the text," he says, "being intelligible, and it being very improbable that the word me should have been printed instead of him."
The reading “me” is doubtless “intelligible” enough ; but Kent's tumbling down Edgar on the dead body of his father is an incident more suited to a comic pantomime than to a serious narrative in a tragedy. The progress of the error here is plain;—"him"_"'em" (how often these two words are confounded, has been already shewn, p. 64) —"me.” Other corruptions may be traced in the same way: for instance, we sometimes find " thou,” where the sense positively requires
yon,” — the progress of that error having been—" yon" — you"_" thou.”
SCENE 3.-C. p. 490 ; K. p. 149.
“ he hates him,
Stretch him out longer.” So too Messrs. Malone and Knight.—Read, by all means, as Pope did, “rough.”