« PreviousContinue »
life for him, that he hath writ this to feel my affection to your honour', and to no other pretence of danger',
Glo. Think you so ?
Glo. He cannot be such a monster.
Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him.-Heaven and earth !-Edmund, seek him out; wind me into him, I pray you: frame the business after your own wisdom: I would unitate myself, to be in a due resolution +
9 - to your honour,] It has been already observed that this was the usual mode of address to a lord in Shakspeare's time. See allo Vol. X. p. 2, n. 2.
MALONE. - pretence -] Pretence is design, purpose. So, afterwards in this play:
Pretence and purpose of unkindness. JOHNSON. 2 Edm.] From Nor is, to beaven and eareb! are words omitted in the folio. "STEEVENS.
- wind me into bim,] I once thought it should be read you into him; but, perhaps, it is a familiar phrase, like do me ibis.
JOHNSON. So, in Twelftb-Night: “-challenge me the duke's youth to fight with him.” Instances of this phraseology occur in the Merchant of Venice, King Henry IV. Part I. and in Orbello. STEEVENS.
4 - I would unitate myself to be in a due resolution.] I take the
« Yes, like enough, high-battled Cæsar will
« Against a sworder."-
Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently ; convey the businesss as I shall find means, and acquaint you withal.
Glo. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us: Though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects : love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide : in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond crack'd between fon and
To enfiare is to confer a fortune. So, in Measure for Measuri:
his possessions “ We do enftate and widow you withal.” STEEVINS. It seems to me, that I would unfare myself in this passage means fimply, I would give my effate (including rank as well as fortune.)
TYRWHITT. Glofter cannot bring himself thoroughly to believe what Edmund has told him of Edgar. He says, “ Can he be such a monster ?" He afterwards defires Edmund to found his intentions, and then says, he would give all he possessed 10 be certain of ibe truth; for that is the meaning of the words, to be in a due resolurion. So, in Othello :
To be once in doubt,
'tis not his crown
“ He has dishonour'd thee." Mason. Though to resolve in Shakspeare's time certainly sometimes meant to satisfy, declare, or inform, I have never found the substantive refolution used in that fenfe: and even had the word ever borne that sente, the authour could not have written-to be in a due resolution, but must have written, " - to attain a due resolution.” Who ever wish'd “10 be in due information" on any point? MALONE.
s-conveyibe business -) To convey is to carry itrougb; in this place it is to manage artfully : we say of a juggler, that he has a clean conveyance. JOHNSO
So, in Meiber Bombie, by Lilly, 1599: “ Two, they say, may keep counsel if one be away; but to convey knavery, two are too few, and four are too many." STEEVEN S. So, in lord Sterline's Julius Cæsar :
" A circumstance, or an indifferent thing,
“ Doth oft mar all when not with care convey'd." MALONE. 6 - sbe ovisdom of neture-] That is, though natural philosophy can give account of eclipses, yet we feel their consequences. JOHNSON.
father. This villain? of mine comes under the predic. tion ; there's son against father: the king falls from bias of nature ; there's father against child. We have seen the beft of our time ; Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to our graves ! * – Find out this villain, Edmund; it shall lose thee nothing ; do it carefully :-And the noble and truehearted Kent banilh'd ! his offence, honefty !-Strange! Atrange!
[Exit. Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world ! that, when we are fick in fortune, (often the surfeit of our own behaviour,) we make guilty of our disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars : as if we were villains by necessity; fools, by heavenly compulsion; kpaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, ly. ars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: An admirable evasion of whore-master man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a staro! My father compounded with my mother under the dragon's tail; and my nativity was under ursa major ; lo that it follows, I am rough and lecherous. Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. Edgar.
7 This villain --] All from asterisk to askerisk is omitted in the quartos. STEEVENS.
- and treacbirs,-) The modern editors read treacherous; but the reading of the first copies, which I have restored to the text, may be supported from most of the old contemporary writers. So, in Doctor Dedypoll, a comedy, 1600 :
“ How smooth the cunning treacber look'd upon it!" Again, in Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601 :
- Hence, trecber as thou art !" Chaucer, in his Romaunt of tbe Rose, mentions“ the false treacber," and Spenser often uses the same word. STEEVENS. 9 - of a far.] Both the quartos read to the charge of stars.
Enter EDGAR. and pat he comes', like the catastrophe of the old comedy 2: My cue is villainous melancholy, with a figh like Tom o' Bedlam.-0, these eclipses do portend these divisions ! fa, sol, la, mi3.
Edg. How now, brother Edmund ? What serious contemplation are you in?
Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day, what should follow these eclipses.
Edg. Do you busy yourself with that? Edm. I promise you", the effects he writes of, suc1 - and pat be comes,-) The quartos read,
and our he comes. STEEVENS. 2 - like the catastropbe of the old comedy :) I think this passage was intended to ridicule the very aukward conclusions of our old comedies, where the persons of the scene make their entry inartificially, and just when the poet wants them on the stage. WARNER.
3- 0, rbese eclipses do portend these divifions ! fa, sol, la, mi.] The commentators, not being muficians, h.:ve regarded this passage, perhaps as unintelligible nonsense, and therefore left it as they found it, without bestowing a fingle conjecture on its meaning and import. Shakspeare however ihews by the context that he was well acquainted with the property of these fyllables in folmisation, which imply a series of sounds so unnatural, that ancient musicians prohibited their use. The monkish writers on mufick say, mi contra fa eft diabolus: the interval fa mi, including a tritonus, or sharp 4th, conhsting of three tones without the intervention of a semi-tone, expresied in the modern scale by the letters F G A B, would form a musical phrase extremely disagreeable to the ear. Edmund, speaking of eclipses as portents and prodigies, compares the dislocation of events, the times being out of joini, to
e che unatural and oftenfive sounds, fa fol ia mi. BURNEY.
The words fa, sol, &c. are not in the quarto. The folio, and all the modern editions, read corruptly me initead of mi. Shakspeare has again introduced the gamut in Tbe Taming of ibe Sbrew, Vol. III. po 297.
MALONE. 4 I promise you, &c.] The folio edition commonly differs from the first quarto, by augmentations or insertions, but in this place it varies by omiffion, and by the omission of something which naturally introduces th: following dialogue. It is easy to remark, that in this speech, which ought, I think, to be inserted as it is in the text, Edmund, with the com non craft of fortune-tellers, mingles the past and future, and tells of the future only what he already foreknows by confederacy, or can attain by probable conjecture. JOHNSON. VOL. VIII,
ceed unhappily ; * as of unnaturalness between the child and the parent ; death, dearth, dissolutions of ancient amities; divisions in ftate, menaces and male. dictions against king and nobles, needless diffidences, banishment of friends, diffipation of cohorts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what.
Edg. How long have you been a feetary astronomical?
Edm. Parted you in good terms ? Found you no displeasure in him, by word, or countenance ?
Edg. None at all.
Edm. Bethink yourself, wherein you may have offended him: and at my entreaty, forbear his presence, till fome little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure ; which at this inftant fo rageth in him, that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay.
Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong.
Edm. That's my fear *I pray you, have a continent forbearance, till the speed of his rage goes. flower; and, as I say, retire with me to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my lord speak: Pray you, go; there's my key :-If you do fir abroad,
- as of -] All from this afterisk to the next, is omitted in the folio. STEEVENS.
6-difipation of cohorts,–] Thus the old copy. Dr. Johnson reads of courts. STEEVENS.
7 How long have you - ] This line I have restored from the two eldest quartos, and have regulated the following speech according to the fame copies. STEEVENS.
8-ibat with tbe mischief of your person] This reading is in both copies; yet I believe the authour gave it, that but witb ibe misibief of your person it would scarce allay. JOHNSON.
I do not see any need of alteration. He could not express the violence of his father's displeasure in stronger terms than by saying it was 10 great that it would scarely be appeased by the destruction of his son.
MALONE. 9 That's my fear.] All between this and the next afterisk, is omitted in the quartos. STEEVENS.