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When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles
In thy just proof, repeals, and reconciles thee. What will hap more to-night, safe scape the king! Lurk, lurk.]
A Room in Gloster's Castle.
Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GONERIL, EDMUND, and Servants.
CORN. Post speedily to my lord your husband; show him this letter:-the army of France is landed:-Seek out the villain Gloster.
[Exeunt some of the Servants.
REG. Hang him instantly.
GON. Pluck out his eyes.
CORN. Leave him to my displeasure.-Edmund, keep you our sister company; the revenges we are bound to take upon your traitorous father, are not fit for your beholding. Advise the duke, where you are going, to a most festinate preparation; we
"Well, to the king Andrugio now will hye,
Again, in The Spanish Tragedy:
"With ink bewray what blood began in me.” Again, in Lyly's Endymion, 1591:
lest my head break, and so I bewray my brains." STEEVENS.
7-whose wrong thought defiles thee,] The quartos, where alone this speech is found, read-whose wrong thoughts defile thee. The rhyme shows that the correction, which was made by Mr. Theobald, is right. MALONE.
a most festinate preparation;] Here we have the same
are bound to the like. Our posts shall be swift, and intelligent betwixt us. Farewell, dear sister; -farewell, my lord of Gloster.'
How now? Where's the king?
STEW. My lord of Gloster hath convey'd him hence:
Some five or six and thirty of his knights,
To have well-armed friends.
Get horses for your
GON. Farewell, sweet lord, and sister. [Exeunt GONERIL and EDMUND. CORN. Edmund, farewell.-Go, seek the traitor
error in the first folio, which has happened in many other places; the u employed instead of an n. It reads festiuate. The quartos festuant. See Timon of Athens, Act IV. sc. iii.—and Vol. V. p. 191, n. 3. MALONE.
and intelligent betwixt us.] So, in a former scene: "spies and speculations
"Intelligent of our state." STEEvens.
Thus the folio. The quartos read-swift and intelligence betwixt us: the poet might have written-swift in intelligenceMALONE.
my lord of Gloster.] vested with his father's titles. diately after, mentions the old
Meaning Edmund, newly in The Steward, speaking immeearl by the same title.
• Hot questrists after him,] A questrist is one who goes in search or quest of another. Mr. Pope and Sir T. Hanmer read -questers. STEEVENS.
Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us:
Though well we may not pass upon his life
Re-enter Servants, with GLOster.
REG. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.
CORN. Bind fast his corky arms.*
Though well we may not pass upon his life
・yet our power
Shall do a courtesy to our wrath,] To do a courtesy is to gratify, to comply with. To pass, is to pass a judicial sentence.
I believe," do a courtesy to our wrath," simply means-bend to our wrath, as a courtesy is made by bending the body.
The original of the expression, to pass on any one, may be traced from Magna Charta: " -nec super eum ibimus, nisi per legale judicium parium suorum.”
It is common to most of our early writers. So, in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540: "I do not nowe consider the mischievous pageants he hath played; I do not now passe upon them." Again, in If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612: "A jury of brokers, impanel'd, and deeply sworn to passe on all villains in hell." STEEVENS.
corky arms.] Dry, withered, husky arms. JOHNSON.
As Shakspeare appears from other passages of this play to have had in his eye Bishop Harsnet's Declaration of egregious Popish Impostures, &c. 1603, 4to. it is probable, that this very expressive, but peculiar epithet, corky, was suggested to him by a passage in that very curious pamphlet: "It would pose all the cunning exorcists, that are this day to be found, to teach an old corkie woman to writhe, tumble, curvet, and fetch her morice gamboles, as Martha Bressier (one of the possessed mentioned in the pamphlet) did." PERCY.
GLO. What mean your graces?
You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends. CORN. Bind him, I say. [Servants bind him. Hard, hard :-O filthy traitor! GLO. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none.5 CORN. To this chair bind him :-Villain, thou shalt find- [REGAN plucks his Beard.
GLO. By the kind gods," 'tis most ignobly done To pluck me by the beard.
REG. So white, and such a traitor!
GLO. Naughty lady, These hairs, which thou dost ravish from my chin, Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your host; With robbers' hands, my hospitable favours You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?
I am none.] Thus the folio. The quartos read—I am true. MALONE.
By the kind gods,] We are not to understand by this the gods in general, who are beneficent and kind to men; but that particular species of them called by the ancients dii hospitales, kind gods. So, Plautus, in Panulo:
"Deum hospitalem ac tesseram mecum fero."
Shakspeare hardly received any assistance from mythology to furnish out a proper oath for Gloster. People always invoke their deities as they would have them show themselves at particular times in their favour; and he accordingly calls those kind gods whom he would wish to find so on this occasion. He does so yet a second time in this scene. Our own liturgy will suffi ciently evince the truth of my supposition. STEEVENS.
Cordelia also uses the same invocation in the 4th Act:
"O, you kind gods,
"Cure this great breach in his abused nature!"
7 Will quicken,] i. e. quicken into life. M. MASON.
CORN. Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?
REG. Be simple-answer'd,' for we know the truth.
CORN. And what confederacy have you with the traitors
Late footed in the kingdom?
REG. To whose hands have you sent the lunatick king?
GLO. I have a letter guessingly set down, Which came from one that's of a neutral heart, And not from one oppos'd.
To Dover? Wast thou not charg'd at thy peril'— CORN. Wherefore to Dover? Let him first answer that.
GLO. I am tied to the stake,2 and I must stand the course.3
as features, i. e. the different parts of which a face is composed. So, in Drayton's epistle from Matilda to King John: "Within the compass of man's face we see,
"How many sorts of several favours be.”
Again, in David and Bethsabe, 1599:
"To daunt the favours of his lovely face." STEEvens. Be simple-answer'd,] The old quarto reads, Be simple answerer. Either is good sense: simple means plain. STEEVENS.
- thy peril-] I have inserted the pronoun-thy, for the sake of metre. STEEVENS.
"I am tied to the stake,] So, in Macbeth: