Графични страници
PDF файл

Fool. Come hither, mistress; Is your name Goneril? Lear. She cannot deny it.

Fool. Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.5 Lear. And here 's another, whose warp'd looks pro


What store her heart is made of.-Stop her there!
Arms, arms, sword, fire!-Corruption in the place!
False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?
Edg. Bless thy five wits!

Kent. O pity!-Sir, where is the patience now,

That you so oft have boasted to retain?

Edg. My tears begin to take his part so much, They'll mar my counterfeiting.

Lear. The little dogs and all,


Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart, see, they bark at me.
Edg. Tom will throw his head at them :-

Avaunt, you curs!

Be thy mouth or black or white,"
Tooth that poisons if it bite;
Mastiff, grey-hound, mongrel grim,
Hound, or spaniel, brach, or lym ;7

5 Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint stool.] This is a proverbial expression which occurs likewise in Mother Bombie, 1594, by Lyly. Steevens.

Be thy mouth or black or white,] To have the roof of the mouth black is in some dogs a proof that their breed is genuine. Steevens. ·brach or lym; &c.] Names of particular sorts of dogs.


Pope. In Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, Quarlous says,-"all the lime-hounds of the city should have drawn after you by the scent." -A limmer or leamer, a dog of the chace, was so called from the leam or leash in which he was held till he was let slip. I have this information from Caius de Canibus Britannicis.-So, in the book of Antient Tenures, by T. B. 1679, the words, "canes domini regis lesos,” are translated "Leash hounds, such as draw after a hurt deer in a leash, or liam."

Again, in The Muses Elysium, by Drayton :


"My dog-hook at my belt, to which my lyam's ty’d.”

"My hound then in my lyam," &c.

Among the presents sent from James I, to the king and queen of Spain were, "A cupple of lyme houndes of singular qualities." Again, in Massinger's Bashful Lover :

[ocr errors][merged small]

"Her footing like a lime-hound.”

The late Mr. Hawkins, in his notes to The Return from Parnassus,

Or bobtail tike, or trundle-tail ;9

Tom will make them1 weep and wail :
For, with throwing thus my head,

Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled.

Do de, de de. Sessa. Come,2 march to wakes and fairs, and market towns:-Poor Tom, thy horn is dry.3

p. 237, says, that a rache is a dog that hunts by scent wild beasts, birds, and even fishes, and that the female of it is called a brache: and in Magnificence, an ancient interlude or morality, by Skelton; printed by Rastell, no date, is the following line:


"Here is a leyshe of ratches to renne an hare." What is here said of a rache might perhaps be taken by Mr. Hawkins, from Holinshed's Description of Scotland, p. 14, where the sleuthound means a bloodhound. The females of all dogs were once called braches; and Ulitius upon Gratius observes, "Racha Saxonibus canem significabat unde Scoti hodie Rache pro cane fœmina habent, quod Anglis est Brache." Tollet.

brach, or lym; &c.] The old copies have-brache or hym. The emendation was made by Sir T. Hanmer. A brache signified a particular kind of hound, and also a bitch. A lym or lyme, was a blood-hound. See Minsheu's Dict. in v. Malone.


less dog:


bobtail tike,] Tijk is the Runick word for a little, or worth

"Are Mr. Robinson's dogs turn'd tikes, with a wanion?"

Witches of Lancaster, 1634. Steevens.

trundle-tail;] This sort of dog is mentioned in A Woman killed with Kindness, 1617:


your dogs are trundle-tails and curs."

Again, in The Booke of Huntyng, &c. bl. 1. no date:


dunghill dogs, trindle-tails." &c. Steevens.

1 Tom will make them-] Thus the quartos. Folio-will make him. Malone.

2 Do de, de de. Sessa. Come, &c.] The quartos read-loudla, doudla, come, &c. The folio as in the text, except that the word Sessa is spelt sesse. See p. 251, n. 6. Malone.

Here is sessey again, which I take to be the French word cessez pronounced cessey, which was, I suppose, like some others in common use among us. It is an interjection enforcing cessation of any action, like, be quiet, have done. It seems to have been gradually corrupted into, so, so. Johnson.

This word is wanting in the quarto: in the folio it is printed sese. It is difficult in this place to say what is meant by it. It should be remembered, that just before, Edgar had been calling on Bessey to come to him; 2d he may now with equal propriety invite Sessy (perhaps a female name corrupted from Cecilia) to attend him to wakes and fairs. Nor is it impossible but that this may be a part of some old song, and originally stood thus:



Lear. Then let them anatomize Regan, see what breeds about her heart: Is there any cause in nature, that makes these hard hearts?—You, sir, I entertain you for one of my hundred; only, I do not like the fashion of your garments: you will say, they are Persian attire ;4 but let them be changed, [To EDG. Kent. Now, good my lord, lie here,5 and rest awhile.

Sissy, come march to wakes,

And fairs, and market towns.——

So, in Humor's Ordinarie, an ancient collection of satires, no date: "To make Sisse in love withal."


[ocr errors]

My heart's deare blood, sweet Sisse is my carouse." There is another line in the character of Edgar which I am very confident I have seen in an old ballad, viz.

"Through the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind." Steevens. Dr. Johnson is surely right, in supposing that sessy is a corruption of cessez, be quiet, stop, hold, let alone. It is so used by Christofero Sly, the drunken Tinker, in The Taming of the Shrew, and by Edgar himself, in a preceding scene-" Dolphin, my boy, Sessy; let him trot by." But it does not seem equally clear that it has been corrupted into so, so.


3 thy horn is dry.] Men that begged under pretence of lunacy used formerly to carry a horn, and blow it through the streets.


So, in Decker's O per se O, 4to. 1612. He is speaking of beggars. "The second beginnes:-what will you give poor Tom now? one pound of your sheepes feathers to make Poore Tom a blanket, or one cutting of your Sow side &c. to make poore Tom a sharing horne &c. -give poore Tom an old sheete to keepe him from the cold" &c. Sig. M 3.

A horn is at this day employed in many places in the country as a cup for drinking, but anciently the use of it was much more general. Thy horn is dry, however, appears to be a proverbial expression, introduced when a man has nothing further to offer, when he has said all he had to say. Such a one's pipe's out, is a phrase current in Ireland on the same occasion.

I suppose Edgar to speak these words aside. Being quite weary of his Tom o' Bedlam's part, and finding himself unable to support it any longer, he says privately, "— I can no more: all my materials for sustaining the character of Poor Tom are now exhausted; my horn is dry: i. e. has nothing more in it; and accordingly we have no more of his dissembled madness till he meets his father in the next Act, when he resumes it for a speech or two, but not without expressing the same dislike of it that he expresses here, I cannot daub

it further."



you will say, they are Persian attire ;] Alluding, perhaps, to Clytus refusing the Persian robes offered him by Alexander. Steevens.

Lear. Make no noise, make no noise; draw the cur tains: So, so, so: We'll go to supper i' the morning: So, so, so.

Fool. And I'll go to bed at noon.

Re-enter GLOSTER.

Glo. Come hither, friend: Where is the king my master?

Kent. Here, sir; but trouble him not, his wits are gone. Glo. Good friend, I pr'ythee take him in thy arms; I have o'er-heard a plot of death upon him:

There is a litter ready; lay him in 't,

And drive towards Dover, friend, where thou shalt mect
Both welcome and protection. Take up thy master:
If thou should'st dally half an hour, his life,
With thine, and all that offer to defend him,
Stand in assured loss: Take up, take up ;7
And follow me, that will to some provision
Give thee quick conduct.


Oppress'd nature sleeps: This rest might yet have balm'd thy broken senses,

lie here,] i. e. on the cushions to which he points. He had before said“Will you lie down, and rest upon the cushions?" Malone. And I'll go to bed at noon.] Omitted in the quartos. Steevens.


Take up, take up;] One of the quartos reads-Take up the king, &c. the other-Take up to keep, &c. Steevens.

8 Oppress'd nature sleeps:] These two concluding speeches by Kent and Edgar, and which by no means ought to have been cut off, I have restored from the old quarto. The soliloquy of Edgar is extremely fine; and the sentiments of it are drawn equally from nature and the subject. Besides, with regard to the stage, it is absolutely necessary for as Edgar is not designed, in the constitution of the play, to attend the king to Dover, how absurd would it look for a character of his importance to quit the scene without one word said, or the least intimation what we are to expect from him? Theobald.

The lines inserted from the quarto are in crotchets. The omission of them in the folio is certainly faulty: yet I believe the folio is printed from Shakspeare's last revision, carelessly and hastily performed, with more thought of shortening the scenes, than of continuing the action. Johnson.


thy broken senses,] The quarto, from whence this speech is taken, reads,―thy broken sinews. Senses is the conjectural emendation of Theobald. Steevens.

A passage in Macbeth adds support to Theobald's emendation: the innocent sleep,


"Balm of hurt minds,

[ocr errors]

Which, if convenience will not allow,

Stand in hard cure.-Come, help to bear thy master; Thou must not stay behind.


[To the Fool. Come, come, away.

[Exeunt KENT, GLO. and the Fool, bearing off the King.

Edg. When we our betters see bearing our woes, We scarcely think our miseries our foes. Who alone suffers, suffers most i' the mind; Leaving free things,1 and happy shows, behind: But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip, When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.2 How light and portable my pain seems now, When that, which makes me bend, makes the king bow; He childed, as I father'd!-Tom, away:

Mark the high noises; and thyself bewray,4

[The following is from Mr. Malone's Appendix.]

I had great doubts concerning the propriety of admitting Theopald's emendation into the text, though it is extremely plausible, and was adopted by all the subsequent editors. The following passage in Twelfth Night sufficiently supports the reading of the old copy: "Nay, patience, or we break the sinews of our plot." Malone.

I cannot reconcile myself to the old reading, as I do not understand how sinews if broken, could be balmed, in any obvious sense of that word. Broken (i. e. interrupted) senses, like broken slumbers, would admit of a soothing cure. Steevens.

1 -free things,] States clear from distress. Johnson.

2 But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip,

When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.] So, in our au?

thor's Rape of Lucrece:

"And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage."

Again, in Romeo and Juliet:

[ocr errors]

"Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship -
"Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris."-Incert. Auct.


3 Mark the high noises;] Attend to the great events that are approaching, and make thyself known when that false opinion now prevailing against thee shall, in consequence of just proof of thy inte grity, revoke its erroneous sentence, and recall thee to honour and reconciliation. Johnson.

By the high noises, I believe, are meant the loud tumults of the approaching war.

Thus, Claudian, in his Epist. ad Serenam:

"Præliaque altisoni referens Phlegræa mariti." Steevens. The high noises are perhaps the calamities and quarrels of those in a higher station than Edgar, of which he has been just speaking

« ПредишнаНапред »