« AnteriorContinuar »
Or bobtail tike, or trundle-tail ;9
Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled. Do de, de de. Sessa. Come,? 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.” Steevens. What is here said of a rache might perhaps be taken by Mr. Haw. kins, from Holinshed's Description of Scotland, p. 14, where the sleut, hound means a bloodhound. The females of all dogs were once called braches; and Ulitius upon Gratius observes, “ Racha Saxonibus ca. nem significabat unde Scoti hodie Rache pro cane fæmina 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.
bobtail tike,] Tijk is the Runick word for a little, or worthless dog : or 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 cominon 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; and 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.” Again:
“ 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 seein equally clear that it has been corrupted into so, so.
thy horn is dry.] Men that begged under pretence of lunacy used formerly to carry a horn, and blow it through the streets.
Johnson. So, in Decker's O per se 0, 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. M3.
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 noihing further to offer, when he has said all lie 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.” Stcevens.
- 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 curtains: So, so, so: We'll go to supper i' the morning: So, so, so. Fool. And I 'll go to bed at noon.6
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 meet Both welcome and protection. Take up thy master: If thou should'st dally half an hoer, his life, With thine, and all that offer to defend him, Stand in assured loss : Take up, take up ;? And follow me, that will to some provision Give thee quick conduct.
Oppress’d nature sleeps :3. 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. Stcevens. T'ake 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,
Which, if convenience will not allow,
[To the Fool Glo.
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, 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 ;3 and thyself bewray,
[The following is from Mr. Malone's Appendix ]
i had great doubts concerning the propriety of admitting Theo vald'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.
-- free things,] States clear from distress. Fohnson. 2 But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip,
When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.] So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:
“ And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage.” Again, in Romeo and Juliet:
“ Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship -”.
Malone. 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 integrity, 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:
“ Preliaque 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.
When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee,
[Exit. SCENE VII.
A Room in Gloster's Castle.
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.
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
be holding. Advise the duke, where you are going, to a most festinate preparation ;6 we are bound to the like. Our posts shall be swift, and intelligent betwixt us.? Farewel, dear sister;--furewel, my lord of Gloster.3
The words, however, may allude to the proclamation which had been made for bringing in Edgar:
“ I heard myself proclaim’d,
Escap'd the hunt." Maione.
- and thyse!f bewray,] Bewray, which at present has only a dirty meaning, anciently signified to betray, to discover. In this sense it is used by Spenser; and in Promos and Cassandra, 1578:
" Well, to the king Andrugio now will hye,
Hap lyfe, hap death, his safetie to bewray.” 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. 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 error in the first folio, which has happenied 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. III, p. 140, n. 5.