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ACT V..... SCENE I.
The Camp of the British Forces, near Dover.
Officers, Soldiers, and Others.
[Toan Officer, who goes out.
Now, sweet lord, You know the goodness I intend upon you: Tell me,—but truly,but then speak the truth, Do you not love my sister? Edm.
In honour'd love. [Reg. But have you nevere found my brother's way To the forefended place? Edm.
That thought abuses you.
of alteration,] One of the quartos reads
of abdication. Steevens.
his constant pleasure.] His settled resolution. Johnson. So, before:
“ We have this hour a constant will” &c. See p. 135, n. 4. Steevens.
6 But have you never &c.] The first and last of these speeches, printed within crotchets, are inserted in Sir Thomas Hanmer's, Mr. Theobald's, and Dr. Warburton's editions; the two intermediate ones, which were omitted in all others, I have restored from the old quartos, 1608. Whether they were left out through negligence, or because the imagery contained in them might be thought too luxuriant, I cannot determine; but sure a material injury is done to the character of the Bastard by the omission ; for he is made to deny that Aatly at first, which the poet only meant to make him evade, or return slight answers to, till he is urged so far as to be obliged to shelter himself under an iminediate falsehood. Query, however, whether Shakspeare meant us to believe that Edmund had actually found his way to the forefeniled place? Steevens.
forefended place?] Forefended means prohibited, forbidden. So, in King Henry VI, P.I:
“ Now, heaven forefend! the holy maid with child ?" Steevens. 8 That thought abuses you.] That thought imposes on you: you
Reg. I am doubtful that you have been conjunct And bosom'd with her, as far as we call hers.
Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.]
Reg. I never shall endure her: Dear my lord,
Fear me not:-
Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, and Soldiers. Gon. I had rather lose the battle, than that sister Should loosen him and me.
[Aside. Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met. Sir, this I hear,—The king is come to his daughter, With others, whom the rigour of our state Forc'd to cry out. (Where I could notl be honest, I never yet was valiant:2 for this business, It toucheth us as France invades our land, Not bolds the king;3 with others, whom, I fear,
are deceived. This speech and the next are found in both the quartos, but omitted in the folio. Malone.
- bosom’d with her,] Bosoin'd is used in this sense by Hey. wood, in The Fair Maid of the West, 1631 :
" We'll crown our hopes and wishes with more pomp
“ That night he bosom’d Helen.” Again, in Heywood's Silver Age, 1613:
" With fair Alcmena, she that never bosom'd
[Where I could not --] What is within the crotchets is omitted in the folio. Steevens.
Where I could not be honest, I never yet was valiant:] This sentiment has already appeared in Gymbeline :
“ Thou may’st be valiant in a better cause,
“ But now thou seem'st a coward." Again, in an ancient MS. play, entituled, The Second Maiden's Tragedy:
" That worke is never undertooke with corage,
" That makes his master blush." Steevens. 3 Not bolds the king;] The quartos read bolds, and this may be the true reading. This business (says Albany) touches us as France invales our land, not as it bolds the king, &c. i. e. emboldens him to assert liis former title. Thus in the ancient interlude of Hycke Scorner :
" Alas, that I had not one to bold me!" Again, in Arthur Hall's translation of the 4th Iliad, 4to. 1581: VOL. XIV.
Most just and heavy causes make oppose.4
Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.]
Why is this reason'd?
Let us then determine With the ancient of war on our proceedings.
Edm.8 I shall attend you presently at your tent.
" And Pallas bolds the Greeks, and blames whom scar doth
there dismay.” Steevens. 4 Sir, this I hear,-[as far as to]—make oppose.] The meaning is, the king and others whom we have opposed are come to Cordelia. I could never be valiant but in a just quarrel. We must distinguish; it is just in one sense and unjust in another. As France in. rades our land I am concerned to repel him; but as he holds, entertains, and supports the king, and others whom I fear many just and heavy causes make, or compel, as it were, to oppose us, I esteem it unjust to engage against them. This speech, thus interpreted accord. ing to the common reading, is likewise very necessary: for othervise Albany, who is characterised as a man of honour and observer of justice, gives no reason for going to war with those, whom he owns had been much injured under the countenance of his power.
Warburton. The quartos read— For this I hear, &c. Perhaps Shakspeare wrote ----Fore this, I hear, the king, &c. Sir is the reading of the folio. Dr. Warburton has explained this passage, as if the copies read Not holds the king, i. e. not as he holds the king; but both the quartos, in which alone the latter part of this speech is found, readboles. However, Dr. Warburton's interpretation is preserved, as lolls may certainly have been a misprint for holds, in copies in which we find mov’il, for noble, (Act V, sc. iii,) O father, for O fault, (ibid.) the anistress of Hecate, for the mysteries of Hecate, (Act I, sc. i,) blossoins for bosoms; (Act V, sc. iii,) a mistresses coward, for å mistresses cominand, (Act IV, sc. ii,) &c. &c. Malone. 5 Sir, you speak nobly.] This reply must be understood ironically.
Malone. 6 For these domnestick and particular broi's - ] This is the reading of the folio. The quartos liave it-
For these domestick doorze particulars. Steerens. Deore, or dore, as quarto B has it, was probably a inisprint for dleur; i.e. important. Malore.
Door particulars, signify, I believe, particulars at our very doors, close to vis, and consequently fitter to be settled at home. Steevens. i ise not to question here.] Thus the quartos. The folio reads
ise not ile question here. Steevens. 8 Lilm.] This specch is wanting in the folio. Steerens.
Rey. Sister, you 'll go with us?
As they are going out, enter EDGAR, disguised.
I'll overtake you.-Speak.
Alb. Stay till I have read the letter.
I was forbid it.
[Exit Alb. Why, fare thee well; I will o'erlook thy paper.
Re-enter EDMUND. Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers. Here is the guess of their true strength and forces By diligent discovery ;-but your haste Is now urg'd on you. Aib.
We will greet the time. [Exit.
9 And machination ceases.] i.e. All designs against your life will have an end. Steevens.
These words are not in the quartos. In the latter part of this line, for love, the reading of the original copies, the folio has loves. Malone.
1 Here is the guess &c.] The modern editors read, Hard is the guess. So the quartos. But had the discovery been diligent, the guess could not have proved so difficult. I have given the true reading from the folio. Steevens.
The original reading is, I think, sufficiently clear. The most diligent inquiry does not enable me to forin a conjecture concerning the true strength of the enemy. Whether we read hard or here, the adversative particle but in the subsequent line seems employed with little propriety. According to the present reading, it may mean, but you are now so pressed in point of time, that you have little leisure for such speculations. The quartos read-their great strength. Malone. We will greet the time,] We will be ready to meet the occasion.
Edm. To both these sisters have I sworn my love; Each jealous of the other, as the stung Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take ? Both ? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy'd, If both remain alive: To take the widow, Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril; And hardly shall I carry out my side,3
carry out my side,] Bring my purpose to a successful issue, to completion. Side seems here to have the sense of the French word partie, in prendre partie, to take his resolution. Fohnson. So, in the The Honest Man's Fortune, by Beaumont and Fletcher :
and carry out “ A world of evils with thy title.” Again, in one of the Paston Letters, Vol. IV, p. 155: “ Heydon's son hath borne out the side stoutly here” &c. Steevens.
The Bastard means," I shall scarcely be able to make out my game.” The allusion is to a party at cards, and he is afraid that he shall not be able to make his side successful. So, in Ben Jonson's Silent Woman, Centaure says of Epicene
“ She and Mavis will set up a side." That is, will be partners. And in Massinger's Unnatural Combat, Beigard says:
And if now
“I'll not pull down the side."
“ Dula. I'll hold your cards against any two I know.
“ She will pluck down a side, she does not use it." But the phrase is still more clearly explained in Massinger's Great Duke of Florence, where Cozimo says to Petronella, who had chal. lenged him to drink a second bowl of wine:
“ Pray you, pause a little ;
“ I am not good at the game.” M. Mason. The same phrase has forced its way into Chapman's version of the fifrh Iliad:
thy body's powers are poor, " And therefore are thy troops so weak: the soldier ever
« Follows the temper of his chief; and thou pull’st down a
side.” Steevens. Edmund, I think, means, hardly shall I be able to make my party good; to maintain my cause. We should now say—to bear out, which Coles, in his Dictionary, 1679, interprets, to make good, to save harmless.
Side, for party, was the common language of the time. So, in a Letter from William Earl of Pembroke to Robert Earl of Leicester,