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Title: Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies
Author: Johnson, Samuel, 1709-1784
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies" ***

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Vol. III


Edited, with an Introduction, by
Arthur Sherbo

Los Angeles
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library
University of California


Richard C. Boys, _University of Michigan_

Ralph Cohen, _University of California, Los Angeles_

Vinton A. Dearing, _University of California, Los Angeles_

Lawrence Clark Powell, _Clark Memorial Library_


W. Earl Britton, _University of Michigan_


Emmett L. Avery, _State College of Washington_

Benjamin Boyce, _Duke University_

Louis Bredvold, _University of Michigan_

John Butt, _King's College, University of Durham_

James L. Clifford, _Columbia University_

Arthur Friedman, _University of Chicago_

Louis A. Landa, _Princeton University_

Samuel H. Monk, _University of Minnesota_

Ernest C. Mossner, _University of Texas_

James Sutherland, _University College, London_

H. T. Swedenberg, Jr., _University of California, Los Angeles_


Edna C. Davis, _Clark Memorial Library_

Introduction on Tragedies

Dr. Johnson's reaction to Shakespeare's tragedies is a curious one,
compounded as it is of deep emotional involvement in a few scenes in
some plays and a strange dispassionateness toward most of the others. I
suspect that his emotional involvement took root when he read
Shakespeare as a boy--one remembers the terror he experienced in reading
of the Ghost in _Hamlet_, and it was probably also as a boy that he
suffered that shock of horrified outrage and grief at the death of
Cordelia that prevented him from rereading the scene until be came to
edit the play. Johnson's deepest feelings and convictions, Professor
Clifford has recently reminded us, can be traced back to his childhood
and adolescence. But it is surprising to learn, as one does from his
commentary, that other scenes in these very plays (_Hamlet_ and _King
Lear_, and in _Macbeth_, too) leave him unmoved, if one can so interpret
the absence of any but an explanatory note on, say, Lear's speech
beginning "Pray, do not mock me;/I am a very foolish fond old man."
Besides this negative evidence there is also the positive evidence of
many notes which display the dispassionate editorial mind at work where
one might expect from Johnson an outburst of personal feeling. There are
enough of these outbursts to warrant our expecting others, but we are
too frequently disappointed. Perhaps Johnson thought of most of
Shakespeare's tragedies as "imperial tragedies" and that is why he could
maintain a stance of aloofness; conversely, "the play of _Timon_ is a
domestick Tragedy, and therefore strongly fastens on the attention of
the reader." But the "tragedy" of Timon does not capture the attention
of the modern reader, and perhaps all attempts to fix Johnson's likes
and dislikes, and the reasons for them, in the canon of Shakespeare's
plays must circle endlessly without ever getting to their destination.


Vol. IV


(392) Most of the notes which the present editor has subjoined to this
play were published by him in a small pamphlet in 1745.

I.i (393,*) _Enter three Witches_] In order to make a true estimate of
the abilities and merit of a writer, it it always necessary to examine
the genius of his age, and the opinions of his contemporaries. A poet
who should now make the whole action of his tragedy depend upon
enchantment, and produce the chief events by the assistance of
supernatural agents, would be censured as transgressing the bounds of
probability, be banished from the theatre to the nursery, and condemned
to write fairy tales instead of tragedies; but a survey of the notions
that prevailed at the time when this play was written, will prove that
Shakespeare was in no danger of such censures, since he only turned the
system that was then universally admitted, to his advantage, and was far
from overburthening the credulity of his audience.

The reality of witchcraft or enchantment, which, though not strictly the
same, are confounded in this play, has in all ages and countries been
credited by the common people, and in most, by the learned themselves.
These phantoms have indeed appeared more frequently, in proportion as
the darkness of ignorance has been more gross; but it cannot be shown,
that the brightest gleams of knowledge have at any time been sufficient
to drive them out of the world. The time in which this kind of credulity
was at its height, seems to have been that of the holy war, in which the
Christians imputed all their defeats to enchantments or diabolical
opposition, as they ascribed their success to the assistance of their
military saints; and the learned Dr. Warburton appears to believe
(_Suppl. to the Introduction to Don Quixote_) that the first accounts of
enchantments were brought into this part of the world by those _who_
returned from their eastern expeditions. But there is always some
distance between the birth and maturity of folly as of wickedness: this
opinion had long existed, though perhaps the application of it had in no
foregoing age been so frequent, nor the reception so general.
Olympiodorus, in Photius's extracts, tells us of one Libanius, who
practised this kind of military magic, and having promised [Greek:
choris opliton kata barbaron energein] to perform great things against
the Barbarians without soldiers, was, at the instances of the empress
Placidia, put to death, when he was about to have given proofs of his
abilities. The empress shewed some kindness in her anger by cutting him
off at a time so convenient for his reputation.

But a more remarkable proof of the antiquity of this notion may be found
in St. Chrysostom's book _de Sacerdotia_, which exhibits a scene of
enchantments not exceeded by any romance of the middle age: he supposes
a spectator overlooking a field of battle attended by one that points
out all the various objects of horror, the engines of destruction, and
the arts of slaughter. [Greek: Deichnuto de eti para tois enantiois kai
petomenous hippous dia tinos magganeias, kai oplitas di' aeros
pheromenous, kai pasaen goaeteias dunomin kai idean.] _Let him then
proceed to shew him in the opposite armies horses flying by enchantment,
armed men transported through the air, and every power and form of
magic._ Whether St. Chrysostom believed that such performances were
really to be seen in a day of battle, or only endeavoured to enliven his
description, by adopting the notions of the vulgar, it is equally
certain, that such nations were in his time received, and that therefore
they were not imported from the Saracens in a later age; the wars with
the Saracens however gave occasion to their propagation, not only as
bigotry naturally discovers prodigies, but as the scene of action was
removed to a great distance.

The Reformation did not immediately arrive at its meridian, and though
day was gradually encreasing upon us, the goblins of witchcraft still
continued to hover in the twilight. In the time of queen Elizabeth was
the remarkable trial of the witches of Warbois, whose conviction is
still commemorated in an annual sermon at Huntingdon. But in the reign
of king James, in which this tragedy was written, many circumstances
concurred to propagate and confirm this opinion. The king, who was much
celebrated for his knowledge, had, before his arrival in England, not
only examined in person a woman accused of witchcraft, but had given a
very formal account of the practices and illusions of evil spirits, the
compacts of witches, the ceremonies used by them, the manner of
detecting them, and the justice of punishing them, in his dialogues of
_Daemonologie_, written in the Scottish dialect, and published at
Edinburgh. This book was, soon after his accession, reprinted at London,
and as the ready way to gain king James's favour was to flatter his
speculations, the system of _Daemonologie_ was immediately adopted by
all who desired either to gain preferment or not to lose it. Thus the
doctrine of witchcraft was very powerfully inculcated; and as the
greatest part of mankind have no other reason for their opinions than
that they are in fashion, it cannot be doubted but this persuasion made
a rapid progress, since vanity and credulity co-operated in its favour.
The infection soon reached the parliament, who, in the first year of
king James, made a law, by which it was enacted, chap. xii. "That if any
person shall use any invocation or conjuration of any evil or wicked
spirit; 2. or shall consult, covenant with, entertain, employ, feed or
reward any evil or cursed spirit to or for any intent or purpose; 3. or
take up any dead man, woman or child out of the grave,--or the skin,
bone, or any part of the dead person, to be employed or used in any
manner of witchcraft, sorcery, charm, or enchantment; 4. or shall use,
practise or exercise any sort of witchcraft, sorcery, charm, or
enchantment; 5. whereby any person shall be destroyed, killed, wasted,
consumed, pined, or lamed in any part of the body; 6. That every such
person being convicted shall suffer death." This law was repealed in our
own time.

Thus, in the time of Shakespeare, was the doctrine of witchcraft at once
established by law and by the fashion, and it became not only unpolite,
but criminal, to doubt it; and as prodigies are always seen in
proportion as they are expected, witches were every day discovered, and
multiplied as fast in some places, that bishop Hall mentions a village
in Lancashire, where their number was greater than that of the houses.
The jesuits and sectaries took advantage of this universal error, and
endeavoured to promote the interest of their parties by pretended cures
of persons afflicted by evil spirits; but they were detected and exposed
by the clergy of the established church.

Upon this general infatuation Shakespeare might be easily allowed to
found a play, especially since he has followed with great exactness such
histories as were then thought true; nor can it be doubted that the
scenes of enchantment, however they may now be ridiculed, were both by
himself and his audience thought awful and affecting.

I.i.10 (396,5) Fair is foul, and foul is fair] I believe the meaning is,
that _to us_, perverse and malignant as we are, _fair is foul, and foul
is fair_.

I.ii.14 (398,9) And Fortune, on his damned quarry smiling] Thus the old
copy; but I am inclined to read _quarrel_. _Quarrel_ was formerly used
for _cause_, or for _the occasion of a quarrel_, and is to be found in
that sense in Hollingshed's account of the story of Macbeth, who, upon
the creation of the prince of Cumberland, thought, says the historian,
that he had _a just quarrel_, to endeavour after the crown. The sense
therefore is, _Fortune smiling on his excrable cause_, &c. This is
followed by Dr. Warburten. (see 1765, VI, 373, 4).

I.ii.28 (400,4) Discomfort swells] _Discomfort_ the natural opposite to
_comfort_. _Well'd_, for _flawed_, was an emendation. The common copies
have, _discomfort swells_.

  I.ii.37 (400,5) As cannons overcharg'd with double cracks,
  So they
  Doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe]

Mr. Theobald has endeavoured to improve the sense of this passage by
altering the punctuation thus:

  --_they were
  As cannons overcharg'd, with double cracks
  So they redoubled strokes_--

He declares, with some degree of exultation, that he has no idea of a
_cannon charged with double cracks_; but surely the great author will
not gain much by an alteration which makes him say of a hero, that he
_redoubles strokes with double cracks_, an expression not more loudly to
be applauded, or more easily pardoned than that which is rejected in its
favour. That a cannon is charged _with thunder_, or _with double
thunders_, may be written, not only without nonsense, but with elegance,
and nothing else is here meant by _cracks_, which in the time of this
writer was a word of such emphasis and dignity, that in this play he
terms the general dissolution of nature the _crack of doom_.

The old copy reads,

_They doubly redoubled strokes_.

I.ii.46 (401,8) So should he look, that seems to speak things strange]
The meaning of this passage, as it now stands, is, _so should he look,
that looks as if he told things strange_. But Rosse neither yet told
strange things, nor could look as if he told them; Lenox only
conjectured from his air that he had strange things to tell, and
therefore undoubtedly said,

  _What haste looks thro' his eyes?
  So should he look, that_ teems _to speak thinks strange_.

He looks like one that _is big with_ something of importance; a metaphor
so natural that it is every day used in common discourse.

I.ii.55 (402,1) Confronted him with self-comparisons] [Theobald
interpreted "him" as Cawdor; Johnson, in 1745, accused Shakespeare of
forgetfulness on the basis of Theobald's error; and Warburton here
speaks of "blunder upon blunder."] The second blunderer was the present

I.iii.6 (403,5) _Aroint thee, witch_!] In one of the folio editions the
reading is _Anoint thee_, in a sense very consistent with the common
accounts of witches, who are related to perform many supernatural acts
by the means of unguents, and particularly to fly through the air to the
places where they meet at their hellish festivals. In this sense,
_anoint thee, Witch_, will mean, _Away, Witch, to your infernal
assembly_. This reading I was inclined to favour, because I had met with
the word _aroint_ in no other authour till looking into Hearne's
Collections I found it in a very old drawing, that he has published, in
which St. Patrick is represented visiting hell, and putting the devils
into great confusion by his presence, of whom one that is driving the
damned before him with a prong, has a label issuing out of his mouth
with these words, OUT OUT ARONGT, of which the last is evidently the
same with _aroint_, and used in the same sense as in this passage.

I.iii.15 (405,8) And the very points they blew] As the word _very_ is
here of no other use than to fill up the verse, it is likely that
Shakespeare wrote _various_, which might be easily mistaken for _very_,
being either negligently read, hastily pronounced, or imperfectly heard.

I.iii.21 (405,9) He shall live a man forbid] Mr. Theobald has very
justly explained _forbid_ by _accursed_, but without giving any reason
of his interpretation. To _bid_ is originally _to pray_, as in this
Saxon fragment,

  Ðe iÿ þiÿ þ bit y bote
  _He is wise that_ prays and makes amends.

As to forbid_ therefore implies to _prohibit_, in opposition to the word
_bid_ in its present sense, it signifies by the same kind of opposition
to _curse_, when it is derived from the same word in its primitive

I.iii.42 (409,3) are you aught/That man may question?] Are ye any beings
with which man is permitted to hold converse, or of which it is lawful
_to ask questions_?

I.iii.53 (410,5) Are ye fantastical] By _fantastical_, he means
creatures of fantasy or imagination; the question is, Are these real
beings before us, or are we deceived by illusions of fancy?

I.iii.97 (412,8) As thick as tale] [As thick as hail] Was Mr. Pope's
correction. The old copy has,

  --_As thick_ as tale
  _Can_ post _with_ post;--

which perhaps is not amiss, meaning that the news came as _thick_ as a
_tale_ can _travel_ with the _post_. Or we may read, perhaps yet better,

  --_As thick as tale_
  Came _post with post_;--

That is, posts arrived as fast as they could be counted.

I.iii.130 (414,4) This supernatural solliciting] _Solliciting_ is
rather, in my opinion, _incitement_ than _information_.

I.iii.134 (414,5) why do I yield] To _yield_ is, simply, to _give way

I.iii.137 (414,6) Present fears/Are less than horrible imaginings] [W:
feats] _Present fears_ are _fears of things present_, which Macbeth
declares, and every man has found, to be less than the _imagination_
presents them while the objects are yet distant. _Fears_ is right.

I.iii.140 (415,7) single state of man] The _single state of man_ seems
to be used by Shakespeare for an _individual_, in opposition to a
_commonwealth_, or _conjunct body_.

I.iii.40 (415,8) function/Is smother'd in surmise; and nothing is,/ But
what is not] All powers of action are oppressed and crushed by one
overwhelming image in the mind, and nothing is present to me, but that
which is really future. Of things now about me I have no perception,
being intent wholly on that which has yet no existence.

I.iii.147 (415,9) Time and the hour runs through the roughest day] I
suppose every reader is disgusted at the tautology in this passage,
_Time and the hour_, and will therefore willingly believe that
Shakespeare wrote it thus,

  _Come what come may_,
  Time! on!--_the hour runs thro' the roughest day_.

Macbeth is deliberating upon the events which are to befall him, but
finding no satisfaction from his own thoughts, he grows impatient of
reflection, and resolves to wait the close without harrassing hinaelf
with conjectures.

  _Come what come may_.

But to shorten the pain of suspense, he calls upon Time In the usual
stile of ardent desire, to quicken his motion,

  _Time! on!_ --

He then comforts himself with the reflection that all his perplexity
must have an end,

  --_the hour runs thro' the roughest day._

This conjecture is supported by the passage in the letter to his lady,
in which he says, _they referred me to the_ coming on of time, _with
Hail, King that shalt be_.

I.iii.149 (416,1) My dull brain was wrought] My head was _worked_,
_agitated_, put into commotion.

I.iv.9 (417,3) studied in his death] Instructed in the art of dying. It
was usual to say _studied_, for _learned_ in science.

I.iv.12 (417,4) To find the mind's construction in the face] The
_construction of the mind_ is, I believe, a phrase peculiar to
Shakespeare; it implies the _frame_ or _disposition_ of the mind, by
which it is determined to good or ill.

I.iv.26 (418,5) Which do but what they should, by doing everything, Safe
toward your love and honour] Of the last line of this speech, which is
certainly, as it is now read, unintelligible, an emendation has been
attempted, which Dr. Warburton and Dr. Theobald once admitted as the
true reading:

  --_our duties
  Are to your throne and state, children and servants,
  Which do but what they should, in doing every thing_
  Fiefs _to your love and honour._

My esteem for these critics inclines me to believe that they cannot be
much pleased with these expressions _fiefs to love_, or _fiefs to
honour_, and that they have proposed this alteration rather because no
other occured to them, than because they approved of it. I shall
therefore propose a bolder change, perhaps with no better success, but
_sua cuique placent_. I read thus,

  --_our duties
  Are to your throne and state, children and servants
  Which do but what they should, in doing_ nothing,
  Save _toward_ your love and honour.

We do but perform our duty when we contract all our views to your
service, when we act with _no other_ principle than regard to _your love
and honour_.

It is probable that this passage was first corrupted by writing _safe_
for _save_, and the lines then stood thus:

  --_doing nothing
  Safe toward your love and honour._

which the next transcriber observing to be wrong, and yet not being able
to discover the real fault, altered to the present reading.

Dr. Warburton has since changed _fiefs_ to _fief'd_, and Hanmer has
altered _safe_ to _shap'd_. I am afraid none of us have hit the right

I.v.2 (420, 6) _by the perfected report_] By the best intelligence. Dr.
Warburton would read, _perfected_, and explains _report_ by
_prediction_. Little regard can be paid to an emendation that instead of
clearing the sense, makes it more difficult.

I.v.23 (420, 7) thoud'st have, great Glamis,/That which cries, _Thus
thou must do, if thou have it_] As the object of Macbeth's desire is
here introduced speaking of itself, it is necessary to read,

  --_thoud'st have, great Glamis,
  That which cries_, thus thou must do, if thou have _me_.

I.v.39 (422, 8) The raven himself is hoarse] Dr. Warburton reads,

  --_The raven himself's_ not _hoarse_.

Yet I think the present words may stand. The messenger, says the
servant, had hardly breath _to make up his message_; to which the lady
answers mentally, that he may well want breath, such a message would add
hoarseness to the raven. That even the bird, whose harsh voice is
accustomed to predict calamities, could not _croak the entrance of_
Duncan but in a note of unwonted harshness.

I.v.42 (422, 2) mortal thoughts] This expression signifies not _the
thoughts of mortals_, but _murtherous, deadly_, or _destructive
designs_. So in act 5,

  _Hold fast the_ mortal _sword_.

And in another place,

  _With twenty_ mortal _murthers_.

I.v.47 (422, 3) nor keep peace between/The effect, and it!] The intent
of lady Macbeth evidently is to wish that no womanish tenderness, or
conscientious remorse, may hinder her purpose from proceeding to effect;
but neither this, nor indeed any other sense, is expressed by the
present reading, and therefore it cannot be doubted that Shakespeare
wrote differently, perhaps thus,

  _That no compunctious visitings of nature
  Shake my fell purpose, nor keep_ pace _between
  Th' effect, and it_.--

To _keep_ pace _between_ may signify _to pass between_, to _intervene_.
_Pace_ is on many occasions a favourite of Shakespeare's. This phrase is
indeed not usual in this sease, but was it not its novelty that gave
occasion to the present corruption? [The sense is, _that no compunctious
visitings of nature_ may prevail upon her, to give place in her mind to
_peaceful_ thoughts, or to rest one moment in quiet, from the hour of
her purpose to its full completion in the effect. REVISAL.] This writer
thought himself perhaps very sagacious that be found a meaning which
nobody missed, the difficulty still remains how such a meaning is made
by the words. (see 1765, VI, 394, 6)

I.v.49 (423, 5) take my milk for gall] _Take_ away _my milk_, and put
_gall_ into the place.

I.v.51 (423, 6) You wait on nature's mischief!] _Nature's mischief_ is
mischief done to nature, violation of nature's order committed by

I.v.55 (423,8) To cry, _hold, hold_!] On this passage there is a long
criticism in the _Rambler_.

I.v.58 (424,1) This ignorant present time] _Ignorant_ has here the
signification of _unknowing_; that it, I feel by anticipation these
future hours, of which, according to the process of nature, the present
time would be _ignorant_.

I.vi.3 (425,3) our gentle senses] _Senses_ are nothing more _than each
man's sense_. _Gentle senses_ is very elegant, as it means _placid_,
_calm_, _composed_, and intimates the peaceable delight of a fine day.
(see 1765, VI,396,2)

I.vi.7 (426,5) coigne of 'vantage] Convenient corner.

I.vi.13 (426,7) How you should bid god-yield as for your pains] I
believe _yield_, or, as it is in the folio of 1623, _eyld_, is a
corrupted contraction of _shield_. The wish implores not _reward_ but

I.vii.1 (428,1) If it were _done_] A man of learning recommends another

  _If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well.
  It were done quickly, if, &c._

I.vii.2 (428,2) If the assassination/Could tramel up the consequence] Of
this soliloquy the meaning is not very clear; I have never found the
readers of Shakespeare agreeing about it. I understand it thus,

"If that which I am about to do, when it is once _done_ and executed,
were _done_ and ended without any following effects, it would then be
best _to do it quickly_; if the murder could terminate in itself, and
restrain the regular course of consequences, if _its success_ could
secure _its surcease_, if being once done _successfully_, without
detection, it could _fix a period_ to all vengeance and enquiry, so that
_this blow_ might be all that I have to do, and this anxiety all that I
have to suffer; if this could be my condition, even _here_ in _this
world_, in this contracted period of temporal existence, on this narrow
_bank_ in the ocean of eternity, _I would jump the life to come_, I
would venture upon the deed without care of any future state. But this
is one of _these cases_ in which judgment is pronounced and vengeance
inflicted upon as _here_ in our present life. We teach others to do as
we have done, and are punished by our own example." (1773)

I.vii.4 (428,3) With his surcease, success] I think the reasoning
requires that we should read,

  _With its_ success surcease.

I.vii.6 (429,4) shoal of time] This is Theobald's emendation,
undoubtedly right. The old edition has _school_, and Dr. Warburton

I.vii.22 (429,7) or heavens cherubin, hors'd/Upon the sightless couriers
of the air] [W: couriers] _Courier_ is only _runner_. _Couriers of air_
are _winds_, air in motion. _Sightless_ is _invisible_.

I.vii.25 (430,8) That tears shall drown the wind] Alluding to the
remission of the wind in a shower.

I.vii.28 (430,9) _Enter Lady_] The arguments by which lady Macbeth
persuades her husband to commit the murder, afford a proof of
Shakespeare's knowledge of human nature. She urges the excellence and
dignity of courage, a glittering idea which has dazzled mankind from age
to age, and animated sometimes the house-breaker, and sometimes the
conqueror; but this sophism Macbeth has for ever destroyed, by
distinguishing true from false fortitude, in a line and a half; of which
it may almost be said, that they ought to bestow immortality on the
author, though all his other productions had been lost:

  _I dare do all that become a man,
  Who dares do more, is none_.

This topic, which has been always employed with too much success, is
used in this scene with peculiar propriety, to a soldier by a woman.
Courage is the distinguishing virtue of a soldier, and the reproach of
cowardice cannot be borne by any man from a woman, without great

She then urges the oaths by which he had bound himself to murder Duncan,
another art of sophistry by which men have sometimes deluded their
consciences, and persuaded themselves that what would be criminal in
others is virtuous in them; this argument Shakespeare, whose plan
obliged him to make Macbeth yield, has not confuted, though he might
easily have shewn that a former obligation could not be vacated by a
latter: that obligations laid on us by a higher power, could not be
over-ruled by obligations which we lay upon ourselves.

I.vii.41 (431,1)

  --Whouldst thou have that,
  Which then esteem'st the ornament of life,
  And live a coward in thine own esteem?]

In this there seems to be no reasoning. I should read,

  Or _live a coward in thine own esteem_?

Unless we choose rather,

  --_Wouldst thou_ leave _that_.

I.vii.45 (431,2) Like the poor cat i' the adage?] The adage alluded to
is, _The cat loves fish, but dares not wet her feet, Catus amat pisces,
sed men vult tingere plantas_.

I.vii.64 (432,5) Will I with wine and wassel so convince] To _convince_
is in Shakespeare to _overpower_ or _subdue_, as in this play,

  --_Their malady_ convinces
  _The great assay of art_.

I.vii.67 (433,6) A limbeck only] That is, shall be only a vessel to emit
_fumes_ or _vapours_.

I.vii.71 (433,7) our great quell] _Quell_ is _murder_. _manquellers_
being in the old language the term for which _murderers_ is now used.

II.i (434,8) _Enter Banquo, and Fleance with a torch before him_] The
place is not mark'd in the old edition, nor is it easy to say where this
encounter can be. It is not in the _hall_, as the editors have all
supposed it, for Banquo sees the sky; it is not far from the bedchamber,
as the conversation shews: it must be in the inner court of the castle,
which Banquo might properly cross in his way to bed.

II.i.25 (435,2) If you shall cleave to my consent, Then 'tis,/It shall
make honour for you] Macbeth expressed his thought with affected
obscurity; he does not mention the royalty, though he apparently has it
in his mind, _If you shall cleave to my consent_, if you shall concur
with me when I determine to accept the crown, _when 'tis_, when that
happens which the prediction promises, _it shall make honour for you_.

II.i.49 (437,6) Now o'er the one half world/Nature seems dead] That is,
_over our hemisphere all action and motion seem to have ceased_. This
image, which is perhaps the most striking that poetry can produce, has
been adopted by Dryden in his _Conquest of Mexico_:

  _All things are hush'd as Nature's self lay dead,
  The mountains seem to nod their drowsy head;
  The little birds in dreams their song repeat,
  And sleeping flow'rs beneath the night dews sweat.
  Even lust and envy sleep!_

These lines, though so well known, I have transcribed, that the contrast
between them and this passage of Shakespeare may be more accurately

Night is described by two great poets, but one describes a night of
quiet, the other of perturbation. In the night of Dryden, all the
disturbers of the world are laid asleep; in that of Shakespeare, nothing
but sorcery, lust, and murder, is awake. He that reads Dryden, finds
himself lull'd with serenity, and disposed to solitude and
contemplation. He that peruses Shakspeare looks round alarmed, and
starts to find himself alone. One is the night of a lover, the other, of
a murderer.

II.i.52 (438,8)

  --wither'd Murther,
  --thus with hia stealthy pace,
  With Tarquin's ravishing strides, tow'rds his design
  moves like a ghost.--]

This was the reading of this passage [ravishing sides] in all the
editions before that of Mr. Pope, who for _sides_, inserted in the text
_strides_, which Mr. Theobald has tacitly copied from him, though a more
proper alteration might perhaps have been made. A _ravishing stride_ is
an action of violence, impetuosity, and tumult, like that of a savage
rushing at his prey; whereas the poet is here attempting to exhibit an
image of secrecy and caution, of anxious circumspection and guilty
timidity, the _stealthy pace_ of a _ravisher_ creeping into the chamber
of a virgin, and of an assassin approaching the bed of him whom he
proposes to murder, without awaking him; these he describes as _moving
like ghosts_, whose progression is so different from _strides_, that it
has been in all ages represented te be, as Milton expresses it,

  _Smooth sliding without step_.

This hemiatic will afford the true reading of this place, which is, I
think, to be corrected thus:

  --_and wither'd Murder_.
  --_thus with his_ stealthy _pace_.
  _With Tarquin ravishing_, slides _tow'rds his design_,
  _Moves like a ghost_.--

_Tarquin_ is in this place the general name of a ravisher, and the sense
is, Now is the time in which every one is a-sleep, but those who are
employed in wickedness; the witch who is sacrificing to Hecate, and the
ravisher, and the murderer, who, like me, are stealing upon their prey.

When the reading is thus adjusted, he wishes with great propriety, in
the following lines, that the _earth_ may not _hear his steps_.

II.i.59 (439,3) And take the present horrour from the time,/Which now
suits with it] Of this passage an alteration was once proposed by me, of
which I have now a less favourable opinion, yet will insert it, as it
may perhaps give some hint to other critics:

  _And take the present horrour from the time,
  Which now suits with it_.--

I believe every one that has attentively read this dreadful soliloquy is
disappointed at the conclusion, which, if not wholly unintelligible, is,
at least, obscure, nor can be explained into any sense worthy of the
authour. I shall therefore propose a slight alteration:

  --_Thou sound and firm-set earth,
  Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
  Thy very stones prate of my where-about,
  And talk--the present horrour of the time!
  That now suits with it_.--

Macbeth has, in the foregoing lines, disturbed his imagination by
enumerating all the terrors of the night; at length he is wrought up to
a degree of frenzy, that makes him afraid of some supernatural discovery
of his design, and calls out to the stones not to betray him, not to
declare where he walks, nor _to talk_.--As he is going to say of what,
he discovers the absurdity of his suspicion, and pauses, but is again
overwhelmed by his guilt, and concludes, that such are the horrors of
the present night, that the stones may be expected to cry out against

  That _now suits with it_.--

He observes in a subsequent passage, that on such occasions _stones have
been known to move_. It is now a very just and strong picture of a man
about to commit a deliberate murder under the strongest conviction of
the wickedness of his design. Of this alteration, however, I do not now
see much use, and certainly see no necessity.

Whether to _take horrour from the time_ means not rather to _catch_ _it_
as communicated, than to _deprive the time of horrour_, deserves te be

II.ii.37 (443,6) sleave of care] A skein of silk is called a _sleave_ of
silk, as I learned from Mr. Seward, the ingenious editor of Beaumont and

II.ii.56 (444,8) gild the faces of the grooms withal,/For it must seem
their guilt] Could Shakespeare possibly mean to play upon the similitude
of _gild_ and _guilt_.

II.iii.45 (447,5) I made a shift to cast him] To _cast him up_, to ease
my stomach of him. The equivocation is between _cast_ or _throw_, as a
term of wrestling, and _cast_ or _cast up_.

II.iii.61 (448,7)

  --strange screams of death;
  And prophesying, with accents terrible
  Of dire combustions, and confus'd events,
  New hatch'd to the woeful time: The obscure bird
  Clamour'd the live-long night: some say the earth
  Was feverous, and did shake]

Those lines I think should be rather regulated thus:

  --_prophecying with accents terrible,
  Of dire combustions and cosfus'd events.
  New-hatch'd to th' woful time, the obscure bird
  Clamour'd the live-long night.  Some say the earth
  Was fev'rous and did shake._

A _prophecy_ of an _event new hatch'd_, seems to be a _prophecy_ of an
_event past_. And _a prophecy new hatch'd_ is a wry expression. The term
_new hatch'd_ is properly applicable to a _bird_, and that birds of ill
omen should be _new-hatch'd to the woful time_, that is, should appear
in uncommon numbers, is very consistent with the rest of the prodigies
here mentioned, and with the universal disorder into which nature is
described as thrown, by the perpetration of this horrid murder. (see
1765, VI, 413, 7)

II.iii.117 (452,3) Here, lay Duncan,/His silver skin lac'd with his
golden blood] Mr. Pope has endeavoured to improve one of these lines by
substituting _goary blood_ for _golden blood_; but it may easily be
admitted that he who could on such an occasion talk of _lacing the
silyer skin_, would _lace it_ with _golden blood_. No amendment can be
made to this line, of which every word is equally faulty, but by a
general blot.

It is not improbable, that Shakespeare put these forced and unnatural
metaphors into the mouth of Macbeth as a mark of artifice and
dissimulation, to shew the difference between the studied language of
hypocrisy, and the natural outcries of sudden passion. This whole speech
so considered, is a remarkable instance of judgment, as it consists
entirely of antithesis and metaphor.

II.iii.122 (432,5) Unmannerly breech'd with gore] An _unmannerly
dagger_, and a _dagger breech'd_, or as in some editions _breech'd
with_, gore, are expressions not easily to be understood. There are
undoubtedly two faults in this passage, which I have endeavored to take
away by reading,

  Unmanly drench'd _with gore_:--

_I saw_ drench'd _with the King's blood the fatal daggers, not only
instruments of murder but evidence of cowardice_.

Each of these words might easily be confounded with that which I have
substituted for it, by a hand not exact, a casual blot, or a negligent
inspection, [W: Unmanly reech'd] Dr. Warburton has, perhaps, rightly put
_reach'd_ for _breech'd_.

II.iii.138 (454,8)

  In the great hand of God I stand; and thence,
  Against the undivulg'd pretence I fight
  Of treasonous malice]

_Pretence_ is not act, but _simulation_, a _pretence_ of the traitor,
whoever he might be, to suspect some other of the murder. I here fly to
the protector of innocence from any charge which, yet _undivulg'd_, the
traitor may pretend to fix upon me.

II.iii.147 (454,7) This murtherous shaft that's shot,/Hath not yet
lighted] The design to fix the murder opon some innocent person, has not
yet taken effect.

II.iv.15 (456,9) minions of their race] Theobald reads,

  --_minions of_ the _race_,

very probably, and very poetically.

II.iv.24 (456,1) What good could they pretend?] To _pretend_ is here to
_propose to themselves_, to _set before themselves_ as a motive of

III.i.7 (457,2) As upon thee, Macbeth, their speeches shine] _Shine_,
for appear with all the _lustre_ of _conspicuous_ truth.

III.i.56 (459,4) as, it is said,/Mark Anthony's was by Caesar] Though I
would not often assume the critic's privilege of being confident where
certainty cannot be obtained, nor indulge myself too far in departing
from the established reading; yet I cannot but propose the rejection of
this passage, which I believe was an insertion of some player, that
having so much learning as to discover to what Shakespeare alluded, was
not willing that his audience should be less knowing than himself, and
has therefore weakened the authour's sense by the intrusion of a remote
and useless image into a speech bursting from a man wholly possess'd
with his own present condition, and therefore not at leisure to explain
his own allusions to himself. If these words are taken away, by which
not only the thought but the numbers are injured, the lines of
Shakespeare close together without any traces of a breach.

  _My genius is rebuk'd. He chid the sisters._

This note was written before I was fully acquainted with Shakespeare's
manner, and I do not now think it of much weight; for though the words,
which I was once willing to eject, seem interpolated, I believe they may
still be genuine, and added by the authour in his revision. The authour
of the _Revisal_ cannot admit the measure to be faulty. There is only
one foot, he says, put for another. This is one of the effects of
literature in minds not naturally perspicacious. Every boy or girl finds
the metre imperfect, but the pedant comes to its defence with a
tribrachys or an anapaest, and sets it right at once by applying to one
language the rules of another. If we may be allowed to change feet, like
the old comic writers, it will not be easy to write a line not metrical.
To hint this once, is sufficient. (see 1765, VI, 424, 2)

III.i.65 (460,5) For Banquo's issue have I fil'd my mind] [W: 'filed]
This mark of contraction is not necessary. To _file_ is in the bishop's

III.i.69 (460,6) the common enemy of man] It is always an entertainment
to an inquisitive reader, to trace a sentiment to its original source;
and therefore, though the term _enemy of man_, applied to the devil, is
in itself natural and obvious, yet some may be pleased with being
informed, that Shakespeare probably borrowed it from the first lines of
the Destruction of Troy, a book which he is known to have read. This
expression, however, he might have had in many other places. The word
_fiend_ signifies enemy.

III.i.71 (461,7) come, Fate, into the list,/And champion me to the
utterance!] This passage will be best explained by translating it into
the language from whence the only word of difficulty in it is borrowed,
"_Que la destinée se rende en lice, et qu'elle me donne un defi a
l'outrance_." A challenge or a combat _a l'outrance_, _to extremity_,
was a fix'd term in the law of arms, used when the combatants engaged
with an _odium internecinum, an intention to destroy each other_, in
opposition to trials of skill at festivals, or on other occasions, where
the contest was only for reputation or a prize. The sense therefore is,
_Let Fate, that has foredoom'd the exaltation of the sons of Banquo,
enter the lists against me, with the utmost animosity, in defence of its
own decrees, which I will endeavour to invalidate, whatever be the
danger_. [Johnson quotes Warburton's note] After the former explication,
Dr. Warburton was desirous to seem to do something; and he has therefore
made _Fate_ the _marshal_, whom I had made the _champion_, and has left
Macbeth to enter the lists without an opponent.

III.i.88 (462,9) Are you so gospell'd] Are you of that degree of precise
virtue? _Gospeller_ was a name of contempt given by the Papists to the
Lollards, the puritans of early times, and the precursors of

III.i.94 (463,1) Showghes] _Showghes_ are probably what we now call
_shocks_, demi-wolves, _lyciscae_; dogs bred between wolves and dogs.

III.i.95 (463,2) the valued file] In this speech the word _file_ occurs
twice, and seems in both places to have a meaning different from its
present use. The expression, _valued file_, evidently means, a list or
catalogue of value. A station in the _file_, and not in the worst rank,
may mean, a place in the list of manhood, and not in the lowest place.
But _file_ seems rather to mean in this place, a post of honour; the
first rank, in opposition to the last; a meaning which I have not
observed in any other place. (1773)

III.i.112 (465,2) So weary with disasters, tug'd with fortune] _Tug'd
with fortune_ may be, _tug'd_ or _worried_ by fortune.

III.i.130 (465,4) Acquaint you with the perfect spy o' the time] What is
meant by _the spy of the time_, it will be found difficult to explain;
and therefore sense will be cheaply gained by a slight
alteration.--Macbeth is assuring the assassins that they shall not want
directions to find Banquo, and therefore says,

  _I will_--
  _Acquaint you with_ a perfect spy _o' the time_.

Accordingly a third murderer joins them afterwards at the place of

_Perfect_ is _well instructed_, or _well informed_, as in this play,

  _Though in your state of honour I am_ perfect.

though I am _well acquainted_ with your quality and rank. [Warburton
explained this as "the critical juncture"] How the _critical juncture_
is the _spy o' the time_ I know not, but I think my own conjecture

III.ii.38 (467,1) nature's copy's not eternal] The _copy_, the _lease_,
by which they hold their lives from nature, has its time of termination

III.iii.1 (469,6) But who did bid thee join with us?] The meaning of
this abrupt dialogue is this. The _perfect spy_, mentioned by Macbeth in
the foregoing scene, has, before they enter upon the stage, given them
the directions which were promised at the time of their agreement; yet
one of the murderers suborned suspects him of intending to betray them;
the other observes, that, by his exact knowledge of _what they were to
do_, he appears to be employed by Macbeth, and needs not be mistrusted.

III.iv.1 (470,9) You know your own degrees, sit down: at first,/And last
the hearty welcome] As this passage stands [sit down:/At first and
last], not only the numbers are very imperfect, but the sense, if any
can be found, weak and contemptible. The numbers will be improved by

  --_sit down at first,
  And last a hearty welcome_.

But for _last_ should then be written _next_. I believe the true reading

  _You know your own degrees, sit down_.--_To first
  And last the hearty welcome_.

All of whatever degree, from the highest to the lowest, may be assured
that their visit is well received.

III.iv.14 (471,1) 'Tis better thee without, than he within] The sense
requires that this passage should be read thus:

  _'Tis better_ thee _without, than_ him _within_.

That is, _I am better pleased that the blood of Banquo should be on thy
face than in his body_.

The authour might mean, _It is better that Banquo's blood were on thy
face, than_ he _in this room_. Expressions thus imperfect are common in
his works.

III.iv.33 (472,2) the feast is sold] The meaning is,--That which ia not
_given cheerfully_, cannot be called a _gift_, it is something that must
be paid for. (1773)

III.iv.57 (473,3) extend his passion] Prolong his suffering; make his
fit longer.

III.iv.60 (473,4) O proper stuff!] This speech is rather too long for
the circumstances in which it is spoken. It had begun better at, _Shame

III.iv.63 (473,5)

  Oh, these flaws, and starts,
  (Impostors to true fear,) would well become
  A woman's story at a winter's fire,
  Authoriz'd by her grandam]

_Flaws_, are _sudden gusts_. The authour perhaps wrote,

  --_Those flaws and starts_,
  Impostures true to fear _would well become_;
  _A woman's story_,--

These symptoms of terrour and amazement might better become _impostures
true_ only _to fear, might become a coward at the recital of such
falsehoods as no man could credit, whose understanding was not weaken'd
by his terrours; tales told by a woman over a fire on the authority of
her grandam_.

III.iv.76 (474,6) Ere human statute purg'd the gentle weal] The _gentle
weal_, is, the _peaceable community_, the state made quiet and safe by
_human statutes_.

  _Mollia securae peragebant otia gentes_.

III.iv.92 (475,7) And all to all] I once thought it should be _hail_ to
all, but I now think that the present reading is right.

III.iv.105 (475,8) If trembling I inhabit] This is the original reading,
which Mr. Pope changed to _inhibit_, which _inhibit_ Dr. Warburton
interprets _refuse_. The old reading may stand, at least as well as the
emendation. Suppose we read,

  _If trembling I_ evade _it_.

III.iv.110 (476,9) Can such things be,/And overcome us, like a summer's
cloud,/Without our special wonder?] [W: Can't] The alteration is
introduced by a misinterpretation. The meaning is not that _these things
are like a summer-cloud_, but can such wonders as these pass over us
without wonder, as a casual summer cloud passes over us.

III.iv.112 (477,1) You make me strange/Even to the disposition that I
owe] You produce in me an _alienation of mind_, which is probably the
expression which our author intended to paraphrase.

III.iv.124 (477,2) Augurs, and understood relations] By the word
_relation_ is understood the _connection_ of effects with causes; to
_understand relations_ as _an angur_, is to know how these things
_relate_ to each other, which have no visible combination or dependence.

III.iv.141 (479,5) You lack the season of all natures, sleep] I take the
meaning to be, _you want sleep_, which _seasons_, or gives the relish to
_all nature_. _Indiget somni vitae condimenti_.

III.v.24 (480,8) vaporous drop, profound] That is, a drop that has
_profound_, _deep_, or _hidden_ qualities.

III.v.26 (480,9) slights] Arts; subtle practices.

III.vi (481,1) _Enter Lenox, and another Lord_] As this tragedy, like
the rest of Shakespeare's, is perhaps overstocked with personages, it is
not easy to assign a reason why a nameless character should be
introduced here, since nothing is said that might not with equal
propriety have been put into the mouth of any other disaffected man. I
believe therefore that in the original copy it was written with a very
common form of contraction Lenox and An. for which the transcriber,
instead of Lenox and Angus, set down Lenox and _another Lord_. The
author had indeed been more indebted to the transcriber's fidelity and
diligence had he committed no errors of greater importance.

III.vi.36 (482,3) and receive free honours] [_Free_ for grateful.
WARBURTON.] How can _free_ be _grateful_? It may be either honours
_freely bestowed_, not purchased by crimes; or honours _without
slavery_, without dread of a tyrant.

IV.i (484,5) As this is the chief scene of enchantment in the play, it
is proper in this place to observe, with how much judgment Shakespeare
has selected all the circumstances of his infernal ceremonies, and how
exactly he has conformed to common opinions and traditions:

  _Thrice the brinded cat hath mew'd_.

The usual form in which familiar spirits are reported to converse with
witches, is that of a cat. A witch, who was tried about half a century
before the time of Shakespeare, had a cat named Rutterkin, as the spirit
of one of these witches was Grimalkin; and when any mischief was to be
done she used to bid Rutterkin _go and fly_, but once when she would
have sent Rutterkin to torment a daughter of the countess of Rutland,
instead of _going_ or _flying_, he only cried _mew_, from whence she
discovered that the lady was out of his power, the power of witches
being not universal, but limited, as Shakespeare has taken care to

  _Though his bark cannot be lost,
  Yet it shall be tempest-tost._

The common afflictions which the malice of witches produced were
melancholy, fits, and loss of flesh, which are threatened by one of
Shakespeare's witches:

  _Weary sev'n nights, nine times nine,
  Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine._

It was likewise their practice to destroy the cattle of their
neighbours, and the farmers have to this day many ceremonies to secure
their cows and other cattle from witchcraft; but they seem to have been
most suspected of malice against swine. Shakespeare has accordingly made
one of his witches declare that she has been _killing swine_, and Dr.
Harsenet observes, that about that time, _a sow could not be ill of the
measles, nor a girl of the sullens, but some old woman was charged with

  _Toad, that under the cold stone,
  Days and night has, thirty-one,
  Swelter'd venom sleeping got;
  Boil thou first i'the charm'd pot_.

Toads have likewise long lain under the reproach of being by some means
accessory to witchcraft, for which reason Shakespeare, in the first
scene of this play, calls one of the spirits Padocke or Toad, and now
takes care to put a toad first into the pot. When Vaninus was seized at
Theleuse, there was found at his lodgings _ingens Bufo Vitro inclusus, a
great toad shut in a vial_, upon which those that prosecuted him,
_Veneficium exprebrabent, charged him_, I suppose, _with witchcraft_.

  _Fillet of fenny snake,
  In the cauldron boil and bakae:
  Eye of newt, and toe of frog;--
  For a charm, &c_.

The propriety of these ingredients may be known by consulting the books
_de Viribus Animalium_ and _de Mirabilibus Mundi_, ascribed to Albertus
Magnus, in which the reader, who has time and credulity, may discover
very wonderful secrets.

  _Finger of birth-strangled babe,
  Ditch deliver'd by a drab_;--

It has been already mentioned in the law against witches, that they are
supposed to take up dead bodies to use in enchantments, which was
confessed by the woman whom king James examined, and who had of a dead
body that was divided in one of their assemblies, two fingers for her
share. It is observable that Shakespeare, on this great occasion, which
involves the fate of a king, multiplies all the circumstanaces of
horror. The babe, whose finger is used, must be strangled in its birth;
the grease must not only be human, but must have dropped from a gibbet,
the gibbet of a murderer; and even the sow, whose blood is used, must
have offended nature by devouring her own farrow. These are touches of
judgment and genius.

  _And now about the cauldron sing--
  Black spirits and white,
     Blue spirits and grey,
  Mingle, mingle, mingle,
  You that mingle say_.

And in a former part,

  --_weyward sisters, hand in hand,--
  Thus do go about, about.
  Thrice to thine, and thrice to mine.
  And thrice again to make up nine!_

These two passages I have brought together, because they both seem
subject to the objection of too much levity for the solemnity of
enchantment, and may both be shewn, by one quotation from Camden's
account of Ireland, to be founded upon a practice really observed by the
uncivilised natives of that country: "When any one gets a fall, _says
the informer of Camden_, he starts up, and, _turning three times to the
right_, digs a hole in the earth; for they imagine that there is a
spirit in the ground, and if he falls sick in two or three days, they
send one of their women that is skilled in that way to the place, where
she says, I call thee from the east, west, north, and south, from the
groves, the woods, the rivers, and the fens, from the fairies _red,
black, white_." There was likewise a book written before the time of
Shakespeare, describing, amongst other properties, the _colours_ of

Many other circumstances might be particularised, in which Shakespeare
has shown his judgment and his knowledge.

IV.i.53 (489,6) yesty waves] That is, _foaming_ or _frothy waves_.

IV.i.88 (491,1) the round/And top of sovereignty?] This _round_ is that
part of the crown that encircles the head. The _top_ is the ornament
that rises above it.

IV.i.95 (492,3) Who can impress the forest] i.e. who can command the
forest to serve him like a soldier impress'd. (1773)

IV.i.97 (492,4) Rebellious head, rise never] Mr. Theobald, who first
proposed this change ["head" for "dead"] rightly observes, that _head_
means _host_, or power.

  --_Douglas and the rebels met,
  A mighty and a fearful_ head _they are_.

And again,

  _His divisions--are in three heads_.

IV.i.113 (493,6) Thy crown does sear mine eye-balls] The expression of
Macbeth, that the _crown_ sears _his_ eye-balls, is taken from the
method formerly practised of destroying the sight of captives or
competitors, by holding a burning bason before the eye, which dried up
its humidity. Whence the Italian, _abacinare_, to _blind_.

IV.i.113 (493,7) And thy air,/Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the
first:--/A third is like the former] In former editions,

  --_and thy_ hair,
  _Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first_:--
  _A third is like the former_:--

As Macbeth expected to see a train of kings, and was only enquiring from
what race they would proceed, he could not be surprised that the _hair_
of the second was _bound with gold_ like that of the first; he was
offended only that the second resembled the first, as the first
resembled Banquo, and therefore said,

  --_and thy_ air,
  _Thou other gold-bound brow, is like the first_.

This Dr. Warburton has followed.

IV.i.144 (495,2) Time, thou anticipat'st my dread exploits] To
_anticipate_ is here to _prevent_, by taking away the opportunity.

IV.ii.9 (496,3) He wants the natural touch] Natural sensibility. He is
not touched with natural affection.

IV.ii.71 (498,7) To do worse to you, were fell cruelty] To do _worse_
is, to let her and her children be destroyed without warning.

IV.iii.2 (500,9) Let us rather/Hold fast the mortal sword; and, like
good men,/ Bestride our down-faln birthdom] In former editions,

  _Let us rather
  Hold fast the mortal sword; and, like good men,
  Bestride our_ downfal birthdoom.--]

He who can discover what is meant by him that earnestly exhorts him to
_bestride_ his _downfal birth-doom_, is at liberty to adhere to the
present text; but it is probable that Shakespeare wrote,

  --_like good men,
  Bestride our_ downfaln birthdom--

The allusion is to a man from whom something valuable is about to be
taken by violence, and who, that he may defend it without incombrance,
lays it on the ground, and stands over it with his weapon in his hand.
Our birthdom, or birthright, says he, lies on the ground, let us, like
men who are to fight for what is dearest to them, not abandon it, but
stand over it and defend it. This is a strong picture of obstinate
resolution. So Falstaff says to Hal.

  _When I am down, if thou wilt_ bestride me, _so_.

_Birthdom_ for _birthright_ is formed by the same analogy with
_masterdom_ in this play, signifying the _privileges_ or _rights_ of a

Perhaps it might be _birth-dame_ for _mother_; let us stand over our
_mother_ that lies bleeding on the ground.

IV.iii.19 (501,4) A good and virtuous nature may recoil/In an imperial
charge] A good mind may _recede_ from goodness in the execution of a
_royal commission_.

IV.iii.23 (501,5) Though all things foul would wear the brows of
grace,/Yet grace must look still so] This is not very clear. The meaning
perhaps is this:--_My suspicions cannot injure you, if you be virtuous,
by supposing that a traitor may put on your virtuous appearance. I do
not say that your virtuous appearance_.

_proves you a traitor; for virtue must wear its proper form, though that
form be often counterfeited by villany_.

IV.iii.26 (502,6) Why in that rawness left you wife and children]
Without previous provision, without due preparation, without _maturity_
of counsel.

IV.iii.33 (502,7) Wear thou thy wrongs] That is, _Poor country, wear
thou thy wrongs_.

IV.iii.69 (503,1) Sudden, malicious] [_Sudden_, for capricious. WARBUR.]
Rather violent, passionate, hasty.

IV.iii.85 (504,2) Than summer seeming lust] When I was younger and
bolder I corrected it thus,

  _Than fume, or seething lust_.

that is, Than angry passion, or boiling lust. (1773)

IV.iii.135 (506,4) All ready at a point] [W: at appoint] There is no
need of change.

IV.iii.136 (506,5) and the chance of goodness/Be like our warranted
quarrel!] The _chance of goodness_, as it is commonly read, conveys no
sense. If there be not some more important errour in the passage, it
should at least be pointed thus:

  --_and the chance, of goodness,
  Be like our warranted quarrel_!--

That is, may the event be, of the goodness of heaven, [_pro justitia
divina_] answerable to the cause.

The author of the _Revisal_ conceives the sense of the passage to be
rather this: _And may the success of that goodness, which is about to
exert itself in my behalf, be such as may be equal to the justice of my

But I am inclined to believe that Shakespeare wrote,

  --and the chance, O goodness,
  Be like our warranted quarrel!--

This some of his transcribers wrote with a small _o_, which another
imagined to mean _of_. If we adopt this reading, the sense will be, _and
O thou sovereign Goodness, to whom we now appeal, may our fortune answer
to our cause_. (see 1765, VI, 462, 7)

IV.iii.170 (508,9) A modern ecstacy] I believe _modern_ is only
_foolish_ or _trifling_.

IV.iii.196 (509,2), fee-grief] A peculiar sorrow; a grief that hath a
single owner. The expression is, at least to our ears, very harsh.

IV.iii.216 (511,4) He has no children] It has been observed by an
anonymous critic, that this is not said of Macbeth, who had children,
but of Malcolm, who having none, supposes a father.

V.i.86 (515,8) My mind she has mated] [Conquer'd or subdued. POPE.]
Rather astonished, confounded.

V.ii.24 (516,1) When all that is within him does condemn/Itself, for
being there?] That is, when all the faculties of the mind are employed
in self-condemnation.

V.iii.1 (516,2) Bring me no more reports] _Tell me not any more of
desertions--Let all ny subjects leave me--I am safe till,_ &c.

V.iii.8 (517,3) English Epicures] The reproach of Epicurism, on which
Mr. Theobald has bestowed a note, is nothing more than a natural
invective uttered by an inhabitant of a barren country, against, those
who have more opportunities of luxury.

V.iii.22 (518,6) my way of life/Is fall'n into the sear] As there is no
relation between the _way of life_, and _fallen into the sear_, I am
inclined to think that the W is only an M inverted, and that it was
originally written,

  --_my_ May _of life_.

_I am now passed from the spring to the autumn of my days, but I am
without those comforts that should succeed the spriteliness of bloom,
and support me in this melancholy season._

The authour has _May_ in the same sense elsewhere.

V.iv.8 (521,1) the confident tyrant/Keeps still in Dunsinane, and will
endure/Our setting down before't] He was _confident_ of success; so
_confident_ that he would not fly, but endure their _setting down_
before his castle.

V.iv.11 (521,2) For where there is advantage to be given,/ Both more and
less have given him the revolt] The impropriety of the expression,
_advantage to be given_, and the disagreeable repetition of the word
_given_ in the next line, incline me to read,

  --_where there is_ a 'vantage _to be_ gone,
  _Both more and less have given him the revolt._

_Advantage or 'vantage_, in the time of Shakespeare, signified
_opportunity_. _He shut up himself and his soldiers_, (says Malcolm) _in
the castle, because when there is an opportunity to be gone they all
desert him_.

_More and less_ is the same with _greater and less_. So in the
interpolated _Mandeville_, a book of that age, there is a chapter of
_India the More and the Less_.

V.iv.20 (522,4) arbitrate]--_arbitrate_ is _determine_.

V.v.11 (523,3) fell of hair] My hairy part, my _capillitium_. _Fell_ is

V.v.17 (523,7) She should have dy'd hereafter;/ There would have been a
time for such a word] This passage has very justly been suspected of
being corrupt. It is not apparent for what _word_ there would have been
a _time_, and that there would or would not be a _time_ for any _word_
seems not a consideration of importance sufficient to transport Macbeth
into the following exclamation. I read therefore,

  _She should have dy'd hereafter.
  There would have been a time for--such a_ world!--
  _Tomorrow_, &c.

It is a broken speech in which only part of the thought is expressed,
and may be paraphrased thus: _The queen is dead_. Macbeth. _Her death
should have been deferred to some more peaceful hour; had she liv'd
longer_, there would at length have been a time for the _honours due to
her as a queen, and that respect which I owe her for her fidelity and
love. Such is the_ world--such is the condition of human life, that we
always think_ to-morrow _will be happier than to-day, but to-morrow and
to-morrow steals over us unenjoyed and unregarded, and we still linger
in the same expectation to the moment appointed for our end. All these
days, which have thus passed away, have sent multitudes of fools to the
grave, who were engrossed by the same dream of future felicity, and,
when life was departing from them, were, like me, reckoning on

Such was once my conjecture, but I am now less confident. Macbeth might
mean, that there would have been a more convenient _time_ for such a
_word_, for such _intelligence_, and so fall into the following
reflection. We say we send _word_ when we give intelligence.

V.v.21 (524,8) To the last syllable of recorded time] _Recorded time_
seems to signify the time fixed in the decrees of Heaven for the period
of life. The _record_ of _futurity_ is indeed no accurate expression,
but as we only know transactions past or present, the language of men
affords no term for the volumes of prescience, in which future events
may be supposed to be written.

V.v.23 (524,9) The way to dusty death] _Dusty_ is a very natural
epithet. The second folio has,

  _The way to_ study _death_.--

which Mr. Upton prefers, but it is only an errour by an accidental
transposition of the types.

V.v.42 (525,2) I pull in resolution, and begin/To doubt the equivocation
of the fiend,/ That lies like truth] Though this is the reading of all
the editions, yet, as it is a phrase without either example, elegance or
propriety, it is surely better to read,

  _I_ pall _in resolution,--
  I languish in my constancy, my confidence begins to forsake as_.

It is scarcely necessary to observe how easily _pall_ might be changed
into _pull_ by a negligent writer, or mistaken for it by an unskilful
printer. With this emendation Dr. Warburton and Mr. Heath concur. (see
1765, VI,478,8)

V.viii.9 (529,3) the intrenchant air] That is, air which cannot be cut.

V.viii.20 (529,5) That palter with us in a double sense] That _shuffle_
with ambiguous expressions.

V.viii.48 (531,7) Had I as many sons as I have hairs, I would not wish
them to a fairer death]

This incident is thus related from Henry of Huntingdon by Camden in his
_Remains_, from which our authour probably copied it.

When Seyward, the martial earl of Northumberland, understood that his
son, whom he had sent in service against the Scotchmen, was slain, he
demanded whether his wounds were in the fore part or hinder part of his
body. When it was answered, in the fore part, he replied, "I am right
glad; neither wish I any other death to me or mine."

General Observation. This play is deservedly celebrated for the
propriety of its fictions, and solemnity, grandeur, and variety of its
action; but it has no nice discriminations of character, the events are
too great to admit the influence of particular dispositions, and the
course of the action necessarily determines the conduct of the agents.

The danger of ambition is well described; and I know not whether it may
not be said in defence of some parts which now seem improbable, that, in
Shakespeare's time, it was necessary to warn credulity against vain and
illusive predictions.

The passions are directed to their true end. Lady Macbeth is merely
detested; and though the courage of Macbeth preserves some esteem, yet
every reader rejoices at his fall.

Vol. VII


1.i.19 (292,1) but they think, we are too dear] They think that the
charge of maintaining us is more than we are worth.

I.i.23 (292,3) ere we become rakes] It is plain that, in our authour's
time, we had the proverb, _as lean as a rake_. Of this proverb the
original is obscure. _Rake_ now signifies a _dissolute man_, a man worn
out with disease and debauchery. But the signification is, I think, much
more modern than the proverb. _Raekel_, in Islandick, is said to mean a
_cur-dog_, and this was probably the first use among us of the word
_rake_; _as lean as a rake_ is, therefore, as lean as it dog too
worthless to be fed.

1.i.94 (294,4) I will venture/To scale't a little more] [Warburton had
taken Theobald to task for emending to "stale't", offering two
quotations to prove that "scale" meant "apply."] Neither of Dr.
Warburton's examples afford a sense congruous to the present occasion.
In the passage quoted, to _scale_ may be to _weigh_ and _compare_, but
where do we find that _scale_ is to _apply_? If we _scale_ the two
criticks, I think Theobald has the advantage.

I.i.97 (295,5) fob off our disgraces with a tale] _Disgraces_ are
_hardships, injuries_.

I.i.104 (295,6) where the other instruments] _Where_ for _whereas_.

I.i.112 (296,7) Which ne'er came from the lungs] with a smile not
indicating pleasure, but contempt.

I.i.120 (296,9) The counsellor heart] The heart was anciently esteemed
the seat of prudence. _Homo cordatum_ is a _prudent man_.

I.i.163 (297,1) Thou rascal, that art worst in blood, to ruin,/ Lead'st
first, to win some 'vantage] I think, we may better read, by an easy
change, _Thou rascal that art worst, in blood, to_ ruin [to run]
_Lead'st first, to win_, &c.

Thou that art the meanest by birth, art the foremost to lead thy fellows
_to ruin_, in hope of some advantage. The meaning, however, is perhaps
only this, Thou that art a hound, or running dog of the lowest breed,
lead'st the pack, when any thing is to be gotten. (see 1765, VI, 493, 1)

I.i.172 (298,4) What would you have, ye curs,/ That like not peace, nor
war? The one affrights you,/ The other makes you proud] [W: likes] That
_to like_ is _to please_, every one knows, but in that sense it is as
hard to say why peace should not _like_ the people, as, in the other
sense, why the people should not _like_ peace. The truth is, that
Coriolanus does not use the two sentences consequentially, but
reproaches them with unsteadiness, then with their other occasional

I.i.202 (300,6) I'd make a quarry/With thousands] Why a quarry? I
suppose, not because he would pile them square, but because he would
give them for carrion to the birds of prey.

I.i.215 (300,7) To break the heart of generosity] To give the final blow
to the _nobles_. _Generosity_ is _high birth_.

I.i.231 (301,8) 'tis true, that yon have lately told us./The Volscians
are in arms] Coriolanus had been but just told himself that _the
Volscians were in arms_. The meaning is, _The intelligence which you
gave us some little time ago of the designs of the Volscians is now
verified; they are in arms._

I.i.255 (302,8) Your valour puts well forth] That is, You have in this
mutiny shewn fair blossoms of valour.

I.i.260 (303,9) to gird. To _sneer_, to _gibe_. So Falstaff uses the
noun, when he says, _every man has a _gird _at me_.

I.i.281 (304,3) in what fashion,/More than his singularity he goes/ Upon
this present action] We will learn what he is to do, besides _going
himself_; what are his powers, and what is his appointment.

I.ii.28 (305,4) for the remove/Bring up your army] [W:'fore they] I do
not see the nonsense or impropriety of the old reading. Says the senator
to Aufidius, _Go to your troops, we will garrison Corioli_. If the
Romans besiege us, bring up your army _to remove them_. If any change
should be made, I would read,

  --_for_ their _remove_.

I.iii.16 (307,5) brows bound with oak] The crown given by the Romans to
him that saved the life of a citizen, which was accounted more
honourable than any other.

I.iv.14 (311,9) nor a man that fears you less than he,/That's lesser
than a little] The sense requires it to be read,

  _nor a man that fears you_ more _than he_,

Or more probably,

  _nor a man_ but _fears you less than he,
  That's lesser than a little_.

I.v.5 (314,4) prize their hours] In the first edition it is, _prize
their_ hours. I know not who corrected it [to _prize their honours_]. A
modern editor, who had made such an improvement, would have spent half a
page in ostentation of his sagacity.

I.vi.36 (317,6) Ransoming him, or pitying] i.e. _remitting his ransom_.

I.vi.61 (318,8) swords advanc'd] That is, swords lifted high.

I.vi.83 (319,9) Please you to march,/And four shall quickly draw out my
command,/Which men are best inclin'd] I cannot but suspect this passage
of corruption. Why should they _march_, that _four_ might select those
that were _best inclin'd_? How would their inclinations be known? Who
were the _four_ that should select them? Perhaps, we may read,

  --_Please you to march,
  And_ fear _shall quickly draw out_ of _my command,
  Which men are_ least _inclin'd_.

It is easy to conceive that, by a little negligence, _fear_ might be
changed to _four_, and _least_ to _best_. Let us march, and that fear
which incites desertion will free my army from cowards. (see 1765, VI,
512, 1)

I.viii.11 (320,1) Wert thou the Hector,/That was the whip of your
bragg'd progeny] The Romans boasted themselves descended from the
Trojans, how then was Hector the _whip of their progeny_? It must mean
the whip with which the Trojans scourged the Greeks, which cannot be but
by a very unusual construction, or the authour must have forgotten the
original of the Romans; unless _whip_ has some meaning which includes
_advantage_ or _superiority_, as we say, _he has the_ whip-hand, for _he
has the_ advantage.

I.viii.14 (321,2) you have sham'd me/In your condemned seconds] For
_condemned_, we may read _contemned_. You have, to my shane, sent me
help _which I despise_.

I.ix.12 (321,4) Here is the steed, we the caparisons!] This is an odd
encomium. The meaning is, _this man performed the action, and we only
filled up the show_.

I.ii.14 (322,5) a charter to extol] A privilege to praise her own son.

I.ix.29 (322,6) Should they not] That is, _not be remembered_.

I.ix.72 (325,9) To the fairness of any power] [_Fairness_, for _utmost_.
WARE.] I know not how _fairness_ can mean _utmost_. When two engage on
_equal_ terms, we say it is _fair_; _fairness_ may therefore be
_equality; in proportion equal to my power_.

I.ix.76 (325,1) The best] The _chief_ men of Corioli.

I.x.5 (326,3) Being a Volsce, be that I am] It may be just observed,
that Shakespeare calls the _Volsci, Volsces_, which the modern editors
have changed to the modern termination [Volscian]. I mention it here,
because here the change has spoiled the measure. _Being a_ Volsce, _be
that I am. Condition_. [Steevans restored _Volsce_ in the text.]

I.x.17 (326,2) My valour's poison'd,/With only suffering stain by him,
for him/ Shall flie out of itself] To mischief him, my valour should
_deviate from_ its own native generosity.

I.x.25 (327,4) At home, upon my brother's guard] In my own house, with
my brother posted to protect him.

II.i.8 (328,5) Pray you, who does the wolf love?] When the tribune, in
reply to Menenius's remark, on the people's hate of Coriolanus, had
observed that even _beasts know their friends_, Menenius asks, _whom
does the wolf love_? implying that there are beasts which love nobody,
and that among those beasts are the people.

II.i.43 (329,6) towards the napes of your necks] With allusion to the
fable, which says, that every man has a bag hanging before him, in which
he puts his neighbour's faults, and another behind him, in which he
stows his own.

II.i.56 (330,7) one that converses more with the buttock of the night,
than with the forehead of the morning] Rather a late lier down than an
early riser.

II.i.84 (330,1) set up the bloody flag against all patience] That is,
declare war against patience. There is not wit enough in this satire to
recompense its grossness.

II.i.105 (331,2) herdsmen of beastly Plebeians] As kings are called
[Greek: poimenes laon].

II.i.115 (331,3) Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee] [W: cup]
Shakespeare so often mentions throwing up caps in this play, that
Menenius may be well enough supposed to throw up his cap in thanks to

II.i.146 (333,4) possest of this?] _Possest_, in our authour's language,
is fully informed.

II.i.178 (334,6) Which being advanc'd, declines] Volumnia, in her
boasting strain, says, that her son to kill his enemy, has nothing to do
but to lift his hand up and let it fall.

II.i.232 (337,3) Commit the war of white and damask, in/Their nicely
gawded cheeks] [W: wars] Has the commentator never heard of roses
_contending_ with lilies for the empire of a lady's cheek? The
_opposition_ of colours, though not the _commixture_, may be called a

II.i.235 (338,1) As if that whatsoever God] That is, _as if that God who
leads him, whatsoever_ God he be.

II.i.241 (338,2) From where he should begin, and end] Perhaps it should
be read,

  _From where he should begin_ t'an _end_.--

II.i.247 (338,3) As he is proud to do't] [I should rather think the
author wrote _prone_: because the common reading is scarce sense or
English. WARBURTON.] _Proud to do_, is the same as, _proud of doing_,
very plain sense, and very common English.

II.i.285 (340,4) carry with us ears and eyes] That is, let us observe
what passes, but keep our hearts fixed on our design of crushing

II.ii.19 (340,5) he wav'd indifferently] That is, _he would wave

II.ii.29 (341,6) supple and courteous to the people; bonnetted] The
sense, I think, requires that we should read, _unbonnetted_. Who have
risen only by _pulling off their hats_ to the people. _Bonnetted_ may
relate to _people_, but not without harshness.

II.ii.57 (342,7) Your loving motion toward the common body] Your kind
interposition with the common people.

II.ii.64 (342,9) That's off, that's off] That is, that is nothing to the

II.ii.82 (343,1) how can he flatter] The reasoning of Menenius is this:
How can he be expected to practice flattery to others, who abhors it so
much, that he cannot bear it even when offered to himself.

II.ii.92 (343,2) When Tarquin made a head for Rome] When Tarquin, who
had been expelled, _raised a power_ to recover Rome.

II.ii.113 (344,6) every motion/Was tim'd with dying cries] The cries of
the slaughter'd regularly followed his motions, as musick and a dancer
accompany each ether.

II.ii.115 (345,7) The mortal gate] The gate that was made the scene of

II.ii.127 (345,8) He cannot but with measure fit the honours] That is,
no honour will be too great far him; he will show a mind equal to any

II.ii.131 (345,1)

  His deeds with doing them; and is content
  To spend his time, to end it]

I know not whether my conceit will be approved, but I cannot forbear to
think that our author wrote thus.

  --he _rewards
  His deeds with doing them, and is content
  To spend his time, to spend it.

To do great acts, for the sake of doing them; to spend his life, for the
sake of spending it.

II.iii.4 (348,2) We have power in ourselves to do it, but it is a power
that we have no power to do] [Warburton saw this as "a ridicule on the
Augustine manner of defining _free-will_."] A ridicule may be intended,
but the sense is clear enough. _Power_ first signifies _natural power_
or _force_, and then _moral power_ or _right_. Davies has used the same
word with great variety of meaning.

  _Use all thy_ powers _that heavenly_ power _to praise,
  That gave thee_ power _to do_.--

II.iii.18 (348,3) many-headed multitude] Hanmer reads, _many-headed_
monster, but without necessity. To be _many-headed_ includes

II.iii.115 (352,7) I will not seal your knowledge] I will not strengthen
or compleat your knowledge. The seal is that which gives authenticity to
a writing.

II.iii.122 (352,8)

  Why in this woolvish tongue should I stand here
  To beg of Bob and Dick, that do appear,
  Their needless vouches?]

Why stand I here in this ragged apparel to beg of Bob and Dick, and such
others as _make their appearance_ here, their _unnecessary votes_. I
rather think we should read [instead of _voucher_], _Their needless_
vouches. But _voucher_ may serve, as it may perhaps signify either the
act or the agent.

II.iii.122 (352) this woolvish gown] Signifies this _rough hirsute_

II.iii.182 (355,1) ignorant to see't?] [W: "ignorant" means "impotent"]
That _ignorant_ at any time has, otherwise than consequentially, the
same meaning with _impotent_, I do not know. It has no such meaning in
this place. _Were you_ ignorant _to see it_, is, did you want knowledge
to discern it.

II.iii.208 (356,2) free contempt] That is, with contempt open and

II.iii.227 (357,4) Enforce his pride] Object his pride, and enforce the

II.iii.258 (358,7) Scaling his present bearing with his past] That is,
_weighing_ his past and present behaviour.

II.iii.267 (359,8) observe and answer/The vantage of his anger] Mark,
catch, and improve the opportunity, which his hasty anger will afford

III.i.23 (360,9) prank them in authority] _Plume, deck, dignify_

III.i.58 (362,3) This paltring/Becomes not Rome] That is, this trick of
dissimulation, this shuffling.

  _Let these be no more believ'd
  That_ palter _with us in a double sense_. Macbeth.

III.i.60 (362,4) laid falsly] _Falsly_ for _treacherously_.

III.i.66 (362,5) Let them regard me, as I do not flatter, and/ Therein
behold themselves] Let them look in the mirror which I hold up to them,
a mirror which does not flatter, and see themselves.

III.i.89 (363,6) minnows] a _minnow_ is one of the smallest river fish,
called in some counties a _pink_.

III.i.90 (364,6) 'Twas from the canon] Was contrary to the established
role; it was a form of speech to which he has no right.

III.i.98 (364,9) Then vail your ignorance] [W: "ignorance" means
"impotence."] Hanmer's transposition deserves notice

  --_If they have power,
  Let them have cushions by you; if none, awake
  Your dang'rous lenity; if you are learned,
  Be not as commmon fools; if you are not,
  Then vail your ignorance. You are Plebeians_, &c.

I neither think the transposition of one editor right, nor the
interpretation of the other. The sense is plain enough without supposing
_ignorance_ to have any remote or consequential sense. _If this man has
power, let the_ ignorance _that gave it him_ vail _or bow down before

  III.i.101 (365,1) You are Plebeians,
  If they be Senators: and they are no less,
  When, both your voices blended, the greatest taste
  Most palates theirs]

These lines may, I think, be made more intelligible by a very slight

  --_they no less [than senators]
  When, both your voices blended, the great'st taste_
  Must palate _theirs._

When the _taste_ of the _great_, the patricians, must _palate_, must
_please_ [or must _try_] that of the plebeians.

III.i.124 (366,3) They would not thread the gates] That is, _pass_ them.
We yet say, to _thread_ an alley.

III.i.129 (366,4) could never be the native] [_Native_ for natural
birth. WARBURTON.] _Native_ is here not natural birth, but _natural
parent_, or _cause of birth_. But I would read _motive_, which, without
any distortion of its meaning, suits the speaker's purpose.

III.i.151 (367,7) That love the fundamental part of state/More than you
doubt the change of't] To _doubt_ is to _fear_. The meaning is, You
whose zeal predominates over your terrours; you who do not so much fear
the danger of violent measures, as wish the good to which they are
necessary, the preservation of the original constitution of our

III.i.158 (368,2) Mangles true judgment] _Judgment_ is _judgment_ in its
common sense, or the faculty by which right is distinguished from wrong.

III.i.159 (368,3) that integrity which should become it] _Integrity_ is
in this place _soundness_, uniformity, consistency, in the same sense as
Dr. Warburton often uses it, when he mentions the _integrity_ of a
metaphor. To _become_, is to _suit_, to _befit_.

III.i.221 (370,5) are very poisonous] I read, _are very_ poisons.

III.i.242 (371,7) One time will owe another] I know not whether to _owe_
in this place means to _possess by right_, or to _be indebted_. Either
sense may be admitted. _One time_, in which the people are seditious,
will _give us power_ in some other time; or, _this time_ of the people's
predominance will _run them in debt_; that is, will lay them open to the
law, and expose them hereafter to more servile subjection.

III.i.248 (372,8) Before the tag return] The lowest and most despicable
of the populace are still denominated by those a little above them,
_Tag, rag, and bobtail_. (1773)

III.ii.7 (376,4) I muse] That is, _I wonder. I am at a loss_.

III.ii.12 (376,5) my ordinance] My _rank_.

III.ii.51 (378,8) Why force you] Why _urge_ you.

III.ii.56 (378,9) bastards, and syllables/Of no allowance, to your
bosom's truth] I read,

  _Of no_ alliance,--

therefore _bastards_. Yet _allowance_ may well enough stand, as meaning
_legal right, established rank_, or _settled authority_. (see 1765, VI,
566, 7)

III.ii.64 (379,1) I am in this/Your wife, your son] I rather think the
meaning is, _I am in their_ condition, I am _at stake_, together with
_your wife, your son_.

III.ii.66 (379,2) our general lowts] Our _common clowns_.

III.ii.69 (379,3) that want] The _want_ of their loves.

III.ii.71 (379,4) Not what] In this place _not_ seems to signify _not

III.ii.77 (379,5) Waving thy head,/With often, thus, correcting thy
stout heart] [W: thy hand,/Which soften thus] The correction is
ingenious, yet I think it not right. _Head_ or _hand_ is indifferent.
The _hand_ is _waved_ to gain attention; the _head_ is shaken in token
of sorrow. The word _wave_ suits better to the hand, but in considering
the authour's language, too much stress must not be laid on propriety
against the copies. I would read thus,

  --_waving thy head_,
  With _often, thus, correcting thy stout heart_.

That is, _shaking thy head_, and _striking_ thy breast. The alteration
is slight, and the gesture recommended not improper.

III.ii.99 (381,6) my unbarb'd sconce?] The suppliants of the people used
to present themselves to them in sordid and neglected dresses.

III.ii.113 (381,8) Which quired with my drum] Which played in concert
with my drum.

III.ii.116 (382,1) Tent in my cheeks] To _tent_ is _to take up

III.ii.121 (382,2) honour mine own truth] [Greek: Panton de malis
aischuneui sauton]. Pythagoras.

III.ii.125 (382,3) let/Thy mother rather feel thy pride, than fear/ Thy
dangerous stoutness] This is obscure. Perhaps, she means, Go, _do thy
worst; let me rather feel the_ utmost _extremity that thy pride can
bring upon us, than live thus in fear of thy dangerous obstinacy_.

III.iii.17 (384,3)

  Insisting on the old prerogative
  And power in' the truth o' the cause]

This is not very easily understood. We might read,

  --o'er _the truth o' the cause_.

III.iii.26 (384,4) and to have his word/Of contradiction] _To have his
word of contradiction_ is no more than, _he is used to contradict_; and
_to have his word_, that is, _not to be opposed_. We still say of an
obstinate disputant, _he will have the last word_.

III.iii.29 (384,5) which looks/With us to break his neck] To _look_ is
to _wait_ or _expect_. The sense I believe is, _What he has in his
heart_ is waiting there _to help us to break his neck_.

III.iii.57 (386,8) Rather than envy you] _Envy_ is here taken at large
for _malignity_ or ill intention.

III.iii.64 (386,9) season'd office] All _office established_ and
_settled_ by time, and made familiar to the people by long use.

III.iii.96 (387,1) has now at last] Read rather,

  --has _now at last_ [instead of _as now at last_].

III.iii.97 (387,2) not in the presence] _Not_ stands again for _not

III.iii.114 (388,3) My dear wife's estimate] I love my country beyond
the rate at which I _value my dear wife_.

III.iii.127 (389,4)

        Have the power still
  To banish your defenders'; till, at length,
  Your ignorance, (which finds not, till it feels)]

_Still retain the power of banishing your defenders, till your
undiscerning folly, which can foresee no consequences, leave none in the
city but yourselves, who are always labouring your own destruction._

It is remarkable, that, among the political maxims of the speculative
Harrington, there is one which he might have borrowed from this speech.
_The people_, says he, _cannot see, but they can feel_. It is not much
to the honour of the people, that they have the same character of
stupidity from their enemy and their friend. Such was the power of our
authour's mind, that he looked through life in all its relations private
and civil.

IV.i.7 (390,1) Fortune's blows,/When most struck home, being gentle
wounded, craves/A noble cunning] This it the ancient and authentick
reading. The modern editors have, for _gentle wounded_, silently
substituted _gently warded_, and Dr. Warburton has explained _gently_ by
_nobly_. It is good to be sure of our authour's words before we go about
to explain their meaning.

The sense is, When Fortune strikes her hardest blows, to be wounded, and
yet continue calm, requires a generous policy. He calls this calmness
_cunning_, because it is the effect of reflection and philosophy.
Perhaps the first emotions of nature are nearly uniform, and one man
differs from another in the power of endurance, as he is better
regulated by precept and instruction.

  _They bore as heroes, but they felt as men_.

(see 1765, VI, 577, 9)

IV.i.33 (391,3) cautelous baits and practice] By artful and false
tricks, and treason.

IV.ii.15 (393,6)

  _Sic._ Are you mankind?
  _Vol._ Ay, fool; Is that a shame? Note but this fool.
  Was not a man my father?]

The word _mankind_ is used maliciously by the first speaker, and taken
perversely by the second. A _mankind_ woman is a woman with the
roughness of a man, and, in an aggravated sense, a woman ferocious,
violent, and eager to shed blood. In this sense Sicinius asks Volumnia,
if she be _mankind_. She takes _mankind_ for a _human creature_, and
accordingly cries out,

  --_Note but this, fool.
  Was not a man my father?_

IV.ii.18 (394,7) Hadst thou foxship] Hadst thou, fool as thou art, mean
cunning enough to banish Coriolanus?

IV.iii.9 (395,7) but your favour is well appear'd by your tongue] [W:
well appeal'd] I should read,

  --_is well_ affear'd,

That is, _strengthened, attested,_ a word used by our authour.

  _My title is_ affear'd. Macbeth.

To _repeal_ may be _to bring to remembrance_, but _appeal_ has another

IV.iii.48 (397,8) already in the entertainment] That is, tho' not
actually encamped, yet already in _pay_. To _entertain_ an army is to
take them into pay.

IV.iv.22 (398,1)

        So, with me:--
  My birth-place hate I, and my love's upon
  This enemy's town:--I'll enter: if he slay me]

He who reads this [My country have I and my lovers left;/This enemy's
town I'll enter] would think that he was reading the lines of
Shakespeare: except that Coriolanus, being already in the town, says, he
_will enter it_. Yet the old edition exhibits it thus

  --_So with me.
  My birth-place have I; and my loves upon
  This enemic towne; I'll enter if he slay me_, &c.

The intermediate line seems to be lost, in which, conformably to his
former observation, he says, that _he has_ lost _his birth-place, and
his loves upon_ a petty dispute, and is trying his chance in _this enemy
town_, he then cries, turning to the house of Anfidius, _I'll enter if
he slay me_.

I have preferred the common reading, because it is, though faulty, yet
intelligible, and the original passage, for want of copies, cannot be

IV.v.76 (403,3) a good memory] The Oxford editor, not knowing that
_memory_ was used at that time for _memorial_, alters it to _memorial_.

IV.v.90 (403,4) A heart of wreak in thee] A heart of resentment.

IV.v.91 (403,5) maims/Of shame] That is, disgraceful diminutions of

IV.v.207 (406,5) sanctifies himself with's hands] Alluding, improperly,
to the act of _crossing_ upon any strange event.

IV.v.212 (407,6) He will go, he says, and sowle the porter of Rome gates
by the ears] That is, I suppose, drag him down by the ears into the
dirt. _Souiller_, Fr.

IV.v.214 (407,7) his passage poll'd] That is, _bared, cleared_.

IV.v.238 (408,8) full of vent] Full of _rumour_, full of materials for

IV.vi.2 (408,1) His remedies are tame i' the present peace] The old
reading is,

  _His remedies are tame, the present peace_.

I do not understand either line, but fancy it should be read thus,

  --_neither need we fear him;
  His remedies are ta'en, the present peace,
  And quietness o' the people_,--

The meaning, somewhat harshly expressed, according to our authour's
custom, is this: _We need not fear him_, the proper _remedies_ against
him _are taken_, by restoring _peace and quietness_.

IV.vi.32 (410,2) affecting one sole throne,/Without assistance] That is,
without _assessors_; without any other suffrage.

IV.vi.51 (411,3) reason with the fellow] That is, have some _talk_ with
him. In this sense Shakespeare often uses the word.

IV.vi.72 (412,4) can no more atone] To _atone_, in the active sense, is
to _reconcile_, and is so used by our authour. To _atone_ here, is, in
the neutral sense, to _come to reconciliation_. To _atone_ is to

IV.vi.85 (412,5) burned in their cement] [W: "cement" for "cincture or
inclosure"] _Cement_ has here its common signification.

IV.vi.98 (413,5) The breath of garlick-eaters!] To smell of garlick was
once such a brand of vulgarity, that garlick was a food forbidden to an
ancient order of Spanish knights, mentioned by Guevara.

IV.vi.112 (414,7)

        they charge him even
  As those should do that had deserv'd his hate,
  And therein shew'd like enemies]

Their _charge_ or injunction would shew them insensible of his wrongs,
and make them _shew like enemies_. I read _shew_, not _shewed, like

IV.vi.124 (414,8) They'll roar him in again] As they _hooted_ at his
departure, they will _roar_ at his return; as he went out with scoffs,
he will come back with lamentations.

IV.vii.37 (417,1)

        whether pride,
  Which out of daily fortune ever taints
  The happy man; whether]

Ausidius assigns three probable reasons of the miscarriage of
Coriolanus; pride, which easily follows an uninterrupted train of
success; unskilfulness to regulate the consequences of his own
victories; a stubborn uniformity of nature, which could not make the
proper transition from the _casque_ or _helmet_ to the _cushion_ or
_chair of civil authority_; but acted with the same despotism in peace
as in war.

IV.vii.48 (418,2) he has a merit,/To choak it in the utterance] He has a
merit, for no other purpose than to destroy it by boasting it.

IV.vii.55 (418,4) Right's by right fouler] [W: fouled] I believe
_rights_, like _strengths_, is a plural noon. I read,

  _Rights by rights_ founder, _strengths by strengths do fail_.

That is, by the exertion of one right another right is lamed.

V.i.20 (420,2) It was a bare petition] [_Bare_, for mean, beggarly.
WARBURTON.] I believe rather, a petition unsupported, unaided by names
that might give it influence.

V.i.63 (422,4) I tell you, he does sit in gold] He is inthroned in all
the pomp and pride of imperial splendour.

  [Greek: Chruzothronos  Aerae]--Hom.

V.i.69 (422,5) Bound with an oath to yield to his conditions] This if
apparently wrong. Sir T. Hanmer, and Dr. Warburton after him, read,

  _Bound with an oath_ not to _yield to_ new _conditions_.

They might have read more smoothly,

  --_to yield no new conditions_.

But the whole speech is in confusion, and I suspect something left out.
I should read,

  --_What he would do,
  He sent in writing after; what he would not,
  Bound with an oath. To yield to his conditions_.

Here is, I think, a chasm. The speaker's purpose seems to be this: _To
yield to his conditions_ is ruin, and better cannot be obtained, _so
that all hope is vain_.

V.ii.10 (424,7) it is lots to blanks] A _lot_ here is a _prize_.

V.ii.17 (424,8)

  For I have ever verify'd my friends,
  (Of whom he's chief) with all the size that verity
  Would without lapsing suffer]

[W: narrified] [Hanmer: magnified] If the commentator had given any
example of the word _narrify_, the correction would have been not only
received, but applauded. Now, since the new word stands without
authority, we must try what sense the old one will afford. To _verify_
is _to establish by testimony_. One may say with propriety, he brought
false witnesses to verify his title. Shakespeare considered the word
with his usual laxity, as importing rather _testimony_ than _truth_, and
only meant to say, _I_ bore witness _to my friends with all the size
that verity would suffer_.

V.ii.45 (426,1) the virginal palms of your daughters] [W: _pasmes_ or
_pames_, French for "swooning fits." Warburton also quotes _Tarquin and
Lucrece_, "To dry the old oak's sap, and cherish springs" and emends to
"tarnish," from the French, meaning "to dry up," used of springs and
rivers.] I have inserted this note, because it contains an apology for
many others. It is not denied that many French words were mingled in the
time of Elizabeth with our language, which have since been ejected, and
that any which are known to have been then in use may be properly
recalled when they will help the sense. But when a word is to be
admitted, the first question should be, by whom was it ever received? in
what book can it be shown? If it cannot be proved to have been in use,
the reasons which can justify its reception must be stronger than any
critick will often have to bring. Even in this certain emendation, the
new word is very liable to contest. I should read,

  --_and_ perish _springs_.

The verb _perish_ is commonly neutral, but in conversation is often used
actively, and why not in the works of a writer negligent beyond all
others of grammatical niceties?

V.ii.60 (427,2) Back, I say, go; lest I let forth your half pint of
blood;--back, that's the utmost of your having:--Back] [Warburton
emended the punctuation] I believe the meaning never was mistaken, and
therefore do not change the reading.

V.ii.69 (428,3) guess by my entertainment with him] I read, _Guess_ by
_my entertainment with him, if thou standest not i' the state of
hanging_ [in place of _guess_ but _my entertainment_].

V.ii.80 (428,4) Though I owe/My revenge properly] Though I have a
_peculiar right_ in revenge, in the power of forgiveness the Volacians
are conjoined.

V.ii.104 (429,5) how we are shent] _Shent_ is _brought to destruction_.

V.iii.3 (430,6) how plainly/I have born this business] That is, _how
openly, how_ remotely from artifice or concealment.

V.iii.39 (431,7) The sorrow, that delivers us thus chang'd,/Makes you
think so] Virgilia makes a voluntary misinterpretation of her husband's
words. He says, _These eyes are not the same_, meaning, that he saw
things with _other eyes_, or other _dispositions_. She lays hold on the
word _eyes_, to turn his attention on their present appearance.

V.iii.46 (431,8) Now by the jealous queen of heaven] That is, _by Juno_,
the guardian of marriage, and consequently the avenger of connubial

V.iii.64 (432,1) The noble sister of Poplicola] Valeria, methinks,
should not have been brought only to fill up the procession without

V.iii.68 (432,2) epitome of yours] I read,

  --_epitome of you_.

_An epitome of you_ which, _enlarged by the commentaries of time_, may
equal you in magnitude.

V.iii.74 (433,4) every flaw] That is, every _gust_, every _storm_.

V.iii.100 (435,2) Constrains them weep, and shake] That is, _constrain_
the eye to _weep_, _and_ the heart to _shake_.

V.iii.149 (436,3) the fine strains] The niceties, the refinements.

V.iii.159 (436,5) he lets me prate,/Like one i' the stocks] Keep me in a
state of ignominy talking to no purpose.

V.iii.176 (437,6) Does reason our petition] Does _argue for_ us and our

V.iii.201 (438,7) I'll work/Myself a former fortune] I will take
advantage of this concession to restore myself to my former credit and

V.iii.206 (438,8) Come, enter with us,--Ladies, you deserve] [Warburton
proposed to give the speech beginning "Ladies, you deserve" to Aufidius]
The speech suits Aufidius justly enough, if it had been written for him;
but it may, without impropriety, be spoken by Coriolanus: and since the
copies give it to him, why should we dispossess him?

V.iv.22 (439,1) He sits in state as a thing made for Alexander] In a
foregoing note he was said to _sit in gold_. The phrase, _as a thing
made for Alexander_, means, _as one made to resemble Alexander_.

V.vi.39 (443,2) He wag'd me with his countenance] This is obscure. The
meaning, I think, is, he _prescribed_ to me vith an air of authority,
and gave me _his countenance_ for _my wages_; thought me sufficiently
rewarded with good looks.

V.vi.44 (443,3) For which my sinews shall be stretch'd upon him] This is
the point on which I will attack him with my utmost abilities.

V.vi.66 (444,4) answering us/With our own charge] That is, _rewarding us
with our own expences_; making the cost of the war its recompence.

V.vi.125 (446,5) his fame folds in/This orbe o' th' earth] His fame
overspreads the world.

(447) General Observation. The tragedy of Coriolanus is one of the most
amusing of our author's performances. The old man's merriment in
Menenius; the lofty lady's dignity in Volumnia; the bridal modesty in
Virgilia; the patrician and military haughtiness in Coriolanus; the
plebeian malignity and tribunitian insolence in Brutus and Sicinius,
make a very pleasing and interesting variety: and the various
revolutions of the hero's fortune fill the mind with anxious curiosity.
There is, perhaps, too much bustle in the first act, and too little in
the last.



I.i.20 (4,2) _Mar._ What meanest thou by that?] [Theobald gave this
speech to Flavius] I have replaced _Marullus_, who might properly enough
reply to a saucy sentence directed to his colleague, and to whom the
speech was probably given, that he might not stand too long unemployed
upon the stage.

I.ii.25 (7,5) [_Sennet. Exeunt Caesar and Train_] I have here inserted
the word _Sennet_, from the original edition, that I may have an
opportunity of retracting a hasty conjecture in one of the marginal
directions in _Henry_ VIII. _Sennet_ appears to be a particular tune or
mode of martial musick.

I.ii.35 (8,6) You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand] _Strange_,
is alien, unfamiliar, such as might become a stranger.

I.ii.39 (8,7) Vexed I am,/Of late, with passions of some difference]
With a fluctation of discordant opinions and desires.

I.ii.73 (9,9) To stale with ordinary oaths my love/To every new
protester] To invite _every new protestor_ to my affection by the
_stale_ or allurement of _customary_ oaths.

I.ii.87 (10,1) And I will look on both indifferently] Dr. Warburton has
a long note on this occasion, which is very trifling. When _Brutus_
first names _honour_ and _death_, he calmly declares them indifferent;
but as the image kindles in his mind, he sets _honour_ above _life_. Is
not this natural?

I.ii.160 (12,6) eternal devil] I should think that our author wrote
rather, _infernal devil_.

I.ii.171 (13,7) chew upon this] Consider this at leisure; _ruminate_ on

I.ii.186 (13,8) Looks with such ferret, and such fiery eyes] A ferret
has red eyes.

I.ii.268 (16,2) a man of any occupation] Had I been a mechanick, one of
the Plebeians to whom he offered his threat.

I.ii.313 (17,3) Thy honourable metal may be wrought/From what it is
dispos'd] The best _metal_ or _temper_ may be worked into qualities
contrary to its original constitution.

I.ii.318 (17,4) If I were Brutus now, and he were Cassius,/He should not
humour me] The meaning, I think, is this, _Caesar loves Brutus, but if
Brutus and I were to change places, his love should not humour me_,
should not take hold of my affection, so as to make me forget my

I.iii.1 (18,5) brought you Caesar home?] Did you attend Caesar home?

I.iii.3 (18,6) sway of earth] The whole weight or _momentum_ of this

I.iii.21 (19,7) Who glar'd upon me] The first edition reads,

  _Who_ glaz'd _upon me_,--

Perhaps, _Who_ gaz'd _upon me_.

I.iii.64 (20,8) Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind] That is,
Why they _deviate_ from quality and nature. This line might perhaps be
more properly placed after the next line.

  _Why birds, and beasts, from quality and kind;
  Why all these things change from their ordinance._

I.iii.65 (20,9) and children calculate] [Shakespeare, with his usual
liberty, employs the _species_ [calculate] for the _genus_ foretel].
WARB.] Shakespeare found the liberty established. _To calculate a
nativity_, is the technical term.

I.iii.l14 (22,2) My answer must be made] I shall be called to account,
and must _answer_ as for seditious words.

I.iii.117 (22,3) Hold my hand] Is the same as, _Here's my hand_.

I.iii.118 (22,4) Be factious for redress] _Factious_ seems here to mean

I.iii.129 (23,5) It favours, like the work] The old edition reads,

  It favours, _like the work_--

I think we should read,

  In favour's, _like the work we have in hand,
  Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible._

_Favour_ is _look, countenance, appearance_. (rev. 1778, VIII, 25, 7)

II.i.19 (25,6) Remorse from power] [_Remorse_, for mercy. WARB.]
_Remorse_ (says the Author of the _Ravisal_) signifies the conscious
uneasiness arising from a sense of having done wrong; to extinguish
which feeling, nothing hath so great a tendency as absolute uncontrouled

I think Warbuton right. (1773)

II.i.21 (25,7) common proof] Common experiment.

II.i.26 (25,8) base degrees] Low steps.

II.i.33 (26,9) as his kind] According to his nature.

II.i.63 (27,3)

  Between the acting of a dreadful thing,
  And the first motion, all the interim is
  Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
  The genius, and the mortal instruments
  Are then in council; and the state of man,
  Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
  The nature of an insurrection]

The [Greek: deinon] of the Greek critics does not, I think, mean
sentiments which _raise fear_, more than _wonder_, or any other of the
tumultuous passions; [Greek: to deinon] is that which _strikes_, which
_astonishes_, with the idea either of some great subject, or of the
author's abilities.

Dr. Warburton'a pompous criticism might well have been shortened. The
_genius_ is not the _genius_ of a _kingdom_, nor are the _instruments,
conspirators_. Shakespeare is describing what passes in a single bosom,
the _insurrection_ which a conspirator feels agitating the _little
kingdom_ of his own mind; when the _Genius_, or power that watches for
his protection, and the _mortal instruments_, the passions, which excite
him to a deed of honour and danger, are in council and debate; when the
desire of action and the care of safety, keep the mind in continual
fluctuation and disturbance.

II.i.76 (29,5) any mark of favour] Any distinction of countenance.

II.i.83 (30,6) For if thou path thy native semblance on] If thou _walk_
in thy true form.

II.i.114 (31,7) No, not an oath. If not the face of men] Dr. Warburten
would read _fate of men_; but his elaborate emendation is, I think,
erroneous. _The_ face _of men_ is the _countenance_, the _regard_, the
_esteem_ of the publick; in other terms, _honour_ and _reputation_; or
_the face of men_ may mean the dejected look of the people.

He reads, with the other modern editions,

  --_If_ that _the face of men_,

but the old reading is,

  --_if_ not _the face_, &c.

II.i.129 (32,1) Swear priests, and cowards, and men cautelous] This is
imitated by Utway,

  _When you would bind me, is there need of oaths?_ &c.
  Venice preserved.

II.i.187 (34,2) take thought] That is, _turn_ melancholy.

II.i.196 (34,3) Quite from the main opinion he held once] _Main
opinion_, is nothing more than _leading, fixed, predominant opinion_.

II.i.225 (36,6) Let not our looks put on our purposes] Let not our faces
_put on_, that is, _wear_ or _show_ our designs.

II.ii.36 (42,3) death, a necessary end,/Will come, when it will come]
This is a sentence derived from the Stoical doctrine of predestination,
and is therefore improper in the mouth of Caesar.

II.ii.41 (42,4) The Gods do this in shame of cowardice:/Caesar should be
a beast without a heart] The ancients did not place courage but wisdom
in the heart.

II.ii.88 (44,7) and that great men shall press/For tinctures, stains,
relicks, and cognisance] [Warburton conjectured some lines lost] I am
not of opinion that any thing is lost, and have therefore marked no
omission. This speech, which is intentionally pompous, is somewhat
confused. There are two allusions; one to coats armorial, to which
princes make additions, or give new _tinctures_, and new marks of
_cognisance_; the other to martyrs, whose reliques are preserved with
veneration. The Romans, says Brutus, all come to you as to a saint, for
reliques, as to a prince, for honours.

II.ii.104 (45,8) And reason to my love is liable] And reason, or
propriety of conduct and language, is subordinate to my love.

II.iii.16 (47,9) the fates with traitors do contrive] The fates join
with traitors in contriving thy destruction.

III.i.38 (51,2) And turn pre-ordinance and first decree/Into the lane of
children] I do not veil understand what is meant by the _lane_ of
children. I should read, the _law_ of children. It was, _change
pre-ordinance and decree into the law of children_; into such slight
determinations as every start of will would alter. _Lane_ and _laws_ in
some manuscripts are not easily distinguished.

III.i.67 (52,4) apprehensive] Susceptible of fear, or other passions.

III.i.68 (52,5) but one] One, and only one.

III.i.69 (52,6) holds on his rank] Perhaps, _holds on his_ race;
continues his course. We commonly say, To _hold a rank_, and To _hold
on_ a _course_ or _way_.

III.i.75 (52,7) Doth not Brutus bootless kneel?] I would read, Do _not
Brutus bootless kneel_!

III.i.152 (55,9) Who else must be let blood, who else is rank] Who else
may be supposed to have _overtopped_ his equals, and _grown too high_
for the public safety.

III.i.257 (59,3) in the tide of times] That is, in the course of times.

III.i.262 (60,4) A curse shall light upon the limbs of men] Hanmer

  --kind _of men_.

I rather think it should be,

  --_the_ lives _of men_.

unless we read,

  --these lymms _of men_;

That is, _these bloodhounds_ of men. The uncommonness of the word _lymm_
easily made the change.

III.i.273 (60,5) Cry _Havock_] A learned correspondent has informed me,
that, in the military operations of old times, _havock_ was the word by
which declaration was made, that no quarter should be given.

In a tract intitled, _The Office of the Conestable & Mareschall in the
Tyme of Werre_, contained in the Black Book of the Admiralty, there is
the following chapter:

"The peyne of hym that crieth _havock_ and of them that followeth hym.
etit. v."

"Item Si quis inventus fuerit qui clamorem inceperit qui vecatur

"Also that no man be so hardy to crye _Havok_ upon peyne that he that is
begynner shal be deede therefore: & the remanent that doo the same or
folow shall lose their horse & harneis: and the persones of such as
foloweth & escrien shal be under arrest of the Conestable & Mareschall
warde unto tyme that they have made fyn; & founde suretie no morr to
offende; & his body in prison at the Kyng wylle.--"

III.ii.116 (66,8) Caesar has had great wrong] [Pope has a rather
ridiculous note on this] I have inserted this note, because it is
Pope's, for it is otherwise of no value. It is strange that he should so
much forget the date of the copy before him, as to think it not printed
in Jonson's time. (see 1765, VII, 81, 1)

III.ii.126 (68,9) And none so poor] The meanest man is now too high to
do reverence to Caesar.

III.ii.192 (68,2)

  And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
  Even at the base of Pompey's statue,
  Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.
  O, what a fall was there, my countrymen!]

[Warburton suggested transposing the second and third of these lines]
The image seems to be, that the blood of Caesar flew upon the statue,
and trickled down it. And the exclamation,

  _O what a fall was there--_

follows better after

  _-great Caesar fell,_

than with a line interposed, (see 1765, VII, 64, 3)

III.ii.226 (70,4) For I have neither writ] The old copy reads instead of

  _For I have neither_ writ, _nor words,--_

which may mean, I have no _penned_ and premeditated oration.

IV.ii.4 (77,1

  Your master, Pindarus,
  In his own change, or by ill officers,
  Hath given me some worthy cause to wish
  Things done, undone]

[W: own charge] The arguments for the change proposed are insufficient.
Brutus could not but know whether the wrongs committed were done by
those who were immediately under the command of Cassius, or those under
his officers. The answer of Brutus to the servant is only an act of
artful civility; his question to Lucilius proves, that his suspicion
still continued. Yet I cannot but suspect a corruption, and would read,

  _In his own change, or by ill_ offices.

That is, either _changing_ his inclination _of himself_, or _by_ the
_ill offices_ and bad influences of others. (see 1765, VII, 71, 8)

IV.iii.30 (80,4) To hedge me in] That is, to limit my authority by your
direction or censure.

IV.iii.32 (80,5) To make conditions] That is, to know on what terms it
is fit to confer the offices which are at my disposal.

IV.iii.86 (82,7)

  A friend should bear a friend's infirmities,
  But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.
  _Bru._ I do not, till you practise them on me]

The meaning is this; I do not look for your faults, I only see them, and
mention them with vehemence, when you force them into my notice, _by
practising them on me._ (see 1765, VII, 77, 6)

IV.iii.100 (53,8)

  There is my dagger,
  And here my naked breast; within, a heart
  Dearer than Plutus' mine, richer than gold:
  If that thou be'st a Roman, take it forth]

[W: thou needst a Roman's,] I am not satisfied with the change proposed,
yet cannot deny, that the words, as they now stand, require some
interpretation. I think he means only, that he is so far from Avarice,
when the cause of his country requires liberality, that if any man
should wish for his heart, he would not need enforce his desire any
otherwise, than by showing that he was a Roman.

V.i.5 (92,5) They mean to warn as at Philippi here] To warn, seems to
mean here the same as to alarm. Hanmer reads,

  _They mean to_ wage _us_.

V.i.43 (93,6) While damned Casca, like a cur behind,/Struck Caesar on
the neck] Casca struck Caesar on the neck, coming _like_ a degenerate
_cur behind him._

V.i.100 (96,2)

  Even by the rule of that philosophy,
  By which I did blame Cato for the death
  Which he did give himself; (I know not how,
  But I do find it cowardly and vile,
  For fear of what might fall, so to prevent
  The time of life:) arming myself with patience]

Dr. Warburton thinks, that in this speech something is lost, but there
needed only a parenthesis to clear it. The construction is this; I an
determined to act according to that philosophy which directed me to
blame the suicide of Cato, arming myself with patience.

V.iv.12 (102,6) _Luc._ Only I yield to die:/There is so much, that then
wilt kill me straight] Dr. Warburton has been much inclined to find
_lacunae_, or passages broken by omission, throughout this play. I think
he has been always mistaken. The soldier here says, _Yield, or thou
diest_. Lucilius replies, I yield only on this condition, that I may
die; here is so much gold as thou seest in my hand, which I offer thee
as a reward for speedy death. What now is there wanting?

(106) General Observation. Of this tragedy many particular passages
deserve regard, and the contention and reconcilement of Brutus and
Cassius is universally celebrated; but I have never been strongly
agitated in perusing it, and think it somewhat cold and unaffecting,
compared with some other of Shakespeare's plays; his adherence to the
real story, and to Roman manners, seems to have impeded the natural
vigour of his genius.


I.i.9 (110,2) And is become the bellows, and the fan,/To cool a gypsy's
lust] In this passage something seems to be wanting. The bellows and fan
being commonly used for contrary purposes, were probably opposed by the
author, who might perhaps have written,

  _--is become the bellows, and the fan_,
  To kindle and _to cool a gypsy's lust_.

I.i.10 (110,3) gypsy's lust] Gypsy is here used both in the original
meaning for an _Egyptian_, and in its accidental sense for a _bad

1.i.17 (110,6) Then must thou needs find out new heaven] Thou must set
the boundary of my love at a greater distance than the present visible
universe affords.

1.i.18 (110,7) The sum] Be brief, _sum_ thy business in a few words.

I.i.33 (111,8) and the wide arch/Of the rang'd empire fall!] [Taken from
the Roman custom of raising triumphal arches to perpetuate their
victories. Extremely noble. WARBURTON.] I am in doubt whether
Shakespeare had any idea but of a fabrick standing on pillars. The later
editions have all printed the _raised_ empire, for the _ranged_ empire,
as it was first given, (see 1765, VII, 107, 8)

I.i.42 (112,1)

  Will be himself.
  _Ant._ But stirr'd by Cleopatra]

_But_, in this passage, seems to have the old Saxon signification of
_without, unless, except. Antony_, says the queen, _will recollect his
thoughts_. Unless _kept_, he replies, _in commotion by Cleopatra_. (see
1765, VII, 108,1)

I.ii.5 (113,2) change his horns with garlands] [W: charge] Sir Thomas
Hanmer reads, not improbably, _change_ for _horns_ his _garlands_. I am
in doubt, whether to _change_ is not merely to _dress_, or _to dress
with changes of_ garlands.

I.ii.23 (114,3) I had rather heat my liver] To know why the lady is so
averse from _heating_ her _liver_, it must be remembered, that a heated
liver is supposed to make a pimpled face.

I.ii.35 (114,5) Then, belike, my children shall have no names] If I have
already had the best of my fortune, then I suppose _I shall never name
children_, that is, I am never to be married. However, tell me the
truth, tell me, _how many boys and wenches_?

1.ii.38 (114,6) If every of your wishes had a womb, and foretel every
wish, a million] [W: fertil ev'ry] For _foretel_, in ancient editions,
the latter copies have _foretold_. _Foretel_ favours the emendation,
which is made with great acuteness; yet the original reading may, I
think, stand. _If you had as many wombs as you will have wishes; and_ I
should _foretel all those wishes, I should foretel a million of
children._ It is an ellipsis very frequent in conversation; _I should
shame you, and tell all_; that is, _and if I should_ tell all. _And_ is
for _and if_, which was anciently, and is still provincially, used for

I.ii.105 (117,8) extended Asia] To _extend_, is a term used for to
_seize_; I know not whether that be not the sense here.

I.ii.113 (118,9) Oh, when we bring forth weeds,/When our quick winds lie
still] The sense is, that man, not agitated by censure, like soil not
ventilated by _quick winds_, produces more evil than good.

I.ii.128 (118,1)

  the present pleasure,
  By revolution lowring, does become
  The opposite of itself]

[The allusion is to the sun's diurnal course; which rising in the
_east_, and _by revolution lowering_, or setting in the _west_, becomes
_the opposite of itself_. WARB.] This is an obscure passage. The
explanation which Dr. Warburton has offered is such, that I can add
nothing to it; yet perhaps Shakespeare, who was less learned than his
commentator, meant only, that our pleasures, as they are _revolved_ in
the mind, turn to pain.

I.ii.146 (119,3) upon far poorer moment] For less reason; upon meaner

I.ii.169 (120,4) It shews to man the tailors of the earth; comforting
therein] I have printed this after the original, which, though harsh and
obscure, I know not how to amend. Sir Tho. Hanmer reads, They shew _to
man the tailors of the earth comforting_ him therein. I think the
passage, with somewhat less alteration, for alteration is always
dangerous, may stand thus; _It shews to_ men _the tailors of the earth,
comforting_ them, &c.

I.ii.187 (121,6) more urgent touches] Things that touch me more
sensibly, more pressing motives.

I.ii.190 (121,7) Petition us at home] Wish us at home; call for us to
reside at home.

I.ii.201 (121,9)

  Say, our pleasure
  To such whose places under us, requires
  Our quick remove from hence]

This is hardly sense. I believe we should read,

  Their _quick remove from hence_.

Tell our design of going away to those, who being by their places
obliged to attend us, must remove in haste.

I.iii.3 (122,1) I did not send you] You must go as if you came without
my order or knowledge.

I.iii.37 (123,2) a race of heaven] [i.e. had a smack or flavour of
heaven. WARB.] This word is well explained by Dr. Warburton; the _race_
of wine is the taste of the woil. Sir T. Hanmer, not understanding the
word, reads, _ray_.

I.iii.44 (124,3) Remains in use] The poet seems to allude to the legal
distinction between the _use_ and _absolute possession_.

I.iii.54 (124,4) should safe my going] [T: salve] Mr. Upton reads, I
think rightly,

  --_safe_ my going.

I.iii.62 (125,5)

  O most false love!
  Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
  With sorrowful water?]

Alluding to the lachrymatory vials, or bottles of tears, which the
Romans sometimes put into the urn of a friend.

I.iii.77 (125,6) the tears/Belong to Egypt] To me, the queen of Egypt.

I.iii.90 (126,7) Oh, ny oblivion is a very Antony,/And I am all
forgotten] [The plain meaning is, _My forgetfulness makes me forget
myself_. WARBURTON.] [Hanmer explained "all forgotten" as "apt to forget
everything"] I cannot understand the learned critic's explanation. It
appears to me, that she should rather have said,

  _O my_ remembrance _is a very_ Antony,
  _And I am all forgotten._

It was her memory, not her oblivion, that, like Antony, vas forgetting
and deserting her. I think a slight change will restore the passage. The
queen, having something to say, which she is not able, or would not seem
able to recollect, cries out,

  _O my oblivion_!--'Tis _a very Antony_.

The thought of which I was in quest is a very Antony, is treacherous and
fugitive, and has irrevocably left me,

  _And I am all forgotten._

If this reading stand, I think the explanation of Hanmer must be
received, (see 1765, VII, 122, 6)

I.iv.3 (127,9) One great competitor] Perhaps, _Our_ great competitor.

I.iv.12 (128,1) as the spots of heaven,/More fiery by night's blackness]
If by spots are meant stars, as night has no other fiery spots, the
comparison is forced and harsh, stars having been always supposed to
beautify the night; nor do I comprehend what there is in the
counter-part of this simile, which answers to night's blackness. Hanmer

  --_spots_ on ermine
  Or fires, _by night's blackness_.

I.iv.14 (128,2) purchas'd] Procured by his own fault or endeavour.

I.iv.21 (128,3) say, this becomes him, (As his composure must be rare,
indeed, Whom these things cannot blemish] This seems inconsequent. I

  _And his composure_, &c.
  _Grant that this becomes him_, and _if it can become him, he must
  have in him something very uncommon_; yet, _&c._

I.iv.25 (128,4) So great weight in his lightness] The word _light_ it
one of Shakespeare's favourite play-things. The sense is, His trifling
levity throws so much burden upon us.

I.iv.25 (129,5)

  If he fill'd
  His vacancy with his voluptuousness,
  Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones,
  Call on him for't]

_Call on him_, is, _visit him_. Says Caesar, _If Antony followed his
debaucheries at a time of leisure, I should leave him to be punished by
their natural consequences, by_ surfeits _and_ dry bones.

I.iv.31 (129,6) boys; who being mature in knowledge] For this Hanmer,
who thought the _maturity_ of a _boy_ an inconsistent idea, has put,

  --_who_, immature _in knowledge_,

but the words _experience_ and _judgment_ require that we read _mature_;
though Dr. Warburton has received the emendation. By _boys mature in
knowledge_, are meant, _boys old enough to know their duty_.

I.iv.38 (129,7) he is belov'd of these/That only have fear'd Caesar]
Those whom not _love_ but _fear_ made adherents to Caesar, now shew
their affection for Pompey.

I.iv.49 (130,2) which they ear] To _ear_, is to _plow_; a common

I.iv.52 (130,3) Lack blood to think on't] Turn pale at the thought of

I.v.4 (132,5) mandragora] A plant of which the infusion was supposed to
procure sleep. Shakespeare mentions it in _Othello_:

  _Not poppy, nor_ mandragora,
  _Can ever med'cine thee to that sweet sleep_.

I.v.38 (133,8) that great medicine hath/With his tinct gilded thee]
Alluding to the philosopher's stone, which, by its touch, converts base
metal into gold. The alchemists call the matter, whatever it be, by
which they perform transmutation, a _medicine_.

I.v.48 (134,9) arm-gaunt steed] [i.e. his steed worn lean and thin by
much service in war. So Fairfax, _His_ stall-worn _steed the champion
stout bestrode_. WARB.] On this note Mr. Edwards has been very lavish of
his pleasantry, and indeed has justly censured the misquotation of
_stall-worn_, for _stall-worth_, which means _strong_, but makes no
attempt to explain the word in the play. Mr. Seyward, in his preface to
Beaumont, has very elaborately endeavoured to prove, that an _arm-gaunt_
steed is a steed with _lean shoulders_. _Arm_ is the Teutonick word for
_want_, or _poverty_. _Arm-gaunt_ may be therefore an old word,
signifying, _lean_ for _want_, ill fed. Edwards's observation, that a
worn-out horse is not proper for Atlas to mount in battle, is
impertinent; the horse here mentioned seems to be a post horse, rather
than a war horse. Yet as _arm-gaunt_ seems not intended to imply any
defect, it perhaps means, a horse so slender that a man might clasp him,
and therefore formed for expedition. Hanmer reads,

  --_arm-girt steed_.

I.v.50 (134,1) Was beastly dumb by him] Mr. Theobald reads _dumb'd_, put
to silence. _Alexas means_, (says he) _the horse made such a neighing,
that if he had spoke he could not have been heard_.

I.v.76 (136,3) Get me ink and paper: he shall have every day/ A several
greeting, or I'll unpeople Aegypt] By sending out messengers.

II.i (136,4) _Enter Pompey_, _Menecrates_, _and Menas_] The persons are
so named in the first edition; but I know not why Menecrates appears;
Menas can do all without him.

II.i.4 (136,5) While we are suitors to their throne, decays/The thing we
sue for] [W: delays] It is not always prudent to be too hasty in
exclamation; the reading which Dr. Warburton rejects as _nonsense_, is
in my opinion right; if _delay_ be what they sue for, they have it, and
the consolation offered becomes superfluous. The meaning is, _While we
are praying_, _the thing for which we pray_ is losing its value.

II.i.38 (138,8) The ne'er-lust-wearied Antony] [Theobald emended "near
lust-wearied" to "ne'er-lust-wearied"] Could it be imagined, after this
swelling exultation, that the first edition stands literally thus,

  _The_ neere _lust wearied Antony_.

II.i.45 (139,9) square] That is, quarrel.

II.i.51 (139,1) Our lives upon] This play is not divided into acts by
the authour or first editors, and therefore the present division may be
altered at pleasure. I think the first act may be commodiously continued
to this place, and the second act opened with the interview of the chief
persons, and a change of the state of action. Yet it must be confessed,
that it is of small importance, where these unconnected and desultory
scenes are interrupted.

II.ii.7 (140,2) Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,/I would not shav't
to-day] I believe he means, _I would meet him undressed_, _without shew
of respect_.

II.ii.25 (141,3) Nor curstness grow to the matter] Let not _ill-humour_
be added to the real _subject_ of our difference.

II.ii.28 (141,4) _Caes_. Sit./_Ant_. Sit, sir!] [Antony appears to be
jealous of a circumstance which seemed to indicate a consciousness of
superiority in his too successful partner in power; and accordingly
resents the invitation of Caesar to be seated: Caesar answers, _Nay
then_--i.e. _if you are so ready to resent what I meant an act of
civility, there can be no reason to suppose you have temper enough for
the business on which at present we are met_. STEEVENS.] The following
circumstance may serve to strengthen Mr. Steevens's opinion: When the
fictitious Sebastian made his appearance in Europe, he came to a
conference with the Conde de Lemos; to whom, after the firat exchange of
civilities, he said, _Conde de Lemos, be covered_. And being asked by
that nobleman, by what pretences he laid claim to the superiority
expressed by such permission, he replied, I do it by right of my birth;
I am Sebastian. (1773)

II.ii.43 (142,5) their contestation/Was theam for you, you were the word
of war] [W: theam'd] I am neither satisfied with the reading nor the
emendation; _theam'd_ is, I think, a word unauthorised, and very harsh.
Perhaps we may read,

  --_their contestation_

Had _theme_ from _you_, _you were the word o' th' war_. _The dispute
derived its subject from you_. It may be corrected by mere

  --_their contestation_

You were theme for, _you were the word_.

II.ii.51 (143,8) Having alike your cause?] The meaning seems to be,
_having the same cause as you to be offended with me_. But why, because
he was offended with Antony, should he make war upon Caesar? May it not
be read thus,

  --_Did he not rather
  Discredit my authority with yours,
  And make the wars alike against my stomach_,
  Hating _alike_ our _cause_?

II.ii.53 (143,9) As matter whole you have not to make it with] The
original copy reads,

  _As matter whole you_ have _to make it with_.

Without doubt erroneously; I therefore only observe it, that the reader
may more readily admit the liberties which the editors of this authour's
works have necessarily taken.

II.ii.61 (144,1) fronted] i.e. _opposed_.

II.ii.85 (145,4) The honour's sacred which he talks on now,/Supposing
that I lack'd it] [_Sacred_, for unbroken, unviolated. WARB.] Dr.
Warburton seems to understand this passage thus; _The honour which he_
talks _of me as_ lacking, _is_ unviolated, _I never lacked it_. This may
perhaps be the true meaning, but before I read the note, I understood it
thus: Lepidus interrupts Caesar, on the supposition that what he is
about to say will be too harsh to be endured by Antony; to which Antony
replies, _No, Lepidus, let him speak, the security of_ honour on which
he now speaks, _on which this conference is held now_, is sacred, _even_
supposing that I lacked _honour_ before.

II.ii.112 (146,5) your considerate stone] This line is passed by all the
editors, as if they understood it, and believed it universally,
intelligible. I cannot find in it any very obvious, and hardly any
possible meaning. I would therefore read,

  _Go to then_, you _considerate_ ones.

You, who dislike my frankness and temerity of speech, and are so
_considerate_ and discreet, _go to_, do your on business.

II.ii.113 (146,6) I do not much dislike the matter, but/The manner of
his speech] I do not, says Caesar, think the man wrong, but too free of
him interposition; _for't cannot be, we shall remain in friendship: yet
if it were possible, I would endeavour it_.

II.ii.123 (147,7) your reproof/Were well deserv'd] In the old edition,

  --_your_ proof
  _Were well deserv'd_--

Which Mr. Theobald, with his usual triumph, changes to _approof_, which
he explains, _allowance_. Dr. Warburton inserted _reproof_ very properly
into Hanmer's edition, but forgot it in his own.

II.ii.159 (148,8) Lest my remembrance suffer ill report] Lest I be
thought too willing to forget benefits, I must barely return him thanks,
and then I will defy him.

II.ii.210 (150,1) And what they undid, did] It might be read less

  _And what they did_, undid.

II.ii.212 (150,2) tended her i' the eyes] Perhaps _tended her_ by th'
_eyes_, discovered her will by her eyes.

II.iii.21 (153,6) thy angel/Becomes a Fear] Mr.Uptan reads,

  _Becomes_ afear'd,--

The common reading is more poetical.

II.iii.37 (154,7) his quails ever/Beat mine] The ancients used to match
quails as we match cocks.

II.iii.38 (154,8) inhoop'd, at odds] Thus the old copy. _Inhoop'd_ is
_inclosed, confined_, that they may fight. The modern editions read,

  _Beat mine_, in whoop'd-_at odds_.--

II.v.1 (155,9) musick, moody food] [The _mood_ is the _mind_, or _mental
disposition_. Van Haaren's panegyrick on the English begins,
_Groot-moedig Volk, great-minded nation_.] Perhaps here is a poor jest
intended between _mood_ the _mind_ and _moods_ of musick.

II.v.41 (l57,4) Not like a formal man] [_Formal_, for ordinary. WARB.]
Rather decent, regular.

II.v.103 (161,8) Thou art not what thou'rt sure of!] For this, which is
not easily understood, Sir Thomas Hanmer has given,

  _That_ say'st but _what thou'rt sure of!_

I am not satisfied with the change, which, though it affords sense,
exhibits little spirit. I fancy the line consists only of abrupt starts.

  _Oh that his fault should make a knave of thee_,
  That art--not what?--Thou'rt sure on't.--Get thee

_That his fault should make a knave of thee that art_--but what _shall I
say thou art not_? Thou art then sure of _this marriage._--Get thee

Dr. Warburton has received Sir T. Hanmer's emendation.

II.v.115 (161,9) Let him for ever go] She is now talking in broken
sentences, not of the messenger, but Antony.

II.vi.24 (163,2) Thou canst not fear us] Thou canst not affright us with
thy numerous navy.

II.vi.28 (163,3) But since the cuckow builds not for himself] Since,
like the cuckow, that seizes the nests of other birds, you have invaded
a house which you could not build, keep it while you can.

II.vii.1 (167,6) some o' their plants] _Plants_, besides its common
meaning, is here used for the _foot_, from the Latin.

II.vii.14 (167,9) a partizan] A pike.

II.vii.16 (167,1) To be call'd into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to
move in't, are the holes where eyes should be, which pitifully disaster
the cheeks] This speech seems to be mutilated; to supply the
deficiencies is impossible, but perhaps the sense was originally
approaching to this.

_To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in it_, is
a very ignominious state; great offices _are the holes where eyes should
be, which_, if eyes be wanting, _pitifully disaster the cheeks_.

II.vii.88 (170,2) thy pall'd fortunes] _Palled_, is vapid, past its time
of excellence; _palled_ wine, is wine that has lost its original

II.vii.102 (171,3) Strike the vessels] Try whether the casks sound as

II.vii.116 (171,4) The holding every man shall bear] Every man shall
accompany the chorus by drumming on his sides, in token of concurrence
and applause. [Theobald had emended "beat" to "bear"] (1773)

III.i.1 (173,6) Now, darting Parthia, art thou struck] _Struck_ alludes
to darting. Thou whose darts have so often struck others, art struck now
thyself. (1773)

III.ii.12 (175,8) Arabian bird!] The phoenix.

III.ii.16 (176,9)

  Ho! hearts, tongues, figure, scribes, bards, poets, cannot
  Think, speak, cast, write, sing, number, ho!]

Not only the tautology of _bards_ and _poets_, but the want of a
correspondent action for the _poet_, whose business in the next line is
only to _number_, makes me suspect some fault in this passage, which I
know not how to mend.

III.ii.26 (176,1) as my furthest bond] As I will venture the greatest
pledge of security, on the trial of thy conduct.

III.ii.40 (177,1) The elements be kind to thee, and make/Thy spirits all
of comfort!] This is obscure. It seems to mean, _May the different_
elements _of the body, or principles of life, maintain such proportion
and harmony as may keep you cheerful_.

III.iv.26 (182,7) I'll raise the preparation of a war/Shall stain your
brother] [T: strain] I do not see but _stain_ may be allowed to remain
unaltered, meaning no more than _shame_ or _disgrace_.

III.iv.30 (182,8) Wars 'twixt you 'twain would be/As if the world should
cleave] The sense is, that war between Caesar and Antony would engage
the world between them, and that the slaughter would be great in so
extensive a commotion.

III.v.8 (183,9) rivality] Equal rank.

III.v.11 (183,1) Upon his own appeal] To _appeal_, in Shakespeare, is to
_accuse_; Caesar seized Lepidus without any other proof than Caesar's

III.v.21 (184,3) More, Domitius] I have something _more_ to tell you,
which I might have told at first, and delayed my news. Antony requires
your presence.

III.vi.9 (184,4) made her/Of Lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia./Absolute queen]
For _Lydia_, Mr. Upton, from Plutarch, has restored _Lybia_.

III.vi.68-75 (187,6) Mr. Upton remarks, that there are some errours in
this enumeration of the auxiliary kings; but it is probable that the
authour did not much wish to be accurate.

III.vi.95 (188,7) And gives his potent regiment to a trull] _Regiment_,
is _government, authority_; he puts his _power_ and his empire into the
hands of a false woman.

It may be observed, that _trull_ was not, in our author's time, a term
of mere infamy, but a word of slight contempt, as _wench_ is now.

III.vii.3 (188,8) forespoke my being] To _forespeak_, is to
_contradict_, to _speak against_, as _forbid_ is to order negatively.

III.vii.68 (191,1)

  By Hercules, I think, I am i' the right.
  Can.  Soldier, thou art:  but his whole action grows
  Not in the power on't]

That is, his whole conduct becomes, ungoverned by the right, or by

III.vii.77 (191,2) distractions] Detachments; separate bodies.

III.x.6 (193,4) The greater cantle] [A piece or lump. POPE.] _Cantle_ is
rather a _corner_. Caesar in this play mentions the _three-nook'd
world_. Of this triangular world every triumvir had a corner. (see 1765,
VII, 185, 6)

III.x.9 (193,5) token'd pestilence] Spotted.

III.x.10 (193,6) Yon' ribauld nag of Aegypt] The word is in the old
edition _ribaudred_, which I do not understand, but mention it, in hopes
others may raise some happy conjecture. [Tyrwhitt: hag] The brieze, or
oestrum, the fly that stings cattle, proves that _nag_ is the right
word. (1773)

III.x.11 (193,7) Whom leprosy o'ertake!] _Leprosy_, an epidemical
distemper of the Aegyptians; to which Horace probably alludes in the
controverted line.

  _Contaminato cum grege turpium
  Morbo virorum._

III.x.36 (195,1) The wounded chance of Antony] I know not whether the
author, who loves to draw his images from the sports of the field, might
not have written,

  _The wounded_ chase _of Antony_,--

The allusion is to a deer wounded and chased, whom all other deer avoid.
_I will_, says Enobarbus, _follow Antony_, though _chased_ and

The common reading, however, may very well stand.

III.xi.3 (195,2) so lated in the world] Alluding to a benighted

III.xi.23 (196,3) I have lost command] I am not master of my own

III.xi.35 (196,4) He at Philippi kept/His sword e'en like a dancer] In
the Moriaco, and perhaps anciently in the Pyrrhick dance, the dancers
held swords in their hands with the points upward.

III.xi.39 (196,6) he alone/Dealt on lieutenantry] I know not whether the
meaning is, that Caesar acted only as lieutenant at Philippi, or that he
made his attempts only on lieutenants, and left the generals to Antony.

III.xi.47 (197,7) death will seize her; but/Your comfort] _But_ has
here, as once before in this play, the force of _except_, or _unless_.

III.ii.52 (197,8) How I convey my shame] How, by looking another way, I
withdraw my ignominy from your sight.

III.ii.57 (197,9) ty'd by the strings] That is by the _heart string_.

III.xii.18 (199,1) The circle of the Ptolemies] The diadem; the ensign
of royalty.

III.xii.34 (199,2) how Antony becomes his flaw] That is, how Antony
conforms himself to this breach of his fortune.

III.xiii.1 (200,3) Think, and die] [Hanmer: Drink] This reading, offered
by sir T. Hanmer, is received by Dr. Warburton and Mr. Upton, but I have
not advanced it into the page, not being convinced that it is necessary.
_Think, and die_; that is, _Reflect on your folly, and leave the world_,
is a natural answer.

III.xiii.9 (201,4) he being/The meered question] The _meered_ question
is a term I do not understand. I know not what to offer, except,

  _The_ mooted _question_.--

That is, the _disputed_ point, the subject of debate. _Mere_ is indeed a
_boundary_, and the _meered question_, if it can mean any thing, may,
with some violence of language, mean, the _disputed boundary_.

III.xiii.25 (202, 5)

  I dare him therefore
  To lay his gay comparisons apart
  And answer me declin'd]

I require of Caesar not to depend on that superiority which the
_comparison_ of our different fortunes may exhibit to him, but to answer
me man to man, in this decline of my age or power.

III.xiii.42 (202,6) The loyalty, well held to fools, does make/Our faith
meer folly] [T: Though loyalty, well held] I have preserved the old
reading: Enobarbus is deliberating upon desertion, and finding it is
more prudent to forsake a fool, and more reputable to be faithful to
him, makes no positive conclusion. Sir T. Hanmer follows Theobald; Dr.
Warburton retains the old reading.

III.xiii.77 (204,9) Tell him, from his all-obeying breath I hear/The
doom of Aegypt] _Doom_ is declared rather by an _all-commanding_, than
an _all-obeying breath_. I suppose we ought to read,

  --_all_-obeyed breath.

III.xiii.81 (205,1) Give me grace] Grant me the favour.

III.xiii.109 (206,3) By one that looks on feeders?] One that waits at
the table while others are eating.

III.xiii.128 (207,4) The horned herd] It is not without pity and
indignation that the reader of this great poet meets so often with this
low jest, which is too much a favourite to be left out of either mirth
or fury.

III.xiii.151 (208,5) to quit me] To repay me this insult; to _requite_

III.xiii.180 (209,9) Were nice and lucky] [_Nice_, for delicate,
courtly, flowing in peace. WARBURTON.] _Nice_ rather seems to be, _just
fit for my purpose, agreeable to my wish_. So we vulgarly say of any
thing that is done better than was expected, it is _nice_.

IV.i.5 (210,1) I have many other ways to die] [Upton: He hath.../I
laugh] I think this emendation deserves to be received. It had, before
Mr. Upton's book appeared, been made by sir T. Hanmer.

IV.i.9 (211,2) Make boot of] Take advantage of.

IV.ii.8 (212,3) _take all_] Let the survivor take all. No composition,
victory or death.

IV.ii.14 (212,4) one of those odd tricks] I know not what obscurity the
editors find in this passage. _Trick_ is here used in the sense in which
it is uttered every day by every mouth, elegant and vulgar: yet sir T.
Hanmer changes it to _freaks_, and Dr. Warburton, in his rage of
Gallicism, to _traits_.

IV.ii.26 (213,5) Haply, you shall not see me more; or if,/A mangled
shadow] _Or if_ you see me more, you will see me _a mangled shadow_,
only the external form of what I was.

IV.ii.35 (213,6) onion-ey'd] I have my eyes as full of tears as if they
had been fretted by onions.

IV.iv.3 (215,8) Come, good fellow, put thine iron on] I think it should
be rather,

  --mine _iron_--

IV.iv.5 (215,9) Nay, I'll help too] These three little speeches, which
in the other editions are only one, and given to Cleopatra, were happily
disentangled by sir T. Hanmer.

IV.iv.10 (215,1) Briefly, sir] That is, _quickly_, sir.

IV.v.17 (218,3) Dispatch. Enobarbus!] Thus [_Dispatch, my Eros_] the
modern editors. The old edition reads,

  --_Dispatch Enobarbus_.

Perhaps, it should be,

  --_Dispatch! To Enobarbus!_ (see 1765, VII, 208, 3)

IV.vi.12 (219,6) persuade] The old copy has _dissuade_, perhaps rightly.

IV.vi.34 (219,7) This blows my heart] All the latter editions have,

   --_This_ bows _my heart_;

I have given the original word again the place from which I think it
unjustly excluded. _This generosity_, (says Enobarbus) swells _my
heart_, so that it will quickly break, _if thought break it not, a
swifter mean_.

IV.vii.2 (220,8) and our oppression] Sir T. Hanmer has received
_opposition_. Perhaps rightly.

IV.viii.1 (221,9) run one before,/And let the queen know of our guests]
[W: gests] This passage needs neither correction nor explanation. Antony
after his success intends to bring his officers to sup with Cleopatra,
and orders notice to be given her of their _guests_.

IV.viii.12 (222,1) To this great fairy] Mr. Upton has well observed,
that _fairy_; which Dr. Warburton and sir T. Hanmer explain by
_Inchantress_, comprises the idea of power and beauty.

IV.viii.22 (222,2) get goal for goal of youth] At all plays of barriers,
the boundary is called a _goal_; to _win a goal_, is to be superiour in
a contest of activity.

IV.viii.31 (223,4) Bear our hack'd targets like the men that owe them]
i.e. hack'd as much as the men are to whom they belong. WARB.] Why not
rather, _Bear our hack'd targets_ with spirit and exaltation, such as
becomes the brave warriors _that own them_?

IV.ix.15 (224,5)

  Throw my heart
  Against the flint and hardness of my fault;
  Which, being dried with grief, will break to powder,
  And finish all foul thoughts]

The pathetick of Shakespeare too often ends in the ridiculous. It is
painful to find the gloomy dignity of this noble scene destroyed by the
intrusion of a conceit so far-fetched and unaffecting.

IV.xii.13 (226,1) Triple turn'd whore!] She was first for Antony, then
was supposed by him to have _turned_ to Caesar, when he found his
messenger kissing her hand, then she _turned_ again to Antony, and now
has _turned_ to Caesar. Shall I mention what has dropped into my
imagination, that our author might perhaps have written
_triple-tongued_? _Double-tongued_ is a common term of reproach, which
rage might improve to _triple-tongued_. But the present reading may

IV.xii.21 (227,2) That pannell'd me at heels] All the editions read,

  _That_ pannell'd _me at heels_,--

Sir T. Hanmer substituted _spaniel'd_ by an emendation, with which it
was reasonable to expect that even rival commentators would be
satisfied; yet Dr. Warburton proposes _pantler'd_, in a note, of which
he is not injur'd by the suppression; and Mr. Upton having in his first
edition proposed plausibly enough,

  _That_ paged _me at heels_,--

in the second edition retracts his alteration, and maintains _pannell'd_
to be the right reading, being a metaphor taken, he says, from a
_pannel_ of wainscot.

IV.xii.25 (227,3) this grave charm] I know not by what authority, nor
for what reason, _this_ grave _charm_, which the first, the only
original copy exhibits, has been through all the modern editors changed
to _this_ gay _charm_. By _this_ grave _charm_, is meant, _this sublime,
this majestic beauty_.

IV.xii.29 (227,4) to the very heart of loss] To the utmost loss

IV.xii.45 (228,7) Let me lodge, Lichas] Sir T. Hanmer reads thus,

  --thy _rage_
  Led thee _lodge Lichas_--and--
  _Subdue_ thy _worthiest self_.--

This reading, harsh as it is, Dr. Warburton has received, after having
rejected many better. The meaning is, Let me do something in my rage,
becoming the successor of Hercules,

IV.xiv.19 (230,2) Pack'd cards with Caesar, and false play'd my
glory/Unto an enemy's triumph] [Warburton had explained and praised
Shakespeare's "metaphor"] This explanation is very just, the thought did
not deserve so good an annotation.

IV.xiv.39 (231,3) The battery from my heart] I would read,

  This _battery from my heart_.--

IV.xiv.49 (232,4) Seal then, and all is done] I believe the reading is,

  --seel _then, and all is done_--

To _seel hawks_, is to close their eyes. The meaning will be,

  --_since the torch is out,
  Lie down, and stray no further. How all labour
  Marrs what it does_.--Seel _then, and all is done_.

Close thine eyes _for ever, and be quiet_.

IV.xiv.73 (233,5) pleach'd arms] Arms folded in each other.

IV.xiv.77 (233,6) His baseness that ensued?] The poor conquered wretch
that followed.

IV.xiv.86 (233,7) the worship of the whole world] The _worship_, is the
_dignity_, the _authority_.

IV.xv.9 (237,9)

  O sun,
  Burn the great sphere thou mov'st in!--darkling stand
  The varying shore o' the world]

She desires the sun, to _burn_ his own _orb_, the vehicle of light, and
then the earth will be dark.

IV.xv.19-23 (237,1) I here importune death] [Theobald had regularized
the versification and had added two words] Mr. Theobald's emendation is
received by the succeeding editors; but it seems not necessary that a
dialogue so distressful should be nicely regular. I have therefore
preserved the original reading in the text, and the emendation below.

IV.xv.28 (238,2) still conclusion] Sedate determination; silent coolness
of resolution.

IV.xv.32 (236,3) Here's sport, indeed!] I suppose the meaning of these
strange words is, _here's_ trifling, _you_ do not work _in earnest_.

IV.xv.39 (239,4) Quicken with kissing] That is, _Revive by my kiss_.

IV.xv.44 (239,6) That the false huswife Fortune break her wheel] This
despicable line has occurred before.

IV.xv.65 (240,8) The soldier's pole] He at whom the soldiers pointed, as
at a pageant held high for observation.

IV.xv.72 (240,9)

  _Char_. Peace, peace, Iras.
  _Cleo_. No more--but e'en a woman]

[W: peace, Isis] Of this note it may be truly said, that it at least
deserves to be right, nor can he, that shall question the justness of
the emendation, refuse his esteem to the ingenuity and learning with
which it is proposed.

Hanmer had proposed another emendation, not injudiciously. He reads

  Iras. _Royal Aegypt! empress!_
  Cleo. _Peace, peace, Iras.
  No more but a mere woman_, &c.

That is, _no more an empress, but a mere woman_.

It is somewhat unfortunate that the words, _mere woman_, which so much
strengthen the opposition to either _empress_ or _Isis_, are not in the
original edition, which stands thus,

  _No more but_ in a _woman_.

_Mere woman_ was probably the arbitrary reading of Rowe. I suppose,
however, that we muy justly change the ancient copy thus,

  _No more, but_ e'en a _woman_.

which will enough accommodate either of the editors.

I am inclined to think that she speaks abruptly, not answering her
woman, but discoursing with her own thoughts,

  _No more--but_ e'en a _woman_.

_I have_ no more _of my wonted greatness_, but am even a woman, _on the
level with other women; were I what I once was_.

  --It were for me
  To throw my scepter, _&c_.

If this simple explanation be admitted, how much labour has been thrown
away. _Peace, peace, Iras_, is said by Charmian, when she sees the queen
recovering, and thinks speech troublesome.

V.i.15 (244,4) The round world/Should have shook lions into civil
streets] I think here is a line lost, after which it is in vain to go in
quest. The sense seems to have been this: _The round world should have
shook_, and this great alteration of the system of things should send
_lions into streets, and citizens into dens_. There is sense still, but
it is harsh and violent.

V.i.27 (244,5) but it is tidings/To wash the eyes of kings!] That is,
May _the Gods rebuke me_, if this be not _tidings to make kings weep_.

_But_, again, for _if not_.

V.i.46 (245,7) that our stars,/Unreconciliable, should divide/Our
equalness to this] That is, _should have made us_, in our equality of
fortune, disagree _to_ a pitch like this, that one of us must die.

V.i.52 (246,8) A poor Aegyptian yet; the queen my mistress] If this
punctuation be right, the man means to say, that he is _yet an
Aegyptian_, that is, _yet a servant of the queen of Aegypt_, though soon
to become, a subject of Rome.

V.i.65 (246,9) her life in Rome/Would be eternal in our triumph] Hanmer
reads judiciously enough, but without necessity,

  _Would be_ eternalling _our triumph_.

The sense is, _If she dies here, she will be forgotten, but if I send
her_ in triumph at Rome, _her memory and my glory_ will be eternal.

V.ii.3 (247,1) fortune's knave] The _servant_ of fortune.

V.ii.4 (247,2)

  it is great
  To do that thing, that ends all other deeds;
  Which shackles accidents, and bolts up change;
  Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung,
  The beggar's nurse, and Caesar's]

[Warburton added a whole line and emended "dung" to "dugg"] I cannot
perceive the loss of a line, or the need of an emendation. The
commentator seems to have entangled his own ideas; his supposition that
_suicide_ is called _the beggar's nurse and Caesar's_, and his
concession that the position is _intelligible_, show, I think, a mind
not intent upon the business before it. The difficulty of the passage,
if any difficulty there be, arises only from this, that the act of
suicide, and the state which is the effect of suicide are confounded.
Voluntary death, says she, is an act _which bolts up change_; it
produces a state,

  _Which sleeps, and never palates more the dung,
  The beggar's nurse, and Caesar's_.

Which has no longer need of the gross and terrene sustenance, in the use
of which Caesar and the beggar are on a level.

The speech is abrupt, but perturbation in such a state is surely

V.ii.29 (249,4) I am his fortune's vassal, and I send him/The greatness
he has got] I allow him to be my conqueror; I own his superiority with
complete submission.

V.ii.34 (249,5) You see how easily she may be surpriz'd] This line in
the first edition is given not to Charuian, but to Proculeius; and to
him it certainly belongs, though perhaps misplaced. I would put it at
the end of his foregoing speech,

  _Where he for grace is kneel'd to._
  [Aside to Gallus.] _You see, how easily she may be surpriz'd._

Then while Cleopatra makes a formal answer, Gallus, upon the hint given,
seizes her, and Proculeius, interrupting the civility of his answer,

  _--your plight is pity'd
  Of him that caus'd it._

Cries out,

  _Guard her till, Caesar come._

V.ii.40 (250,6) who are in this/Reliev'd, but not betray'd] [W:
Bereav'd, but] I do not think the emendation necessary, since the sense
is not made better by it, and the abruptness in Cleopatra's answer is
more forcible in the old reading.

V.ii.42 (250,7) rids our dogs of languish] For _languish_, I think we
may read, _anguish_.

V.ii.48 (251,8) Worth many babes and beggars] Why, death, wilt thou not
rather seize a queen, than employ thy force upon _babes_ and _beggars_.
(see 1765, VII, 238, 9)

V.ii.50 (251,9) If idle talk will once be necessary] [This nonsense
should be reformed thus,

  _If idle_ TIME _whill once be necessary._

i.e. if _repose_ be necessary to cherish life, I will not sleep.
WARBURTON.] I do not see that the nonsense is made sense by the change.
Sir T. Hanmer reads,

  _If idle talk will once be_ accessary;

Neither is this better. I know not what to offer better than an easy
explanation. That is, _I will not eat_, and _if it will be necessary now
for once_ to waste a moment in _idle talk_ of my purpose, _I will not
sleep neither_. In common conversation we often use _will be_, with as
little relation to futurity. As, Now I am going, it _will be_ fit for me
to dine first.

V.ii.98 (254,2)

                      yet to imagine
  An Antony, were Nature's piece 'gainst Fancy,
  Condemning shadows quite]

[W: Nature's prize] In this passage I cannot discover any temptation to
critical experiments. The word _piece_, is a term appropriated to works
of art. Here Nature and Fancy produce each their _piece_, and the
_piece_ done by Nature had the preference. Antony was in reality _past
the size of dreaming_; he was more by _Nature_ than _Fancy_ could
present in sleep.

V.ii.121 (255,3) I cannot project mine own cause so well] [W: procter]
Sir T. Hanmer reads,

  _I cannot_ parget _my own cause---_

meaning, I cannot _whitewash, varnish_, or _gloss_ my cause. I believe
the present reading to be right. To _project a cause_ is to _represent_
a cause; to _project_ it _well_, is to _plan_ or _contrive_ a scheme of

V.ii.139 (256,4) "tis exactly valued, /Not petty things admitted] [T:
omitted] Notwithstanding the wrath of Mr. Theobald, I have restored the
old reading. She is angry afterwards, that she is accused of having
reserved more than petty things. Dr. Warburton and sir T. Hanmer follow

V.ii.146 (257,5) seel my lips] Sew up my mouth.

V.ii.163 (258,7) Parcel the sum of my disgraces by] _To parcel her
disgraces_, might be expressed in vulgar language, _to bundle up her
calamaties_. (see 1765, VII, 244, 8)

V.ii.176 (259,8)

  _Cleo._ Be't known, that we, the greatest, are misthought
  for things that others do; and, when we fall,
  We answer others merits in our names;
  Are therefore to be pitied]

I do not think that either of the criticks [Warburton and Hanmer] have
reached the sense of the author, which may be very commodiously
explained thus;

We suffer at our highest state of elevation in the _thoughts of mankind
for that which others do, and when we fall_, those that contented
themselves only to think ill before, call us to _answer in our own names
for the merits of others. We are therefore to be pitied. Merits_ is in
this place taken in an ill sense, for actions _meriting_ censure.

If any alteration be necessary, I should only propose, _Be 't known,
that we_ at _greatest_, &c.

V.ii.185 (259,1) Make not your thoughts your prisons] I once wished to

  _make not your thoughts your_ poison:--

Do not destroy yourself by musing on your misfortune. Yet I would change
nothing, as the old reading presents a very proper sense. _Be not a
prisoner in imagination, when in reality you are free._

V.ii.215 (261,2) scald rhimers] Sir T. Hanmer reads,

  --stall 'd _rhimers.

Scald_ was a word of contempt, implying poverty, disease, and filth.

V.ii.216 (261,3) quick comedians] The gay inventive players.

V.ii.226 (261,5) Their most absurd intents] [T: assured] I have
preserved the old reading. The design certainly appeared _absurd_ enough
to Cleopatra, both as she thought it unreasonable in itself, and as she
knew it would fail.

V.ii.243 (263,7) the pretty worm of Nilus] _Worm_ is the Teutonick word
for _serpent_; we have the _blind-worm_ and _slow-worm_ still in our
language, and the Norwegians call an enormous monster, seen sometimes in
the northern ocean, the _sea-worm_.

V.ii.264 (263,9) the worm will do him kind] The serpent will act
according to his nature.

V.ii.305 (205,2) He'll make demand of her, and spend that kiss,/ Which
is my heaven to have] He will enquire of her concerning me, and kiss her
for giving him intelligence.

V.ii.352 (267,5) something blown] The flesh is somewhat _puffed_ or

(268) General Observation. This play keeps curiosity always busy, and
the passions always interested. The continual hurry of the action, the
variety of incidents, and the quick succession of one personage to
another, call the mind forward without intermission from the first act
to the last. But the power of delighting is derived principally from the
frequent changes of the scene; for, except the feminine arts, some of
which are too low, which distinguish Cleopatra, no character is very
strongly discriminated. Upton, who did not easily miss what he desired
to find, has discovered that the language of Antony is, with great skill
and learning, made pompous and superb, according to his real practice.
But I think his diction not distinguishable from that of others: the
most tumid speech in the play is that which Caesar makes to Octavia.

The events, of which the principal are described according to history,
are produced without any art of connexion or care of disposition.


I.i.3 (271,3)

  _Poet_. Ay, that's well known:
  But what particular rarity! what strange,
  Which manifold record not matches? See,
  Magick of bounty!]

The learned commentator's [Warburton's] note must shift for itself. I
cannot but think that this passage is at present in confusion. The poet
asks a question, and stays not for an answer, nor has his question any
apparent drift or consequence. I would range the passage thus:

  Poet. _Ay, that's well known.
  Bat what particular rarity? what so strange,
  That manifold record not matches?_

  Pain. _See!_

  Poet. _Magick of--bounty, &c._

It may not be improperly observed here, that as there is only one copy
of this play, no help can be had from collation, and more liberty must
be allowed to conjecture.

I.i.10 (272,4) breath'd as it were/To an untirable and continuate
goodness] _Breathed_ is _inured by constant practice; so trained as not
to be wearied. To _breathe_ a horse, is to exercise him for the course.

I.i.20 (273,8) _Poet_.

  A thing slipt idly from me.
  Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes
  From whence 'tis nourished. The fire i' the flint
  Shews not, 'till it be struck: our gentle flame
  Provokes itself, and, like the current flies
  Each bound it chafes. What have you there!]

This speech of the poet is very obscure. He seems to boast the
copiousness and facility of his vein, by declaring that verses drop from
a poet as gums from odoriferous trees, and that his flame kindles itself
without the violence necessary to elicit sparkles from the flint. What
follows next? that it, _like a current, flies each bound it chafes_.
This may mean, that it expands itself notwithstanding all obstructions:
but the images in the comparison are so ill-sorted, and the effect so
obscurely expressed, that I cannot but think something omitted that
connected the last sentence with the former. It is well knovn that the
players often shorten speeches to quicken the representation; and it may
be suspected, that they sometimes performed their amputations with more
haste than judgment, (see 1765, VI, 169, 6)

I.i.27 (274,9) _Poet_. Upon the heels of my presentment, sir.] As soon
as my book has been presented to lord Timon.

I.i.29 (274,1) This comes off weil and excellent] [By this we are to
understand what the painters call the _goings off_ of a picture, which
requires the nicest execution. WARBURTON.] The note I understand less
than the text. The meaning is, This figure rises weil from the canvas.
_C'est bien relevè._

I.i.37 (275,3) artificial strife] _Strife_ is either the contest or act
with nature.

  _Hic ille est_ Raphael, _timuit, quo aospite vinci
  Rerum magna parens, & moriente, mori_.

Or it is the contrast of forms or opposition of colours.

I.i.43 (275,4) this confluence, this great flood of visitors] _Mane
salutantúm totis vomit aedibus undam_.

I.1.46 (275,5) Halts not particularly] My design does not stop at any
single characters.

I.1.47 (276,7)

  no levell'd malice
  Infects one comma in the course I hold;
  But flies an eagle-flight, bold, and forth on,
  Leaving no tract behind]

To _level_ is to _aim_, to point the shot at a mark. Shakespeare's
meaning is, my poem is not a satire written with any particular view, or
_levelled_ at any single person; I fly like an eagle into the general
expanse of life, and leave not, by any private mischief, the trace of my

I.i.51 (276,8) I'll unbolt] I'll open, I'll explain.

I.i.53 (276,9) glib and slippery creatures] Hanmer, and Warburton after
him, read, _natures_. _Slippery_ is _smooth_, unresisting.

I.i.58 (276,1) glass-fac'd flatterer] That shows in his own look, as by
reflection, the looks of his patron.

I.i.65 (277,3) rank'd with all deserts] _Cover'd with ranks_ of all
kinds of men.

I.i.67 (277,4) To propagate their states] To advance or improve their
various conditions of life.

I.i.72 (277,5) conceiv'd to scope] Properly imagined, appositely, to the

I.i.82 (278,8) through him/Drink the free air] That is, catch his breath
in affected fondness.

I.i.90 (278,9) A thousand moral paintings I can shew] Shakespeare seems
to intend in this dialogue to express some competition between the two
great arts of imitation. Whatever the poet declares himself to have
shewn, the painter thinks he could have shewn better. (1773)

I.i.107 (279,1) 'Tis not enough to help the feeble up,/But to support
him after] This thought is better expressed by Dr. Madden in his elegy
on archbishop Boulter.

  --_He thought it mean
  Only to help the poor to beg again._

I.i.129 (280,2) Therefore he will be, Timon] I rather think an
emendation necessary, and read,

  _Therefore_ well be him, _Timon.
  His honesty rewards him in itself._

That is, _If he in honest_, bene fit illi, _I wish him the proper
happiness of an honest man, but his honesty gives him no claim to my

The first transcriber probably wrote _will be him_, which the next, not
understanding, changed to, _he will be_. (1773)

I.i.149 (281,3)

  never may
  That state, or fortune, fall into my keeping,
  Which is not ow'd to you!]

The meaning is, let me never henceforth consider any thing that I
possess, but as _owed_ or _due_ to you; held for your service, and at
your disposal.

I.i.159 (281,4) pencil'd figures are/Even such as they give out]
Pictures have no hypocrisy; they are what they profess to be.

I.i.165 (282,5) unclew me quite] To _unclew_, is to _unwind_ a ball of
thread. To _unclew_ a man, is to draw out the whole mass of his

I.i.171 (282,5) Are prized by their masters] Are rated according to the,
esteem in which their possessor is held.

I.i.178 (282,8)

  _Tim._ Good-morrow to thee, gentle Apemantua!
  _Apam._ 'Till I be gentle, stay for thy good-morrow.
  When thou art Timon's dog, and these knaves honest,--]

[Warburton conjectured a line lost and added one of his own making] I
think my punctuation may clear the passage without any greater effort.

I.i.180 (283,9) Then thou art Timon's dog] When thou hast gotten a
better character, and instead of being Timon, as thou art, shalt be
changed to Timon's dog, and become more worth; of kindness and
salutation. (1773)

I.i.241 (284,9) That I had no angry wit to be a lord] [W: so hungry a
wit] The meaning may be, I should hate myself for _patiently enduring to
be a lord_. This is ill enough expressed. Perhaps some happy change may
set it right. I have tried, and can do nothing, yet I cannot heartily
concur with Dr. Warburton.

I.i.259 (286,2) The strain of man's bred out/Into baboon and monkey] Man
is exhausted and degenerated; his _strain_ or lineage is worn down into

I.ii.12 (288,5)

  If our betters play at that game, we must not dare
  To imitate them. Faults that are rich, are fair]

[Warburton gave the second line to Apemantus] I cannot see that these
lines are more proper in any other mouth than Timon's, to whose
character of generosity and condescension they are very suitable. To
suppose that by _our betters_ are meant the Gods, is very harsh, because
to imitate the Gods has been hitherto reckoned the highest pitch of
human virtue. The whole is a trite and obvious thought, uttered by Timon
with a kind of affected modesty. If I would make any alteration, it
should be only to reform the numbers thus:

  _Our betters play that game; we must not dare
  T' imitate then; faults that are rich are fair._

I.ii.34 (289,6) thou art an Athenian,/Therefore welcome: I myself would
have no power] If this be the true reading, the sense is, _all Athenians
are welcome to share my fortune_; I would myself have no _exclusive
right or power in this house_. Perhaps we might read, _I myself would
have no_ poor. I would have every Athenian consider himself as joint
possessor of my fortune.

I.ii.38 (289,7) I scorn thy meat, 'twould choke me, for I should/ Ne'er
flatter thee] [W: 'fore/I should e'er] Of this emendation there is
little need. The meaning is, I could not swallow thy meat, for I could
not pay for it with flattery; and what was given me with an ill will
would stick in my throat.

I.ii.41 (290,8) so many dip their meat/In one man's blood] The allusion
is to a pack of hounds trained to pursuit by being gratified with the
blood of the animal which they kill, and the wonder is that the animal
on which they are feeding _cheers them_ to the chase.

I.ii.52 (290,9) wind-pipe's dangerous notes] The notes of the windpipe
seem to be the only indications which shew where the windpipe is. (see
1765, VI, 184, 4)

I.ii.54 (290,1) My lord, in heart] That is, _my lord's health with
sincerity_. An emendation hat been proposed thus:

  _My_ love _in heart_;--

but it is not necessary.

I.ii.89 (292,2) we should think ourselves for ever perfect] That is,
arrived at the perfection of happiness.

I.ii.94 (292,4) did not you chiefly belong to my heart?] I think it
should be inverted thus: _did I not chiefly belong to_ your hearts.
Lacius wishes that Timon would give him and the rest an opportunity _of
expressing some part of their zeals_. Timon answers that, _doubtless the
Gods have provided that I should have help from you; how else are you my
friends_? why are you stiled my friends, if--what? _if I do not love
you_. Such is the present reading; but the consequence is not very
clear; the proper close must be, _if you do not love me_, and to this my
alteration restores it. But, perhaps, the old reading may stand. [The
_Revisal_'s note on this line is quoted.] The meaning is probably this.
Why are you distinguished from thousands by that title of endearment,
was there not a particular connection and intercourse of tenderness
between you and me. (see 1765, VI, 185, 8)

I.ii.97 (293,5) I confirm you] I fix your characters firmly in my own

I.ii.99 (293,7) O joy, e'en made away, ere it can be born!] For this
Hanmer writes, _O joy, e'en made a joy ere't can be born_; and is
followed by Dr. Warburton. I am always inclinable to think well of that
which is approved by so much learning and sagacity, yet cannot receive
this alteration. Tears being the effect both of joy and grief, supplied
our author with an opportunity of conceit, which he seldom fails to
indulge. Timon, weeping with a kind of tender pleasure, cries out, _O
joy, e'en made away_, destroyed, turned to tears, before _it can be
born_, before it can be fully possessed.

I.ii.110 (293,8) Mine eyes cannot hold water, methinks: to forget their
faults, I drink to you] In the original edition the words stand thus:
_mine eyes cannot hold out water, methinks. To forget their faults, I
drink to you_. Perhaps the true reading is this, _Mine eyes cannot hold
out_; they _water. Methinks, to forget their faults, I will drink to
you_. Or it may be explained without any change. _Mine eyes cannot hold
out water_, that is, cannot keep water from breaking in upon them, (see
1765, VI, 186, 2)

I.ii.113 (294,9) _Apem_. Thou weep'st to make them drink] Hanmer reads,

  --_to make then drink_ thee,

and is again followed by Dr. Warburton, I think without sufficient
reason. The covert sense of Apemantus is, _what thou losest, they get_.

I.ii.118 (294,1) like a babe] That is a _weeping babe_.

I.ii.138 (295,3)

  They dance! They are mad women.
  Like madness is the glory of this life,
  As this pomp shews to a little oil and root]

[Warburton conjectured some lines lost after the second verse] When I
read this passage, I was at first of the same opinion with this learned
man; but, upon longer consideration, I grew less confident, because I
think the present reading susceptible of explanation, with no more
violence to language than is frequently found in our author. _The glory
of this life is very near to madness_, as may be made appear from _this
pomp_, exhibited in a place where a philosopher is feeding on _oil and
roots_. When we see by example how few are the necessaries of life, we
learn what madness there is in so much superfluity.

I.ii.146 (296,5) who dies, that bears/Not one spurn to their graves, of
their friends gift?] That is, given them by their friends.(1773)

I.ii.155 (297,6) mine own device] The mask appears to have been design'd
by Timon to surprise his guests.

I.ii.157 (297,7) _L Lady_. My lord, you take us even at the best] This
answer seems rather to belong to one of the ladies. It was probably only
mark'd _L_ in the copy.

I.ii.169 (298,1) 'Tis pity, bounty has not eyes behind] To see the
miseries that are following her.

I.ii.170 (298,2) That man might ne'er be wretched for his mind] For
nobleness of soul.

I.ii.176 (298,3) to/Advance this jewel] To prefer it; to raise it to
honour by wearing it.

I.ii.230 (300,6)

  all the lands thou hast
  Lie in a pitch'd field.
  _Alc._ I' defiled land, my lord]

This is the old reading, which apparently depends on a very low quibble.
Alcibiades is told, that _his estate lies in a_ pitch'd _field_. Now
_pitch_, as Falstaff says, _doth defile_. Alcibiades therefore replies,
that his estate lies _in defiled land_. This, as it happened, was not
understood, and all the editors published,

  _I defy land_,--

I.ii.237 (301,8) Serving of becks] [W: serring] The commentator
conceives _beck_ to mean the _mouth_ or the _head_, after the French,
_bec_, whereas it means a salutation made with the head. So Milton,

  "Nods and _becks_, and wreathed smiles."

To _serve a beck_, is to offer a salutation.

I.ii.238 (301,9) I doubt, whether their legs] He plays upon the word
_leg_, as it signifies a _limb_ and a _bow_ or _act of obeisance_.

I.ii.247 (302,1) I fear me, thou/Wilt give away thyself in paper
shortly] [W: in proper] Hanmer reads very plausibly,

  Wilt give away thyself_ in perpetuum.

I.ii.235 (302,2) I'll lock/Thy heaven from thee] The pleasure of being

II.i.10 (304,5) No porter at his gate;/But rather one that smiles, and
still invites] I imagine that a line is lost here, in which the
behaviour of a surly porter was described.

II.i.12 (304,6) no reason/Can found his state in safety] The supposed
meaning of this [Can sound his state] must be, _No reason_, by
_sounding_, fathoming, or trying, _his state_, can find it _safe_. But
as the words stand, they imply, that _no reason can_ safely _sound his
state_. I read thus,

  --_no reason
  Can_ found _his state in safety_.--

_Reason_ cannot find his fortune to have any _safe_ or solid

The types of the first printer of this play were so worn and defaced,
that _f_ and _s_ are not always to be distinguished.

II.ii.5 (305,9) Never mind/Was to be so unwise, to be so kind] Of this
mode of expression conversation affords many examples: "I was always to
be blamed, whatever happened." "I am in the lottery, but I was always to
draw blanks." (1773)

II.ii.9 (306,1) Good even, Varro] It is observable, that this _good
evening_ is before dinner; for Timon tells Alcibiades, that they will
_go forth again as soon as dinner's done_, which may prove that by
_dinner_ our author meant not the _coena_ of ancient times, but the
mid-day's repast. I do not suppose the passage corrupt: such
inadvertencies neither author nor editor can escape.

There is another remark to be made. Varro and Isidore sink a few lines
afterwards into the servants of Varro and Isidore. Whether servants, in
our author's time, took the names of their masters, I know not. Perhaps
it is a slip of negligence.

II.ii.47 (308,4) _Enter Apemantus and a Fool_] I suspect some scene to
be lost, in which the entrance of the fool, and the page that follows
him, was prepared by some introductory dialogue, in which the audience
was informed that they were the fool and page of Phrynia, Timandra, or
some other courtesan, upon the knowledge of which depends the greater
part of the ensuing jocularity.

II.ii.60-66 (309,4) Poor rogues] This is said so abruptly, that I am
inclined to think it misplaced, and would regulate the passage thus:

  Caph. _Where's the fool now?_
  Apem. _He last ask'd the question._
  All. _What are we, Apemantus?_
  Apem. _Asses._
  All. _Why?_
  Apem. _That you ask me what you are, and do not know yourselves. Poor rogues', and usurers' men! bawds between
  gold and want! Speak_, &c.

Thus every word will have its proper place. It is likely that the
passage transposed was forgot in the copy, and inserted in the margin,
perhaps a little beside the proper place, which the transcriber wanting
either skill or care to observe, wrote it where it now stands.

II.ii.71 (309,5) She's e'en setting on water to scald] The old name for
the disease got at Corinth was the _brenning_, and a sense of _scalding_
is one of its first symptoms.

II.ii.117 (311,7) with two stones more than's artificial one] Meaning
the celebrated philosopher's stone, which was in those times much talked
of. Sir Thomas Smith was one of those who lost considerable sums in
seeking of it.

II.ii.152 (312,9) Though you hear now, yet now's too late a time]
[Warburton objected to this, an emendation by Hanmer] I think Hanmer
right, and have received his emendation.

Il.ii.155 (313,1) and at length/How goes our reckoning?] [W: Hold good
our] It is common enough, and the commentator knows it is common to
propose interrogatively, that of which neither the speaker nor the
hearer has any doubt. The present reading may therefore stand.

II.ii.171 (314,2) a wasteful cock] [i.e. a _cockloft_, a garret. And a
_wasteful cock_, signifies a garret lying in waste, neglected, put to no
use. HANMER.] Hanmer's explanation is received by Dr. Warburton, yet I
think them both apparently mistaken. A _wasteful cock_ is a _cock_ or
pipe with a turning stopple _running_ to _waste_. In this sense, both
the terms have their usual meaning; but I know not that _cock_ is ever
used for _cockloft_, or _wasteful_ for _lying in waste_, or that lying
in waste is at all a phrase.

Il.ii.187 (314,4) And try the arguments] [_Arguments_ for natures.
_WARB_.] How _arguments_ should stand for natures I do not see. But the
licentiousness of our author forces us often upon far fetched
expositions. _Arguments_ may mean _contents_, as the _arguments_ of a
book; or for _evidences_ and _proofs_.

II.ii.209 (315,5) I knew it the most general way] _General_ is not
speedy, but _compendious_, the way to try many at a time.

II.ii.219 (316,6) And so, intending other serious matters] _Intending_
is _regarding, turning their notice_ to other things.

II.ii.220 (316,7) these hard fractions] [Warburton saw an allusion to
fractions in mathematics] This is, I think, no conceit in the head of
Flavius, who, by _fractions_, means _broken_ hints, _interrupted_
sentences, _abrupt_ remarks.

II.ii.221 (316,8) half-caps] A _half cap_ is a _cap_ slightly moved, not
put off.

II.ii.241 (317,3) I would, I could not] The original edition has, _I
would, I could not think it, that thought_, &c. It has been changed
['Would], to mend the numbers, without authority.

II.ii.242 (317,4)

  That thought is bounty's foe;
  Being free itself, it thinks all other so]

_Free_, is _liberal_, not parsimonious.

III.i.57 (319,6) Has friendship such a faint and milky heart, It turns
in less than two nights?] Alluding to the _turning_ or acescence of

III.ii.3 (320,3) We know him for no less] That is, _we know him_ by
report to be _no less_ than you represent him, though we are strangers
to his person.

III.ii.24 (321,5) yet had he mistook him, and sent him to me] [W:
mislook'd] I rather read, _yet had he_ not _mistook him, and sent to

III.ii.45 (322,7) If his occasion were not virtuous] [_Virtuous_, for
strong, forcible, pressing. _WARBURTON_.] The meaning may more naturally
be;--If he did not want it for a good use. (1773)

III.ii.51 (322,9) that I should purchase the day before for a little
part, and undo a great deal of honour?] [T: a little dirt] This
emendation is received, like all others, by sir T. Hanmer, but neglected
by Dr. Warburton. I think Theobald right in suspecting a corruption; nor
is his emendation injudicious, though perhaps we may better read,
_purchase the day before for a little park_.

III.ii.71 (323,1) And just of the same piece is every flatterer's soul]
This is Dr. Warburton's emendation. The other editions read,

  _Why this is the world's soul;
  Of the same piece is every flatterer's_ sport.

Mr. Upton has not unluckily transposed the two final words, thus,

  _Why, this is the world's_ sport:
  _Of the same piece is ev'ry flatterer's_ soul.

The passage is not so obscure as to provoke so much enquiry. _This_,
says he, _is the soul_ or spirit _of the world: every flatterer_ plays
the same game, makes _sport_ with the confidence of his friend. (see
1765, VI, 211, 4)

III.ii.81 (324,2) He does deny him, in respect of his, What charitable
men afford to beggars] That is, _in respect of his_ fortune, what Lucius
denies to Timon is in proportion to what Lucius possesses, less than the
ususal alms given by good men to beggars.

III.ii.90 (324,3) I would have put my wealth into donation, And the best
half should ha' return'd to him] Hanmer reads,

  _I would have put my wealth into_ partition,
  _And the best half should have_ attorn'd _to him_.

Dr. Warbarton receives _attorn'd_. The only difficulty is in the word
_return'd_, which, since he had received nothing from him, cannot be
used but in a very low and licentious meaning, (see 1765, VI, 212, 6)

III.iii.5 (325,4) They have all been touch'd] That is, _tried_, alluding
to the _touchstone_.

III.iii.11 (325,5) His friends, like physicians,/Thrive, give him over?]
The original reading is,

  --his friends, (_like physicians_)
  Thrive, give him over?

which Theobald has misrepresented. Hanmer reads, _try'd_, plausibly
enough. Instead of _three_ proposed by Mr. Pope, I should read _thrice_.
But perhaps the old reading is the true.

III.iii.24 (326,6) I had such a courage] Such an ardour, such an eager

III.iii.28 (326,8) The devil knew not what he did] I cannot but think
that, the negative _not_ has intruded into this passage, and the reader
will think so too, when he reads Dr. Warburton's explanation of the next

III.iii.28 (326,9) The devil knew not what he did, when he made men
politick; he cross'd himself by't: and I cannot think, but in the end
the villainies of man will set him clear] [_Set him clear_ does not mean
acquit him before heaven; for then _the devil_ must be supposed _to know
what_ he did: but it signifies puzzle him, outdo him at his own weapons.
WARBURTON.] How the devil, or any other being, should be _set clear_ by
being _puzzled_ and _outdone_, the commentator has not explained. When
in a crowd we would have an opening made, we say, _Stand clear_, that
is, _out of the way of danger_. With some affinity to this use, though
not without great harshness, to _set clear_, may be to _set aside_. But
I believe the original corruption is the insertion of the negative,
which was obtruded by some transcriber, who supposed _crossed_ to mean
_thwarted_, when it meant, _exempted from evil_. The use of _crossing_,
by way of protection or purification, was probably not worn out in
Shakespeare's time. The sense of _set clear_ is now easy; he has no
longer the guilt of tempting man. To cross himself may mean, in a very
familiar sense, _to clear his score, to get out of debt, to quit his
reckoning_. He knew not _what he did_, may mean, he knew not how much
good he was doing himself. There is then no need of emendation. (1773)

III.iii.42 (327,2) keep his house] i.e. keep within doors for fear of

III.iv (328,3) _Enter Varro, Titus, Hortense, Lucius_] Lucius is here
again for the servant of Lucius.

III.iv.12 (328,4) a prodigal's course/Is like the sun's] That is, like
him in blaze and splendour.

  _Soles occidere et redire possunt._  Catul.

III.iv.25 (329,5) I am weary of this charge] That is, of this
_commission_, of this _employment_.

III.iv.32 (329,6) Else, surely, his had equall'd] Should it not be,
_else, surely, mine had equall'd_.

III.iv.67 (330,7) _Enter Servilius_] It may be observed that Shakespeare
has unskilfully filled his Greek story with Roman names.

III.v.14 (333,6)

  He is a man, setting his fate aside,
  Of comely virtues:
  Nor did he soil the fact with cowardise;
  (An honour in him which buys out his fault)]

I have printed these lines after the original copy, except that, for _an
honour_, it is there, _and honour_. All the latter editions deviate
unwarrantably from the original, and give the lines thus:

  _He is a man, setting his fault aside,
  Of virtuous honour, which buys out his fault;
  Nor did he soil_, &c.

III.v.22 (333,3)

  He did behave, his anger ere 'twas spent,
  As if he had but prov'd an argument]

The original copy reads not _behave_ but _behoove_. I do not well
understand the passage in either reading. Shall we try a daring

  --_with such sober and unnoted passion
  He did behold his adversary shent,
  As if he had but prov'd an argument_.

He looked with such calmness on his slain adversary. I do not suppose
that this is right, but put it down for want of better. (1773)

III.v.24 (334,4) You undergo too strict a paradox] You undertake a
paradox too _hard_.

III.v.32 (334,5) and make his wrongs His outsides: to wear them like an
argument, carelessly. We outside wear; hang like his] The present
reading is better.

III.v.46 (335,6) What make we/Abroad?] _What do we_, or _what have we to
do in the field_.

III.v.46 (335,7)

                            what make we
  Abroad? why then, women are more valiant,
  That stay at home, if bearing carry it;
  The ass, more than the lion; and the fellow,
  Loaden with irons, wiser than the judge,
  If wisdom be in suffering]

Here is another arbitrary regulation, the original reads thus,

                _what make we
  Abroad, why then women are more valiant
  That stay at home, if bearing carry it:
  And the ass more captain than the lion,
  The fellow, loaden with irons, wiser than the judge,
  If wisdom_, &c.

I think it may be better adjusted thus:

              _what make we
  Abroad, why then the women are more valiant
  That stay at home;
  If bearing carry it, than is the ass
  More captain than the lion, and the_ felon
  _Loaden with irons, wiser than the judge,
  If wisdom_, &c.

III.v.54 (336,8) sin's extreamest gust] _Gust_ is here in its common
sense; the utmost degree of _appetite_ for sin.

III.v.55 (336,9) by mercy, 'tis most just] [By _mercy_ is meant
_equity_. WARBURTON] _Mercy_ is not put for equity. If such explanation
be allowed, what can be difficult? The meaning is, _I call_ mercy
_herself_ to witness, that defensive violence is just.

III.v.68 (338,2) a sworn rioter] A _sworn rioter_ is a man who practises
riot, as if he had by an oath made it his duty.

III.v.80 (337,3) your reverend ages love/Security] He charges them
obliquely with being usurers.

III.v.96 (337,5) Do you dare our anger?/'Tis in few words, but spacious
in effect] This reading may pass, but perhaps the author wrote,

              _our anger_?
  _'Tis few in words, but spacious in effect._

III.v.114 (338,7)

          I'll cheer up
  My discontented troops, and play for hearts.
  'Tis honour with most hands to be at odds]

[Warburton had substituted "hands" for "lands"] I think _hands_ is very
properly substituted for _lands_. In the foregoing line, for, _lay for
hearts_, I would read, _play_ for _hearts_.

III.vi.4 (339,7) Upon that were my thoughts tiring] A hawk, I think, is
said to _tire_, when she amuses herself with pecking a pheasant's wing,
or any thing that puts her in mind of prey. To _tire_ upon a thing, is
therefore, to be _idly employed upon it_.

III.vi.100 (342,9) Is your perfection] Your _perfection_, is _the
highest of your excellence_.

III.vi.101 (342,1) and spangled you with flatteries] [W: with your] The
present reading is right.

III.vi.106 (342,2) time-flies] Flies of a season.

III.vi. 107 (342,5) minute-jacks!] Hanmer thinks it means
_Jack-a-lantern_, which shines and disappears in an instant. What it was
I know not; but it was something of quick motion, mentioned in Richard

III.vi.108 (342,4) the infinite malady] Every kind of disease incident
to man and beast.

IV.i.19 (344,6)

  Degrees, observances, customs and laws,
  Decline to your confounding contraries,
  And yet confusion live!]

Hanmer reads, _let_ confusion; but the meaning may be, _though by such
confusion all things seem to hasten to dissolution_, yet _let not
dissolution come, but the miseries of_ confusion _continue._

IV.ii (345,1) Enter Flavius] Nothing contributes more to the exaltation
of Timon's character than the zeal and fidelity of his servants. Nothing
but real virtue can be honoured by domesticks; nothing but impartial
kindness can gain affection from dependants.

IV.ii.10 (345,2) So his familiars from his buried fortunes/Slink all
away] The old copies have _to_ instead of _from_. The correction is
Hanmer's; but the old reading might stand (see 1765, VI, 231, 2)

IV.ii.38 (346,4) strange unusual blood] Of this passage, I suppose,
every reader would wish for a correction; but the word, harsh as it is,
stands fortified by the rhyme, to which, perhaps, it owes its
introduction. I know not what to propose. Perhaps,

  --_strange unusual_ mood,

may, by some, be thought better, and by others worse.

IV.iii.1 (347,5) O blessed, breeding sun] [W: blessing breeding] I do
not see that this emendation much strengthens the sense.

IV.iii.2 (347,6) thy sister's orb] That is, the moon's, this _sublunary_

IV.iii.6 (348,7) Not nature,/To whom all sores lay siege] I have
preserved this note rather for the sake of the commentator [Warburton]
than of the author. How _nature, to whom all sores lay siege_, can so
emphatically express _nature in its greatest perfection_, I shall not
endeavour to explain. The meaning I take to be this: _Brother, when his
fortune is inlarged, will scorn brother_; for this is the general
depravity of human nature, which, _besieged as it is by misery_,
admonished as it is of want and imperfection, when _elevated by fortune,
will despise_ beings of _nature like its own_.

IV.iii.12 (349,9) It is the pastor lards the brother's sides,/The want
that makes him leave] [W: weather's sides] This passage is very obscure,
nor do I discover any clear sense, even though we should admit the
emendation. Let us inspect the text as I have given it from the original

  _It is the_ pastour _lards the_ brother's _sides,
  The want that makes him_ leave.

Dr. Warburton found the passage already changed thus,

  _It is the_ pasture _lards the_ beggar's _sides,
  The want that makes him_ lean.

And upon this reading of no authority, raised another equally uncertain.

Alterations are never to be made without necessity. Let us see what
sense the genuine reading will afford. Poverty, says the poet, _bears
contempt hereditary_, and _wealth native honour_. To illustrate this
position, having already mentioned the case of a poor and rich brother,
he remarks, that this preference is given to wealth by those whom it
least becomes; _it is the_ pastour _that greases or_ flatters _the rich_
brother, and will grease him on till _want makes him leave_. The poet
then goes on to ask, _Who dares to say this man_, this pastour, _is a
flatterer_; the crime is universal; through all the world _the learned
pate_, with allusion to the pastour, _ducks to the golden fool_. If it
be objected, as it may justly be, that the mention of pastour is
unsuitable, we must remember the mention of _grace_ and _cherubims_ in
this play, and many such anachronisms in many others. I would therefore
read thus:

  _It is the pastour lards the brother's sides_,
  'Tis _want that makes him leave_.

The obscurity is still great. Perhaps a line is lost. I have at least
given the original reading.

IV.iii.27 (350,2) no idle votarist] No insincere or inconstant
supplicant. _Gold_ will not serve me instead of _roots_.

IV.iii.38 (351,5) That makes the wappen'd widow wed again] Of _wappened_
I have found no example, nor know any meaning. To _awhape_ is used by
Spenser in his _Hubberd's Tale_, but I think not in either of the senses
mentioned. I would read _wained_, for _decayed by time_. So our author
in _Richard the Third_, _A beauty_-waining _and distressed widow_.

IV.iii.41 (352,6) To the April day again] That is, _to the wedding day_,
called by the poet, satirically, _April day_, or _fool's day_.

IV.iii.44 (352,7) Do thy right nature] Lie in the earth where nature
laid thee.

IV.iii.44 (352,8) Thou'rt quick] Thou hast life and motion in thee.

IV.iii.64 (353,9) I will not kiss thee] This alludes to an opinion in
former times, generally prevalent, that the venereal infection
transmitted to another, left the infecter free. I will not, says Timon,
take the rot from thy lips by kissing thee.

IV.iii.72 (353,1)

  _Tim._ Promise me friendship, but perform none. If
  Thou wilt not promise, the Gods plague thee, for
  Thou art a man; if thou dost perform, confound thee,
  For thou art a man!]

That is, however thou may'st act, since thou art man, hated man, I wish
thee evil.

IV.iii.82 (354,2)

  Be a whore still! They love thee not that use thee;
  Give them diseases, leaving with thee their lust:
  Make use of thy salt hours]

There is here a slight transposition. I would read,

  --_They love thee not that use thee,
  Leaving with thee their lust; give them diseases;
  Make use of thy salt hours; season the slaves
  For tubs and baths_;--

IV.iii.115 (356,6) milk-paps,/That through the window-bars bore at mens'
eyes] [W: window-lawn] The reading is more probably,


The virgin that shews her bosom through the lattice of her chamber.

IV.iii.119 (356,8) exhaust their mercy] For _exhaust_, sir T. Hanmer,
and after him Dr. Warburton, read _extort_; but _exhaust_ here signifies
literally to _draw forth_.

IV.iii.120 (356,7)

  Think it a bastard, whom the oracle
  Hath doubtfully prunounc'd thy throat shall cut]

An allusion to the tale of OEdipus.

IV.iii.134 (357,8) And to make whores a bawd] [W: make whole] The old
edition reads,

  _And to make whores a bawd._

That is, _enough to make a whore leave whoring, and a bawd leave making

IV.iii.139 (357,9) I'll trust to your conditions] You need not swear to
continue whores, I will trust to your inclinations.

IV.iii.140 (358,1) Yet may your pains, six months,/Be quite contrary]
The explanation [Warburton's] is ingenious, but I think it very remote,
and would willingly bring the author and his readers to meet on easier
terms. We may read,

  --_Yet may your pains six months
  Be quite_ contraried.--

Timon is wishing ill to mankind, but is afraid lest the whores should
imagine that he wishes well to them; to obviate which he lets them know,
that he imprecates upon them influence enough to plague others, and
disappointments enough to plague themselves. He wishes that they may do
all possible mischief, and yet take _pains six months_ of the year in

In this sense there is a connection of this line with the next. Finding
_your pains contraried_, try new expedients, _thatch your thin roofs_,
and _paint_.

To _contrary_ is on old verb. Latymer relates, that when he went to
court, he was advised not to _contrary_ the king.

IV.iii.153 (359,3) mens' spurring] Hanmer reads _sparring_, properly
enough, if there be any ancient example of the word.

IV.iii.158 (359,5)

  take the bridge quite away
  Of him, that his particular to foresee
  Smells from the general weal]

[W: to forefend] The metaphor is apparently incongruous, but the sense
is good. To _foresee his particular_, is _to provide for his private
advantage_, for which _he leaves the right scent of publick good_. In
hunting, when hares have cross'd one another, it is common for some of
the hounds _to smell from the general weal, and foresee their own
particular_. Shakespeare, who seems to have been a skilful sportsman,
and has alluded often to falconry, perhaps, alludes here to hunting.

To the commentator's emendation it may be objected, that he used
_forefend_ in the wrong meaning. To _forefend_, is, I think, never to
_provide for_, but to _provide against_. The verbs compounded with _for_
or _fore_ have commonly either an evil or negative sense.

IV.iii.182 (361,8) eyeless venom'd worm] The serpent, which we, from the
smallness of his eyes, call the _blind worm_, and the Latins,

IV.iii.183 (361,9) below crisp heaven] [W: cript] Mr. Upton declares for
_crisp_, curled, bent, hollow.

IV.iii.188 (361,1) Let it no more bring out ingrateful man!] [W: out to
ungrateful] It is plain that _bring out_ is _bring forth_, with which
the following lines correspond so plainly, that the commentator might be
suspected of writing his note without reading the whole passage.

IV.iii.193 (362,2) Dry up thy marrows, vines, and plough torn leas] I
cannot concur to censure Theobald [as Warburton did] as a _critic_ very
_unhappy_. He was weak, but he was cautious: finding but little power in
his mind, he rarely ventured far under its conduct. This timidity
hindered him from daring conjectures, and sometimes hindered him

This passage, among many others, may pass without change. The genuine
reading is not _marrows, veins_, but _marrows_, vines: the sense is
this; _O nature! cease_ to _produce men, ensear thy womb_; but if thou
wilt continue to produce them, at least cease to pamper them; _dry up
thy marrows_, on which they fatten with _unctuous morsels_, thy _vines_,
which give them _liquorish draughts_, and thy _plow-torn leas_. Here are
effects corresponding with causes, _liquorish draughts_ with _vines_,
and _unctuous morsels_ with _marrows_, and the old reading literally

IV.iii.209 (363,3) the cunning of a carper] _Cunning_ here seems to
signify _counterfeit appearance_.

IV.ii.223 (364,4) moist trees] Hanmer reads very elegantly,

  --moss'd _trees_.

IV.iii.37 (364,5)

  _Tim._ Always a villain's office, or a fool's.
  Dost please thyself in't?

  _Apem._ Ay.

  _Tim._ What! a knave too?]

Such was Dr. Warburton's first conjecture ["and know't too"], but
afterwards he adopted Sir T. Hanmer's conjecture,

  _What a knave_ thou!

but there is no need of alteration. Timon had just called Apemantus
_fool_, in consequence of what he had known of him by former
acquaintance; but when Apemantus tells him, that he comes _to vex him_,
Timon determines that to _vex_ is either _the office of a villain or a
fool_; that _to vex by design_ is _villainy, to vex without design_ is
_folly_. He then properly asks Apemantus whether he takes delight in
_vexing_, and when he answers, _yes_, Timon replies, _What! and knave
too?_ I before only knew thee to be a _fool_, but I now find thee
likewise a _knave_. This seems to be so clear as not to stand in need of
a comment.

IV.iii.242 (365,6) Willing misery/Out-lives incertain pomp; is crown'd
before] Arrives sooner at _high wish_; that is, at the _completion of
its wishes_.

IV.iii.247 (365,7) Worse than the worst, content] Best states
contentless have a wretched being, a being worse than that of the worst
states that are content. This one would think too plain to have been
mistaken. (1773)

IV.iii.249 (365,8) by his breath] It means, I believe, by his _counsel_,
by his _direction_.

IV. iii. 252 (366,l) Hadst thou, like us] There is in this speech a
sullen haughtiness, and malignant dignity, suitable at once to the lord
and the man-hater. The impatience with which he bears to have his luxury
reproached by one that never had luxury within his reach, is natural and

There is in a letter, written by the earl of Essex, just before his
execution, to another nobleman, a passage somewhat resembling this, with
which, I believe every reader will be pleased, though it is so serious
and solemn that it can scarcely be inserted without irreverence.

"God grant your lordship may quickly feel the comfort I now enjoy in my
unfettered conversion, but that you may never feel the torments I have
suffered for my long delaying it. _I had none but deceivers to call upon
me, to whom I said, if my ambition could have entered into their narrow
breasts, they would not have been so precise. But your lordship hath one
to call upon you, that knoweth what it is you now enjoy; and what the
greatest fruit and end is of all contentment that this world can
afford._ Think, therefore, dear earl, that I have staked and buoyed all
the ways of pleasure unto you, and left them as sea-marks for you to
keep the channel of religious virtue. For shut your eyes never so long,
they must be open at the last, and then you must say with me, _there is
no peace to the ungodly_."

IV.iii.252 (366,2) from our first swath] From infancy. _Swath_ is the
dress of a new-born child.

IV.iii.258 (366,3) precepts of respect] Of obedience to laws.

IV.iii.259 (366,4) But myself] The connection here requires some
attention. _But_ is here used to denote opposition; but what immediately
precedes is not opposed to that which follows. The adversative particle
refers to the two first lines.

  _Thou art a slave, whom fortune's tender arm
  With favour never claspt; but bred a dog.
  --But myself,
  Who had the world as my confectionary,_ &c.

The intermediate lines are to be considered as a parenthesis of passion.

IV.iii.271 (367,5) If thou wilt curse, thy father, that poor rag,/ Must
be thy subject] If we read _poor rogue_, it will correspond rather
better to what follows.

IV.iii.276 (367,6) Thou hadst been knave and flatterer] Dryden has
quoted two verses of Virgil to shew how well he could have written
satires. Shakespeare has here given a specimen of the same power by a
line bitter beyond all bitterness, in which Timon tells Apemantus, that
he had not virtue enough for the vices which he condemns.

Dr. Warburton explains _worst_ by _lowest_, which somewhat weakens the
sense, and yet leaves it sufficiently vigorous.

I have heard Mr. Bourke commend the subtilty of discrimination with
which Shakespeare distinguishes the present character of Timon from that
of Apemantus, whom to vulgar eyes he would now resemble. (see 1763, VI,
249, 6) (rev. 1778, VIII, 424, 4)

IV.iii.308 (369,8) Ay, though it look like thee] Timon here supposes
that an objection against hatred, which through the whole tenor of the
conversation appears an argument for it. One would have expected him to
have answered,

  Yes, _for it looks like thee_.

The old edition, which always gives the pronoun instead of the
affirmative particle, has it,

  _I, though it look like thee_.

Perhaps we should read,

  _I_ thought _it_ look'd _like thee_.

IV,iii.363 (371,2) Thou art the cap] i.e. the property, the bubble.
WARBURTON.] I rather think, the _top_, the _principal_.

The remaining dialogue has more malignity than wit.

IV.iii.383 (372,4) 'Twixt natural, son and sire!']

  [Greek: dia touton ouk adelphoi
  dia touton ou toxaeas. ANAC.]

IV.iii.398 (373,6) More things like men?] This line, in the old edition,
is given to Aremantus, but it apparently belongs to Timon. Hanmer has
transposed the foregoing dialogue according to his own mind, not
unskilfully, but with unwarrantable licence.

IV.iii.419 (373,7) you want much of meat] [T: of meet] Such is Mr.
Theobald's emendation, in which he is followed by Dr. Warburton. Sir T.
Hanmer reads,

  --_you want much of_ men.

They have been all busy without necessity. Observe the series of the
conversation. The thieves tell him, that they are _men that much do
want_. Here is an ambiguity between _much want_ and _want_ of _much_.
Timon takes it on the wrong side, and tells them that their _greatest
want is_, that, like other men, _they want much of meat_; then telling
them where meat may be had, he asks, _Want? why want?_ (see 1765, VI,
254, 5)

IV.iii.420 (374,8) the earth hath roots;/Within this mile break forth an
hundred springs]

  _Vile plus, et duris haerentia mora rubetis
  Pugnantis stomachi composuere famen:
  Flumine vicino stultus sitit._

I do not suppose these to be imitations, but only to be similar thoughts
on similar occasions.

IV.iii.442 (375,2) The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves/The
moon into salt tears] [W: The mounds] I am not willing to receive
_mounds_, which would not be understood but by him that suggested it.
The _moon_ is supposed to be humid, and perhaps a source of humidity,
but cannot be _resolved_ by the _surges_ of the sea. Yet I think _moon_
is the true reading. Here is a circulation of thievary described: The
sun, moon, and sea all rob, and are robbed.

IV.iii.456 (376,3) 'Tis in the malice of mankind, that he thus advises
us; not to have us thrive in our mystery] [Hanmer: his malice to]
Hanmer's emendation, though not necessary, is very probable, and very
unjustly charged with nonsense [by Warburton]. The reason of his advice,
says the thief, is _malice to mankind_, not any kindness to us, or
desire _to have us thrive in our mystery_.

IV.iii.468 (378,5) What an alteration of honour has/Desperate want
made!] [W: of humour] The original copy has,

  _What an alteration of honour has desperate want made!_

The present reading is certainly better, but it has no authority. To
change _honour_ to _humour_ is not necessary. _An alteration of honour_,
is an _alteration_ of an _honourable state_ to a state of disgrace.

IV.iii.474 (378,8)

  Grant, I may ever love, and rather woe
  Those that would mischief me, than those that do!]

[W: rather too/...that woo] In defiance of this criticism, I have
ventured to replace the former reading, as more suitable to the general
spirit of these scenes, and as free from the absurdities charged upon
it. It is plain, that in this whole speech _friends_ and _enemies_ are
taken only for those who _profess friendship_ and _profess enmity_; for
the _friend_ is supposed not to be more kind, but more dangerous than
the _enemy_. In the amendation, _those that would mischief_ are placed
in opposition to _those that woo_, but in the speaker's intention _those
that woo_ are _those that mischief_ most. The sense is, _Let me rather
woo or caress those that_ would _mischief, that_ profess to mean me
mischief, _than those_ that really _do_ me _mischief under false
professions of kindness_. The Spaniards, I think, have this proverb;
_Defend me from my friends, and from my enemies I will defend myself_.
This proverb is a sufficient comment on the passage.

IV.iii.484 (379,9) all/I kept were knaves, to serve in meat to villains]
_Knave_ is here in the compounded sense of a _servant_ and a _rascal_.

IV.iii.492 (379,1) Pity's sleeping] I do not know that any correction is
necessary, but I think we might read,

  --_eyes do never give
  But thorough lust and laughter, pity sleeping_.

_Eyes never flow_ (to _give_ is to dissolve as saline bodies in moist
weather) _but by lust_ or _laughter_, undisturbed _by_ emotions of

IV.iii.499 (380,2) It almost turns my dangerous nature wild] [W: mild]
This emendation is specious, but even this may be controverted. To _turn
wild_ is _to distract_. An appearance so unexpected, says Timon, _almost
turns my savageness_ to distraction. Accordingly he examines with nicety
lest his phrenzy, should deceive him,

  _Let me behold thy face. Surely this man
  Was born of woman_.

And to this suspected disorder of mind he alludes,

  _Perpetual, sober, Gods_!--
  Ye powers whose intellects are out of the reach of perturbation.

IV.iii.533 (381,3) thou shalt build from men] Away from human

V.i (382,5) _Enter Poet and Painter_] The poet and the painter were
within view when Apemantus parted from Timon, and might then have seen
Timon, since Apemantus, standing by him could not see them: But the
scenes of the thieves and steward have passed before their arrival, and
yet passed, as the drama is now conducted within their view. It might be
suspected that some scenes are transposed, for all these difficulties
would be removed by introducing the poet and painter first, and the
thieves in this place. Yet I am afraid the scenes must keep their
present order; for the painter alludes to the thieves when he says, _he
likewise enriched poor straggling soldiers with great quantity_. This
impropriety is now heightened by placing the thieves in one act, and the
poet and painter in another: but it must be remembered, that in the
original edition this play is not divided into separate acts, so that
the present distribution is arbitrary, and may be changed if any
convenience can be gained, or impropriety obviated by alteration.

V.i.47 (384,6) While the day serves, before black-corner'd night] [W:
black-cornette] _Black-corner'd night_ is probably corrupt, but
_black-cornette_ can hardly be right, for it should be _black-cornetted
night_. I cannot propose any thing, but must leave the place in its
present state. (1773)

V.i.101 (386,8) a made-up villain] That is a villain that adopts
qualities and characters not properly belonging to him; a hypocrite.

V.i.105 (386,9) drown them in a draught] That is, _in the_ jakes.

V.i.109 (388,1)

  But two in company--
  Each man apart, all single and alone,
  Yet an arch villain keeps him company]

This passage is obscure. I think the meaning is this: _but two in
company_, that is, stand apart, _let only two be together_; for even
when each stands single there are two, he himself and a villain.

V.i.151 (388,3) Of its own fall] [The Oxford editor alters _fall_ to
_fault_, not knowing that Shakespeare uses _fall_ to signify dishonour,
not destruction. So in _Hamlet_,

  _What a_ falling_ off was there_! WARBURTON.]

The truth is, that neither _fall_ means _disgrace_, nor is _fault_ a
necessary emendation. _Falling off_ in the quotation is not _disgrace_
but _defection_. The Athenians _had sense_, that is, felt the danger _of
their own fall_, by the arms of Alcibiades.

V.i.151 (388,4) restraining aid to Timon] I think it should be
_refraining aid_, that is, with-holding aid that should have been given
_to_ Timon.

V.i.154 (389,5) Than their offence can weigh down by the dram] This
which was in the former editions can scarcely be right, and yet I know
not whether my reading will be thought to rectify it. I take the meaning
to be, We will give thee a recompence that our offences cannot outweigh,
_heaps of wealth down by the dram_, or delivered according to the
exactest measure. A little disorder may perhaps have happened in
transcribing, which may be reformed by reading,

  --_Ay, ev'n such heaps
  And sums of love and wealth, down by the dram,
  As shall to thee_--

V.i.165 (389,6) Allow'd with absolute power] _Allowed_ is _licensed_,
_privileged_, _uncontrolled_. So of a buffoon, in _Love's Labour lost_,
it is said, that he is _allowed_, that is, at liberty to say what he
will, a privileged scoffer.

V.i.139 (390,7) My long sickness/Of health and living now begins to
mend] The disease of life begins to promise me a period.

V.i.211 (391,8) in the sequence of degree] Methodically, from highest to

V.iii.4 (393,2) Some beast read this; here does not live a man] [W:
rear'd] Notwithstanding this remark, I believe the old reading to be the
right. _The soldier had only seen the rude heap of earth._ He had
evidently seen something that told him _Timon was dead_; and what could
tell that but his tomb? The tomb he sees, and the inscription upon it,
which not being able to read, and finding none to read it for him, he
exclaims peevishly, _some beast read this_, for it must be read, and in
this place it cannot be read by man.

There is something elaborately unskilful in the contrivance of sending a
soldier, who cannot read, to take the epitaph in wax, only that it may
close the play by being read with more solemnity in the last scene.

V.iv.7 (394, 3) traverst arms] Arms across.

V.iv.8 (394,4) the time is flush] A bird is _flush_ when his feathers
are grown, and he can leave the nest. _Flush_ is _mature_.

V.iv.18 (395,7)

                        So did we woo
  Transformed Timon to our city's love,
  By humble message, and by promis'd means]

[T: promis'd mends] Dr. Warburton agrees with Mr. Theobald, but the old
reading may well stand.

V.iv.28 (395,8) Shame, that they wanted cunning, in excess/Hath broke
their hearts] [Theobald had emended the punctuation] I have no wish to
disturb the means of Theobald, yet think some emendation nay be offered
that will make the construction less harsh, and the sentence more
serious. I read,

  _Shape that they wanted, coming in excess,
  Hath broke their hearts._

_Shame which they_ had so long _wanted at last_ coming in _its utmost_

V.iv.36 (396,8) not square] Not regular, not equitable.

V.iv.35 (397,9) uncharged ports] That is, _unguarded gates_.

V.iv.59 (397,1) not a man/Shall pass his quarter] Not a soldier shall
quit his station, or be let loose upon you; and, if any commits
violence, he shall answer it regularly to the law.

V.iv.76 (308.,3) our brain's flow; Hanmer and Dr. Warburton read,

  --brine's flow,--

Our brain's flow is our tears; but we any read our brine's flow, our
salt tears. Either will serve. (see 1765, VI, 276, 6)

(399) General Observation. The play of _Timon_ is a domestic tragedy,
and therefore strongly fastens on the attention of the reader. In the
plan there is not much art, but the incidents are natural, and the
characters various and exact. The catastrophe affords a very powerful
warning against that ostentations liberality, which scatters bounty, but
confers no benefits, and buys flattery, but not friendship.

In this tragedy are many passages perplexed, obscure, and probably
corrupt, which I have endeavoured to rectify, or explain, with due
diligence; but having only one copy, cannot promise myself that my
endeavours shall be much applauded.


(403,1) It is observable, that this play is printed in the quarto of
1611, with exactness equal to that of the other books of those times.
The first edition was probably corrected by the author, so that here is
very little room for conjecture or emendation; and accordingly none of
the editors have much molested this piece with officious criticism.

I.i.70 (406,2) Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!] [W: my]
_Thy_ is as well as _my_. We may suppose the Romans in a grateful
ceremony, meeting the dead sons of Andronicus with mourning habits.

I.i.77 (407,3) Thou great defender of this Capitol] Jupiter, to whom the
Capitol was sacred.

I.i.168 (410,5) And fame's eternal date for virtue's praise!] [W: In] To
_live in fame's date_ is, if an allowable, yet a harsh expression. To
_outlive_ an _eternal date_, is, though not philosophical, yet poetical
sense. He wishes that her life may be longer than his, and her praise
longer than fame.

I.i.309 (414,6) changing piece] Spoken of Lavinia. _Piece_ was then, as
it is now, used personally as a word of contempt.

II.i (421,8) In the quarto, the direction is, _Manet Aaron_, and he is
before made to enter with Tamora, though he says nothing. This scene
ought to continue the first act.

II.i.9 (421,9) So Tamora--/Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait] [W:
her will] I think _wit_, for which she is eminent in the drama, is

II.i.116 (425,2) by kind] That is, by _nature_, which is the old
signification of _kind_.

II.ii (425,3) _Changes to a Forest_] The division of this play into
acts, which was first made by the editors in 1623, is improper. There is
here an interval of action, and here the second act ought to have begun.

II.iii.8 (427,6)

  And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest,
  That have their alms out of the empress' chest]

This is obscure. It seems to mean only, that they who are to come at
this gold of the empress are to suffer by it.

II.iii.72 (430,9) swarth Cimmerian] _Swarth_ is _black_. The Moor is
called Cimmerien, from the affinity of blackness to darkness.

II.iii.85 (430,1)

  _Bas._ The king, my brother, shall have note of this.
  _Lav._ Ay, for these slips have made him noted long]

He had yet been married but one night.

II.iii.104 (431,2) Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly] This
is said in fabulous physiology, of those that hear the groan of the
mandrake torn up.

II.iii.126 (432,3) And with that painted hope she braves your
mightiness] [W: cope] _Painted hope_ is only _specious_ hope, or ground
of confidence more plausible than solid.

II.iii.227 (435,4) A precious ring, that lightens all the hole] There is
supposed to be a gem called a carbuncle, which emits not reflected but
native light. Mr. Boyle believes the reality of its existence.

II.iv.13 (438,5) If I do dream, 'would all my wealth would wake me'] If
this be a dream, I would give all my possessions to be delivered from it
by waking.

III.i.91 (443,8) It was my deer] The play upon _deer_ and _dear_ has
been used by Waller, who calls a lady's girdle, _The pale that held my
lovely_ deer.

III.i.216 (447,1) And do not break into these deep extremes] [We should
read, instead of this nonsense,


i.e. extremes caused by excessive sorrow. But Mr. Theobald, on his own
authority, alters it to _deep_, without notice given. WARB.] It is
_deep_ in the old quarto of 1611, (rev. 1778, VIII, 510, 8)

III.ii (450,2) _An apartment in Titus's house_] This scene, which does
not contribute any thing to the action, yet seems to have the same
author with the rest, is omitted in the quarto of 1611, but found in the
folio of 1623.

III.ii.45 (452,3) by still practice] By _constant_ or _continual_

IV.i.129 (458,6) Revenge the heavens] It should be,

  _Revenge_, ye _Heavens_!--

_Ye_ was by the transcriber taken for _y'e_, the.

IV.ii.85 (461,7) I'll broach the tadpole] A _broach_ is a _spit_. I'll
_spit_ the tadpole.

IV.ii.99 (462,8) Coal-black is better than another hue,/ In that it
seems to bear another hue] We may better read, _In that it_ scorns _to
bear another hue_.

IV.iii.88 (466,1) Yet wrung with wrongs] To _wring_ a horse is to press
or strain his back.

IV.iv.90 (472,4) With words more sweet, and yet more dangerous,/ Than
baits to fish, or honey-stalks to sheep] _Honey-stalks_ are
clover-flowers, which contain a sweet juice. It is common for cattle to
over-charge themselves with clover, and die.

V.i.102 (476,7) As true a dog, as ever fought at head] An allusion to
bull-dogs, whose generosity and courage are always shown by meeting the
bull in front, and seizing his nose.

V.ii.189 (484,1) And of the paste a coffin will I rear] A _coffin_ is
the term of art for the cavity of a raised pye.

V.iii.19 (486,2) break the parley] That is, _begin_ the parley. We yet
say, he _breaks_ his mind.

(492) General Observation. All the editors and critics agree with Mr.
Theobald in supposing this play spurious. I see no reason for differing
from them; for the colour of the stile is wholly different from that of
the other plays, and there is an attempt at regular versification, and
artificial closes, not always inelegant, yet seldom pleasing. The
barbarity of the spectacles, and the general massacre, which are here
exhibited, can scarcely be conceived tolerable to any audience; yet we
are told by Jonson, that they were not only borne, but praised. That
Shakespeare wrote any part, though Theobald declares it _incontestible_,
I see no reason for believing.

The testimony produced at the beginning of this play, by which it is
ascribed to Shakespeare, is by no means equal to the argument against
its authenticity, arising from the total difference of conduct,
language, and sentiments, by which it stands apart from all the rest.
Meeres had probably no other evidence than that of a title-page, which,
though in our time it be sufficient, was then of no great authority; for
all the plays which were rejected by the first collectors of
Shakespeare's works, and admitted in later editions, and again rejected
by the critical editors, had Shakespeare's name on the title, as we must
suppose, by the fraudulence of the printers, who, while there were yet
no gazettes, nor advertisements, nor any means of circulating literary
intelligence, could usurp at pleasure any celebrated name. Nor had
Shakespeare any interest in detecting the imposture, as none of his fame
or profit was produced by the press.

The chronology of this play does not prove it not to be Shakespeare's.
If it had been written twenty-five years, in 1614, it might have been
written when Shakespeare was twenty-five years old. When he left
Warwickshire I know not, but at the age of twenty-five it was rather too
late to fly for deer-stealing.

Ravenscroft, who in the reign of Charles II, revised this play, and
restored it to the stage, tells us, in his preface, from a theatrical
tradition, I suppose, which in his time might be of sufficient
authority, that this play was touched in different parts by Shakespeare,
but written by some other poet. I do not find Shakespeare's touches very
discernible, (see 1765, VI, 364) (rev. 1778, VIII, 559)

Vol. IX.


Prologue. (4,2)

  _And hither am I come
  A prologue arm'd; but not in confidence
  Of author's pen, or actor's voice; but suited
  In like conditions as our argument_]

I come here to speak the prologue, and come in armour; not defying the
audience, in confidence of either the author's or actor's abilities, but
merely in a character suited to the subject, in a dress of war, before a
warlike play.

I.i.12 (8,3) And skill-less as unpractis'd infancy] Mr. Dryden, in his
alteration of this play, has taken this speech as it stands, except that
he has changed _skill-less_ to _artless_, not for the better, because
_skill-less_ refers to _skill_ and _skilful_.

I.i.58 (10,4) The cignet's down is harsh, and spirit of sense/Hard as
the palm of ploughman!] _In comparison with_ Cressid's _hand_, says he,
_the spirit of sense_, the utmost degree, the most exquisite power of
sensibility, which implies a soft hand, since the sense of touching, as
Scaliger says in his _Exercitations_, resides chiefly in the fingers, is
hard as the callous and insensible palm of the ploughman. WARBURTON

  --SPITE _of sense_:


  --to th' _spirit of sense_.

It is not proper to make a lover profess to praise his mistress in
_spite of sense_; for though he often does it in _spite of the sense_ of
others, his own senses are subdued to his desires.

I.i.66 (10,5) if she be fair, 'tis the better for her; an she be not,
she has the mends in her own hands] She may mend her complexion by the
assistance of cosmeticks.

I.ii.4 (12,1) Hector, whose patience/Is, as a virtue, fix'd] [W: Is as
the] I think the present text may stand. Hector's patience was as a
virtue, not variable and accidental, but fixed and constant. If I would
alter it, it should be thus:

  --Hector, whose patience
  Is ALL a virtue fix'd,--

_All_, in old English, is the _intensive_ or enforcing particle.

I.ii.8 (13,2) Before the sun rose, he was harness'd light] [Warburton
stated that "harnessed light" meant Hector was to fight on foot] How
does it appear that Hector was to fight on foot rather to-day than on
any other day? It is to be remembered, that the ancient heroes never
fought on horseback; nor does their manner of fighting in chariots seem
to require less activity than on foot.

I.ii.23 (14,4) his valour is crushed into folly] To be _crushed into
folly_, is to be _confused_ and mingled with _folly_, so as that they
make one mass together.

I.ii.46 (15,6) Ilium] Was the palace of Troy.

I.ii.120 (17,7) compass-window] The _compass-window_ is the same as the
_bow-window_. (1773)

I.ii.212 (20,2)

  _Cre._ Will he give you the nod?
  _Pan._ You shall see.
  _Cre._ If he do, the rich shall have more]

[W: rich] I wonder why the commentator should think any emendation
necessary, since his own sense is fully expressed by the present
reading. Hanmer appears not to have understood the passage. That to
_give the nod_ signifies to _set a mark of folly_, I do not know; the
allusion is to the word _noddy_, which, as now, did, in our author's
time, and long before, signify, _a silly fellow_, and may, by its
etymology, signify likewise _full of nods_. Cressid means, that _a_
noddy _shall have more_ nods. Of such remarks as these is a comment to

I.ii.260 (22,3) money to boot] So the folio. The old quarto, with more
force, Give _an eye_ to boot. (rev. 1778, IX, 25, 1)

I.ii.285 (22,4) upon my wit to defend my wiles] So read both the copies)
yet perhaps the author wrote,

  Upon my wit to defend my will.

The terms _wit_ and _will_ were, in the language of that time, put often
in opposition.

I.ii.300 (23,5) At your own house; there he unarms him] [These necessary
words added from the quarto edition. POPE.] The words added are only,
_there he unarms him_.

I.ii.313 (23,6) joy's soul lies in the doing] So read both the old
editions, for which the later editions have poorly given,

  --the _soul's joy_ lies in doing.

I.ii.316 (23,7) That she] Means, that woman.

I.iii.31 (25,2) With due observance of thy godlike seat] [T: godlike
seat] This emendation [for goodly seat] Theobald might have found in the
quarto, which has,

  --the _godlike_ seat.

I.iii.32 (25,3) Nestor shall apply/Thy latest words] Nestor _applies_
the words to another instance.

I.iii.54 (26,7) Returns to chiding fortune] For _returns_, Hanmer reads
_replies_, unnecessarily, the sense being the same. The folio and quarto
have _retires_, corruptly.

I.iii.62 (27,8)

  both your speeches; which are such,
  As Agamemnon and the hand of Greece
  Should hold up high in brass; and such again,
  As venerable Nestor, hatch'd in silver,
  Should with a bond of air (strong as the axle-tree
  On which heaven rides) knit all the Greekish ears
  To his experienc'd tongue]

Ulysses begins his oration with praising those who had spoken before
him, and marks the characteristick excellencies of their different
eloquence, strength, and sweetness, which he expresses by the different
metals on which he recommends them to be engraven for the instruction of
posterity. The speech of Agamemnon is such that it ought to be engraven
in brass, and the tablet held up by him on the one side, and Greece on
the other, to shew the union of their opinion. And Nestor ought to be
exhibited in silver, uniting all his audience in one mind by his soft
and gentle elocution. Brass is the common emblem of strength, and silver
of gentleness. We call a soft voice a _silver_ voice, and a persuasive
tongue a _silver_ tongue.--I once read for _hand_, the _band_ of Greece,
but I think the text right.--To _hatch_ is a term of art for a
particular method of _engraving_. _Hatcher_, to cut, Fr.

I.iii.78 (28,1) The specialty of rule] The particular rights of supreme

I.iii.81 (29,2) When that the general is not like the hive] The meaning
is, _When the general is not_ to the army _like the hive_ to the bees,
the repository of the stock of every individual, that to which each
particular resorts with whatever be has collected for the good of the
whole, _what honey is expected_? what hope of advantage? The sense is
clear, the expression is confused.

I.iii.101 (30,5) Oh, when degree is shak'd] I would read,

  --So when degree is shak'd. (see 1765, VII, 431, 5)

I.iii.103 (30,6) The enterprize] Perhaps we should read,

  _Then_ enterprize is sick!--

I.iii.104 (30,7) brotherhoods in cities] Corporations, companies,

I.iii.128 (31,8) That by a pace goes backward] That goes backward _step
by step_.

I.iii.128 (31,9) with a purpose/It hath to climb] With a design in each
man to aggrandize himself, by slighting his immediate superior.

I.iii.134 (31,1) bloodless emulation] An emulation not vigorous and
active, but malignant and sluggish.

I.iii.152 (31,2) Thy topless deputation] _Topless_ is that has nothing
_topping_ or _overtopping_ it; supreme; sovereign.

I.iii.167 (32,3) as near as the extremest ends/Of parallels] The
parallels to which the allusion seems to be made are the parallels on a
map. As like as East to West.

I.iii.179 (32,4)

  All our abilities, gifts, natures, shapes,
  Severals and generals of grace exact,
  Atchievements, plots]

The meaning is this, All our good _grace exact_, means of _excellence

I.iii.184 (32,5) to make paradoxes] _Paradoxes_ may have a meaning, but
it is not clear and distinct. I wish the copies had given,

  --to make _parodies_.

I.iii.188 (33,6) bears his head/In such a rein] That is, holds up his
head as haughtily. We still say of a girl, _she bridles_.

I.iii.196 (33,7) How rank soever rounded in with danger] A _rank weed_
is a _high weed_. The modern editions silently read,

  How _hard_ soever--

I.iii.202 (33,8) and know by measure/Of their observant toil the
enemies' weight] I think it were better to read,

  --and know _the_ measure,
  _By_ their observant toil, _of_ th' enemies' weight.

I.iii.220 (34,1) Achilles' arm] So the copies. Perhaps the author wrote,

  --_Alcides'_ arm.

I.iii.262 (35,4) long continu'd truce] Of this long _truce_ there has
been no notice taken; in this very act it is said, that _Ajax coped
Hector yesterday in the battle_.

I.iii.270 (36,7) (With truant vows to her own lips he loves)] That is,
_confession made with idle vows to the lips of her whom he loves_.

I.iii.319 (37,1) nursery] Alluding to a plantation called a nursery.

I.iii.341 (38,4) scantling] That is, a _measure_, _proportion_. The
carpenter cuts his wood to a certain _scantling_.

I.iii.343 (38,5) small pricks] Small _points compared_ with the volumes.

II.i (40,1) _The Grecian camp. Enter Ajax and Thorsites_] ACT II.] This
play is not divided into acts in any of the original editions.

II.i.13 (41,2) The plague of Greece] Alluding perhaps to the plague sent
by Apollo on the Grecian army.

II.i.15 (41,3) Speak then, thou unsalted leaven, speak] [T:
unwinnow'dst] [W: windyest] Hanmer preserves _whinid'st_, the reading of
the folio; but does not explain it, nor do I understand it. If the folio
be followed, I read, _vinew'd_, that is _mouldy leven_. Thou composition
of _mustiness_ and _sourness_.--Theobald's assertion, however confident,
is false. _Unsalted_ leaven is in the old quarto. It means _sour_
without _salt_, malignity without wit. Shakespeare wrote first
_unsalted_; but recollecting that want of _salt_ was no fault in leaven,
changed it to _vinew'd_.

II.i.38 (42,5) aye that thou bark'st at him] I read, _O_ that thou
_bark'dst_ at him.

II.i.42 (42,6) pun thee into shivers] _Pun_ is in the midland counties
the vulgar and colloquial word for _pound_. (1773)

II.i.125 (45,1) when Achilles' brach bids me] The folio and quarto read,
_Achilles'_ brooch. _Brooch_ is an appendant ornament. The meaning may
be, equivalent to one of _Achilles' hangers on_.

II.ii.29 (47,2) The past-proportion of his infinite?] Thus read both the
copies. The meaning is, _that greatness, to which no measure bears any
proportion_. The modern editors silently give,

  The _vast_ proportion--

II.ii.58 (48,4) And the will dotes that is inclinable] [Old edition, not
so well, has it, _attributive_. POPE.] By the old edition Mr. Pope means
the old quarto. The folio has, as it stands, _inclinable_.--I think the
first reading better; _the will dotes that attributes_ or gives _the
qualities which it affects_; that first causes excellence, and then
admires it.

II.ii.60 (48,5) Without some image of the affected merit] The present
reading is right. The will _affects_ an object for some supposed
_merit_, which Hector says, is uncensurable, unless the _merit_ so
_affected_ be really there.

II.ii.71 (48,7) unrespective sieve] That is, into a _common voider_.
_Sieve_ is in the quarto. The folio reads,

  --unrespective _fame_;

for which the modern editions have silently printed,

  --unrespective _place_.

II.ii.88 (49,9)

        why do you now
  The issue of your proper wisdoms rate;
  And do a deed that fortune never did,
  Beggar that estimation which you priz'd
  Richer than sea and land?]

If I understand this passage, the meaning is, "Why do you, by censuring
the determination of your own wisdoms, degrade Helen, whom fortune has
not yet deprived of her value, or against whom, as the wife of Paris,
fortune has not in this war so declared, as to make us value her less?"
This is very harsh, and much strained.

II.ii.122 (50,2) her brain-sick raptures/Cannot distaste the goodness of
a quarrel] Corrupt; change to a worse state.

II.ii.179 (52,3) benummed wills] That is, inflexible, inmoveable, no
longer obedient to superior direction.

II.ii.180 (52,4) There is a law in each well-ordered nation] What the
law does in every nation between individuals, justice ought to do
between nations.

II.ii.188 (52,5) Hector's opinion/Is this in way of truth] Though
considering _truth_ and _justice_ in this question, this is my opinion;
yet as a question of honour, I think on it as you.

II.ii.196 (53,6) the performance of our heaving spleens] The execution
of spite and resentment.

II.ii.212 (53,7) emulation] That is, envy, factious contention.

II.iii.18 (54,8) without drawing the massy iron and cutting the web]
That is, _without drawing their swords to cut the web_. They use no
means but those of violence.

II.iii.55 (55,1) decline the whole question] Deduce the question from
the first case to the last.

II.iii.108 (57,6) but it was a strong composure, a fool could disunite]
So reads the quarto very properly; but the folio, which the moderns have
followed, has, _it was a strong_ COUNSEL.

II.iii.118 (57,7) noble state] Person of high dignity; spoken of

II.iii.137 (58,8) under-write] To _subscribe_, in Shakespeare, is to

II.iii.215 (60,2) pheese his pride] To _pheese_ is to _comb_ or _curry_.

II.iii.217 (60,3) Not for the worth that hangs upon our quarrel] Not for
the value of all for which we are fighting.

II.iii.267 (62,6)

  _Ajax._ Shall I call you father?
  _Nest._ Ay, my good son]

In the folio and in the nodern editions Ajax desires to give the title
of _father_ to Ulysses; in the quarto, more naturally, to Nestor.

III.i.35 (64,1) love's invisible soul] _love's_ visible _soul_.] So
HANMER. The other editions have _invisible_, which perhaps may be right,
and may mean the _soul of love_ invisible every where else.

III.i.83 (65,3) And, my lord, he desires you] Here I think the speech of
Pandarus should begin, and the rest of it should be added to that of
Helen, but I have followed the copies.

III.i.96 (65,4) with my disposer Cressida] [W: dispouser] I do not
understand the word _disposer_, nor know what to substitute in its
place. There is no variation in the copies.

III.i.132 (67,6) _Yet that which seems the wound to kill_] _To kill the
wound_ is no very intelligible expression, nor is the measure preserved.
We might read,

    _These lovers cry,
    Oh! oh! they die!_
  But _that which seems to kill,
    Doth turn_, &c.
  _So dying love lives still_.

Yet as _the wound to kill_ may mean _the wound that seems mortal_, I
alter nothing.

III.ii.25 (69,1) tun'd too sharp in sweetness]--and _too sharp in
sweetness_,] So the folio and all modern editions; but the quarto more

  --_tun'd_ too sharp in sweetness.

III.ii.99 (71,4) our head shall go bare, 'till merit crown it] I cannot
forbear to observe, that the quarto reads thus: _Our head shall go bare,
'till merit_ lower part no affection, _in reversion_, &c. Had there been
no other copy, hov could this have been corrected? The true reading is
in the folio.

III.ii.102 (72,5) his addition shall be humble] We will give him no high
or pompous titles.

III.ii.162 (74,6)

        but you are wise,
  Or else you love not; to be wise and love,
  Exceeds man's might]

I read,

  --but _we're not_ wise,
  Or else _we_ love not; to be wise and love,
  Exceeds man's might;--

Cressida, in return to the praise given by Troilus to her wisdom,
replies, "That lovers are never wise; that it is beyond the power of man
to bring love and wisdom to an union."

III.ii.173 (74,8) Might be affronted with the match] I wish "my
integrity might be met and matched with such equality and force of pure
unmingled love."

III.ii.184 (75,2) As true as steel, as plantage to the moon] _Plantage_
is not, I believe, a general term, but the herb which we now call
_plantain_, in Latin, _plantago_, which was, I suppose, imagined to be
under the peculiar influence of the moon.

III.ii.187 (76,3)

  Yet after all comparisons of truth,
  As truth's authentic author to be cited
  _As true as Troilus_, shall crown up the verse]

Troilus shall _crown the verse_, as a man _to be cited as the authentic
author of truth_; as one whose protestations were true to a proverb.

III.iii.1-16 (77,5) Now, princes, for the service I have done you] I am
afraid, that after all the learned commentator's [Warburton's] efforts
to clear the argument of Calchas, it will still appear liable to
objection; nor do I discover more to be urged in his defence, than that
though his skill in divination determined him to leave Troy, jet that he
joined himself to Agamemnon and his army by unconstrained good-will; and
though he came as a fugitive escaping from destruction, yet his services
after his reception, being voluntary and important, deserved reward.
This argument is not regularly and distinctly deduced, but this is, I
think, the best explication that it will yet admit.

III.iii.4 (78,6) through the sight I bear in things, to Jove] This
passage in all the modern editions is silently depraved, and printed

  --through the sight I bear in things to come.

The word is so printed that nothing but the sense can determine whether
it be _love_ or _Jove_. I believe that the editors read it as _love_,
and therefore made the alteration to obtain some meaning.

III.iii.28 (79,7)

  he shall buy my daughter; and her presence
  Shall quite strike off all service I have done,
  In most accepted pain]

Sir T. HANMER, and Dr. WARBURTON after him, read,

  In most accepted _pay_.

They do not seem to understand the construction of the passage. _Her
presence_, says Calchas, shall strike off, or recompence _the service I
have done_, even in these _labours_ which were _most accepted_.

III.iii.44 (80,8) derision med'cinable] All the modern editions have
_decision_. The old copies are apparently right. The folio in this place
agrees with the quarto, so that the corruption was at first merely

III.iii.96 (82,9) how dearly ever parted] I do not think that in the
word _parted_ is included any idea of _division_; it means, _however
excellently endowed_, with however _dear_ or precious _parts_ enriched
or adorned.

III.iii.113 (82,2) but the author's drift:/Who, in his circumstance] In
the detail or circumduction of his argument.

III.iii.125 (83,3) The unknovn Ajax] Ajax, who has abilities which were
never brought into view or use.

III.iii.134 (83,4)

  How some men creep in skittish Fortune's hall,
  While others play the idiots in her eyes!]

To _creep_ is to _keep out of sight_ from whatever motive. Some men
_keep out of notice in the hall of Fortune_, while others, though they
but _play the idiot_, are always _in her eye_, in the way of

III.iii.137 (83,5) feasting] Folio. The quarto has _fasting_. Either
word may bear a good sense.

III.iii.145 (84,6) Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back] This speech
is printed in all the modern editions with such deviations from the old
copy, as exceed the lawful power of an editor.

III.iii.171 (85,2) for beauty, wit,/High birth, vigour of bone, desert
in service] The modern editors read,

  For beauty, wit, high birth, desert in service, &c.

I do not deny but the changes produce a more easy lapse of numbers, but
they do not exhibit the work of Shakespeare, (see 1765, VII, 435, 2)

III.iii.178 (85,3)

  And shew to dust, that is a little gilt,
  More laud than gilt o'er-dusted]

[T: give to ... laud than they will give to gold] This emendation has
been received by the succeeding editors, but recedes too far from the
copy. There is no other corruption than such as Shakespeare's
incorrectness often resembles. He has omitted the article _to_ in the
second line: he should have written,

  _More laud than_ to _gilt o'er-dusted_. (1773) (rev. 1778, IX, 93, 7)

III.iii.189 (86,4) Made emulous missions] The meaning of _mission_ seems
to be _dispatches_ of the gods _from heaven_ about mortal business, such
as often happened at the siege of Troy.

III.iii.197 (86,5) Knows almost every grain of Pluto's gold] For this
elegant line the quarto has only,

  Knows almost every _thing_.

III.iii.201 (86,7) (with which relation/Durst never meddle)] There is a
secret administration of affairs, which no _history_ was ever able to

III.iii.230 (87,9)

  Omission to do what is necessary
  Seals a commission to a blank of danger]

By _neglecting_ our duty we _commission_ or enable that _danger_ of
dishonour, which could not reach us before, to lay hold upon us.

III.iii.254 (88,1) with a politic regard] With a _sly look_.

IV.i.11 (91,1) During all question of the gentle truce] I once thought
to read,

  During all _quiet_ of the gentle truce.

But I think _question_ means intercourse, interchange of conversation.

IV.i.36 (92,4) His purpose meets you] I bring you his meaning and his

IV.i.65 (93,6)

  Both merits pois'd, each weighs no less nor more,
  But he as he, the heavier for a whore]

I read,

  But he as he, _each_ heavier for a whore.

_Heavy_ is taken both for _weighty_, and for _sad_ or _miserable_. The
quarto reads,

  But he as he, _the_ heavier for a whore.

I know not whether the thought is not that of a wager. It must then be
read thus:

  But he as he. Which heavier for a whore?

That is, _for a whore_ staked down, _which is the heavier_.

IV.i.78 (94,7) We'll not commend what we intend to sell] I believe the
meaning is only this: though you practise the buyer's art, we will not
practise the seller's. We intend to sell Helen dear, yet will not
commend her.

IV.ii.62 (96,4) My matter is so rash] My business is so _hasty_ and so

IV.ii.74 (97,6) the secrets of neighbour Pandar] [Pope had emended the
Folio's "secrets of nature" to the present reading] Mr. Pope's reading
is in the old quarto. So great is the necessity of collation.

IV.iv.3 (99,1) The grief] The folio reads,

  The grief is fine, full perfect, that I taste,
  And no less in a sense as strong
  As that which causeth it.--

The quarto otherwise,

  The grief is fine, full, perfect, that I taste,
  And _violenteth_ in a sense as strong
  As that which causeth it.--

_Violenteth_ is a word with which I am not acquainted, yet perhaps it
may be right. The reading of the text is without authority.

IV.iv.65 (101,3) For I will throw my glove to death] That is, I will
_challenge_ death himself in defence of thy fidelity.

IV.iv.105 (103,5)

  While others fish, with craft, for great opinion,
  I, with great truth, catch mere simplicity.]

The meaning, I think, is, _while others_, by their art, gain high
estimation, I, by honesty, obtain a plain simple approbation.

IV.iv.109 (103,6) the moral of my wit/Is, _plain and true_] That is, the
_governing principle of my understanding_; but I rather think we should

  --the _motto_ of my wit
  Is, plain and true,--

IV.iv.114 (103,7) possess thee what she is] I will _make thee fully
understand_. This sense of the word _possess_ is frequent in our author.

IV.iv.134 (104,9) I'll answer to my list] This, I think, is right,
though both the old copies read _lust_.

IV.v.8 (105,1) bias cheek] Swelling out like the bias of a bowl.

IV.v.37 (106,3) I'll make my match to live./The kiss you take is better
than you give] I will make such _bargains_ as I may live by, _such as
may bring me profit_, therefore will not take a worse kiss than I give.

IV.v.48 (107,4) Why, beg then] For the sake of rhime we should read,

  Why beg _two_.

If you think kisses worth begging, beg more than one.

IV.v.52 (107,5) Never's my day, and then a kiss of you] I once gave both
these lines to Cressida. She bids Ulysses beg a kiss; he asks that he
may have it,

  When Helen is a maid again--

She tells him that then he shall have it:

  When Helen is a maid again--

  _Cre._ I am your debtor, claim it when 'tis due;
  Never's my day, and then a kiss _for_ you.

But I rather think that Ulysses means to slight her, and that the
present reading is right.

IV.v.57 (107,6) motive of her body] _Motive_ for _part that contributes
to motion_.

IV.v.59 (107,7) a coasting] An amorous address; courtship.

IV.v.62 (107,8) sluttish spoils of opportunity] Corrupt wenches, of
whose chastity every opportunity may make a prey.

IV.v.73 (108,9) _Aga._ 'Tis done like Hector, but securely done]
[Theobald gave the speech to Achilles] As the old copies agree, I have
made no change.

IV.v.79 (108,1) Valour and pride excel themselves in Hector]
Shakespeare's thought is not exactly deduced. Nicety of expression is
not his character. The cleaning is plain, "Valour (says AEneas) is in
Hector greater than valour in other men, and pride in Hector is less
than pride in other men. So that Hector is distinguished by the
excellence of having pride less than other pride, and valour more than
other valour."

IV.v.103 (109,2) an impair thought] A thought suitable to the dignity of
his character. This word I should have changed to _impure_, were I not
over-powered by the unanimity of the editors, and concurrence of the old
copies, (rev. 1778, IX, 120, 8)

IV.v.105 (109,3) Hector in his blaze of wrath subscribes/To tender
objects] That is, _yields, gives_ way.

IV.v.112 (110,4) thus translate him to me] Thus _explain his character_.

IV.v.142 (111,5) _Hect._ Not Neoptolemus so mirable] [W: Neoptolemus's
sire irascible] After all this contention it is difficult to imagine
that the critic believes _mirable_ to have been changed to _irascible_.
I should sooner read,

  Not Neoptolemus th' admirable;

as I know not whether _mirable_ can be found in any other place. The
correction which the learned commentator gave to Hanmer,

  Not Neoptolemus' _sire_ so mirable,

as it was modester than this, was preferable to it. But nothing is more
remote from justness of sentiment, than for Hector to characterise
Achilles as the father of Neoptolemus, a youth that had not yet appeared
in arms, and whose name was therefore much less knovn than his father's.
My opinion is, that by Neoptolemus the author meant Achilles himself;
and remembering that the son was Pyrrhus Neoptolemus, considered
Neoptolemus as the nomen gentilitium, and thought the father was
likewise Achilles Neoptolemus.

IV.v.147 (112,6) We'll answer it] That is, answer the _expectance_.

IV.v.275 (117,5) Beat loud the tabourines] For this the quarto and the
latter editions have,

  To taste your bounties.--

The reading which I have given from the folio seems chosen at the
revision, to avoid the repetition of the word _bounties_ [273].

V.i.5 (118,1) Thou crusty batch of nature] _Batch_ is changed by
Theobald to _botch_, and the change is justified by a pompous note,
which discovers that he did not know the word _batch_. What is more
strange, Hanmer has followed him. _Batch_ is any thing _baked_.

V.i.19 (119,3) Male-varlet] HANMER reads _male-harlot_, plausibly
enough, except that it seems too plain to require the explanation which
Patroclus demands.

V.i.23 (119,4) cold palsies] This catalogue of loathsome maladies ends
in the folio at _cold palsies_. This passage, as it stands, is in the
quarto: the retrenchment was in my opinion judicious. It may be
remarked, though it proves nothing, that, of the few alterations made by
Milton in the second edition of his wonderful poem, one was, an
enlargement of the enumeration of diseases.

V.i.32 (119,5) you ruinous butt; you whoreson indistinguishable cur]
Patroclos reproaches Thersites with deformity, with having one part
crowded into another.

V.i.35 (119,6) thou idle immaterial skeyn of sley'd silk] All the terms
used by Thersites of Patroclus, are emblematically expressive of
flexibility, compliance, and mean officiousness.

V.i.40 (119,7) Out, gall!] HANMER reads _nut-gall_, which answers well
enough to _finch-egg_; it has already appeared, that our author thought
the _nut-gall_ the bitter gall. He is called _nut_, from the
conglobation of his form; but both the copies read, _Out, gall_!

V.i.41 (120,8) Finch egg!] Of this reproach I do not know the exact
meaning. I suppose he means to call him _singing bird_, as implying an
useless favourite, and yet more, something more worthless, a singing
bird in the egg, or generally, a slight thing easily crushed.

V.i.64 (121,2) forced with wit] Stuffed with wit. A term of cookery.--In
this speech I do not well understand what is meant by _loving quails_.

V.i.73 (121,3) spirits and fires!] This Thersites speaks upon the first
sight of the distant lights.

V.ii.11 (124,1) And any man may sing her, if he can take her cliff] That
is, her _key_. _Clef_, French.

V.ii.41 (125,2) You flow to great distraction] So the moderns. The folio

  You _flow_ to great _distraction_.--

The quarto,

  You _flow_ to great _destruction_.--

I read,

  You _show too_ great distraction.--

V.ii.108 (128,7) But with my heart the other eye doth see] I think it
should be read thus,

  But _my heart with_ the other eye doth see.

V.ii.113 (128,8) A proof of strength she could not publish more] She
could not publish a stronger proof.

V.ii.125 (129,1) I cannot conjure, Trojan] That is, I cannot raise
spirits in the form of Cressida.

V.ii.141 (129,2) If there be rule in unity itself] I do not well
understand what is meant by _rule in unity_. By _rule_ our author, in
this place as in others, intends _virtuous restraint, regularity of
manners, command of passions and appetites_. In Macbeth,

  He cannot buckle his distemper'd cause
  Within the belt of rule.--

But I know not how to apply the word in this sense to _unity_. I read,

  If there be rule in _purity_ itself,

Or, If there be rule in _verity_ itself.

Such alterations would not offend the reader, who saw the state of the
old editions, in which, for instance, a few lines lower, _the almighty
sun_ is called _the almighty fenne_.--Yet the words may at last mean, If
there be _certainty_ in _unity_, if it be a _rule_ that _one is one_.

V.ii.144 (130,3) Bi-fold authority!] This is the reading of the quarto.
The folio gives us,

  _By foul_ authority!--

There is _madness_ in that disquisition in which a man reasons at once
_for_ and _against himself upon authority_ which he knows _not to be
valid_. The quarto is right.

V.ii.144 (130,4)

        where reason can revolt
  Without perdition, and loss assume all reason
  Without revolt]

The words _loss_ and _perdition_ are used in their common sense, but
they mean the _loss_ or _perdition_ of _reason_.

V.ii.157 (131,6) And with another knot five-finger-tied] A knot tied by
giving her hand to Diomed.

V.ii.160 (131,7) o'er-eaten faith] Vows which she has already swallowed
_once over_. We still say of a faithless man, that he has _eaten his

V.ii.161 (131,8)

  _Ulyss._ May worthy Troilus be half attach'd
  With that which here his passion doth express!]

Can Troilus really feel on this occasion half of what he utters? A
question suitable to the calm Ulysses.

V.iii.21 (133,2)

  For us to count we give what's gain'd by thefts,
  And rob in the behalf of charity]

This is so oddly confused in the folio, that I transcribe it as a
specimen of incorrectness:

  --do not count it holy,
  To hurt by being just; it were as lawful
  _For we would count give much to as violent thefts_,
  And rob in the behalf of charity.

V.iii.23 (133,3)

  _Cas._ It is the purpose that makes strong the vow;
  But vows to every purpose must not hold]

The mad prophetess speaks here with all the coolness and judgment of a
skilful casuist. "The essence of a lawful vow, is a lawful purpose, and
the vow of which the end is wrong must not be regarded as cogent."

V.iii.27 (134,4)

  Life every man holds dear; but the dear man
  Holds honour far more precious dear than life]

_Valuable_ man. The modern editions read,

  --_brave_ man.

The repetition of the word is in our author's manner.

V.iii.37 (134,5)

  Brother, you have a vice of mercy in you,
  Which better fits a lion, than a man]

The traditions and stories of the darker ages abounded with examples of
the lion's generosity. Upon the supposition that these acts of clemency
were true, Troilus reasons not improperly, that to spare against reason,
by mere instinct of pity, became rather a generous beast than a wise

V.x.33 (137,9) Hence, broker lacquey!] For _brothel_, the folio reads
_brother_, erroneously for _broker_, as it stands at the end of the play
where the lines are repeated. Of _brother_ the following editors made

V.iv.18 (138,2) the Grecians begin to proclaim barbarism, and policy
grows into an ill opinion] To set up the authority of ignorance to
declare that they will be governed by policy no longer.

V.vi.11 (142,1) you cogging Greeks] This epithet has no particular
propriety in this place, but the author had heard of _Graecia Mendax_.

V.vi.29 (144,3) I'll frush it] The word _frush_ I never found elsewhere,
nor understand it. HANMER explains it, to _break_ or _bruise_.

V.viii.7 (146,1) Even with the vail and darkening of the sun] The _vail_
is, I think, the _sinking_ of the sun; not _veil_ or _cover_.

(149) General Observation. This play is more correctly written than most
of Shakespeare's compositions, but it is not one of those in which
either the extent of his views or elevation of his fancy is fully
displayed. As the story abounded with materials, he has exerted little
invention; but he has diversified his characters with great variety, and
preserved them with great exactness. His vicious characters sometimes
disgust, but cannot corrupt, for both Cressida and Pandarus are detested
and contemned. The comic characters seem to have been the favourites of
the writer; they are of the superficial kind, and exhibit more of
manners than nature; but they are copiously filled and powerfully
impressed. Shakespeare has in his story followed, for the greater part,
the old book of Caxton, which was then very popular; but the character
of Thersites, of which it makes no mention, is a proof that this play
was written after Chapman had published his version of _Homer_.


I.i.1 (153,2)

  You do not meet a man, but frowns: our bloods
  No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers'
  Still seen, as does the king's]

[W: brows/No more] This passage is so difficult, that commentators may
differ concerning it without animosity or shame. Of the two emendations
proposed, Hanmer's is the more licentious; but he makes the sense clear,
and leaves the reader an easy passage. Dr. Warburton has corrected with
more caution, but less improvement: his reasoning upon his own reading
is so obscure and perplexed, that I suspect some injury of the press.--I
am now to tell my opinion, which is, that the lines stand as they were
originally written, and that a paraphrase, such as the licentious and
abrupt expressions of our author too frequently require, will make
emendation unnecessary. _We do not meet a man but frowns; our
bloods_--our countenances, which, in popular speech, are said to be
regulated by the temper of the blood,--_no more obey_ the laws of
_heaven_,--which direct us to appear what we really are,--_than our
courtiers_;--that is, than the_ bloods of our courtiers_; but our
bloods, like theirs,--_still seem, as doth the king's_.

I.i.25 (155,3) I do extend him, Sir, within himself] I extend him within
himself: my praise, however _extensive_, is _within_ his merit.

I.i.46 (156,4) liv'd in court,/(Which rare it is to do) most prais'd,
most lov'd] This encomium is high and artful. To be at once in any great
degree _loved_ and _praised_ is truly _rare_.

I.i.49 (156,5) A glass that feated them] _A glass that featur'd them_]
Such is the reading in all the modern editions, I know not by whom first
substituted, for

  A glass that _feared_ them;--

I have displaced _featur'd_, though it can plead long prescription,
because I am inclined to think that _feared_ has the better title.
_Mirrour_ was a favourite word in that age for an _example_, or a
_pattern_, by noting which the manners were to be formed, as dress is
regulated by looking in a glass. When Don Bellianis is stiled _The
Mirrour of Knighthood_, the idea given is not that of a glass in which
every knight may behold his own resemblance, but an example to be viewed
by knights as often as a glass is looked upon by girls, to be viewed,
that they may know, not what they are, but what they ought to be. Such a
glass may _fear the more mature_, as displaying excellencies which they
have arrived at maturity without attaining. To _fear_ is here, as in
other places, to _fright_. [I believe Dr. Johnson is mistaken as to the
reading of the folio, which is _feated_. The page of the copy which he
consulted is very faintly printed; but I have seen another since, which
plainly gives this reading. STEEVENS.] If _feated_ be the right word, it
must, I think, be explained thus; _a glass that_ formed _them_; a model,
by the contemplation and inspection of which they formed their manners.
(see 1765, VII, 260, 4)

I.i.86 (158,1)

  I something fear my father's wrath; but nothing
  (Always reserv'd my holy duty) what
  His rage can do on me]

I say I do not fear my father, so far as I may say it without breach of

I.i.101 (158,2) Though ink be made of gall] Shakespeare, even in this
poor conceit, has confounded the vegetable _galls_ used in ink, with the
animal _gall_, supposed to be bitter.

I.i.132 (160,4) then heapest/A year's age on me] Dr. WARBURTON reads,

  A _yare_ age on me.

It seems to me, even from SKINNER, whom he cites, that _yare_ is used
only as a personal quality. Nor is the authority of Skinner sufficient,
without some example, to justify the alteration. HANMER's reading is
better, but rather too far from the original copy:

  --thou heapest _many_
  A year's age on me.

I read,

  --thou heap'st
  _Years, ages_ on me.

I.i.135 (160,5) a touch more rare/Subdues all pangs, all fears] _Rare_
is used often for _eminently good_; but I do not remember any passage in
which it stands for _eminently bad_. May we read,

  --a touch more _near_.

_Cura deam_ propior luctusque domesticus angit. _Ovid_.

Shall we try again,

  --a touch more _rear_.

_Crudum vulnus._ But of this I know not any example. There is yet
another interpretation, which perhaps will remove the difficulty. _A
touch more rare_, may mean _a nobler passion_.

I.i.140 (161,6) a puttock] A _kite_.

I.ii.31 (163,1) her beauty and her brain go not together] I believe the
lord means to speak a sentence, "Sir, as I told you always, beauty and
brain go not together."

I.ii.32 (164,2) She's a good sign] [W: shine] There is acuteness enough
in this note, yet I believe the poet meant nothing by _sign_, but _fair
outward_ shew.

I.iii.8 (165,2)

                     for so long
  As he could make me with this eye, or ear,
  Distinguish him from others]

[W: this eye] Sir T. HANMER alters it thus:

  --for so long
  As he could _mark_ me with his eye, or _I_

The reason of Hanmer's reading was, that Pisanio describes no address
made to the _ear_.

I.iii.18 (165,3) till the diminution/Of space had pointed him sharp as
my needle] _The diminution of space_, is _the diminution_ of which
_space_ is the cause. Trees are killed by a blast of lightning, that is,
by _blasting_, not _blasted_ lightning.

I.iii.24 (166,4) next vantage] Next _opportunity_.

I.iii.37 (166,6) Shakes all our buds from growing] A bud, without any
distinct idea, whether of flower or fruit, is a natural representation
of any thing incipient or immature; and the buds of flowers, if flowers
are meant, _grow_ to flowers, as the buds of fruits _grow_ to fruits.

I.iv.9 (167,1) makes him] In the sense in which we say, This will _make_
or _mar_ you.

I.iv.16 (167,2) words him, I doubt not, a great deal from the matter]
Makes the description of him very distant from the truth.

I.iv.20 (167,3) under her colours] Under her banner; by her influence.

I.iv.47 (168,6) I was then a young traveller; rather shunn'd to go even
with what I heard, than in my every action to be guided by others'
experiences] This is expressed with a kind of fantastical perplexity. He
means, I was then willing to take for my direction the experience of
others, more than such intelligence as I had gathered myself.

I.iv,58 (169,7) 'Twas a contention in publick, which may, without
contradiction, suffer the report] Which, undoubtedly, may be publickly

I.iv.73 (169,8) tho' I profess myself her adorer, not her friend] Though
I have not the common obligations of a lover to his mistress, and regard
her not with the fondness of a friend, but the reverence of an adorer.

I.iv.77 (169,9) If she went before others I have seen, as that diamond
of yours out-lustres many I have beheld, I could not believe she
excelled many] [W: could believe] I should explain the sentence thus:
"Though your lady excelled, as much as your diamond, _I could not
believe she excelled many_; that is, I too _could_ yet _believe that
there are_ many _whom_ she did not excel." But I yet think Dr. Warburton
right. (1773)

I.iv.104 (171,l) to convince the honour of my mistress] [_Convince_, for
overcome. WARBURTON.] So in _Macbeth_,

  --their malady _convinces_
  "The great essay of art."

I.iv.124 (171,2) abus'd] _Deceiv'd._

I.iv.134 (172,3) approbation] Proof.

I.iv.148 (172,4) You are a friend, and therein the wiser. If you buy
ladies' flesh at a million a dram, you cannot preserve it from tainting.
But, I see, you have some religion in you, that you fear] _You are a
friend_ to the lady, _and therein the wiser_, as you will not expose her
to hazard; and that you _fear_, is a proof of your _religious_ fidelity.
(see 1765, VII, 276, 1)

I.iv.l60 (173,5) _Iach._ If I bring you no sufficient testimony that I
have enjoy'd the dearest bodily part of your mistress, my ten thousand
ducats are yours, so is my diamond too: if I come off, and leave her in
such honour as you have trust in, she your jewel, this your jewel, and
my gold are yours--

  _Post._ I embrace these conditions]

[W: bring you sufficient] I once thought this emendation right, but am
now of opinion, that Shakespeare intended that Iachimo, having gained
his purpose, should designedly drop the invidious and offensive part of
the wager, and to flatter Posthumus, dwell long upon the more pleasing
part of the representation. One condition of a wager implies the other,
and there is no need to mention both.

I.v.18 (176,1) Other conclusions] Other _experiments_. _I commend_, says
WALTON, _an angler that tries_ conclusions, and improves his art.

I.v.23 (175,2) Your highness/Shall from this practice but make hard your
heart] Thare is in this passage nothing that much requires a note, yet I
cannot forbear to push it forward into observation. The thought would
probably have been more amplified, had our author lived to be shocked
with such experiments as have been published in later times, by a race
of men that have practised tortures without pity, and related then
without shame, and are yet suffered to erect their heads among human

  "Cape saxa manu, cape robora, pastor."

I.v.33-44 (175,3) I do not like her] This soliloquy is very
inartificial. The speaker is under no strong pressure of thought; he is
neither resolving, repenting, suspecting, nor deliberating, and yet
makes a long speech to tell himself what himself knows.

I.v.54 (176,4) to shift his being] To change his abode.

I.v.58 (118,5) What shalt thou expect,/To be depender on a thing that
leans?] That _inclines_ towards its fall.

I.v.80 (177,7) Of leigers for her sweet] A _leiger_ ambassador, is one
that resides at a foreign court to promote his master's interest.

I.vi.7 (178,9)

                    Bless'd be those,
  How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills,
  Which seasons comfort]

I am willing to comply with any meaning that can be extorted from the
present text, rather than change it, yet will propose, but with great
diffidence, a slight alteration:

  --Bless'd be those,
  How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills,
  _With reason's_comfort.--

Who gratify their innocent wishes with reasonable enjoyments.

I.vi.35 (180,2) and the twinn'd stones/Upon the number'd beach?] I know
not well how to regulate this passage. _Number'd_ is perhaps _numerous_.
_Twinn'd stones_ I do not understand. _Twinn'd shells_, or _pairs of
shells_, are very common. For _twinn'd_, we might read _twin'd_; that
is, _twisted, convolved_; but this sense is more applicable to shells
than to stones.

I.vi.44 (181,3)

  Sluttery, to such neat excellence oppos'd,
  Should make desire vomit emptiness,
  Not so allur'd to feed]

[i.e. that appetite, which is not allured to feed on such excellence,
can have no stomach at all; but, though empty, must nauseate every
thing. WARB.] I explain this passage in a sense almost contrary.
Iachimo, in this counterfeited rapture, has shewn how the _eyes_ and the
_judgment_ would determine in favour of Imogen, comparing her with the
present mistress of Posthumus, and proceeds to say, that appetite too
would give the same suffrage. _Desire_, says he, when it approached
_sluttery_, and considered it in comparison with _such neat excellence_,
would not only be _not so allured to feed_, but, seized with a fit of
loathing, _would vomit emptiness_, would feel the convulsions of
disgust, though, being unfed, it had nothing to eject. [Tyrwhitt: vomit,
emptiness ... allure] This is not ill conceived; but I think my own
explanation right. _To vomit emptiness_ is, in the language of poetry,
to feel the convulsions of eructation without plenitude. (1773)

I.vi.54 (182,4) He's strange, and peevish] He is a foreigner, easily

I.vi.97 (184,5) timely knowing] Rather timely _known_.

I.vi.99 (184,6) What both you spur and stop] What it is that at once
incites you to speak, and restrains you from it. [I think Imogen means
to enquire what is that news, that intelligence, or information, you
profess to bring, and yet with-hold: at least, I think Dr. JOHNSON's
explanation a mistaken one, for Imogen's request supposes Iachimo an
agent, not a patient. HAWKINS.] I think my explanation true. (see 1765,
VII, 286, 7)

I.vi.106 (184,7)

  join gripes with hands
  Made hard with hourly falshood (falshood as
  With labour) then lye peeping in an eye]

The old edition reads,

  --join gripes with hands
  Made hard with hourly falshood (_falshood _ as
  With labour) then by peeping in an eye, &c.

I read,

  --then _lye_ peeping--

The author of the present regulation of the text I do not know, but have
suffered it to stand, though not right. _Hard with falshood_ is, hard by
being often griped with frequent change of hands.

I.vi.122 (185,8) With tomboys, hir'd with that self-exhibition/Which
your own coffers yield!] _Gross strumpets_, hired with the _very
pension_ which you allow your husband.

I.vi.152 (186,9) As in a Romish stew] The stews of Rome are deservedly
censured by the reformed. This is one of many instances in which
Shakespeare has mingled in the manners of distant ages in this play.

II.i.2 (188,1) kiss'd the jack upon an up-cast] He is describing his
fate at bowls. The _jack_ is the small bowl at which the others are
aimed. He who is nearest to it wins. _To kiss the jack_ is a state of
great advantage. (1773)

II.i.15 (189,2) 2 _Lord_. No, my lord; nor crop the ears of them.
[_Aside_.] This, I believe, should stand thus:

  1 _Lord_. No, my lord.
  2 _Lord_. Nor crop the ears of them, [_Aside_.

II.i.26 (189,3) you crow, cock, with your comb on] The allusion is to a
fool's cap, which hath a _comb_ like a cock's.

II.i.29 (189,4) every companion] The use of _companion_ was the same as
of _fellow_ now. It was a word of contempt.

II.ii.12 (191,1) our Tarquin] The speaker is an Italian.

II.ii.13 (191,2) Did softly press the rushes] It was the custom in the
time of our author to strew chambers with rushes, as we now cover them
with carpets. The practice is mentioned in _Caius de Ephemera

II.iii.24 (194,2) _His steeds to water at those springs On chalic'd
flowers that lies_]

Hanmer reads,

  Each _chalic'd_ flower supplies;

to escape a false concord: but correctness must not be obtained by such
licentious alterations. It may be noted, that the _cup_ of a flower is
called _calix_, whence _chalice_.

II.iii.28 (195,3) _With, every thing that pretty bin_] is very properly
restored by Hanmer, for _pretty is_; but he too grammatically reads,

  With _all the things_ that pretty _bin_.

II.iii.102 (197,5) one of your great knowing/Should learn, being taught,
forbearance] i.e. A man _who is taught forbearance should learn it_.

II.iii.111 (198,7) so verbal] Is, so _verbose_, so full of talk.

II.iii.118-129 (199,8) The contract you pretend with that base wretch]
Here Shakespeare has not preserved, with his common nicety, the
uniformity of character. The speech of Cloten is rough and harsh, but
certainly not the talk of one,

  Who can't take two from twenty, for his heart,
  And leave eighteen.--

His argument is just and well enforced, and its prevalence is allowed
throughout all civil nations: as for rudeness, he seems not to be mach

II.iii.124 (199,9) in self-figur'd knot] [This is nonsense. We should

  --SELF-FINGER'D _knot_;

WARBURTON.] But why nonsense? A _self-figured knot_ is a knot formed by
yourself. (see 1765, VII, 301, 8)

II.iv.71 (204,4) And Cydnus swell'd above the banks, or for/The press of
boats, or pride] [This is an agreeable ridicule on poetical
exaggeration, which gives human passions to inanimate things: and
particularly, upon what he himself writes in the foregoing play on this
very subject:

  "--And made
  The water, which they beat, to follow faster,
  As amorous of their strokes."

WARBURTON.] It is easy to sit down and give our author meanings which he
never had. Shakespeare has no great right to censure poetical
exaggeration, of which no poet is more frequently guilty. That he
intended to ridicule his own lines is very uncertain, when there are no
means of knowing which of the two plays was written first. The
commentator has contented himself to suppose, that the foregoing play in
his book was the play of earlier composition. Nor is the reasoning
better than the assertion. If the language of Iachimo be such as shews
him to be mocking the credibility of his hearer, his language is very
improper, when his business was to deceive. But the truth is, that his
language is such as a skilful villain would naturally use, a mixture of
airy triumph and serious deposition. His gaiety shews his seriousness to
be without anxiety, and his seriousness proves his gaiety to be without

II.iv.83 (205,5) never saw I figures/So likely to report themselves] So
near to speech. The Italians call a portrait, when the likeness is
remarkable, a _speaking picture_.

II.iv.84 (205,6) the cutter/Was as another nature, dumb, out-went
her;/Motion and breath left out] [W: done; out-went her.] This
emendation I think needless. The meaning is this, The _sculptor_ was as
_nature_, but as _nature dumb_; he gave every thing that nature gives,
but _breath_ and _motion_. In _breath_ is included _speech_.

II.iv.91 (205,7) _Post._ This is her honour!] [T: What's this t'her
honour?] This emendation has been followed by both the succeeding
editors, but I think it must be rejected. The expression is ironical.
Iachimo relates many particulars, to which Posthumus answers with
impatience, This is her honour! That is, And the attainment of this
knowledge is to pass for the corruption of her honour.

II.iv.95 (206,8) if you can/Be pale] If you can forbear to flush your
cheek with rage.

II.iv.110 (207,9)

  The vows of women
  Of no more bondage be, to where they are made,
  Than they are to their virtues]

The love vowed by women no more abides with him to whom it is vowed,
than women adhere to their virtue.

II.iv.127 (207,2) The cognizance] The badge; the token; the visible

III.i.26 (211,2) and his shipping,/(Poor ignorant baubles!) on our
terrible seas] [_Ignorant_, for _of no use_. WARB.] Rather,
_unacquainted_ with the nature of our boisterous seas.

III.i.51 (212,3) against all colour] Without any pretence of right.

III.i.73 (213,5) keep at utterance] [i.e. At extreme distance. WARB.]
More properly, in a state of hostile defiance, and deadly opposition.

III.i.73 (213,6) I am perfect] I am well informed. So, in Macbeth, "--in
your state of honour _I am perfect_." (see 1765, VII, 314,7)

III.ii.4 (214,2) What false Italian (As poisonous tongu'd as handed)]
About Shakespeare's time the practice of poisoning was very common in
Italy, and the suspicion of Italian poisons yet more common.

III.ii.9 (214,3) take in some virtue] To _take in_ a town, is to
_conquer_ it.

III.ii.34 (215,6) For it doth physic love] That is, grief for absence,
keeps love in health and vigour.

III.ii.47 (215,8) _loyal to his vow, and your increasing in love_] I
read, Loyal to his vow and _you_, increasing in love.

III.ii.79 (216,1) A franklin's housewife] A _franklin_ is literally a
_freeholder_, with a small estate, neither _villain_ nor _vassal_.

III.ii.80 (217,2)

  I see before me, man, nor here, nor here,
  Nor what ensues; but have a fog in them,
  That I cannot look thro']

This passage may, in my opinion, be very easily understood, without any
emendation. The lady says, "I can see neither one way nor other, before
me nor behind me, but all the ways are covered with an impenetrable
fog." There are objections insuperable to all that I can propose, and
since reason can give me no counsel, I will resolve at once to follow my

III.iii.5 (218,2) giants may jet through/And keep their impious turbans
on] The idea of a _giant_ was, among the readers of romances, who were
almost all the readers of those times, always confounded with that of a

III.iii.16 (218,3) This service it not service, so being done,/But being
so allow'd] In war it is not sufficient to do duty well; the advantage
rises not from the act, but the acceptance of the act.

III.iii.23 (219,5) Richer, than doing nothing for a babe] I have always
suspected that the right reading of this passage is what I had not in my
former edition the confidence to propose: Richer, than doing nothing for
a _brabe_.

_Brabium_ is a badge of honour, or the ensign of an honour, or any thing
worn as a mask of dignity. The word was strange to the editors as it
will be to the reader: they therefore changed it to _babe_; and I am
forced to propose it without the support of any authority. _Brabium_ is
a word found in Holyoak's Dictionary, who terms it a _reward_. Cooper,
in his _Thesaurus_, defines it to be a _prize, or reward for any game_.
(1773) (rev. 1778, IX, 248, 8)

III.iii.35 (219,6) To stride a limit] To overpass his bound.

III.iii.35 (220,7) What should we speak of,/When we are as old as you?]
This dread of an old age, unsupplied with matter for discourse and
meditation, is a sentiment natural and noble. No state can be more
destitute than that of him who, when the delights of sense forsake him,
has no pleasures of the mind.

III.iii.82 (221,9)

  tho' trained up thus meanly
  I' the cave, wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
  The roof of palaces]

[W: wherein they bow] HANMER reads,

  I' the cave, _here in this brow_.--
  I think the reading is this:
  I' the cave, wherein the BOW, &c.

That is, they are trained up in the _cave, where their thoughts_ in
hitting the _bow_, or arch of their habitation, _hit the roofs of
palaces_. In other words, though their condition is low, their thoughts
are high. The sentence is at last, as THEOBALD remarks, abrupt, but
perhaps no less suitable to Shakespeare. I know not whether Dr.
WARBURTON's conjecture be not better than mine.

III.iii.101 (223,2) I stole these babes] Shakespeare seems to intend
Belarius for a good character, yet he makes him forget the injury which
he has done to the young princes, whom he has robbed of a kingdom only
to rob their father of heirs.--The latter part of this soliloquy is very
inartificial, there being no particular reason why Belarius should now
tell to himself what he could not know better by telling it.

III.iv.15 (224,2) drug-damn'd Italy] This is another allusion to Italian

III.iv.39 (225,4) Kings, queens, and states] Persons of highest rank.

III.iv.52 (225,6) Some jay of Italy,/Whose mother was her painting]
_Some jay of Italy_, made by art the creature, not of nature, but of
painting. In this sense _painting_ may be not improperly termed her
_mother_. (see 1765, VII, 325, 9)

III.iv.63 (226,7) So thou, Posthumus,/Wilt lay the leaven on all proper
men] HANMER reads,

  --lay the _level_--

without any necessity.

III.iv.97 (228,1) That now thou tir'st on] A hawk is said to _tire_ upon
that which he pecks; from _tirer_, French.

III.iv.104 (228,2)

  I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first.
  _Imo._ Wherefore then]

This is the old reading. The modern editions for _wake_ read _break_,
and supply the deficient syllable by _ah_, wherefore. I read, I'll wake
mine eye-balls _out_ first, or, _blind_, first.

III.iv.111 (228,3) To be unbent] To have thy bow unbent, alluding to a

III.iv.146 (229,4)

  Now, if you could wear a mind
  Dark as your fortune is, and but disguise
  That, which, to appear itself, must not yet be,
  But by self-danger]

To wear a dark mind, is to carry a mind impenetrable to the search of
others. _Darkness_ applied to the _mind_ is _secrecy_, applied to the
_fortune_ is _obscurity_. The next lines are obscure. _You must_, says
Pisanio, _disguise that_ greatness, _which, to appear_ hereafter _in its
proper form_, cannot yet appear without great _danger to itself_. (see
1765, VII, 329, 6)

III.iv.149 (230,5) full of view] With opportunities of examining your
affairs with your own eyes.

III.iv.155 (230,6) Though peril to my modesty, not death on't,/I would
adventure] I read,

  _Through_ peril--

_I would for such means adventure_ through _peril of my modesty_; I
would risque every thing but real dishonour.

III.iv.162 (230,7)

  nay, you must
  Forget that rarest treasure of your cheek;
  Exposing it (but, oh, the harder heart!
  Alack, no remedy)]

I think it very natural to reflect in this distress on the cruelty of
Posthumus. Dr. WARBURTON proposes to read,

  --the harder _hap_!--

III.iv.177 (231,8) which you'll make him know] This is HANMER's reading.
The common books have it,

  --which _will_ make him know.

Mr. THEOBALD, in one of bit long notes, endeavours to prove, that it
should be,

  --which will make him _so_.

He is followed by Dr. WARBURTON.

III.iv.184 (231,9) we'll even/All that good time will give us] We'll
make our work _even_ with our _time_; we'll do what time will allow.

III.v.71 (235,2)

  And that she hath all courtly parts more exquisite
  Than lady, ladies, woman; from every one
  The best she hath]

[The second line is intolerable nonsense. It should be read and pointed

  Than lady ladies; _winning_ from each one.


I cannot perceive the second line to be intolerable, or to be nonsense.
The speaker only rises in his ideas. _She has all courtly parts_, says
he, _more exquisite than_ any _lady_, than all _ladies_, than all
_womankind_. Is this nonsense?

III.v.101 (236,3) _Pia._ Or this, or perish] These words, I think,
belong to Cloten, who, requiring the paper, says,

  Let's see't: I will pursue her
  Even to Augustus' throne. Or this, or perish.

Then Pisanio giving the paper, says to himself,

  She's far enough, &c.

III.vi.12 (239,1) To lapse in fullness/Is sorer, than to lye for need]
Is a _greater_, or _heavier_ crime.

III.vi.23 (239,3) If any thing that's civil, speak; if savage,/Take, or
lend] [W: Take 'or 't end.] I suppose the emendation proposed will not
easily be received; it is strained and obscure, and the objection
against Hanmer's reading is likewise very strong. I question whether,
after the words, _if savage_, a line be not lost. I can offer nothing
better than to read,

  --Ho! who's here?
  If any thing that's civil, _take or lend_,
  If savage, _speak_.

If you are _civilised_ and _peaceable, take_ a price for what I want, or
_lend_ it for a future recompence; if you are _rough inhospitable_
inhabitants of the mountain, _speak_, that I may know my state.

III.vi.77 (242,4) then had my prize/Been less; and so more equal
ballasting] HANMER reads plausibly, but without necessity, _price_, for
_prize_, and _balancing_, for _ballasting_. He is followed by Dr.
WARBURTON. The meaning is, Had I been a less prize, I should not have
been too heavy for Posthumus.

III.vi.86 (243,5) That nothing-gift of differing multitudes] [T:
deferring] He is followed by Sir T. HANMER and Dr. WARBURTON; but I do
not see why _differing_ may not be a general epithet, and the expression
equivalent to the _many-headed_ rabble.

III.vii.8 (244,2)

  and to you, the tribunes,
  For this immediate levy, he commands
  His absolute commission]

The plain meaning is, he _commands_ the commission to be given to you.
So we say, I _ordered_ the materials to the workmen.

IV.ii.10 (245,1) Stick to your journal course: the breach of custom/ Is
breach of all] Keep your _daily_ course uninterrupted; if the stated
plan of life is once broken, nothing follows but confusion.

IV.ii.17 (246,2) How much the quantity] I read, _As_ much the

IV.ii.38 (247,3) I could not stir him] Not _move_ him to tell his story.

IV.ii.39 (247,4) gentle, but unfortunate] _Gentle_, is _well born_, of
birth above the vulgar.

IV.ii.59 (248,6) And let the stinking elder, Grief, untwine/ His
perishing root, with the encreasing vine!] Shakespeare had only seen
_English vines_ which grow against walls, and therefore may be sometimes
entangled with the _elder_. Perhaps we should read _untwine from the

IV.ii.105 (251,9) the snatches in his vice,/And burst of speaking] This
is one of our author's strokes of observation. An abrupt and tumultuous
utterance very frequently accompanies a confused and cloudy

IV.ii.111 (251,1) for the effect of judgment/Is oft the cause of fear]
HANMER reads, with equal justness of sentiment,

  --for defect of judgment
  Is oft the _cure_ of fear.--

But, I think, the play of _effect_ and _cause_ more resembling the
manner of our author.

IV.ii.118 (252,2) I am perfect, what] I am _well informed_, what. So in
this play,

  I'm _perfect_, the Pannonians are in arms.

IV.ii.121 (252,3) take us in] To _take in_, was the phrase in use for to
_apprehend_ an out-law, or to make him amenable to public justice.

IV.ii.148 (253,5) the boy Fidele's sickness/Did make my way long forth]
Fidele's sickness made my _walk forth_ from the cave _tedious_.

IV.ii.159 (254,6) revenges/That possible strength might meet] Such
pursuit of vengeance as fell within any possibility of opposition.

IV.ii.168 (254,7) I'd let a parish of such Clotens blood] [W: marish]
The learned commentator has dealt the raproach of nonsense very
liberally through this play. Why this is nonsense, I cannot discover. I
would, says the young prince, to recover Fidele, kill as many Clotens as
would fill a _parish_.

IV.ii.246 (258,1) He was paid for that] HANMER reads,

  He _has_ paid for that:--

rather plausibly than rightly. _Paid_ is for _punished_. So JONSON,

  "Twenty things more, my friend, which you know due,
  For which, or pay me quickly, or I'll _pay_ you."

(see 1765, VII, 356, 3)

IV.ii.247 (258,2) reverence,/(That angel of the world)] _Reverence_, or
due regard to subordination, is the power that keeps peace and order in
the world.

IV.ii.268 (259,4) _The scepter, learning, physic, must/ All follow this,
and come to dust_] The poet's sentiment seems to have been this. All
human excellence is equally the subject to the stroke of death: neither
the power of kings, nor the science of scholars, nor the art of those
whose immediate study is the prolongation of life, can protect then from
the final destiny of man. (1773)

IV.ii.272 (260,5) _Fear not slander, censure rash_] Perhaps, Fear not
_slander's_ censure rash.

IV.ii.275 (260,6) Consign to thee] Perhaps, Consign to _this_. And in
the former stanza, for _all follow this_, we might read, _all follow_

IV.ii.280 (260,7) Both. _Quiet consummation have;/ And renowned be thy
grave!_] For the obsequies of Fidele, a song was written by my unhappy
friend, Mr. William Collins of Chichester, a man of uncommon learning
and abilities. I shall give it a place at the end in honour of his

IV.ii.315 (262,1) Conspired with] The old copy reads thus,

  Conspir'd with that irregulous divel, Cloten.

I suppose it should be,

  Conspir'd with _th' irreligious_ devil, Cloten.

IV.ii.346 (263,2) Last night the very gods shew'd me a vision] [W:
warey] Of this meaning I know not any example, nor do I see any need of
alteration. It was no common dream, but sent from _the very gods_, or
the gods themselves.

IV.ii.363 (264,3)

  who was he,
  That, otherwise than noble nature did,
  Hath alter'd that good figure?]

Here are many words upon a very slight debate. The sense is not much
cleared by either critic [Theobald and Warburton]. The question is
asked, not about a _body_, but a _picture_, which is not very apt to
grow shorter or longer. To _do_ a picture, and a picture is well _done_,
are standing phrases; the question therefore is, Who has altered this
picture, so as to make it otherwise than nature _did_ it.

IV.ii.389 (266,5) these poor pickaxes] Meaning her fingers.

IV.iii (266,1) _Cymbeline's palace_] This scene is omitted against all
authority by Sir T. HANMER. It is indeed of no great use in the progress
of the fable, yet it makes a regular preparation for the next act.

IV.iii.22 (267,3) our jealousy/Does yet depend] My suspicion is yet
undetermined; if I do not condemn you, I likewise have not acquitted
you. We now say, the _cause_ is _depending_.

IV.iii.29 (267,4) Your preparation can affront no less/Than what you
hear of] Your forces are able to _face_ such an army as we hear the
enemy will bring against us.

IV.iii.44 (268,6) to the note o' the king] I will so distinguish myself,
the king shall remark my valour.

IV.iv.11 (269,1) a render/Where we have liv'd] An account of our place
of abode. This dialogue is a just representation of the superfluous
caution of an old man.

IV.iv.13 (269,2) That which we have done, whose answer would be death]
The _retaliation_ of the death of Cloten would be _death_, &c.

IV.iv.18 (269,3) their quarter'd fires] Their fires regularly disposed.

V.i (271,1) _Enter Posthumus, with a bloody handkerchief_] The bloody
token of Imogen's death, which Pisanio in the foregoing act determined
to send.

V.i.1-33 (271,2) Yea, bloody cloth, I'll keep thee] This is a soliloquy
of nature, uttered when the effervescence of a mind agitated and
perturbed spontaneously and inadvertently discharges itself in words.
The speech, throughout all its tenor, if the last conceit be excepted,
seems to issue warm from the heart. He first condemns his own violence;
then tries to disburden himself, by imputing part of the crime to
Pisanio; he next sooths his mind to an artificial and momentary
tranquility, by trying to think that he has been only an instrument of
the gods for the happiness of Imogen. He is now grown reasonable enough
to determine, that having done so much evil he will do no more; that he
will not fight against the country which he has already injured; but as
life is not longer supportable, he will die in a just cause, and die
with the obscurity of a man who does not think himself worthy to be

V.i.9 (271,3) to put on] Is to _incite_, to _instigate_.

V.i.14 (272,4) To second ills with ills, each elder worse] For this
reading all the later editors have contentedly taken,

  --each worse than other,

without enquiries whence they have received it. Yet they know, or might
know, that it has no authority. The original copy reads,

  --each elder worse,

The last deed is certainly not the oldest, but Shakespeare calls the
_deed_ of an _elder_ man an _elder deed_.

V.i.15 (272,5) And make them dread it, to the doers' thrift] [T:
dreaded, to] This emendation ia followed by HANMER. Dr. WARBURTON reads,
I know not whether by the printer's negligence,

  And make them _dread_, to the doers' thrift.

There seems to be no very satisfactory sense yet offered. I read, but
with hesitation,

  And make them _deeded_, to the doers' thrift.

The word _deeded_ I know not indeed where to find; but Shakespeare has,
in another sense _undeeded_, in _Macbeth_:

  "--my sword
  "I sheath again _undeeded_."--

I will try again, and read thus,

  --others you permit
  To second ills with ills, each other worse,
  And make them _trade it_, to the doers' thrift.

_Trade_ and _thrift_ correspond. Our author plays with _trade_, as it
signifies a lucrative vocation, or a frequent practice. So Isabella

  "Thy sins, not accidental, but a _trade_."

V.i.16 (273,9) Do your best wills,/And make me blest to obey!] So the
copies. It was more in the manner of our author to have written,

  --Do your blest wills,
  And make me blest t' obey.--

V.iii.41 (276,3) A rout, confusion thick] [W: confusion-thick] I do not
see what great addition is made to _fine diction_ by this compound. Is
it not as natural to enforce the principal event in a story by
repetition, as to enlarge the principal figure in a figure?

V.iii.51 (276,4) bugs] Terrors.

V.iii.53 (277,5) Nay, do not wonder at it] [T: do but] There is no need
of alteration. Posthumus first bids him not wonder, then tells him in
another mode of reproach, that wonder is all that he was made for.

V.iii.79 (278,8) great the answer be] _Answer_, as once in this play
before, is _retaliation_.

V.iii.87 (278,9) That gave the affront with them] That is, that turned
their faces to the enemy.

V.iv.1 (279,1) You shall not now be stolen, you have locks upon you;/So,
graze, as you find pasture] This wit of the gaoler alludes to the custom
of putting a lock on a horse's leg, when he is turned to pasture.

V.iv.27 (280,3) If you will take this audit, take this life,/And cancel
those cold bonds] This equivocal use of _bonds_ is another instance of
our author's infelicity in pathetic speeches.

V.iv.45 (281,5) That from me my Posthumus ript] The old copy reads,

  That from me _was_ Posthumus ript.

Perhaps we should read,

  That from _my womb_ Posthumus ript,
      Came crying 'mongst his foes.

V.iv.146 (284,7)

  'Tis still a dream; or else such stuff, as madmen
  Tongue, and brain not: either both or nothing:
  Or senseless speaking, or a speaking such
  As sense cannot untie. Be what it is,
  The action of my life is like it]

The meaning, which is too thin to be easily caught, I take to be this:
_This is a dream or madness, or both--or nothing--but whether it be a
speech without consciousness_, as in a dream, _or a speech
unintelligible_, as in madness, be it as it is, _it is like my course of
life_. We might perhaps read,

  Whether _both, or nothing_--

V.iv,164 (285,8) sorry that you have paid too much, and sorry that you
are paid too much] _Tavern bills_, says the gaoler, _are the sadness of
parting, as the procuring of mirth--you depart reeling with too much
drink; sorry that you have paid too much, and_--what? _sorry that you
are paid too much_. Where is the opposition? I read, _And_ merry _that
you are paid_ so _much_. I take the second _paid_ to be _paid_, for
_appaid, filled, satiated_.

V.iv.171 (286,9) debtor and creditor] For an _accounting book_.

V.iv.188 (286,1) jump the after-enquiry] That is, _venture_ at it
without thought. So _Macbeth_,

  "We'd _jump_ the life to come." (see 1765, VII, 382, 7)

V.v.9 (288,1) one that promis'd nought/But beggary and poor looks] To
promise _nothing but_ poor _looks_, may be, to give no promise of
courageous behaviour.

V.v.88 (291,2) So feat] So ready; so dextrous in waiting.

V.v.93 (291,3) His favour is familiar to me] I am acquainted with his

V.v.120 (292,4) One sand another/Not more resembles. That sweet rosy
lad] [W: resembles, than be th' sweet] There was no great difficulty in
the line, which, when properly pointed, needs no alteration.

V.v.203 (296,8) averring notes/Of chamber-hanging, pictures] Such marks
of the chamber and pictures, as _averred_ or confirmed my report.

V.v.220 (297,9) the temple/Of virtue was she; yea, and she herself] That
is, She was not only _the temple of virtue_, but _virtue herself_.

V.v.233 (297,1) these staggers] This wild and delirious perturbation.
_Staggers_ is the horse's apoplexy.

V.v.262 (298,2) Think, that you are upon a rock; and now/Throw me again]
In this speech, or in the answer, there is little meaning. I suppose,
she would say, Consider such another act as equally fatal to me with
precipitation from a rock, and now let me see whether you will repeat

V.v.308 (300,3) By tasting of our wrath] [W: hasting] There is no need
of change; the consequence is taken for the whole action; _by tasting_
is _by forcing us to make thee taste_.

V.v.334 (301,5) Your pleasure was my near offence, my punishment,/
Itself, and all my treason] I think this passage may better be read

  Your pleasure was my _dear_ offence, my punishment
  Itself _was_ all my treason; that I suffer'd,
  Was all the harm I did.--

The offence which cost me so _dear_ was only your caprice. My sufferings
have been all my crime.

V.v.352 (302,6)

  Thou weep'st, and speak'st.
  The service that you three have done is more
  Unlike than this thou tell'st]

"Thy tears give testimony to the sincerity of thy relation; and I have
the less reason to be incredulous, because the actions which you have
done within my knowledge are more incredible than the story which you
relate." The king reasons very justly.

V.v.378 (303,7) When ye were so, indeed] The folio gives,

  When _we_ were so, indeed.

If this be right, we must read,

  _Imo._ I, you brothers.
  _Arv._ When we were so, indeed.

V.v.382 (303,8) fierce abridgment] _Fierce_, is _vehement, rapid_.

V.v.459 (306,1) My peace we will begin] I think it better to read,

  _By_ peace we will begin.--

(307) General Observation. This play has many just sentiments, some
natural dialogues, and some pleasing scenes, but they are obtained at
the expence of much incongruity. To remark the folly of the fiction, the
absurdity of the conduct, the confusion of the names, and manners of
different times, and the impossibility of the events in any system of
life, were to waste criticism upon unresisting imbecility, upon faults
too evident for detection, and too gross for aggravation.


I.i.4 (311,2) in the division of the kingdom] There is something of
obscurity or inaccuracy in this preparatory scene. The king has already
divided his kingdom, and yet when he enters he examines his daughters,
to discover in what proportions he should divide it. Perhaps Kent and
Gloucester only were privy to his design, which he still kept in his own
hands, to be changed or performed as subsequent reasons should determine

I.i.37 (313,7) express our darker purpose] [_Darker_, for more secret;
not for indirect, oblique. WARBURTON.] This word may admit a further
explication. _We shall express our darker purpose_: that is, we have
already made known in some measure our design of parting the kingdom; we
will now discover what has not been told before, the reasons by which we
shall regulate the partition. This interpretation will justify or
palliate the exordial dialogue.

I.i.39 (313,8) and 'tis our fast intent] [This is an interpolation of
Mr. Lewis Theobald, for want of knowing the meaning of the old reading
in the quarto of 1608, and first folio of 1623; where we find it,

  --and 'tis our _first_ intent.


_Fast_ is the reading of the first folio, and, I think, the true

I.i.44 (314,9) We have this hour a constant will] _constant will_ seems
a confirmation of _fast_ intent.

I.i.62 (314,2) Beyond all manner of so much I love you] Beyond all
assignable quantity. I love you beyond limits, and cannot say it is _so
much_, for how much soever I should name, it would yet be more.

I.i.73 (315,4)

  I find, she names my very deed of love,
  Only she comes too short; that I profess]

_That_ seems to stand without relation, but is referred to _find_, the
first conjunction being inaccurately suppressed. I find _that_ she names
my deed, I find that I profess, &c.

I.i.76 (315,5) Which the most precious square of sense possesses]
[Warburton explained "square" as the "four nobler senses"] This is
acute; but perhaps _square_ means only _compass, comprehension_.

I.i.80 (315,6) More pond'rous than my tongue] [W: their tongue] I think
the present reading right.

I.i.84 (316,8) Now our joy] Here the true reading is picked out of two
copies. Butter's quarto reads,

  --_But_ now our joy,
  Although the last, not least in our dear love,
  What can you say to win a third, &c.

The folio,

  --Now our joy,
  Although our last, _and_ least; to whose young love
  The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy,
  Strive to be int'ress'd. _What can you say?_

I.i.138 (318,5) The sway, revenue, execution of the rest] [W: of th'
hest] I do not see any great difficulty in the words, _execution of the
rest_, which are in both the old copies. The _execution of the rest_ is,
I suppose, _all the other business_. Dr. Warburton's own explanation of
his amendment confutes it; if _hest_ be a _regal comnand_, they were, by
the grant of Lear, to have rather the _hest_ than the execution.

1.1.149 (319,6)

  Think'st thou, that duty shall have dread to speak,
  When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour's bound,
  When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom,
  And in thy best consideration check
  This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgment,
  Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least]

I have given this passage according to the old folio, from which the
modern editions have silently departed, for the sake of better numbers,
with a degree of insincerity, which, if not sometimes detected and
censured, must impair the credit of ancient books. One of the editors,
and perhaps only one, knew how much mischief may be done by such
clandestine alterations. The quarto agrees with the folio, except that
for _reserve thy state_, it gives, _reverse thy doom_, and has _stoops_
instead of _falls to folly_. The meaning of _answer my life my
judgment_, is, _Let my life be answerable for my judgment_, or, _I will
stake my life on my opinion_.--The reading which, without any right, has
possessed all the modern copies is this;

  --to plainness honour
  Is bound, when majesty to folly falls.
  Reserve thy state; with better judgment check
  This hideous rashness; with my life I answer,
  Thy youngest daughter, &c.

I am inclined to think that _reverse thy doom_ was Shakespeare's first
reading, as more apposite to the present occasion, and that he changed
it afterwards to _reserve thy state_, which conduces more to the
progress of the action.

I.i.161 (320,9) The true blank of thine eye] The _blank_ is the _white_
or exact mark at which the arrow is shot. _See better_, says Kent, _and
keep me always in your view_.

I.i.172 (320,1) strain'd pride] The oldest copy reads _strayed pride_;
that is, _pride exorbitant_; pride passing due bounds.

I.i.174 (320,3) Which nor our nature, nor our place, can bear;/ Our
potency made good] [T: (Which ... bear) ... made good] [Warburton
defended "make"] Theobald only inserted the parenthesis; he found _made
good_ in the best copy of 1623. Dr. Warburton has very acutely explained
and defended the reading that he has chosen, but I am not certain that
he has chosen right. If we take the reading of the folio, _our potency_
made _good_, the sense will be less profound indeed, but less intricate,
and equally commodious. _As thou hast come with unreasonable pride
between the_ sentence _which I had passed, and the_ power _by which I
shall execute it_, take thy reward _in another sentence which shall_
make good, _shall establish, shall maintain_, that power. If Dr.
Warburton's explanation be chosen, and every reader will wish to choose
it, we may better read,

  Which nor our nature, nor our state can bear,
  _Or_ potency make good.--

Mr. Davies thinks, that _our potency made good_ relates only to _our
place_.--Which our nature cannot bear, nor our _place_, without
departure from the _potency_ of that place. This is easy and
clear.--Lear, who is characterized as hot, heady, and violent, is, with
very just observation of life, made to entangle himself with vows, upon
any sudden provocation to vow revenge, and then to plead the obligation
of a vow in defence of implacability.

I.i.181 (322,4) By Jupiter] Shakespeare makes his Lear too much a
mythologist: he had Hecate and Apollo before.

I.i.190 (322,6) He'll shape his old course] He will follow his old
maxims; he will continue to act upon the same principles.

I.i.201 (323,7) If aught within that little, seeming, substance]
_Seeming_ is _beautiful_.

I.i.209 (323,9) Election makes not up on such conditions] To _make up_
signifies to complete, to conclude; as, _they made up the bargain_; but
in this sense it has, I think, always the subject noun after it. To
_make up_, in familiar language, is, neutrally, _to come forward_, to
_make advances_, which, I think, is meant here.

I.i.221 (324,2)

   Sure her offence
  Must be of such unnatural degree,
  That monsters it: or your fore-vouch'd affection
  Fall into taint]

The common books read,

  --or your fore-vouch'd affection
  Fall'n into taint:--

This line has no clear or strong sense, nor is this reading authorized
by any copy, though it has crept into all the late editions. The early
quarto reads,

  --or you for vouch'd affections
  Fall'n into taint.--

The folio,

  --or your fore-vouch'd affection
  Fall into taint.--

_Taint_ is used for _corruption_ and for _disgrace_. If therefore we
take the oldest reading it may be reformed thus:

  --sure her offence
  Must be of such unnatural degree,
  That monsters it; or you for vouch'd affection
  Fall into taint.

Her offence must be prodigious, or _you_ must _fal1 into reproach_ for
having _vouched affection_ which you did not feel. If the reading of the
folio be preferred, we may with a very slight change produce the same

  --sure her offence
  Must be of such unnatural degree,
  That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection
  _Falls_ into taint.--

That is, _falls into reproach_ or _censure_. But there is another
possible sense. _Or_ signifies _before_, and _or ever_ is _before ever_;
the meaning in the folio may therefore be, _Sure her crime must be
monstrous_ before _your affection can be affected with hatred_. Let the
reader determine.--As I am not much a friend to conjectural emendation,
I should prefer the latter sense, which requires no change of reading.

I.i.243 (325,3) from the intire point] _Intire_, for right, true. WARB.]
Rather, single, unmixed with other considerations.

I.i.264 (326,5) Thou losest here, better where to find] _Here_ and
_where_ have the power of nouns. Thou losest this residence to find a
better residence in another place.

I.i.282 (326,6) And well are worth the want that you have wanted] [This
I take to be the poet's meaning, stript of the jingle which makes it
dark: "You well deserve to meet with that _want_ of love from your
husband, which you have professed to _want_ for our father." THEOBALD.]
[W: have vaunted] I think the common reading very suitable to the manner
of our author, and well enough explained by Theobald.

I.i.283 (327,7) plaited cunning] i.e. _complicated, involved_ cunning.

I.ii.3 (328,2) Stand in the plague of custom] The word _plague_ is in
all the copies; I can scarcely think it right, nor can I yet reconcile
myself to the emendation proposed, though I have nothing better to offer
[Warburton had proposed _plage_].

I.ii.21 (330,7) Shall be the legitimate] [Hanmer: toe th'] Hanmer's
emendation will appear very plausible to him that shall consult the
original reading. Butter's quarto reads,

  --Edmund the base
  Shall _tooth'_ legitimate.--

The folio,

  --Edmund the base
  Shall _to th'_ legitimate.--

Hanmer, therefore, could hardly be charged with coining a word, though
his explanation may be doubted. To _toe_ him, is perhaps to _kick_ him
_out_, a phrase yet in vulgar use; or, to _toe_, may be literally to
_supplant_. The word _be_ has no authority.

I.ii.24 (331,1) subscrib'd his power!] To subscribe, is, to transfer by
signing or _subscribing_ a writing of testimony. We now use the term, He
_subscribed_ forty pounds to the new building.

I.ii.25 (331,2) Confin'd to exhibition!] Is _allowance_. The term is yet
used in the universities.

I.ii.25 (331,3) All this done/Upon the gad!] So the old copies; the
later editions read,

  --All _is gone_
  Upon the gad!--

which, besides that it is unauthorized, is less proper. _To_ do upon the
_gad_, is, to act by the sudden stimulation of caprice, as cattle run
madding when they are stung by the gad fly.

I.ii.47 (332,4) taste of my virtue] Though _taste_ may stand in this
place, yet I believe we should read, _assay_ or _test_ of my virtue:
they are both metallurgical terms, and properly joined. So in Hamlet,

  Bring me to the _test_.

I.ii.51 (323,6) idle and fond] Weak and foolish.

I.ii.95 (333,7) pretence] _Pretence_ is design, purpose. So afterwards
in this play,

  _Pretence_ and purpose of unkindness.

I.ii.106 (333,8) wind me into him] I once thought it should be read,
_you_ into him; but, perhaps, it is a familiar phrase, like _do me

I.ii.107 (333,9) I would unstate myself to be in a due resolution] [i.e.
I will throw aside all consideration of my relation to him, that I may
act as justice requires. WARBURTON.] Such is this learned man's
explanation. I take the meaning to be rather this, _Do you frame the
business_, who can act with less emotion; _I would unstate myself_; it
would in me be a departure from the paternal character, _to be in a due
resolution_, to be settled and composed on such an occasion. The words
_would_ and _should_ are in old language often confounded.

I.ii.l09 (334,1) convey the business] [_Convey_, for introduce. WARB.]
To _convey_ is rather to _carry through_ than to introduce; in this
place it is to _manage artfully_: we say of a juggler, that he has a
clean _conveyance_.

I.ii.112 (334,2) These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good
to us: tho' the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature
finds itself scourg'd by the frequent effects] That is, though natural
philosophy can give account of eclipses, yet we feel their consequences.

I.ii.156 (338,8) I promise you, the effects he writes of, succeed
unhappily] The folio edition commonly differs from the first quarto, by
augmentations or insertions, but in this place it varies by omission,
and by the omission of something which naturally introduces the
following dialogue. It is easy to remark, that in this speech, which
ought, I think, to be inserted as it now is in the text, Edmund, with
the common 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. (see 1765, VI, 27, 6)

I.ii.178 (339,1) that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely
allay] This reading is in both copies; yet I believe the author gave it,
_that_ but _with the mischief_ of your person it would scarce allay.

I.iii.19 (341,2) Old fools are babes again; and must be us'd/ With
checks, as flatteries when they are seen abus'd] These lines hardly
deserve a note, though Mr. Theobald thinks them _very fine_. Whether
_fools_ or _folks_ should be read is not worth enquiry. The controverted
line is yet in the old quarto, not as the editors represent it, but

  With checks as flatteries when they are seen abus'd.

I am in doubt whether there is any error of transcription. The sense
seems to be this: _Old men must be treated with checks_, when as _they
are seen to be deceived with flatteries_: or, _when they are weak enough
to be_ seen abused by flatteries, they are then weak enough to be _used
with checks_. There is a play of the words _used_ and _abused_. To
_abuse_ is, in our author, very frequently the same as to _deceive_.
This construction is harsh and ungrammatical; Shakespeare perhaps
thought it vicious, and chose to throw away the lines rather than
correct them, nor would now thank the officiousness of his editors, who
restore what they do not understand.

I.iv.118 (347,5) Would I had two coxcombs, and two daughters] Two fools
caps, intended, as it seems, to mark double folly in the man that gives
all to his daughters.

I.iv.133 (347,7) Lend less than thou owest] That is, _do not lend all
that thou hast_. To _owe_, in old English, is _to possess_. If _owe_ be
taken for _to be in debt_, the more prudent precept would be, Lend
_more_ than thou owest.

I.iv.153-170 (348,9) This dialogue, from _No, lad; teach me_, down to,
_Give me an egg_, was restored from the first edition by Mr. Theobald.
It is omitted in the folio, perhaps for political reasons, as it seemed
to censure monopolies.

I.iv.181 (349,2) Fools ne'er had less grace in a year] There never was a
time when fools were less in favour; and the reason is, that they were
never so little wanted, for wise men now supply their place. Such I
think is the meaning. The old edition has _wit_ for _grace_.

I.iv.219 (350,5) That's a sheal'd peascod] i.e. Now a mere husk, which
contains nothing. The outside of a king remains, but all the intrinsic
parts of royalty are gone: he has nothing to give. (1773)

I.iv.245 (351,3) Whoop, Jug] There are in the fool's speeches several
passages which seem to be proverbial allusions, perhaps not now to be

I.iv.256 (352,1) _Fool_. Which they will make an obedient father] [This
line I have restored from the quarto. STEEVENS] This note [Tyrwhitt's,
quoted by Steevens] is written with confidence disproportionate to the
conviction which it can bring. Lear might as well know by the marks and
tokens arising from sovereignty, knowledge, and reason, that he had or
had not daughters, as he could know by any thing else. But, says he, if
I judge by these tokens, I find the persuasion false by which I long
thought myself the father of daughters. (1773)

I.iv.302 (355,7) from her derogate body] [_Derogate_ for _unnatural_.
WARB.] Rather, I think, _degraded; blasted_.

I.iv.320 (356,9)

  That these hot tears, which break from me perforce,
  Should make thee worth them.--Blasts and fogs upon thee!
  The untented woundings of a father's curse
  Pierce every sense about thee!--Old fond eyes,
  Beweep this cause again]

I will transcribe this passage from the first edition, that it may
appear to those who are unacquainted with old books, what is the
difficulty of revision, and what indulgence is due to those that
endeavour to restore corrupted passages.--_That these hot tears, that
breake from me perforce, should make the worst blasts and fogs upon the
untender woundings of a father's curse, peruse every sense about the old
fond eyes, beweep this cause again, &c._

I.iv.362 (358,3) compact it more] Unite one circumstance with another,
so as to make a consistent account.

I.iv.366 (358,4) You are much more at task for want of wisdom] It is a
common phrase now with parents and governesses. _I'll take you to task_,
i.e. _I will reprehend and correct you. To be at task_, therefore, is to
be liable to _reprehension and correction_. (1773)

I.v.5 (358,1) I shall be there afore you] He seems to intend to go to
his daughter, but it appears afterwards that he is going to the house of

I.v.25 (359,2) I did her wrong] He is musing on Cordelia.

I.v.42 (359,3) To take it again perforce!] He is meditating on the
resumption of his royalty.

II.i.9 (360,1) ear-kissing arguments] Subjects of discourse; topics.

II.i.19 (361,2) queazy question] Something of a _suspicious,
questionable, and uncertain nature_. This is, I think, the meaning.

II.i.27 (361,4) have you nothing said/Upon his party 'gainst the duke of
Albany?] I cannot but think the line corrupted, and would read,

  _Against_ his party, _for_ the duke of Albany?

II.i.57 (363,7) gasted] Frighted.

II.i.59 (363,8) Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;/And
found--Dispatch] [Not in this land shall he remain uncaught; And found
dispatch--the noble duke, &c.]

[W: found, dispatch'd.] I do not see how this change mends the sense: I
think it may be better regulated as in the page above. The sense is
interrupted. He shall be caught--and found, _he shall be punished_.

II.i.67 (363,2) And found him pight to do it, with curst speech] _Pight_
is _pitched_, fixed, settled. _Curst_ is severe, harsh, vehemently

II.i.122 (366,7) Occasions, noble Glo'ster, of some prize] [W: poize]
_Prize_, or _price_, for value. (1773)

II.i.126 (366,8) from our home] Not at home, but at some other place.

II.ii.9 (367,1) Lipsbury pinfold] The allusion which seems to be
contained in this line I do not understand. In the violent eruption of
reproaches which bursts from Kent in this dialogue, there are some
epithets which the commentators have left unexpounded, and which I am
not very able to make clear. Of a _three-suited knave_ I know not the
meaning, unless it be that he has different dresses for different
occupations. _Lilly-liver'd_ is _cowardly_; _white-blooded_ and
_white-liver'd_ are still in vulgar use. An _one-trunk-inheriting
slave_, I take to be a wearer of old cast-off cloaths, an inheritor of
torn breeches.

II.ii.36 (368,4) barber-monger] Of this word I do not clearly see the

II.ii.39 (368,5) Vanity the puppet's] Alluding to the mysteries or
allegorical shews, in which vanity, iniquity, and other vices, were

II.ii.45 (369,6) neat slave] You mere slave, you very slave.

II.ii.69 (369,8) Thou whoreson zed; thou unnecessary letter!] I do not
well understand how a man is reproached by being called _zed_, nor how Z
is an _unnecessary letter_. Scarron compares his deformity to the shape
of Z, and it may be a proper word of insult to a crook-backed man; but
why should Gonerill's steward be crooked, unless the allusion be to his
bending or cringing posture in the presence of his superiors. Perhaps it
was written, _thou whoreson_ C (for cuckold) _thou unnecessary letter_.
C is a letter unnecessary in our alphabet, one of its two sounds being
represented by S, and one by K. But all the copies concur in the common

II.ii.87 (371,3) epileptic visage!] The frighted countenance of a man
ready to fall in a fit.

II.ii.103 (372,5) constrains the garb/Quite from his nature] Forces his
_outside_ or his _appearance_ to something totally _different from_ his
natural disposition.

II.ii.109 (372,8) Than twenty silly ducking observants] [W: silky] The
alteration is more ingenious than the arguments by which it is

II.ii.119 (373,8) though I should win your displeasure to intreat me
to't] Though I should win you, displeased as you now are, to like me so
well as to intreat me to be a knave.

II.ii.167 (375,3)

  Good king, that must approve the common saw!
  Thou out of heaven's benediction com'at
  To the warm sun!]

That art now to exemplify the common proverb, _That out of_, &c. That
changest better for worse. Hanmer observes, that it is a proverbial
saying, applied to those who are turned out of house and home to the
open weather. It was perhaps first used of men dismissed from an
hospital, or house of charity, such as was erected formerly in many
places for travellers. Those houses had names properly enough alluded to
by _heaven's benediction_.

II.ii.173 (376,4)

  I know 'tis from Cordelia;
  Who hath most fortunately been inform'd
  Of my obscur'd coarse, and shall find time
  From this enormous state, seeking to give
  Losses their remedies]

This passage, which some of the editors have degraded, as spurious, to
the margin, and others have silently altered, I have faithfully printed
according to the quarto, from which the folio differs only in
punctuation. The passage is very obscure, if not corrupt. Perhaps it may
be read thus:

  --Cordelia--has been--informed.
  Of my obscur'd course, and shall find time
  From this enormous state-seeking, to give
  Losses their remedies.--

Cordelia is informed of our affairs, and when the _enormous_ care of
_seeking her fortune_ will allow her time, she will employ it in
remedying losses. This is harsh; perhaps something better may be found.
I have at least supplied the genuine reading of the old copies.
_Enormous_ is unwonted, out of rule, out of the ordinary course of

II.iii.18 (377,2) Poor pelting villages] _Pelting_ is, I believe, only
an accidental depravation of _petty_. Shakespeare uses it in the
_Midsummer-Night's Dream_ of _small brooks_.

II.iii.20 (378,3) Poor Turlygood! poor Tom!] [W: Turlupin] Hanmer reads,
_poor_ Turlurd. It is probable the word _Turlygood_ was the common
corrupt pronunciation.

II.iii.21 (378,4) Edgar I nothing am] As Edgar I am out-lawed, dead in
law; I have no longer any political existence.

II.iv (378,1) _Changes again to the earl of Glo'ster's castle_] It is
not very clearly discovered why Lear comes hither. In the foregoing part
he sent a letter to Glo'ster; but no hint is given of its contents. He
seems to have gone to visit Glo'ster while Cornwall and Regan might
prepare to entertain him.

II.iv.24 (380,4) To do upon respect such violent outrage] To violate the
public and venerable character of a messenger from the king.

II.iv.46 (380,7) Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese fly that way]
If this be their behaviour, the king's troubles are not yet at an end.

II.iv.70 (381,9) All that follow their noses are led by their eyes, but
blind men; and there's not a nose among twenty, but can smell him that's
stinking] There is in this sentence no clear series of thought. If he
that follows his nose is led or guided by his eyes, he wants no
information from his nose. I persuade myself, but know not whether I can
persuade others, that our author wrote thus:--"All men are led by their
eyes, but blind men, and they follow their noses; and there's not a nose
among twenty but can smell him that's stinking."--Here is a succession
of reasoning. You ask, why the king has no more in his train? why,
because men who are led by their eyes see that he is ruined; and if
there were any blind among them, who, for want of eyes, followed their
noses, they might by their noses discover that it was no longer fit to
follow the king.

II.iv.83 (382,2)

  But I will tarry; the fool will stay,
  And let the wise man fly;
  The knave turns fool, that runs away;
  The fool no knave, perdy]

I think this passage erroneous, though both the copies concur. The sense
mill be mended if we read,

  But I will tarry; the fool will stay,
  And let the wise man fly;
  The fool turns knave, that runs away;
  The knave no fool,--

That I stay with the king is a proof that I am a fool, the wise men are
deserting him. There is knavery in this desertion, but there is no

II.iv.116 (383,3) Is practice only] _Practice_ is in Shakespeare, and
other old writers, used commonly in an ill sense for _unlawful

II.iv.122 (384,4) Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels,
when she put them i' the paste alive] Hinting that the eel and Lear are
in the same danger.

II.iv.142 (384,7) Than she to scant her duty] The word _scant_ is
directly contrary to the sense intended. The quarto reads,

  --_slack_ her duty,

which is no better. May we not change it thus:

  You less know bow to value her desert,
  Than she to _scan_ her duty.

To _scan_ may be to _measure_ or _proportion_. Yet our author uses his
negatives with such licentiousness, that it is hardly safe to make any
alteration.--_Scant_ may mean to _adapt_, to _fit_, to _proportion_;
which sense seems still to be retained in the mechanical term scantling.
(see 1765, VI, 67, 4)

II.iv.155 (385,1) Do you but mark how this becomes the house?] [T: the
use?] [Warburton called "becomes the house" "a most expressive phrase"]
with this _most expressive phrase_ I believe no reader is satisfied. I
suspect that it has been written originally,

  Ask her forgiveness?
  Do you but mark how this becometh--thus.
  Dear daughter, I confess, &c.

_Becomes the house_, and _becometh thus_, might be easily confounded by
readers so unskilful as the original printers.

II.iv.157 (386,2) _Age is unnecessary_] i.e. Old age has few wants.

II.iv.162 (386,3) Look'd black upon me] To _look black_, may easily be
explained to _look cloudy_ or _gloomy_. See Milton:

  "So frown'd the mighty combatants, that hell
  Grew darker at their frown."--

II.iv.170 (386,4) To fall, and blast her pride!] Thus the quarto: the
folio reads not so well, _to fall and blister_. I think there is still a
fault, which may be easily mended by changing a letter:

  --Infect her beauty,
  Ye fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the powerful sun,
  _Do_, fall, and blast her pride!

II.iv.174 (387.6) Thy tender-hested nature shall not give/Thee o'er to
harshness] This word, though its general meaning be plain, I do not
critically understand.

II.iv.178 (387,7) to scant my sizes] To contract my allowances or
proportions settled.

II.iv.203 (388,9) much less advancement] The word _advancement_ is
ironically used here for _conspicuousness_ of punishment; as we now say,
_a man is advanced to the pillory_. We should read,

  --but his own disorders
  Deserv'd much _more_ advancement.

II.iv.204 (388,1) I pray you, father, being weak, seem so] [W: deem't
so] The meaning is, since _you are weak_, be content to think yourself
weak. No change is needed.

II.iv.218 (389,3) base life] i.e. In a _servile_ state.

II.iv.227 (390,5) embossed carbuncle] _Embossed_ is _swelling,

II.iv.259 (391,6) Those wicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd:/
When others are more wicked] Dr. Warburton would exchange the repeated
epithet _wicked_ into _wrinkled_ in both places. The commentator's only
objection to the lines as they now stand, is the discrepancy of the
metaphor, the want of opposition between _wicked_ and _well-favoured_.
But he might have remembered what he says in his own preface concerning
_mixed modes_. Shakespeare, whose mind was more intent upon notions than
words, had in his thoughts the pulchritude of virtue, and the deformity
of wickedness; and though he had mentioned _wickedness_, made the
correlative answer to _deformity_.

III.i.7 (394,1) That things might change, or cease: tears his white
hair] The first folio ends the speech at _change, or cease_, and begins
again with Kent's question, _But who is with him?_ The whole speech is
forcible, but too long for the occasion, and properly retrenched.

III.i.18 (395,3) my note] My observation of your character.

III.i.29 (395,6) _are but furnishings_] _Furnishings_ are what we now
call _colours, external pretences_. (1773)

III.i.19 (395,8)

  There is division,
  Although as yet the face of it is cover'd
  with mutual cunning, 'twixt Albany and Cornwall;
  _Who have (as who have not, whom their great stars
  Throne and set high?) servants, who seem no less;
  Which are to France the spies and speculations
  Intelligent of our state. What hath been seen,
  Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes;
  Or the hard rein, which both of them have borne
  Against the old kind king; or something deeper,
  Whereof, perchance, these are but furnishings._
  [But, true it is, from France there comes a power
  Into this scatter'd kingdom; who already,
  Wise in our negligence, have secret fee
  In some of our best ports, and are at point
  To shew their open banner.--Now to you:]]

The true state of this speech cannot from all these notes be discovered.
As it now stands it is collected from two editions: the lines which I
have distinguished by Italics are found in the folio, not in the quarto;
the following lines inclosed in crotchets are in the quarto, not in the
folio. So that if the speech be read with omissions of the Italics, it
will stand according to the first edition; and if the Italics are read,
and the lines that follow them omitted, it will then stand according to
the second. The speech is now tedious, because it is formed by a
coalition of both. The second edition is generally best, and was
probably nearest to Shakespeare's last copy, but in this passage the
first is preferable; for in the folio, the messenger is sent, he knows
not why, he knows not whither. I suppose Shakespeare thought his plot
opened rather too early, and made the alteration to veil the event from
the audience; but trusting too much to himself, and full of a single
purpose, he did not accommodate his new lines to the rest of the
scene.--The learned critic's [Warburton] emendations are now to be
examined. _Scattered_ he has changed to _scathed_; for _scattered_, he
says, gives _the idea of an anarchy, which was not the case_. It may be
replied that _scathed_ gives the idea of ruin, waste, and desolation,
_which was not the case_. It is unworthy a lover of truth, in questions
of great or little moment, to exaggerate or extenuate for mere
convenience, or for vanity yet less than convenience. _Scattered_
naturally means _divided, unsettled, disunited_.--Next is offered with
great pomp a change of _sea_ to _seize_; but in the first edition the
word is _fee_, for _hire_, in the sense of having any one in _fee_, that
is, at _devotion for money_. _Fee_ is in the second quarto changed to
_see_, from which one made _sea_ and another _seize_.

III.ii.4 (398,1) thought-executing] Doing execution with rapidity equal
to thought.

III.ii.19 (399,4) Here I stand, your slave] [W: brave] The meaning is
plain enough, he was not their _slave_ by right or compact, but by
necessity and compulsion. Why should a passage be darkened for the sake
of changing it? Besides, of _brave_ in that sense I remember no example.

III.ii.24 (399,5) 'tis foul] Shameful; dishonourable.

III.ii.30 (399,6) So beggars marry many] i.e. A beggar marries a wife
and lice.

III.ii.46 (400,1) Man's nature cannot carry/The affliction, nor the
fear] So the folio: the later editions read, with the quarto, _force_
for _fear_, less elegantly.

III.ii.56 (401,3) That under covert and convenient seeming] _Convenient_
needs not be understood in any other than its usual and proper sense;
_accommodate_ to the present purpose; _suitable_ to a design.
_Convenient seeming_ is _appearance_ such as may promote his purpose to

III.ii.53 (401,4) concealing continents] _Continent_ stands for that
which _contains_ or _incloses_.

III.ii.72 (401,(5) Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart,/
That's sorry yet for thee] Some editions read,

  --_thing_ in my heart;

from which Hanmer, and Dr. Warburton after him, have made _string_, very
unnecessarily; both the copies have _part_.

III.ii.74 (402,7)

  _He that has a little tiny wit,--
  With heigh ho, the wind and the rain;
  Must make content with his fortunes fit,
  Though the rain it raineth every day_]

I fancy that the second line of this stanza had once a termination that
rhymed with the fourth; but I can only fancy it; for both the copies
agree. It was once perhaps written,

  With heigh ho, the wind and the rain _in his way_.

The meaning seems likewise to require this insertion. "He that has wit,
however small, and finds wind and rain in his way, must content himself
by thinking, that somewhere or other _it raineth every day_, and others
are therefore suffering like himself." Yet I am afraid that all this is
chimerical, for the burthen appears again in the song at the end of
_Twelfth Night_, and seems to have been an arbitrary supplement, without
any reference to the sense of the song. (see 1765, VI, 84, 6)

III.ii.80 (402,8) I'll speak a prophecy ere I go] [W: or two ere] The
sagacity and acuteness of Dr. Warburton are very conspicuous in this
note. He has disentangled the confusion of the passage, and I have
inserted his emendation in the text. _Or e'er_ is proved by Mr. Upton to
be good English, but the controversy was not necessary, for _or_ is not
in the old copies. [Steevens retained "ere"]

III.ii.84 (403,1) No heretics burnt, but wenches' suitors] The disease
to which _wenches' suitors_ are particularly exposed, was called in
Shakespeare's time the _brenning_ or _burning_.

III.iv.26 (406,1)

  In, boy; go first. [_To the Fool._] You houseless poverty--
  Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep]

These two lines were added in the author's revision, and are only in the
folio. They are very judiciously intended to represent that humility, or
tenderness, or neglect of forms, which affliction forces on the mind.

III.iv.52 (407,3) led through fire and through flame] Alluding to the
_ignis fatuus_, supposed to be lights kindled by mischievous beings to
lead travellers into destruction.

III.iv.54 (407,4) laid knives under his pillow] He recounts the
temptations by which he was prompted to suicide; the opportunities of
destroying himself, which often occurred to him in his melancholy moods.

III.iv.60 (407,5) Bless thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting, and
taking!] To _take_ is to blast, or strike with malignant influence:

  --strike her young limbs,
  Ye taking airs, with lameness.

III.iv.77 (408,6) pelican daughters] The young pelican is fabled to suck
the mother's blood.

III.iv.95 (408,8) light of ear] [i.e. Credulous. WARBURTON.] Not merely
_credulous_, but _credulous of evil_, ready to receive malicious
reports. (1773)

III.iv.103 (409,1) says suum, mun, ha no nonny, dolphin my boy, boy,
Sessy: let him trot by] Of this passage I can make nothing. I believe it
corrupt: for wildness, not nonsense, is the effect of a disordered
imagination. The quarto reads, _hay no on ny, dolphins, my boy, cease,
let him trot by_. Of interpreting this there is not much hope or much
need. But any thing may be tried. The madman, now counterfeiting a proud
fit, supposes himself met on the road by some one that disputes the way,
and cries _Hey!--No--but altering his mind, condescends to let him pass,
and calls to his boy _Dolphin_ (Rodolph) not to contend with him.
_On--Dolphin, my boy, cease. Let him trot by_.

III.iv.122 (410,3) web and the pin] Diseases of the eye.

III.iv.125 (411,4)

  Saint Withold footed thrice the void;
  He met the night-mare, and her nine-fold;
  Bid her alight, and her troth plight,
  And aroynt thee, witch, aroynt thee!]

In the old quarto the corruption is such as may deserve to be noted.
"Swithold footed thrice the old another night moore and her nine fold
bid her, O light, and her troth plight, and arint thee, with arint

III.iv.144 (412,6) _small deer_] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads _geer_, and is
followed by Dr. Warburton. But _deer_ in old language is a general word
for wild animals.

III.iv.187 (414,8) _Child Rowland_] This word is in some of our ballads.
There is a song of _Child Walter, and a Lady_.

III.v.21 (415,2) If I find him comforting the king] He uses the word in
the juridical sense for _supporting, helping_, according to its
derivation; _salvia_ comfortat _ne vos_.--_Schol. Sal._ (rev. 1778, IX,
477, 3)

III.vi.20 (416,2) a horse's health] [W: heels] Shakespeare is here
speaking not of things maliciously treacherous, but of things uncertain
and not durable, A horse is above all other animals subject to diseases.

III.vi.26 (416,3) Wantest thou eyes at trial, madam?] It may be observed
that Edgar, being supposed to be found by chance, and therefore to have
no knowledge of the rest, connects not his ideas with those of Lear, but
pursues his own train of delirious or fantastic thought. To these words,
_At trial, madam?_ I think therefore that the name of Lear should be
put. The process of the dialogue will support this conjecture. (1773)

III.vi.27 (417,4) _Come oe'er the broom, Bessy, to me_] As there is no
relation between _broom_ and a _boat_, we may better read,

  Come o'er the _brook_, Bessy, to me.

III.vi.43 (417,6)

  _Sleepest, or wakest thou, jolly shepherd?
  Thy sheep be in the corn;
  And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,
  Thy sheep shall take no harm.]

This seems to be a stanza of some pastoral song. A shepherd is desired
to pipe, and the request is enforced by a promise, that though his sheep
be in the corn, i.e. committing a trespass by his negligence, implied in
the question, _Sleepest thou or wakest?_ Yet a single tune upon his pipe
shall secure them from the pound. (1773)

III.vi.77 (419,8) Sessy, come] 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_.

III.vi.78 (419,9) thy horn is dry] Men that begged under pretence of
lunacy used formerly to carry a horn, and blow it through the streets.

III.vi.103-121 (420,2) [_Kent._ Opprest nature sleeps] 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
Shakespeare'a last revision, carelessly and hastily performed, with more
thought of shortening the scenes, than of continuing the action.

III.vi.111 (421,4) free things] States clear from distress.

III.vi. 117 (421,5)

  Mark the high noises! and thyself bewray,
  When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee,
  In thy just proof, repeals, and reconciles thee]

Attend to the great events that are approaching, and make thyself known.
Then 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.

III.vii.13 (421,6) ray lord of Glo'ster] Meaning Edmund, newly invested
with his father's titles. The steward, speaking immediately after,
mentions the old duke by the same title.

III.vii.24 (422,3)

  Though well we may not pass upon his life
  Without the form of justice; 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. (1773)

III.vii.29 (422,4) corky arms] Dry, wither'd, husky arms.

III.vii.54 (424,9) I am ty'd to the stake, and I must stand the course]
The running of the dogs upon me.

III.vii.65 (425,2) All cruels else subscrib'd] Yielded, submitted to the
necessity of the occasion.

III.vii.99-107 (426,3) I'll never care what wickedness I do] [This short
dialogue I have inserted from the old quarto, because I think it full of
nature. Servants could hardly see such a barbarity committed on their
master, without pity; and the vengeance that they presume canst overtake
the actors of it is a sentiment and doctrine well worthy of the stage.
THEOBALD.] It is not necessary to suppose them the servants of Glo'ster;
for Cornwall was opposed to extremity by his own servant.

IV.i.1 (427,1) Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd] The meaning
is, _'Tis better_ to be _thus contemned, and_ known _to yourself_ to be
contemned. Or perhaps there is an error, which may be rectified thus:

  Yet better thus unknown to be contemn'd.

When a man divests himself of his real character he feels no pain from
contempt, because he supposes it incurred only by a voluntary disguise
which he can throw off at pleasure. I do not think any correction

IV.i.20 (429,3) Our mean secures us] [i.e. Moderate, mediocre condition.
WARBURTON.] Banner writes, by an easy change, _meanness_ secures us. The
two original editions have,

  Our _meanes_ secures us.--

I do not remember that _mean_ is ever used aa a substantive for low
fortune, which is the sense here required, nor for mediocrity, except in
the phrase, the _golden mean_. I suspect the passage of corruption, and
would either read,

  Our means _seduce_ us:--

Our powers of body or fortune draw us into evils. Or,

  Our _maims_ secure us.--

That hurt or deprivation which makes us defenceless, proves our
safeguard. This is very proper in Glo'ster, newly maimed by the evulsion
of his eyes.

IV.i.59-64 (431,8) [Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once; of lust,
as _Obidicut_; _Hobbididance_, prince of dumbness; _Mahu_, of stealing;
_Modo_, of murder; and _Flibbertigibbet_, of mopping and mowing; who
since possesses chamber-maids and waiting-women. So bless thee,
master!]] The passage in crotchets is omitted in the folio, because I
suppose as the story was forgotten, the jest was lost.

IV.i.68 (432,1) Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man] Lear has before
uttered the same sentiment, which indeed cannot be too strongly
impressed, tho' it may be too often repeated.

IV.i.69 (432,2) That slaves your ordinance] [W: braves] The emendation
is plausible, yet I doubt whether it be right. The language of
Shakespeare is very licentious, and his words have often meanings remote
from the proper and original use. To _slave_ or _beslave_ another is to
_treat_ him _with terms of indignity_; in a kindred sense, to _slave the
ordinance_, may be, to _slight_ or _ridicule_ it.

IV.ii.1 (433,1) our mild husband] It must be remembered that Albany, the
husband of Gonerill, disliked, in the end of the first act, the scheme
of oppression and ingratitude.

IV.ii.29 (434,5) I have been worth the whistle] This expression is a
reproach to Albany for having neglected her; _though you disregard me
thus_, I have been worth the whistle, _I have found one that thinks me
worth calling_. (1773)

IV.ii.35 (435,9) From her maternal sap] [W: material] I suppose no
reader doubts but the word should be _maternal_. Dr. Warburton has taken
great pains without much success, and indeed without much exactness of
attention, to prove that _material_ has a more proper sense than
_maternal_, and yet seemed glad at last to infer from an apparent error
of another press that _material_ and _maternal_ meant the same.

IV.ii.45 (436,2) A man, a prince by him so benefited?] [After this line
I suspect a line or two to be wanting, which upbraids her for her
sister's cruelty to Glo'ster. WARBURTON.] Here is a pompous note to
support a conjecture apparently erroneous, and confuted by the next
scene, in which the account is given for the first time to Albany of
Glo'ster's sufferings.

IV.ii.50 (436,3) Like monsters of the deep] Fishes are the only animals
that are known to prey upon their own species.

IV.ii.62 (437,5) Thou changed, and self-cover'd thing] Of these lines
there is but one copy, and the editors are forced open conjecture. They
have published this line thus;

  Thou chang'd, and _self-converted_ thing;

but I cannot but think that by _self-cover'd_ the author meant, thou
that hast _disguised_ nature by wickedness; thou that hast _hid_ the
woman under the fiend.

IV.ii.83 (438,6) One way, I like this well] Gonerill is well pleased
that Cornwall is destroyed, who was preparing war against her and her
husband, but is afraid of losing Edmund to the widow.

IV.iii (439,1) _The French camp, near Dover. Enter Kent, and a
Gentleman_] This scene seems to have been left out only to shorten the
play, and is necessary to continue the action. It is extant only in the
quarto, being omitted in the first folio. I have therefore put it
between crotchets.

IV.iii (439,2) _a Gentleman_] The gentleman whom he sent in the
foregoing act with letters to Cordelia.

IV.iii.26 (440,4) Made she no verbal question?] I do not see the
impropriety of _verbal question_; such pleonasms are common. So we say,
_my ears have heard, my eyes have beheld_. Besides, where is the word
_quest_ [Warburton's emendation] to be found?

IV.iii.33 (440,6) And clamour-moisten'd] _Clamour moisten'd her_; that
is, _her out-cries were accompanied with tears_.

IV.iii.36 (441,7) one self-mate and mate] The same husband and the same

IV.iii.51 (441,9) 'Tis so they are a-foot] Dr. Warburton thinks it
necessary to read, _'tis said_; but the sense is plain, _So it is_ that
_they are on foot_.

IV.iv.4 (442,1) With bur-docks, hemlock] I do not remember any such
plant as a _hardock_, but one of the most common weeds is a _burdock_,
which I believe should be read here; and so Hanmer reads.

IV.iv.20 (443,2) the means to lead it] The reason which should guide it.

IV.iv.26 (443,3) My mourning and important tears hath pitied] In other
places of this author for _importunate_.

IV.iv.27 (443,4) No blown embition] No inflated, no swelling pride. Beza
on the Spanish Armada:

  "Quem bene te ambitio mersit vanissima, ventus,
  Et tumidos tumidae voa superastis aquae."

IV.v.4 (444,1) _Reg._ Lord Edmund spake not with your lady at home?] The
folio reads, _your lord_; but lady is the first and better reading.

IV.v.22 (444,3) Let me unseal the letter./_Stew._ Madam, I had rather] I
know not well why Shakespeare gives the steward, who is a mere factor of
wickedness, so much fidelity. He now refuses the letter; and afterwards,
when he is dying, thinks only how it may be safely delivered.

IV.v.29 (445,5) I do advise you, take this note] _Note_ means in this
place not a _letter_ but a _remark_. Therefore _observe_ what I am

IV.v.32 (446,6) You may gather more] You may infer more than I have
directly told you.

IV.vi (446,1) _The country near Dover. Enter Glo'ster, and Edgar as a
peasant_] This scene, and the stratagem by which Glo'ster is cured of
his desperation, are wholly borrowed from Sidney's _Arcadia_.

IV.vi.7 (447,2) thy voice is alter'd] Edgar alters his voice in order to
pass afterwards for a malignant spirit.

IV.vi.11 (447,5) How fearful/And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low!]
This description has been much admired since the time of Addison, who
has remarked, with a poor attempt at pleasantry, that "he who can read
it without being giddy, has a very good head, or a very bad one." The
description is certainly not mean, but I am far from thinking it wrought
to the utmost excellence of poetry. He that looks from a precipice finds
himself assailed by one great and dreadful image of irresistible
destruction. But this overwhelming idea is dissipated and enfeebled from
the instant that the mind can restore itself to the observation of
particulars, and diffuse its attention to distinct objects. The
enumeration of the choughs and crows, the samphire-man, and the fishers,
counteracts the great effect of the prospect, as it peoples the desert
of intermediate vacuity, and stops the mind in the rapidity of its
descent through emptiness and horror.

IV.vi.19 (447,4) her cock] Her cock-boat.

IV.vi.43 (448,6) when life itself/Yields to the theft] When life is
willing to be destroyed.

IV.vi.47 (449,7) Thus might he pass, indeed] Thus he might _die_ in
reality. We still use the word _passing_ bell.

IV.vi.53 (449,9) Ten masts at each make not the altitude] [Pope:
attacht] Mr. Pope's conjecture may stand if the word which he uses were
known in our author's time, but I think it is of later introduction. He
may say,

  Ten masts _on end_--

IV.vi.57 (449,1) chalky bourn] _Bourn_ seems here to signify a _hill_.
Its common signification is a _brook_. Milton in _Comus_ uses _bosky
bourn_ in the same sense perhaps with Shakespeare. But in both authors
it may mean only a _boundary_.

IV.vi.73 (450,2) the clearest gods] The purest; the most free from evil.

IV.vi.80 (450,3) Bear free and patient thoughts] To be melancholy is to
have the mind _chained down_ to one painful idea; there is therefore
great propriety in exhorting Glo'ster to _free thoughts_, to an
emancipation of his soul from grief and despair.

IV.vi.81 (450,4) The safer sense will ne'er accommodate/His master thus]
[W: sober sense] I read rather,

  The _saner_ sense will ne'er accoomodate
  His master thus.

"Here is Lear, but he must be mad: his sound or _sane_ senses would
never suffer him to be thus disguised."

IV.vi.87 (451,5) That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper] This
_crow-keeper_ was so common in the author's time, that it is one of the
few peculiarities mentioned by Ortelius in his account of our island.

IV.vi.93 (451,8) Give the word] Lear supposes himself in a garrison, and
before he lets Edgar pass, requires the watch-word.

IV.vi.97 (452,7) Ha! Gonerill!--with a white beard!] So reads the folio,
properly; the quarto, whom the later editors have followed, has, _Ha!
Gonerill, ha! Regan! they flattered me_, &c. which is not so forcible.

IV.vi.98 (452,8) They flattered me like a dog] They played the spaniel
to me.

IV.vi.121 (453,2) Whose face between her forks] I believe that the
_forks_ were two prominences of the ruff rising on each side of the

IV.vi.124 (453,4) nor the soyled horse] _Soiled_ horse is probably the
same as _pampered_ horse, _un cheval soûlé_.

IV.vi.169 (454.5) Robes and furr'd gowns hide all] From _hide all_ to
_accuser's lips_, the whole passage is wanting in the first edition,
being added, I suppose, at his revisal.

IV.vi.187 (455,8) This a good block!] I do not see how this _block_
corresponds either with his foregoing or following train of thoughts.
Madmen think not wholly at random. I would read thus, _a good flock_.
_Flocks_ are wool moulded together. The sentence then follows properly:

  It were a delicate stratagem to shoe
  A troop of horse with felt;--

i.e. with _flocks_ kneaded to a mass, a practice I believe sometimes
used in former ages, for it is mentioned in _Ariosto_:

  "--Fece nel cader strepito quanto
  Avesse avuto sotto i piedi il _feltro_."

It is very common for madmen to catch an accidental hint, and strain it
to the purpose predominant in their minds. Lear picks up a _flock_, and
immediately thinks to surprize his enemies by a troop of horse shod with
_flocks_ or _felt_. Yet _block_ may stand, if we suppose that the sight
of a block put him in mind of mounting his horse.

IV.vi.199 (457,1) Why, this would make a man, a man of salt] Would make
a man melt away like salt in wet weather.

IV.vi.206 (457,2) Then there's life in't] The case is not yet desperate.

IV.vi.217 (457,3) the main descry/Stands on the hourly thought] The
_main_ body is _expected_ to be _descry'd_ every hour. The expression is

IV.vi.246 (459,7) che vor'ye] _I warn you_. Edgar counterfeits the
western dialect.

IV.vi.281 (460,3) Thee I'll rake up] I'll _cover_ thee. In
Staffordshire, to _rake_ the fire, is to cover it with fuel for the

IV.vi.234 (460,4) the death-practis'd duke] The duke of Albany, whose
death is machinated by _practice_ or treason.

IV.vii.3 (461,1) every measure fail me] All good which I shall allot
thee, or _measure out_ to thee, will be scanty.

IV.vii.9 (461,4) shortens my made intent] [W: laid] An intent _made_, is
an intent _formed_. So we say in common language, to _make a design_,
and to _make a resolution_.

IV.vii.41 (464,2) 'Tis wonder, that thy life and wits, at once,/Had not
concluded all] [W: concluded.--Ah!] The plain construction is this: _It
is wonder that the wits and life had not all ended_.

IV.vii.85-97 (466,9)

  [_Gent_. Holds it true, Sir,
  That the duke of Cornwall was so slain?]

What is printed in crotchets is not in the folio. It is at least proper,
if not necessary; and was omitted by the author, I suppose, for no other
reason than to shorten the representation.

V.i.4 (467,2) his constant pleasure] His settled resolution.

V.i.54 (470,7) We will greet the time] We will be ready to meet the

V.i.61 (470,8) 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_.

V.i.68 (471,9) for my state/Stands on me to defend, not to debate] I do
not think that _for_ stands in this place as a word of inference or
causality. The meaning is rather: _Such is my determination concerning
Lear_; _as_ for my state _it requires now, not_ deliberation, _but_
defence _and support_.

V.iii.16 (472,1) And take upon us the mystery of things,/As if we were
God's spies] As if we were angels commissioned to survey and report the
lives of men, and were consequently endowed with the power of prying
into the original motives of action and the mysteries of conduct.

V.iii.18 (472,2) packs and sects] Packs is used for _combinations_ or
_collection_, as is a _pack of cards_. For _sects_ I think _sets_ might
be more commodiously read. So we say, _affairs are now managed by a new_
set. _Sect_, however, may well stand.

V.iii.24 (473,6) flesh and fell] Flesh and skin.

V.iii.54 (475,1)

        [At this time
  We sweat and bleed: the friend hath lost his friend;
  And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs'd
  By those that feel their sharpness:--
  The question of Cordelia, and her father,
  Requires a fitter place.]]

This passage, well worthy of restoration, is omitted in the folio.

V.iii.65 (475,4) The which immediacy] [_Immediacy_, for representation.
WARBURTON.] _Immediacy_ is rather _supremacy_ in opposition to
_subordination_, which has _quiddam medium_ between itself and power.

V.iii.79 (476,7) The lett alone lies not in your good will] Whether he
shall not or shall depends not on your choice.

V.iii.89 (476,8) An interlude!] This short exclamation of Gonerill is
added in the folio edition, I suppose, only to break the speech of
Albany, that the exhibition on the stage might be more distinct and

V.iii.129 (478,1) Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,/My oath,
and my profession] The _privilege_ of this _oath_ means the privilege
gained by taking the oath administered in the regular initiation of a
knight professed.

V.iii.151 (479,3)

  _Alb._ Save him, save him!
  _Gon._ This is mere practice, Glo'ster]

He desired that Edmund's life might be spared at present, only to obtain
his confession, and to convict him openly by his own letter.

V.iii.166 (480,6) Let us exchange charity] Our author by negligence
gives his heathens the sentiments and practices of Christianity. In
_Hamlet_ there is the same solemn act of final reconciliation, but with
exact propriety, for the personages are Christians.

V.iii. 204-221 (481,2) [Edg;.--This would have seem'd a period] The
lines between crotchets are not in the folio.

V.iii.229 (433,4) Here comes Kent, Sir] The manner in which Edgar here
mentions Kent, seems to require the lines which are inserted from the
first edition in the foregoing scene.

V.iii.264 (485,7)

  _Edg._ Or image of that horror?
  _Alb._ Fall, and cease!]

These two exclamations are given to Edgar and Albany in the folio, to
animate the dialogue, and employ all the persons on the stage; but they
are very obscure.

V.iii.301 (487,4) With boot] With advantage, with increase.

(488) General Observation. The tragedy of Lear is deservedly celebrated
among the dramas of Shakespeare. There is perhaps no play which keeps
the attention so strongly fixed; which so much agitates our passions and
interests our curiosity. The artful involutions of distinct interests,
the striking opposition of contrary characters, the sudden changes of
fortune, and the quick succession of events, fill the mind with a
perpetual tumult of indignation, pity, and hope. There is no scene which
does not contribute to the aggravation of the distress or conduct of the
action, and scarce a line which does not conduce to the progress of the
scene. So powerful is the current of the poet's imagination, that the
mind, which once ventures within it, is hurried irresistibly along.

On the seeming improbability of Lear's conduct it may be observed, that
he is represented according to histories at that time vulgarly received
as true. And, perhaps, if we turn our thoughts upon the barbarity and
ignorance of the age to which this story is referred, it will appear not
so unlikely as while we estimate Lear's manners by our own. Such
preference of one daughter to another, or resignation of dominion on
such conditions, would be yet credible, if told of a petty prince of
Guinea or Madagascar. Shakespeare, indeed, by the mention of his earls
and dukes, has given us the idea of times more civilized, and of life
regulated by softer manners; and the truth is, that though he so nicely
discriminates, and so minutely describes the characters of men, he
commonly neglects and confounds the characters of ages, by mingling
customs ancient and modern, English and foreign.

My learned friend Mr. Warton, who has in the _Adventurer_ very minutely
criticised this play, remarks, that the instances of cruelty are too
savage and shocking, and that the intervention of Edmund destroys the
simplicity of the story. These objections may, I think, be answered, by
repeating, that the cruelty of the daughters is an historical fact, to
which the poet has added little, having only drawn it into a series by
dialogue and action. But I am not able to apologize with equal
plausibility for the extrusion of Glo'ster's eyes, which seems an act
too horrid to be endured in dramatic exhibition, and such as must always
compel the mind to relieve its distress by incredulity. Yet let it be
remembered that our author well knew what would please the audience for
which he wrote.

The injury done by Edmund to the simplicity of the action is abundantly
recompensed by the addition of variety, by the art with which he is made
to co-operate with the chief design, and the opportunity which he gives
the poet of combining perfidy with perfidy, and connecting the wicked
son with the wicked daughters, to impress this important moral, that
villainy is never at a stop, that crimes lead to crimes, and at last
terminate in ruin.

But though this moral be incidentally enforced, Shakespeare has suffered
the virtue of Cordelia to perish in a just cause, contrary to the
natural ideas of justice, to the hope of the reader, and, what is yet
more strange, to the faith of chronicles. Yet this conduct is justified
by _The Spectator_, who blames Tate for giving Cordelia success and
happiness in his alteration, and declares, that, in his opinion, _the
tragedy has lost half its beauty_. Dennis has remarked, whether justly
or not, that, to secure the favourable reception of _Cato, the town was
poisoned with much false and abominable criticism_, and that endeavours
had been used to discredit and decry poetical justice. A play in which
the wicked prosper, and the virtuous miscarry, may doubtless be good,
because it is a just representation of the common events of human life:
but since all reasonable beings naturally love justice, I cannot easily
be persuaded, that the observation of justice makes a play worse; or,
that if other excellencies are equal, the audience will not always rise
better pleased from the final triumph of persecuted virtue.

In the present case the public has decided. Cordelia, from the time of
Tate, has always retired with victory and felicity. And, if my
sensations could add any thing to the general suffrage, I night relate,
I was many years ago so shocked by Cordelia's death, that I know not
whether I ever endured to read again the last scenes of the play till I
undertook to revise them as an editor.

There is another controversy among the critics concerning this play. It
is disputed whether the predominant image in Lear's disordered mind be
the loss of his kingdom or the cruelty of his daughters. Mr. Murphy, a
very judicious critic, has evinced by induction of particular passages,
that the cruelty of his daughters is the primary source of his distress,
and that the loss of royalty affects him only as a secondary and
subordinate evil. He observes with great justness, that Lear would move
our compassion but little, did we not rather consider the injured father
than the degraded king.

The story of this play, except the episode of Edmund, which is derived,
I think, from Sidney, is taken originally from Geoffry of Monmouth, whom
Hollinshed generally copied; but perhaps immediately from an old
historical ballad. My reason for believing that the play was posterior
to the ballad, rather than the ballad to the play, is, that the ballad
has nothing of Shakespeare's nocturnal tempest, which is too striking to
have been omitted, and that it follows the chronicle; it has the
rudiments of the play, but none of its amplifications: it first hinted
Lear's madness, but did not array it in circumstances. The writer of the
ballad added something to the history, which is a proof that he would
have added more, if more had occurred to his mind, and more must have
occurred if he had seen Shakespeare. [Johnson appends "A lamentable SONG
of the Death of King Leir and his Three Daughters"]

Vol. I


I.i.82 (9,7) Give me my long sword] The _long sword_ was the sword used
in war, which was sometimes wielded with both hands.

I.i.158 (11,2)

  As is the bud bit with an envious worm,
  Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air,
  Or dedicate his beauty to the same]

I cannot but suspect that some lines are lost, which connected this
simile more closely with the foregoing speech; these lines, if such
there were, lamented the danger that Romeo will die of his melancholy,
before his virtues or abilities were known to the world.

I.i.176 (12,3)

  Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,
  Should, without eyes, see path-ways to his will.]

Sir T. Hanmer, and after him Dr. Warburton, read, to his _ill_. The
present reading has some obscurity; the meaning may be, that _love_
finds out means to pursue his _desire_. That the _blind_ should _find
paths to ill_ is no great wonder.

I.i.183 (13,4) O brawling love! O loving hate!] Of these lines neither
the sense nor occasion is very evident. He is not yet in love with an
eneny, and to love one and hate another is no such uncommon state, as
can deserve all this toil of antithesis.

I.i.192 (14,5) Why, such is love's transgression] Such is the
consequence of unskilful and mistaken kindness. (see 1765, VIII, 12, 2)

1.1.198 (14,6) Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes] The
author may mean _being purged of smoke_, but it is perhaps a meaning
never given to the word in any other place. I would rather read, _Being_
urged, _a fire sparkling_. Being excited and inforced. To _urge_ the
fire is the technical term.

I.i.199 (14,7) Being vex'd, a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears] As this
line stands single, it is likely that the foregoing or following line
that rhym'd to it, is lost.

I.i.206 (14,8) Tell me in sadness] That is, tell me _gravely_, tell me
in _seriousness_.

I.i.217 (15,1) in strong proof] In chastity _of proof_, as we say in
armour _of proof_.

I.i.222 (15,2)

  O, she is rich in beauty; only poor
  That when she dies, with beauty dies her store]

Mr. Theobald reads, "_With_ her dies beauties _store_;" and is followed
by the two succeeding editors. I have replaced the old reading, because
I think it at least as plausible as the correction. _She is rich_, says
he, _in beauty_, and _only poor_ in being subject to the lot of
humanity, that _her store_, or riches, _can be destroyed by death_, who
shall, by the same blow, put an end to beauty.

I.ii.15 (17,2) She is the hopeful lady of my earth] _The lady of his
earth_ is an expression not very intelligible, unless he means that she
is heir to his estate, and I suppose no man ever called his lands his
earth. I will venture to propose a bold change:

  She is the hope _and stay_ of my _full years_.

I.ii.25 (18,3) Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light] [W:
dark even] But why nonsense [Warburton's comment]? Is any thing mere
commonly said, than that beauties eclipse the sun? Has not Pope the
thought and the word?

  "Sol through white curtains shot a tim'rous ray,
  "And spe'd those eyes that must _eclipse the day_."

Both the old and the new reading are philosophical nonsense, but they
are both, and both equally poetical sense.

I.ii.26 (18,4) Such comfort as do lusty young men feel] To say, and to
say in pompous words, that a _young man shall feel_ as much in an
assembly of beauties, _as young men feel in the month of April_, is
surely to waste sound upon a very poor sentiment. I read,

  Such comfort as do lusty _yeomen_ feel.

You shall feel from the sight and conversation of these ladies, such
hopes of happiness and such pleasure, as the farmer receives from the
spring, when the plenty of the year begins, and the prospect of the
harvest fills him with delight.

I.ii.32 (18,5)

  Such, amongst view of many, mine, being one.
  May stand in number, the' in reckoning none]

The first of these lines I do not understand. The old folio gives no
help; the passage is there, _Which_ one _more view_. I can offer nothing
better than this:

  _Within your view_ of many, mine being one,
  May stand in number, &c.

I.iii.13 (22,1) to my teen] To my sorrow.

I.iii.66 (24,4) It is an honour] The modern editors all read, _it is an
honour_. I have restored the genuine word ["hour"], which is more seemly
from a girl to her mother. _Your, fire_, and such words as are vulgarly
uttered in two syllables, are used as dissyllables by Shakespeare. [The
first quarto reads _honour_; the folio _hour_. I have chosen the reading
of the quarto. STEEVENS.] (rev. 1778, X, 28, 2)

I.iii.92 (25,9) That in gold clasps locks in the golden story] The
_golden story_ is perhaps the _golden legend_, a book in the darker ages
of popery much read, and doubtless often exquisitely embellished, but of
which Canus, one of the popish doctors, proclaims the author to have
been _homo ferrei oris, plumbei cordis_.

I.iv.6 (27,2) like a crow-keeper] The word _crow-keeper_ is explained in

I.iv.37 (28,8) for I am proverb'd with a grand-sire phrase] The
grandsire phrase is--_The black ox has trod upon my foot_.

I.iv.42 (30,1) Or (save your reverence) love] The word _or_ obscures the
sentence; we ahould read _O_! for _or love_. Mercutio having called the
affection vith which Romeo was entangled by so disrespectful a word as
_mire_, cries out,

  O! save your reverence, love.

I.iv.84 (34,7) Spanish blades] A sword is called a toledo, from the
excellence of the Toletan steel. So Gratius,

  "--Ensis Toletanus
  "Unda Tagi non est alie celebranda metallo,
  Utilis in cives est ibi lamna sues."

I.iv.113 (35,9) Direct my sail:] [I have restored this reading from the
elder quarto, as being more congruous to the metaphor in the preceding
line. _Suit_ is the reading of the folio. STEEVENS.]

  _Direct my suit_! Guide the _sequel_ of the adventure.

I.v.27 (37,4)

  You are welcome, gentlemen. Come musicians, play.
  A ball! a ball! Give room. And foot it, girls]

These two lines, omitted by the modern editors, I have replaced from the

I.v.32 (37, 6) good cousin Capulet] This _cousin_ Capulet is _unkle_ in
the paper of invitation; but as Capulet is described as old, _cousin_ is
probably the right word in both places. I know not how Capulet and his
lady might agree, their ages were very disproportionate; he has been
past masking for thirty years, and her age, as she tells Juliet, is but

II.Prologue (42,3) _Enter CHORUS_] The use of this chorus is not easily
discovered; it conduces nothing to the progress of the play, but relates
what is already known, or what the next scenes will shew; and relates it
without adding the improvement of any moral sentiment.

II.ii.1 (45,1) He jests at scars] That is, Mercutio jests, whom he

II.ii.7 (45,2) Be not her maid] Be not a votary to the moon, to Diana.

II.ii.10 (45,3)

  It is my lady; O! it is my love;
  O, that she knew we were!]

This line and half I have replaced.

II.ii.39 (47,7) Thou art thyself, though not a Montague] I think the
true reading is,

  Thou art thyself, _then_ not a Montague.

Thou art a being of peculiar excellence, and hast none of the malignity
of the family, from which thou hast thy name.--Hanmer reads,

  Thour't not _thyself_ so, _though_ a Montague.

II.iii.15 (53,6) the powerful grace, that lies/In plants] Efficacious

II.iii.27 (53,7) Two such opposed foes encamp them still] [W: opposed
kin] _Foes_ may be the right reading, or _kings_, but I think _kin_ can
hardly be admitted. Two _kings_ are two opposite _powers_, two
contending _potentates_, in both the natural and moral world. The word
_encamp_ is proper to _commanders_. (see 1765, VIII, 46, 2)

II.iv.20 (57,3) courageous captain of compliments] A complete master of
all the laws of ceremony, the principal man in the doctrine of

  "A man of compliments, whom right and wrong
  "Have chose as umpire;"

says our author of Don _Armado_, the Spaniard, in _Love's Labour Lost_.

II.iv.27 (57,6) the hay!] All the terms of the modern fencing-school
were originally Italian; the rapier, or small thrusting sword, being
first used in Italy. The _hay_ is the word _hai_, you _have_ it, used
when a thrust reaches the antagonist, from which our fencers, on the
same occasion, without knowing, I suppose, any reason for it, cry out,

II.iv.35 (58,9) these pardonnez-moy's] _Pardonnez-moi_ became the
language of doubt or hesitation among men of the sword, when the point
of honour was grown so delicate, that no other mode of contradiction
would be endured.

II.iv.64 (59,3) then is my pump wall flower'd] Here is a vein of wit too
thin to be easily found. The fundamental idea is, that Romeo wore
_pinked_ pumps, that is, pumps punched with holes in figures.

II.iv.87 (60,7) a wit of cheverel] _Cheverel_ is soft-leather for

II.iv.138 (62,8) No hare, Sir] Mercutio having roared out, _So ho_! the
cry of the sportsmen when they start a hare; Romeo asks _what he has
found_. And Mercutio answers, _No hare_, &c. The rest is a series of
quibbles unworthy of explanation, which he who does not understand,
needs not lament his ignorance.

II.iv.162 (63,1) none of his skains-mates] The word _skains-mate_, I do
not understand, but suppose that _skains_ was some low play, and
_skains-mate_, a companion at such play.

II.iv.200 (64,2) like a tackled stair] Like stairs of rope in the tackle
of a ship.

II.iv.222 (65,4) Ah, mocker! that's the dog's name. R is for the nonce;
I know it begins with another letter] This passage is thus in the old
folio. _A mocker, that's the dog's name. R is for the_ no, _I know it
begins with some other letter._ In this copy the error is but small. I
read, _Ah, mocker. that's the dog's name. R is for the_ nonce, _I know
it begins with another letter._ For the _nonce_, is for some _design,
for a sly trick_.

II.vi.15 (70,2) Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow] He that travels
too fast is as long before he comes to the end of his journey, as he
that travels slow. Precipitation produces mishap.

III.i.2 (71,1) The day is hot] It is observed, that in Italy almost all
assassinations are committed during the heat of summer.

III.i.124 (75,6) This day's black fate on more days does depend] This
day's unhappy destiny _hangs over_ the days yet to come. There will yet
be more mischief.

III.i.141 (78,7) Oh! I am fortune's fool] I am always running in the way
of evil fortune, _like_ the fool in the play. _Thou art death's fool_,
in _Measure for Measure_. See Dr. Warburton's note.

III.i.153 (77,8) as thou art true] As thou art _just_ and _upright_.

III.i.159 (77,9) How nice the quarrel] How _slight_, how _unimportant_,
how _petty_. So in the last act,

  The letter was not _nice_, but full of charge
  Of dear import.

III.i.182 (78,2) Affection makes him false] The charge of falshood on
Bonvolio, though produced at hazard, is very just. The author, who seems
to intend the character of Bonvolio as good, meant perhaps to shew, how
the best minds, in a state of faction and discord, are detorted to
criminal partiality.

III.i.193 (78,3) I have an interest in your hate's proceeding: Sir
Thomas Hanmer saw that this line gave no sense, and therefore put, by a
very easy change,

  I have an interest in your _heat's_ proceeding!

which is undoubtedly better than the old reading which Dr. Warburton has
followed; but the sense yet seems to be weak, and perhaps a more
licentious correction is necessary. I read therefore,

  I _had no_ interest in your _heat's preceding_.

This, says the prince, is no quarrel of mine, _I had no interest in your
former discord_; I suffer merely by your private animosity.

III.ii.5 (79,3) Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night,/That
run-away's eyes may wink] [Warburton explained the "run-away" as the
"sun"] I am not satisfied with this explanation, yet have nothing better
to propose.

III.ii.10 (80,4) Come, civil night] _Civil_ is _grave, decently solemn_.

III.ii.14 (80,5) unmann'd blood] Blood yet unacquainted with man.

III.ii.25 (81,6) the garish sun] Milton had this speech in his thoughts
when he wrote _Il Penseroso_.

  "--Civil night,
  "Thou sober-suited matron."--_Shakespeare_.
  "Till civil-suited morn appear."--_Milton_.
  "Pay no worship to the gairish sun."--_Shakespeare_.
  "Hide me from day's gairish eye."--_Milton_.

III.ii.46 (82,7) the death-darting eye of cockatrice] [The strange lines
that follow here in the common books are not in the old edition. POPE.]
The strange lines are these:

  I am not I, if there be such an I,
  Or these eyes shot, that makes thee answer I;
  If he be slain, say I; or if not, no;
  Brief sounds determine of my weal or woe.

These lines hardly deserve emendatien; yet it may be proper to observe,
that their meanness has not placed them below the malice of fortune, the
two first of them being evidently transposed; we should read,

  --That one vowel _I_ shall poison more,
  Than the death-darting eye of cockatrice,
  Or these eyes shot, that make thee answer, I.
  I am not I, &c.

III.ii.114 (85,9) Hath slain ten thousand Tybalts] Hath put Tybalt out
of my mind, as if out of being.

III.ii.120 (85,1) Which modern lamentation might have mov'd] This line
is left out of the later editions, I suppose because the editors did not
remember that Shakespeare uses _modern_ for _common_, or _slight_: I
believe it was in his time confounded in colloquial language with

III.iii.112 (89,4)

  Unseemly woman in a seeming man!
  And ill-beseeming beast in seeming both!]

[W: seeming groth] The old reading is probable. _Thou art a beast of ill
qualities, under the appearance both of a woman and a man_.

III.iii.135 (90,5) And thou dismember'd with thine own defence] And thou
torn to pieces with thy own weapons.

III.iii.166-168 (91,6) Go hence. Good night] These three lines are
omitted in all the modern editions.

III.iii.166 (91,7) here stands all your state] The whole of your fortune
depends on this.

III.iv.12 (92,9) Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender/Of my child's
love] _Desperate_ means only _bold, advent'rous_, as if he had said in
the vulgar phrase, _I will speak a_ bold _word_, and venture _to promise
you my daughter_.

III.v.20 (94,1) 'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow] The
appearance of a cloud opposed to the moon.

III.v.23 (94,2) I have more care to stay, than will to go] Would it be
better thus, _I have more will to stay, than care to go_?

III.v.31 (94,3) Some say, the lark and loathed toad chang'd eyes] This
tradition of the toad and lark I hare heard expressed in a rustick

  --_to heav'n I'd fly,
  But the toad beguil'd me of my eye._

III.v.33 (95,4)

  Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray,
  Hunting thee hence with huntaup to the day]

These two lines are omitted in the modern editions, and do not deserve
to be replaced, but as they may shew the danger of critical temerity.
Dr. Warburton's change of _I would_ to _I wot_ was specious enough, yet
it it is evidently erroneous. The sense is this, _The lark, they say,
has lost her eyes to the toad, and now_ I would _the toad had her voice
too, since she uses it to the disturbance of lovers_.

III.v.86 (97,3)

  _Jul._ Ay, Madam, from the reach of these my hands:
  'Would, none but I might venge my cousin's death.!]

Juliet's equivocations are rather too artful for a mind disturbed by the
loss of a new lover.

III.v.91 (98,4) That shall bestow on hin so sure a draught] [Thus the
elder quarto, which I have followed in preference to the quarto 1609,
and the folio 1623, which read, less intelligibly,

  "Shall give him such an unaccustom'd dram." STEEVENS.]

--_unaccustomed dram_.] In vulgar language, Shall give him a _dram_
which he is _not used_ to. Though I have, if I mistake not, observed,
that in old books _unaccustomed_ signifies _wonderful, powerful,

III.v.112 (98,6) in happy time] _A la bonne heure_. This phrase was
interjected, when the hearer was not quite so well pleased as the

III.v.227 (103,3) As living here] Sir T. HANMER reads, _as living_
hence; that is, at a dsitance, in banishment; but _here_ may signify,
_in this world_.

IV.i.3 (104,1) And I am nothing alow to slack his haste] _His haste
shall not be abated by my slowness_. It might be read,

  And I an nothing slow to _back_ his haste:

that is, I am diligent to _abet_ and _enforce_ his haste.

IV.i.l8 (104,2)

  _Par._ Happily met, my lady and my wife!
  _Jul._ That may be, Sir, when I may be a wife]

As these four first lines seem intended to rhyme, perhaps the author wrote thus:

  --my lady and my _life_!

IV.i.62 (106,3) this bloody knife/Shall play the umpire] That is, this
knife shall decide the struggle between me and my distress.

IV.i.64 (106,4) commission of thy years and art] _Commission_ is for
_authority_ or _power_.

IV.i.79 (106,5)

  Or chain me to some sleepy mountain's top,
  Where rearing bears and savage lions roam;
  Or shut me nightly in a charnel house]
  [Or walk in thievish ways, or bid me lurk
  Where serpents are; chain me with rearing bears,
  Or hide me nightly, &c.

It is thus the editions vary. POPE.] my edition has the words which Mr.
Pope has omitted; but the old copy seems in this place preferable; only
perhaps we might better read,

  Where _savage_ bears and _rearing_ lions roam.

IV.i.119 (108,8) If no unconstant toy] If no _fickle freak_, no _light
caprice_, no _change of fancy_, hinder the performance.

IV.ii.38 (110,2) We shall be short] That is, we shall be _defective_.

IV.iii.3 (110,3) For I have need of many orisons] Juliet plays most of
her pranks under the appearance of religion: perhaps Shakespeare meant
to punish her hypocrisy.

IV.iii.46 (112,6) Alas, alas! it is not like that I] This speech is
confused, and inconsequential, according to the disorder of Juliet's

IV.iv.4 (113,1) The curfeu bell] I knew not that the morning-bell is
called the _curfeu_ in any other place.

IV.iv.107 (119,9) O, play me some merry dump] This is not in the folio,
but the answer plainly requires it.

V.i (121,1) ACT V. SCENE I. MANTUA] The acts are here properly enough
divided, nor did any better distribution than the editors have already
made, occur to me in the perusal of this play; yet it may not be
improper to remark, that in the first folio, and I suppose the foregoing
editions are in the same state, there is no division of the acts, and
therefore some future editor may try, whether any improvement can be
made, by reducing them to a length more equal, or interrupting the
action at more proper intervals.

V.i.1 (121,2) If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep] The sense
is, _If I may only trust the_ honesty _of sleep_, which I know however
not to be so nice as not often to practise _flattery_.

V.i.3 (121,3)

  My bosom's lord sits lightly on his throne;
  And all this day an unaccustom'd spirit
  Lifts me above the ground with chearful thoughts]

These three lines are very gay and pleasing. But why does Shakespeare
give Romeo this involuntary cheerfulness just before the extremity of
unhappiness? Perhaps to shew the vanity of trusting to these uncertain
and casual exaltations or depressions, which many consider as certain
foretokens of good and evil.

V.i.45 (123,6) A beggarly account of empty boxes] Dr. Warburton would
read, a _braggartly_ account; but _beggarly_ is probably right: if the
_boxes_ were _empty_, the _account_ was more _beggarly_, as it was more

V.iii.31 (127,1) a ring that I must use/In dear employment] That is,
_action of importance_. Gems were supposed to have great powers and

V.iii.86 (129,4) her beauty makes/This vault a feasting presence full of
light] A _presence_ is a _public room_.

V.iii.90 (129,5) O, how may I/Call this a lightning?] I think we should

  --_O_, now _may I
  Call this a lightning_!--

V.iii.178 (135,1)

  Raise up the Montagues.--Some others; search:--
  We see the ground whereon these woes do lie;
  But the true ground of all these piteous woes
  We cannot without circumstance descry]

Here seems to be a rhyme intended, which may be easily restored;

  "Raise up the Montagues. Some others, go.
  "We see the ground whereon these woes do lie,
  "But the true ground of all _this_ piteous _woe_
  "We cannot without circumstance descry."

V.iii.194 (136,2) What fear is this, which startles in our ears?]
[Originally _your ears_] Read,

  "What fear is this, which startles in _our_ ears?

V.iii.229 (138,6) _Fri._ I will be brief] It is much to be lamented,
that the poet did not conclude the dialogue with the action, and avoid a
narrative of events which the audience already knew.

(141) General Observation. This play is one of the most pleasing of our
author's performances. The scenes are busy and various, the incidents
numerous and important, the catastrophe irresistibly affecting, and the
process of the action carried on with such probability, at least with
such congruity to popular opinions, as tragedy requires.

Here is one of the few attempts of Shakespeare to exhibit the
conversation of gentlemen, to represent the airy sprightliness of
juvenile elegance. Mr. Dryden mentions a tradition, which might easily
reach his time, of a declaration made by Shakespeare, that _he was
obliged to kill Mercutio in the third act, lest he should have been
killed by him_. Yet he thinks him _no such formidable person, but that
he might have lived through the play, and died in his bed_, without
danger to a poet. Dryden well knew, had he been in quest of truth, that,
in a pointed sentence, more regard is commonly had to the words than the
thought, and that it is very seldom to be rigorously understood.
Mercutio's wit, gaiety, and courage, will always procure him friends
that wish him a longer life; but his death is not precipitated, he has
lived out the time allotted him in the construction of the play; nor do
I doubt the ability of Shakespeare to have continued his existence,
though some of his sallies are perhaps out of the reach of Dryden; whose
genius was not very fertile of merriment, nor ductile to humour, but
acute, argumentative, comprehensive, and sublime.

The Nurse is one of the characters in which the author delighted: he
has, with great subtilty of distinction, drawn her at once loquacious
and secret, obsequious and insolent, trusty and dishonest.

His comic scenes are happily wrought, but his pathetic strains are
always polluted with some unexpected depravations. His persons, however
distressed, _have a conceit left them in their misery, a miserable


(145,2) This play is printed both in the folio of 1623, and in the
quarto of 1637, more correctly, than almost any other of the works of

I.i.29 (147,7) approve our eyes] Add a new testimony to that of our

I.i.33 (147,8) What we two nights have seen] This line is by Hanmer
given to Marcellus, but without necessity.

I.i.63 (149,9) He smote the sledded Polack on the ice] Polack was, in
that age, the term for an inhabitant of Poland: Polaque, French. As in a
translation of Passeratius's epitaph on Henry III. of France, published
by Camden:

  "Whether thy chance or choice thee hither brings,
  "Stay, passenger, and wail the best of kings.
  "this little stone a great king's heart doth hold,
  "Who rul'd the fickle French and Polacks bold:
  "So frail are even the highest earthly things,
  "Go, passenger, and wail the hap of kings." (rev. 1776, I, 174,3)

I.i.65 (149,2) and just at this dead hour] The old reading is, _jump at
this same hour; same_ is a kind of correlative to _jump; just_ is in the
oldest folio. The correction was probably made by the author.

I.i.68 (149,4) gross and scope] General thoughts, and tendency at large.

I.i.93 (151,7) And carriage of the articles design'd] _Carriage_, is
_import; design'd_, is _formed, drawn up between them_.

I.i.96 (151,8) Of unimproved mettle hot and full] _Full of unimproved
mettle_, is full of spirit not regulated or guided by knowledge or

I.i.100 (151,1) That hath a stomach in't] _Stomach_, in the time of our
author, was used for _constancy, resolution_.

I.i.107 (152,3) romage] Tumultous hurry. (1773)

I.i.108-125 (152,3) These, and all other lines confin'd within crotchets
throughout this play, are omitted in the folio edition of 1623. The
omissions leave the play sometimes better and sometimes worse, and seen
made only for the sake of abbreviation.

I.i.109 (152,4) Well may it sort] The cause and the effect are
proportionate and suitable. (1773)

I.i.121 (152,7) Was even the like precurse of fierce events] Not only
such prodigies have been seen in Rome, but the elements have shewn our
countrymen like forerunners and foretokens of violent events. (1773)

I.i.128 (153,1) If thou hast any sound] The speech of Horatio to the
spectre is very elegant and noble, and congruous to the common
traditions of the causes of apparitions.

I.i.153 (154,2)

  Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
  The extravagant and erring spirit hies
  To his confine]

According to the pneumatology of that tine, every element was inhabited
by its peculiar order of spirits, who had dispositions different,
according to their various places of abode. The meaning therefore is,
that all _spirits extravagant_, wandering out of their element, whether
aerial spirits visiting earth, or earthly spirits ranging the air,
return to their station, to their proper limits in which they are
_confined_. We might read,

  "--And at his warning
  "Th' extravagant and erring spirit hies
  "To his confine, whether in sea or air,
  "Or earth, or fire. And of, &c.

But this change, tho' it would smooth the construction, is not
necessary, and being unnecessary, should not be made against authority.

I.i.163 (154,5) No fairy takes] No fairy _strikes_, with lameness or
diseases. This sense of _take_ is frequent in this author.

I.ii.37 (156,8) more than the scope/Of these dilated articles allows]
More than is comprised in the general design of these articles, which
you may explain in a more diffuse and dilated stile. (1773)

I.ii.47 (157,9)

  The head is not more native to the heart,
  The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
  Than to the throne of Denmark is thy father]

[W: The blood ... Than to the throne] Part of this emendation I have
received, but cannot discern why the _head_ is not as much _native to
the heart_, as the _blood_, that is, _natural_ and _congenial_ to it,
_born with it_, and co-operating with it. The relation is likewise by
this reading better preserved, the _counsellor_ being to the _king_ as
the _head_ to the _heart_.

I.ii.62 (158,1)

  Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,
  And thy best graces spend it at thy will]

I rather think this line is in want of emendation. I read,

  --_Time is thine_,
  _And_ my best _graces; spend it at thy will_.

I.ii.65 (158,2) A little more than kin, and less than kind] _Kind_ is
the Teutonick word for _child_. Hamlet therefore answers with propriety,
to the titles of _cousin_ and _son_, which the king had given him, that
he was somewhat more than _cousin_, and less than _son_.

I.ii.67 (159,3) too much i' the sun] He perhaps alludes to the proverb,
_Out of heaven's blessing into the warm sun_.

I.ii.70 (159,4) veiled lids] With lowering eyes, cast down eyes. (1773)

I.ii.89 (160,5) your father lost a father;/That father lost, lost his] I
do not admire the repetition of the word, but it has so much of our
author's manner, that I find no temptation to recede from the old

I.ii.92 (160,6) obsequious sorrow] _Obsequious_ is here from
_obsequies_, or _funeral ceremonies_.

I.ii.103 (161,9) To reason most absurd] Reason is here used in its
common sense, for the _faculty_ by which we form conclusions from

I.ii.110 (161,1) And with no less nobility of love] [_Nobility_, for
_magnitude_. WARBURTON.] _Nobility_ is rather _generosity_.

I.ii.112 (161,2) Do I impart toward you] I believe _impart_ is, _impart
myself_, _communicate_ whatever I can bestow.

I.ii.125 (162,4) No jocund health] The king's intemperance is very
strongly impressed; every thing that happens to him gives him occasion
to drink.

I.ii.163 (164,9) I'll change that name] I'll be your servant, you shall
be my friend. (1773)

I.ii.164 (164,1) what make you] A familiar phrase for _what are you

I.ii.167 (164,2) good Even, Sir] So the copies. Sir Th. Hanmer and Dr.
Warburton put it, _good morning_. The alteration is of no importance,
but all licence is dangerous. There is no need of any change. Between
the first and eighth scene of this act it is apparent, that a natural
day must pass, and how much of it is already over, there is nothing that
can determine. The king has held a council. It may now as well be
_evening_ as _morning_.

I.ii.182 (165,3) 'Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven] _Dearest_,
for _direst_, most dreadful, most dangerous.

I.ii.192 (165,5) Season your admiration] That is, _temper_ it.

I.ii.204 (166,6) they, distill'd/Almost to jelly with the act of
fear,/Stand dumb] [W: th' effect of] Here is an affectation of subtilty
without accuracy. _Fear_ is every day considered as an _agent_. _Fear
laid hold on him; fear drove him away_. If it were proper to be rigorous
in examining trifles, it might be replied, that Shakespeare would write
more erroneously, if he wrote by the direction of this critick; they
were not _distilled_, whatever the word may mean, _by the effect of
fear_; for that _distillation_ was itself the _effect_; _fear_ was the
cause, the active cause, that _distilled_ them by that force of
operation which we strictly call _act_ involuntary, and _power_ in
involuntary agents, but popularly call _act_ in both. But of this too

I.iii.15 (169,9) The virtue of his will] _Virtue_ seems here to comprise
both _excellence_ and _power_, and may be explained the _pure effect_.

I.iii.21 (169,1) The sanity and health of the whole state] [W: safety]
HANMER reads very rightly, _sanity_. _Sanctity_ is elsewhere printed for
_sanity_, in the old edition of this play.

I.iii.32 (170,2) unmaster'd] i.e. _licentious_. (1773)

I.iii.34 (170,3) keep you in the rear of your affection] That is, do not
advance so far as your affection would lead you.

I.iii.49 (170,4) Whilst, like a puft and reckless libertine] [W: Whilest
he] The emendation is not amiss, but the reason for it is very
inconclusive; we use the same mode of speaking on many occasions. When I
say of one, _he squanders like a spendthrift_, of another, _he robbed me
like a thief_, the phrase produces no ambiguity; it is understood that
the one is a _spendthrift_, and the other a _thief_.

I.iii.64 (172,7) But do not dull thy palm with entertainment/Of each
new-hatch'd, unfledg'd comrade] The literal sense is, _Do not make thy
palm callous by shaking every man by the hand_. The figurative meaning
may be, _Do not by promiscuous conversation make thy mind insensible to
the difference of characters_.

I.iii.81 (173,1) my blessing season this in thee!] [_Season_, for
_infuse_. WARBURTON.] It is more than to _infuse_, it is to infix it in
such a manner as that it never may wear out.

I.iii.83 (173,3) your servants tend] i.e. your servants are waiting for
you. (1773)

I.iii.86 (173,4) 'Tis in my memory lock'd,/And you yourself shall keep
the key of it] That is, By thinking on you, I shall think on your

I.iii.107 (174,6)

  Tender yourself mere dearly;
  Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase)
  Wronging it thus, you'll tender me a fool]

I believe the word _wronging_ has reference, not to the phrase, but to
Ophelia; if you go on _wronging it thus_, that is, _if you continue to
go on thus wrong_. This is a mode of speaking perhaps not very
grammatical, but very common, nor have the best writers refused it.

  _To sinner it or saint it_,

is in Pope. And Rowe,

  --_Thus to_ coy it,
  _To one who knows you too._

The folio has it,

  --_roaming it thus_,--

That is, _letting yourself loose to such improper liberty_. But
_wronging_ seems to be more proper.

I.iii.112 (175,7) fashion you may call it] She uses _fashion_ for
_manner_, and he for a _transient practice_.

I.iii.122 (175,8) Set your intreatments] _Intreatments_ here means
_company, conversation_, from the French _entrétien_.

I.iii.125 (175,9) larger tether] _Tether_ is that string by which an
animal, set to graze in grounds uninclosed, is confined within the
proper limits. (1773)

I.iii.132 (176,2) I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,/
Have you so slander any moment's leisure] [The humour of this is fine.
WARBURTON.] Here is another _fine_ passage, of which I take the beauty
to be only imaginary. Polonius says, _in plain terms_, that is, not in
language less elevated or embellished than before, but _in terms that
cannot be misunderstood_: _I would not have you so disgrace your most
idle moments, as not to find better employment for them than lord
Hamlet's conversation_.

I.iv.9 (177,3) the swaggering up-spring] The blustering upstart.

I.iv.17 (177,4) This heavy-headed revel, east and west] I should not
have suspected this passage of ambiguity or obscurity, had I not found
my opinion of it differing from that of the learned critic [Warburton].
I construe it thus, _This heavy-headed revel makes us traduced east and
west, and taxed of other nations_.

I.iv.22 (178,5) The pith and marrow of our attribute] The best and most
valuable part of the praise that would be otherwise attributed to us.

I.iv.32 (178,7) fortune's scar] In the old quarto of 1637, it is

  --_fortune's_ star:

But I think _scar_ is proper.

I.iv.34 (178,8) As infinite as man may undergo] As large as can be
accumulated upon man.

I.iv.39-57 (179,2) Angels and ministers of grace defend us!] Hamlet's
speech to the apparition of his father seems to me to consist of three
parts. When first he sees the spectre, he fortifies himself with an

  _Angel and ministers of grace defend us!_

As the spectre approaches, he deliberates with himself, and determines,
that whatever it be he will venture to address it.

  _Be thou a spirit of health, or goblin damn'd,
  Bring with thee airs from heaven, or blasts from hell,
  Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
  Thou com'st in such a questionable shape,
  That I will speak to thee. I'll call thee_, &c.

This he says while his father is advancing; he then, as he had
determined, _speaks to him_, and _calls him--Hamlet, King, Father, Royal
Dane: oh! answer me_. (1773)

I.iv.43 (180,4) questionable shape] [By _questionable_ is meant
provoking question. HANMER.] So in _Macbeth_,

  _Live you, or are you aught
  That man may_ question?

I.iv.46 (180,5) tell,/Why thy canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death,/ Have
burst their cearments?] [W: in earth] It were too long to examine this
note period by period, though almost every period seems to me to contain
something reprehensible. The critic, in his zeal for change, writes with
so little consideration, as to say, that Hamlet cannot call his father
_canonized_, because _we are told he was murdered with all his sins
fresh upon him_. He was not then told it, and had so little the power of
knowing it, that he was to be told it by an apparition. The long
succession of reasons upon reasons prove nothing, but what every reader
discovers, that the king had been buried, which is implied by so many
adjuncts of burial, that the direct mention of _earth_ is not necessary.
Hamlet, amazed at an apparition, which, though in all ages credited, has
in all ages been considered as the most wonderful and most dreadful
operation of supernatural agency, enquires of the spectre, in the most
emphatic terms, why he breaks the order of nature, by returning from the
dead; this he asks in a very confused circumlocution, confounding in his
fright the soul and body. Why, says he, have _thy bones_, which with due
ceremonies have been intombed _in death_, in the common state of
departed mortals, _burst_ the folds in which they were embalmed? Why has
the tomb, in which we saw thee quietly laid, opened his mouth, that
mouth which, by its weight and stability, seemed closed for ever? The
whole sentence is this: _Why dost thou appear, whom we know to be dead?_

Had the change of the word removed any obscurity, or added any beauty,
it might have been worth a struggle; but either reading leaves the sense
the same.

If there be any asperity in this controversial note, it must be imputed
to the contagion of peevishneas, or some resentment of the incivility
shewn to the Oxford editor, who is represented as supposing the ground
_canonized_ by a funeral, when he only meant to say, that the _body_ has
deposited in _holy ground_, in ground consecrated according to the

I.iv.65 (183,9) I do not set my life at a pin's fee] The value of a pin.

I.iv.73 (183,1) deprive your sovereignty] I believe _deprive_ in this
place signifies simply to _take away_.

I.iv.77 (184,4) confin'd to fast in fires] I am rather inclined to read,
_confin'd to_ lasting _fires_, to fires _unremitted_ and _unconsumed_.
The change is slight.

I.v.30 (186,7) As meditation or the thoughts of love] The comment
[Warburton's] on the word _meditation_ is so ingenious, that I hope it
is just.

I.v.77 (188,6) Unhonsel'd, disappointed, unaneal'd] This is a very
difficult line. I think Theobald's objection to the sense of
_unaneal'd_, for _notified by the bell_, must be owned to be very
strong. I have not yet by my enquiry satisfied myself. Hanmer's
explication of _unaneal'd_ by _unprepar'd_, because to _anneal_ metals,
is to _prepare_ them in manufacture, is too general and vague; there is
no resemblance between any funeral ceremony and the practice of
_annealing_ metals.

_Disappointed_ is the same as _unappointed_, and may be properly
explained _unprepared_; a man well furnished with things necessary for
any enterprize, was said to be well _appointed_.

I.v.80 (190,7) Oh, horrible! oh, horrible! most horrible!] It was
ingeniously hinted to me by a very learned lady, that this line seems to
belong to Hamlet, in whose mouth it is a proper and natural exclamation;
and who, according to the practice of the stage, may be supposed to
interrupt so long a speech. (1773)

I.v.154 (193,5) Swear by my sword] [Here the poet has preserved the
manners of the ancient Danes, with whom it was _religion_ to swear upon
their swords. WARBURTON.] I was once inclinable to this opinion, which
is likewise well defended by Mr. Upton; but Mr. Garrick produced me a
passage, I think, in _Brantoms_, from which it appeared, that it was
common to swear upon the sword, that is, upon the cross which the old
swords always had upon the hilt.

II.i.25 (197,8) drinking, fencing, swearing] I suppose, by _fencing_ is
meant a too diligent frequentation of the fencing-school, a resort of
violent and lawless young men.

II.i.46 (197,4) _Good Sir_, or so, or _friend_, or _gentleman_] [W:
sire] I know not that _sire_ was ever a general word of compliment, as
distinct from _sir_; nor do I conceive why any alteration should be
made. It is a common mode of colloquial language to use, _or so_, as a
slight intimation of more of the same, or a like kind, that might be
mentioned. We might read, but we need not,

  _Good sir_, forsooth, _or friend, or gentleman_.

_Forsooth_, a term of which I do not well know the original meaning, was
used to men as well as to women.

II.i.71 (198,5) Observe his inclination in yourself] HANMER reads,
_e'en_ yourself, and is followed by Dr. Warburton; but perhaps _in_
yourself means, _in your own person_, not by spies.

II.i.112 (200,7) I had not quoted him] To _quote_ is, I believe, to
_reckon_, to take an account of, to take the _quotient_ or result of a

II.i.114 (201,8)

                    it as proper to our age
  To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions,
  As it is common for the younger sort
  To lack discretion]

This is not the remark of a weak man. The vice of age is too much
suspicion. Men long accustomed to the wiles of life _cast_ commonly
_beyond themselves_, let their cunning go further than reason can attend
it. This is always the fault of a little mind, made artful by long
commerce with the world.

II.ii.24 (202,2)

  For the supply and profit of our hope,
  Your visitation shall receive such thanks]

That the hope which your arrival has raised may be completed by the
desired effect.

II.ii.47 (203,4) the trail of policy] The _trail_ is the _course of an
animal pursued by the scent_.

Il.ii.52 (203,5) My news shall be the fruit of that great feast] The
_desert_ after the meat.

II.ii.84 (204,7) at night we'll feast] The king's intemperance is never
suffered to be forgotten.

II.ii.86-167 (205,8) My liege, and Madam, to expostulate] This account
of the character of Polonius, though it sufficiently reconciles the
seeming inconsistency of so much wisdom with so much folly, does not
perhaps correspond exactly to the ideas of our author. The commentator
Warburton makes the character of Polonius, a character only of manners,
discriminated by properties superficial, accidental, and acquired. The
poet intended a nobler delineation of a mixed character of manners and
of nature. Polonius is a man bred in courts, exercised in business,
stored with observations, confident of his knowledge, proud of his
eloquence, and declining into dotage. His mode of oratory is truly
represented as designed to ridicule the practice of those times, of
prefaces that made no introduction, and of method that embarrassed
rather than explained. This part of his character is accidental, the
rest is natural. Such a man is positive and confident, because he knows
that his mind was once strong, and knows not that it is become weak.
Such a man excels in general principles, but fails in the particular
application. He is knowing in retrospect, and ignorant in foresight.
While he depends upon his memory, and can draw from his repositories of
knowledge, he utters weighty sentences, and gives useful counsel; but as
the mind in its enfeebled state cannot be kept long busy and intent, the
old man is subject to sudden dereliction of his faculties, he loses the
order of his ideas, and entangles himself in his own thoughts, till he
recovers the leading principle, and falls again into his former train.
This idea of dotage encroaching upon wisdom, will solve all the
phaenomena of the character of Polonius.

II.ii.109 (207,1) _To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most
beautified Ophelia_] [T: beatified] Both Sir Thomas Hanmer and Dr.
Warburton have followed Theobald, but I am in doubt whether
_beautified_, though, as Polonius calls it, a _vile phrase_, be not the
proper word. _Beautified_ seems to be a _vile phrase_, for the ambiguity
of its meaning, (rev. 1778, X, 241, 3)

II.ii.126 (208,2) more above] is, _moreover, besides_.

II.ii.145 (209,6) she took the fruits of my advice] She took the
_fruits_ of advice when she obeyed advice, the advice was then made

II.ii.181 (211,9) For if the sun breed maggots in a dead dog,/Being a
god, kissing carrion] [This is Warburton's emendation for "a good
kissing"] This is a noble emendation, which almost sets the critic on a
level with the author.

II.ii.265 (214,2) the shadow of a dream] Shakespeare has accidentally
inverted an expression of Pindar, that the state of humanity is the
_dream_ of a _shadow_.

II.ii.269 (215,3) Then are our beggars, bodies] Shakespeare seems here
to design a ridicule of these declamations against wealth and greatness,
that seem to make happiness consist in poverty.

II.ii.336 (217,7) shall end his part in peace] [After these words the
folio adds, _the clown shall make those laugh whose lungs are tickled o'
th' sere_. WARBURTON.] This passage I have omitted, for the same reason,
I suppose, as the other editors: I do not understand it.

II.ii.338 (217,8) the lady shall say her mind freely, or the blank verse
shall halt for't] _The lady shall have no obstruction, unless from the
lameness of the verse._

II.ii.346 (217,9) I think, their inhibition comes by the means of the
late innovation] I fancy this is transposed: Hamlet enquires not about
an _inhibition_, but an _innovation_; the answer therefore probably was,
_I think, their_ innovation, _that is_, their new practice of strolling,
_comes by the means of the late_ inhibition.

II.ii.352-379 (218,1) _Ham._ How comes it? do they grow rusty?] The
lines marked with commas are in the folio of 1623, but not in the quarto
of 1637, nor, I suppose, in any of the quartos.

II.ii.355 (218,2) cry out on the top of question] The meaning seems to
be, they ask a common question in the highest notes of the voice.

II.ii.362 (218,3) escoted] Paid.

II.ii.362 (218,4) Will they pursue quality no longer than they can
_sing_?] Will they follow the _profession_ of players no longer than
they keep the voices of boys? So afterwards he says to the player,
_Come, give us a taste of your_ quality; come, _a passionate speech_.

II.ii.370 (219,6) to tarre them on to controversy] To provoke any animal
to rage, is _to tarre him_. The word is said to come from the Greek.

II.ii.380 (219,8) It is not very strange, for mine uncle is king of
Denmark] I do not wonder that the new players have so suddenly risen to
reputation, my uncle supplies another example of the facility with which
honour is conferred upon new claimants.

II.ii.412 (220,2) Buz, buz!] Mere idle talk, the _buz_ of the vulgar.

II.ii.414 (220,3) _Then came each actor on his ass_] This seems to be a
line of a ballad.

II.ii.420 (221,6) For the law of writ, and the liberty, these are the
only men] All the modern editions have, _the law of_ wit, _and the
liberty_; but both my old copies have, _the law of_ writ, I believe
rightly. _Writ_, for _writing, composition_. Wit_ was not, in our
author's time, taken either for _imagination_, or _acuteness_, or _both
together_, but for _understanding_, for the faculty by which we
_apprehend_ and _judge_. Those who wrote of the human mind distinguished
its primary powers into _wit_ and _will_. Ascham distinguishes _boys_ of
tardy and of active faculties into _quick wits_ and _slow wits_.

II.ii.438 (221,8) the first row of the pious chanson] [It is _pons
chansons_ in the first folio edition. POPE.] It is _pons chansons_ in
the quarto too. I know not whence the _rubric_ has been brought, yet it
has not the appearance of an arbitrary addition. The titles of old
ballads were never printed red; but perhaps _rubric_ may stand for
_marginal explanation_.

II.ii.439 (222,9) For, look, where my abridgment comes] He calls the
players afterwards, _the brief chronicles of the time_; but I think he
now means only _those who will shorten my talk_.

II.ii.448 (223,2) be not crack'd within the ring] That is, _crack'd too
much for use_. This is said to a young player who acted the parts of

II.ii.450 (223,3) like French faulconers] HANMER, who has much
illustrated the allusions to falconry, reads, _like_ French _falconers.
[French falconers_ is not a correction by Hanmer, but the reading of the
first folio. STEEVENS.] (see 1765, VIII, 198, 1)

II.ii.459 (223,5) (as I received it, and others whose judgment in such
matters cried in the top of mine)] [i.e. whose judgment I had the
highest opinion of. WARBURTON.] I think it means only that _were higher
than mine_.

II.ii.466 (224,8) but called it, an honest method] Hamlet is telling how
much his judgment differed from that of others. _One said, there was no
salt in the lines_, &c. _but call'd it an honest method_. The author
probably gave it, _But I called it an honest method_, &c.

II.ii.525 (226,9) _the mobled queen] Mobled signifies _huddled, grossly

II.ii.587 (228,5) the cue for passion] The _hint_, the _direction_.

II.ii.589 (228,6) the general ear] The ears of all mankind. So before,
_Caviare to the_ general, that is, to the _multitude_.

II.ii.595 (229,7) unpregnant of my cause] [_Unpregnant_, for _having no
due sense of_. WARBURTON.] Rather, _not quickened with a new desire of
vengeance; not teeming with revenge_.

II.ii.598 (229,8) A damn'd defeat was made] [_Defeat_, for
_destruction_. WARBURTON.] Rather, _dispossession_.

II.ii.608 (229,1) kindless] _Unnatural_.

II.ii.616 (229,3) About, my brain!] _Wits, to your work_. _Brain_, go
_about_ the present business.

II.ii.625 (230,5) tent him] Search his wounds.

II.ii.632 (230,7) More relative than this] [_Relative_, for
_convictive_. WARB.] _Convictive_ is only the consequential sense.
_Relative_ is, _nearly related, closely connected_.

III.i.17 (231,2) o'er-raught on the way] _Over-raught_ is
_over-reached_, that is, _over-took_.

III.i.31 (232,4) Affront Ophelia.] To _affront_, is only _to meet

III.i.47 (233,5) 'Tis too much prov'd] It is found by too frequent

III.i.52 (233,6) more ugly to the thing that helps it] That is,
_compared with_ the thing that helps it.

III.i.56-88 (233,7) To be, or not to be?] Of this celebrated soliloquy,
which bursting from a man distracted with contrariety of desires, and
overwhelmed with the magnitude of his own purposes, is connected rather
in the speaker's mind, than on his tongue, I shall endeavour to discover
the train, and to shew how one sentiment produces another. Hamlet,
knowing himself injured in the most enormous and atrocious degree, and
seeing no means of redress, but such as must expose him to the extremity
of hazard, meditates on his situation in this manner: _Before I can form
any rational scheme of action under this pressure of distress_, it is
necessary to decide, whether, _after our present state, we are_ to be or
not to be. That is the question, which, as it shall be answered, will
determine, _whether 'tis nobler_, and more suitable to the dignity of
reason, _to suffer the outrages of fortune_ patiently, or to take arms
against _them_, and by opposing end them, _though perhaps_ with the loss
of life. If _to die_, were _to sleep_, no more, _and by a sleep to end_
the miseries of our nature, such a sleep were _devoutly to be wished_;
but if _to sleep_ in death, be _to dream_, to retain our powers of
sensibility, we must _pause_ to consider, _in that sleep of death what
dreams may come_. This consideration _makes calamity_ so long endured;
for _who would bear_ the vexations of life, which might be ended _by a
bare bodkin_, but that he is afraid of something in unknown futurity?
This fear it is that gives efficacy to conscience, which, by turning the
mind upon _this regard_, chills the ardour of _resolution_, checks the
vigour of _enterprize_, and makes the _current_ of desire stagnate in
inactivity. We may suppose that he would have applied these general
observations to his own case, but that he discovered Ophelia.

III.i.59 (234,8) Or to take arms against a sea of troubles] [W: against
assail] Mr. Pope proposed _siege_. I know not why there should be so
much solicitude about this metaphor. Shakespeare breaks his metaphors
often, and in this desultory speech there was less need of preserving

III.i.70 (235,2) the whips and scorns of time] [W: of th' time] I doubt
whether the corruption of this passage is not more than the editor has
suspected. _Whips_ and _scorns_ have no great connexion with one
another, or with _time: whips_ and _scorns_ are evils of very different
magnitude, and though at all _times scorn_ may be endured, yet the
_times_ that put men ordinarily in danger of _whips_, are rery rare.
Falstaff has said, that the _courtiers would_ whip _him with their quick
wits_; but I know not that _whip_ can be used for a _scoff_ or _insult_,
unless its meaning be fixed by the whole expression.

I am afraid lest I should venture too far in correcting this passage. If
_whips_ be retained, we may read,

  _For who would bear the whips and scorns of_ tyrant.

But I think that _quip_, a _sneer_, a _sarcasm_, a _contemptuous_ jest,
is the proper word, as suiting very exactly with _scorn_. What then must
be done with _time_? it suits no better with the new reading than with
the old, and _tyrant_ is an image too bulky and serious. I read, but not

  _For who would bear the_ quips _and scorns of_ title.

It say be remarked, that Hamlet, in his enumeration of miseries,
forgets, whether properly or not, that he is a prince, and mentions many
evils to which inferior stations only are exposed.

III.i.77 (236,4) To groan and sweat] All the old copies have, _to_ grunt
_and sweat_. It is undoubtedly the true reading, but can scarcely be
borne by modern ears.

III.i.89 (237,5) Nymph, in thy orisons] This is a touch of nature.
Hamlet, at the sight of Ophelia, does not immediately recollect, that he
is to personate madness, but makes her an address grave and solemn, such
as the foregoing meditation excited in his thoughts.

III.i.107 (237,6) That if you be honest and fair, you should admit no
discourse to your beauty] This is the reading of all the modern
editions, and is copied from the quarto. The folio reads, your honesty
_should admit no discourse to your beauty_. The true reading seems to be
this, _If you be honest and fair, you should admit_ your honesty _to no
discourse with your beauty_. This is the sense evidently required by the
process of the conversation.

III.i.127 (238,7) I have thoughts to put them in] _To put a thing into
thought_, is _to think on it_.

III.i.148 (239,8) I have heard of your paintings too, well enough] This
is according to the quarto; the folio, for _painting_, has _prattlings_,
and for _face_, has _pace_, which agrees with what follows, _you jig,
you amble_. Probably the author wrote both. I think the common reading

III.i.152 (239,9) make your wantonness your ignorance] You mistake by
_wanton_ affectation, and pretend to mistake by _ignorance_.

III.i.161 (239,2) the mould of form] The model by whom all endeavoured
to form themselves.

III.ii.12 (241,3) the groundlings] The meaner people then seem to have
sat below, as they now sit in the upper gallery, who, not well
understanding poetical language, were sometimes gratified by a mimical
and mute representation of the drama, previous to the dialogue.

III.ii.14 (242,4) inexplicable dumb shews] I believe the meaning is,
_shews, without words to explain them_.

III.ii.26 (242,6) the very age and body of the time, his form and
pressure] The _age_ of the _time_ can hardly pass. May we not read, the
_face_ and _body_, or did the author write, the _page_? The _page_ suits
well with _form_ and _pressure_, but ill with _body_.

III.ii.28 (242,7) pressure] Resemblance, as in a _print_.

III.ii.34 (242,8) (not to speak it profanely)] _Profanely_ seems to
relate, not to the praise which he has mentioned, but to the censure
which he is about to utter. Any gross or indelicate language was called

III.ii.66 (243,9) the pregnant hinges of the knee] I believe the sense
of _pregnant_ in this place is, _quick, ready, prompt_.

III.ii.68 (244,1) my dear soul] Perhaps, my _clear_ soul.

III.ii.74 (244,2) Whose blood and judgment] According to the doctrine of
the four humours, _desire_ and _confidence_ were seated in the blood,
and _judgment_ in the phlegm, and the due mixture of the humours made a
perfect character.

III.ii.89 (244,3) Vulcan's stithy] _Stithy_ is a smith's _anvil_.

III.ii.103 (245,4) nor mine now] A man's words, says the proverb, are
his own no longer than he keep them unspoken.

III.ii.112 (245,5) they stay upon your patience] May it not be read more
intelligibly, _They stay upon your_ pleasure. In _Macbeth_ it is, "Noble
Macbeth, we stay upon your _leisure_."

III.ii.123 (245,6) Do you think I meant country matters?] I think we
must read, _Do you think I meant country_ manners? Do you imagine that I
meant to sit in your lap, with such rough gallantry as clowns use to
their lasses?

III.ii.137 (246,7) Nay, then, let the devil wear black, for I'll have a
suit of sables] I know not why our editors should, with such implacable
anger, persecute our predecessors. The dead, it is true, can make no
resistance, they may be attacked with great security; but since they can
neither feel nor mend, the safety of mauling them seems greater than the
pleasure; nor perhaps would it much misbeseem us to remember, amidst our
triumphs over the _nonsensical_ and the _senseless_, that we likewise
are men; that _debemur morti_, and, as Swift observed to Burnet, shall
soon be among the dead ourselves.

I cannot find how the common reading is nonsense, nor why Hamlet, when
he laid aside his dress of mourning, in a country where it was _bitter
cold_, and the air was _nipping and eager_, should not have a _suit of
sables_. I suppose it is well enough known, that the fur of sables is
not black.

III.ii.147 (249,1) Marry, this is miching maliche; it means mischief]
[W: malhechor] I think Hanmer's exposition most likely to be right. Dr.
Warburton, to justify his interpretation, must write, _miching_ for
_malechor_, and even then it will be harsh.

III.ii.167 (250,3) sheen] Splendor, lustre.

III.ii.177 (250,4) For women fear too much, even as they love] Here
seems to be a line lost, which should have rhymed to _love_.

III.ii.192 (251,6) The instances, that second marriage move] The

III.ii.202 (252,7)

  Most necessary 'tis, that we forget
  To pay ourselves what to ourselves is debt]

The performance of a resolution, in which only the _resolver_ is
interested, is a debt only to himself, which he may therefore remit at

III.ii.206 (252,8)

  The violence of either grief or joy,
  Their own enactures with themselves destroy]

What grief or joy _enact_ or determine in their violence, is revealed in
their abatement. _Enactures_ is the word in the quarto; all the modern
editions have _enactors_.

III.ii.229 (252,9) An anchor's cheer in prison be my scope] May my whole
liberty and enjoyment be to live on hermit's fare in a prison. _Anchor_
is for _anchoret_.

III.ii.250 (253,1) Baptista] _Baptista_ is, I think, in Italian, the
name always of a man.

III.ii.262 (254,4) So you must take your husbands] Read, _So you_ must
take _your husbands_ [in place of "mistake"]; that is, _for better, for

III.ii.288 (255,5) with two provencial roses on my rayed shoes] When
shoe-strings were worn, they were covered, where they met in the middle,
by a ribband, gathered into the form of a rose. So in an old song,

  Gil-de-Roy _was a bonny boy_,
  _Had_ roses _tull his_ shoen.

_Rayed_ shoes, are shoes _braided_ in lines.

III.ii.304 (256,1) For if the king like not the comedy/Why, then,
belike] Hamlet was going on to draw the consequence when the courtiers

III.ii.314 (256,2) With drink, Sir?] Hamlet takes particular care that
his uncle's love of drink shall not be forgotten.

III.ii.346 (257,3) further trade] Further business; further dealing.

III.ii.348 (257,4) by these pickers] By these hands.

III.ii.373 (258,6) ventages] The holes of a flute.

III.ii.401 (259,9) they fool me to the top of my bent] They compel me to
play the fool, till I can endure to do it no longer.

III.iii.7 (261,4) Out of his lunes] [The old quartos read,

  _Out of his_ brows.

This was from the ignorance of the first editors; as is this unnecessary
Alexandrine, which we owe to the players. The poet, I am persuaded,

  --_us doth hourly grow_
  _out of his_ lunes.

i.e. his _madness, frenzy_. THEOBALD.]

_Lunacies_ is the reading of the folio.

I take _brows_ to be, properly read, _frows_, which, I think, is a
provincial word for _perverse humours_; which being, I suppose, not
understood, was changed to _lunacies_. But of this I an not confident.
[Steevens adopted Theobald's emendation]

III.iii.33 (262,7) of vantage] By some opportunity of secret

III.iii.56 (263,9) May one be pardon'd, and retain the offence?] He that
does not amend what can be amended, _retains_ his _offence_. The king
kept the crown from the right heir.

III.iii.66 (263,1) Yet what can it, when one cannot repent?] What can
repentance _do for a man that cannot be penitent_, for a man who has
only part of penitence, distress of conscience, without the other part,
resolution of amendment.

III.iii.77 (264,1) I, his sole son, do this same villain send] The folio
reads foule son, a reading apparently corrupted from the quarto. The
meaning is plain. _I, his_ only _son_, who am bound to punish his

III.iii.88 (264,2) Up, sword, and know thou a more horrid hent] [T:
bent] This reading is followed by Sir T. HANMER and Dr. WARBURTON; but
_hent_ is probably the right vord. To _hent_ is used by Shakespeare for,
to _seize_, to _catch_, to _lay hold on_. _Hent_ is, therefore, _hold_,
or _seizure_. _Lay hold_ on him, sword, at a more horrid time.

III.iii.94 (265,3) his soul may be as damn'd and black/As hell, whereto
it goes] This speech, in which Hamlet, represented as a virtuous
character, is not content vith taking blood for blood, but contrives
damnation for the man that he would punish, is too horrible to be read
or to be uttered.

III.iv.4 (266,4) I'll silence me e'en here:/Pray you, be round vith him]
Sir T. HANMER, who is folloved by Dr. WARBURTON, reads,

  --_I'll_ sconce _me here_.

_Retire_ to a place of _security_. They forget that the contrivance of
Polonius to overhear the conference, was no more told to the queen than
to Hamlet.--_I'll silence me even here_, is, _I'll use no more words_.

III.iv.48 (268,8)

  Heaven's face doth glow;
  Yea, this solidity and compound mass,
  With tristful visage, as against the doom,
  It thought-sick at the act]

[W: O'er this ... visage, and, as 'gainst] The word _heated_ [from the
"old quarto"], though it agrees well enough with _glow_, is, I think,
not so striking as _tristful_, which was, I suppose, chosen at the
revisal. I believe the whole passage now stands as the author gave it.
Dr. WARBURTON's reading restores two improprieties, which Shakespeare,
by his alteration, had removed. In the first, and in the new reading:
_Heaven's_ face _glows with tristful_ visage; and, _Heaven's face is_
thought-sick. To the common reading there is no just objection.

III.iv.52 (268,9) what act,/That roars so loud, and thunders in the
index?] The meaning is, _What is_ this act, of which the _discovery_, or
_mention_, cannot be made, but with this violence of clamour?

III.iv.82 (270,5) Rebellious hell,/If thou canst mutiny in a matron's
bones] I think the present reading right, but cannot admit that HANMER's
emendation ["Rebellious heat"] produces nonsense. May not what is said
of _heat_, be said of _hell_, that it will mutiny wherever it is
quartered? Though the emendation be elegant, it is not necessary. (1773)

III.iv.88 (271,6) reason panders will] So the folio, I think rightly;
but the reading of the quarto is defensible;

  --_reason_ pardons _will_.

III.iv.90 (271,7) grained] Dyed in grain.

III.iv.92 (271,8) incestuous bed] The folio has _enseamed_, that is,
_greasy_ bed.

III.iv.98 (271,9) vice of kings!] a low mimick of kings. The vice is the
fool of a farce; from whom the modern _punch_ is descended.

III.iv.102 (272,2) A king of shreds and patches] This is said, pursuing
the idea of the _vice of kings_. The _vice_ was dressed as a fool, in a
coat of party-coloured patches.

III.iv.107 (272,3) lap's in time and passion] That, having suffered
_time_ to _slip_, and _passion_ to _cool, lets go_, &c.

III.iv.151 (274,6) And do not spread the compost on the weeds/To make
them ranker] Do not, by any new indulgence, heighten your former

III.iv.155 (274,7) curb] That is, _bend_ and _truckle_. Fr. _courber_.

III.iv.161 (274,8) That monster custom, who all sense doth eat/ Of
habits evil, is angel yet in this] [Thirlby: habits evil] I think
THIRLBY's conjecture wrong, though the succeeding editors have followed
it; _angel_ and _devil_ are evidently opposed. [Steevens accepted

III.iv.203 (277,5) adders fang'd] That is, adders with their _fangs_, or
_poisonous teeth_, undrawn. It has been the practice of mountebanks to
boast the efficacy of their antidotes by playing with vipers, but they
first disabled their fangs.

IV.i (278,l) _A royal apartment. Enter King, Queen, Rosencrantz, and
Guildenstern_] This play is printed in the old editions without any
separation of the acts. The division is modern and arbitrary; and is
here not very happy, for the pause is made at a time when there is more
continuity of action than in almost any other of the scenes.

IV.i.18 (278,2) out of haunt] I would rather read, _out of_ harm.

IV.i.25 (279,3)

  his very madness, like some ore
  among a mineral of metals base,
  Shews itself pure]

Shakespeare seems to think _ore_ to be _or_, that is, gold. Base metals
have _ore_ no less than precious.

IV.ii.19 (281,5) he keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jaw]
The quarto has _apple_, which is generally followed. The folio has
_ape_, which HANMER has received, and illustrated with the following

"It is the way of monkeys in eating, to throw that part of their food,
which they take up first, into a pouch they are provided with on the
side of their jaw, and then they keep it, till they have done with the

IV.ii.28 (281,6) The body is with the king] This answer I do not
comprehend. Perhaps it should be, _The body is_ not _with the king_, for
_the king is not with the body_.

IV.ii.32 (282,7) Of nothing] Should it not be read, _Or_ nothing? When
the courtiers remark, that Hamlet has contemptuously called the _king a
thing_, Hamlet defends himself by observing, that the king must be a
_thing_, or _nothing_.

IV.ii.46 (283,9) the wind at help] I suppose it should be read, _The
bark is ready, and the wind at_ helm.

IV.ii.68 (284,3) And thou must cure me: till I know 'tis done,/ Howe'er
my haps, my joys will ne'er begin] This being the termination of a
scene, should, according to our author's custom, be rhymed. Perhaps he

  _Howe'er my_ hopes, _my joys_ are not begun.

If _haps_ be retained, the meaning will be, _'till I know 'tis done, I
shall be miserable_, whatever befall me (see 1785, VIII, 257, 3)

IV.iv.33 (286,4)

  What is a man,
  If his chief good and market of his time
  Be but to sleep and feed?]

If his highest good, and _that for which he sells his time_, be to sleep
and feed.

IV.iv.36 (286,5) large discourse] Such latitude of comprehension, such
power of reviewing the past, and anticipating the future.

IV.iv.53 (286,6) Rightly to be great,/Is not to stir without great
argument] This passage I have printed according to the copy. Mr.
THEOBALD had regulated it thus:

  --_'Tis not to be great,
  Never to stir without great argument;
  But greatly_, &c.

The sentiment of Shakespeare is partly just, and partly romantic.

  --_Rightly to be great,
  Is not to stir without great argument_;

is exactly philosophical.

  _But greatly to find quarrel in a straw,
  When honour is at stake_,

is the idea of a modern hero. _But then_, says he _honour is an
argument, or subject of debate_, sufficiently great, _and_ when honour
is at stake, we must _find cause of quarrel in a straw_.

IV.iv.56 (287,7) Excitements of my reason and my blood] Provocations
which excite both my reason and my passions to vengeance.

IV.v.37 (289,4) _Larded all with sweet flowers_] The expression is taken
from cookery. (1773)

IV.v.53 (290,6) _And dupt the chamber-door_] To _dup_, is to _do up_; to
lift the latch. It were easy to write,

  _And_ op'd--

IV.v.58 (290,7) _By Gis_] I rather imagine it should be read,

  _By_ Cis,--

That is, by St. Cecily.

IV.v.83 (291,8) but greenly] But _unskilfully_; with _greenness_; that
is, without_ maturity_ of judgment.

IV.v.84 (291,9) In hugger-mugger to inter him] All the modern editions
that I have consulted give it,

  _In_ private _to inter him_;--

That the words now replaced are better, I do not undertake to prove; it
is sufficient that they are Shakespeare's: if phraseology is to be
changed as words grow uncouth by disuse, or gross by vulgarity, the
history of every language will be lost; we shall no longer have the
words of any author; and, as these alterations will be often unskilfully
made, we shall in time have very little of his meaning.

IV.v.89 (292,1) Feeds on his wonder] The folio reads,

  Keeps _on his wonder_,--

The quarto,

  Feeds _on_ this _wonder_.--

Thus the true reading is picked out from between them. HANMER reads

  Feeds _on his_ anger.--

IV.v.92 (292,2) Wherein necessity, of matter beggar'd,/ Will nothing
stick our persons to arraign] HANMER reads,

  Whence animosity, _of matter beggar'd_.

He seems not to have understood the connection. _Wherein_, that is, _in
which pestilent speeches, necessity_, or, _the obligation of an accuser
to support his charge, will nothing stick_, &c.

IV.v.99 (293,4) The ocean, over-peering of his list] The lists are the
barriers which the spectators of a tournament must not pass.

IV.v.105 (293,5) The ratifiers and props of every ward] [W: ward] With
this emendation, which was in Theobald's edition, Hanmer was not
satisfied. It is indeed harsh. HANMER transposes the lines, and reads,

  _They cry_, "Chuse we Laertes for our king;"
  The ratifiers and props of every word,
  _Caps, hands, and tongues, applaud it to the clouds_.

I think the fault may be mended at less expence, by reading,

  _Antiquity forgot, custom not known,
  The ratifiers and props of every_ weal.

That is, of every _government_.

IV.v.110 (294,6) Oh, this is counter, you false Danish dogs] Hounds run
_counter_ when they trace the trail backwards.

IV.v.161 (296,9)

  Nature is fine in loves and, where 'tis fine,
  It sends some precious instance of itself
  After the thing it loves]

These lines are not in the quarto, and might hare been omitted in the
folio without great loss, for they are obscure and affected; but, I
think, they require no emendation. _Love_ (says Laertes) is the passion
by which _nature is most_ exalted and _refined_; and as substances
_refined_ and subtilised, easily obey any impulse, or follow any
attraction, some part of nature, so purified and _refined_, flies off
after the attracting object, after the thing it loves.

  _As into air the purer spirits f1ow,
  And separate from their kindred dregs below,
  So flew her soul_.--

IV.v.171 (297,1) O how the wheel becomes it!] [W: weal] I do not see why
_weal_ is better than _wheel_. The story alluded to I do not know; but
perhaps the lady stolen by the steward was reduced to _spin_.

IV.v.175 (297,2) There's rosemary, that'll far rememberance. Pray you,
love, remember. And there's pansies, that's for thoughts] There is
probably some mythology in the choice of these herbs, but I cannot
explain it. _Pansies_ is for _thoughts_, because of its name, _Pensées_;
but _rosemary_ indicates _remembrance_, except that it is an ever-green,
and carried at funerals, I have not discovered.

IV.v.214 (300,7) No trophy, sword, nor batchment] It was the custom, in
the times of our author, to hang a sword over the grave of a knight.

IV.v.218 (300,8) And where the offence is, let the great axe fall] [W:
tax] _Fall_ corresponds better to _axe_.

IV.vi.26 (301,9) _for the bore of the matter_] The _bore_ is the
calibier of a gun, or the capacity of the barrel. _The matter_ (says
Hamlet) _would carry the heavier words_.

IV.vii.18 (302,1) the general gender] The _common race_ of the people.

IV.vii.19 (302,2)

  dipping all his faults in their affection,
  Would, like the spring that turneth wood to stone,
  Convert his gyves to graces]

This simile is neither very seasonable in the deep interest of this
conversation, nor very accurately applied. If the _spring_ had changed
base metals to gold, the thought had been more proper.

IV.vii.27 (302,3) if praises may go back again] If I may praise what has
been, but is now to be found no more.

IV.vii.77 (304,5) Of the unworthiest siege] Of the lowest rank. _Siege_,
for _seat, place_.

IV.vii.82 (304,6) Importing health and graveness] [W: wealth]
_Importing_ here may be, not _inferring_ by logical consequence, but
_producing_ by physical effect. A young man regards show in his dress,
an old man, _health_.

IV.vii.90 (305,7) I, in forgery of shapes and tricks/Come short of what
he did] I could not contrive so many proofs of dexterity as he could

IV.vii.98 (305,8) in your defence] That is, _in the science of_ defence.

IV.vii.101 (305,9) The scrimers] The _fencers_.

IV.vii.112 (305,1) love is begun by time] This is obscure. The meaning
may be, _love_ is not innate in us, and co-essential to our nature, but
begins at a certain time from some external cause, and being always
subject to the operations of time, suffers change and diminution. (1773)

IV.vii.113 (300,2) in passages of proof] In transactions of daily

IV.vii.123 (306,4) And then this _should_ is like a spendthrift sigh/
That hurts by easing] [W: sign] This conjecture is so ingenious, that it
can hardly be opposed, but with the same reluctance as the bow is drawn
against a hero, whose virtues the archer holds in veneration. Here may
be applied what Voltaire writes to the empress:

  _Le genereux Francois--
  Te combat & t'admire._

Yet this emendation, however specious, is mistaken. The original reading
is, not a _spendthrift's_ sigh, but a _spendthrift_ sigh; a _sigh_ that
makes an unnecessary waste of the vital flame. It is a notion very
prevalent, that _sighs_ impair the strength, and wear out the animal

IV.vii.135 (307,5) He being remiss] He being not vigilant or cautious.

IV.vii.139 (307,7) a pass of practice] Practice is often by Shakespeare,
and other writers, taken for an _insidious stratagem_, or _privy_
treason, a sense not incongruous to this passage, where yet I rather
believe, that nothing more is meant than a _thrust for exercise_.

IV.vii.151 (308,8) May fit us to our shape] May _enable_ us to _assume
proper characters_, and to act our part.

IV.vii.155 (308,9) blast in proof] This, I believe, is a metaphor taken
from a mine, which, in the proof or execution, sometimes breaks out with
an ineffectual _blast_.

V.i.3 (310,1) make her grave straight] Make her grave from east to west
in a direct line parallel to the church; not from north to south,
athwart the regular line. This, I think, is meant.

V.i.87 (313,1) which this ass now o'er-reaches] In the quarto, for
_over-offices_ is, _over-reaches_, which agrees better with the
sentence: it is a strong exaggeration to remark that an _ass_ can
_over-reach_ him who would once have tried to _circumvent_.--I believe
both the words were Shakespeare's. An author in revising his work, when
his original ideas have faded from his mind, and new observations have
produced new sentiments, easily introduces images which have been more
newly impressed upon him, without observing their want of congruity to
the general texture of his original design.

V.i.96 (314,2) and now my lady Worm's] The scull that was _my lord Such
a one's_, is now my _lady Worm's_.

V.i.100 (314,3) to play at loggats with 'em?] A play, in which pins are
set up to be beaten down with a bowl.

V.i.149 (316,5) by the card] The _card_ is the paper on which the
different points of the compass were described. _To do any thing by the
card_, is, _to do it with nice observation_.

V.i.151 (316,6) the age is grown so picked] So _smart_, so _sharp_, says
HANMER, very properly; but there was, I think, about that time, a
_picked_ shoe, that is, _a shoe with a long pointed toe_, in fashion, to
which the allusion seems likewise to be made. _Every man now is smart;
and every man now is a man of fashion_.

V.i.239 (319,7) winter's flaw!] Winter's _blast_.

V.i.242 (319,8) maimed rites!] Imperfect obsequies.

V.i.244 (319,9) some estate] Some person of high rank.

V.i.255 (319,2) Yet here she is allow'd her virgin crants] I have been
informed by an anonymous correspondent, that _crants_ is the German word
for _garlands_, and I suppose it was retained by us from the Saxons. To
carry _garlands_ before the bier of a maiden, and to hang them over her
grave, is still the practice in rural parishes.

_Crants_ therefore was the original word, which the author, discovering
it to be provincial, and perhaps not understood, changed to a term more
intelligible, but less proper. _Maiden rites_ give no certain or
definite image. He might have put _maiden wreaths_, or _maiden
garlands_, but he perhaps bestowed no thought upon it, and neither
genius nor practice will always supply a hasty writer with the most
proper diction.

V.i.310 (323,6) When that her golden couplets] [W: E'er that] Perhaps it
should be,

  _Ere yet_--

_Yet_ and _that_ are easily confounded.

V.ii.6 (324,7) mutinies in the bilboes] _Mutinies_, the French word for
seditious or disobedient fellows in the army or fleet. _Bilboes_, the
_ship's prison_.

V.ii.6 (324,8) Rashly,/And prais'd be rashness for it--Let us know] Both
my copies read,

  _And prais'd be rashness for it_, let _us know_.

Hamlet, delivering an account of his escape, begins with saying, that he
_rashly_--and then is carried into a reflection upon the weakness of
human wisdom. I rashly--praised be rashness for it--_Let us_ not think
these events casual, but _let us know_, that is, _take notice and
remember_, that we sometimes succeed by _indiscretion_, when we _fail_
by _deep plots_, and infer the perpetual superintendance and _agency_ of
the _Divinity_. The observation is just, and will be allowed by every
human being who shall reflect on the course of his own life.

V.ii.22 (325,9) With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life] With _such
causes of terror_, arising from my character and designs.

V.ii.29 (325,2) Being thus benetted round with villainies,/ Ere I could
make a prologue to my brains] [W: mark the prologue ... bane] In my
opinion no alteration is necessary. Hamlet is telling how luckily every
thing fell out; he groped out their commission in the dark without
waking them; he found himself doomed to immediate destruction. Something
was to be done for his preservation. An expedient occurred, not produced
by the comparison of one method with another, or by a regular deduction
of consequences, but before he _could make a prologue to his brains,
they had begun the play_. Before he could summon his faculties, and
propose to himself what should be done, a complete scheme of action
presented itself to him. His mind operated before he had excited it.
This appears to me to be the meaning.

V.ii.41 (326,5) As peace should still her wheaten garland wear,/ And
stand a comma 'tween their amities] HANMER reads,

  _And stand a_ cement--

I am again inclined to vindicate the old reading.

The expression of our author is, like many of his phrases, sufficiently
constrained and affected, but it is not incapable of explanation. The
_comma_ is the note of _connection_ and continuity of sentences; the
_period_ is the note of _abruption_ and disjunction. Shakespeare had it
perhaps in his mind to write, That unless England complied with the
mandate, _war should put a_ period _to their amity_; he altered his mode
of diction, and thought that, in an opposite sense, he might put, that
_Peace should stand a_ comma between their amities_. This is not an easy
stile; but is it not the stile of Shakespeare?

V.ii.43 (327,6) as's of great charge] _Asses_ heavily _loaded_. A
quibble is intended between _as_ the conditional particle, and _ass_ the
beast of burthen. That _charg'd_ anciently signified _leaded_, may be
proved from the following passage in _The Widow's Tears_, by Chapman,

"Thou must be the _ass charg'd with crowns_ to make way." (see 1765,
VIII, 294, 2)

V.ii.53 (327,7) The changeling never known] A _changeling_ is a _child_
which the fairies are supposed to leave in the room of that which they

V.ii.68 (328,1) To quit him] To requite him; to pay him his due.

V.ii.84 (329,2) Dost know this water-fly] A _water-fly_, skips up and
down upon the surface of the water, without any apparent purpose or
reason, and is thence the proper emblem of a busy trifler.

V.ii.89 (329,3) It is a chough] A kind of jackdaw.

V.ii.112 (330,5) full of most excellent differences] Full of
_distinguishing_ excellencies.

V.ii.114 (330,6) the card or calendar of gentry] The general preceptor
of elegance; the _card_ by which a gentleman is to direct his course;
the _calendar_ by which he is to choose his time, that what he does may
be both excellent and seasonable.

V.ii.115 (330,7) for you shall find in him the continent of what part a
gentleman would see] _You shall find him containing_ and comprising
every _quality_ which a _gentleman_ would desire to _contemplate_ for
imitation. I know not but it should be read, _You shall find him the

V.ii.119 (330,9) and yet but raw neither in respect of his quick sail]
[W: but slow] I believe _raw_ to be the right word; it is a word of
great latitude; _raw_ signifies _unripe, immature_, thence _unformed,
imperfect, unskilful_. The best account of him would be _imperfect_, in
respect of his quick sail. The phrase _quick sail_ was, I suppose, a
proverbial term for _activity of mind_.

V.ii.122 (330,1) a soul of great article] This is obscure. I once
thought it might have been, _a soul of great altitude_; but, I suppose,
_a soul of great article_, means _a soul of_ large comprehension, of
many contents; the particulars of an inventory are called _articles_.

V.ii.122 (331,2) his infusion of such dearth and rareness] _Dearth_ is
_dearness_, value, price. And his internal qualities of such value and

V.ii.131 (331,3) Is't not possible to understand in another tongue? you
will do't, Sir, really] Of this interrogatory remark the sense ie very
obscure. The question may mean, _Might not all this be understood in
plainer language_. But then, _you will do it, Sir, really_, seems to
have no use, for who could doubt but plain language would be
intelligible? I would therefore read, _Is't possible_ not to be
understood in a mother _tongue_. You will do it, Sir, really.

V.ii.140 (331,4) if you did, it would not much approve me] If you knew I
was not ignorant, your esteem would not nuch advance my reputation. To
_approve_, is to _recommend to approbation_.

V.ii.145 (331,5) I dare not confess that, lest I should compare with him
in excellence] I dare not pretend to know him, lest I should pretend to
an equality: no man can completely know another, but by knowing himself,
which is the utmost extent of human wisdom.

V.ii.149 (332,6) in his meed] In his excellence.

V.ii.156 (332,7) impon'd] Perhaps it should be, _depon'd_. So Hudibras,

  "I would upon this cause _depone_,
  "As much as any I have known."

But perhaps _imponed_ is pledged, _impawned_, so spelt to ridicule the
affectation of uttering English words with French pronunciation.

V.ii.165 (332,9) more germane.] More_a-kin_.

V.ii.172 (333,1) The king, Sir, hath laid, that in a dozen passes
between yourself and him, he shall not exceed you three hits; he hath
laid on twelve for nine] This wager I do not understand. In a dozen
passes one must exceed the other more or less than three hits. Nor can I
comprehend, how, in a dozen, there can be twelve to nine. The passage is
of no importance; it is sufficient that there was a wager. The quarto
has the passage as it stands. The folio, _He hath one twelve for mine_.

V.ii.193 (333,2) This lapwing runs away with the shell on his head] I
see no particular propriety in the image of the lapwing. Osrick did not
run till he had done his business. We may read, _This lapwing_ ran
_away_--That is, _this fellow was full of unimportant bustle from his

V.ii.199 (334,4) a kind of yesty collection, which carries them through
and through the most fond and winnowed opinions] [W: most fann'd] This
is a very happy emendation; but I know not why the critic should suppose
that _fond_ was printed for _fann'd_ in consequence of any reason or
reflection. Such errors, to which there is no temptation but idleness,
and of which there was no cause but ignorance, are in every page of the
old editions. This passage in the quarto stands thus: "They have got out
of the habit of encounter, a kind of misty collection, which carries
them through and through the most profane and renowned opinions." If
this printer preserved any traces of the original, our author wrote,
"the most fane and renowned opinions," which is better than fann'd and

The meaning is, "these men have got the cant of the day, a superficial
readiness of slight and cursory conversation, a kind of frothy
collection of fashionable prattle, which yet carried them through the
most select and approved judgment. This airy facility of talk sometimes
imposes upon wise men."

Who has not seen this observation verified?

V.ii.201 (335,6) and do but blow them to their trials, the bubbles are
out] These men of show, without solidity, are like bubbles raised from
soap and water, which dance, and glitter, and please the eye, but if you
extend them, by blowing hard, separate into a mist; so if you oblige
these specious talkers to extend their compass of conversation, they at
once discover the tenuity of their intellects.

V.ii.216 (335,7) gentle entertainment] Mild and temperate conversation.

V.ii.234 (336,1) Since no man knows aught of what he leaves, what is't
to leave betimes?] The reading of the quarto was right, but in some
other copy the harshness of the transposition was softened, and the
passage stood thus: _Since no man knows aught of what he leaves_. For
_knows_ was printed in the later copies _has_, by a slight blunder in
such typographers.

I do not think Dr. Warburton's interpretation of the passage the best
that it will admit. The meaning may be this, Since _no man knows aught
of_ the state of life which _he leaves_, since he cannot judge what
others years may produce, why should he be afraid of _leaving_ life
betimes? Why should he dread an early death, of which he cannot tell
whether it is an exclusion of happiness, or an interception of calamity.
I despise the superstition of augury and omens, which has no ground in
reason or piety; my comfort is, that I cannot fall but by the direction
of Providence.

Hanmer has, _Since no man_ owes _aught_, a conjecture not very
reprehensible. Since _no man can call any possession certain_, what is
it to leave?

V.ii.237 (337,2) Give me your pardon, Sir] I wish Hamlet had made some
other defence; it is unsuitable to the character of a good or a brave
man, to shelter himself in falsehood.

V.ii.272 (338,5) Your grace hath laid upon the weaker side] Thus Hanmer.
All the others read,

  _Your grace hath laid the odds o' the weaker side._

When the odds were on the side of Laertes, who was to hit Hamlet twelve
times to nine, it was perhaps the author's slip.

V.ii.310 (340,7) you make a wanton of me] A _wanton_ was, a man feeble
and effeminate. In _Cymbeline_, Imogen says,

  "I am not so citizen a _wanton_,
  To die, ere I be sick."

V.ii.346 (342,8) That are but mutes or audience to this act] That are
either mere _auditors_ of this _catastrophe_, or at most only _mute
performers_, that fill the stage without any part in the action.

V.ii.375 (344,2) This quarry cries, on havock!] Hanmer reads,

  --_cries_ out, _havock!_

To _cry on_, was to _exclaim against_. I suppose, when unfair sportsmen
destroyed more _quarry_ or _game_ than was reasonable, the censure was
to cry, _Havock_.

(346) General Observation. If the dramas of Shakespeare were to be
characterised, each by the particular excellence which distinguishes it
from the rest, we must allow to the tragedy of Hamlet the praise of
variety. The incidents are so numerous, that the argument of the play
would make a long tale. The scenes are interchangeably diversified with
merriment and solemnity; with merriment that includes judicious and
instructive observations, and solemnity, not strained by poetical
violence above the natural sentiments of man. New characters appear from
time to time in continual succession, exhibiting various forms of life
and particular modes of conversation. The pretended madness of Hamlet
causes much mirth, the mournful distraction of Ophelia fills the heart
with tenderness, and every personage produces the effect intended, from
the apparition that in the first act chills the blood with horror, to
the fop in the last, that exposes affectation to just contempt. The
conduct is perhaps not wholly secure against objections. The action is
indeed for the most part in continual progression, but there are some
scenes which neither forward nor retard it. Of the feigned madness of
Hamlet there appears no adequate cause, for he does nothing which he
might not have done with the reputation of sanity. He plays the madman
most, when he treats Ophelia with so much rudeness, which seems to be
useless and wanton cruelty.

Hamlet is, through the whole play, rather an instrument than an agent.
After he has, by the stratagem of the play, convicted the king, he makes
no attempt to punish him, and his death is at last effected by an
incident which Hamlet had no part in producing.

The catastrophe is not very happily produced; the exchange of weapons is
rather an expedient of necessity, than a stroke of art. A scheme might
easily have been formed to kill Hamlet with the dagger, and Laertes with
the bowl.

The poet is accused of having shewn little regard to poetical justice,
and may be charged with equal neglect of poetical probability. The
apparition left the regions of the dead to little purpose; the revenge
which he demands is not obtained, but by the death of him that was
required to take it; and the gratification which would arise from the
destruction of an usurper and a murderer, is abated by the untimely
death of Ophelia, the young, the beautiful, the harmless, and the pious.


I.i.20 (358,4)

  One Michael Cassio, a Florentine,
  A fellow almost damn'd in a fair wife]

This is one of the passages which must for the present be resigned to
corruption and obscurity. I have nothing that I can, with any approach
to confidence, propose. I cannot think it very plain from Act 3. Scene
1. that Cassio was or was not a Florentine.

I.i.30 (361,6) must be belee'd and calm'd] [--_must be_ LED _and
calm'd_. So the old quarto. The first folio reads _belee'd_: but that
spoils the measure. I read LET, hindered. WARBURTON.] _Belee'd_ suits to
_calm'd_, and the measure is not less perfect than in many other places.

I.i.36 (361,7) Preferment goes by letter] By _recommendation_ from
powerful friends.

I.i.37 (361,8) And not by old gradation] [W: Not (as of old)] _Old
gradation_, is _gradation_ established by_ancient_ practice. Where is
the difficulty?

I.i.39 (361,9) If I in any just term am affin'd] _Affine_ is the reading
of the third quarto and the first folio. The second quarto and all the
modern editions have _assign'd_. The meaning is, _Do I stand_ within
_any such_ terms _of propinquit_ or _relation to the Moor, as that it is
my duty to love him_?

I.i.49 (362,1) honest knaves] _Knave_ is here for _servant_, but with a
mixture of sly contempt.

I.i.63 (362,2) In compliment extern] In that which I do only for an
outward shew of civility.

I.i.76 (363,3) As when, by night and negligence, the fire/Is spied in
populous cities] [Warburton, objecting to "by": Is spred] The particle
is used equivocally; the same liberty is taken by writers more correct.

  _The wonderful creature! a woman of reason!
  Never grave_ out of _pride, never gay_ out of _season_.

I.i.115 (364,4) What profane wretch art thou?] That is, _what wretch of
gross and licentious language?_ In that sense Shakespeare often uses the
word _profane_.

I.i.124 (365,6) this odd even] The _even_ of _night_ is _midnight_, the
time when night is divided into _even_ parts.

I.i.149 (366,7) some check] Some rebuke.

I.i.150 (366,8) cast him] That is, _dismiss_ him; _reject_ him. We still
say, a _cast_ coat, and a _cast_ serving-man.

I.i.162 (366,9) And what's to come of my despised time] [W: despited]
_Despised time_, is _time of no value_; time in which

  "There's nothing serious in mortality,
  The wine of life is drawn, and the mere dregs
  Are left, this vault to brag of." _Macbeth_.

I.i.173 (367,2) By which the property of youth and maidhood/May be
abus'd?] By which the faculties of a young virgin may be infatuated, and
made subject to illusions and to false imagination.

  "Wicked dreams _abuse_
  The curtain'd sleep." _Macbeth._

I.ii.2 (368,3) stuff o' the conscience] This expression to common
readers appears harsh. _Stuff_ of the _conscience_ is, _substance_, or
_essence_ of the conscience. _Stuff_ is a word of great force in the
Teutonic languages. The elements are called in Dutch, _Hoefd stoffen_,
or _head stuffs_.

I.ii.13 (368,4) And hath, in his effect, a voice potential/As double as
the duke's] [Warburton had given a source in Dioscorides and Theocritus
for "double"] This note has been much censured by Mr. Upton, who denies,
that the quotation is in Dioscorides, and disputes, not without reason,
the interpretation of Theocritus.

All this learning, if it had even been what it endeavours to be thought,
is, in this place, superfluous. There is no ground of supposing, that
our author copied or knew the Greek phrase; nor does it follow, that,
because a word has two senses in one language, the word which in another
answers to one sense, should answer to both. _Manus_, in Latin,
signifies both a _hand_ and _troop of soldiers_, but we cannot say, that
_the captain marched at the_ head _of his_ hand; or, that _he laid his_
troop _upon his sword_. It is not always in books that the meaning is to
be sought of this writer, who was much more acquainted with naked reason
and with living manners.

_Double_ has here its natural sense. The president of every deliberative
assembly has a _double voice_. In our courts, the chief justice and one
of the inferior judges prevail over the other two, because the chief
justice has a _double_ voice.

Brabantio had, _in his effect_, though not by law, yet by _weight_ and
_influence_, a voice not _actual_ and formal, but _potential_ and
operative, as _double_, that is, a voice that when a question was
suspended, would turn the balance as effectually _as the duke's_.
_Potential_ is used in the sense of science; a _caustic_ is called
_potential_ fire.

I.ii.23 (370,7) speak, unbonnetted] [Pope: unbonnetting] I do not see
the propriety of Mr. Pope's emendation, though adopted by Dr. Warburton.
_Unbonnetting_ may as well be, _not putting on_, as _not putting off_,
the bonnet. Hamner reads _e'en_ bonnetted.

I.ii.26 (370,8) unhoused] Free from _domestic_ cares. A thought natural
to an adventurer.

I.ii.28 (370,9) For the sea's worth] I would not marry her, though she
were as rich as the Adriatic, which the Doge annually marries.

I.ii.30 (371,2) a land-carrack] A _carrack_ is a ship of great bulk, and
commonly of great value; perhaps what we now call a _galleon_.

I.ii.55 (372,3) be advis'd] That is, be _cool_; be _cautious_; be

I.ii.68 (372,4) The wealthy curled darlings of our nation] _Curled_ is
_elegantly and ostentatiously dressed_. He had not the hair particularly
in his thoughts.

I.ii.74 (373,6) Abused her delicate youth with drugs, or minerals,/ That
weaken notion] [T: notion] Hanmer reads with equal probability, _That_
waken motion. [Originally _motion_].

I.iii.6 (375,9) As in these cases where they aim reports] [W: the aim]
The folio has,

  --_the_ aim reports.

But, _they aim reports_, has a sense sufficiently easy and commodious.
There men _report_ not by certain knowledge, but by _aim _and

I.ii.18 (375,1) By no assay of reason] Bring it to the _test_, examine
it by reason as we examine metals by the _assay_, it will be found
counterfeit by all trials.

I.iii.23 (376,2) facile question] _Question_ is for the _act of
seeking_. With more _easy endeavour_.

I.iii.24 (376,4) warlike brace] State of defence. To arm was called to
_brace on_ the armour.

I.iii.42 (376,5) And prays you to believe him] The late learned and
ingenious Mr. Thomas Clark, of Lincoln's Inn, read the passage thus:

  _And prays you to_ relieve _him_.

But the present reading may stand. _He intreats you not to doubt the
truth of this intelligence_.

I.iii.54 (377,6) Hath rais'd me from my bed; nor doth the general care]
The word _care_, which encumbers the verse, was probably added by the
players. Shakespeare uses _the general_ as a substantive, though, I
think, not in this sense.

I.iii.69 (373,8) though our proper son/Stood in your action] Were the
man exposed to your _charge_ or _accusation_.

I.iii.80 (378,9) The very head and front of my offending] The _main_,
the _whole_, unextenuated.

I.iii.85 (379,2) Their dearest action] That is _dear_, for which much is
paid, whether money or labour; _dear action_, is action performed at
great expence, either of ease or safety.

I.iii.107 (380,4) overt test] Open proofs, external evidence.

I.iii.108 (380,5) thin habits and poor likelihoods/Of modern seeming]
Weak shew of slight appearance.

I.iii.139 (381,6) And portance in my travel's history] [I have restored,

  _And with it all my travel's history_:

From the old edition. It is in the rest,

  _And portance in my travel's history_.

Rymer, in his criticism on this play, has changed it to _portents_,
instead of _portance_. POPE.] Mr. Pope has restored a line, to which
there is little objection, but which has no force. I believe _portance_
was the author's word in some revised copy. I read thus,

  _Of being----sold
  To slavery, of my redemption, thence,
  And portance in't; my travel's history._
  My redemption from slavery, and behaviour in it.

I.iii.140-170 (381,7) Wherein of antres vast, and desarts idle] Whoever
ridicules this account of the progress of love, shows his ignorance, not
only of history, but of nature and manners. It is no wonder that, in any
age, or in any nation, a lady, recluse, timorous, and delicate, should
desire to hear of events and scenes which she could never see, and
should admire the man who had endured dangers and performed actions,
which, however great, were yet magnified by her timidity. [Pope: deserts
wild] Every mind is liable to absence and inadvertency, else Pope could
never have rejected a word so poetically beautiful. Idle is an epithet
used to express the infertility of the chaotic state, in the Saxon
translation of the Pentateuch. (1773)

I.iii.140 (382,8) antres] [French grottos. POPE.] Rather _caves_ and

I.iii.142 (382,9) It was my hint to speak] [W: hent] _Hent_ is not used
in Shakespeare, nor, I believe, in any other author; _hint_, or _cue_,
is comnonly used for occasion of speech, which is explained by, _such
was the process_, that is, the course of the tale required it. If _hent_
be restored, it may be explained by _handle_. I had a _handle_, or
_opportunity_, to speak of cannibals.

I.iii.144 (382,1) men whose heads/Do grow beneath their shoulders] Of
these men there is an account in the interpolated travels of Mondeville,
a book of that time.

I.iii.199 (384,4) Let me speak like yourself;] [W: our self] Hanmer

  _Let me_ now speak _more_ like your self.

Dr. Warburton's emendation is specious; but I do not see how Hanmer's
makes any alteration. The duke seems to mean, when he says he will speak
like Brabantio, that he will speak sententiously.

I.iii.213 (385,6) But the free comfort which from thence he hears] But
the moral precepts of consolation, which are liberally bestowed on
occasion of the sentence.

I.iii.232 (386,8) thrice-driven bed of down] A _driven_ bed, is a bed
for which the feathers are selected, by _driving_ with a fan, which
separates the light from the heavy.

I.iii.237 (337,9)

  I crave fit disposition for my wife;
  Due reverence of place, and exhibition]

I desire, that a proper _disposition_ be made for my wife, that she may
have _precedency_, and _revenue_, accommodation, and _company_, suitable
to her rank.

For _reference_ of place, the old quartos have _reverence_, which Hanmer
has received. I should read,

  _Due_ preference _of place_.--

I.iii.246 (387,1) And let me find a charter in your voice] Let your
favour _privilege_ me.

I.iii.250 (387,2) My down-right violence and storm of fortunes] [W: to
forms, my fortunes] There is no need of this emendation. _Violence_ is
not _violence suffered_, but _violence acted_. Breach of common rules
and obligations. The old quarto has, _scorn_ of fortune, which is
perhaps the true reading.

I.iii.253 (388,3) I saw Othello's visage in his mind] It must raise no
wonder, that I loved a man of an appearance so little engaging; I saw
his face only in his mind; the greatness of his character reconciled me
to his form.

I.iii.264 (386,4)

  Nor to comply with heat (the young affects,
  In me defunct) and proper satisfaction]

[T: me distinct, i.e. with that heat and new affections which the
indulgence of my appetite has raised and created. This is the meaning of
_defunct_, which has made all the difficulty of the passage. WARBURTON.]
I do not think that Mr. Theobald's emendation clears the text from
embarrassment, though it is with a little imaginary improvement received
by Hanmer, who reads thus:

  _Nor to comply with heat_, affects the young
  _In my_ distinct _and proper satisfaction_.

Dr. Warburton's explanation is not more satisfactory: what made the
difficulty, will continue to make it. I read,

  --_I beg it not,
  To please the palate of my appetite,
  Nor to comply with heat (the young affects
  In me defunct) and proper satisfaction;
  But to be free and bounteous to her mind._

_Affects_ stands here, not for _love_, but for _passions_, for that by
which any thing is affected. _I ask it not_, says he, _to please
appetite, or satisfy loose desires_, the passions of youth which I have
now outlived, or _for any particular gratification of myself, but merely
that I may indulge the wishes of my wife_.

Mr. Upton had, before me, changed _my_ to _me_; but he has printed young
_effects_, not seeming to know that _affects_ could be a noun. (1773)

I.iii.290 (391,6) If virtue no delighted beauty lack] [W: belighted]
Hanmer reads, more plausibly, _delighting_. I do not know that
_belighted_ has any authority. I should rather read,

  _If virtue no_ delight or _beauty lack_.

_Delight_, for _delectation_, or _power of pleasing_, as it is
frequently used.

I.iii.299 (391,8) best advantage] Fairest opportunity.

I.iii.317 (392,9) a Guinea-hen] A showy bird with fine feathers.

I.iii.346 (392,1) defeat thy favour with an usurped beard] [W: disseat]
It is more English, to _defeat_, than _disseat_. To _defeat_, is to
_undo_, to _change_.

I.iii.350 (393,2) It was a violent commencement in her, and thou shalt
see an answerable sequestration] There seems to be an opposition of
terms here intended, which has been lost in transcription. We may read,
_It was a violent_ conjunction, _and thou shalt see an answerable
sequestration_; or, what seems to me preferable, _It was a violent
commencement, and thou shalt see an answerable sequel_.

I.iii.363 (393,4) betwixt an erring Barbarian] [W: errant] Hanmer reads,
_errant_. _Erring_ is as well as either.

II.i.15 (396,1) And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole] Alluding
to the star _Arctophylax_.

II.i.48 (397,3)

  His bark is stoutly timber'd, and his pilot
  Of very expert and approv'd allowance;
  Therefore my hopes, not surfeited to death,
  Stand in bold cure]

I do not understand these lines. I know not how _hope_ can be _surfeited
to death_, that is, _can be encreased, till it is destroyed_; nor what
it is _to stand in bold cure_; or why _hope_ should be considered as a
disease. In the copies there is no variation. Shall we read

  Therefore my fears, not surfeited to death,
  Stand in bold cure?

This is better, but it is not well. Shall we strike a bolder stroke, and
read thus?

  _Therefore my hopes, not_ forfeited _to death_,
  _Stand_ bold, not sure.

II.i.49 (398,4) Of very expert and approv'd allowance] I read, _Very
expert, and of approv'd allowance_.

II.i.64 (308,5) And in the essential vesture of creation/Does bear all
excellency; We in terrestrial] I do not think the present reading
inexplicable. The author seems to use _essential_, for _existent, real_.
She excels the praises of invention, says he, and in _real qualities_,
with which _creation_ has _invested_ her, _bears all excellency_.

_Does bear all excellency_----] Such is the reading of the quartos, for
which the folio has this,

  _And in the essential vesture of creation_
  Do's tyre the ingeniuer.

Which I explain thus,

  _Does tire the_ ingenious verse.

This is the best reading, and that which the author substituted in his

II.i.112 (401,9) Saints in your injuries] When you have a mind to do
injuries, you put on an air of sanctity.

II.i.120 (402,1) I am nothing, if not critical] That is, _censorious_.

II.i.137 (402,2) _She never yet was foolish_] We may read,

  She ne'er was yet so foolish that was fair,
  But even her folly help'd her to an heir.

Yet I believe the common reading to be right; the lay makes the power of
cohabitation a proof that a man is not a _natural_; therefore, since the
foolishest woman, if _pretty_, may have a child, no _pretty woman_ is
ever foolish.

II.i.146 (403,3) put on the vouch of very malice itself] _To put on the
vouch of malice_, is to assume a character vouched by the testimony of
malice itself.

II.i.165 (404,5) profane] Gross of language, of expression broad and
brutal. So Brabantio, in the first act, calls Iago _profane_ wretch.

II.i.165 (404,6) liberal counsellor.] _Counsellor_ seems to mean, not so
much a man that _gives counsel_, us one that discourses fearlessly and
volubly. A talker.

II.i.177 (405,8) well kiss'd! an excellent courtesy!] [--_well kissed_,
and _excellent courtesy_;--] This I think should be printed, _well
kiss'd_! an _excellent courtesy_! Spoken when Cassio kisses his hand,
and Desdemona courtesies. [The old quarto confirms Dr. Johnson's
emendation. STEEVENS.]

II.i.208 (406,1) I prattle out of fashion] Out of method, without any
settled order of discourse.

II.i.211 (406,2) the master] The pilot of the ship.

II.i.223 (406,3) Lay thy finger thus] On thy mouth, to stop it while
thou art listening to a wiser man.

II.i.252 (407,5) green minds] Minds unripe, minds not yet fully formed.

II.i.254 (408,6) she is full of most bless'd condition] Qualities,
disposition of mind.

II.i.274 (408,7) tainting his discipline] Throwing a slur upon hie

II.i.279 (408,8) sudden in choler] _Sudden_, is precipitately violent.

II.i.283 (408,9) whose qualification shall come into no true taste
again] Whose resentment shall not be so _qualified_ or _tempered_, as to
be _well tasted_, as not to retain _some bitterness_. The phrase is
harsh, at least to our ears.

II.i.306 (409,1) like a poisonous mineral] This is philosophical.
Mineral poisons kill by corrosion.

II.i.314 (411,4) I'll have our Michael Cassio on the hip] A phrase from
the art of wrestling.

II.i.321 (411,6) Knavery's plain face is never seen] An honest man acts
upon a plan, and forecasts his designs; but a knave depends upon
temporary and local opportunities, and never knows his own purpose, but
at the time of execution.

II.iii.14 (413,8) Our general cast us] That is, _appointed us to our
stations_. To _cast the play_, is, in the stile of the theatres, to
assign to every actor his proper part.

II.iii.26 (413,9) And when she speaks, is it not an alarum to love?] The
voice may _sound_ an _alarm_ more properly than the _eye_ can _sound_ a

II.iii.46 (413,1) I have drunk but one cap to-night, and that was
carefully qualified too] Slily mixed with water.

II.iii.59 (414,2) The very elements; As quarrelsome as the as the
_discordia semina rerum_; as quick in opposition as fire and water.

II.iii.64 (414,3) If consequence do but approve my dream] [T: my deer]
This reading is followed by the succeeding editions. I rather read,

  _If consequence do but approve my scheme_.

But why should _dream_ be rejected? Every scheme subsisting only in the
imagination may be termed a _dream_.

II.iii.93-99 (416,6) _King Stephen was a worthy peer_] These stanzas are
taken from an old song, which the reader will find recovered and
preserved in a curious work lately printed, intitled, _Relicks of
Ancient Poetry_, consisting of old heroic ballands, songs, &c. 3 vols.

II.iii.95 (416,7) _lown_] Sorry fellow, paltry wretch.

II.iii.135 (417,8) He'll watch the horologe a double set] If he have no
drink, he'll keep awake while the clock strikes two rounds, or four and
twenty hours.

Chaucer uses the ward _horologe_ in more places than one.

  "Well skirer was his crowing in his loge
  "Than is a clock or abbey _horologe_."]

The bracketed part of Johnson's note is taken verbatim from Zacbary
Gray, _Critical ... Notes on Shakespeare_, 1754, II, 316.] (see 1765,
VIII, 374, 6) (rev. 1778, I, 503, 9)

II.iii.145 (418,9) ingraft infirmity; An infirmity _rooted, settled_ in
his constitution.

II.iii.175 (419,3) it frights the isle/From her propriety] From her
regular and _proper state_.

II.iii.180 (419,4) In quarter] In their quarters; at their lodging.

II.iii.194 (420,5) you unlace your reputation thus] Slacken, or
_loosen_. Put in danger of dropping; or perhaps strip of its ornaments.

II.iii.195 (420,6) spend your rich opinion] Throw away and squander a
reputation as valuable as yours.

II.iii.202 (420,7) self-charity] Care of one's self.

II.iii.211 (421,9) he that is approv'd in this offence] He that is
convicted by proof, of having been engaged in this offence.

II.iii.274 (423,1) cast in his mood] Ejected in his anger.

II.iii.343 (425,4) this advice is free] This counsel has an appearance
of honest openness, of frank good-will.

II.iii.348 (425,5) free elements] Liberal, bountiful, as the elements,
out of which all things are produced.

II.iii.355 (425,6) to this parallel course] i.e. a course level, and
even with his design.

II.iii.363 (425,8) That she repeals him] That is, recalls him.

II.iii.382 (426,1)

  Though ether things grew fair against the sun,
  Yet fruits, that blossom first, will first be ripe]

Of many different things, all planned with the same art, and promoted
with the same diligence, some must succeed sooner than others, by the
order of nature. Every thing cannot be done at once; we must proceed by
the necessary gradation. We are not to _despair_ of slow events any
_more_ than of tardy fruits, while the causes are in regular progress,
and the fruits _grow fair against the sun_. Hanmer has not, I think,
rightly conceived the sentiment; for he reads,

  _Those fruits which blossom first_, are not first _ripe_.

I have therefore drawn it out at length, for there are few to whom that
will be easy which was difficult to Hanmer.

III.i.3 (427,2) Why, masters, have your instruments been in Naples, that
they speak i' the nose thus?] The venereal disease first appeared at the
siege of Naples.

III.iii.14 (430,6)

  That policy may either last so long,
  Or feed upon such nice and waterish diet,
  Or breed itself so out of circumstance,
  That I, being absent, and my place supplied,
  My general will forget my love and service]

He may either of himself think it politic to keep me out of office so
long, or he may be satisfied with such slight reasons, or so many
accidents may make him think my re-admission at that time improper, that
I may be quite forgotten.

III.iii.23 (431,7) I'll watch him tame] It is said, that the ferocity of
beasts, insuperable and irreclaimable by any other means, is subdued by
keeping them from sleep.

III.iii.47 (431,8) His present reconciliation take] [W: make] To _take
his reconciliation_, may be to accept the submission which he makes in
order to be reconciled.

III.iii.65 (432,1) the wars must make examples/Out of their best] The
severity of military discipline must not spare the _best men_ of the
army, when their punishment nay afford a wholesome _example_.

III.iii.90 (433,2) Excellent wretch!--Perdition catch my soul,/But I do
love thee!] The meaning of the word _wretch_, is not generally
understood. It is now, in some parts of England, a term of the softest
and fondest tenderness. It expresses the utmost degree of amiableness,
joined with an idea, which perhaps all tenderness includes, of
feebleness, softness, and want of protection. Othello, considering
Desdemona as excelling in beauty and virtue, soft and timorous by her
sex, and by her situation absolutely in his power, calls her _Excellent
wretch!_ It may be expressed,

  _Dear, harmless, helpless Excellence._

III.iii.91 (433,3) when I love thee not,/Chaos is come again] When my
love is for a moment suspended by suspicion, I have nothing in my mind
but discord, tumult, perturbation, and confusion.

III.iii.123 (435,4) They are close delations working from the heart,/
That passion cannot rule] _They are_ cold dilations _working from the
heart,/That passion cannot rule_.] I know not why the modern editors are
satisfied with this reading, which no explanation can clear. They might
easily have found, that it is introduced without authority. The old
copies uniformly give, _close dilations_, except that the earlier quarto
has _close denotements_; which was the author's first expression,
afterwards changed by him, not to _cold dilations_, for _cold_ is read
in no ancient copy; nor, I believe, to _close dilations_, but to _close
delations_; to _occult_ and _secret accusations, working_ involuntarily
_from the heart_, which, though resolved to conceal the fault, cannot
rule its _passion_ of resentment.

III.iii.127 (435,5) Or, those that be not, 'would they might seem none!]
[W: seem knaves] I believe the meaning is, _would they might no longer
seem_, or bear the shape of _men_.

III.iii.140 (436,6) Keep leets and law-days] [i.e. govern. WARBURTON.]
Rather _visit_ than _govern_, but visit with authoritative intrusion.

III.iii.149 (437,8) From one that so improbably conceits]--imperfectly
_conceits_,] In the old quarto it is,

  --improbably _conceits_,

Which I think preferable.

III.iii.166 (437,9) the green-ey'd monster, which doth make/The meat it
feeds on] _which doth_ mock _The meat it feeds on_.] I have received
Hanmer's emendation ["make"]; because _to mock_, does not signify _to
loath_; and because, when Iago bids Othello _beware of jealousy, the
green-eyed monster_, it is natural to tell why he should beware, and for
caution he gives him two reasons, that jealousy _often_ creates its own
cause, and that, when the causes are real, jealousy is misery.

III.iii.173 (438,1) But riches, fineless] Unbounded, endless, unnumbered

III.iii.180 (438,3)

  Exchange me for a goat,
  When I shall turn the business of my soul
  To such exsuffolate and blown surmises,
  Matching thy inference]

This odd and far-fetched word was made yet more uncouth in all the
editions before Hanmer's, by being printed, _exsufflicate_. The allusion
is to a bubble. Do not think, says the Moor, that I shall change the
noble designs that now employ my thoughts, to suspicions which, like
bubbles _blown_ into a wide extent, have only an empty shew without
solidity, or that in consequence of such empty fears, I will close with
thy inference against the virtue of my wife.

III.iii.188 (439,4) Where virtue is, those are most virtuous] An action
in itself indifferent grows virtuous by its end and application.

III.iii.201 (439,6)

  I know our country disposition well;
  In Venice they do let heaven see the pranks]

Here Iago seems to be a Venetian.

III.iii.207 (440,7) And, when she seem'd to shake, and fear your
looks,/She lov'd them most] This and the following argument of Iago
ought to be deeply impressed on every reader. Deceit and falsehood,
whatever conveniencies they may for a time promise or produce, are, in
the sum of life, obstacles to happiness. Those, who profit by the cheat,
distruat the deceiver, and the act, by which kindness was sought, puts
an end to confidence.

The same objection may be made with a lower degree of strength against
the imprudent generosity of disproportionate marriages. When the first
heat of passion is over, it is easily succeeded by suspicion, that the
same violence of inclination, which caused one irregularity, may
stimulate to another; and those who have shown, that their passions are
too powerful for their prudence, will, with very alight appearances
againat them, be censured, as not very likely to restrain them by their
virtue. (see 1765, VIII, 397, 1)

III.iii.210 (440,8) To seel her father's eyes up, close as oak] There is
little relation between _eyes_ and _oak_. I would read,

  _She seel'd her father's eyes up close as_ owl's.

_As blind as an owl_, is a proverb.

III.iii.222 (441,1) My speech would fall into such vile success]
[_Success_, far succession, i.e. conclusion; not prosperous issue.
WARB.] I rather think there is a depravation, and would read,

  _My speech would fall into such vile_ excess.

If _success_ be the right word, it seems to mean _consequence_ or
_event_, as _successo_ is used in Italian.

III.iii.232 (441,2) will most rank] _Will_, is for wilfulness. It is so
used by Ascham. A _rank will_, is _self-will_ overgrown and exuberant.

III.iii.249 (442,3) You shall by that perceive him, and his means] You
shall discover whether he thinks his best _means_, his most powerful
_interest_, is by the solicitation of your lady.

III.iii.250 (442,4) strain his entertainnent] Press hard his
re-admission to his pay and office. _Entertainment_ was the military
term for admission of soldiers.

III.iii.256 (442,5) Fear not my government] Do not distrust ay ability
to contain my passion.

III.iii.259 (442,6) knows all qualities, with a learned spirit,/Of human
dealings] The construction is, He knows with a learned spirit all
qualities of human dealings.

III.iii.260 (442,7) If I do prore her haggard] A _haggard_ hark, is a
_wild_ hawk, a _hawk unreclaimed_, or _irreclaimable_.

III.iii.262 (443,8) I'd whistle her off, and let her down the wind,/ To
prey at fortune] The falconers always let fly the hawk against the wind;
if she flies with the wind behind her, she seldom returns. If therefore
a hawk was for any reason to be dismissed, she was _let down the wind_,
and from that time shifted far herself, and _preyed at fortune_. This
was told me by the late Mr. Clark.

III.iii.276 (443,9) forked plague] In allusion to a _barbed_ or _forked_
arrow, which, once infixed, cannot be extracted.

III.iii.312 (445,2) And, to the advantage, I, being here, took it up] I
being _opportunely_ here, took it up.

III.iii.319 (445,3) Be not you known on't] Should it not rather be read,

  _Be not you known_ in't?

The folio reads,

  _Be not_ unknown _on't_.

The sense is plain, but of the expression I cannot produce any example.

III.iii.332 (446,5) that sweet sleep,/Which thou owedst yesterday] To
_owe_ is, in our author, oftener to _possess_, than _to be indebted_,
and such was its meaning here; but as that sense was growing less usual,
it was changed unnecessarily by the editors to _hadst_; to the sane
meaning, more intelligibly expressed.

III.iii.351 (447,6)

  Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
  The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife]

Dr. Warburton has offered _fear-spersing_, for _fear-dispersing_. But
_ear-piercing_ is an epithet so eminently adapted to the _fife_, and so
distinct from the shrillness of the trumpet, that it certainly ought not
to be changed. Dr. Warburton has been censured for this proposed
emendation with more noise than honesty, for he did not himself put it
in the text.

III.iii.369 (449,8) abandon all remorse] [_Remorse_, for repentance.
WARBURTON.] I rather think it is, Let go all scruples, throw aside all

III.iii.429 (451,4) _Oth._ 'tis a shrewd doubt] [The old quarto gives
this line, with the two following, to Iago; and rightly. WARB.] I think
it more naturally spoken by Othello, who, by dwelling so long upon the
proof, encouraged Iago to enforce it.

III.iii.448 (452,8) hearted throne] [W: parted] _Hearted_ throne, is the
heart on which thou wast _enthroned_. _Parted_ throne has no meaning.

III.iii.467 (453,3)

      Let him command,
  And to obey, shall be in me remorse,
  What bloody business ever]

[Pope: Not to obey] [T: Nor, to obey.] [W: me. Remord] Of these two
emendations, I believe, Theobald's will have the greater number of
suffrages; it has at least mine. The objection against the propriety of
the declaration in Iago is a cavil; he does not say that he has no
principle of remorse, but that it shall not operate against Othello's
commands. _To obey shall be in me_, for _I will obey you_, is a mode of
expression not worth the pains here taken to introduce it; and the word
_remords_ has not in the quotation the meaning of _withhold_, or _make
reluctant_, but of _reprove_, or _censure_; nor do I know that it is
used by any of the contemporaries of Shakespeare.

I will offer an interpretation, which, if it be received, will make
alteration unnecessary, but it is very harsh and violent. Iago devotes
himself to wronged Othello, and says, _Let him command whatever bloody
business_, and in me it shall be an act, not of cruelty, but _of
tenderness, to obey him_; not of malice to other, but of _tenderness_
for him. If this sense be thought too violent, I see nothing better than
to follow Pope's reading, as it is improved by Theobald.

III.iv.26 (457,5) cruzadoes] [A Portugueze coin, in value three
shillings sterling. Dr. GREY.] So called from the cross stamped upon it.

III.iv.46 (458,6) The hearts, of old, gave hands] [Warburton explains
this is an allusion to James the First's practice of creating baronets
for money and emends to "The hands of old gave hearts"] The historical
observation is very judicious and acute, but of the emendation there is
no need. She says, that her hand gave away _her heart_. He goes on with
his suspicion, and the hand which he had before called _frank_, he now
terms _liberal_; then proceeds to remark, that _the hand was formerly
given by the heart_; but now it neither gives it, nor is given by it.

III.iv.51 (459,7) salt and sullen rheum]--_salt and_ sorry rheum] The
old quarto has,

  --_salt and_ sullen _rheum_---

That is, a _rheum obstinately troublesome_. I think this better.

III.iv.70 (459,8)

  A Sybil, that had numbred in the world
  The sun to course two hundred compasses]

The expression is not very infrequent; we say, _I counted the clock to
strike four_; so she _number'd_ the sun _to course_, to run _two hundred
compasses_, two hundred annual circuits.

III.iv.79 (460,1) Why do you speak so startingly, and rash?] Is
_vehement, violent_.

III.iv.103 (461,2) 'Tis not a year, or two, shews us a man] From this
line it may be conjectured, that the author intended the action of the
play to be considered as longer than is marked by any note of time.
Since their arrival at Cyprus, to which they were hurried on their
wedding-night, the fable seems to have been in one continual progress,
nor can I see any vacuity into which a _year or two_, or even a month or
two, could be put. On the night of Othello's arrival, a feast was
proclaimed; at that feast Cassio was degraded, and immediately applies
to Desdemona to get him restored. Iago indeed advises Othello to hold
him off a while, but there is no reason to think, that he has been held
off long. A little longer interval would increase the probability of the
story, though it might violate the rules of the drama. See Act. 5. Sc.
2. (see 1765, VIII, 416, 1)

III.iv.113 (461,3) the duty of my heart] --_the office _of my heart_.]
The elder quarto reads,

  --_the_ duty _of my heart_.

The author used the more proper word, and then changed it, I suppose,
for fashionable diction; but, as fashion is a very weak protectress, the
old word is now ready to resume its place.

III.iv.119 (462,4)

  But to know so, must be my benefit]

  "Si nequeo placidas affari Caesaris aures,
  "Saltem aliquis veniat, qui mihi dicat, abi."

III.iv.125 (462,7) in favour] In _look_, in _countenance_.

III.iv.128 (462,8) within the blank of his displeasure] Within the
_shot_ of his anger.

III.iv.141 (463,9) some unhatch'd practice] Some treason that has not
taken effect.

III.iv.146 (463,1)

  for let our finger ach,
  And it endues our other healthful members
  Even to that sense of pain]

_Endue with a sense of pain_, is an expression, which, though it might
be endured, if it were genuine, cannot deserve to be introduced by
artifice. The copies, both quarto and folio, read, _Endue our other
healthful members even to a sense of pain_. I believe it should be
rather, SUBDUE _our other healthful members to a sense of pain_.

III.iv.151 (463,2) (unhandsome warrior as I am)] [W: wrangler]
_Unhandsome warrior_, is evidently _unfair assailant_.

III.iv.178 (464,3) a more continuate time]--_more_ convenient _time_]
The folio has,

  --_more_ continuate _time_;

Time _less interrupted_, time which I can call more my own. It gives a
more distinct image than _convenient_.

III.iv.180 (464,4) Take me this work out] The meaning is not, "Pick out
the work, and leave the ground plain;" but, "Copy this work in another

IV.i.5 (466,6)

  Naked in bed, Iago, and not mean harm?
  It is hypocrisy against the devil]

_Hypocrisy against the devil_, means hypocrisy to cheat the devil. As
common hypocrites cheat men, by seeming good, and yet living wickedly,
these men would cheat the devil, by giving him flattering hopes, and at
last avoiding the crime which he thinks them ready to commit.

IV.i.22 (467,8) Boding to all] Thus all the old copies. The moderns,
less grammatically,

  _Boding to_ ill--

IV.i.42 (468,2) without sone instruction] [W: induction] This is a noble
conjecture, and whether right or wrong does honour to its author. Yet I
am in doubt whether there is any necessity of emendation. There has
always prevailed in the world an opinion, that when any great calamity
happens at a distance, notice is given of it to the sufferer by some
dejection or perturbation of mind, of which he discovers no external
cause. This is ascribed to that general communication of one part of the
universe with another, which is called sympathy and antipathy; or to the
secret monition, _instruction_, and influence of a superior Being, which
superintends the order of nature and of life. Othello says, _Nature
could not invest herself in such shadowing passion without_ instruction.
_It is not words that shake me thus._ This passion, which spreads its
clouds over me, is the effect of some agency more than the operation of
words; it is one of those notices which men have of unseen calamities.

IV.i.76 (471,4) Confine yourself but in a patient list] For attention;
act of listening.

IV.i.82 (471,5) encave yourself] Hide yourself in a private place.

IV.i.89 (471,6) Or I shall say, you are all in all in spleen,/And
nothing of a man] I read,

  _Or shall I say, you're all in all a spleen_.

I think our author uses this expression elsewhere.

IV.i.121 (472,8) Do you triumph, Roman? do you triumph?] Othello calls
him _Roman_ ironically. _Triumph_, which was a Roman ceremony, brought
Roman into his thoughts. _What_ (says he) _you are now_ triumphing _as
great as a Roman_?

IV.i.123 (472,9) a customer!] A common woman, one that invites custom.

IV.i.130 (473,1) Have you scar'd me? Have you made my reckoning? have
you settled the term of my life? The old quarto reads, _stored_ me. Have
you disposed of me? have you laid me up?

IV.i.150 (473,2) 'Tis such another fitchew! marry, a perfum'd one]
Shakespeare has in another place mentioned the lust of this animal. He
tells Iago, that she is as lewd as the _polecat_, but of better scent,
the polecat being a very stinking animal.

IV.i.244 (476,4) atone them] Make them _one_; reconcile them.

IV.i.256 (477,5)

  If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,
  Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile]

If womens tears could impregnate the earth. By the doctrine of equivocal
generation, new animals were supposed producible by new combinations of
matter. See Bacon.

IV.i.277 (478,7)

        whose solid virtue
  The shot of accident, nor dart of chance,
  Could neither graze nor pierce]

[T: of change] To _graze_ is not merely to touch superficially, but to
strike not directly, not so as to bury the body of the thing striking in
the matter struck.

Theobald trifles, as is usual. _Accident_ and _chance_ may admit a
subtle distinction; _accident_ may be considered as the _act_, and
_chance_ as the _power_ or _agency_ of fortune; as, _It was_ by chance
_that this_ accident _befel me_. At least, if we suppose all corrupt
that is inaccurate, there will be no end of emendation.

IV.ii.57 (482,1) garner'd up my heart] That is, _treasured_ up; the
_garner_ and the _fountain_ are improperly conjoined.

IV.ii.62 (482,2)

  Turn thy complexion there!
  Patience, thou young and rose-lipp'd cherubim;
  Ay, there, look grim as hell]

At such an object do thou, _patience_, thyself _change colour_; at this
do thou, even thou, _rosy cherub_ as thou art, _look grim as hell_. The
old editions and the new have it,

  _I here look grim as hell._

_I_ was written for _ay_, and not since corrected.

IV.ii.109 (484,4) The small'st opinion on my great'st abuse] The old
quarto reads [for "least misuse"],

  _The small'st opinion on my_ great'st abuse.

Which I think is better.

IV.ii.140 (486,6) Some base notorious knave] For _gross_, not in its
proper meaning for _known_.

IV.ii.144 (486,7) Speak within door] Do not clamour so as to be heard
beyond the house.

IV.ii.146 (486,8) the seamy side without] That is, _inside out_.

IV.iii.27 (490,2) and he, she lov'd, prov'd mad,/And did forsake her] I
believe that _mad_ only signifies _wild, frantick, uncertain_.

IV.iii.31 (490,3) I have much to do,/But to go hang my head] I _have
much_ ado to do any thing _but hang my head_. We might read,

  Not _to go hang my head_.

This is perhaps the only insertion made in the latter editions which has
improved the play. The rest seem to have been added for the sake of
amplification, or of ornament. When the imagination had subsided, and
the mind was no longer agitated by the horror of the action, it became
at leisure to look round for specious additians. This addition is
natural. Desdemona can at first hardly forbear to sing the song; she
endeavours to change her train of thoughts, but her imagination at last
prevails, and she sings it.

IV.iii.41 (491,4)

  _Des._ "The poor soul sat singing by a sycamore-tree,
  "Sing all a green willow]

This song, in two parts, is printed in a late collection of old ballads;
the lines preserved here differ somewhat from the copy discovered by the
ingenious collector.

IV.iii.55 (491,5)

  _Des._ "I call'd my love false love; but what said
  "he then?
  "Sing willow, &c.]

This couplet is not in the ballad, which is the complaint, not of a
woman forsaken, but of a man rejected. These lines were probably added
when it was accommodated to a woman.

IV.iii.94 (493,6) our former having] Our former allowance of experience.

IV.iii.107 (493,7) heaven me such usage send] --_heaven me such_ uses
_send_,] Such is the reading of the folio, and of the subsequent
editions; but the old quarto has,

  --_such_ usage _send_.--

_Usage_ is an old word for _custom_, and, I think, better than _uses_.

V.i.11 (494,1) I have rubb'd this young quat _almost to the sense_] In
some editions,

  _I've rubb'd this young_ gnat _almost to the sense,
  And he grows angry_.]

This is a passage much controverted among the editors. Sir T. Hanner
reads _quab_, a _gudgeon_; not that a gudgeon can be _rubbed_ to much
_sense_, but that a man grossly deceived is often called a _gudgeon_.
Mr. Upton reads _quail_, which he proves, by much learning, to be a very
choleric bird. Dr. Warburton retains _gnat_, which is found in the early
quarto. Theobald would introduce _knot_, a small bird of that name. I
have followed the text of the folio, and third and fourth quartos.

A _quat_ in the midland counties is a _pimple_, which by rubbing is made
to smart, or is _rubbed to sense_. Roderigo is called a _quat_ by the
same mode of speech, as a low fellow is now termed in lay language a
_scab. To rub to the sense_, is _to rub to the quick_.

V.i.37 (496,2) No passage?] No passengers? No body going by?

V.i.42 (499,4) a heary night] A _thick cloudy_ night, in which an ambush
may be commodiously laid.

V.ii.1 (499,4) It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul;--/Let me not
name it] The abruptness of this soliloquy makes it obscure. The meaning,
I think, is this: "I am here (says Othello in his mind) overwhelmed with
horror. What is the reason of this perturbation? Is it want of
resolution to do justice? Is it the dread of shedding blood? No; it is
not the action that shocks me, but _it is the cause, it is the cause, my
soul; let me not name it to you, ye chaste stars; it is the cause_."

V.ii.20 (500,7)

        I must weep,
  But they are cruel tears: this sorrel's heavenly;
  It strikes, where it doth love.--She wakes--]

This tenderness, with which I lament the punishment which justice
compels me to inflict, is a holy passion.

I wish these two lines could be honestly ejected. It is the fate of
Shakespeare to counteract his own pathos.

V.ii.65 (502,8) A murder, which I thought a sacrifice] This line is
difficult. _Thou hast hardened my heart, and makest me_ kill thee with
the rage of a _murderer_, when _I thought to have sacrificed_ thee to
justice with the calmness of a priest striking a victim.

It must not be omitted, that one of the elder quartos reads, _thou dost
stone_ thy _heart_; which I suspect to be genuine. The meaning then will
be, _thou forcest me_ to dismiss thee from the world in the state of the
_murdered_ without preparation for death, _when I intended_ that thy
punishment should have been a _sacrifice_ atoning for thy crime.

I am glad that I have ended my revisal of this dreadful scene. It is not
to be endured.

V.ii.134 (505,3) false as water] As water that will support no weight,
nor keep any impression.

V.ii.151 (506,4) villainy has made mocks with love] _Villainy_ has taken
advantage to _play upon_ the weakness of a violent passion.

V.ii.162 (506,5) Thou hast not half that power to do me harm, /As I have
to be hurt] [Hamner: to bear hurt] The Oxford Editor saw well the
meaning of his author, but weakened his expression. She means to say, _I
have in this cause power to endure more than thou hast power to

V.ii.183 (507, 6) charm your tongue] I know not whether I have read, or
whether my own thoughts hare suggested, an alteration of this passage.
It seems to me not improbable, that Shakespeare wrote _clam_ your
tongue; to _clam_ a bell, is to cover the clapper with felt, which
drowns the blow, and hinders the sound.

V.ii.211 (509,7) she with Cassio had the act of shame/A thousand times
committed] This is another passage which seems to suppose a longer space
comprised in the action of this play than the scenes include.

V.ii.253 (512,2) It was a sword of Spain, the ice-brook's temper] [In
the first edition it is, _Isebroke's temper_. Thence corrupted to
_Ice-brook's_.--_Ebro's temper_; the waters of that river of Spain are
particularly famous for tempering of steel. POPE.] I believe the old
reading changed to _ice-brook_ is right. Steel is hardened by being put
red hot into very cold water.

V.ii.286 (513,3)

  I look down towards his feet; but that's a fable.
  If that thou be'st a devil, I cannot kill thee]

To see if, according to the common opinion, his feet be cloven.

V.ii.292 (513,4) Fall'n in the practice of a cursed slave] In the
_snare_, by the _stratagem_.

V.ii.317 (514,5) in the interim] The first copy has, _in the_ nick. It
was, I suppose, thought upon revisal, that _nick_ was too familiar.

V.ii.342 (515,6) Speak of me as I am] The early copies read, _Speak of
them as they are_. The present reading has more force. (rev. 1778, X,
622, 6)

(520,2) General Observation. The beauties of this play impress
themselves so strongly upon the attention of the reader, that they can
draw no aid from critical illustration. The fiery openness of Othello,
magnanimous, artless, and credulous, boundless in his confidence, ardent
in his affection, inflexible in his resolution, and obdurate in his
revenge; the cool malignity of Iago, silent in his resentment, subtle in
his designs, and studious at once of his interest and his vengeance; the
soft simplicity of Desdemona, confident of merit, and conscious of
innocence, her artless perseverance in her suit, and her slowness to
suspect that she can be suspected, are such proofs of Shakespeare's
skill in human nature, as, I suppose, it is vain to seek in any modern
writer. The gradual progress which Iago makes in the Moor's conviction,
and the circumstances which he employs to inflame him, are so artfully
natural, that, though it will perhaps not be said of him as he says of
himself, that he is _a man not easily jealous_, yet we cannot but pity
him, when at last we find him _perplexed in the extreme_.

There is always danger, lest wickedness, conjoined with abilities,
should steal upon esteem, though it misses of approbation; but the
character of Iago is so conducted, that he is from the first scene to
the last hated and despised.

Even the inferior characters of this play would be very conspicuous in
any other piece, not only for their justness, but their strength. Cassio
is brave, benevolent, and honest, ruined only by his want of
stubbornness to resist an insidious invitation. Roderigo's suspicious
credulity, and impatient submission to the cheats which he sees
practised upon him, and which by persuasion he suffers to be repeated,
exhibit a strong picture of a weak mind betrayed by unlawful desires to
a false friend; and the virtue of Aemilia is such as we often find, worn
loosely, but not cast off, easy to commit small crimes, but quickened
and alarmed at atrocious villainies.

The scenes from the beginning to the end are busy, varied by happy
interchanges, and regularly promoting the progression of the story; and
the narrative in the end, though it tells but what is known already, yet
is necessary to produce the death of Othello.

Had the scene opened in Cyprus, and the preceding incidents been
occasionally related, there had been little wanting to a drama of the
most exact and scrupulous regularity.

(LI 2) Appendix. Some apology perhaps is necessary for the inconvenience
of an Appendix, which, however, we can justify by the strongest of all
pleas, the plea of necessity. The Notes which it contains, whether
communicated by correspondents, or collected from published volumes,
were not within our reach when the plays were printed, to which they
relate. Of that which chance has supplied, we could have no previous
knowledge; and he that waited till the river should run dry, did not act
with less reason than the Editor would do, who should suspend his
publication for possibilities of intelligence, or promises of
improvement. Had we foreseen the _Oxford_ edition, the assistance we
expected from it might have persuaded us to pause; but our volumes were
completely finished before its publication. [There are no notes by
Johnson in this Appendix; several are by Steevens.]

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