Page images
PDF
EPUB

histories do affirm that as well this Kymbeline, as also his father Theomantius, lived in quiet with the Romans, and continually to them paid the tributes which the Britains had covenanted with Julius Cæsar to pay, yet we find in the Roman writers, that after Julius Cæsar's death, when Augustus had taken upon him the rule of the empire, the Britains refused to pay that tribute : whereat, as Cornelius Tacitus reporteth, Augustus (being otherwise occupied) was contented to wink; howbeit, through earnest calling upon to recover his right by such as were desirous to see the uttermost of the British kingdom ; at length, to wit, in the tenth year after the death of Julius Cæsar, which was about the thirteenth year of the said Theomantius, Augustus made provision to pass with an army over into Britain, and was come forward upon his journey into Gallia Celtica, or, as we may say, into these hither parts of France.

“But here receiving advertisements that the Pannonians, which inhabited the country now called Hungary, and the Dalmatians, whom now we call Slavons, had rebelled. he thought it best first to subdue those rebels near home, rather than to seek new countries, and leave such in hazard whereof he had present possession; and so, turning his power against the Pannonians and Dalmatians, he left off for a time the wars of Britain, whereby the land remained without fear of any invasion to be made by the Romans till the year after the building of the city of Rome, 725, and about the nineteenth year of Theomantius' reign, that Augustus with an army departed once again from Rome to pass over into Britain there to make war. But after his coming into Gallia, when the Britains sent to him certain ambassadors to treat with him of peace, he staid there to settle the state of things among the Galles, for that they were not in very good order. ... But whether this controversy, which appeareth to fall forth betwixt the Britains and Augustus, was occasioned by Kymbeline, or some other prince of the Britains, I have not to avouch: for that by our writers it is reported that Kymbeline, being brought up in Rome, and knighted in the court of Augustus, ever showed himself a friend to the Romans, and chiefly was loth to break with them, because the youth of the British nation should not be deprived of the benefit to be trained and brought up among the Romans, whereby they might learn both to behave themselves like civil men, and to attain to the knowledge of feats

“Mulmucius Dunwallo, the son of Cloten, got the upper hand of the other dukes or rulers: and after his father's decease began his reign over the whole monarchy of Britain, in the year of the world 3529. This Mulmucius Dunwallo proved a right worthy prince. He builded within the city of London, then called Troinovant, a temple, and called it the Temple of Peace. He also made many good laws, which were long after used, called Mulmucius' laws. After he had established his land, and set his Britains in good and convenient order, he ordained him by the advice of his lords a crown of gold, and caused himself with great solemni. ty to be crowned, according to the custom of the pagan laws then in use : and because he was the first who bare a crown here in Britain, after the opinion of some writers, he is named the first king of Britain, and all the other before rehearsed are named rulers, dukes, or governors.”

of war....

ACT I. Scene I.-1. Bloods. Temperaments, dispositions; as in 2 Hen. IV. iv. 4. 38: “When you perceive his blood inclin’d to mirth,” etc. The plural is used, as often, because more than one person is referred to. Cf. Rich. II. p. 206, note on Sights.

3. Still seem as does the king. The folios have “kings,” and some modern editors read “king's” (that is, the king's blood). King is Tyrwhitt's conjecture (also in the Coll. MS.), and is adopted by K., Coll., V., W., Clarke, and others.

The sense is : Our temperaments are not more surely controlled by planetary influences than the aspect of our courtiers is by that of the king; their looks reflect the sadness of his. Cf. 13 just below.

4. Of 's. Such contractions are especially frequent in the latest plays of S. See many instances below.

10. None but the king? “Are all but the king in outward sorrow only? none else touched at heart ?" (J. H.).

13. To the bent. According to the cast or aspect. Cf. A. and C. i. 3. 36:

“ Eternity was in our lips and eyes,

Bliss in our brows' bent," etc. 23. Outward. For the noun, cf. Sonn. 69.5: “Thy outward thus with outward praise is crown'd;” T. and C. iii. 2. 169: “Outliving beauty's outward,” etc.

24. But he. Changed by Rowe to “but him.” Cf. A. Y. L. i. 2. 18: “ my father hath no child but I.” See also Gr. 205 fol.

You speak him far. You go far in what you say of him. Cf. v. 5. 309 below.

25. I do extend him, sir, within himself. That is, far as I speak him,

keep within the bounds of his merit. Malone paraphrases the passage thus : “My eulogium, however extended it may seem, is short of his real excellence; it is abbreviated rather than expanded."

29. Did join his honour. Gave his noble aid or alliance. The passage has troubled many of the commentators, who have suggested “gain,” and “earn ” for join, and “ banner” for honour; but no change seems really called for.

30. Cassibelan. Lud's younger brother, while Tenantius, whom Holinshed (see p. 163 above) calls “Theomantius or Lenantius,” was Lud's son. On the death of his brother, Cassibelan usurped the throne.

31. But had his titles, etc. That is, though he had joined the party of the usurper, he was forgiven and honoured by the rightful king. 33. Sur-addition. Surname ; used by S. only here.

" The name of Leonatus he found in Sidney's Arcadia. ' Leonatus is there the legitimate son of the blind King of Paphlagonia, on whose story the episode of Gloster, Edgar, and Edmund is formed in King Lear” (Malone). Cf. Lear, p. 159

37. Fond of issue. The Coll. MS, has “of ’s ” for of; but, as Coll. remarks, the change is needless.

41. Leonatus. Omitted by Pope for the sake of the metre; but proper

*“ win,"

names are often used in this loose way at the end of a line. See Gr. 469.

43. Learnings. The only instance of the plural in S. His time=his age. 46. In 's.

See on 4 above. Pope changed in 's to “his." 47. Which rare it is to do. “This encomium is high and artful. To be at once in any degree loved and praised is truly rare” (Johnson).

49. Feated. Fashioned, “ featur'd” (Rowe's reading) ; used by S. only here. Sr. quotes Palsgrave, 1530 : “I am well feted or shapen of my Jymmes ; je suis bien aligné." Steevens compares 2 Hen. IV. ii. 3. 21 (see also 31]:

“ he was indeed the glass Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves ;" and Ham. ii. 1. 161: “ The glass of fashion and the mould of form."

50. To his mistress. Mason says that to is=“as to.” We prefer to consider the passage an instance of “construction changed by change of thought” (Gr. 415).

58. Mark it. • Shakespeare's dramatic art uses this expedient, naturally introduced into the dialogue, to draw special attention to a circumstance that it is essential should be borne in mind, and which otherwise might escape notice in the course of narration” (Clarke).

63. Convey'd. Stolen. Cf. Rich. 11. iv. 1.317: “O, good! Convey?conveyers are you all ;” and see our ed. p. 206.

70. Enter the Queen, etc. The folio begins "Scena Secunda” here, and some modern editors follow it. Rowe was the first to continue the

scene.

74. Posthumus. Accented by S. on the second syllable. V. remarks : “Well-educated men in England have an accuracy as to Latin quantity, and lay a stress upon it, such as are elsewhere found only among professed scholars. On this account Steevens and other critics have considered the erroneous quantity or accentuation of Posthúmus and Arvirágus as decisive of Shakespeare's want of learning. But the truth is, that in his day, great latitude, in this respect, prevailed among authors; and it is probable that Latin was taught in the schools, as it still is in Scotland and many parts of the United States, without any minute attention to prosody: Steevens himself has shown that the older poets were careless in this matter. Thus the poetical Earl of Stirling has Darius and Euphrates with the penultimate short. Warner, who was, I believe, a scholar, in his ‘Albion's England,' has the same error with Shakespeare, as to both names.”

78. Lean'd unto. Bowed to, submitted to.

86. Something ... nothing. Both often used adverbially. Cf. i. 4. 66, 101, i. 6. 190, iv. 4. 15, etc., below. Gr. 55, 68.

87. Always reserv'd my holy duty. “So far as I may say it without breach of duty” (Johnson).

96. Loyalst. For the contracted superlative, cf. iii. 5. 44, iv. 2. 175, 191, etc., below. Gr. 473.

101. Gall. Johnson says: Sha are, even in this poor conceit, has confounded the vegetable galls used in ink with the animal gull, sup

«

posed to be bitter;" but Steevens reminds him that the vegetable gall is also bitter. Cf. T. N. iii. 2. 52: “Let there be gall enough in thy ink.”

105. He does buy my injuries to be friends. He gives me a valuable consideration in new kindness (purchasing, as it were, the wrong I have done him), in order to renew our amity and make us friends again (Malone).

113. Till you woo another wife. Mrs. Jameson says on this and what follows : “Imogen, in whose tenderness there is nothing jealous or fantastic, does not seriously apprehend that her husband will woo another wife when she is dead. It is one of those fond fancies which women are apt to express in moments of feeling, merely for the pleasure of hearing a protestation to the contrary. When Posthumus leaves her, she does not burst forth in eloquent lamentation ; but that silent, stunning, overwhelming sorrow, which renders the mind insensible to all things else, is represented with equal force and simplicity.”

116. Sear, “Cere" and “seal” have been suggested, but we think it probable, with Clarke, that “sear is here used to express the dry withering of death, as well as the closing with wax by those bonds of death, cerecloths (cf. M. of V. ij. 7. 51), sometimes written seare-cloths.

118. While sense can keep it on. Steevens took this to be=“ While sense can maintain its operations, or continues to have its usual power ;") but it probably refers to the ring, as others have explained it. For the change of person, Malone compares iii. 3. 103 below:

Euriphile,
Thou wast their nurse; they took thee for their mother,

And every day do honour to her grave."
Pope reads "thee” for it, and W. conjectures

it own (cf. W. T. p. 172).

124. When shall we see again? Cf. Hen. VIII. i. 1. 2: Since last we saw in France." See also T. and C. iv. 4. 59. Gr. 382.

125. Avoid! Begone! Cf. C. of E. iv. 3. 48: Satan, avoid !” See also Temp. p. 137.

126. Fraught. Burden. Cf. Temp. i. 2. 13 : “The fraughting souls within her" (that is, the ship). See also M. of V. p. 145. Freight is not used by S. or Milton, either as verb or noun.

129. The good remainders, etc. “That is, the court which now gets rid of my unworthiness ” (Schmidt).

130. A pinch. A pang. Cf. Temp. v. I. 77: Whose inward pinches [the pangs of remorse) therefore are most strong.”

133. A year's age. As the passage stands this seems an impotent conclusion, and the defective measure of the preceding line suggests that something may have been lost. Hanmer gave "heapest many,” and Capell "heap'st instead.” Theo. changed year's to “yare” (=speedy), and Johnson conjectured " Years, ages. Schmidt would read a years' age

an age advanced in years, old age.” V. accepts the old reading, and says : “The aged king, to whom every added year is a serious burden, tells his daughter that in her present act of fond sorrow she takes away a year of his life.”

[ocr errors]

66

" to seem

135. Senseless of. Insensible to. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 7.55 : senseless of the bob" (that is, seem not to feel the blow), etc.

A touch more rare. A more exquisite sensibility. Malone quotes Lear, iii. 4. 8:

“ But where the greater malady is fix’d,

The lesser is scarce felt." 140. A puttock. A kite, or a worthless species of hawk. Cf. 2 Hen. VI. jii. 2. 191 :

“Who finds the partridge in the puttock's nest

But may imagine how the bird was dead,

Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak?" and T. and C. v. 1. 68: "a toad, a lizard, an owl, a puttock," etc.

146. Overbuys me, etc. Pays a price that exceeds by almost the full amount what he gets in return; that is, he gives himself worth any woman, even the best of her sex, and gets only my almost worthless self in return.

153. Beseech your patience. That is, I beseech it; a common ellipsis. Cf. prithee=I pray thee. See Gr. 401.

156. Your best advice. Your most careful consideration. Cf. Rich, 11. i. 3. 233 : "Thy son is banish'd upon good advice” (that is, after due deliberation); M. of V. iv. 2. 6: “ upon more advice” (upon reflection), etc. 157. A drop of blood a day. Steevens compares Oth. v. 2. 155:

may his pernicious soul

Rot half a grain a day!” 164. On't. Of it. Cf. v. 5. 311 below: “two on 's,” etc. Gr. 182. 167. In Afric. That is, where no one would be at hand to part them. Cf. Cor. iv. 2. 23:

“I would my son
Were in Arabia, and thy tribe before him,

His good sword in his hand !"
Macb. iii. 4. 104: “ And dare me to the desert with thy sword ;” and
Rich. 11. iv. 1.74: “I dare meet Surrey a wilderness” (see our ed.
p. 202). On Afric, cf. Cor. p. 211.

171. Bring. Accompany. Cf. W. T. iv. 3. 122: “Shall I bring thee on the way?" See also Gen. xviii. 16, Acts, xxi. 5, 2 Cor. i. 16, etc. 176. Walk.

Retire, withdraw. See Lear, p. 222. SCENE II.-5. Then to shift it. Then I would shift it. Some follow Rowe in pointing “then to shift it"

8. Passable. Affording free passage ; no more to be wounded than “the still-closing waters” in Temp. iii. 3. 64.

9. Throughfare. Thoroughfare ; as in M. of V. ii. 7. 42. Thoroughfare does not occur in the folio, though many of the modern eds. follow Pope in reading it here. Cf. Gr. 478. 14. He fled forward. Steevens compares T. and C. iv. I. 20:

And thou shalt hunt a lion, that will fly
With his face backward."

« PreviousContinue »