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To tell this tale of mine.
I am sorry for thee:
That headless man
Bind the offender,
Stay, sir king
Why, old soldier,
In that he spake too far.
We will die all three :
Your danger's our's.
Have at it, then, by leave.
Cym. What of him? he is
He it is that hath
8 I am SORRY for thee:] The folio, 1623, has sorrow for " sorry," which last was substituted in the folio, 1632.
9 This man is better] The Rev. Mr. Dyce has pointed out the accidental omission of " man" in this line: the same lapse is also duly noted by Mr. Singer, and we are glad to remedy the defect, and to thank them both.
10 Had ever scar for.] We do not alter the old text here, though most likely faulty : “scar," printed scarre in the folio, 1623, can hardly be right; and if the annotations of the corrector of the folio, 1632, had here been preserved, we might expect that some fitter word (possibly sense) would have been found substituted in his margin.
I know not how, a traitor.
Take him hence !
Not too hot:
Nursing of my sons ?
How ! my issue?
Thou weep’st, and speak’st. The service that you three have done is more
1- I will PREFER my sons ;] Preferre, of the old copies, seems here again misprinted for preserve : see Vol. iii. pp. 686. 689.
? – my MERE offence,] The first folio having misprinted “mere” neere, it became near in the later folios, and some editors have substituted dear. Tyrwhitt recommended “ mere.”
Unlike than this thou tell’st. I lost my children :
Be pleas'd a while.—
younger princely son; he, sir, was lapp'd
This is he,
Oh! what am I
No, my lord ;
Did you e'er meet ?
And at first meeting lov'd;
Cor. By the queen's dram she swallow'd.
Oh rare instinct ! When shall I hear all through? This fierce abridgments
3 Bless’d, Pray you, be,] i. e. Bless'd I pray that you may be. Modern editors change “pray” of all the old copies into may, and if it were necessary, we would follow their example.
4 When you were so indeed.] The folio has we for "you ;" a misprint, which, Malone says, was corrected by Rowe. This is a mistake : Rowe allowed the old text to remain.
5 This FIERCE abridgment] Shakespeare here, and in a few other places in his
Hath to it circumstantial branches, which
My good master,
Happy be you!
I am, sir,
works, uses the epithet “fierce" (possibly we might here substitute forc'd, i. e. compulsory,) with some peculiarity: in Vol. ii. p. 178, we have had “fierce endeavour," and in Vol. v. p. 260, " fierce wretchedness."
6 Will serve our long inter’GATORIES.] Apparently so pronounced in the time of Shakespeare, and sometimes so printed, as in “ All's Well that ends Well," Vol. ii. p. 604, where the sentence is only prose; and in “ The Merchant of Venice," Vol. ii. p. 346, where the word occurs in verse twice. In the passage in our text it is printed interrogatories in the folios.
? He would have well BECOME this place,] In the folio, 1623, “ become” is printed becom'd, probably a mere error of the press; but it has been adopted by Malone, and by modern editors who have followed his text. Any body acquainted with old writing will see at once how “become" (as no doubt Shakespeare wrote it) might easily be misread becom'd by an ignorant printer.
The purpose I then follow'd.-- That I was he,
I am down again ; [Kneeling.
Kneel not to me:
You holp us, sir,
did mean indeed to be our brother; Joy'd are we,
[Coming forward. Luc.
Read, and declare the meaning. Sooth. [Reads.] “When as a lion's whelp' shall, to him
8 You Holp us, sir,] Shakespeare so constantly uses this old past tense of to help, that it can hardly need a note here: sometimes, in the early editions, it may have been mistaken for hope, the ear having been misled.
- upon his eagle Back'),] So all the folios ; but modern editors strangely prefer“ upon his eagle back :" if they thought fit to make this change in the text, they ought to have printed “upon his eagle's back.” Perhaps, for "spritely " in the next line, we ought to read spritelike; and such is the meaning.
1 “When as a lion's whelp] It is not easy to conjecture,” says Coleridge (Lit. Rem. Vol. ii. p. 128), “why Shakespeare should have introduced this ludi. crous scroll, which answers no one purpose, either propulsive or explicatory, unless as a joke on etymology.” It is very possible that the scroll and the vision were parts of an older play, and such riddles were so popular, especially on our older stage, that Shakespeare may not have liked to omit it.