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Before the eye and prospect of your town,
Crave harbourage within your city walls.” “ So all the old copies : King John is evidently speaking ironically. Rowe altered comfort' to confront, and such has since been the received reading.” COLLIER.
Mr. Knight was the first who suggested that “ Comfort might be used by John in irony" (though he printed “Confront” in his own text); and if this suggestion had been thrown out by Steevens, I should have supposed that it had originated in the hope of inducing the next editor to adopt a reading, which “ the malicious George” would afterwards have had great satisfaction in pronouncing to be an absurdity.
I have extracted the whole speech; and I appeal to the plain sense of the most uncritical reader, if he can discover in it even a shadow of irony ;-a rhetorical figure, indeed, which
would naturally be avoided by King John, whose object in the present address is to gain over the citizens of Angiers.
In the next scene we find ;
• Whereto serves mercy,
Act iii. sc. 3. in The Winter's Tale ;
“ Unless another,
Act v. sc. 1. and in Cymbeline ;
Good my liege,
Act iv. sc. 3.
SCENE 1.-C. p. 39; K. p. 291.
With my vex'd spirits, I cannot take a truce,
But they will quake and tremble all this day." So the passage is pointed in the old eds., and, I believe, by all the modern editors,--directly against the sense. The proper punctuation is,
“ And though thou now confess thou didst but jest,
my vex'd spirits I cannot take a truce,
“ all this, uttered
Romeo and Juliet, act iii. sc. 1. “ And with my father take a friendly truce.”
Marlowe's Tamburlaine (Part First), act iv. sc. 4. Take truce a while with these immoderate mournings."
Beaumont and Fletcher's Coxcomb, act iv. sc. 4.
Errata, truce) with sorrow)
Wither's Crums and Scraps, &c., 1661, p. 79.
Scene 1.-C. p. 43; K. p. 295. O, that a man should speak those words to me!” I am rather surprised that the commentators, in their rage for discovering parallel passages, should have overlooked the following one in Sydney's Arcadia : "O God (cried out Pyrocles) that thou wert a man that vsest these words ynto me !" Lib. iii. p. 315, ed. 1598.
SCENE 1.-C. p. 44.
Can task the free breath of a sacred king ?” “ Modern editors, since the time of Pope, have substituted earthly for ' earthy,' an alteration not required.” COLLIER.
Not required !-In Richard the Second, act i. sc. 3, vol. iv. 125, Mr. Collier gives,
“O! thou, the earthly author of my blood ;" and observes in a note, “ The folio of 1623 reads earthy.” It happens that in the latter passage only one old copy has the misprint, which in the former passage all the old copies exhibit.
In Massinger's Duke of Milan, act v. sc. 2, Sforza says to the Doctors, according to the old eds.,
O you earthy gods, You second natures,” &c. : but in a copy of 4to, 1623 (now in my possession), Massinger has crossed out “ earthy" with a pen, and written “ earthly” on the margin.
Scene 1.-C. p. 46.
In likeness of a new untrimmed bride." “A misprint may be suspected here. Theobald reads, and trimmed,' in reference to Blanch's adornments.” COLLIER.
Here Mr. Knight has no note.
On the word “untrimmed” we have about two pages of annotation in the Var. Shakespeare. First comes Theobald's conjecture. Then Warburton declares that “untrimmed" means unsteady, and that the term is taken from navigation. Next, Johnson, rejecting Warburton's explanation, seems to approve of Theobald's alteration.
We have then a long note by Steevens, who pronounces the meaning of " an untrimmed bride" to be 'a bride undrest, unattired, that is (he modestly says), “not absolutely naked :" he adds that Mr. Collins supposes "untrimmed” to be equivalent to “unadorned with the usual pomp and formality of a nuptial habit,' and that Mr. Tollet is of the same opinion. Malone brings up
and knows not whether to approve of Theobald's correction or Collins's explanation.
Let the next editor of Shakespeare merely state that "untrimmed" means 'virgin :'--without any comment, though I now think it right to adduce the following passage, among many others which might be cited ;
That would have burnt his city here, and your house too,
Purloin'd your lordship's plate the duke bestow'd on you
Fletcher's Loyal Subject, act i. sc. 1.
SCENE 1.-C. p. 48 ; K. p. 298.
“So the old copies, taking 'cased' in the sense of caged, for which it was perhaps a misprint, the g having been read for a long 8 by the compositor. Some editors would read chafed, but this supposes a double error in the word.” COLLIER.
With a full recollection of the passages cited by Steevens and Malone to support this reading (“cas’d”), I think it decidedly wrong. Shakespeare would not have used “cased” in the forced sense of caged, because in his time" a cased lion" meant properly, - a lion stript of his skin, flayed:' so in All's well that ends well, “We'll make you some sport with the fox, ere we case him," Act iïi. sc. 6; and in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady,
“then with my tiller Bring down your gibship, and then have you cas'd, And hung up in the warren.”
Act v. sc. 1. Mr. Knight prints, “ A chased lion.” But the right reading is undoubtedly “chaf'd :" in the following passage of Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster, where the 4to of 1620 has
Chaf'd," the other eds, have “Chast," and let it be particularly observed) “ Cast;"
“ And what there is of vengeance in a lion
Act v. sc. 3.
so looks the chafed lion
Act iii. sc. 2. and in Fletcher's Loyal Subject, “He frets like a chaf'd lion.”
Act v. sc. 3.
SCENE 4.-C. p. 55 ; K. p. 305.
Is scatter'd, and disjoin'd from fellowship." “i. e. of conquered sail. In Minshew's Dictionary, 1617, as quoted by Malone, we read • To convict or convince :' a Lat. convictus, overcome. In Love's Labour's Lost,' vol. ii. p. 377, we have convince,