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Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets.
Reg. Lady, I am not well; else I should answer
Mean you to enjoy him?
Half-blooded fellow, yes. Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine.6
[To EDM. Alb. Stay yet; hear reason :-Edmund, I arrest thee On capital treason; and, in thy arrest,? This gilded serpent: [Pointing to Gon.-for your claim,
married to you, you could not say more than this, nor could he enjoy greater power.-Thus the quartos. In the folio this line is given to Albany. Malone.
3 That eye, that told you so, look'd but a-squint.] Alluding to the proverb: “ Love being jealous makes a good eye look asquint.” See Ray's Collection. Steevens. So Milton:
“ And gladly banish squint suspicion.” Comus. H. White.
the walls are thine :) A metaphorical phrase taken from the camp, and signifying, to surrender at discretion. Warburton. A similar allusion occurs in Cymbeline : “ The heavens hold firm the walls of thy dear honour.”
Steevens. 5 The let-alone lies not in your good will.] Whether he shall not or shall, depends not on your choice. Johnson.
Albany means to tell his wife, that, however she might want the power, she evidently did not want the inclination to prevent the match. Ritson.
To obstruct their union lies not in your good pleasure: your veto will avail nothing. Malone.
6 Reg. Let the drum strike, &c.] So the folio. This line is given to the Bastard in the quartos, and they read
Let the drum strike, and prove my title good. Regan, it appears from this speech, did not know that Albany had discharged her forces. Malone.
thy arrest, ] The quartos read--thine attaint. Steevens.
I bar it in the interest of my wife ;
An interlude !!
it on thy heart,
Sick, O, sick!
[Aside. Edm. There's my exchange: [Throwing downa Glove.]
what in the world he is
Alb. A herald, ho!
A herald, ho, a herald !3
This sickness grows upon me.
Enter a Herald.
[Exit Reg. led.
8 An interlude ! ] This short exclamation of Goneril 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 intelligible.
Fohnson. Let the trumpet sound :] These words are not in the quartos.
Malone. thy person,] The quartos read-thy head. Steevens.
poison.] The folio reads-medicine. Steevens. 3 A herald, &c.] This speech I have restored from the quartos.
Steevens. thy single virtue ;] i. e. valour ; a Roman sense of the word. Thus Raleigh : “ The conquest of Palestine with singular virtue they performed.” Steevens.
Come hither, herald, Let the trumpet sound -
A Trumpet sounds.
Herald reads. If any man of quality, or degree, with the lists of the army, will maintain upon Edmund, supposed earl of Gloster, that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear at the third sound of the trumpet: He is bold in his defence. Edm. Sound.?
[i Trumpet. Her. Again.
T2 Trumpet. Her. Again.
[Trumpet answers within.
What are you?
Know, my name is lost;
Which is that adversary?
Draw thy sword;
5 Sound, trumpet.] I have added this from the quartos. Steevens.
within the lists of the army,] The quartos read:-within the host of the army,
Steevens. 7 Edm. Sound.] Omitted in the folio. Malone. 8 Yet am I noble, &c.] One of the quartos reads:
- yet are I mou't,
Where is the adversarie I come to cope withal ? care I mou’t, is, I suppose, a corruption of-ere I move it. Steevens.
The other quarto also reads—Where is the adversary, &c. omitting the words-Yet am I noble, which are only found in the folio. The word withal is wanting in that copy.
Malone. - here is mine. &c.] Here I draw my sword. Behold, it is the privilege or right of my profession to draw it against a traitor. I protest therefore, &c.
Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,
Edm. In wisdom, I should ask thy name ;5
It is not the charge itself (as Dr. Warburton has erroneously stated) but the right of bringing the charge and maintaining it with his sword, which Edgar calls the privilege of his profession. Malone. 1 Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,
My oath, and my profession:] The charge he is going to bring against the Bastard, he calls the privilege, &c. To understand which phraseology, we must consider that the old rights of knighthood are here alluded to; whose oath and profession required him to discover all treasons, and whose privilege it was to have his challenge accepted, or otherwise to have his charge taken pro confesso. For if one who was no knight accused another who was, that other was under no obligation to accept the challenge. On this account it was neces. sary, as Edgar came disguised, to tell the Bastard he was a knight.
Warburton. The privilege of this oath means the privilege gained by taking the oath administered in the regular initiation of a knight professed.
Behold, it is my privilege,
My oath and my profession. Malone.
“ I love thee so, that maugre all thy pride Steevens. 3 Conspirant 'gainst -] The quartos read:
Malone. 5 In wisdom, I should ask thy name;] Because, if his adversary was not of equal rank, Edmund might have declined the combat. Hlence the herald proclaimed-“ If any man of quality or degree," &c. So Goneril afterwards says
But, since thy outside looks so fair and warlike,
[Alarums. They fight. Edm. falls. Alb. O save him, save him! Gon.
This is mere practice, Gloster:9
“ By the law of arms, thou wast not bound to answer
“ An unknown opposite.” Malone. 8 And that thy tongue some'say of breeding breathes,] 'Say, for essay some show or probability. Pope. Say is sample, a taste. So, in Sidney:
So good a say invites the eye
“ A little downward to espy Again, in the Preface to Maurice Kyffin's translation of the Andria of Terence, 1588: “ Some other like places I could recite, but these shall suffice for a say." Again, in Revenge for Honour, by Chapman:
- But pray do not “ Take the first say of her yourselves --.” Again, in The Unnatural Combat, by Massinger:
or to take A
say of venison, or stale fowl.”. Again, in Holinshed, p. 847: “ He (C. Wolsey) made dukes and erles to serve him of wine, with a say taken,” &c. To take the assaie was the technical term. Steevens.
7 What safe and nicely &c.] The phraseology is here very licentious. I suppose the meaning is, That delay which by the law of knighthood I might make, I scorn to make. Nicely is, punctiliously; if I stood on minute forms. This line is not in the quartos; and furnishes one more proof of what readers are so slow to admit, that a whole line is sometimes omitted at the press. The subsequent line without this is nonsense. See Vol. XI, p. 67, n. 5. Malone.
Where they shali rest for ever.) To that place, where they shall rest for ever; i. e. thy heart. Malone. 9 Alb. O save him, save him!
Gon. This is mere practice, Gloster :] Thus all the copies; but I have ventured to place the two hemistichs to Goneril. 'Tis absurd that Albany, who knew Edmund's treasons, and his own wife's pas. sion for him, should be solicitous to have his life saved. Theobald.
Albany desires that Edmund's life might be spared at present,