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Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?
SERV. Those were his very words.
Serv. He did.
Pomfret. The Dungeon of the Castle.
"Enter King RICHARD.
3 — and will Rid his foe.] i. e. destroy his foe. So, in The Tempest:
“ The red plague rid you!” Again, in King Henry VI. Part II. :
“ Look in his youth to have him so cut off,
- people this LITTLE WORLD;] i. e. his own frame ;-
In humours like the people of this world,
“ Storming my world with sorrow's wind and rain." Again, in King Lear:
• Strives in this little world of man to outscorn
“ The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain." Malone. 4 - the word itself
Against the word :] By the word, I suppose, is meant, the holy word. The folio reads :
"- the faith itself
“ Against the faith.” STEEVENS. The reading of the text is that of the first quarto, 1597.
MALONE. 5 Thus Play I, in one PERSON,] Alluding, perhaps, to the necessities of our early theatres. The title-pages of some of our Moralities show, that three or four characters were frequently represented by one person. Steevens.
Thus the first quarto 1597. All the subsequent old copies have-prison. MALONE.
Ith mak And none contented : Sometimes am I king; Then treason makes me wish myself a beggar, And so I am: Then crushing penury Persuades me I was better when a king; Then am I king'd again : and, by-and-by, Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke, And straight am nothing :-But, whate'er I am, Nor I, nor any man, that but man is, With nothing shall be pleas'd, till he be eas'd With being nothing.-Musick do I hear ? [Musick. Ha, ha ! keep time:- How sour sweet musick is, When time is broke, and no proportion kept ! So is it in the musick of men's lives. And here have I the daintiness of ear, To check 6 time broke in a disorder'd string; But, for the concord of my state and time, Had not an ear to hear my true time broke. I wasted time, and now doth time waste me. For now hath time made me his numb'ring clock: My thoughts are minutes; and, with sighs, they jar Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward
5 To check ) Thus the first quarto 1597. The folio reads“To hear.” Of this play the first quarto copy is much more valuable than that of the folio. MALONE. 7 For now hath time made me his numb'ring clock : My thoughts are minutes; and, with sighs, they JAR
Their watches on to mine eyes, the OUTWARD WATCH, &c.) I think this passage must be corrupt, but I know not well how to make it better. The first quarto reads :
“My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar,
“ Their watches on unto mine eyes the outward watch." The quarto 1615:
* My thoughts are minutes, and with sighs they jar,
“ There wa ches on unto mine eyes the outward watch." The first folio agrees with the second quarto.
Perhaps out of these two readings the right may be made. Watch seems to be used in a double sense, for a quantity of time, and for the instrument that measures time. I read, but with, no great confidence, thus :
Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,
“My thoughts are minutes, and with sighs they jar
" Whereto," &c. Johnson. I am unable to throw any certain light on this passage. A few hints, however, which may tend to its illustration, are left for the service of future commentators.
The outward watch, as I am informed, was the moveable figure of a man habited like a watchman, with a pole and lantern in his hand. The figure had the word—watch written on its forehead; and was placed above the dial-plate. This information was derived from an artist afler the operation of a second cup: therefore neither Mr. Tollet, who communicated it, or myself, can vouch for its authenticity, or with any degree of confidence apply it to the passage before us *. Such a figure, however, appears to have been alluded to in Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour: “- he looks like one of these motions in a great antique clock," &c. A motion anciently signified a puppet. Again, in his Sejanus :
“ Observe him, as his watch observes his clock." Again, in Churchyard's Charitie, 1595 :
- The clocke will strike in haste, I heare the watch
“ That sounds the bell —." The same thought also occurs in Greene's Perimedes, 1588:
“ Disquiet thoughts the minuts of her watch." To jar is, I believe, to make that noise which is called ticking. So, in The Winter's Tale :
“ I love thee not a jar o' the clock behind," &c. Again, in The Spanish Tragedy : “ the minutes jarring, the clock striking."
STEEVENS. There appears to be no reason for supposing with Dr. Johnson, that this passage is corrupt. It should be recollected, that there are three ways in which a clock notices the progress of time ; viz. by the libration of the pendulum, the index on the dial, and the striking of the hour. To these, the King, in his comparison, severally alludes; his sighs corresponding to the jarring of the pendulum, which at the same time that it watches or numbers the seconds, marks also their progress in minutes on the dial or outward-watch, to which the King compares his eyes ; and their want of figures is supplied by a succession of tears, or, (to use an expression of Milton,) minute drops : his finger, by as regularly
* Mr. Dutton, of Fleet Street, has since confirmed to me this intelligence. Steevens.
Now, sir, the sound, that tells what hour it is s,
wiping these away, performs the office of the dial's point :- lis clamorous groans are the sounds that tell the hour. in King Henry IV. Part II. tears are used in a similar manner:
“ But Harry lives, that shall convert those tears,
“ By number, into hours of happiness.” HENLEY. 8 Now, sir, &c.] Should we not read thus :
“ Now, sir, the sounds that tell what hour it is,
“ Are clamorous groans," &c. Ritson. 9- his Jack o' the clock.] That is, I strike for him. One of these automatons is alluded to in King Richard III, Act IV. Sc. III. :
“ Because that, like a Jack, thou keep'st the stroke,
“ Between thy begging and my meditation." Again, in an old comedy, entitled, If this be not a good Play the Devil is in it, 1612 :
“ -- so would I,
“And we their jacks o' the clockhouse." Steevens.
This MusiCK Mads me, let it sound no more;] So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:
“ The little birds that tune their morning throats,
Malone, For, though it have holpe madmen to their wits,] In what degree musick was supposed to be useful in curing madness, the reader may receive information from Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, Part II. sect. ii. Reed.
The allusion is perhaps to the persons bit by the tarantula, who are said to be cured by musick. MALONE. 3 and love to Richard
Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.] i. e, is as strange and uncommon as a brooch which is now no longer worn.