Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 9.djvu/172

This page needs to be proofread.


166


NOTES AND QUERIES. m s. ix. FEB. 28, 1914.


-commentators by way of correction and explanation are singularly unhappy. Theo- bald and Warburton read " And, clamour - motion'd." Sidney Walker varied Capell's reading with a hyphen, a reading which Craig apparently adopted in his 'Oxford Shake- speare ' and his Arden edition of the play ; and the efforts of others are unworthy of record.

If we are to believe that Shakespeare meant " She shook the water from her heavenly and clamour-moisten'd eyes," the expression is very strained, to say the least. And what exactly does " clamour- moisten'd " mean ? If it means " moisten'd

  • by clamour," i.e., a loud expression of

Cordelia's grief, then it is absurdly out of keeping with the context. Furness, in his New Variorum ' Lear ' (1880), writes :

"Of this corrupt phrase in this corrupt scene (perhaps the most corrupt throughout Shake- speare s plays) I can see but two noteworthy ex- planations : Capell's, viz., 'She moisten'd her clamour,' and Walker's, viz., ' Her eyes that were heavenly and wet with wailing.' Of the two I much prefer the latter."

Neither, in my opinion, is to be preferred. Shakespeare's words very probably were

And clamour'd moisture :

or, adopting a better spelling, " And clam- mer'd moisture," i.e., made an end of weep- ing. His meaning then becomes as simple as it is natural in its orderly expression. Cordelia first shook the tears from her eyes, next she stopped weeping, and lastly she "*' started to deal with grief alone."

" Clamour " in this passage has not the ordinary sense of " outcry " : the whole context forbids it. In line 15 we are ex- pressly told that Cordelia's " passion " moved her not to a rage ; surely, then, still less to any untoward outward expression of it. The word, however spelt here, has nothing to do with the L. clamorem, but is related to the O.E. clam (of which, as the Oxford Dictionary remarks, it may be a frequenta- tive derivative, and so better spelt clammer, whilst the actual spelling shows association with clamour) in its figurative sense of putting an end to, silencing, &c. Cp. the passage in ' Winter's Tale,' IV. iii. 250, " Clamor your tongues and not a word more." This mean- ing was supposed by Warburton to be taken from the fact that the clamouring of bells is immediately followed by silence ; but this idea is much too fanciful, and the word here has no necessary reference to campanology. Allied to the O.E. clam are clamp, clem (in the sense of " pinch with hunger "), and others.


What is the explanation of the mys- terious " her " of the Quartos ? What right had Capell and subsequent editors to dis- pense with it so cavalierly ? The prob- abilities are that some old wiseacre printer failed to understand Shakespeare's word, and took it upon himself to print the passage in the 1608 Quarto as we find it; that con- sequently " her " represents (by mispro- nunciation or otherwise) the " -re " of "moisture"; further, that the "n" of " moistened " is merely a " u " inverted ; and that the " d " is out of place as the final letter of " moistened," and should be re- ferred to, and take its legitimate place at, the end of " clamour."

If the "her" of the Quarto is to be re- tained in its integrity, equally good sense would be obtained by reading

And elam(m)'d her (their) moisture : but the former correction is perhaps to be preferred.

These proposed changes are of the slightest, and seem to me to restore the passage to elegance and sense.

HENRY CUNINGHAM.

" NIGGER ALITY." This odd word is re- ferred in the ' N.E.D.' to John Gait, 1823. I have stumbled across a much earlier in- stance, before 1613 :

In poore men not to giue, is niggerality. Sir John Harington's 'Epigrams,' i. 11 (1618).

RICHARD H. THORNTON.

" ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY." In a query at 9 S. iv. 327, under the heading ' Some Latin Quotations,' MR. VERNON KENDALL cited from Palingenius's ' Zodiacus Vitse,' xii. 460, Non stilla una cavat marmor, neque protinus uno

est Condita Roma die,

and suggested that some reader might trace the thought back earlier.

Heinrich Bebel in his ' Proverbia German- ica ' has " Roma non fuit una die condita," and Dr. W. H. D. Suringar in his annotated edition, pp. 125-6 and 508, gives many illustrations from German, Dutch, Flemish, French, and Swiss collections.

The earliest instance is from the ' Pro- verbia Communia.' Netherlandish proverbs with Latin renderings, of which, according to Suringar, at least ten editions were printed in the last quarter of the fifteenth century. Here the city of the adage is Coelen (Cologne). Cologne appears again in the Low-German collection of Tunnicius