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Line 124+10 - Commentary Note (CN) More Information

124+10 {As starres with traines of fier, and dewes of blood}1.1.117
1747- mtby4
mtby4 = mtby2 on Virgil. See CN 124+11
1773 jen
124+10-124+11 As . . . starre] Jennens (ed. 1773): “Something seems to be wanting here; a line perhaps might be omitted through mistake, somewhat like the following, ‘Tremendous prodigies in heav’n appear’d—’ ”
124+10 As starres] Jennens (ed. 1773): “So [As stars] the qu’s. R[owe] alters this to, Stars shone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell, &c. to make sense of the passage, without supposing any thing wanting; followed by the rest.”
1774 capn
capn: rowe
124+10 As starres] Capell (1774, 1.1:122-23): <p. 122> What is said of the first modern editor [Rowe], (“Introduction,” p. 16.) that his work is little more than a republication of the folio of 1685, is true in general; but it has it’s exceptions, and the play of “Hamlet” is one of them: In the dressing up of this play, he had the good luck to meet with a quarto; either the last of that form in 1637, or perhaps a later than that which is not come to the editor’s knowledge: for the alterations </p. 122> <p.123 > in the line that is quoted, are a strain or two higher than the ordinary run of that gentleman’s criticism; and have the appearance of playhouse corrections, receiv’d there by tradition, and handed to other publishers. Be that as it may,—it is the editor’s duty. to say what he has found in the copies that he has consulted; and in them the line is thus without varying; —‘As starres with traines of fier, and dewes of blood,’ which cannot possibly stand without altering: and a better method of doing it, than he and the other moderns have follow’d, will hardly be hit upon.” </p.123>
1778 v1778
v1778: rowe; jen on missing line without attribution;
124+10 As starres] Steevens (ed. 17778): “Thus Mr. Rowe altered these lines, which have no immediate connection with the preceding ones. The quartos read (for the passage is not in the folio: ‘As stars with trains of fire, and dews of blood, Disasters in the sun,—’ Perhaps an intermediate line is lost. Steevens.”
1780 mals1
mals1: cap without attribution; Steevens (re in) without attribution + in magenta underlined
124+10-124+11 Disasters . . . sunne] Malone (1780, 1: 350), quoting the emended line with veil’d, says, “Shakspeare, I believe, wrote, ‘Disasters dimm’d the sun—’
So, in [Tmp. 5.1.42 (1993)]: ‘I have be-dimm’d The noon-tide sun—’
“ Again, in [R2 (erroneously R3] 3.3.63 (1650)].: ‘As doth the blushing discontented sun— When he perceives the envious clouds are bent To dim his glory.’
“Again, in our author’s 18th Sonnet: ‘Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm’d—.’ The old copy has —in the sun. I believe, the transcriber’s ear deceived him in this instance, as in many others. Malone.”
1783 mals2
mals2 = mals1 minus Disasters + in magenta underlined
124+10-124+11 As . . . starres,] Malone (1783, p. 54): “Instead of my former, I wish to substitute the following note.—The words shone, fell, and veil’d, having been introduced by Mr. Rowe without authority, may be safely rejected. Might we not come nearer the original copy by reading— ‘Astres, with trains of fire and dews of blood, Disastrous, dimm’d the sun.’
“There is, I acknowledge, no authority for the word astre; but our author has coined many words, and in this very speech there are two, gibber and precurse, that are used, I believe, by no other writer. He seems to have laboured here to make his language correspond with the preternatural appearances that he describes. Astres (from astrum) is of exactly the same formation as antre, which he has introduced in Othello, and which is not, I believe, found elsewhere. The word now proposed being uncommon, it is not surprising that the transcriber’s ear should have deceived him, and that he should have written, instead of it, two words (As stars) of nearly the same sound. The word star, which occurs in the next line, is thus rendered not so offensive to the ear, as it is as the text now stands. If, however, this be thought two licentious, we might read, with less departure from the old copy than Mr. Rowe’s text, ‘His stars, with trains of fire, and dews of blood, Disastrous, dimm’d the sun; —’ i.e. the stars that presided over Caesar’s fortunes. So, in our author’s 126th Sonnet: ‘Till whatsoever star, that guides my moving, Points on me graciously with fair aspect’ [9-10].
“Each of the words proposed, and printed above in italicks, might have been easily confounded by the ear with those that have been substituted in their room. The latter, dimm’d, is fully supported not only by Plutarch’s account in the life of Caesar, [‘also the brightness of the sunne was darkened, the which, all that yeare through, rose very pale, and shined not out,’] but by various passages in our author’s works. So, in [Tmp. 5.1.42 (1992)]: ‘—I have be-dimm’d The noon-tide sun.’
“Again, in [R2 (erroneously R3) 3.3.63 (1650)]: ‘As doth the blushing discontented sun, —When he perceives the envious clouds are bent To dim his glory.’
“Again, in our author’s 18th Sonnet: ‘Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm’d.
“In the first act of this play the quarto, 1611, reads—‘ ’Tis not my inky cloke could smother’ —[for good mother]. If, as in the present instance, there had been but one copy, how could this strange error have been rectified but by the boldness of conjecture?”
1785 v1785
v1785 = v1778; mals1
124+10 As starres]
1787 ann
ann = v1785
124+10 As starres]
1790 mal
mal = mals2; jen without attribution
124+10-124+11 As . . . starres,] Malone (ed. 1790) says, “For the emendation [dimm’d] I am responsible. It is strongly supported not only by Plutarch’s account in the life of Caesar, (‘ also the brightness of the sunne was darkened, the which, all that yeare through, rose very pale, and shined not out,’) but by various passages in our authour’s works. So in the [Tmp. 5.1.42 (1992)]: ‘—I have be-dimm’d The noon-tide sun.’ Again, in King Richard III [Erroneously] : [R2 3.3.63 (1650)] ‘As doth the blushing discontented sun, —When he perceives the curious clouds are bent To dim his glory.’ Again, in our authour’s [Son. 18]: ‘Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimm’d.’
“I suspect that the words As stars are a corruption, and have no doubt that either a line preceding or following the first of those quoted at the head of this note [124+10], has been lost; or that the beginning of one line has been joined to the end of another, the intervening words being omitted. That such conjectures are not merely chimerical, I have already proved. See Vol. V, p. 228, n. 8. and Vol. VI. p. 507, n.3.
“The following lines in Julius Caesar, in which the prodigies that are said to have preceded his death, are recounted, may throw some light on the passage before us: ‘—There is one within, Besides the things that we have heard and seen, Recounts most horrid sights seen by the watch. A lioness hath whelped in the streets; And graves have yawn’d and yielded up their dead: Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds, In ranks, and squadrons, and right form of war, Which drizzel’d blood upon the capitol: The noise of battle hurtled in the air, Horses do neigh, and dying men did groan; And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets.”
“The lost words perhaps contained a description of firy warriors fighting on the clouds, or of brands burning bright beneath the stars.
“The 15th book of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, translated by Golding, in which an account is given of the prodigies that preceded Caesar’s death, furnished Shakspeare with some of the images in both these passages: ‘—battels fighting in the clouds with crashing armour flew, And dreadful trumpets sounded in the ayre, and hornes eke blew, As warning men beforehand of the mischiefe that did brew; And Phœbus also looking dim did cast a drowsie light, Uppon the earth, which seemde likewise to be in sory plighte: From underneath beneath the starres brandes oft seemde burning bright, It often rain’d drops of blood. The morning star look’d blew. And was besotted here and there with specks of rustie hew. The moone had also spots of blood.— Salt teares from ivorie—images in sundry places fell;— The dogges did howle, and every where appeared ghastly sprights, And with an earthquake shaken was the towne.—”
“Plutarch only says, that ‘the sun was darkened,’ that ‘diverse men were seen going up and down in fire’; there were ‘fires in the element; spirites were seene running up and downe in the night, and [s]olitarie birds sitting in the great market-place.’
“The disagreeable recurrence of the word stars in the second line induces me to believe that As stars in that which precedes, is a corruption. Perhaps Shakspeare wrote: ‘Astres with trains of fire,— and dews of blood Disastrous dimm’d the sun.’
“The word astre is used in an old collection of poems entitled Diana, addressed to the Earl of Oxenforde, a book of which I know not the date, but believe was printed about 1580. In Othello we have antres, a word exactly of a similar formation. Malone.”
1790- mTooke
124+10 As starres] Tooke (ms. notes in Malone, ed. 1790): “astres antres !!”
1793 v1793
v1793: cap without attribution; jen without attribution; Steevens note about missing line; mal
124+10-124+11 As . . . starres,] Steevens (ed. 1793): “Mr. Rowe altered these lines, because they have insufficient connection with the preceding ones . . . [quotes Rowe].
“This passage is not in the folio. By the quartos therefore our imperfect text is supplied; for an intermediate verse being evidently lost, it were idle to attempt a union that never was intended. I have therefore signified the supposed deficiency by a vacant space.
“When Shakspeare had told us that the grave stood tenantless, &c. which are wonders confined to the earth, he naturally proceeded to say (in the line now lost) that yet other prodigies appered in the sky; and these phaenomena he [Sh.] exemplified by adding, —As [[i.e. as for instance]] Stars with trains of fire, &c. Steevens
[mal’s long note, then]
“The word —astre (which is no where else to be found) was affectedly from the French by John Southern, authour of the poems cited by Mr. Malone. This wretched plagiarist stands indebted for his verbiage and imagery to Ronsard. See the European Magazine, for June 1788, p. 389. Steevens.”
1803 v1803
v1803 = v1793 +
124+10 As] Steeven s (ed. 1803): “So, in [2H4 2.2.16 (807)]: ‘—to bear the inventory of thy shirts; as, one for superfluity,’ &c.
“Again, in [3H6 5.7.7 (3178)]: ‘Two Cliffords, as the father and the son, And two Northumberlands; —’
“Again, in [Err. 1.2.97 (263)]: ‘They say, this town is full of cozenage; As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye’ &c.”
Ed. note: In error, v1803 continues with Malone’s note without crediting what precedes to Steevens, making it seem as if Malone had written the entire note.
This is not really a note on Sh but on Milton. OED agrees with him about Milton, assigning the 1st use of the term for the sun to Sylvester, Du Bartas, 2.2. Babylon 577, in 1598.So Sh could have acquired the idea from Sylvester. Perhaps this is worth a source note? Since calling the moon a star did seem strange to many of these commentators.
1807 Mason
Mason: v1793
124+10-124+11 As . . . starre] Mason (1807, pp. 599-600): <p.599> “To suppose that the corruption of this passage is owing to the loss of one or more intermediate lines, is to give it over as incurable, instead of attempting to recover it; nor is it likely that such an omission should have obtained in all the old editions. I shall therefore endeavour to cure it; as quacks sometimes succeed, when regular physicians have failed.
“One of the common acceptations of the particle as, is whilst. Of this, Johnson, in his Dictionary [1755?], gives the following examples: ‘These haughty words Alecto’s rage provoke, And frighted Turnus trembled as she spoke.’ Dryden. ‘Makes itself clear, and as it runs, refines.’ Addison.
“Now if we suppose that, in this passage, as is used in the sense of whilst, the third line becomes as completely connected with those which precede it, as it could be by the introduction of another, and the only diffi- </p.599> <p.600> culty remaining is, to connect it with those that follow; which cannot be done, according to the present reading, for want of a verb. I am therefore inclined, although there is no authority for it, to adopt Malone’s conjecture, and to read, ‘disasters dimm’d the sun,’ instead of disasters in the sun.’ With this alteration the passage will run thus:— ‘And the sheeted dead Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets; As (whilst) stars with trains of fire and dews of blood Disastrous dimm’d the sun.’ which is both intelligible and grammatical; nor is the deviation from the text greater than has been admitted in many other passages.”
1813 v1813
v1813 = v1803 (repeating the error of eliminating the credit to Steevens)
124+10 As]
1819 Jackson
124+10-124+11 As . . . starre] Jackson (1819, pp. 340-2): <p.340> “I cannot correspond in opinion with the Commentators that our Author did not intend a union of this verse with the preceding; and, moreover, think the impediment easily removed that has occasioned this degrading breach.
“It is well authenticated, that a comet of great magnitude appeared about the time of Julius Caesar’s death. In our Author’s Play of Julius Caesar, various prodigies are glanced at to prepare the mind for the tragic scene that takes place in the Capitol: see [2.2.14ff. (1001ff.)]. where Caesar says,—‘There is one within, Besides the things that we have heard and seen . . . And ghosts did shriek, and squeal about the streets.’
“A comet is a blazing star, and distinguished from other stars by a long train, or tail of light, always opposite </p.310> <p.311> to the sun. ‘Where the light is westward of the sun,’ according to Dr. Johnson, ‘the comet is said to be tailed, because the train follows it.’ The stars, then, with trains of fire, to which Horatio alludes, are no other than comets; and such prodigies must have been familiar to Shakespeare, for, in the year 1572, 1596, 1600, 1602, 1604, and 1612, stars of this description appeared. But had the text been correct, this, which can afford but little information to the intelligent, were unnecessary, as the plurality of stars, which the present text exhibits, is like the heat of the sun on burning embers, one fire puts out another; so doth these stars, they extinguish each other, and leave a passage obscure, which required but one star perfectly to illumine.
“Instead, then, of—As stars, I am bold enough to say, our Author wrote, A star.
“The transcriber, in the first instance, mistook the sound, by the s in star, which he gave to the article preceding the substantive; for if the article be not sounded emphatically, before st, it will be found to sound—As star: and, as the singular substantive was nonsense without the article, he made it plural. Now, expunge the two ss, which have been erroneously inserted, and judge whether Mr. Steevens be not mistaken in saying, that an intermediate verse has been lost. I read, as I am convinced our Author wrote: ‘A little ere the mightiest Julius fell, The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets. A star with trains of fire and dews of blood; Disasters in the sun; and the moist star, Upon whose influence Neptune’s empire stands, Was sick almost to dooms-day with eclipse.’
“Besides, see the distinction which our Author makes between the blazing star and the moist star; and also the appendage connected with the one, and the influence attached to the other: A star with trains of fire, and the most star, upon whose influence Neptune’s empire stands.’ </p.341> <p. 342>
“In short, the prodigies that took place on the earth being described, these phenomena discovered in the firmament come in appropriate succession: that this, though called a star, was a comet, we have even the words of Calphurnia: ‘When beggars die, there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze firth the death of princes.’ ” </p.342>
1819 cald1
cald1: warb; mal; Steevens
124+10-124+11 As . . . starres,] Caldecott (ed. 1819): “Shakespeare having told us, that, as precursors of a great event, certain prodigies were seen, proceeds, without any thing to connect his sentence, to instance other prodigies. In usual course, we should say, ‘Ghosts appeared—and there were also other fearful and preternatural appearances:’ and yet, as it stands, there is no difficulty in conceiving the meaning. This being so, may we not, with Shakespeare’s license and title to exemption from grammatical shackles, read or understand it thus: ‘The graves opened, the dead were seen abroad [[spectacles such]] as, &c. This we must do, or with more unwarrantable license and much less probability, though with sense and consistency, read with Mr. Rowe [and he quotes].
“Upon the passage in [P.L. 1:597], where ’tis said, ‘the moon In dim eclipse disastrous twilight sheds,’ Warburton observes, that disaster is here used in the original signification of evil conjunction of stars; and Sylvester, speaking of the planet Saturn in his Du Bartas, says, ‘His froward beams disastrous frowns.’ p. 80.”
1826 sing1
sing1: jen without attribution
124+ 10 Singer (ed. 1826): “A line or more is here supposed to be lost.”
1832 cald2
cald2 = cald1
124+10-124+11 As . . . starres,]
1833 valpy
valpy: standard re missing line
1839 knt1
knt1: Malone; Steevens
124+10 As starres] Knight (ed. 1839): “Malone, instead of ‘As stars’ would read astres. This appears to get rid of the difficulty, for we then have the recital of other prodigies, in connexion with the appearance of ‘the sheeted dead.’ Steevens, however, says that there is no authority for the use of the word astre. But astral was not uncommon; and asterisk was used for a little star, and asterism for a constellation. We leave the passage as we find it in the quarto.”
1843 knt2
knt2 = knt1
124+10 As starres]
1843 col1
col1: mal
124+10-124+11 As starres . . . starre] Collier (ed. 1843): “There is evidently some corruption here, which it is perhaps impossible now to set right. Malone imagined, that a line had been accidentally omitted. We suspect also that ‘disasters’ may be a misprint, the compositor having been misled in some way by the words ‘as stars’ in the line immediately preceding.”
1844 verp
verp ≈ v1821 without attribution via col1; col1
124+10-124+11 Verplanck (ed. 1844): “There is evidently some corruption here, which it is, perhaps, impossible now to set right. It is thought that a line had been accidentally omitted. Collier suspects that ‘disasters’ may be a misprint, the compositor having been misled by the words ‘as stars’ in the preceding line.”
1845 Hunter
Hunter ≈ jen without attribution
124+10 Hunter (1845, 2: 215): “A line is probably wanting where the modern editors have placed their dashes; a single line would be sufficient, expressing the sense of such a line as the following[before 124+10]: ‘In the heavens above strange portents did appear . . . ’”
1852 N&Q
Brae: mal; Steevens (both probably by way of v1821)
124+10-124+11 Brae (1852, p. 76), after complaining about the emendations made to the passage “even to the manufacture of a complete line alleged to be deficient,” says that Malone had been on the brink of discovering what has become clear to him. Critics fail to see that Sh. was not limited to works in his own language. Malone “did not perceive the analogy between aster and disaster, which renders a verbal antithesis of these two words si extremely probable with Shakespeare!—he did not apparently think of ‘asters’ at all, although that word is so close to the text that it may be almost said to be identical with it; and, notwithstanding that ‘aster’ had been so long familiarized in every English garden as to be literally under his nose, he must search out ‘astre’ in obscure and contemptible ballads, in order that Shakespeare might be sanctioned in the use of it.
“But it is absolutely incredible that any person to whom astre suggested itself should not also be reminded of aster. The conclusion therefore is almost unavoidable, that Malone and Steevens considered the latter word too learned for poor Shakespere’s small acquirements. They would not trust him, even for a synonyme to star, unless under the patronage of John Southern! . . . [he criticiszes past editors and is “thankful we have fallen to better times.”
“In the present case [Sh.] must not only have known that the fundamental meaning of aster is a spot of light*; but he must also have taken into consideration the power of dis in producing an absolute reversal int he meaning of the word to which it may be prefixed. Thus service is a benefit, disservice is an injury, while unservice (did such a word exist) would be a negative mix between the two extremes. Similarly, if asters signify a spot of light, a name singularly appropriate to a comet, disaster† must, by reverse, signify a spot of darknes, and ‘disasters in the sun’ no other than what we should call spots or ma[rks] upon his disk.
“Can there remain a doubt, therefore, that Shakespeare, intended the passage to read as follows, which, requiring neither addition nor alteration to the text transmitted to us—saving one slight change of ‘as stars’ into “asters,’ must be perfectly intelligible to every reader, especially accompanied by the simple note of explanation which I subjoin to it. [He quotes the segment as proposed with a note “Spots or blotches” after the phrase “Disasters in the sun.”]
* ’ [Greekhelp Hardin] luceo. † [Greekhelp Hardin] obscurus [added to More Greek doc.]
1852 N&Q
Hickson: Brae, knt, mal +
124+10-124+11 Hickson (1852, pp. 154-5), <p.154 > after some compliments and agreement that Sh.’s learning has been underrated, disagrees with Brae about “aster” and “disaster”: if Shakespeare “wrote ‘asters,’ and with the intention which A. E. B. claims for him, my conclusion would be against that misuse of learning which left the meaning of words of a passage dependent on the antithesis between the words used each in a sense different from the usual one, and not understood by the audience to whom they were addressed.
“Let us now take another view of the question. The purpose of the passage is to record the occurrence of a series of events, the harbingers of ‘fierce events.’ ‘The graves stood tenantless;’ ‘the sheeted dead did squeak and gibber;’ ‘the moist star was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse;’ each circumstance is distinct. But what did ‘asters’ with trains of fire,’ and ‘disasters in the sun’ do? Mr. Knight says that Malone’s proposal to substitute ‘astres’ for ‘as stars,’ appears to get rid of the difficulty; but not until the English language admits of a formation of a perfect sentence without a verb will it do so. In short, there is nothing to be gained by the substitution, as Malone </p. 154> <p. 155> saw when he proposed to turn ‘disasters’ into ‘disastrous,’ and to supply the verb.
“I have no alteration of my own [but two suggestions: since a night portent seems to be wanted, look to the portents seen before the death of Julius Caesar.] “Or look for a verb in the place of ‘disasters” that shall intelligibly connect ‘the sun’ to what precedes. ‘As stars’ must not be changed into ‘asters’ until it can be shown that such a change is necessary to a better constructed sentences than any which has yet been suggested.” Samuel Hickson. St. John’s Wood.” </p.155>
1852 N&Q
Brae: Hickson
124+10 A. E. B[rae]. (1852, p. 210): “—Mr. Hickson’s objections to this reading [‘Asters with Trains of Fire’] are twofold—matter of opinion, and matter of fact: of course, it is only with the latter that I may presume to interfere.
“I beg to refer him to the precepts of Polonius to his son, no further than the third scene of the same play, amongst which he will find this line: ‘Costly thy habit, as thy purse can buy’ [535]. Although it does not prove that ‘the English language admits of the formation of a perfect sentence without a verb,’ yet it does show that the verb need not always be expressed; but may be left to the hearer, or reader, to supply, according to the requirements of the context.
“The line just quoted is found amongst a number of imperative precepts—the verb to be supplied is therefore the imperative of ‘to be’— ‘Costly (be) thy habit (be),,’ &c.
“Similarly, the line to which Mr. Hickson takes exception is found amongst a number of described appearances—the verb, therefore, must be in accordance: ‘Asters with trains of fire (appeared),’ &c.
“Many better examples of this most common licence might doubtless be adduced; but I always like to take the nearest at hand. A.E.B. Leeds.”
1854 del2
del2 jen without attribution; rowe; col2
124+10 Delius (ed. 1854): “Vor dem folgenden Verse, der anfängt as stars, scheint eine Lücke im Text zu sein; veilleicht hiess es in dem Ausgefallenen, dass nicht nur auf der Erde sich Wunder gezeight hatten, sondern ebenso auch am Himmel, ‘wie Sterne mit feurigen Schweifen und blutiger Thau, Verdunkelungen in der Sonne.’ Rowe änderte mit einer Willkühr, vor der seine nachfolger sich doch scheuten, die aber jetzt durch die Collier’sche Entdeckung des alten Correctors wieder in die Mode gekommen zu sein scheint, folgendermassen: ‘Stars shone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell. Disasters weil’d the sun.’ Es ist zu bedauern, dass die Stelle in der Fol. fehlt.” [Before [124+10], which begins as stars, there appears to be a lacuna in the text. Perhaps that missing line says that not only on earth but also in the heaven there were wonders, such as stars with trains of fire and bloody dews, darknesses in the sun. Rowe emended in a way that those who followed found unacceptable, but now through Collier’s discovery of the old Corrector the emendation seems in his mode: ‘Stars shone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell. Disasters weil’d the sun.’ It is regrettable that the place is lacking in the Fol.]
1856 hud1
hud1 standard
124+10-124+11 Hudson (ed. 1856): “There is, evidently some corruption here, but it has hitherto baffled remedy, and seems to be given up as hopeless. Both the general structure of the sentence and the exigencies of the sense clearly favour the belief that as stars is a misprint for some word of two syllables, and disasters for some verb. For the first, Malone would read astres; to which Steevens objects that there is no authority for such a word. The passage in North’s translation of Plutarch, Life of Julius Caesar, which the Poet probably had in his eye, yields no certain help. See, however, [JC 2.7.14 (1348)] note 2.”
1856 sing2
sing2 = sing1; ≈ mals2 without attribution + in magenta underlined
124+ 10-124+11 Singer (ed. 1856): “There is evidently some corruption of the text here. It has been conjectured that a line has been omitted, and perhaps we might read: — ‘The sheeted dead Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets; And as the earth, so portents will’d the sky, Asters, with trains of fire and dews of blood, Disasters in the sun, &.’ The poet uses disaster as a verb in the following passage in [Ant. 2.7.14-16 (1348-50)]: —‘To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in it, are the holes where eyes should be, which pitifully disaster the cheeks.’ It has therefore been conjectured that we should read disastering here.”
1857 fieb
fieb: standard on missing line (≈ Steevens in wording)
fieb: standard gloss; standard ref. to Plutarch and Ovid Metam. 1.15 on prodigies assoc. w/ Caesar’s death
124+10 As]
1857 dyce1
dyce1: cald
124+10-124+11 Dyce (ed. 1857): “A passage hopelessly mutilated: yet Caldecott, with something more than simplicity, is inclined to believe that it now stands as Shakespeare wrote it, and accordingly proceeds to explain it.” The various attempts which have been made at emendation here are necessarily violent.— [His VN follows; see 124+1]
1858 col3
col3col1 (minus sgreement about lost line); Florio; Todd; Richardson; Williams
124+10-124+11 Collier (ed. 1958): As these lines are not in the folio, 1623, we can look for no emendation in the corr. fo. 1632; they are probably irretrievably corrupt, and, as in other cases of like difficulty, we give the text precisely as it is found in the oldest authentic copy, the 4to, 1604. Malone and others have gone upon the supposition that a line has been lost, but there is no sufficient reason for thinking so; and we shrewdly suspect that the error lies merely in the word ‘Disasters,’ which was perhaps misprinted, because it was immediately below ‘As stars,’ and thus misled the eye of the old compositor. We do not imagine that Shakespeare used so affected and unpopular a word as astres, or asters: though it is found in both editions of Florio’s Dictionary, in 1598 and 1611, it is not met with in Todd’s Johnson, nor in Richardson; but it has been speculated upon, last by Mr. W. W. Williams of Tiverton, who proposes to print the passage thus:—‘Astres with trains of fire and dews of blood Did overcast the sun,’ &c. No change is at all satisfactory to us, and we therefore, as in our former impression, leave the old text unaltered.
1860 stau
stau: rowe; mal; Brae +
124+10-124+11 Staunton (ed. 1860): “Following up the hint [from Malone], an ingenious correspondent (A. E. B.) of Notes and Queries, Vol. 5. No. 117, which read,— ‘Asters with trains of fire and dews of blood, Disasters in the sun;’—by disasters understanding spots or blotches. Astres or asters is an acceptable conjecture, but we conceive the cardinal error lies in ‘Disasters,’ which conceals some verb importing the obscuration of the sun; for example,—‘Asters with trains of fire and dews of blood Distempered the sun;’ or ‘Discoloured the sun.’”
1861 wh1
wh1 ≈ Boswell
124+10-124+11 White (ed. 1861): “This passage is sadly and hopelessly corrupt. A preceding line or more has manifestly been lost. The reader will find much fruitless conjecture with regard to it in the Variorum of 1821.”
1862 cham
cham: standard: mal; rowe; Brae (1852) blotches without attribution; mal on moon without attribution
124+10-124+11 Carruthers & Chambers (ed. 1862): “The abrupt introduction of this obscure passage led Malone to conjecture that a line preceding it had been omitted. He proposed to read Astres for “As stars.’ The phrase ‘Disasters in the sun,’ seems a misprint, and Rowe inserted ‘Disasters veil’d the sun.’ But may not the poet have meant scars or blotches in the sun? The ‘moist star’ influencing Neptune is, of course, the moon.”
-1864 Bulloch
Bulloch: Staunton; Malone +
124+10-124+11 Bulloch (New Readings -1864, XV): “Our own opinion is that there is no line lost, but there is an error connected with the three words beginning the fifth line [124+10], and that the presence of the last of these in its form of ‘with’ has caused a good deal of the misconception as to the true meaning of the passage. It has been supposed to be a true copulative, joining two clauses into one, whilst the connecting word is, ‘and,’ referring to two distinct facts, ‘trains of fire,’—‘dews of blood,’ which singly are equally disastrous. We propose therefore to read these two lines thus—‘Disastrous trains of fire and dews of blood, Disasters in the sun,—and the moist star Upon whose influence &c.
“The passage read in this manner will occasion little difficulty to any one, be he a mere ordinary reader, or the most exacting student.”
1864 N&Q
124+10-124+11 Leo (1864, p. 411): “Not less than three readings I should like to offer to the accommodation of a new line after [124+9]. These readings are:—‘Ay, stars with trains of fire and dews of blood Did darken e’en the sun; and . . . .’ (Dews of blood falling as rain.). ‘Ay, stars with trains of fire and dews of blood Did enter in the sun; and . . . . ’ (‘Did enter’, meaning ‘did pass before. . . .’ ‘Ay, stars with trains of fire in hue of blood Dy’d darkening the sun; and . . . .’
“In every of the three readings is a climax: the graves . . . ay, stars . . . and the moon . . .. And that is just what makes me inclined to accept one of them. F. A. Leo.”
1865 N&Q
Anon [Oxoniensis]: Leo; Malone
124+10-124+11 anon. [Oxoniensis] (1865, p. 21) disagrees with Leo, mentioning Malone’s conjectures: ““Perhaps we might read—‘As stars (i.e. while stars—) . . . or ‘And stars . . . DIsastrous dimmed the sun.’ Malone’s emendation seems to me to be preferable to those proposed by your correspondent.
“May I be alllowed to question whether ‘ . . . stars Did enter in the sun . . .’ [see Leo] is Shakspeareian English?
“I certainly think that the words ‘disaster’ or ‘disastrous’ (cf. Homer’s Hardin help!], and ‘dews of blood’ (cf. Virgil’s ‘sangyunei rores,’ and Statius’ ‘rores cruenti’) must not be sacrificed to any emendation. Fabius Oxoniensis.[added to More Greek doc.]
1865 hal
hal: Malone; Boswell + in magenta underlined
124+10 As starres] Halliwell (ed. 1865): “Something has probably dropped out, and there is no doubt but that the text is corrupt beyond the power of conjecture to set it right. As stars is probably a misprint for asters. Florio, ed. 1508, translates stella, ‘a starre, an aster, a planet.’ ‘And he that soong the eldest daughter of Troye, In Fraunce hath made of her an astre divine.’ Soowthern’s Pandora, 4to. Lond. 1584.”
1866 dyce2
dyce2 = dyce1 minus struck out; + in magenta underlined, including rowe; capn; mal; Leo; mBoaden
124+10-124+11 Dyce (ed. 1866): “A passage hopelessly mutilated: yet Caldecott, with something more than simplicity, is inclined to believe that it now stands as Shakespeare wrote it, and accordingly proceeds to explain it.—Rowe printed ‘Stars shone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell, Disasters weil’d the sun.’—Capell gave Rowe’s reading, except that he substituted ‘dimm’d’ for ‘veil’d.’—Malone conjectured ‘Astres with trains of fire,— | —and dews of blood Disastrous dimm’d the sun.’ And Professor Leo proposes no less than three most wretched alterations of the passage in Notes and Queries for Nov. 19, 1864, p. 411.—
“ ‘A line is lost, probably of this kind; “The heavens too spoke in silent prodigies; As, stars,” &c.’ Ms. note by Boaden.—” The various attempts which have been made at emendation here are necessarily violent.—” [See 124+1]
1866 cam1
Before 124+10, cam1: on missing line jen; Boaden §§= needs work; Hunter §§= needs work; Becket §§= needs work; rowe; Rann; Mitford (apud cam1) §§= needs work
1866 cam1
cam1: mal conj., Becket conj.§§, Jackson conj., Duane conj. §§, anon. apud sing2 conj., Leo conj., Anon (N&Q) [Oxon, above], Brae conj. (N&Q), mTaylor conj. §§. veil’d rowe dim’d; Capell
124+10-124+11 §§ means needs to be looked into
1867 Keightley
Keightley: mal
124+10 Keightley (1867, p. 286): “One line at least, as Malone also saw, has been lost after [124+9].”
1868 c&mc
c&mc: standard
124+10 Clarke & Clarke (ed. 1868): “It has been supposed that a line was omitted here by the early printers of the play; in which case, ‘as’ is probably elliptically used to express ‘as, for instance.’ . . . But, bearing in mind that Shakespeare uses the word ‘as’ many times with markedly elliptical force, and in passages of very peculiar construction, we do not feel so sure that the present one has suffered from omission. . . . It may be that here the sentence gives to be understood, ‘As there were stars with trains of fire, and dews of blood, so there were disasters in the sun.’”
1870 Abbott
Abbott § 113 ≈ Walker in 621+9 without attribution
124+10 As] Abbott (§ 113): “frequently used (without such) to signify ‘namely.”
1870 rug1
124+10 Moberly (ed. 1870): “There is some corruption here. If a line is supposed to be omitted, it would be better to borrow from [JC 2.2.19 (1006)], and read—‘[[Fierce fiery warriors fought upon the clouds,]] As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood; Disaster hid the sun,’ rather than indulge the genius, as some editors have done, by coining a line.”
1872 hud2
hud2: standard
124+10 Hudson (ed. 1872): “This speech down to ‘Re-enter the Ghost,’ is wanting in the folio, and the quartos have some evident corruption here, which no editorial ingenuity seems likely to overcome. Probably the best way is to indicate the loss of a line by marking an hiatus in the text.”
1872 Massey
124+10 Massey (1872, Suppl. pp. 44-54) solves the problem of these lines by detaching the elements that have nothing to do with signs of Caesar’s death, and transposing them. <p. 46> He reads: 124+6-124+9; 124+14-124+18; 124+10-124+13. For feare he has fierce, and he parenthesizes 124+15-124+16. </p. 46> < p. 47> “It must be admitted that we recover the perfect sense of the passage by this version, and I have to submit to Shakespeare students and editors, that our poet would not have introduced ‘disasters in the sun’ and an almost ‘total eclipse of the moon’ where they never occurred; consequently, these can have no more to do with Caesar in the play of ‘Hamlet’ than they are connected with him in history. Therefore, as they are wrong in fact, the reading of the passage hitherto accepted must be wrong; and as this simple transformation of the lines sets the reading right, with no change of words, I trust that it may be found to correct the printer’s error.”
He believes that the astronomical activity occurred in England in 1598. </ p. 47> < p. 48> The Astronomer Royal checked it out for him and showed that “there was a large eclipse of the moon on February 20th (21st morning), Gregorian, and a large eclipse of the sun, possibly total in some parts of Britain, on the 6th of March 1598. Two eclipses in a fortnight [. . . ] </ p. 48>< p. 49>
Massey is convinced that Sh. attaches a moral to this recognizable event. He connects the moon to changeable Queen Elizabeth, called Cynthia by the poets. Her health was not good in 1598; thus </ p. 49> < p. 50> “the poet was turning contemporary circumstances to account, and underlining them for private purposes with a covert significance.” In Lr. Sh. again refers to eclipses.” </p. 51> <p. 53> “The non-appearance of the lines in the first quarto, and their suppression in the first folio edition, tends to corroborate and increase the significance of the subject matter. They were not printed during the Queen’s life [. . . ].” <p. 53>
1877 v1877
v1877 = missing line jen; Hunter; mal conj.+; knt1 on mal; cald; Mitford; Brae; sing2; col; Williams; stau; dyce; Boaden; wh1; Clarke; Oxoniensis; Duane; ktly; Massey; rug; cln1 on Plutarch +
Before 124+10 Furness (ed. 1877), after Malone astres: “See also Florio, ‘Stella: a starre, an aster, a planet.’ Ed.”
1877 col4
col4: standard
124+10 Collier (ed. 1878): “There is evidently some corruption here, which it is impossible now to set right: Malone imagined that a line had been omitted. No conjecture is worth notice.”
1877 dyce3
dyce3 = dyce2
1878 Spence
124+10-124+11 Spence (N&Q 1878, apud Wright, ed. 1892): “Disasters from the sun—as dews of blood, And stars with trains of fire.”
1878 rlf1
rlf1: standard on poss. missing line; mob on JC
1880 meik
meik: standard + in magenta underlined
124+10-124+11 Meikeljohn (ed. 1880): “It is pretty plain that a line must have dropped out. The speaker must have said something like this: And other terrible things were heard and seen.”
1881 hud3
124+10 As] Hudson (ed. 1881): “So [his emendation] is here equivalent, apparently, to in like sort, or like manner, and naturally draws in the sense of there were: unless we choose to regard these words as understood. See Critical Notes.”
124+10 As] Hudson (ed. 1881, p. 319): “This passage [124+8 ff] is not in the folio. The quartos have no point after streets, and they have ‘As starres with trains of fire,’ &c. The passage has troubled the commentators vastly, and a great many changes have been proposed, all quite unsatisfactory. Dyce pronounces it ‘hopelessly mutilated,’ and I once thought so too. But it rather seems to me now that a just and fitting sense may be got by merely changing As to So. See footnote 33.”
1883 wh2
wh2 standard
124+10 White (ed. 1883): “Here a line or more has been lost.”
1884 Gould
Gould ≈ Malone + on JC and Ovid 15:783-98
124+10-124+11 Gould (1884, p. 38): “A reasonably good reading may be given thus: ‘And stars with trains of fire: fell dews of blood’, i.e. dews of blood fell. This would represent ‘Saepe faces visae mediis ardere sub astris: Saepe inter nimbos guttae cecidere cruentae.’ This last clause is ‘drizzled blood’ in Julius Caesar.”
1885 macd
macd ≈ jen without attribution
124+10-124+11 MacDonald (ed. 1885): “The only suggestion I dare make for the rectifying of the confusion of this speech is, that, if the eleventh line [124+15] were inserted between the fifth [124+9] and the sixth [124+10], there would be sense, and very nearly grammar. ‘and the sheeted dead Did squeake and gibber in the Roman streets, As harbindgers preceding still the fates; As stars with traines of fier, and dewes of blood {Here understand precede) Disasters in the sunne;’ The tenth [124+14] will close with the twelfth line [124+16] well enough.
“But no one, any more than myself, will be satisfied with the suggestion. The probability is, of course, that a line has dropped out between the fifth and sixth. Anything like this would restore the connection: ‘The laboring heavens themselves teemed dire portent As starres’ &c.”
1885 Leo
Leo = Leo N&Q +
124+10-124+11 Leo (1885, pp. 81-7) denigrates his previous conjectures. After discussing the textual history, similar lines in JC 1.3.3ff (435ff) and 2.2.18-24 (1011), and the proposal of the missing line (which he ascribes to Malone), Leo proposes that lines from Plutarch will solve the problem. Since Sh.’s method, he says, is to remain close to his sources, <p. 84> “we are allowed to judge of what is wanting by what is given.” </p. 84> Leo provides a chart of parallels among Ham., JC, and Plutarch, and argues that only one idea is found in Plutarch that is absent from the lines in Q2, <p. 87> “and so we might have the right to suppose that something similar was the content of the lost line; . . . we will surely not go astray in supposing that the wanting line speaks of the element; and therefore I have formed the following reading—‘Ev’n in the element above were signs,’ or ‘Ev’n in the element were dreadful signs.’” </p. 87>
1885 mull
mull: rug2; mal (on missing line); Chalmers +
124+10 As] Mull (ed. 1885): “The corruption, as we here see, is felt to be almost insuperable . . . Do my suggestions provide a solution? . . . .” i.e. And here and bred after Disasters
1888 bry
124+10 Bryant (ed. 1888): “There is an awkwardness in this sentence which may be relieved by understanding a word ‘as stars appeared.’ &c.”
1890 irv2
irv2: standard on missing line; contra sing; mal; + conj. ; + analog
124+10-124+11] Marshall (ed. 1890): “Perhaps the missing line might have been something like ‘The sky was fill’d with prodigies’ or he may have used the word firmament = sky. . . . As for the other emendations, I do not see that the sense of the passage is at all improved by changing Disasters in to Disastering, or to ‘Disasters dimm’d the sun,’ because, as a fact, these fiery stars and dews of blood would not affect the sun, while Disasters in the sun has a very natural sense if we take it to mean that there were peculiar appearances on the sun’s face that were held to indicate disasters. In that curious book, Lycosthenes De Prodigiis, there are many illustrations of such phenomena as fiery stars, rains, or dews of blood, and singular appearances in the sun. We have therefore followed most editors in leaving a vacant space between lines [124+9 and 124+10], supposing a line to have dropped out.”
-1892 Williams
124+10 - 124+11 Williams apud Wright (ed. 1892): “Astres with . . . Did overcast.”
-1892 Kinnear
124+10 - 124+11 Kinnear apud Wright (ed. 1892): “The heavens dropp’d trains . . . Disasters dimm’d.”
-1892 Anon.
124+10 - 124+11 Anon. apud Wright (ed. 1892): “As stars with . . . Disastering . . . ”
-1892 Anon.
124+10 - 124+11 Anon. apud Wright (ed. 1892): “As stars with . . . Disasterous dimm’d . . . or And stars with . . . Disastrous dimm’d . . . .”
-1892 Pickering
124+10 - 124+11 Pickering apud Wright (ed. 1892): “Meteors . . . Disastered . . . .”
1899 ard1
ard1 ≈ jen without attribution on missing line
1899 ard1
ard1: standard on missing line, i.e. ≈ jen without attribution; mal JC; mal Florio via hal without attribution, WT via various, OED
124+10-124+11 Dowden (ed. 1899): The missing line “may have mentioned prodigies in the heavens, or may have told of warriors fighting upon the clouds . . . .”
1900 ev1
ev1 : standard +
Before 124+10 Herford (ed. 1900): The missing line “must have referred in general terms to the portents which [124+10] proceeds to exemplify. [In Plutarch the comet and eclipse of the sun follow Caesar’s death; he does not mention an eclipse of the moon. Cf. North in Shaksp. Libr. p. 188. L.]”
1903 rlf3
rlf3rlf1 minus rug; cln1
1907 bull
bull: standard, including rowe; mal
124+10-124+11 Bullen (ed. 1907, 10: 432), like many others (whom he reviews in part), asserts there is no viable solution to this crux, but seems to accept the theory that a line has dropped out, and if so, “we must abide the loss and leave the passage as it stands in the Quarto.”
1909 subb
subb: jen; Hunter; Boaden; rug on choice of line without attribution + placement of line
124+10 Subbarau (ed. 1909): “I rather think the line which was dropped out comes after the present one. Borrowing from [JC 2.2.18 (1005], I would read— ‘Astart with trains of fire and dews of blood, Fierce wsarriors fought upon the clouds and blow’d Disasters in the sun.’”
1912 dtn3
dtn3: general survey of solutions, including mal; Brae; w/ standard glosses of individual words
1913 tut2
tut2: standard on missing line; standard on JC // for whole passage; + conj.
124+10] Goggin (ed. 1913): “ . . . ‘And other horrid sights that time were seen,’ such as stars with trains of fire, etc. . . . ”
1929 adams
124+10 Adams (ed. 1929): “meteors.”
1931 crg1
crg1: standard
124+10 Craig (ed. 1931) says the “abrupt transition” suggests a missing line, but he does not conjecture what it might be.
crg1: standard
124+10 starres . . . fier] Craig (ed. 1931): “i.e., comets.”
1934 Wilson
Wilson MSH: tsch without attribution
124+10-124+13, 124+14-124+18 Wilson (1934, pp. 223-5) <p. 223> points out that while 124+14-124+18 “are obviously concerned with astrological disturbance, and in particular with solar and lunar eclipses, no such phenomena are referred to in either Plutarch’s Life of Caesar or in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, which are supposed by most critics to be the source and analogue of Horatio’s speech. On the other hand, such eclipses are known to have been frequent in the period before Hamlet took final shape, solar eclipses being visible in England on February 25th, 1598 and July 10th, 1600, and lunar ones on February 11th and August 6th, 1598. Moreover, the “disaster in the sun” of July 1600 was held by astrologers to portend some ‘fierce events’ in the state, a prophecy which the rising of the Earl of Essex in February 1601 was considered directly to fulfill. In a word, 124+14-124+18, which have no relevance to Rome at all, except by remote analogy, were pertinent to contemporary astronomical phenomena fresh in the minds of Shakespeare’s audience and very terrifying in that superstitious age. So topical, indeed, were </p. 223> <p. 224> they that he did not hesitate to refer to them again at [2431-4], in words which point unmistakably to contemporary happenings and are at the same time strikingly similar to those just quoted. [quotes 2431-4] If then we transpose 124+10-124+13 to the end of the speech, making the eclipses, etc., the [quotes 124+15 -124+16] we get a very pointed topical allusion to the belief connecting the eclipses with the Essex rebellion, and at the same time a text which makes perfect sense. For what can be wrong with the following: [quotes 124+1-124+9, 124+14-124+18, 124+10-124+13]. It is true that we have no recorded Elizabethan parallels to ‘stars with trains of fire, and dews of blood”; but shooting stars are common enough in most years, while any old woman in that age may have seen ‘dews of blood.’ We are </p. 224> <p. 225> told, for example, that on March 24th, 1601, a month after the execution of the Earl of Essex, thee rainbows were seen above the Tower and a bloody block falling from the sky upon the very spot where the beheading took place. 1 </p. 225>
<n. 1> <p. 225> 1 Vide G. B. Harrison, A Lost Elizabethan Journal, p. 174. The readjustment proposed above was suggested as long ago as 1872 by Gerald Massey in a large and sprawling book with the unprepossessing title, The Secret Drama of Shakespeare’s Sonnets Unfolded (Supplement, p. 46).” <p. 225> </n.1>
1934 cam3
cam3 ≈ tsch without attribution
124+10-124+13, 124+14-124+18 Wilson (ed. 1934): “Q2 prints these passages in reverse order, and edd. at a loss to interpret have supposed something lost. My rearrangement, following a suggestion by Gerald Massey (Secret Drama of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, 1872, Sup. p. 46), who notes that lunar eclipses are not mentioned in Plutarch, restores the sense. The Q2 inversion would be explained if Sh. crowded additional matter into the foot of a MS. page. Cf. note [ 124+10] and MSH, pp. 222-25.”
124+10-124+13 Wilson (ed. 1934): “Sh. is referring to contemporary events. Solar eclipses were visible in England on Feb. 25, 1598, July 10, 1600, and Dec. 24, 1601, and lunar ones on Feb. 11 and Aug. 6, 1598 (and again in Nov. 1603). The year 1598 was thus rich in eclipses, those of Feb 11 and Aug. 6 being total , and therefore particularly terrifying to the superstitious populace of those days. On the other hand, astrologers foretold that the evil effects of the ‘disaster in the sun’ of July 1600 would be felt between Jan. 20, 1601 and July 12, 1603, and the Essex rising of Feb. 1601 was hailed as a direct fulfillment of this. Cf. Introd. by D. C. Collins to Norden’s Vicissitudo Rerum, 1600 (Shak. Assoc. Facs. 1931), and a thesis by the same writer which I have had the privilege of consulting. At any times between 1598 ad 1602 Hor.’s words here, and Ham’s at [2431-34] (q.v.), would have made a special appeal to a London audience.”
1937 pen1
pen1: standard
124+10 Harrison (ed. 1937): “The sense of the passage is broken: probably a line has been left out.”
1938 parc
parc contra Wilson.
124+10 Parrott & Craig (ed. 1938) argue against Wilson’s transposition, which would make 124+10-124+13 apply to Horatio’s present when clearly they are part of the portents associated with Julius Caesar. Like Wilson, but without attribution, they mention the eclipses of sun and moon in 1598 and 1600.
1939 kit2
kit2: standard on ellipses and dropped line; ≈ parc contra transp. without attribution
124+10-124+11 Kittredge (ed. 1939): “The substance of the lost line would be ‘Prodigies appeared in the heavens.’ Some critics have been rash enough to compose a verse to fill the gap.” In a footnote, Kittredge discusses Tshischwitz’s transposition, Massey’s prior conj, (providing the page no. that parc neglected to cite: Supplement, p. 46), and Wilson’s acceptance of it: “But the preterite tense was [124+13] suffices to show that [124+10-124+13] refer to Roman history and not to contemporary Denmark.”

kit2: standard ref. to JC 2.2.19
124+10 dewes of blood]
1947 cln2
cln2: Wilson
124+10 Rylands (ed. 1947): “Either we must assume that a line has been lost or some re-arrangement is necessary, Dover Wilson follows Q2 and reverses the order of the two passages [124+10-124+15 and 124+16-124+18]. A solar eclipse and two total eclipses of the moon were to be seen in 1598.”
1957 fol1
fol1 = adam without attribution
124+10 as starres . . . fier] Wright & LaMar (ed. 1957, rpt. 1963): “meteors.”
1970 pel2
pel2 = pel1
124+11 Disasters] Farnham (ed. 1970): “ominous signs”

pel2: standard
124+11 moist starre] Farnham (ed. 1970): “moon”
1980 pen2
pen2: standard
124+10-124+11 Spencer (ed. 1980) thinks a line or two may be lost, but he also likes the alternative explanation of the misplaced lines, as in tsch, whom he does not name.
1980 pen2
124+10 dewes of blood] Spencer (ed. 1980) says the phenomenon is “now known to be caused by insects.”
1982 ard2
ard2: yal; mun; Abbott § 113; cap; mal; stau; JC; contra tsch; cam3; Massey; Wilson Knight
124+10 Jenkins (ed. 1982) refutes the transposition conjectured by Massey and used by Tschischwitz and Wilson because it “(1) ignores the tense of ‘was sick,’ (2) violates the connection between dews of blood and the other Roman portents, (3) leaves us with a false analogy between the ghosts of [124+8 and 124+9] and the miscellaneous prodigies of [124+10-124+ 13], and (4) removes the dramatic effect of the Ghost’s entry upon talk of ‘harbingers’ [124+15] and ‘prologue [124+16]. For a detailed refutation, see Wilson Knight, The Wheel of Fire (rev. 1949), pp. 326 ff.”
1987 oxf4
124+10 As] Hibbard (ed. 1987) justifies his emendation (At) by the possibility that the compositor misread an s as a t as he did in Q2 possesse for F1 posset [753] and in LLL (4.2.77 [1240] where sapit is corrected to sapis by F2.
1992 fol2
fol2: standard
124+10-124+11 As starres . . . sunne] Mowat & Werstine (ed. 1992): “These lines are awkward; probably some text has been lost.“
2006 ard3q2
ard3q2: jen, pen2, r;
124+10 As starres] Thompson & Taylor (ed. 2006): “Q2’s ’As starres’ seems to begin a grammatical construction which is never finished; it could be interpreted loosely as meaning ’people also observed stars . . . ’, but the Oxf emendation is neat and plausible. Jennens in 1773 was the first editor to print a row of asterisks between [124+9] and [124+10], suggesting that a line ’somewhat like Tremendous prodigies in heav’n appeared’ had been mistakenly omitted. MacDonald suggests inserting a line [124+15] between [124+9] and [124+10]; Spencer suggests inserting [124+15-126] between [124+9] and [124+10]; Rolfe [1891] suggests inserting a line from JC (2.2.19 ): ’Fierce fiery warriors fight upon the clouds.’”

ard3q2: JC
124+10 traines . . . blood] Thompson & Taylor (ed. 2006): “The stars are seen as having luminous tails like comets, and as being either spotted with blood or drizzling blood; see the ’fiery warriors’ in the sky in Calphurnia’s report which ’drizzled blood upon the Capitol’ (JC 2.2.21 ). Dew was formerly regarded as something which fell from the sky and could be harmful: see Titinius’ despairing cry ’Cloud, dews and dangers come; our deeds are done!’ (JC 5.3.64 ).”
2008 Bate
124+10 - 124+ 15 Bate (2008, pp. 65-6): <p. 65> “The important thing about this [the Ptolemaic] system was its stability. Any change was a portent, a sign of divine intervention . . . </p. 65> <p. 66> Sun-spots, eclipses and planetary disturbances were, as in Hamlet, harbingers preceding still the fates.’ ” </p. 66>
124+10 124+14 124+15