For your

Lear. I prythee, daughter, do not make me mad,
I will not trouble thee, my child. Farewel ;
We'll no more meet, no more see one another ;
But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter,
Or rather a disease that's in my fleth,
Which I must needs call mine; thou art a bile,
A plague-fore, or imbossed carbuncle,
In my corrupted blood; but l'll not chide thee.
Let same come when it will, I do not call it;
I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot,
Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove.
Mend, when thou can'ft; be better, at thy leisure.
I can be patient, I can stay with Regan ;
1, and my hundred Knights.

Reg. Not altogether so;
I look'd not for you yet, nor am provided

fit welcome; give ear to my fifter ;
For those that mingle reason with your passion,
Must be content to think you old, and lo
But the knows what she does.

Lear. Is this well spoken?

Reg. I dare avouch it, Sir; what, fifty followers? Is it not well? what should you need of more? Yea, or so many? fince both charge and danger Speak 'gainst so great a number : how in one house Should many people under two commands Hold amity? "ris hard, almost impossible.

Gon. Why might not you, my Lord, receive attendance From those that she calls fervants, or from mine?

Reg. Why not, my Lord ? if then they chanc'd to
We could controul them; if you'll come to me,
(For now I spy a danger) I intreat you
To bring but five and twenty; to no more
Will I give place or notice.

Lear. I gave you all
Reg. And in good time you gave it.

Lear. Made you my Guardians, my depositaries;
But kept a reservation to be follow'd

nack ye,

With such a number; must I come to you
With five and twenty? Regan, said you fo?
Reg. And speak't again, my Lord, no more with me.

Lear. Thosewicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd,
When others are more wicked: Not being worst,
Stands in some rank of praise; I'll go with thee ;
Thy fifty yet doch double five and twenty;
And thou art twice her love.

Gon. Hear me, my lord ;
What need you five and twenty, ten, or five,
To follow in a house, where twice so many
Have a command to tend you?

Reg. What needs one?

Lear. O, reason not the need: our baseft beggars Are in the poorest thing superfluous ; Allow not nature more than nature needs, Man's life is cheap as beafts. Thou art a Lady ; If only to go warm were gorgeous, Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'it, Which scarcely keeps thee warm; but for true need, You heav'ns, give me that patience which I need! You see me here, you gods, a poor


man, As full of grief as age; wretched in both! If it be you, that stir these daughters hearts Againit their father, fool me not so much To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger; (23)

(23) touch me will noble anger.] It would puzzle one at first, to find the sense, and drift, and coherence of this petition. For if the gods sent this affliction for his punishment, how could he expect that they would defeat their own design, and assist him to revenge his injuries by toucbing bim with noble anger This question cannot well be answer'd, without going a little further than ordinary for the folution. We may be affured then, that Shakespeare had here in his mind those opinions the ancient poets held of the misfortunes of particular families. They tell us, that when the anger of the gods (for any act of impiety) was rais'd against an offending family, that their method of punishment was this: first, they inflamed the breasts of the children to unnatural acts against their parents; and then, of the parents against their children; that they might destroy one another: and that both these outrage were the acts of the gods. To confidet



Olet not womens weapons, water-drops,
Stain my man's cheeks. No, you unnatral hags,
I will have such revenges on you both, (24)
That all the world shall I will do such things,
What they are, yet I know not; but they shall be
The terrors of the earth : you think, I'll weep:
No, I'll not weep. I have full cause of weeping:
This heart shall break into a thousand flaws,
Or ere I weep. O fool, I shall go

mad. [Exeunt Lear, Glo'ster, Kent and Fool. Corn. Let us withdraw, 'twill be a storm.

Storm and tempeft. Reg. This house is little; the old man and his people Cannot be well bestow'd.

Gon. 'Tis his own blame hath put himself from rest, And must needs taste his folly.

Reg. For his particular, I'll receive him gladly ; But not one follower.

Gón. So am I purpos’d. Where is my Lord of Glofter?

Enter Glo'fter. Corn. Follow'd the old man forth; he is return'd. Glo. The King is in high rage, and will I know not


Lear as alluding to this, makes his prayer exceeding pertinent and fine.

Mr. Warburton, (24) I will bave such revenges on you both, That all the world fali-----] This fine abrupt breaking off, and suppression of passion in its very height, (a figure, which the Greek rhe. toricians have call’d, ámowindis) is very familiar with our author, as with other good writers, and always gives an energy to the subject. That, by Neptune in the first book of the Æneis, is always quoted as a celebrated instance of this figure:

Quos ego-----Sed motos præstat componere flucius. What Lear immediately lubjoins here, I will do such things----Wbat they are, yet I know not-- --seems to carry the visible marks of imita

- Magrum est quodcunque paravi; Quid fit, adhuc; dubio.

Ovid. Metam, l. 6. --- Haud, quid fit, fcio; Sed grande quiddam eft,

Senec. in Thyest.



Corn. 'Tis best to give him way, he leads himself. Gon. My Lord, intreat him by no means to stay.

Glo. Alack, the night comes on: and the high winds
Do forely ruffle, for many miles about
There's scarce a bush.

Reg. O Sir, to wilful men,
The injuries, that they themselves procare,
Must be their school-masters: fhut up your doors;
He is attended with desp'rate train;
And what they may incenfe him to, being apt
To have his ear abus’d, wisdom bids fear.

Corn. Shut up your doors, my Lord, 'tis a wild night. My Regan counsels well : come out o'th' storm.


[blocks in formation]

A form is beard with thunder and lightning. Enter Kent,

and a Gentleman, Jeverally.

K E N T. 'HO's there, besides foul weather ? Gent. One ininded like the weather, most un.

quietly. Kent. I know you, where's the King ?

Gent. Contending with the fretful elements; Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea ; Or swell the curled waters 'bove the main, That things might change, or cease: tears his white hair, (Which the impetuous blasts with eyelefs rage Catch in their fury, and make nothing of.) Strives in his little World of Man toutscorn The to and fro-confi@ing wind and rain. This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,


C 4

The lion, and the belly-pinched wolf
Keep their furr dry; unbonnetted he runs,
And bids what will, take all.

Kent. But who is with him ?

Gent. None but the fool, who labours to out-jeft His heart-ftruck injuries.

Kent. Sir, I do know you, And dare, upon the warrant of my note, Commend a dear thing to you. There's division (Although as yet the face of it is cover'd With mutual cunning) 'twixt Albany and Cornwall: Who have (as who have not, whom their great stars (25) Thron'd and set high ?) servants, who seem no less ; Which are to France the spies and speculations Intelligent of our state. What hath been seen, Either in snuffs and packings of the Dukes; Or the hard rein, which both of them have borne Against the old kind King; or something deeper, (Whereof, perchance, these are but furnishings) But true it is, from France there comes a power Into this scatter'd kingdom; who already, Wise in our negligence, have secret sea In some of our belt ports, and are at point 'To shew their open banner-Now to you,



dare build so far
To make your speed to Dover, you Thall find
Some that will thank you, making just report
Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
The King bath cause to plain.
I am a gentleman of blood and breeding,
And from some knowledge and assurance of you,
Offer this office.

Gent. I'll talk further with you.
Kent. No, do not:

If on my

(25) Wbo bave, as wbo bave not,---] The eight fubfequent verfes were degraded by Mr. Pope, as unintelligible, and to po purpose. For my part, I see nothing in them but what is very easy to be under.

and the lines seem absolutely necessary to clear up the motives, upon which

prepar'd his invasion; nor without them is the scale of che context compleat.



« ElőzőTovább »