« ElőzőTovább »
Lear. I prythee, daughter, do not make me mad,
Reg. Not altogether so;
fit welcome; give ear to my fifter ;
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
Lear. I gave you all
Lear. Made you my Guardians, my depositaries;
With such a number; must I come to you
Lear. Thosewicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd,
Gon. Hear me, my lord ;
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,
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
Reg. O Sir, to wilful men,
Corn. Shut up your doors, my Lord, 'tis a wild night. My Regan counsels well : come out o'th' storm.
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,
The lion, and the belly-pinched wolf
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
Gent. I'll talk further with you.
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.