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So please your majesty, That we may wake the king ? he hath slept long. Cor. Be govern’d by your knowledge, and pro
ceed I'the sway of your own will.
your own will. Is he array'd ? Gent. Ay, madam'; in the heaviness of his *
garments on him. Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do awake
I doubt not of his temperance.
* First folio omits his.
“O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Repair those violent harms, that my two sisters
“ Have in thy reverence made !” Henley. 9 Ay, madam, &c.] The folio gives these four lines to a Gentleman, One of the quartos [quarto B,) gives the two first to the Doctor, and the two next to Kent. The other quarto [quartos A and C,) appropriates the two first to the Doctor, and the two following ones to a Gentleman. I have given the two first, which best belong to an attendant, to the Gentleman in waiting, and the other two to the Physician, on account of the caution contained in them, which is more suitable to his profession. STEEVENS.
In the folio the Gentleman and (as he is here called) the Physician, is one and the same person. Ritson.
| Very well.] This and the following line I have restored from the quartos, Steevens.
2 – Louder the musick there.] I have already observed, that Shakspeare considered soft musick as favourable to sleep. See Love's Labour's Lost, vol. iv. p. 387, Lear, we may suppose, had been thus composed to rest; and now the Physician desires louder musick to be played, for the purpose of waking him. So again, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609, Cerimon, to recover Thaisa, who had been thrown into the sea, says
“The rough and woeful musick that we have,
Cor. O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Kind and dear princess ! Cor. Had you not been their father, these white
flakes Had challeng‘d pity of them. Was this a face To be expos'd * against the warring winds ? [To stand“ against the deep dread-bolted thun
der ? In the most terrible and nimble stroke Of quick, cross lightning? to watch (poor perdu !) With this thin helm?] Mine enemy's dogo,
* First folio, opposed. Again, in The Winter's Tale :
Musick awake her ; strike!” Malone, RestORATION, hang Thy medicine on my lips ;] This is fine. She invokes the goddess of health, Hygeiia, under the name of Restoration, to make her the minister of her rites, in this holy office of recovering her father's lost senses. WARBURTON.
Restoration is no more than recovery personified. Steevens.
4 [To stand, &c.] The lines within crotchets are omitted in the folio. Joenson.
to watch (poor PERDU !) With this thin helm ?] The allusion is to the forlorn-hope in an army, which are put upon desperate adventures, and called in French enfans perdus. These enfans perdus being always slightly and badly armed, is the reason that she adds, With this thin helm ?" i. e. bare-headed. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton's explanation of the word perdu is just, though the latter part of his assertion has not the least foundation. Paulus Jovius, speaking of the body of men who were anciently sent on this desperate adventure, says : “ Hos ab immoderatâ fortitudine perditos vocant, et in summo honore atque admiratione habent.” It is not likely that those who deserved so well of their country for exposing themselves to certain danger, should be sent out, summå admiratione, and yet slightly and badly armed.
The same allusion occurs in Sir W. Davenant's Love and Honour, 1649:
Though he had bit me, should have stood that
- I have endur'd
“ More than a wet furrow and a great frost." Again, in Cartwright's Ordinary :
as for perdues,
Among some fennel or some other grass,
“ Shows how they lye i' th' field.” Steevens. In Polemon's Collection of Battels, 4to. bl. I. printed by Bynneman, p. 98, an account of the battle of Marignano is translated from Jovius, in which is the following passage :-" They were very chosen fellowes taken out of all the Cantons, men in the prime of youth, and of singular forwardenesse : who by a very auntient order of that country, that by dooyng some deede of passyng prowesse they may obtaine rare honour of warrefare before they be growen in yeares, doe of themselves request all perillous and harde pieces of service, and often use with deadlye praise to runne unto proposed death. These men do they call, of their immoderate fortitude and stoutnesse, the desperats forlorne hopen, and the Frenchmen enfans perdus : and it is lawfull for them, by the prerogative of their prowesse, to beare an ensigne, to have conducte and double wages all their life long. Neyther are the forlorne knowen from the rest by anye other marke and cognisance than the plumes of white feathers, the which, after the manner of captaines, they doe tourn behinde, waveryng over theyr shoulder with a brave kynde of riot.”
Again, in Bacon's Apology, touching the late Earl of Essex, 12mo. 1651, p. 105: “ you have put me like one of those that the Frenchmen call Enfans perdus that serve on foot before horsemen." Reed.
Amongst other desperate services in which the forlorn hope or enfans perdus, were engaged, the night-watches seem to have been a common one. So, Beaumont and Fletcher :
“ I am set here like a perdu,
“ To watch a fellow that has wrong'd my mistress." Little French Lawyer, Act II. Sc. II. Whalley. “With this thin helm ?” With this thin covering of hair.
Malone. Mine enemy's dog,] Thus the folio. Both the quartos read, “ Mine injurious dog.” Possibly the poet wrote—“Mine injurer's dog." Steevens.
Gloster has before expressed the same sentiment perhaps still more strongly, p. 185.
Against my fire; And wast thou fain, poor father,
him. Phys. Madam, do you ; 'tis fittest. Cor. How does my royal lord ? How fares your
majesty ? LEAR. You do me wrong, to take me out o' the
Sir, do you know me? LEAR. You are a spirit, I know; When did you
die ? Cor. Still, still, far wide ! Phys. He's scarce awake ; let him alone awhile. LEAR. Where have I been ? Where am I?- Fair
day-light ? I am mightily abus'd®-I should even die with pity, To see another thus.-I know not what to say.I will not swear, these are my hands :— let's see; I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assur'd Of my condition. Cor.
O, look upon me, sir, “ If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time, “ Thou should'st have said, good porter turn the key;
“ All cruels else subscribed.” BosweLL. 7 Had not concluded all.] It is wonder that thy wits and life had not all ended. Johnson. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, c. viii. :
“ Ne spared they to strip her naked all.” Again, in Timon :
“ And dispossess her all.” Steevens. 8 I am mightily abus'd.] I am strangely imposed on by appearances; I am in a strange mist of uncertainty. Johnson.
And hold your hands in benediction o'er me :-
Pray, do not mock me':
9 No, sir, you must not kneel.] This circumstance I find in the old play on the same subject, apparently written by another hand, and published before any edition of Shakspeare's tragedy had made its appearance. As it is always difficult to say whether such accidental resemblances proceed from imitation, or a similarity of thinking on the same occasion, I can only point out this to the reader, to whose determination I leave the question.
Steevens. The words, No, sir, are not in the folio. Malone. · Pray, do not moCK ME:] So, in The Winter's Tale, Act V. :
Let no man mock me,
“ For I will kiss her." STEEVENS. 2 Fourscore and upward ;] Thus the quartos. The folio ab. surdly adds “Not an hour more or less,” i.e. not an hour more or less than an indeterminate number, for such is fourscore and upward. Fourscore seems to have been used proverbially for old age. See vol. viii. p. 106. MALONE.
The authenticity of this passage Sir Joshua Reynolds justly suspects. It was probably the interpolation of some player, and is better omitted, both in regard to sense and versification.
STEEVENS. The words not an hour more or less, are judiciously reprobated by Mr. Steevens as the interpolation of some foolish player. We should therefore read [as Mr. Heath proposed] : “ Fourscore, and upward ; and, to deal plainly with you."
Ritson. 3 I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.] The quarto reads :
“ I fear, I am not perfect in my mind.” Johnson. So one of the quartos, [quarto B.j The other, [quartos A and C,] reads according to the present text. STEEVENS.