« PreviousContinue »
And, in conclusion, to oppose the bolo
Reg. Good sir, to the purpose. [Trumpets wilhin.
Reg. I know't, my sister's: this approves her letter,
Lear. This is a Nave, whose easy-borrow'd pride
Corn. What means your grace?
> If you do love old men, if your sweet sway
" You are one of the devil's fellow-commoners ; one that fizeth the devil's butteries.”
• Fidlers, set it on my head; I use to size my music, or go on the score for it.” Return from Parnassus.
Size sometimes means company. So, in Cinthia's Revenge, 1613:
“ He now attended with a barbal fize
" Of sober statesmen, &c.”
Make it your cause ; send down, and take my part!-
Lear. O, fides, you are too tough!
Mr. Upton has proved by irresistible authority, that to allora signifies not only to permit, but to approve, and has defervedly replaced the old reading, which Dr. Warburton had changed into hallow obedience, not recollecting the scripture expression, The Lord alloweth the righteous, Psalm xi. ver. 6. So, in Greene's Never 100 Late, 1616: * -- he allows of thee for love, not for lat.” Again, in Greene's Farewell to Follie, 1617: “ I allow those pleasing poems of Guazzo, which begin, &c.” Again, Sir Tho. North’s translation of Plutarch, concerning the reception with which the death of Cæfar met: “ they neither greatly reproved, nor allowed the fact.” Dr. Warburton might have found the emendation which he proposed, in Tate's alteration of King Lear, which was first published in 1687. Steevens.
that indiscretion finds,] Finds is here used in the same sense as when a jury is said to find a bill, to which it is an allufion. Our author again uses the same word in the fame sense in Hamlet, Act V. sc. i:
Why 'tis found so.” EDWARDS. To find is little more than to think. The French use their word trouver in the same sense ; and we still say I find time tedious, or I find company troublesome, without thinking on a jury.
STEEVENS. much less advancement] The word advancement is ironically used for conspicuousness of punishment; as we now say, a man is advanced to the pillory. We should read :
-but his own disorders Deserv'd much more advancement. JOHNSON. By less advancement is meant, a ftill worse or more disgraceful situation ; a situation not so reputable. PERCY.
Cornwall certainly means, that Kent's disorders had entitled him even a poft of less honour than the stocks. STEEVENS.
Lear. You! did you?
Reg. 'I pray you, father, being weak, seem fo. If, till the expiration of your month, You will return and sojourn with my fifter, Dismissing half your train, come then to me; I am now from home, and out of that provision Which shall be needful for your entertainment.
Lear. Return to her, and fifty men dismiss'd ? * No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose
I pray you, father, being weak, feem fo.] This is a very odd requeft. She surely asked fomething more reasonable.' We fhould read,
-being weak, deem't fo. i.e. believe that my husband tells you true, that Kent's disor. ders deserved a more ignominious punishment. WARBURTON.
The meaning is, since you are weak, be content to think yousfelf weak. No change is needed. Johnson. 2 No, rather I abjure all roofs, and chase
To wage againit the enmity o the air :
Necellity's pharp pinch. -] Thus should these lines (in the order they were read, in all the editions till Mr. Theobald's) be pointed : the want of which pointing contributed, perhaps, to mislead him in transposing the fecond and third lines; on which imaginary regulation he thus descants. “The breach of the sense here is a manifest proof that these lines were transposed by the first editors. Neither can there be any syntax or grammatical coherence, unless we suppose (neceffity's parp pinch) to be the accusative to (wage).” But this is fuppofing the verb wage, to want an accusative, which it does not. To wage, or wager against one, was a common expression ; and, being a species of acting (namely, acting in opposition) was as proper as to say, alt against any one.
So, to wage
nft the enmity o' the air, was to drive or fight against it. Necefíry's sharp pinch, therefore, is not the accusative to wage, but declarative of the condition of him who is a comrade of the wolf and owl; in which the verb (is) is understood. The consequence of all this is, that it was the last editors, and not the frft, who tranfposed the lines from the order the poet gave them: for the Oxford edi. for follows Mr. Theobald. WARBURTON.
To wage is often used absolutely without the word war after it, and yet fignifies to make was, as before in this play:
To wage against the enmity o' the air ;
[Looking on the Steward.
To wage against thine enemies.
To be a comrade of the wolf and owl,
Necesity's sharp pinch! These last words appear to be the reflection of Lear on the wretched sort of existence he had described in the preceding lines. STEEVENS. 3-base life-) i. e. In a servile state. JOHNSON.
—and sumpter] Sumpter is a horse that carries necessaries on a journey, though sometimes used for the case to carry them in.-Vide Beaumont and Fletcher's Noble Gentleman, Seward's edit. vol. viii. note 35; and Cupid's Revenge.
-I'll have a horse to leap thee,
“ And thy base issue shall carry sumpters." Again, in Webster's Dutchess of Malfy, 1623 :
“ He is indeed a guarded sumpter-cloth
- hou art a bile,
In my corrupted blood.] The context clearly nows that we ought to read boil. So, in Coriolanus :
-boils and plagues
A plague-fore, an emboffed carbuncle,
Reg. Not altogether to, fir;
Lear. Is this well spoken now?
Reg. I dare avouch'it, sir: What, fifty followers Is it not well? What should you need of more? Yea; or so many ? fith that both charge and danger Speak ’gainst so great a number? How, in one house; Should many people, under two commands; Hold amity ? 'Tis hard ; almost impossible. Gon. Why might not you, my lord, receive at
tendance From those that she calls servants, or from mine?
Reg. Why not, my lord ? If then they chanc'd to
Lear. I gave you all —
The word boil, being pronounced as if written bile, occafioned the mistake. In the folio, both here and in Coriolanus, it is spela in the same manner-byle. MALONE. -embosed carbuncle,] Embossed is swelling, protuberanti
JOHNSO. Vol. ix,