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Lear. Made you my guardian's, my depositaries 3 But kept a reservation to be follow'd With fuch a number: What, must I come to you With five and twenty, Regan? said you

fo? Reg. And fpeak it again, my lord; no more

with me. Lear. 7 Thofe wicked creatures yet do look well

favour'd, When others are more wicked; not being the worst, Stands in some rank of praife :-I'll go with thee ;

[To Goneril. Thy fifty yet doth 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 rend you?

Reg. What need one ?

Lear. O, reafon not the need : our baseft beggars Are in the pooreft thing füperfluous : Allow not nature more than nature needs, 7 Those wicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd,

W'hen others are more wicked, Dr. Warburton would exchange the repeated epithet wicked into wrinkled in both places. The commentator's only objection to the lines as they now ftand, is the discrepancy of the metaphor, the want of opposition between wicked and well-favoured. But he might have semembered what he says in his own preface concerning mixed modes. Shakspeare, whose mind was more intent upon notions than words, had in his thoughts the pulchritude of virtue, and the deformity of wickedness; and though he had mentioned wickedness, made the correlative answer to deformily. JOHNSON A similar thought occurs in Cymbeline, Ac V.

it is I
That all the abhorred things o' the earth amend,

By being worse than they. STEVENS.
This passage, I think, Mould be pointed thus:

Tbofe wicked crcatures yet do look well-favour'd',
When others are more wicked; not being the worst

Stands in some rank of praise.
That is, To be not the wordt deserves fome praise. TYRWHITT.


Man's life is cheap as beast's : thou art a lady:
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st;
Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true

You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!
You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,
As full of grief as age; wretched in both !
If it be you that stir these daughters' hearts
Against their father, fool me not so much
To bear it tamely; touch me with noble ånger!
O, let not women's weapons, water-drops,
Stain my man's cheeks !--No, you unnatural hags,
I will have such revenges on you both,
That all the world shall,— I will do such things '; --
-poor old man,] The quarto kas, poof old fellow.

JOHNSON. -touch me with noble anger!] It would puzzle one at firit to find the sense, the drift, and the coherence of this petition. For if the gods sent this evil for his punishment, how could he expect that they hould defeat their own design, and affift him to revenge his injuries? The solution is, that Shakspeare Here makes his speaker allude to what the ancient poets, tell us of the misfortunes of particular families : namely, that when the anger of the gods, for an act of impiety, was raised against an offending house, their method of punishment was, first to infame the breasts of the children to unnatural acts agaiņst their parents ; and then, of the parents against their children, in order to de stroy one another; and that both these outrages were the instigation of the gods. To confider Lear as alluding to this divinity, makes his prayer exceeding pertinent and fine.

-I will do such things
What they are, yet I know not ;)

-magnum eft quodcunque paravi,
Quid fit, adhuc dubito. Ovid. Met. lib. vi.

Chaud quid dit fcio,
Sed grande quiddam eit.

Senecae Thyeftes. Let such as are unwilling to allow that copiers of nature mult accasionally use the same thoughts and expressions, remember, that of both these authors there were early translations.



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; but this heart
Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws,
Or ere I'll weep:-0, fool, I shall go mad!

(Exeunt Lear, Glofter, Kent, and Fool. Corn. Let us withdraw, 'twill be a storm.

[Storm and tempeft beard. Reg. This house is little; the old man and his people Cannot be well bestow'd. Gon. 'Tis his own blame; he hath put himself

from rest, And must needs taste his folly.

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

Gon. So am I purpos'd. Where is my lord of Glofter ?

Re-enter Glofter. Corn. Follow'd the old man forth:-he is return'd. Gle. The king is in high rage. Corn. Whither is he going? Glo. He calls to horse; but will I know not

whither. Corn. 'Tis best to give him way; he leads himself. Gon. My lord, entreat him by no means to stay. Glo. Alack, the night comes on, and the bleak

winds Do sorely ruffle ; for many miles about There's scarce a bush.

& Whitber is he going?
Glo. He calls to horfe ;] Omitted in the quartosz

STEEVENS. : Do forely ruffle,] Thus the folio. The quartos read, Do forely rufel, i. e. ruffle. STEEVENS.

Ruffle is certainly the true reading. A rufier, in our author's time, was a poify, boisterous, swaggerer. MALONE.


Reg. O, fir, to wilful men, The injuries, that they themselves procure, Must be their school-masters: Shut up your doors; He is attended with a desperate train; And what they may incense 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' the storm.


Аст III,


A Heath,

Aftorm is beard, with thunder and lightning. Enter

Kent, and a Gentleman, meeting,
Kent. Who's there, beside foul weather?
Gent. One minded like the weather, most un.

Kent. I know you; Where's the king ?
Gent. Contending with the fretful element;
Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea,
Or swell the curled waters 'bove the main,


4 Or swell the curled waters 'bove the main,] The main seems ço fignify here the main land, the continent. So, in Bacon's War with Spain : “ In 1989, we turned challengers, and invaded the main of Spain."

This interpretation sets the two objects of Lear's defire in proper opposition to each other. He wishes for the destruction of the world, either by the winds blowing the land into the waters, or raising the waters fo as to overwhelm the landSteevens.


That things might change, or cease: 5 tears hiş

white hair;
Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,
Catch in their fury, and make nothing of:
Strives in his little world of man to out-scorn
The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.
This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would

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

Kent. But who is with him?

Gent. None but the fool; who labours to out-jest His heart-struck injuries.

Kent. Siç, I do know you ;

The old reading, and Mr. Steevens's explanation of it, are strongly confirmed by a passage in Troilus and Cressida :

-The bounded waters
• Should lift their bofoms higher than the fores,

“ And make a sop of all this folid globe.The main is again used for the land, in Hamlet :

"s 'Goes it against the main of Poland, Sir?” MALONE.

-tears his white hair ;). The 'six following verses were omitted in all the late editions: I have replaced them from the first, for they are certainly Shakspeare's. Pope.

The first folio ends the speech' at change or cease, and begins again at Kent's question, But who is with him? The whole speech is forcible, but too long for the occasion, and properly retrenched. JOHNSON.

This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,] Cubdrawn has been explained to fignify drawn by nature to its young; whereas it means, whose dugs are drawn dry by its young. For no animals leave their dens by night but for prey. So that the meaning is, “ that even hunger, and the support of its young, would not force the bear to leave his den in such a night."

WARBURTON, Shakspeare has the fame image in As you Like It:

« A lioness, with udders all drawn dry,

“ Lay couching" Again, Ibidem : “ Food to the fuck'd and hungry liopesş.? STEEVBNS,



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