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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;
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
By being worse than they. STEVENS.
Tbofe wicked crcatures yet do look well-favour'd',
Stands in some rank of praise.
Man's life is cheap as beast's : thou art a lady:
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.
-magnum eft quodcunque paravi,
Chaud quid dit fcio,
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.
STEEVENS. 1 i 2
What they are, yet I know not; but they shall be
(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?
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.
Aftorm is beard, with thunder and lightning. Enter
Kent, and a Gentleman, meeting,
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
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
“ 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,