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E A R. 527 Corn. Get horses for your mistress. Gon. Farewel, sweet lord, and fifter.
[Exeunt Goneril, and Edmund. Corn. Edmund, farewel. - Go, seek the traitor
Gloster, Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us :'Though well we may not pass upon his life Without the form of justice; yet our power Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men May blame, but not controul. Who's there? The
Enter Glofter, brought in by servants.
3 Though well we may not pass upon his life,
-yet our pow'r Shall do a courtesy to our wrath. -] To do a courtesy is to gratify, to comply with. To pafs, is to pass a judicial Ten, tence. JOHNSON.
The original of the expression, to pass on any one may be traced from Magna Charta:
-nec fuper eum ibimus, nifi per legale judicium parium
suorum.' It is common to most of our early writers. So, in Acolastus, a comedy, 1529: “ I do not nowe conGider the myschievous pageants he hath played ; I do not now pale upon them.” Again, in If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in It, 1612: “ A jury of brokers, impanel'd, and deeply sworn to passe on all villains in hell." STEEVENS.
4 -corky arms.] Dry, wither’d, husky arms. JOHNSON.
As Shakspeare appears from other passages of this play to have had in his eye Bishop Harfenet's Declaration of egregious Popis Impostures, &c. 1603, 4to, it is probable, that this very expressive, but peculiar epithet, corky, was suggested to him by a passage in that very curious pamphlet. “ It would pofe all the cunning exorcists, that are this day to be found, to teach an old corkie woman to writhe, tumble, curvet, and fetch her morice gamboles, as Martha Bressier (one of the possessed mentioned in the pamphlet) did.” Percy.
Glo. What mean your graces ?-Good my friends,
consider You are my guests : do me no foul play, friends. Corn. Bind him, I say.
[They bind him. Reg. Hard, hard :-O filthy traitor! Glo. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none. Corn. To this chair bind him :-Villain, thou shald find
[Regan plucks his beard. Glo. 5 By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done To pluck me by the beard.
Reg. 5 By the kind gods, - ] We are not to understand by this the gods in general, who are beneficent and kind to men; but that particular species of them called by the ancients dii hofpia tales, kind gods. So, Plautus, in Pænulo :
“ Deum hospitalem ac tesseram mecum fero:" This was
beautiful exclamation, as those who insulted the speaker were his guesis, whom he had hospitably received into his house. But to fay the truth, Shakspeare never makes his people swear at random. Of his propriety in this matter take the following instances. In Troilus and Credida, Æneas, in an exportulation with Diomede, swears by the hand of his mother Venus, as a covert reproof for Diomede's brutality in wounding the god. defs of beauty in the hand, and a secret intimation that he would revenge her injuries. In Coriolanus, when that hero is exasperated at the fickle inconstant temper of the multitude, he swears by the clouds : and again, when he meets his wife after a long absence, by the jealous queen of heaven; for Jano was supposed the aveng’refs of conjugal infidelity. In Othello, the double lago is made to swear by Janus. And in this very play of Lear, a Pagan, much given to judicial astrology, very consonantly to his character, twears :
By all the operations of the orbs,
By zubom we do exist, and cease to be. WARBURTON. By the kind geds, - } Shakspeare hardly received any affift. ance from mythology to furnish out a proper oath for Glofter. People always invoke their deities as they would have them Mew themselves at particular times in their favour; and he accorde. ingly calls those kind gods whom he would wish to find so on this occasion. He does so yet a second time in this scene. Our own liturgy will sufficiently evince the truth of my fuppofition.
Steevens. This is one of the many passages, in which Dr. Warburton fupposes our author more critical and learned than he really was.
Reg. So white, and such a traitor!
Glo. Naughty lady, These hairs, which thou doit ravish from my chin, • Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your host; With robbers' hands, ? my hospitable favours You should not ruffle thus. What will you do? Corn. Come, sir, what letters had you late from
France ? Reg. Be simple-answer'd, for we know the truth. Corn. And what confederacy have you with the
traitors Late footed in the kingdom? Reg. To whose hands have you sent the lunatio
Glo. I have a letter guellingly set down,
Glofter invokes the gods by the fame epithet afterwards in the present scene, and Cordelia uses also the same invocation in the 4th Act:
“ Oh, you kind gods !
MONCK MASON, • Will quicken,-) i. e. quicken into life.
Monck Mason. my hospitable favours] It is nonsense to understand it of gifts, kindnesses, &c. We should read favour, i.e. visage. For they pluck'd him by the beard. WARBURTON.
Favours means the same as features, i. e. the different parts of which a face is composed. So, in Drayton's epistle from Matilda to K. John:
“ Within the compass of man's face we see,
“ How many sorts of several favours be.” Again, in David & Bethfabe, 1599
“ To daunt the favours of his lovely face." STEVENS. • Be fimple-answerd,-). The old quarto reads, Be fimple answerer. -Either is good sense : fimple means plair. STEEVENS. YOL. IX.
Glo. To Dover.
Reg. Wherefore to Dover Walt thou not charg'd at peril Corn. Wherefore to Dover ? Let him first answer
Glo. Because I would not see thy cruel nails
! I am to'd to the flake,-) So, in Macbeth:
“ 'They have chain'd me to a fake; I cannot fly,
“ But, bear-like, I must stand the course." STEEVINS. 'the course.] The tunning of the dogs upon me. JOHNSON. 2.-stick bearish fangs.] The quartos read-rash boarish fangs. This verb occurs in Spenser's Faery Queen, B. IV. c. ii: “ And fields did share, and mailes did rash, and helmes
did hew." • Again, B. V. c. iii:
" Rafhing off helmes, and ryving plates afunder." To ras is the old hunting term for the Aroke made by a wild boar with his fangs. Steevens. to rain.] Thus the folio. The quartos read-to raga.
STEEVENS. - shat stern time,] Thus the folio. Both the quartos read,-chat dearn time. Dearn is a north-country word, fignifying lonely, folitary, melancholy, far from neighbours. So, in the l'aliant Scot :
" Of all thy joys the dearne and dismal end." Again, in Spenser's Faery Queen, B. II. c.i:
They heard a rueful voice that dearnly cride." Again, in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609: By many a dearne and painful pearch." STEEVENS.
All cruels else s subscrib'd :-But I shall see
one of bis eyes.
-O cruel! O ye gods!
Serv. Hold your hand, my lord :
Reg. How now, you dog?
Serv. If you did wear a beard upon your chin,
Corn. My villain | [Draws, and runs at bim.
anger. [Fight; Cornwall is wounded.
[Comes behind, and kills bim.
s fubfcribd:-) Yielded, submitted to the neceflity of the occasion. JOHNSON
Upon these syes, &c.] In Selimus, Emperor of the Turks, one of the Sons of Bajazet pulls out the eyes of an'aga on the stage,
ri Yes thou shalt live, but never see that day,
[Pulls out his eyes. Immediately after, his hands are cut off. I have introduced this passage to thew that Shakspeare's drama was not more sanguinary than that of his contemporaries. Steevens.
In Marston's Antonio and Mellida, p. ii. 1602. Piero's tongue
My villain !) Villain is here perhaps used in its original