Page images
PDF
EPUB

To lead him where he would; his roguish madness
Allows itself to any thing.

2d Serv. Gothou ; I'll fetch fome flaxandwhites of eggs T'apply to's bleeding face. Now, heaven help him !

[Exeunt fèverally.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Y

Enter Edgar.
ET better thus, and known to be contemnd,

Than ftillcontemn’dand flatter'd. To be worf (36)
The lowest, most dejected thing of fortune,
Stands ftill in esperance; lives not in fear.
The lamentable change is from the best;
The worst returns to laughter. Welcome then,
Thou unsubftantial air, that I embrace!
The wretch, that thou haft blown unto the worf,
Owes nothing to thy blafts.

Enter Glo'ster, led by an old man. But who comes here My father poorly led? World, world, O world! (37)

Bac

(36) -To be worst, The lowest, moji deji Eted thing of fortune.] This fentiment is to much a-kin to a passage in Ovid, that it seems to be copied directly from it,

Fortuna miferrima tuta est;
Nam timor eventûs deterioris abeft.

Epist. 2. lib. 2. ex Ponto, (37) - World, world, O world! Bui ikat iby Strange mutations make us hate ther,] The reading of thispaffage, as it has thus food in all the editions, has been endeavourid to be explain'd severally into a meaning; but not satisfactorily. Mi. Pope's mock-seasoning upon it has already been rallied in print, fo F forbear so revive it: and the gentleman, who then advanced a comment of his own upon the paffage, has since come over to my entene

D 3

dation,

But that thy strange Mutations make us wait thee,
Life would not yield to age.

Old Man. O my good Lord, I have been your tenant, And your father's tenant, theie fourscore years.

Gló. Away, get thee away: good friend, be gone; Thy comforts can do me no good at all, Thee they may hurt.

Old Man. You cannot see your way.

Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes:
I stumbled when I saw. Full oft ’tis seen,
Our mean secures us; and our mere defects
Prove our commodities,-0. dear son Edgar,
The food of thy abused father's wrath ;
Might I but live to see thee in my touch, (38)
P'd say, I had eyes again!

Old dation. My explanation of the poet's sentiment was, “ If the num" ber of changes and viciffitudes, which happen in life, did not make

us wail, and hope for some turn of fortune for the better, we “ could never support the thought of living to be oid, on any other « terms."

And our duty, as human creatures, is piously inculcared in this reflection of the author. Apcliodorus, the comic poet, has left us a moral precept, upon which Sbakespeare's selection might have very well been grounded.

Ουδέπολάθυμεϊν τον κακώς πράττονία δεϊ,

"Ανδρες, τα δελτία δε προσδοκάν αεί. No body, good people, ought to despond under misfortunes, but always wait for a better furn.

(38) Might I but live to see thee in my touch,] I cannot but take notice, that these fine boldneffes of expression are very infrequent in our English poetry, tho' familiar with the Greeks and Latins. We have pafs'd another fignal one in this very play.

Such freets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,
Such groans of soaring wind and rain, I never

Remember to have beard. For tho' the verb bear properly answers to the thurder, the wind, and rain; yet it does not so, but figuratively, to the fiveets of fort. I have observ'd an instance of this implex fort, exactly parallel, in the Hero and Leander of Mufæus the grammarian.

Ληχόμενόν τε Λέανδρον, ομά και λύχνον ακέω.

I bear Leander swim, the candle burn. The elder scholiaft upon Æschylus tells us very judiciousy, [methyage τας αισθήσεις προς το ενεργέςερον] that the transferring the properties of one sense to another, was u led to add the greater force and energy.

Hig

[ocr errors]

My son

Old Man. How now? who's there?

Edg. O gods! who is’t can say, I'm at the worst? I'm worse, than e'er I was.

Old Man. 'Tis poor mad Tom.

Edg. And worse I may be yet : the worst is not,
So long as we can fay, this is the worst,

Old Man. Fellow, where goeft ?
Glo. Is it a beggar-man?
Old Man. Madman, and beggar too.

Glo. He has some reason, elle he could not beg.
1'th' last night's storm I such a fellow saw;
Which made me think a man, a worm.
Came then into my mind ; and yet my mind
Was then scarce friends with him. I've heard more fince,
As flies to wanton boys, are we to th’ gods ;
They kill us for their sport.

Edg. How should this be?
Bad is the trade must play the fool to forrow,
Ang'ring itself and others. -Bless thee, malter.

Glo. Is that the naked fellow?
Old Man. Ay, my Lord.
Glo. Get thee away: if, for

my

sake,
Thou wilt o'ertake us hence a mile or twain
I'th' way tow'rd Dover, do it for ancient love;
And bring some covering for this naked soul,
Whom I'll intreat to lead me.
Old Mar. 'Alack, Sir, he is mad.

(blind :
Glo. 'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the
Do as I bid, or rather do thy pleasure ;
Above the rest, be gone.

Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parrel that I have,
Come on't, what will.

[Exit.
G!o. Sirrah, naked fellow.
His remark is upon this passage in the Seven Captains before Thebes;

Κτύπον δεδορκα,
Πάταγόν τ' έχ ενός δορός. .
Aluck! I see the sound, the dreadful crash,

Not of a single spear.
The late learned Dr. Gataker, in his treatise upon the Syle of the
New Testament, has amass'd examples of this figure in holy writ, as
well as from heathen writers, both Greek and Latin.

Edg.

D4

Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold;--- I cannot daub it further.
Glo. Come hither, fellow.

Edg. And yet I must;
Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.

Gło. Know't thou the way to Dover?

Eag. Both stile and gate, horse-way and foot-path: poor Tom hath been scar'd out of his good wits. Bless thee, good man, from the foul fiend. (39) Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once; of luft, as Obidicut; Hobbididen, prince of dumbness, Mahu, of stealing; Mobu, of murder; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing; who fince poffeffes chamber-maids and wais. ing-women.

(plagues Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heavens Have humbled to all ftrokes. That I am wretched, Makes thee the happier: heavens deal fo till! Let the superfluous, and luft-dieted man, 'That slates your ordinance, that will not see Because he does not feel, feel your power quickly: So distribution should undo excess, And each man have enough. Do't thou know Daver

Edg. Ay, mafter.

Gle. There is a cliff, whose high and bending head Looks fearfully on the confined deep : Bring me but to the very brim of in And I'll repair the misery, thou do't bear, With something rich about me: fron that place I shall no leading need.

Edg. Give me thy arm; Poor Tom Tall lead thee.

(Exeunt

there.

(39) Five fiends bave been in.poor Tom at orce;} This paffage Ms. Pope first relor'd from the old 410; but miserably mangled, as it is

I have set it right, as it came from our author, by the help of bishop Har sener's pamphlet, already quoted. We find there, all these devils were in Sarab and Friswood Wiliams, Mrs. Peckham's two chamber-maids; and particularly Flibbertigibbei, who made them mop and mow like apes, says that auihor. And so their suppos’d popefrong qur poet is here latirically alluding,

SCENE

SCENE, the Duke of Albany's Palace.

WP

Enter Gonerill, and Edmund. Gon. Welcome, my Lord. Imarvel, our mild husband

Not met us on the way.

Enter Steward. Now, where's your master?

Stew: Madam, within'; but never man so chang’d: I told him of the army that was landed : He smil'd at it. I told him you were coming, His answer was, the worse. Of Glo'fter's treachery, And of the loyal service of his son, When I inform'd him, then he call'd me fot;, And told me, I had turn'd the wrong side out. What moft he should dislike, seems pleasant to him; What like, offensive.

Gon. Then shall you go no further. It is the cowish terror of his fpirit, That dares not undertake : he'll not feel. wrongs, Which tie him to an answer; our wishes on the way May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother, Haiten his musters, and conduct his powers. I must change arms at home, and give the distaff Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant Shall pass between us : you ere long shall hear, If you dare venture in your own behalf, A mistress's command.' Wear this; fpare speech ; Decline your head. This kiss, if it durft speak, Would stretch thy spirits up into the air: Conceivę, and fare thee well..

Edm. Yours in the ranks of death.

Gon. My most dear Glofter! [Exit Edmund Oh, the strange difference of man; and man! To thee a woman's services are due, My fool usurps my body.

Siew. Madam, here comes my Lordi

2

« PreviousContinue »