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" Time shall unfold that (which) plaited cunning
(i. e. specious outsides) hides ; " Which covers faults, (but) at last with shame
derides.” “ Who," indeed, might remain, as in the text, for which.” “Derides,” in this case, is neuter. Derides, for deride, as it stands in the text, is a sacrifice of grammar, in these works not uncommon, to obtain a rhyme. 330. Exeunt France, Cord. &c. &c.
What follows between Regan and Goneril is abrupt, unnatural, and unnecessary. I am persuaded it is interpolated. 331. “ Slenderly known himself.”
Not been in the full possession of his faculties, -had a weak understanding.
Exeunt Goneril and Regan. In a very judicious endeavour to regulate the scenes of this play, published by Mr. Eccles, in 1792, with another Essay, by that gentleman, upon Cymbeline, the following scene of the Bas, tard is postponed to the opening of the second act, and its place here supplied by the scene between Goneril and the steward.
SCENE II. 334.“ Got 'tween asleep and wake?-Well
then.” Perhaps, better, “ Begot between asleep and wake?-What then.”
Or“ Got 'tween asleep and wake ?-Well then ?
What then an
335.“ Now, gods, stand up for bastards !” · This fragment I should be inclined to reject as spurious and unnecessary. 336. “ Confin’d to exhibition !"
" Exhibition (says Dr. Johnson) is allowance." But I rather think it is exterior shew-the " name and all the addition to a king.”
“ Done upon the gad!" Dr. Johnson's explanation of this phrase is, I believe, the true one. In K. Henry IV. Hotspur is “ nettled and sturg" with pismires, Mr. Ritson says, it means done suddenly, or while" the iron is hot ;' because (says he) a gad is an iron bar." But unless it were a hot iron bar, it might, for the present purpose, as well be any thing else.” 338. “ If the matter were good, my lord, I
durst swear it were his.” It should be " was” his : the subjunctive mood only belongs to the preceding member of the sentence: and again I would fain think it were not;-it ought to be “ is not.”
We might read, preserving the measure349. “What, did my father strike my gentleman
for only chiding of his fool ?" Stew. " Ay, madam.” 350.“ He's coming, madam ; I hear him.”
This might be repaired : “ He's coming hither madam now; I hear him.”
« Old fools are babes again ; and must be usd “With checks, as flatteries, when they are
seen abus'd." I believe the meaning is this :-Old men must be treated like children, and should be rebuked or caressed according to their wayward tempers. Abused, here, is to be deceived or mistaking. 351. “What grows of it, no matter : advise
your fellows so." “So” is an unnecessary hypermeter. “ I would breed from hence occasions, and
I shall.” “From should be ejected.
352. “ For which I raz’d my likeness.- Now,
banish'd Kent.” : “Now” could be spared, to accommodate the verse, 358. “Thou'lt catch cold.”
“ Catch cold," I believe, is no more than a cant phrase for meeting with disaster; it is still current in this sense. 359. “Ride more than thou goest.”
“To go,” seems here, by a strange licence, to signify " walking,” in contradistinction to “ riding." 363, “ How now, daughter? What makes that
The metre requires a transposition :
- What makes that frontlet on ?» “ Frontlet,” I believe, means neither “ a part of a woman's dress,” as Mr. Steevens supposes, nor of her “undress," as Mr. Malone explains it; but merely, countenance-aspect:-Why put you on that imperious look? The wrinkles on the lady's forehead would seem ill-expressed by the name of the bandage which was used to prevent for smooth those wrinkles. 365.“ In rank and not-to-be-endured riots.
Sir.” “Sir” should be omitted. " But now grow fearful, “ By what yourself too late have spoke and
done, “That you protect this course, and put it on “ By your allowance ; which if you should, the
fault “Would not 'scape censure, nor the redresses
sleep; “Which, in the tender,” &c.
This is obscure. We might read: “ That you protect this course, and put it on " By your allowănce; which did you not, the
fault “Would not 'scape censure,” &c.
Yet it appears, in the conclusion, that the censure or the punishment is not in the king's hands. I do not understand it. Perhaps, we should read
“ Which if you should, the fault
“ Shall not ’scape censure.” 366. “ Come, sir,” &c. · It is, perhaps, impossible to obtain purity by any labour upon some of those passages that have been corrupted, and stand, among regular verses, degraded into prose :—but let us try what can be done. “Come, sir, I would you would employ that
wisdom “ Whereof I know that you are fraught, and put “ Away these dispositions which of late “ Transform you so from what you rightly are.”
" Does any here know me q”. I am inclined to think this dialogue was metrical, and afterwards corrupted into prose. Perhaps, we might regulate it in this way: “Does any here know me ? - This is not Lear: “ Does Lear walk thus ? speak thus ? Where
are his eyes ? “ Either his notion weakens; his discernings “Are lethargied-Ha! sleeping ! waking ! Sure “ It is not so, or if.- Who is it now “ Can tell me who I am ?-Lear's shadow ? I “ Would fain learn that ; for by the marks I have “Of sovereignty, of knowledge, and of reason, “I should be false persuaded I had daughters. “ Your name, fair gentlewoman?” Gon. “ O, come, sir.” 367. “ His notion weakens, his discernings
“ Are lethargied.” His understanding declines, his discerningsVOL. II.