Page images

Your name, fair gentlewoman?.

Gon. This admiration, Sir, is much o'th' favour
Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you,
To understand my purposes aright.
You, as you're old and reverend, should be wise.
Here do you keep a hundred Knights and Squires,
Men so disorder'd, so debauch'd and bold,
That this our Court, infected with their manners,
Shews like a riotous Inn; Epicurism and luft
Make it more like a tavern or a brothel,
Than a grac’d Palace. Shame itself doth speak
For instant remedy. Be then defir'd
By her, that else will take the thing she begs,

Of fifty to disquantity your train ;
And the remainders that shall still depend,
To be such men as may befort your age,
And know themselves and you.

Lear. Darkness and devils !
Saddle my horses, call my train together.
Degen’rate bastard! I'll not trouble thee!
Yet have I left a daughter.

Gon. You strike my people, and your disorder'd rabble
Make servants of their betters.
To them, Enter Albany.

[come? Lear. Woe! that too late repents--0, Sir, are you Is it your will, speak, Sir, prepare my horses.

[To Albany. Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous when thou shew'ft thee in a child, Than the sea-monster.

Alb. Pray, Sir, be patient.

Lear. Detested kite! thou lieft. [To Gonerill. My train are men of choice and rarest parts, That all particulars of duty know; And in the most exact regard support The worships of their names. O most small fault!

1 A little is the common reading; but it appears, from what Lear says in the next Scene, that this number fifty was required to be cut off, which (øs the editions flood) is no where specified by Gonerill,

Mr. Pope,


How ugly didit thou in Cordelia shew?
Which, like an engine, wrencht my frame of nature
From the fixt place; drew from my heart all love,
And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear!
Beat at this gate that let thy folly in, [Striking bis head.
And thy dear judgment out.-Go, go, my people.

Alb. My lord, I'm guiltless as I'm ignorans,
Of what hath moved you.
Lear. It

may be so, my lord-
Hear, Nature, hear; dear Goddess, hear a Father!
Suspend thy purpose, if thou didit intend

To make this creature fruitful :
Into her womb convey fterility,
Dry up in her the organs of increase,
And from her derogate body never spring
A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen, that it may live,
And be a thwart disnaturà torment to her;
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth,
With candent tears fret chanels in her cheeks : (11)
Tårn all her mother's pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt; that the may feel,
How Tharper than a serpent's tooth it is,
To have a thankless child.-Go, go, my people.

Alb. Now, Gods, that we adore, whereof comes this?

Gon. Never afflict yourself to know of it;
But let his disposition have that sccpe,
That dotage gives it.

Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a clap?
Within a fortnight im

Alb. What's the matter, gir?

(11) Witb cadent tears.) Mr. Warburton very happily here fuspects our author wrote, candent'; as an epithet of much more energy, and more likely to effect Lear's imprecation. He brings in confirmation, what the king says presently after ;

That these hot tear, rbat break from me perforceman And what he says towards the end of the 4th act:

but I am bound Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears Do scald like molt., lead,


B. 3:

Lear. I'll tell thee - life and death! I am asham'd, That thou haft power to shake my manhood thus ;

[To Gon. That these hot tears, which break from me perforce, Should make thee worth them.

-Blasts and fogs upon thee! Th' untented woundings of a father's curse (12) Pierce every sense about thee! Old fond eyes, Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck ye out, And cast you, with the waters that you lose, To temper clay. Ha! is it come to this? Let it be fo: I have another daughter, Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable ; When The ihall hear this of thee, with her nails She'll Aea thy wolfith visage. Thou shalt find, 'That I'll resume the shape, which thou dost think I have cast off for erer. [Ex. Lear and attendants.

Gon. Do you mark that?

Alb. I cannot be fo partial, Gonerill, To the great love I bear you,

Gen. Pray you, be content. What, Ofwald, ho! You, Sir, more knave than fool, after your

master. Fool. Nuncle. Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, take the fool A Fox, when one has caught her,

(with thee : And foch a daughter, Should sure to the slaughter, If my cap would buy a halter, So the fool follows after.


(12) Tb* untender woundings,] I have here restor’d the reading of all the genuine copies, which Mr. Pope had degraded; as it seems the most expressive, and conveys an image exactly suiting with the poet's thought. 'Tis true, untender fignifies, parp, severe, barsh, and all the opposites to the idea of tender. But as a wound untented is apt to rankle inwards, smart, and fester, I doubt not, but Shakespeare meant to intimate here; that a father's curse shall be a wounding of such a sharp, inveterate nature, that nothing shall be able to tent it; i. e. to search the bottom, and help in the cure of it. We have a paslage in Cymbeline, that very strongly confirms this meaning.

I've heard, I am a strumpet; and mine ear
(Therein false struck) can take no greater wound,
Nor tent to bottom that,


Gon. This man hath had good counsel,-a hundred 'Tis politick, and safe, to let him keep (Knights ! A hundred Knights; yes, that on ev'ry dream, Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike, He may enguard his dotage with their pow'rs, And hold our lives at mercy. Oswald, I say.

Alb. Well, you may fear too far;

Gon. Safer than truit too far.
Let me ftill take away the harms I fear,
Not fear still to be harm’d. I know his heart;
What he hath utter'd I have writ my fitter;
If she'll fuftain him and his hundred Knights,
When I have thew'd th' unfitness-

Enter Steward.
How now, Oswald !
What, have you writ that letter to my fifter?

Stew. Ay, Madam.

Gon. Take you fome company, and away to horse ;
Inform her full of my particular fears,
And thereto add such reasons of your own,
As may compact it more. So get you gone,
And halten


[Exit Steward.
No, no, my lord,
This milky gentleness and course of yours,
Though I condemn it not, yet, under pardon,
You are much more at takk for want of wisdom,
Than prais'd for harmful mildness.

Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot tell;
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.

Gom. Nay, then-
Alb. Well, well, th'event.

(Exeunt. SCENE, a Court-yard belonging to the Duke

of Albany's Palace.
Re-enter Lear, Kent, Gentleman and Fool.


acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you know, than comes from her demand out of



B 4

your letter.

the letter; if your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there afore

you. Keitt. I will not sleep, my lord, 'till I have delivered

(Exit. Fool. If a man's brain were in his heels, wer't not in danger of kibes?

Lear. Ay, boy.

Fcol. Then I pr’ythee, be merry, thy wit hall not go flip-fhod.

Lear. Ha, ha, ha.

Fool. Shalt see, thy other daughter will use thee kindly; for though she is as like this as a crab's like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell,

Lear. What can't tell, boy?

Fool. She will taste as like this, as a crab does to a crab. Can'st thou tell, why one's nose stands i'th' middle of one's face?

Lear. No,

Fool. Why, to keep one's eyes of either side one's nose ; that what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into,

Lear. I did her wrong
Fool. Can'st tell how an oyster makes his fhell ?
Lear. No.

Fool. Nor I neither ; but I can tell, why a snail has a house.

Lear. Why?

Fool. Why, to put's head in, not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns without a case.

Lear. I will forget my nature: fo kind a father! be my

horses ready? Fool. Thy asses are gone about 'em; the reason, why the seven stars are no more than seven, is a pretty reason.

Lear. Because they are not eight.
Fool. Yes, indeed; thou would make a good fool.

Lear. To take't again perforce !--monfter ingrati·tude !

Fool. If you were my fool, nuncle, I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time.


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