Imatges de pÓgina

How ugly didft thou in Cordelia Thew?
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 his head.
And thy dear judgment out.-Go, go, my people.

Alb. My lord, I'm guiltless, as I'm ignorant,
Of what hath moved you.

Lear. It may be so, my lordHear, Nature, hear; dear Goddess, hear a Father! Suspend thy purpose, if thou didtt 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 disnatur'd torment to her; Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth, With candent tears. fret chanels in her cheeks : (11) Turn all her mother's pains and benefits To laughter and contempt; that she may feel, How farper 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 affli&t yourself to know of it: But let his disposition have that scope, That dotage gives it.

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

Alb. What's the matter, Sir?

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(11) With cadent tears,] Mr. Warburton very happily here fufpects 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 tears, thar break from me perforce, And what he says towards the end of the 4th act:

-but I am bound Upon a wheel of fire, that mine owsi tears Do fcald like molten lead.

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Lear. I'll tell the life and death! I am alhamd, 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

Th' untented woundings of a father's curse (12)
Pierce every senfe 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 she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
She'll fea thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find,
That I'll resume the shape, which thou dost think
I have cast off for ever.

[Ex. Lear and attendants Gon. Do you mark that?

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

Gon. Pray you, be content. What, Oswald, 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 such a daughter,
Should fure to the slaughter,
If my cap would buy a halter,
So the fool follows after.


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(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 fuiting with the poet's thought. 'Tis true, untender signifies, parp, fevere, harsh, and all the opposites to the idea of tender. But as a wound untented is apo to sankle 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. er to search the bottom, and help in the cure of it. We have a passage in Cymbeline, that very ftrongly confirms this meaning,

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


Gor. 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, diflike, 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 trust too far.
Let me still take away the harms I fear,
Not fear ftill to be harm’d. I know his heart;
What he hath utter'd, I have writ my sitter;
If she'll fustain him and his hundred Knights,
When I have shew'd th' un fitness

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

Stew. Ay, Madam.

Gon. Take you some company, and away to horses 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 haften your return.

[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 tak 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.

Gon. Nay, then –
Alb. Well, well, th' evene,

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

of Albany's Palace. Re-enter Lear, Kent, Gentleman and Fool. Lear. O you before to Glo'ster with these letters;

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


your letter.

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

Fool. Then, I prythee, be merry, thy wit shall not go flip-fhod.

Lear. Ha, ha, ha. Fool. Shalt see, thy other daughter will use thee kindly; for though she's 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 tafte as like this, as a crab does to a crab. Can'st thou tell, why one's nose Itands i'th'middle of one's face?

Lear. No.
Fool. Why, to keep one's eyes of either side one's

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 shell?
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 bis daughters, and leave his horns without a cafe.

Lear. I will forget ny nature; so kind a father ! be my horses ready ?

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

Lear. Because they are not eight.
Fool. Yes, indeed; thou wouldft make a good fool.
Lear. To take't again perforce!

-monfter ingratitude!

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




Lear. How's that?

Fool, Thou should'ft not have been old, 'till thou had ft been wise.

Lear. O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heav'n! Keep me in temper, I would not be mad.

Enter Gentleman.
How now, are the horses ready?

Gent. Ready, my lord.
Lear. Come, boy.

[ture, Fool. She that's a maid now, and laughs at my deparShall not be a maid long, unless things be cut shorter,


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CT II. SCENE, A Castle belonging to the Earl of Gloster,

Enter Edmund and Curan, severally.


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AVE thee, Curan.

Cur. And you, Sir. I have been with your father, and given him notice that the Duke of Cornwall

, and Regan his Dutchess, will be here with him this night.

Edm. How comes that?

Cur. Nay, I know not; you have heard of the news abroad; I mean, the whisper'd ones; for they are yet but ear-kisfing arguments.

Edm. Not I; pray you, what are they?

Cur. Have you heard of no likely wars toward, 'twixt the Dukes of Cornwall and Albany?

Edm. Not a word.
Cur. You may do then in time. Fare you well, Sir.

(Exit. Edm. The Duke be here to-night! the better best! This weaves itself perforce into my business ;

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