Imatges de pÓgina
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No, I'll not weep. I have full cause of weeping:
This heart fhall break into a thousand flaws,-
Or ere I weep. O fool, I fhall go mad.

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O, fir, to wilful men,

The injuries, that they themselves procure,
Must be their school-mafters.

ACT III.

SCENE I

Defcription of Lear's Diftrefs amidst the Storm.

Kent. Where's the king?

Gent. Contending with the fretful elements; Bids the wind blow the earth into the fea;" Or fwell the curled waters 'bove the main, That things might change, or ceafe. tears his white

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hair,

(Which the impetuous blasts with eyeless rage

Catch in their fury ;)

Strives in his little world of man t'out-fcorn

The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.

This night, wherein the (13) cub-drawn bear would

couch,

The lion, and the belly-pinched wolf

Keep their furr dry; unbonneted he runs,
And bids what will take all.

+ Ibave, &c.] Perhaps this fhould be, Tho' I've full caufe. *See p. 19, n. 6, of this volume.

(13) Cub-drawn i. e. Drawn dry by its cubs, and therefore the more ready to go out in fearch of prey: he fpeaks of a lionefs with udders all dracun dry, in the 25th page of the first volume.

SCENE

SCENE II. Lear's passionate Exclamations amidst the Tempest.

Blow winds, and crack your cheeks You cataracts, and hurricanoes, fpout

Till you have drencht our steeples, drown'd the cocks! You fulph'rous and thought-executing fires,

(14) Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunder-bolts,
Singe my white head. And thou all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o'th world;
Crack nature's mould, all (15) germins spill at once
That make ingrateful man.

; rage, blow !

Rumble thy belly-full, fpit fire, fpout rain;
Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters;
I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness;
I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children;
You owe me no fubfcription. Then let fall
Your horrible pleasure ;-here I ftand your flave;
A poor, infirm, weak, and defpis'd old man!
But yet I call you fervile minifters,
That have with two pernicious daughters join'd
Your high-engender'd battles, 'gainst a head
So old and white as this.

Oh! oh! 'tis foul.

* *

* *

*

Kent. Alas, fir, are you here? things that love

Love

*

*

*

night,

(14) Vaunt-couriers, &c.] Nothing can be plainer than this paffage, which it is furprizing Mr. Warburton fhould fo much miftake, as to imagine this line the players fpurious iffue, on account of any contradiction in it: the reader may fee his note, and Mr. Edwards's comment upon it, in the Canons of Criticism, p. 33. In the mean time we may be contented with this clear fenfe "You fires and lightnings, fore-runners of the thunder, finge me, &c.--- You thunder ftrike flat the th ck rotundity of the world."

(15) Germins] Vulg. Germains-This reading is Mr. Theobald's. The word is derived from germen, σroga, feed, the fenfe is, "Crack nature's mould, and spill all the feeds of matter, that are hoarded within it." In the Winter's Tale, he fays;

Let nature crush the fides of th' earth together,
And mar the feeds within.". See Macbeth, A. 4.

S. 2.

Love not fuch nights as these : the wrathful skies
(16) Gallow the very wand'rers of the dark,
And make them keep their caves: fince I was man,
Such fheets of fire, fuch burfts of horrid thunder,
Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never
Remember to have heard. Man's nature cannot carry
Th' affliction, nor the force.

Lear. Let the great gods,"

That keep this dreadful pudder o'er our heads,
Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch,
That haft within thee undivulged crimes,

Unwhipt of justice. Hide thee, thou bloody hand :
Thou perjure, and thou fimilar of virtue,
That art incestuous: caitiff, thake to pieces,
That under covert and convenient feeming,
Haft practis'd on man's life !-Clofe pent up gults,
Rive your concealing continents, and afk
Thefe dreadful fummoners grace.- -I am a man,
More finn'd againft, than finning.

Kent. Alack, bare-headed?

Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel;
Some friendship will it lend you 'gainst the tempeft.

* *

* *

* *

*

*

Lear. Thou think'ft 'tis much, that this contentious

ftorm

Invades us to the fkin; fo 'tis to thee ;

But where the greater malady is fixt,

The leffer is fcarce felt. Thou'dft fhun a bear,

But if thy flight lay tow'rd the roaring fea,

Thou'dft meet the bear i'th' mouth. When the mind's free,

The body's delicate; the tempeft in my mind
Doth from my fenfes take all feeling else,
Save what beats there. Filial ingratitude!
Is it not, as this mouth fhould tear this hand

For

(16) Gallow] i, e. Scare, frighten. See the foregoing paffage.

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For lifting food to`t ?—But I'll punish home;
No, I will weep no more-In fuch a night,
To fhut me out ?-pour on, I will endure:
In fuch a night as this? O, Regan, Gonerill,
Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all
O, that way madness lies; let me fhun that ¿
No more of that.-

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Kent. Good my lord, enter here.

Lear. Pr'ythee, go in thyfelf; feck thine own eafe; This tempeft will not give me leave to ponder On things would hurt me more-but I'll go in, In, boy, go first. You houfelefs povertyNay, get thee in; I'll pray, and then I'll sleep — Poor naked wretches, wherefoe'er you are, That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm! How fhall your houseless heads, and unfed fides, Your loop'd and window'd raggedness defend you From feafons fuch as these?-O, I have ta’en Too little care of this! take phyfick, pomp; Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel, That thou may'ft shake the fuperflux to them, And fhew the heav'ns more jutt.

-

Enter Edgar difquis'd like a Madman.

Edg. Away! the foul fiend follows me." Through the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind. Humph, go to thy bed and warm thee.

Lear. Didft thou give all to thy daughters? and art thou come to this? * Didft thou give them all? Now all the plagues that in the pendulous air Hang fated o'er mens faults, light on thy daughters! Kent. He hath no daughters, fir.

Lear. Death! traitor, nothing could have fubdu'd

nature

To fuch a lowness, but his unkind daughters.

Is it the fashion that difcarded fathers

Should

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Should have thus little mercy on their flesh?
Judicious punishment! 'twas this flesh begot
Thofe pelican daughters (17).

SCENE VI. On Man.

(18) Is man no more than this? Confider him well, 'Thou ow't the worm no filk, the beaft no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume. Ha! here's three of us are fophifticated. Thou art the thing itself unaccommodated man is no more but fuch a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art. Off, off, you lendings: come, unbutton here.

ACT IV.

1 *

11.

The Fuftice of Providence.

SCENE I.

T

That I am wretched,

Makes thee the happier; heavens deal fo ftill!
Let the fuperfluous and luft-dieted man,

(19) That flaves your ordinance, that will not fee
Because he does not feel, feel your power quickly;
So diftribution should undo excess,
And each man have enough.

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(17) I have given the reader all the most beautiful passages of this celebrated part of the tragedy, and have avoided any comments on it, as its beauties are fo ftriking, and fo generally commended: however, if he thinks proper, he may, by confulting Mr. Smith's Tranflation of Longinus, find fome obfervations there not unworthy his regard. See the 3d note on the 10th fection.

:

(18) Is man, &c.] See Meafure for Meafure, Vol. I. p. 49. n. 17. (19) That flaves, &c.] Mr. Warburton is for reading, braves here but he ftill forgets how frequently Shakespear makes verbs of fubftantives, and instead of endeavouring to explain his author's words, immediately has recourfe to the eafy art of altering, when there is any difficulty: by flaves your ordinance, the poet means, makes a flave of your ordinance: "makes it fubfervient, as Mr. Upton obferves, to his fuperfluities and lufts."

SCENE

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