« PreviousContinue »
Enforce their charity-Poor Turlygood! poor Tom !9 That's something yet ;-Edgar I nothing am.. [Exit.
Enter LEAR, Fool, and Gentleman.
home, And not send back my messenger. Gent.
As I learn'd, The night before there was no purpose in them
poor Turlygood! poor Tom'] We should read Turlupin. In the fourteenth century there was a new species of gipsies, called
ins, a fraternity of naked beggars, which ran up and down Europe. However, the church of Rome hath dignified them with the name of hereticks, and actually burned some of them at Paris. But what sort of religionists they were, appears from Genebrard's account of them. “Turlupin Cynicorum sectam suscitantes, de nuditate pudendorum, & publico coitu.” Plainly, nothing but a band of Tom-o'-Bedlams. Warburton.
Hanmer reads-poor Turluru. It is probable the word Turlygood was the common corrupt pronunciation. Fohnson.
Edgar I nothing am.] As Edgar I am outlawed, dead in law; I have no longer any political existence. Johnson.
The critick's idea is both too complex and too puerile for one in Edgar's situation. He is pursued, it seems, and proclaimed ; i. e. a reward has been offered for taking or killing him. In assuming this character, says he, I may preserve myself; as Edgar I am inevitably gone. Ritson.
Perhaps the meaning is, As poor Tom, I may exist ; appearing as Edgar I am lost Malone.
2 Before Gloster's Castle.] It is not very clearly discovered why Lear comes hither. In the foregoing part he sent a letter to Gloster ; but no hint is given of its contents. He seems to have gone to visit Gloster while Cornwall and Regan might prepare to entertain him.
Fohnson. It is plain, I think, that Lear comes to the Earl of Gloster's in con. séquence of his having been at the Duke of Cornwall's, and having heard there, that his son and daughter were gone to the Earl of Gloster's. His first words show this: “'Tis strange that they (Cornwall and Regan) should so depart from home, and not send back my messen. ger (Kent).” It is clear also, from Kent's speech in this scene, that he went directly from Lear to the Duke of Cornwall's, and delivered his letters, but, instead of being sent back with any answer, was ordered to follow the Duke and Duchess to the Earl of Gloster's. But what then is the meaning of Lear's order to Kent, in the pre
Of this remove.
Hail to thee, noble master!
No, my lord.3 Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters!4 Horses are tied by the heads; dogs, and bears, by the neck; monkies by the loins, and men by the legs: when a man is over-lustys at legs, then he wears wooden netherstocks.6
ceding Act, scene v: Go you before to Gloster with these letters. The obvious meaning, and what will agree best with the course of the subsequent events, is, that the Duke of Cornwall and his wife were then residing at Gloster. Why Shakspeare should choose to suppose them at Gloster, rather than at any other city, is a different question. Perhaps he might think, that Gloster implied such a neighbourhood to the Earl of Gloster's castle, as his story required. Tyrwhitt.
See p. 186, n. 7. Malone.
he wears cruel garters . ] I believe a quibble was here in. tended. Crewel signifies worsted, of which stockings, garters, nightcaps, &c. are made ; and it is used in that sense in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady, Act II:
" For who that had but half his wits about him
- To such a crewel night cap." So, again, in the comedy of The Two Angry Women of Abington, printed 1599:
I'll warrant you, he 'll have “ His cruell garters cross about the knee." So, in The Bird in a Cage, 1633 :
“ I speak the prologue to our silk and cruel
“ Gentlemen in the hangings.” Again, in Woman's a Weathercock, 1612:
“ Wearing of silk, why art thou still so cruel." Steevens.
over-lusty --] Over-lusty, in this place, has a double signification. Lustiness anciently meant sauciness. So, in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612:
upon pain of being plagued for their lustyness." Again, in Claudius Tiberius Nero, 1607 :
6 She'll snarl and bite,
- then he wears wooden nether-stocks.) Nether-stocks is the old word for stockings. Breeches were at that time called “men's overa stockes," as I learn from Barrett's Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580.
It appears from the following passage in the second part of The
Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place mistook
It is both he and she,
Lear. They durst not do 't;
My lord, when at their home
Map of Mock Beggar Hall, &c. an ancient ballad, that the stockings were formerly sewed to the breeches:
- Their fathers went in homely frees,
“ And good plain broad-cloth breeches ; “ Their stockings with the same agrees,
“ Sew'd on ith good strong stitches." Stubbs, in his Anatomie of Abuses, has a whole chapter on The Di. versitie of Nether-Stockes worne in England, 1595. Heywood among his Epigrams, 1562, has the following:
“ Thy upper-stocks, be they stuft with silke or flocks,
“ Never become thee like a nether paire of stocks." Steevens. ? Lear.] This and the next speech are omitted in the folio.-1 have left the rest as I found them, without any attempt at metrical division ; being well convinced that, as they are collected from discordant copies, they were not all designed to be preserved, and therefore cannot, in our usual method, be arranged. . Steevens.
8 By Juno, I swear, ay. ] Omitted in the quartos. Steevens.
9 To do upon respect such violent outrage:] To violate the publick and venerable character of a messenger from the king. Johnson.
To do an outrage upon respect, does not, I believe, primarily mean, to behave outrageously to persons of a respectable character, (though that in substance is the sense of the words) but rather to be grossly deficient in respect to those who are entitled to it, considering respect as personified. So before in this scene :
“ You shall do small respect, show too bold malice
Against the grace and person of my master, 56 Stocking his messenger.” Malone.
I did commend your highness' letters to them, Ere I was risen from the place that show'd My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post, Stew'd in his haste, half breathless, panting forth From Goneril his misress, salutations; Deliver'd letters, spite of intermission, Which presently they read : on whose contents, They summon'd up their meiny, straight took horse; Commanded me to follow, and attend
1 Deliver'd letters, spite of intermission,] Intermission, for another message, which they had then before them, to consider of; called intermission, because it came between their leisure and the Steward's message. Warburton.
Spite of intermission is without pause, without suffering time to intereene. So, in Macbeth:
gentle heaven, “ Cut short all intermission,” &c. Steevens. Spite of intermission, perhaps means in spite of, or without regarding, that message which intervened, and which was entitled to precedent attention.
Spite of intermission, however, may mean, in spite of being obliged to pause and take breath, after having panted forth the salutation from his mistress. In Cawdrey's Alphabetical Table of hard Words, 1604, intermission is defined, " foreslowing, a pawsing or breaking off
Malone. 2 They summond up their meiny,] Meiny, i. e. people. Pope. Mesne, a house. Mesnie, a family, Fr. So, in Monsieur D’Olive, 1606:
if she, or her sad meiny, “ Be towards sleep, I 'll wake them.” Again, in the bl. 1. romance of Syr Eglamoure of Artoys, no date :
“ Of the emperoure took he leave ywys,
“ And of all the meiny that was there.” Again:
“ Here cometh the king of Israel,
“ With a fayre meinye.” Steevens. So, in Lambard's Archeion, 1635, p. 2: " - whilest all the world consisted of a few householders, the elder (or father of the family) exercised authoritie over his meyney." Reed.
Though the word meiny be now obsolete, the word menial, which is derived from it, is still in use. On whose contents, means the contents of which. M. Mason.
Menial is by some derived from servants being intra mania, or domesticks An etymology favoured by the Roman termination of the word. Many, in Kent's sense, for train or retinue, was used so late as Dryden's time: “ The many rend the skies with loud applause."
Ode un Alexander's Feast. H. White.
Thé leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks :
Do make their children blind;
Shall see their children kind.
Ne'er turns the key to the poor.-
3 Having more man than wit about me, drew; ] The personal pronoun, which is found in the preceding line, is understood before the word having. The same licence is taken by our poet in other places. See Act IV, sc. ü: “- and amongst them felld him dead;" where they is understood. So, in Vol. XI, p.
“ Have put his knife into him.” where he is understood before would. See also Hamlet, Act II, sc. ii: " · whereat griev'd, -sends out arrests.”—The modern editors, following Sir Thomas Hanmer, read-1 drew. Malone.
4 Winter 's not gone yet, &c.] If this be their behaviour, the king's troubles are not yet at an end. Johnson. This speech is omitted in the quartos. Steevens. dolours - ] Quibble intended between dolours and dollars.
Hanmer. The same quibble had occurred in The Tempest, and in Measure for Measure. Steevens.
for thy daughters,] i. e. on account of thy daughters' ingratitude. In the first part of the sentence dolours is understood in its true sense ; in the latter part it is taken for dollars. The modern editors have adopted an alteration made by Mr. Theobald,-- from instead of for; and following the second folio, read--thy dear daughters.
Malone. 7 0, how this mother &c.] Lear here affects to pass off the swelling of his heart ready to burst with grief and indignation, for the dis