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Look'd blank upon me; struck me with her tongue, (19)
Corn. Fie, Sir! fie!
Lear. You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding flames Into her scornful eyes! infect her beauty, You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the pow'rful fun To fall, and blast her pride. -Reg. O the blest gods! So will you wish on me, when the rash mood is en.
Lear. No, Regan, thoa fhalt never have my curse: Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give (20)
(19) Look'd black upon mı, ] This is a phrase which I do not under
neither have I any where else met with it. But to look blank is a known expression, fignifying, either to give discouraging looks to another, or to stand dismay'd and disappointed one's-self. The post means here, that Regan gave him cold looks, as he before phrases it in this play. In Hamlet, he has chang’d the adjective into a verb;
Each oppofite, that blanks the face of joy. Milton (a ftudious imitator not only of our poet's words, but phrases ;) often uses blank in our author's sense here;
There without sign of boast, or sign of joy,
Masque at Ludlow-Caflle.
Par. loft. B. 9. And in another passage, with an equivalent expression;
Thus while he spake, each passion dimm'd his face. Ibid. B. 4.*
(20) Tby tender-hearted nature] This, as ! presume, was Mr. Pope's sophistication; I have restored from the old copies, tender-befied; (which, I am satisfied, was the poet's word) i. e, whose bulowa is beav'd with tender passions. So in Winter's Tale.
-But if one present
With violent befts.
Thee o'er to harshness; her eyes are fierce, but thine
Reg. Good Sir, to th' purpose. [Trumpet within
Reg. I know't, my sister's: this approves her letter, That she would soon be here. Is your Lady come ?
Lear. This is a slave, whose easy-borrowed pride
Make And again afterwards in the same play;
--'Tis such as you,
At each his needless heavings.
Once, or twice,
Lift up thy brow, renowned Salisbury;
And with a great heart beave a way this storm, (21)
if your sweet sway Allow obedience,] Could any man in his senses, and Lear has 'em yet, make it a queition whether heaven allow'd obedience? undoubtedly,
Make it your cause; send down and take my part,
Gon. Why not by th' hand, Sir? how have I offended?
Lear. O fides, you are too tough! Will
you yet holdi-how came my man i' th’ Stocks? Corn. I set him there, Sir: but his own disorders Deserv'd much less advancement.
Lear. You ? did you ?
Reg. I pray you, father, being weak, feem fo.
Lear. Return to her? and fifty men dismiss’d?
Gon. At your choice, Sir,
the poet wiote----hallow obedience,.---i. e. if by your ordinances you hold and pronounce it fanctified; and punish the violators of it as sacrilegious persons.
Mr. Warburtos. (22)
-and chuife To wage against the enmity o'rb' air, To be a comrade with the wolf and owl, Neculfily's fharp pircb.] The breach of the sense here is a manifer proof, that these lines were transpos'd by the firit editors : Neither can there be any syntax or grammatical coherence, unless we fuppofc Necesity's sharp pinch to be the accusative to wage. As I've plac's the verses; the sense is fine and easy; and the sentence compleat and finishd,
Lear. I prythee, daughter, do not make me mad,
Reg. Not altogether fo;
fit welcome; give ear to my lifter ;
Lear. Is this well spoken?
Reg. I dare avouch it, Sir; what, fifty followers? Is it not well ? what should you need of more ? Yea, or so many? fince both charge and danger Speak 'gainft so great a number : how in one house Should many people under two commands Hold amity?' 'tis hard, almost impossible,
Gon. Why might not you, my Lord, receive attendance From those that the calls feryants, or from mine?
Reg. Why not, my Lord ? if then they chanc'd to
Lear. I gave you all-
Lear. Made you my Guardians, my depofitaries ; But kept a reservation to be follow'd
With fuch a number; must I come to you
Lear. Thosewicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd,
Gon. Hear me, my lord ;
Reg. What needs one?
Lear. O, reason not the need: our baseft beggars
To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger; (23)
(23) touch me with noble anger,] It would puzzle one at first, to find the sense, and drift, and coherence of this petition. For if the gods sent this affliction for his punishment, how could he expect that they would defeat their own design, and affit him to revenge his injuries by touching bim with noble anger? This question cannot wellbe answer'd, without going a little further than ordinary for the solution. We may be affured then, that Shakespeare had here in his mind those opinions the ancient poets held of the misfortunes of particular families. They tell us, that when the anger of the gods (for any act of impiety) was rais'd against an offending family, that their method of punishment was this: first, they inflamed the breasts of the children to unnatural acts against their parents; and then, of the parents against their children; that they might destroy one another : and that both these outrages were the acts of ţhe gods. To confider