Page images

Or ere

O let not womens weapons, water-drops,
Stain my man's cheeks. No, you unnat’ral hags,
I will have such revenges on you both, (24)
That all the world fall-I will do such things,
What they are, yet I know not; but they shall be
The terrors of the earth: you think, I'll weep:
No, I'll not weep. I have full cause of weeping:
This heart shall break into a thousand flaws,

weep. O fool, I shall


mad. [Exeunt Lear, Glo'fter, Kent and Fool. Corn. Let us withdraw, 'twill be a storm.

[Storm and tempeft. Reg. This house is little; the old man and his people Cannot be well bestow'd.

Gon. 'Tis his own blame hach put himself from reft, And must needs taste his folly.

Reg. For his particular, I'll receive him gladly : But not one follower.

Gon. So am I purpos'd. Where is my Lord of Glofter?

Enter Glo'fter. Corn. Follow'd the old man forth; he is return'd. Gle. The King is in high rage, and will I know not


Lear as alluding to this, makes his prayer exceeding pertinent and fine,

Mr. Warburton. (24) I will have such revenges on you both, That all the world sali-----) This fine abrupt breaking off, and fuppresfion of passion in its very height, (a figure, which the Grezk shetoricians have callid, TorwinSIS) is very familiar with our author, as with other good writers, and always gives an energy to the subject. That, by Neptune in the first book of the Æneis, is always quoted as a celebrated instance of this figure:

Quos ego-----Sed motos præstat componere fluctus. What Lear immediately fubjoins here, I will do such things, ----What they are, yet I knoru not--..- - seems to carry the visible marks of imita


- Magrum eft quodcunque paravi;
Quid fit, adbuc; dubito.

Ovid. Metam. 1. 6.
Haud, quid fit, fciej
Sed grarde quiddam effe

Senec. in Thyeft.


Corn. 'Tis best to give him way, he leads himself. Gon. My Lord, intreat him by no means to stay.

Glo. Alack, the night comes on: and the high winds
Do forely ruffle, for many miles about
There's scarce a bush.

Reg. O Sir, to wilful men,
The injuries, that they themselves procure,
Must be their school-masters: shut up your

He is attended with a desp’rate train;
And what they may incenfe him to, being apt
To have his ear abus’d, wisdom bids fear.

Corn. Shut up your doors, my Lord, 'tis a wild night, My Regan counsels well : come out o'th' storm.


[blocks in formation]

A form is heard with thunder and lightning. Enter Kent,

and a Gentleman, severally.


HO's there,
Gent. One minded like the weather, most una

Kent. I know you, where's the King ?

Gent. Contending with the fretful elements;
Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea;
Or swell the curled waters 'bove the main,
That things might change, or cease: tears his white hair,
(Which the impetuous blasts with eyeless rage
Catch in their fury, and make nothing of.)
Strives in his little World of Man ļoutscorn
The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.
This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,
The lion, and the belly-pinched wolf
Keep their furr dry; unbonnetted he runs,
And bids what will, take all.

Kent. But who is with him ?

Gent. None but the fool, who labours to out-jeft His heart-struck injuries.

Kent. Sir, I do know you, And dare, upon the warrant of my note, Commend a dear thing to you. There's division (Although as yet the face of it is cover'd With mutual cunning) 'twixt Albany and Cornwall : Who have (as who have not, whom their

great stars (25) * Thron'd and set high ?) servants, who seem no less Which are to France the spies and speculations Intelligent of our ftate.

What hath been seen,
Either in snuffs and packings of the Dukes;
Or the hard rein, which both of them have borne
Against the old kind King; or something deeper,
(Whereof, perchance, these are but furnishings ->
But true it is, from France there comes a power
Into this scatter'd kingdom ; who already,
Wise in our negligence, have secret sea
In some of our best ports, and are at point
To shew their open banner-Now to you,
If on my credit you dare build so far
To make your speed to Dover, you fall find
Some that will thank you, making just report
Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
The King bath cause to plain.
I am a gentleman of blood and breeding,
And from some knowledge and assurance of you,
Offer this office.

Gent. I'll talk further with you.
Kent. No, do not:

(25) Wbo bave, as wbo bave not ---] The eight subsequent verfes were degraded by Mr. Pope, as unintelligible, and to no purpose. For my part, I see nothing in them but what is very easy to be underftood; and the lines seem absolutely necessary to clear up the motives, upon which France prepar'd his invasion: nor without them is the senie of the context compleat.


For confirmation that I am much more
Than my out-wall, open this purse and take
What it contains. If you shall fee Cordelia,
(As, fear not, but you shall) înew her that ring,
And he will tell you who this fellow is,
That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm!
I will go seek the King.

Gent. Give me your hand, have you no more to say?
Kent. Few words, but, to effect, more than all yet;
That, when we have found the King, (in which you take
That way, I this :) he that first lights on him,
Hollow the other.

[Exeunt severally. Storm fill. Enter Lear and Fool. Lear. Blow winds, and crack your cheeks; rage, blow! You cataracts, and hurricanoes, spout 'Till you have drencht our teeples, drown'd the cocks! You fulph’rous and thought-executing fires, Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunder-bolts, Singe my white head. And thou all-taking thunder, Strike fat the thick rotundity o'th' world; Crack nature's mould, all germins spill at once (26) That make ingrateful man.

Fcol. (26) Crack nature's mould, all germains spill at once.] Thus all the editions have given us this passage, and Mr. Pope has explain’d ger. mains, to mean, relations, or kindred elements. Then it must have been germanes (from the Latin adjective, germanus;) a word more than once used by our author, tho’ always false spelt by his editors. So, in Hamlet ;

The phrase would be more germane to the matter, if we could carry caonon by our fides : And so in Orbello;

You'll have your nephews neigh to you; You'll have coursers for cousins, and gennets for germanes.

But the poet means here, “ Crack nature's mould, and spill all * the seeds of matter, that are hoarded within it." To retrieve. which sense, we must write germins; (a fubftantive deriv'd from germen, cmipa': as the old gloffaries expound it;) and so we must again in Macbetb ;

Tho' the treasure
Of nature's germins tumble all together,
Ev'n till destruction ficken,

Fool. O nuncle, court-holy water in a dry houfe is better than the rain-waters out o' door. Good nuncle, in, and ask thy daughters blefling: here's a night, that pities neither wise men nor fools.

Lear. Rumble thy belly full, spit 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 subscription. Then let fall Your horrible pleasure; -here I stand, your slave; A poor, infirm, weak, and despis’d old man ! But yet I call you servile ministers, 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.

Fool. He that has a house to put’s head in, has a good head-piece : The cod-piece that will houfe, before the head has any: The head and he shall lowse ; so beggars marry many: That man that makes his toe, what he his heart should

make, Shall of a corn cry woe, and turn his sleep to wake. For there was never yet fair woman, but she made mouths in a glass.

To them, Enter Kent.
Lear. No, I will be the pattern of all patience,
I will say nothing.

Kent. Who's there!

Fool. Marry here's grace, and a cod-piece, that's a wife man and a fool.

Kent. Alas, Sir, are you here? things that love night, Love not such nights as these : the wrathful kies Gallow the very wand'rers of the dark, And make them keep their caves: since I was man,

And to put this emendation beyond all doubt, I'll produce one more pallage, where our author not only uses the same thought again, but the wor'that ascertains my explication. In Winter's Tale;

Ler nature crush the sides o'th' earth together,
And marr the feces within.


« PreviousContinue »