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Oh, undistinguish'd space of woman's will! (52)
Glo. The King is mad; how ftiff is my vile sense,
[Drum afar off And woes, by wrong imaginations, lose The knowledge of themselves.
Edg. Give me your hand : Far off, methinks, I hear the beaten drum. Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend. [Exeunt.
SCENE changes to a Chamber.
Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Physician. Cor. O, thou good Kent, how shall I live and work To match thy goodness ? life will be too short, And ev'ry measure fail me.
(52) Ob, undistinguish'd space of woman's will!] This is the reading of the first Folio, which Mr. Pope very unhapı ily degrades, and substitutes, wit, the mistaken reading of the ift Quarto. What idea ke form’d to himself of the undistinguish'd space of a woman's wit, I can't tell; I am quite at a loss to understand any meaning in it. But the other reading gives us, as Mr. Warburton observes to me, a most elegant expression, and most satirical thought: and more delicate than the---Varium & mutabile femper fæmina---of VIRGIL. 'Tis not the extravagance, but the mutability, of a woman's will that is here satiriz’d. The change of which (our author would be understood to say,) is so speedy, that there is no space of time, no distance, between the present will and the next; but it is an undistinguish'd space. This sentiment may not be ill explain'd further from what honest Sancho, in Don Quixote, with infinite humour says upon the subject. Entre el Si y el No de la muger, no me atreveria yo a poner una funta do alfiler. Betwixt a woman's yea, and no, I would not undertake to thrust a pin's point.
Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o’erpaid;
Cor. Be better suited ;
Kent. Pardon, dear madam,
Cor. Then be it so,
Phy. Madam, sleeps still,
Cor. O you kind gods !
Phys. Please your Majesty,
Cor. Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed l'th'sway of your own will: is he array'd ?
Enter Lear in a chair, carried by fervants. Phys. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of sleep, We put fresh
garments on him. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him ; I doubt not of his temperance.
Cor. O my dear father! restoration, hang Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss Repair those violent harms, that my two fifters Have in thy reverence made !
Kent. Kind and deareft Princess!
Cor. Had you not been their father, these white flakes Did challenge pity of them. Was this a face, To be expos'd againit the warring winds ? To stand againit the deep, dread-bolted thunder? 153) In the most terrible and nimble stroke
(53) To fand against the deep,] The following three lines and an hall, in no wise unworthy of our author, I have restor’d from the
Of quick, cross lightning? To watch poor Perdue!
Phys. Madam, do you; 'tis fitteit.
Cor. Sir, do you know me ?
Lear. Where have I been? where am I? fair day-lighet
Cor. O look upon me, Sir,
Lear. Pray, do not mock me ;
Cor. And so I am ; I am..
fitters Have, as I do remember, done me wrong. You have some cause, they have not.
Cer. No cause, no caule.
Phys. Be comforted, good madam; the great rage,
Cor. Will't please your Highness walk?
Lear. You must bear with me; Pray you now, forget and forgive; I am old and foolith.
(Exeunt Lear, Cord, Phyf. and Attendants.
Manent Kent and Gentleman. Gent. Holds it true, Sir, that the Duke of Cornwall was fo lain? (54)
Kent. Most certain, Sir.
Gent. They fay, Edgar, his banish'd Son, 'is with the Earl of Kent in Germany.
Kent. Report is changeable; 'Tis time to look about: the powers of the Kingdom approach apace.
Gent. The arbitrement is like to be bloody.--Fare you well, Sir.
[Exit Gent. Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrought, Or well, or ill, as this day's battle's fought.
[Exit Kent. (54) Gent. Holds it true, Sir?] This short dialogue, which was retrench'd by the players in their edition, I have restor’d from the old 410. The matter of it is natural and easy; and tho' the language be not pompous, it is to the subject: and the uncertainty of common report, with regari to Kent and Edgar, must be very pleasing to the audience, who knew how rumour was mistaken in representing them to be abroad
Exter Edmund, Regan, Gentlemen, and Soldiers,
Or whether since he is advis'd by aught,
Reg. Our fifter's man is certainly miscarry'd.
Reg. Now, sweet Lord,
you not love my ffer
Reg. I never shall endure her ; dear my Lord,
Enter Albany, Gonerill, and Soldiers.
[clide. -be's full of a'teration, And self-reproving brings his confiant pleasure.] Thus in the imp:eions by Mr. Pope is this paisage moft nonsensically read, and pointed. But fome better copies have allifted to set it right.
(56) Gon. I'd rather loose the battle, --] This I have restor*d from the old 460; and, considering the jealouly of the Princ fies on each fide, it comes very naturally from Generill, upon her leeing Regan and Edmund together; as well as helps to mark the business going on, to