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Lear. Derefted kite! thou lieft: [To Gonerill. My train are men of choice and rarest parts, That all particulars of duty know; And in the most exact regard support The worships of their names.-o most small fault! How ugly didst thou in Cordelia shew? Which, like an engine, wrencht my frame of nature From the fixt place; drew from my heart all love, And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear! Beat at this gate that let thy folly in, [Striking his head. And thy dear judgment out !-Go, go, my people.

Alb. "My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
Of what hath mov'd you.

Lear. It may be so, my lord.
Hear, Nature ! hear; dear goddess, hear !
Suspend thy purpose, if thou didit intend
To make this creature fruitful!
Into her womb convey fterility;
Dry up in her the organs of increase;
And 1 from her derogate body never spring
A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen, that it may live,
And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her!
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth;
With 8 cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks;
Turn all her mother's pains, and benefits,
To laughter and contempt; that she may feel,
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is,
To have a thankless child! Away, away


[Exit. Alb. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes


-- like an engine, -] Mr. Edwards conjectures that an engine is the rack. He is right. To engine is, in Chaucer, to firain upon the rack. STEEVENS.

? - from her derogate body— Derogate for unnatural. Warb. Rather, I think, degraded; blafted. JOHNSON.

8 — cadent tears) ie. Falling tears. Dr. Warburton would read candent. STEEVENS.


Z 2

Gon. Never amict yourself to know the cause,
But let his disposition have that scope
That dotage gives it.

Re-enter Lear.
Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a clap ?
Within a fortnight!

Alb. What's the matter, Sir ?

Lear. I'll tell thee-Life and death! I am ashani'd That thou hast power to shake 'my manhood thus :

(To Gonerill. 9 That these hot tears, which break from me perforce, Should make thee worth them.--Blasts and fogs upon

thee! The untented woundings of a father's curse sense about thee!

-Old fond

eyes, Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck ye out; And cast you, with the waters that you lose, To temper clay. Ha! is it come to this? 2 Let it be so: 'I have another daughter, Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable ; When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails She'll fea thy wolfith visage. Thou shalt find, That I'll resume the shape, which thou dost think I have cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant thee.

[Exeunt Lear and attendants.

Pierce every

9 I will transcribe this passage from the first edition, that it may appear to those who are unacquainted with old books, what is the dificulty of revision, and what indulgence is due to those that endeavour to restore corrupted passages. That these hot tears, that breake from me perforce, should make the worst blafts and fogs upon the untender woundings of a father's curse, peruse every fease about the old fond eyes, beweep ibis caufe again, &c.

Johnson. 1 The untented woundings -] Untented wounds, means wounds in their worst state, not having a tent in them to digest them, and may pollibly mean here such as will not admit of having a tent put into them for that purpose. One of the quarto's reads, untender. STEVENS.

· Lit it be fo, &c. The reading is here gleaned up, part from the first, and part from the second edition. Johnson.


Gon. Do you mark that, my lord ?

Alb. I cannot be so partial, Gonerill, To the great love I bear you.

Gon. Pray you, be content. - What, Oswald, ho! -You Sir, more knave than fool, after your master.

[To the Fool. Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, take the

fool with thee.
A fox, when one has caught her,
And such a daughter,
Should sure to the Naughter,
If my cap would buy a halter;
So the fool follows after.

[Exit. Gon. This man hath had good counsel.- A hundred

knights! 'Tis politic, and safe, to let him keep 3 At point, a hundred knights. Yes, that on every

Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, disike,
He may enguard his dotage with their powers,
And hold our lives at mercy.-Oswald, I fay!-

Alb. Well, you may fear too far.

Gen. Safer than trust too far :
Let me still take away the harms I fear,
Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart :
What he hath utter'd, I have writ my sister;
If she'll sustain him and his hundred knights,
When I have thew'd the unfitness-
Oswald ?

Enter Steward.
What, have you writ that letter to my fister?

Stew. Ay, madam,

Gon. Take you some company, and away to horse : Inform her full of my particular fear; And thereto add such reasons of your own,

How now,

3 At point, I believe, means completely armed, and consequently ready at appointment or command on the flighteft notice. STEEVENS. Z 3


As may 3 compact it more. Get

you gone,
And hasten your return. No, no, my lord;

[Exit Steward.
This milky gentleness, and course of yours,
Though I condemn it not, yet, under pardon,
You are much 4 more at talk for want of wisdom,
Than prais'd for harmful mildness.

Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot tell ;
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.

Gom. Nay, then-
Alb. Well, well; the event.


A court-yard belonging to the duke of Albany's palace.

Enter Lear, Kent, Gentleman, and Fool.
Lear. Go you before to Glo'ster with these letters.
Acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you
know, than comes from her demand out of the letter:
If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there

Kent. I will not neep, my lord, till I have deli-
vered your letter.

Fcol. If a man's brain were in his heels, wer't not
in danger of kibes?

Lear. Ay, boy.

Fool. Then, I prythee, be merry; thy wit shall not go Nip-shod.




compaat it more. -] Unite one çircumstance with another, fo as to make a confiftent account. JOHNSON.

more at task-] It is a common phrase now with parents and governesses. I'll take you to tak, i. e. I will reprebend and corre&t you. To be at tası, therefore, is to be liable to reprehenfion and correction. JOHNSON.

there afore you.] He seems to intend to go to his daughter, but it appears afterwards that he is going to the house of Glo'iter. JOHNSON.


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Lear. Ha, ha, ha!

Fool. Shalt sec, thy other daughter will use thee kindly: for though she's as like this as a crab is like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.

Lear. What canst tell, boy?

Fool. She will taste as like this, as a crab does to a crab. Canst thou tell, why one's nose stands i thé middle of one's face.

Lear. No.

Fool. Why to keep one's eyes of either side one's nose; that what a man cannot smell out, be may spy into.

Lear. ?I did her wrong
Fool. Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell ?
Lear. No.

. Nor I neither ; but I can tell why a snail has a house.

Lear. Why?

Fool. Why, to put's head in; not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns without a case.

Lear. I will forget my nature. --So kind a father! Be my horses ready?

Fool. Thy affes are gone about 'em. The reason, why the seven stars are no more than seven, is a pretty reason.

Lear. Because they are not eight?
Fool. Yes, indeed. Thou wouldst make a good fool.

Lear. 3 To take it again perforce !---Monster, ingratitude !

Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time.

Lear. How's that?

* I did her wrong] He is musing on Cordelia. Johns.

3 To take it again perforce! He is meditating on the resumption of his royalty. JOHNSON.

He is rather meditating on his daughter's having in fo violent a manner deprived him of those privileges which before she had agreed to grant him. Steevens. Z4


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