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4 To do upon respect such violent outrage :
Kent. My lord, when at their home
Fool. 7 Winter’s not gone yet, if the wild geese fly
Fathers, that wear rags,
* To do upon respect such violent outrage:] To violate the public and venerable character of a meflenger from the king.
JOHNSON s Deliver'd letters, Spight of intermission,) Intermißion, for another messenger which they had then before them, to consider of; called intermission, because it came between their leisure and the steward's message. WARRURTON. 6 They fummon'd up their meiny,) Meiny, i. e. People.
Pope. ? Winter's not gone yet, &c.] If this be their behaviour, the king's troubles are not yet at an end. JOHNSON.
Fortune, that arrant whore,
Kent. With the earl, Sir, here within.
[Exit. Gent. Made you no more offence, but what you
speak of? Kent. None. How chance the king comes with so small a number?
Fool. An thou hadít been fet i the stocks for that question, thou hadft well deserv'd it.
Kent. Why, fool?
Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no labouring in the winter. 9 All that follow their noses are led by their eyes, but blind men; and there's not a nose among twenty, but can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy hold, when a great wheel runs down a hill, left it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes upward, let
dolours] Quibble intended between dolours and dollars. HANMER. . All that follow their noses are led by their eyes,
but blind men ; and there's not a nose among twenty, but can smell, &c.] There is in this sentence no clear series of thought. If he that follows his nose is led or guided by his eyes, he wants no information from his nose. I persuade myfelf, but know not whether I can persuade others, that our author wrote thus:--' All men are “ led by their eyes, but blind men, and they follow their noses; “ and there's not a nose among twenty but can smell him that's “ finking." Here is a succellion of rcatoning. You ask, why the king has no more in his train ? why, because men who are led by their eyes see that he is ruined ; and if there were any blind among them, who, for want of eyes, followed their noses, they might by their noses discover that it was no longer fit to follow the king. Jonsson.
him draw thee after. · When a wise man gives thee
Kent. Where learn’d you this, fool?
Re-enter Lear and Gloster. Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are fick?
They are weary? They have travelld hard to-night? Mere fetches; The images of revolt and flying off! Fetch me a better answer.
Glo. My dear lord,
When a wise man gives thee, &c.] One cannot too much commend the caution which our moral poet uses, on all occafions, to prevent his sentiments from being perverfly taker. So here, having given an ironical precept in commendation of perfidy and base desertion of the unfortunate, for fear it fhculd be understood seriously, though delivered by his buffoon or jefter, he has the precaution to add this beautiful corrective, full of fine sense :-" I would have none but knaves follow it, “ since a fool gives it.” WARBURTON. 2 But I will tarry; the fool will stay,
And let, &c.] I think this passage erroneous, though both the copies concur. The sense will be mended if we read,
But I will tarry ; the fool will stay,
The knave no fool,That I stay with the king is a proof that I am a fool, the wise men are deferting him. There is knavery in this defertion, but there is no folly. JOHNSON,
You know the fiery quality of the duke ;
Lear. Vengeance ! plague! death! confusion !Fiery? what quality ? Why Glo'ster, Glo'ster, I'd speak with the duke of Cornwall and his wife.
Glo. Well, my good lord, I have informn'a them fo.
dear father Would with his daughter speak, commands her service: Are they inform’d of this ?- My breath and blood !Fiery? The fiery duke? Tell the hot duke, that
(Glofter offers to go. No, but not yet :
-may be he is not well; Infirmity doth still neglect all office, Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourselves, When nature, being oppress’d, commands the mind To suffer with the body. I'll forbear: And am fallen out with my more headier will, To take the indispos'd and sickly fit For the found man. Death ca my
Death ca my state! Wherefore
[Looking on Kent. Should he fit here? This act perfuades me, That this remotion of the duke and her 3 Is practice only. Give me my fervant forth. Go, tell the duke and his wife, I'd speak with them, Now! presently! Bid them come forth and hear me, Or at their chamber-door I'll beat the drum, Till it cry, pleep to death. Glo. I would have all well betwixt you.
[Exit. Lear. Oh me, my heart, my rising heart! but down,
3 Is practice only. - -] Pralice is in Shakespeare, and other old writers, used commonly in an ill fenfc for unlawful artifice. JOHNSON.
Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to 4 the eels, when she put them i' the paste alive: she rapt 'em o' the coxcombs with a stick, and cry'd, Down, wantons, down.
'Twas her brother, that, in pure kindness to his horse, butter'd his hay:
Enter Cornwall, Regan, Gloster, and Servants. Lear. Good morrow to you both. Corn. Hail to your grace! [Kent is set at liberty. Regan. I am glad to see your highness.
Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what reason I have to think so; if thou shouldst not be glad, I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb, Sepulch'ring an adultress.-0, are you free? [To Kent. Some other time for that.—Beloved Regan, Thy sister's naught. Oh Regan, 5 she hath tied Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here:
[Points to his heart. I can scarce speak to thee; thou’lt not believe, 6 Of how deprav'd a quality-Oh Regan!
Reg. I pray you, Sir, take patience; I have hope, You less know how to value her defert, 7 Than she to scant her duty.
- the ecls, when she put them i' the paste-] Hinting that the eel and Lear are in the same danger. JOHNSON.
-fhe bath tied Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here :] Alluding to the fable of Prometheus. WARBURTON.
Of how deprav'd a quality-] Thus the quarto. The folio reads,
With how deprav'd a quality - JOHNSON. ? Than De to fcant her duty.) The word fcant is directly contrary to the sense intended. The quarto reads,
flack her duty, which is no better. May we not change it thus :
You less know how to value her defert,
Than the to scan her duty. To sean my be to measure or proportion. Yet our author uses his negatives with such licentiousness, that it is hardly safe to