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Glo. Set me where you stand.
Edg. Give me your hand: you are now within a foot Of the extreme verge: 5 for all beneath the moon Would I not leap upright.
Glo. Let go my hand. . Here, friend, is another purse; in it, a jewel Well worth a poor man's taking. Fairies, and gods, Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off ; Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going. Edg. Now fare ye well, good Sir.
(Seems to go. Glo. With all my heart.
Edg. Why do I trifle thus with his despair? 'Tis done to cure it.
Glo. O you mighty gods !
[He leaps, and falls along. Edg. Good Sir, farewell. And yet I know not how conceit
rob The treasury of life, 6 when life itself Yields to the theft. Had he been where he thought, By this, thought had been past.--Alive or dead ? Ho, you, Sir! friend !-Hear you, Sir ?-Speak!
for all beneath the moon Would I not leap UPRIGHT.) But what danger is in leaping upright or upwards? He who leaps thus must needs fall again on his feet upon the place from whence he rose. We should read,
Would I not leap outright; i. e. forward : and then being on the verge of a precipice he must needs fall headlong. WARBURTON.
when life itself Yields to the theft. -j When life is willing to be destroyed. JOHNSON.
* Thus might he pass, indeed :-- yet he revives.
Glo. Away, and let me die.
Glo. But have I fallen, or no?
Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky bourn:
Glo. Alack, I have no eyes.
? Thus might he pass, indeed :-) Thus he might die in reality. We still use the word paling bell. JOHNSON.
Hadst thou been aught but GOSSOMER, feathers, air,) Gomore, the white and cobweb-like exhalations that fly about in hot sunny weather Skinner fays, in a book called The French Gardiner, it signifies the down of the fow-thiftle, which is driven to and fro by the wind :
" As sure some wonder on the cause of thunder,
Mr. Pope's conjecture may stand if the word which he uses were known in our author's time, but I think it is of later introduction. We may fay,
Ten malts on end JOHNSON.
chalky bourn :) Bourn seems here to signify a hill.
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,
Edg. Give me your arm.
Glo. Too well, too well.
Edg. This is above all strangeness.
Glo. A poor unfortunate beggar.
Edg. As I stood here below, methought his eyes Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses, Horns welk’d, and wav'd like the enridged fea: It was some fiend. Therefore, thou happy father, Think, that 2 the clearest gods, who make them honours Of mens' impossibilities, have preserv'd thee.
Glo. I do remember now. Henceforth I'll bear
Enter Lear, mad.
the clearest gods, The pureft; the mof free from evil. JOHNSON.
3 Bear free and patient thoughts.-) To be melancholy is to have the mind chained down to one painful idea ; there is therefore great propriety in exhorting Glo'fter to free thoughts, to an emancipation of his soul from grief and despair. JOHNSON 4 The safer sense will ne'er accommodate His majter thus.] Without doubt Shakespeare wrote,
The fober fense, i.e. while the understanding is in a right frame it will never thus accommodate its owner; alluding to Lear's extravagar! ch'ess. Thence he concludes him to be mad. WARBURTON.
Lear. No, they cannot touch me for coining: I am the king himself.
Edg. O thou side-piercing sight!
Lear. Nature's above art in that respect.—There's
Edg. Sweet marjoram.
I read rather,
The janer fense will ne'er accommodate
His master thus. “ Here is Lear, but he must be mad: his found or sane senses «« would never fuffer him to be thus disguised.” JOHNSON.
That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper.) Mr. Pope in his last edition reads cow-keeper. It is certain we must read crow-keeper. In several counties to this day, they call a stuffed figure, representing a man, and armed with a bow and arrow, set up to fright the crows from the fruit and corn, a crowkeeper, as well as a scare-crow. THEOBALD.
This crow-keeper was so common in the author's time, that it is one of the few peculiarities mentioned by Ortelius in his account of our island. JOHNSON.
• Draw me a clothier's yard.) Perhaps the poet had in his mind a stanza of the old ballad of Chevy Chace;
“ An arrow of a cloth-yard long,
Up to the head drew he,” &c. Steevens. 70, well flown, bird!) Lear is here raving of archery, and shooting at buts, as is plain by the words i' i he clout, that is, the white mark they set up and aim at: hence the phrase, to hit the white. So that we must read, 0, well-flown, Barb! i.e. the barbed, or bearded arrow. WARBURTON.
The author of The Revisal thinks there can be no impropriety in calling an arrow a bird, from the swiftness of its flight, especially when immediately preceded by the words ovell-flown.
STEEVENS. 8 Give the word.] Lear supposes himself in a garrison, and before he lets Edgar pass, requires the watch-word. JOHNS. Ff 2
Glo. I know that voice.
Lecr. 7 Ha! Goneri!l !- with a white beard !-8 They flattered me like a dog; and told me, I had white hairs in my beard, ere the black ones were there. To say ay, and no, to every thing that I said !-- Ay and no too was no good divinity. 9 When the rain came to wet me once, and the wind to make me chatter; when the thunder would not peace at my bidding; there I found 'em, there I smelt 'em out. Go to, they are not men o' their words: they told me I was every thing; ’ris a lie, I am not ague-proof.
Glo. "The trick of that voice I do well remember:
Lear. Ay, every inch a king.
Ha! Gonerill ! --with a white beard !-) So reads the folio, properly; the quarto, whom the later editors have followed, has, Ha! Gonerill, ha! Regan! they fattered me, &c. which is not to forcible. JOHNSON.
- Tycy flattered me like a dog ;-] They played the spaniel to me. JOHASON.
- When the rain come 10 vet me, &c.] This seems to be an allusion to king Canute's behaviour when his courtiers fiattered him as lord of the sea. STEEVENS.
The trick of that voict] Trick (says Sir Tho. Hanmer) is a word frequently used for the air, or that peculiarity in a face, voice, or giffure, which distinguishes it from others. -I believe that the meaning of the word trick has hitherto been nisunderstood. To trick means the same as to trace lightly; and is a phrase peculiar to drawing. The tricking is the first light out-line. He hath the trick (i. e. faint out-line) of Cæur de Lion's face, is a very proper expression; but I am afraid it wants something of that propriety when it is applied to a voice.