Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

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 !
This world I do renounce; and in your sights
Shake patiently my great amiction off:
If I could bear it longer, and not fall
To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
My snuff, and loathed part of nature, should
Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O bless him!
Now, fellow, fare thee well.

[He leaps, and falls along. Edg. Good Sir, farewell. And yet I know not how conceit

may

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!

[ocr errors]

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

6

* Thus might he pass, indeed :-- yet he revives.
What are you, Sir ?

Glo. Away, and let me die.
Edg. 8 Hadst thou been aught but goffomer, feas

thers, air,
So many fathom down precipitating,
Thou hadīt shiver'd like an egg: but thou dost breathe,
Haft heavy subitance; bleed'it not; speak'st; art found.
9 Ten maits at each make not the altitude,
Which thou hast perpendicularly fallen.
Thy life's a miracle. "Speak yet again.

Glo. But have I fallen, or no?

Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky bourn:
Look up a-height:--the ihrill-gorg'd lark 1o far
Cannot be seen or heard. Do but look up.

Glo. Alack, I have no eyes.
Is wretchedness depriv’d that benefit,
To end itself by death? 'Twas yet

some comfort,

8

3

? 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,
« On ebb and flood, on gofomer and mist,
And on all things, till that the cause is wilt."

Dr. GRAY.
9 Ten masts AT ÉACH make not the altitude,] So Mr. Pope
found it in the old editions; and seeing it corrupt, judiciously
corrected it to attacht. But Mr. Theobald restores again the old
nonsense, at each. WARBURTON.

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.
In Mr. Rowe's edition it is, Ten mafts at leaft. STEVENS.

chalky bourn :) Bourn seems here to signify a hill.
Its common signification is a brook. Milton in Comus uses
busky bourn in the same sense perhaps with Shakespeare. But in
both authors it may mean only a boundary. JOHNSON.
Vol. IX.

When

[ocr errors]

When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,
And frustrate his proud will.

Edg. Give me your arm.
Up.-So.-How is't? Feel you your legs? Youstand.

Glo. Too well, too well.

Edg. This is above all strangeness.
Upon the crown o' the cliff, what thing was that
Which parted from you?

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
Aliction, till it do cry out itself,
Enough, enough, and die. That thing you speak of,
I took it for a man; often 'twould say,
The fiend, the fiendHe led me to that place.
Edg. 3 Bear free and patient thoughts.

Enter Lear, mad.
But who comes here?
4 The safer sense will ne'er accommodate
His master thus.

Lear.

2

ON.

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
your press-money. S That fellow handles his bow like
a crow-keeper. Draw me a clothier's yard.-Look,
look, a mouse! Peace, peace ;-this piece of toasted
cheese will do't.-There's my gauntlet ; I'll prove it
on a giant.-Bring up the brown bills. 70, well
flown, bird ! i the clout, i' the clout: hewgh.-
& Give the word.

Edg. Sweet marjoram.
Lear. Pass.

[ocr errors][merged small]

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

Gle.

[ocr errors]

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:
Is't not the king ?

Lear. Ay, every inch a king.
When I do stare, fee, how the subject quakes.
I pardon that man's life: what was the cause ?
Adultery.
Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery! No:
The wren goes to't, and the small gilded fly
Does lecher in my fight.
Lei copulation thrive, for Glo'iter's bastard son
Was kinder to his father, than my daughters

[ocr errors]

7

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

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.

STEETENS.

Got

1

« ZurückWeiter »