Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Got 'tween the lawful sheets.
To't, luxury, pell-mell; for I lack soldiers.
Behold yond simpering dame,
2 Whose face between her forks presages snow;
That minces virtue, and does shake the head
To hear of pleasure's name.
3 The fitchew, 4 nor the foyled horse, goes to't
With a more riotous appetite.
Down from the waist they are Centaurs,
Though women all above:
But to the girdle do the gods inherit,
Beneath is all the fiend's; there's hell, there's clarkness,
There is the fulphurous pit, burning, scalding, stenci,

consumption. Fie, fie, fie! pah, pah! Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, To sweeten my imagination! there's money for thee.

Glo. O, let me kiss that hand !
Lear. Let me wipe it firit; it smells of mortality.

Glo. O ruin’d piece of nature! This
Shall so wear out to nought.-Doft thou know me?

Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou fquiny at me? No, do thy worst, blind Cupid; I'll not love. Read thou this challenge; mark but the penning of it.

Glo. Were all the letters suns, I could not see one.

great world

4

W koke face between her forks-; i.e. Her hand held before her face in sign of modefty, with the fingers spread out, forky.

WARBURTON. I believe that the forks were two prominences of the ruff rising on each side of the face. JOHNSON. 3 The fitcheco, ---] A polecat. Pope.

- nr she soyled herje,-) I read Jinlied horse. WARB. Sciled horse is probably the same as pempered' horle, un cheval feill. JOHNSON

Seyled horse is a term used for a horse that has been fed with hay and corn in the fiable during the winter, and is turned out in the spring to take the firit Auch of grass, or has it cut and carried in to him. This at once cienfes the animal, and fills him with blocd. STECVENS.

Eddy.

Ff 3

Edg. I would not take this from report:-it is,
And my heart breaks at it.

Lear. Read.
Glo. What, with this case of eyes?

Lear. Oh, ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light : yet you see how this world goes.

Glo. I see it feelingly.

Lear. What, art mad? A man may see how this world goes, with no eyes. Look with thine ears: see, how yon justice rails upon yon simple thief. Hark in thine ear. Change places, and handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar.

Glo. Ay, Sir,

Lear. And the creature run from the cur. There thou might'st behold the great image of authority: a dog's obey'd in office. Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand: Why dost thou lash that whore ? strip thy own back; Thou hotly lust'st to use her in that kind, For which thou whipp'st her. The usurer hangs the Through tatter'd cloaths small vices do appear ; 5 Robes and furr'd gowns hide all. Plate sin with

gold, And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks : Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it. None does offend, none, I say, none; 6 I'll able 'em :

cozener.

s Robes and furr'd gowns

bide all. -] From bide all to accufer's lips, the whole passage is wanting in the firit edition, being added, I suppose, at his revifal. JOHNSON.

I'll able 'em :) An old phrase signifying to qualify, or uphold them. So Scogan, contemporary with Chaucer, lays,

* Set all my life after thyne ordinance,

And able me to mercie or thou deme." But the Oxford Editor aiters it to absolve. WARBURTON.

So Chapman, in his comedy of The Widow's Tears, 1612. Admitted ! ay, into her heart, and I'll able it," STEEVENS.

Take

: 1

Take that of me, my friend, who have the power
To feal the accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes;
And, like a scurvy politician, seem
To see the things thou dost not.
Now, now, now, now. Pull off my boots :-harder,

harder.-So.
Edg. O matter and impertinency mixt :
Reason in madness!

Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes.
I know thee well enough; thy name is Glo'ster:
Thou must be patient; we came crying hither :
7 Thou know'st, the first time that we smell the air,
We wawle and cry. I will preach to thee ;-mark-

Glo. Alack, alack the day!

Lear. When we are born, we cry, that we are come
To this great stage of fools.—8 This a good block !--
It were a delicate stratagem to shoe
A troop of horse with felt: I'll put it in proof;

And
Thou kaow's, the firft time that we smell the air,
We wawle and cry.

“ Vagitâq; locum lugubri complet, ut æquum eft
- Cui tantum in vitâ reítat tranfire malorum.Lucretius.

STEEVENS. This a good block !) I do not see how this block corresponds either with his foregoing or following train of thoughts. Madmen think not wholly at random. I would read thus, a good flock. Flocks are wool moulded together. The sentence then follows properly :

It were a delicate stratagem to Moe

A troop of horse with felt; i. e. with flocks kneaded to a mass, a practice I believe sometimes used in former ages, for it is mentioned in Ariosto:

Fece nel cader strepito quanto “ Avesse avuto sotto i piedi il feltro.It is very common for madmen to catch an accidental hint, and strain it to the purpose predominant in their minds. Lear picks up a flock, and immediately thinks to furprize his enemies by a troop of horse shod with flocks or felt. Yet block may ftand, if we suppose that the sight of a block put him in mind of mounting his horse. JOHNSON.

This a good block ?-) Dr. Johnson's explanation of this paffage is very ingenious; but, I believe, there is no

occasion

[ocr errors]

Ff 4

And when I have stolen upon these fons-in-law,
Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill.

Enter a Gentleman, with attendants.
Gent. O, here he is ; lay hand upon him.-Sir,
Your most dear daughter-

Lecr. No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even
The natural fool of fortune.--Ufe me well,
You shall have ransom. Let me have a surgeon,
I am cut to the brains.

occasion to adopt it, as the speech itself, or at least the action which should accompany it, will furnish all the connection which he has fought from an extraneous circumstance. Upon the kirg's frying, I will proach to thee, the poet seems to have mcant him to pull off his hat, and keep turning it and feeling it, in the attitude of one of the preachers of those times (whom I have feen fo represented in old prints) till the idea of felt, which the good bat or block was made of, raises the itratagem in his brain of Thoeing a troop of horse with a substance soft as 'that which he held and moulded between his hands. This makes him fart from his preachment.--Block anciently fignified the head part of the hat, or the thing on which a kat is formed, and sometimes the hat itself.-See Much ado, &c.

“ He wenres his faith but as the fashion of his hat ; it

changes with the next block."
See Beaumont and Fletcher's M'it at several Weapons ;

“ I am so haunted with this broad-brim'd bat

Of the last progress block, with the young hattand.” Greene, in his Defence of Conny-catching, 1592, describing a mpat companion, says, “ he weareth a hat of a high blocke, and ço a broad brimme.' So in The Revenger's Tragedy, 1609.

His head will be made ferve a bigger block."
So in Decker's Honest Whcre, 1635.

we liave blocks for all heads."
Again, in Green's Tu Cuoque, 1599.

Where did you buy your felt?

Nay, never laugh, for you're in the same block."
Again, in Lazu Tricks, &c. 1603, “I cannot keep a block
© private, but every citizen's fon thrusts his head into it."
Again, in Fiifiriomatix, 1610.

". Your hat is of a better block than mine."
Again, in The Mariial Maid of Beaumont and Fletcher,

“ Tho' now your block-head be cover'd with a Spanish
s block." STEEVENS.

Geut,

1 1

Gent. You shall have any thing.

Lear. No seconds ? All myself? Why, this would make a man, 'a man of salt, To use his eyes for garden water-pots, And laying autumn's dust.-I will die bravely, Like a sinug bridegroom. What? I will be jovial. Come, come, I am a king, my masters; know you

that? Gent. You are a royal one, and we obey you. Lear. 2 Then there's life in't. Nay, come, an'

you get it,

You shall get it by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa. [Exit.

Geit. A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch;
Past speaking of in a king! Thou hast one daughter,
Who redeems nature from the general curse
Which twain have brought her to,

Edg. Hail, gentle Sir.
Gent. Sir, speed you. What's your will ?
Edg. Do you hear aught, Sir, of a battle toward ?

Gent. Most sure, and vulgar: every one hears that, Which can distinguish found.

Edg. But by your favour, How near's the other army?

Gent. Near, and on speedy foot: 3 the main descry Stands on the hourly thought.

Edg. I thank you, Sir: that's all.
Gent. Though that the queen on special cause is

here,
Her army is mov'd on.
Edg. I thank you, Sir.

[Exit Gent. Glo. You ever gentle gods, take my breath from me;

a man of salt,] Would make a man melt away like salt in wet weather. JOHNSON. ? Then there's life in't. The case is not yet desperate.

JOHNSON, the main defcry Stands on the hourly thought.] The main body is expected to be descry'd every hour, The expression is harsh. JOHNSON.

Let

3

« ZurückWeiter »