Abbildungen der Seite

Rcg. I am doubtful, that you have been conjunct And 4 bofom'd with her, as far as we call hers.

Edin. No, by mine honour, madam.]

Reg. I never shall endure her: dear my lord,
Be not familiar with her.

Edn. Fear me not.
She, and the duke her husband

Enter Albany, Gonerill, and Soldiers. Gon. I had rather lose the battle, than that lister Should loosen him and ine.

[Aside. Alb. Our very loving sister, well be-met.5 Sir, this I hear; the king is come to his daughter, With others, whom the rigour of our state Forc'd to cry out. (Where I could not be honest, I never yet was valiant: for this business, It toucheth us, as France invades our land,


bosom’d with her,-) Bafom'd is used in this sense by Heywood, in The Fair Maid of the West, 1631;

“ We'll crown our hopes and wishes with more pomp And sumptuous cost, than Priam did his son

“ That night he bojom'd Helen.” Steevens. s Sir, this I hear,--to-make oppose,-) This is a very plain speech, and the meaning is, The king and others whom we have opposed are come to Cordelia. I could never be valiant but in a juít quarrel. We must distinguish; it is just in one sense and unjust in another. As France invades our land I am concerned to repel him, but as he holds, entertains, and fupports the king, and others whom I fear many juft and heavy causes make, or compel, as it were, to oppose us, I esteem it unjud to engage against them. This speech, thus interpreted according to the common reading, is likewise very necessary; for otherwise Albany, who is characterised as a man of honour and observer of justice, gives no reason for going to war with those, whom he owns had been much injured under the countenance of his power. Notwithstanding this, Mr. Theobald, by an unaccountable turn of thought, reads the fourth line thus,

I never yet was valiant: 'fore this business, &c. puts the two last lines in a parenthesis, and then paraphrases the whole in this manner. “Sir, it concerns me (tho' not the

« king

Not holds the king; with others, whom, I fear,
Most just and heavy causes make oppose.

Edin. Sir, you speak nobly.]
Reg. Why is this reason'd?

Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy :
7 For these domestic and particular broils
s Are not to question here.

Alb. Let us then determine
With the ancient of war on our proceeding.

[Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent.]
Reg. Sister, you'll go with us?
Gon. No.
Reg. 'Tis most convenient : pray you, go with us,
Gon. [Afide.] Oh, ho, I know the riddle: I will go.

As they are going out, enter Edgar disguised.
Edg. If e'er your grace had speech with man so

Hear me one word.
Alb. I'll overtake you. -Speak.

(Exeunt Edm. Reg. Gon. and Attendants.
Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.

you have victory, let the trumpet sound For him that brought it. Wretched though I seem,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

king and the discontented party) to question about your “ interest in our fifter, and the event of the war." What he means by this I am not able to find out; but he gives a reason why his reading and sense should be preferred. And Regan and Gonerill in their replies seem both apprehensive that this subjet was coming into debate. Now all that we can collect from their replies is, that they were apprehensive he was going to blame their cruelty to Lear, Glo'iter, and others; which it is plain, from the common re::ding and the sense of the last line, he was. Most juft and heavy causes make oppose.

WARB. • Not holds the king ;-) The quartos read bolds. Steev.

. For the domestic and particular broils] This is the reading of the folio. The quartos have it,

For these domeitic doore particulars. STEEVENS. 8 Are not 10 question here.) Thus the quartos. The folio reads,

Are not che question here. STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]


I can

I can produce a champion, that will

prove What is avouched there. If you miscarry, Your business of the world hath so an end, And machination ceases. Fortune love you!

Alb. Stay till I have read the letter.

Edg. I was forbid it.
When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,
And I'll appear again.

(Exit. Alb. Why, fare thee well: I will o'erlook thy paper.

Re-enter Edmund.
Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers.
6 Here is the guess of their true strength and forces,
By diligent discovery ; but your hafte
Is now urg'd on you.
Alb. 7 We will greet the time.

Edm. To both these fifters have I fworn my love;
Each jealous of the other, as the stung
Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take?
Both? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy'd,
If both remain alive. To take the widow,
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Gonerill;
And hardly shall I 8 carry out my side,
Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use
His countenance for the battle ; which being done,
Let her, who would be rid of him, devise
His speedy taking off.

As for the mercy
Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia,
The battle done, and they within our power,

[merged small][ocr errors]

6 Here is the guess, &c.] The modern editors read, Hard is the guess. So the quartos. But had the discovery been diligent, the guess could not have proved so difficult. I have given the true reading from the folio. STEEVENS.

? We will greet the time.] Ve will be ready to meet the occasion. JOHNSON.

-carry out my side,] Bring my purpose to a successful issue, to completion. Side seems here to have the sense of the French word par:ie, in prendre partie, to take his resolution.




They shall never see his pardon : 9 for my

state Stands on me to defend, not to debate. [Exit.


A field between the two camps. Alarum within. Enter, with drum and colours, Lear,

Cordelia, and Soldiers over the stage, and exeunt.

· Enter Edgar and Gloʻster. Edg. Here, father, take the shadow of this tree For your good host; pray, that the right may thrive. If ever I return to you again, I'll bring you comfort. Glo. Grace go with you, Sir! [Exit Edgar.

[Alarum, and retreat, within.

Re-enter Edgar.
Edg. Away, old man, give me thy hand, away :
King Lear hath loft, he and his daughter ta’en :
Give me thy hand. Come on.

Glo. No further, Sir : a man may rot even here.
Edg. What, in ill thoughts again? Men must

Their going hence, even as their coming hither.
2 Ripeness is all. Come on,
Glo. And that's true too.


for my faie Stands on me, &c.] I do not think that for stands in this place as a word of inference or causality. The meaning is rather: Such is my determination concerning Lear; as for my state it requires now, not deliberation, but defence and support.

JOHNSON. The reader, who is curious to know how far Shakespeare was indebted to the Arcadia, will find a chapter entitled,“ The pitifull State and Storie of the Paphlagonian unkinde

King, and his nde Sonne; first related by the Sonne, then .“ by the blind father.” P. 141. edit. 1590. quarto. STEIV. ? Ripeness is all.-) i. e. To be ready, prepareá, is all. STEEV.



[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Enter in conquest, with drum and colours, Edmund;

Lear and Cordelia, as prisoners; Soldiers, Captain.

Edm. Some officers take them away, Good guard,
Until their greater pleasures first be known
That are to cenfure them,

Cor. We are not the first,
Who, with best meaning, have incurr'd the worst.
For thee, oppreffed king, am I cast down;
Myself could else out-frown false fortune's frown.
Shall we not see these daughters, and these sisters ?

Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison :
We two alone will fing, like birds i' the cage.
When thou doft ask me blefling, I'll kneel down
And ask of thee forgiveness. So we'll live,

pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court-news, and we'll talk with them too,
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out;
* And take upon us the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies. And we'll wear out,
In a wall’d prison, 2 packs and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.

Edm. Take them away.

Lear. 3 Upon such facrifices, my Cordelia,
The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught

And take upon's the my?ery of things,

As if we were God's spies.- ] As if we were angels commilicned to survey and report the lives of men, and were coniequently endowed with the power of prying into the original motives of action and the mysteries of conduct. JOHNSON.

packs and feets -] Packs is used for combinations or collection, as is a pack of cards. For jeets I think fets might be more commodiously read. So we say, affairs are now managed by'a new set. Sett, however, may well stand. JOHNSON. 3 Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,

The gods themjelves throw incense. 7 The thought is extiemely noble, and expressed in a sublime of imagery that


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »