« ZurückWeiter »
Re-enter EDGAR. EDG.
Give me your hand : Far off, methinks, I hear the beaten drum. Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend.
A Tent in the French Camp. LEAR on a Bed,
asleep ; Physician, Gentleman", and Others, attending : Enter CORDELIA and Kent. CoR. O thou good Kent, how shall I live, and
work, To match thy goodness ? My life will be too short, And
every measure fail me 4. Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o'er
Be better suited :
Physician, Gentleman, &c.] In the quartos the direction is, “ Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Doctor," omitting by negligence the Gentleman, who yet in those copies is a speaker in the course of the scene, and remains with Kent, when the rest go out. In the folio, the direction is, “ Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Gentleman
to the latter of whom all the speeches are given, which in the original copies are divided between the Physician and the Gentleman. I suppose,
penury of actors, it was found convenient to unite the two characters, which, we see, were originally distinct. Cordelia’s words, however, might have taught the editor of the folio to have given the Gentleman whom he retained the appellation of Doctor : “ Be govern’d by your knowledge, and proceed
of your own will.” Malone. every measure fail me.] All good which I shall allot thee, or measure out to thee, will be scanty. Johnson.
$ Be better suited :] i. e. Be better dressed, put on a better suit of clothes. STEEVENS. VOL. X.
“ l' the
These weeds are memories of those worser hours o;
Pardon me, dear madam;
[To the Physician. Phys. Madam, sleeps still.
Cor. O you kind gods,
* Quarto, hurrying.
6 These weeds are memories of those worser hours ;] Memories, i. e. Memorials, remembrancers. Shakspeare uses the word in the same sense, As You Like It, Act II. Sc. III. :
“ O, my sweet master! O you memory
STEEVENS. So, in Stowe's Survey of London, 1618:-“ A printed memorie hanging up in a table at the entrance into the church-door.”
MALONE. - my MADE INTENT :] There is a dissonancy of terms in made intent; one implying the idea of a thing done, the other, undone. I suppose Shakspeare wrote-laid intent; i. e. projected. WARBURTON.
An intent made, is an intent formed. So we say in language, to make a design, and to make a resolution. Johnson.
8 Of this child-CHANGED father!] That is, changed by his children ; a father, whose jarring senses have been untuned by the monstrous ingratitude of his daughters. So, care-craz'd, crazed by care ; wave-worn, worn by the waves : woe-wearied, harassed by woe, &c. Malone.
“ Of this child-changed father! i. e. Changed to a child by his years and
wrongs; or perhaps, reduced to this condition by his children. STEVENS.
Lear is become insane, and this is the change referred to. Insanity is not the property of second childhood, but dotage. Consonant to this explanation is what Cordelia almost immediately adds :
So please your majesty, That we may wake the king ? he hath slept long. Cor. Be govern'd by your knowledge, and pro
ceed ['the sway of your own will.
your own will. Is he array'd ? Gent. Ay, madam'; in the heaviness of his *
sleep, We put fresh garments on him. Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do awake
him ; I doubt not of his temperance. CoR.
Very well. Phys. Please you, draw near.--Louder the mu
* First folio omits his.
“O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Thy medicine on my lips ; and let this kiss
Repair those violent harms, that my two sisters
“ Have in thy reverence made !” 9 Ay, madam, &c.] The folio gives these four lines to a Gentleman. One of the quartos (quarto B] gives the two first to the Doctor, and the two next to Kent. The other quarto [quartos A and C) appropriates the two first to the Doctor, and the two following ones to a Gentleman. I have given the two first, which best belong to an attendant, to the Gentleman in waiting, and the other two to the Physician, on account of the caution contained in them, which is more suitable to his profession. Steevens.
In the folio the Gentleman and (as he is here called) the Physician, is one and the same person. Ritson.
* Very well.] This and the following line I have restored from the quartos, STEEVENS.
? — Louder the musick there.] I have alreadly observed, that Shakspeare considered soft musick as favourable to sleep. See Love's Labour's Lost, vol. iv. p. 387, Lear, we may suppose, had been thus composed to rest; and now the Physician desires louder musick to be played, for the purpose of waking him. So again, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609, Cerimon, to recover Thaisa, who had been thrown into the sea, says
"The rough and woeful musick that we have,
Cause it to sound, 'beseech you."
CoR. O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Kind and dear princess! Cor. Had you not been their father, these white
flakes Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face To be expos'd * against the warring winds ? [To stand against the deep dread-bolted thun
der ? In the most terrible and nimble stroke Of quick, cross lightning? to watch (poor perdu !) With this thin helm 5 ?] Mine enemy's dogo,
* First folio, opposed. Again, in The Winter's Tale :
" Musick awake her ; strike!" MALONE.
RESTORATION, hang Thy medicine on my lips ;] This is fine. She invokes the goddess of health, Hygeiia, under the name of Restoration, to make her the minister of her rites, in this holy office of recovering her father's lost senses. WARBURTON.
Restoration is no more than recovery personified. STEEVENS.
4 [To stand, &c.] The lines within crotchets are omitted in the folio. Johnson.
to watch (poor PERDU !) With this thin helm ?] The allusion is to the forlorn-hope in an army, which are put upon desperate adventures, and called in French enfans perdus. These enfans perdus being always slightly and badly armed, is the reason that she adds, “With this thin helm ?" i. e. bare-headed. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton's explanation of the word perdu is just, though the latter part of his assertion has not the least foundation. Paulus Jovius, speaking of the body of men who were anciently sent on this desperate adventure, says: “ Hos ab immoderatâ fortitudine perditos vocant, et in summo honore atque admiratione habent.” It is not likely that those who deserved so well of their country for exposing themselves to certain danger, should be sent out, summá admiratione, and yet slightly and badly armed.
The same allusion occurs in Sir W. Davenant's Love and Honour, 1649:
Though he had bit me, should have stood that
I have endur'd
“ More than a wet furrow and a great frost.” Again, in Cartwright's Ordinary :
as for perdues,
Among some fennel or some other grass,
“ Shows how they lye i' th' field.” Steevens. In Polemon's Collection of Battels, 4to. bl. 1. printed by Bynneman, p. 98, an account of the battle of Marignano is translated from Jovius, in which is the following passage :-" They were very chosen fellowes taken out of all the Cantons, men in the prime of youth, and of singular forwardenesse : who by a very auntient order of that country, that by dooyng some deede of passyng prowesse they may obtaine rare honour of warrefare before they be growen in
doe of themselves request lous and harde pieces of service, and often use with deadlye praise to runne unto proposed death. These men do they call, of their immoderate fortitude and stoutnesse, the desperats forlorne hopen, and the Frenchmen enfans perdus : and it is lawfull for them, by the prerogative of their prowesse, to beare an ensigne, to have conducte and double wages all their life long. Neyther are the forlorne knowen from the rest by anye other marke and cognisance than the plumes of white feathers, the which, after the manner of captaines, they doe tourn behinde, waveryng over theyr shoulder with a brave kynde of riot."
Again, in Bacon's Apology, touching the late Earl of Essex, 12mo. 1651, p. 105 : you have put me like one of those that the Frenchmen call Enfans perdus that serve on foot before horsemen.” REED.
Amongst other desperate services in which the forlorn hope or enfans perdus, were engaged, the night-watches seem to have been a common one. So, Beaumont and Fletcher :
“ I am set here like a perdu,
mistress." Little French Lawyer, Act II. Sc. II.
WHALLEY. “With this thin helm ?” With this thin covering of hair.
MALONE. Mine enemy's dog,] Thus the folio. Both the quartos read, “ Mine injurious dog." Possibly the poet wrote—“Mine injurer's dog.” Steevens.
Gloster has before expressed the same sentiment perhaps still more strongly, p. 185.