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The dark and vicious place where thee he got,
Cost him his eyes.

Thou hast spoken right, 'tis true; The wheel is come full circle'; I am here.

Alb. Methought, thy very gait did prophecy
A royal nobleness :- I must embrace thee;
Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I
Did hate thee, or thy father !

Worthy prince, I know't?.
ALB. Where have you hid yourself?
How have you known the miseries of your father ?

EDG. By nursing them, my lord.-List a brief

tale ;

And, when 'tis told, O, that my heart would

burst!The bloody proclamation to escape, That follow'd me so near, (O our lives' sweetness ! That with the pain of death we'd hourly die », Rather than die at once !) taught me to shift Into a mad-man's rags; to assume a semblance That very dogs disdain'd : and in this habit



to scourge us :) Thus the quartos. The folio reads :

to plague us.” Steevens. 1- full circle ;] Quarto, full circled. Johnson.

? I know it well.] The adverb--well, was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer for the sake of metre.

Steevens. 3 That with the pain of death, &c.] Thus both the quartos. The folio reads unintelligibly, “That we the pain,” &c. The original copies have would; but this was, I apprehend, a misprint in those copies for would, i. e. we would, or, as we should now write it, we'd. In The Tempest, Act II. Sc. I. we have should for she would. MALONE. I cannot think the folio reading

“ That we the pain of death would hourly die,' unintelligible. To die hourly the pains of death, does not seem to me a very harsh ellipsis for, To die suffering the pains of death.

BOSWELL, 4 The bloody proclamation to escape,

taught me to shift -] A wish to escape the bloody proclamation, taught me, &c. MALONE.

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Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
Their precious stones new lost"; became his

guide, Led him, begg’d for him, sav'd him from despair ; Never (O fault !) reveald myself unto him, Until some half hour past, when I was arm’d, Not sure, though hoping, of this good success, I ask'd his blessing, and from first to last Told him my pilgrimage : But his flaw'd heart, (Alack, too weak the conflict to support !) ”Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief, Burst smilingly.

EDM. This speech of yours hath mov'd me, And shall, perchance, do good: but speak you on; You look as you had something more to say.

Alb. If there be more, more woful, hold it in ; For I am almost ready to dissolve, Hearing of this.

[EDG. This would have seem'd a period To such as love not sorrow; but another, To amplify too-much, would make much more, And top extremity ?.




5 - his bleeding rings,

Their precious stones new lost;] So, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609 :

“ Her eye-lids, cases to those heavenly jewels

“ Which Pericles hath lost." Malone.
[Edg.] The lines between crotchets are not in the folio.

This would have seem'd a period
To such as love not sorrow ; but ANOTHER,
To amplify too-much, would make much more,

And top estremity.] The reader easily sees that this reflection refers to the Bastard's desiring to hear more ; and to Albany's thinking he had said enough. But it is corrupted into miserable nonsense. We should read it thus :

“ This would have seem'd a period. But such
As love to amplify another's sorrow

To much, would make much more, and top extremity.” i. e. This to a common humanity would have been thought the

Whilst I was big in clamour, came there a man, Who having seen me in my worst estate,

utmost of my sufferings; but such as love cruelty are always for adding more to much, till they reach the extremity of misery.

WARBURTON. The sense may probably be this : This would have seemed a period to such as love not sorrow; but another, i. e. but I must add another, i. e. another period, another kind of conclusion to my story, such as will increase the horrors of what has been already told. So, in King Richard II. :

“ I play the torturer, by small and small,

To lengthen out the worst.” STEEVENS. This would have seem'd a period

To such as love not sorrow; but another, To amplify too-much, would make

much more, " And top extremity.” So, in The Rape of Lucrece :

“ Devise extremes beyond extremity.". Too-much is here used as a substantive. A period is an end or conclusion. So, in King Richard III. :

O, let me make the period to my curse." This reflection perhaps refers, as Dr. Warburton has observed, to the Bastard's desiring to hear more, and to Albany's thinking that enough had been said. This, says Edgar, would have seemed the utmost completion of woe, to such as do not delight in sorrow; but another, of a different disposition, to amplify misery, would

give more strength to that which hath too much.”

Edgar's words, however, may have no reference to what Edmund has said ; and he may only allude to the relation he is about to give of Kent's adding a new sorrow to what Edgar already suffered, by recounting the miseries which the old king and his faithful follower had endured. Mr. Steevens points thus :

but another ;-
To amplify too much, would make much more,

“ And top extremity : But if such a punctuation be adopted, what shall we do with the word would, which is thus left without a nominative case ? A preceding editor, who introduced the above punctuation, to obtain some sense, reads and points':

but another :
(To amplify too-much, to make much more,
“ And top extremity,)

“ Whilst I was big," &c. and indeed without that alteration, the words thus pointed afford, in my apprehension, no sense. MALONE. Mr. Malone's explanation may be just ; and yet it is probable VOL. X.



Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding
Who 'twas that so endur'd, with his strong arms
He fasten'd on my neck, and bellow'd out
As he'd burst heaven; threw me on my father 8 :
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him,
That ever ear receiv'd : which in recounting
His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack : Twice then the trumpet sounded',
And there I left him tranc'd.

But who was this? Edg. Kent, sir, the banish'd Kent; who in dis.

guise Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service Improper for a slave.]

Enter a Gentleman hastily, with a bloody Knife.
Gent. Help! help ! O help!

What kind of help?

Speak, man.


that we are struggling with a passage, the obscurity of which is derived from its corruption.

STEEVENS. threw me on my father ;] Thus both the quartos, where alone this speech is found. Mr. Theobald, and the subsequent editors, read~" threw him on my father.” This is a new and distinct idea ; but I do not think myself warranted to adopt it; the text being intelligible, and it being very improbable that the word me should have been printed instead of him.-Kent in his transport of joy, at meeting Edgar, embraced him with such violence, as to throw him on the dead body of Gloster.

MALONE. threw me on my father.” Thus the quartos. The modern editors have corrected the passage, as I have printed it, and as I suppose it to have been originally written, “ threw him.There is tragick propriety in Kent's throwing himself on the body of a deceased friend; but this propriety is lost in the act of clumsily tumbling a son over the lifeless remains of his father.

STEEVENS. the TRUMPET sounded,] The quartos, where alone this speech is found, read trumpets ; but it was certainly a misprint, for one trumpet only had sounded. Dr. Johnson made the correction. MALONE.


Edg. What means that bloody knife ?

'Tis hot, it smokes; It came even from the heart of — ALB.

Who, man ? speak?. Gent. Your lady, sir, your lady: and her sister By her is poison'd; she hath confess’d it.

EDM. I was contracted to them both; all three Now marry in an instant *. ALB. Produce their bodies, be they alive or

dead ! This judgment' of the heavens, that makes us

tremble, Touches us not with pity. [Exit Gentleman.

Enter KENT.

Here comes Kent, siro.



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from the heart of -] Here the folio, in defiance of metre and propriety, adds

O she's dead!”

STEEVENS. 2 Who, man? speak.] The folio reads, " Who dead ? Speak, man."

STEEVENS. 3 — she confesses it.] Thus the first and second folio. The quartos-"she has [and hath] confess'd it." As these readings are equally proper, I have chosen the more metrical of the two.

STEEVENS. It is surely more proper to say that a person who is already dead hath confessed it, than to speak in the present term. The metre would be set right if we read poisoned. Boswell.

Now marry in an instant.] In the folio, after these words, we have Edg. Here comes Kent.

Enter Kent." and the words .“ O, is this he,” are spoken by Albany, immediately after “touches us not with pity.” I have followed the quartos. MALONE.

s This judgment, &c.] If Shakspeare had studied Aristotle all his life, he would not perhaps have been able to mark with more precision the distinct operations of terror and pity. TYRWHITT.

This is the reading of the folio. The quartos have-" This justice,&c. Malone. 6 Here comes Kent, sir.] The manner in which Edgar here

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