« PreviousContinue »
no need to care for her frowning; now thou art an O'
l i. e. a cipher. .
3 Put it on, that is, promote it, push it forward. Allowance is approbation.
4 “Shakspeare's fools are certainly copied from the life. The originals whom he copied were no doubt men of quick parts; lively and sarcastic. Though they were licensed to say any thing, it was still necessary, to prevent giving offence, that every thing they said should have a playful air; we may suppose, therefore, that they had a custom of taking off the edge of too sharp a speech by covering it hastily with the end of an old song, or any glib nonsense that came into their mind. I know no other way of accounting for the incoherent words with which Shakspeare often finishes this fool's speeches.”—Sir Joshua Reynolds.
5 The folio omits these words, and reads the rest of the speech, perhaps rightly, as verse.
I This passage has been erroneously printed in all the late editions « Who is it can tell me who I am?” says Lear. In the folio, the reply, « Lear's shadow,” is rightly given to the fool. It is remarkable that the continuation of Lear’s speech, and the continuation of the fool’s comment, is omitted in the folio copy.
2 i.e. of the complexion.
3 i. e. continue in service.
Degenerate bastard! I’ll not trouble thee;
Lear. Woe, that too late repents,'—O sir, are you come f Is it your will? [To ALB.] Speak, sir.—Prepare my horses. Ingratitude thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child, Than the sea-monster | * Alb. 'Pray, sir, be patient. Lear. Detested kite thou liest. [To GonBRIL. My train are men of choice and rarest parts, That all particulars of duty know ;
And in the most exact regard support
The worships of their name.—O most small fault,
Which, like an engine,” wrenched my frame of nature
From the fixed place; drew from my heart all love,
1 One of the quarto copies reads, “We that too late repents us.” The others, “We that too late repents.”
2 The sea-monster is the hippopotamus, the hieroglyphical symbol of impiety and ingratitude.
3. By an engine the rack is here intended.
And from her derogate body never spring
Alb. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes this?
Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause;
Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a ciap! Within a fortnight?
Alb. What’s the matter, sir?
Lear. I’ll tell thee;—Life and death ! I am ashamed That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus:
- [To GonERIL. That these hot tears, which break from me perforce, Should make thee worth them.—Blasts and fogs upon
The untented * woundings of a father’s curse
1 Derogate here means degenerate, degraded. 2 Thwart as a noun adjective is not frequent in our language. It is to be found, however, in Promos and Cassandra, 1578:— “Sith fortune thwart doth crosse my joys with care.” Disnatured is wanting natural affection. 3 “Pains and benefits,” in this place, signify maternal cares and good offices. 4 The untented woundings are the rankling or never-healing wounds inflicted by a parental malediction. Tents are well-known dressings inserted into wounds as a preparative to healing them.
*: zoo or - -
To temper clay.--Ha! is it come to this?
1 This speech is gleaned partly from the folios, and partly from the quartos. The omissions in the one and the other are not of sufficient importance to trouble the reader with a separate notice of each.
2 All within brackets is omitted in the quartos.
3 sit point probably means completely armed.