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Stew. Out, dunghill !
Edg. Ch’ill pick your teeth, zir: Come; no matter vor your foins'.
[They fight; and Edgar knocks him down. Stew. Slave, thou hast slain me:-Villain, take
my purse ; If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body; And give the letters, which thou find’st about me, To Edmund earl of Gloster *; seek him out Upon the British party : -0, untimely death!
[Dies. Edg. I know thee well: A serviceable villain ; As duteous to the vices of thy mistress, As badness would desire. Glo.
What, is he dead ?
called a bat. Bats and clubs are distinguished in Coriolanus, Act I. Sc. I. : “Where go you with bats and clubs."
Holt White. 3 — no matter vor your foins,] To foin, is to make what we call a thrust in fencing. Shakspeare often uses the word.
Steevens. 4 To Edmund earl of Gloster ;] Mr. Smith has endeavoured, without any success, to prove, in a long note, that we ought to read-letter both here and below, because the Steward had only one letter in his pocket, namely, that written by Goneril. But there is no need of change, for letters formerly was used like epistolæ in Latin, when one only was intended.' So, in Act I. Śc. V. Lear says to Kent, “ Go, you, before to Gloster, with these letters ; and Kent replies, I will not sleep, my lord,
till I have delivered your letter.” Again, in Act IV. Sc. V. the Steward says to Regan, “ I must needs after him, madam, with my letters," meaning only Goneril's letter, which Edgar presently reads. Such, as I observed on that passage, is the reading of the original quarto copies, which in the folio is changed to letter. Whether the Steward had also a letter from Regan, it is not here necessary to inquire. The words which he uses do not, for the reason I have assigned, necessarily imply two letters ; and as Edgar finds no letter from Regan, we may infer that when she said to the Steward, in a former scene, “take thou this,” she gave him a ring or some other token of regard for Edmund, and not a letter. MALONE.
Edg. Sit you down, father ; rest you. Let's see his pockets : these letters, that he speaks
of, May be my friends.—He's dead; I am only sorry He had no other death's-man'.-Let us see:Leave, gentle wax; and, manners, blame us not : To know our enemies' minds, we'd rip their hearts; Their papers, is more lawful 6.
[Reads.] Let our reciprocal cows be remembered. You have many opportunities to cut him off: if your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully offered. There is nothing done, if he return the conqueror: Then am I the prisoner, and his bed my gaol; from the loathed warmth whereof deliver me, and supply the place for your labour.
Your wife, (so I would say,) and your affectionate servant ?,
s He had no other DEATH'S-MAN.) So, in The Rape of Lucrece:
“ For who so base would such an office have
“As slanderous death's-man to so base a slave.” Malone. 6 To know our enemies' minds, we'd rip their hearts ;
Their papers, is more lawful.] This is darkly expressed : the meaning is, •Our enemies are put upon the rack, and torn in pieces to extort confession of their secrets : to tear open their letters is more lawful.' WARBURTON.
we'd rip-" Thus the quartos. The folio reads—we rip. The editor of the second folio imagining that papers was the nominative case, for is substituted are: “ Their papers are more lawful.” But the construction is, -" to rip their papers,
is lawful." His alteration, however, has been adopted by the modern editors. MALONE.
7 - affectionate SERVANT,) After servant, one of the quartos [quarto A and C,] has this strange continuation : and for you her owne for venter, Gonerill." STEEVENS.
In this place I have followed quarto B. The others read“ Your (wife, so I would say) your affectionate servant; and adds the words mentioned by Mr. Steevens. The folio, reads“ Your (wife, so I would say) affectionate servant, Gonerill."
O undistinguish'd space of woman's will?!
[Erit Edgar, dragging out the Body. Glo. The king is mad: How stiff is my vile
sense, That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling' Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract: So should my thoughts be sever'd ’ from my griefs ; And woes, by wrong imaginations, lose The knowledge of themselves.
7 O undistinguish'd space of woman's will!] Thus the folio. The quartos read--of woman's wit! The meaning (says Dr. Warburton in Sir Thomas Hanmer's edition,) is, “ The variations in a woman's will are so sudden, and their liking and loathing follow so quick upon each other, that there is no distinguishable space between them.” Malone.
I believe the plain meaning is—“O undistinguishing licentiousness of a woman's inclinations !” STEEVENS.
This is a very good meaning, I admit: but how can it be deduced from the words in the text, unless space can be considered as synonymous with licentiousness. Malone.
8 Thee I'll RAKE up, the post UNSANCTIFIED, &c.] Il cover thee. In Staffordshire, to rake the fire, is to cover it with fuel for the night. Johnson.
The epithet, unsanctified, refers to his want of burial in consecraled ground. Steevens.
9 - the death-practis'd duke :) The duke of Albany, whose death is machinated by practice or treason. Johnson.
and have ingenious feeling --] Ingenious feeling signifies a feeling from an understanding not disturbed or disordered, but which, representing things as they are, makes the sense of pain the more exquisite. WARBURTON.
2 — sever'd-) The quartos read fenced. STEEVENS.
Give me your hand :
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':
3 - 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 Gen
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, from a 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
- 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.
These weeds are memories of those worser hourso;
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
“ Of old Sir Rowland ! 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. 7 — 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 common language, to make a design, and to make a resolution. Johnson.
s 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. STEEVENS.
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 :