Puslapio vaizdai

This night, wherein the (14) cub-drawn bear would couch,

The lion, and the belly-pinched wolf
Keep their furr dry; unbonneted he runs,
And bids what will take all.

SCENE II. Lear's passionate Exclamations amidfi the Tempest.

Blow winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow! You cataracts, and hurricanoes, fpout

Till you have drencht our steeples, drown'd the cocks! You fulph'rous and thought-executing fires, (15) Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts, Singe my white head. And thou, all fhaking thunder, Strike flat the thick rotundity o' th' world;

Crack nature's mould, all (16) germins fpill at once That make ingrateful man.

Rumble thy belly-full, fpit fire, fpout rain;
Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters;

I tax

(14) Gub-drawn.] i. e. Drawn dry by its cubs, and therefore the more ready to go out in fearch of prey; he speaks of a lionefs with udders all drawn dry, in the play of As you like it.

(15) Vaunt-couriers, &c.] Nothing can be plainer than this pallage, which it is furprifing Mr. Warburton should fo much miftake, as to imagine this line the players [purious iffue, on account of any contradiction in it; the Reader may fee his note, and Mr. Edwards's comment upon it, in the Canons of Criticism, P. 33. In the mean time we may be contented with this clear fenfe "You fires and lightnings, fore-runners of the thunder, finge me, &c. You thunder, ftrike flat the thick rotundity of the world."


(16) Germins] Vulg. Germains-This reading is Mr. Theetak's. The word is derived from germen, orofa, feed,-the fenfe is, "Crack nature's mould, and fpill all the feeds of mat ter, that are hoarded within it." In the Winter's Tale he fays;

Let nature crush the fides of th' earth together,
And mar the feeds within."-See Macbeth, A. 4. S. 2.

I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness;
I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children;
You owe me no fubfcription. Then let fall
Your horrible pleafure;-here I ftand your flave;
A poor, infirm, weak, and defpis'd old man!
But yet I call you fervile minifters,
That have with two pernicious daughters join'd
Your high-engender'd battles, 'gainst a head
So old and white as this. Oh! oh! tis foul.


* *


* * *



Kent. Alas, fir, are you here? things that love night,





Love not fuch nights as thefe: the wrathful skies
(17) Gallow the very wand'rers of the dark,
And make them keep their caves: fince I was a man,
Such theets of fire, fuch burfts of horrid thunder,
Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never
Remember to have heard.
Th' affliction, nor the force.

Man's nature cannot carry

Lear. Let the great gods, That keep this dreadful pudder o'er our heads, Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch That haft within thee undivulged, crimes, Unwhipp'd of justice. Hide thee, thou bloody hand! Thou perjure, and thou fimilar of virtue, Thou art incestuous! caitiff, shake to pieces, That under covert and convenient seeming, Haft practis'd on man's life!-Clofe pent up guilts, Rive your concealing continents, and ask These dreadful fummoners grace. I am a man More finn'd against, than finning.

Kent. Alack, bare headed?

Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel;

Some friendship will it lend you 'gainst the tempeft.

* * * * * * * *

* *


Lear. Thou think'ft 'tis much, that this contentious



17) Gallow] i.e. Scare, frighten. See the foregoing paffage.

Invades us to the fkin; fo 'tis to thee;
But where the greater malady is fixt,
The lefler is fcarce felt. Thou'dft shun a bear,
But if thy flight lay toward the roaring sea,
Thou'dft meet the bear i' th' mouth. When the mind's

The body's delicate; the tempeft in my mind.
Doth from my fenfes take all feeling elfe
Save what beats there. Filial ingratitude!
Is it not, as this mouth fhould tear this hand
For lifting food to't ?-But I'll punish home;
No, I will weep no more-In fuch a night,
To fhut me out?-pour on, I will endure.
In fuch a night as this? O, Regan, Goneril,
Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all-
O, that way madness lies; let me thun that;
No more of that.-

Kent. Good my lord, enter here.

Lear. Pr'ythee go in thyfelf; feek thine own ease; This tempeft will not give me leave to ponder On things would hurt me more-but I'll go in, In, boy, go first. You houfelefs povertyNay, get thee in; I'll pray, and then I'll fleepPoor naked wretches, wherefoe'er you are, That bide the pelting of this pitilefs ftorin! How fhall your houfelefs heads, and unfed fides, Your loop'd and window'd raggednefs defend you From feafons fuch as these?-O, I have ta'en Too little care of this! take phyfic, pomp; Expofe thyfelf to feel what wretches feel, That thou mayft fhake the fuperflux to them, And fhew the heavens more just.

Enter Edgar, difguis'd like a Madman.

Edg. Away! the foul fiend follows me. fharp hawthorn blows the cold wind. thy bed and warm thee.

Through the Humph, go to



Lear. Didit thou give all to thy daughters? and art thou come to this? * * * *

* * * * * * Didft thou give them all?
Now all the plagues that in the pendulous air
Hang fated o'er mens' faults, light on thy daughters!
Kent. He hath no daughters fir.

Lear. Death! traitor, nothing could have fubdu'd


To fuch a lowness, but his unkind daughters.
Is it the fashion that discarded fathers
Should have thus little mercy on their flesh?
Judicious punishment! 'twas this flesh begot
Those pelican daughters (18).


(19) Is man no more than this? Confider him well. Thou ow'ft the worm no filk, the beaft no hide, the fheep no wool, the cat no perfume. Ha! here's three of us are fophifticated. Thou art the thing itself: unaccommodated man is no more but fuch a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art. Off, off, you lendings: come unbutton here.


The Justice of Providence.

That I am wretched,
Makes thee the happier: heavens deal so still!



(18) I have given the Reader all the most beautiful paffages of this celebrated part of the tragedy, and have avoided any comments on it, as its beauties are fo ftriking, and fo generally commended; however, if he thinks proper, he may, by confulting Mr. Smith's tranflation of Longinus, find fome obfervations there, not unworthy his regard. See the 3d note on the roth fection.

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(19) Is man, &c.] See Measure for Measure,

Let the fuperfluous and luft-dieted man,
(20) That flaves your ordinance, that will not fee
Because he does not feel, feel your power quickly;
So diftribution fhould undo excefs,
And each man have enough.

SCENE III. Patience and Sorrow.

Patience and forrow ftrove

Which fhould exprefs her geodlieft: you have seen
Sunshine and rain at once: her fmiles and tears
(21) Were like a better day. Those happiest smiles,

(20) That flaves, &c.] Mr. Warburton is for reading, braves here but he still forgets how frequently Shakespear makes verbs of fubftantives, and inftead of endeavouring to explain his author's words, immediately has recourfe to the easy art of altering, when there is any difficulty: by faves your ordinance, the poet means, makes a flave of your ordinance: "makes it fubfervient, as Mr. Upton obferves, to his fuperfluities and lufts."

(21) Were like a bitter day.] So the old editions read; Mr. Warburton fays, "without queftion we should read,

A wetter May

i. e. "a fpring-feason wetter than ordinary; I cannot come into his opinion; nor by any means apprehend, how her fmiles and tears can with any propriety be compared to a fpring-season, wetter than ordinary: the poet is comparing her patience and forrow, expreft, the one by fmiles, the other by tears, to a day, wherein there is both funshine and rain at the fame time: you have feen, fays he, funshine and rain at once; fuch was her patience and forrow: her fmiles and tears were like a day fo chequer'd, when the rain and the funshine contended as it were together. This I apprehend to be the fenfe of the paffage. But then what muft we do with better? I own myself incapable of fixing any fenfe to it, nor does any emendation ftrike me, that the Reader perhaps will judge plaufible enough: he'll fee, I had an eye in the explaining of the paffage, on chequer'd :

Her fmiles and tears
Were like a chequer'd day ;

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