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Here, in the sands,
The post unsanctified, I believe, means no more than the wicked messenger. I cannot acquiesce in Mr. Steevens's explanation of it, which appears to be a refinement.
Cor. O you kind gods,
Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
I incline to believe that Mr. Malone's is the true explanation of child-changed father.
Phy. Be comforted, good madam; the great rage,
I think Mr. Steevens is right.
Where I could not be honest,
I doubt whether this speech is to be understood ironically, as Mr. Malone supposes. I rather think that Edmund means to express his approbation of Albany's conduct in joining to repel the invasion, though he disliked the measures which occasioned it, the treatment of Lear, respecting which he differed from Goneril,
Regan, and Edmund. The bastard commends him for not with-holding his aid against the common enemy, on account of those "domestic and particular broils," which the circumstances of the times rendered it improper to question then, and which were to be reserved for future discussion.
Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers.
I think here (not hard) is the guess the true reading.
Sir, I thought it fit
To some retention, and appointed guard;
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,
To pluck the common bosom on his side,
And turn our impress'd lances in our eyes,
I think Mr. Steevens's first explanation of impress'd lances the true one.
He led our powers;
Bore the commission of my place and person;
I think Mr. Malone's is the true explanation of immediacy.
Mean you to enjoy him?
Alb. Half-blooded fellow, yes.
This, I think, is rightly explained by Mr.
Edg. This would have seem'd a period
To such as love not sorrow, but another,
To amplify too much, would make much more,
I think this passage is very obscure. I incline to Mr. Malone's explanation of it.
Edg. Whilst I was big in clamour, came there a man,
Threw HIM on my father is, I think, the true reading. The old reading me, is indeed intelligible, but I think, with Mr. Steevens, that by that reading the beauty of the passage is in a great measure destroyed.
Lend me a looking-glass;
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Kent. Is this the promis'd end?
I can by no means bring myself to believe that Mr. M. Mason's explanation is the true one. take the meaning to be, Is this the event which I promised myself. Mr. Davies concurs in this interpretation: he explains the words thus: "Do all my hopes of Lear's restoration end in his distraction, and the death of Cordelia ?" The explanation given by Mr. Steevens in the edition of 1785 is similar: "Is this the conclusion which the present turn of affairs seemed to promise ?"
Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life:
Before read Mr. Steevens's note, I did not suppose that it was doubted that the jester, and not Cordelia, was meant here. I still incline to that opinion, for the reasons assigned by Sir Joshua Reynolds, who appears to me to have shown much taste and judgment in his note on these words.
Friends of my soul, you twain
I cannot help thinking that the marginal direction of the 2d folio (which the modern editors have followed) is right, and that the poet intended that Kent should expire here. For this event we were prepared by what Edgar had related of him, that he
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him
ROMEO AND JULIET.
J. and S. 1785.
J. and S. 1793.
Mon. But he, his own affections' counsellor,
So far from sounding and discovery,
As is the bud bit with an envious worm,
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air,
I think we should receive Theobald's emendation to the sun, (instead of to the same ;) it wonderfully improves the passage.
Rom. Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs;
I believe purg'd is the author's word. The expression urge the fire was perhaps suggested to Akenside by Scaliger's reading of a passage of Horace :
dum graves Cyclopum Vulcanus ardens urit officinas.
where for urit Scaliger reads urget.
Rom. Well, in that hit, you miss; she'll not be hit
Lib. I. Od. 4.