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SCENE III. Patience and Sorrow.
Patience and forrow ftrove
Which should exprefs her goodlieft; you have seen
SCENE IV. Defcription of Lear diftracted.
(21) Alack, 'tis he; why, he was met even now As mad as the vext fea; finging aloud; Crown'd with rank fumiterr, and furrow-weeds, With hardocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers, G 5
(20) Were like a better day. So the old editions read; Mr. Warburton fays, "without question we should read,
A wetter May
i. e. e. a fpring-feafon wetter than ordinary:" I cannot come into his opinion; nor by any means apprehend, how her fmiles and tears can with any propriety be compar'd to a fpring-feason, 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 fun-fhine and rain at the fame time; you have feen, fays he, fun-fhine 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 fun-fhine contended as it were together. This I apprehend to be the fenfe of the paffage. But then what must we do with better? I own myself incapable of fixing any sense 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;
which is the most probable word that occurs at prefent, tho' I advance it not with any degree of certainty. He speaks of a chequer'd fhadow, in Titus Andronicus, Act 2. Sc. 4
(21) Alack, &c.] See Hamlet, A&t 4. Sc. 10. and the note.
Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
SCENE VI. Defcription of Dover-Cliff.
Come on, fir, here's the place-ftand ftill. How fearful
And dizzy 'tis, to caft one's eyes fo low !
Glofter's Farewel to the World.
(22) O, you mighty gods!
This world I do renounce; and in your fights
(22) Gloffer is afterwards convinced of his mistake, and con Ermed in the duty of fufferance: he fays;
I do remember now: henceforth I'll bear
At the end of the Oedipus, Coloneus of Sophocles, there is a fine res Hection like this ;.
Τὸ φέρον ἐκ Θες, &c.
That which the gods bring on us, we fhould bear
My fnuff and loathed part of nature should
SCENE VII. Lear, in his Madness, on the grofs
Ha! Goneril! ha! Regan! they flatter'd me like a dog, and told me I had white hairs in my beard, ere the black ones were there. To fay, ay, and no, to every thing that I faid-Ay, and no too, was no good divinity. When the rain came to wet me once, and the wind to make me chatter; when the thunder would not peace at my bidding; there I found 'em, there I finelt 'em out. Go to, they are not (23) men o' their words; they told me, I was every thing: 'tis a lie, I am not ague-prcof.
On the Abufe of Power.
Thou rafcal-beadle, hold thy bloody hand:
For which thou whip'ft her. The ufurer hangs the
Through tatter'd cloaths small vices do appear;
(23) See Act 2. Sc. 6. foregoing. Mr. Upton, misled by the beginning of this fpeech; and apprehending, the king in his madnefs ufed exact connexion, tells us, we should not read, men o' their words, but women of their words: whereas it is plain, he runs off from the thought of his daughters, to those who flatter'd him, and all thro' the fpeech fpeaks of them only: the criticism is fcarce worth remarking, except it be to fhew, how fubject all of us are to mistakes, and how little reafon the very wifeft have to triumph over the errors of others,
Take that of me, my friend, who have the pow'r
To see the things thou do'st not.
SCENE X. Cordelia, on the Ingratitude of her
O, my dear father, reftauration hang
Had you not been their father, these white flakes
Of quick, crofs lightning?
* * * And waft thou fain, poor father,
Lear to Cordelia, when taken Prisoners.
No, no, no, nos come, let's away to prifon;
(24) And, &c.]
Tis a catalogue
Talk of court-news, and we'll talk with them too,
As if we were God's fpies. And we'll wear out,
Edm. Take them away.
Lear. Upon fuch facrifices, my Cordelia, The gods themselves throw incense.
SCENE VIII. The Justice of the Gods..
(25) The gods are juft, and of our pleasant vices Makes inftruments to scourge us.
Edgar's Account of his discovering himself to his Father, &c.
Lift a brief tale,
And when 'tis told, O, that my heart would burst !
Who fells her honour for a diamond,
The Falfe One, A&t 1. Sc. 1. The word fpies, in the text, is taken in the fenfe of, Spies upon any one, to infpect their conduct, not fpies employ'd by a perfon.
(25) The, &c.] This retorting of punishments, and making the means by which we offended the fcourge of our offence, is very common amongst the ancients, and perhaps had its rife from the Jewish people. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, &c. Callima shus, in his Hymn to Pallas, tells us, that goddefs depriv'd the young hunter of his eyes, because they had offended, having feen her in the bath. See the Hymn, v. 75. And, in Sophocles, at the end of Electra, Oreftes cries out to giftus;
Peace, and attend me to that place where thou