Puslapio vaizdai


P. 573-652.-249.

Here, in the sands,

Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified

Of murderous lechers.

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.

P. 575.-654.-252.

Cor. O you kind gods,

Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
The untun'd and jarring senses, O, wind up
Of this child-changed father.

I incline to believe that Mr. Malone's is the true explanation of child-changed father.

P. 580.-658.-258.

Phy. Be comforted, good madam; the great rage,
You see, is cur'd in him: [and yet it is danger

To make him even o'er the time he has lost.]


Desire him to go in trouble him no more
Till further settling.

I think Mr. Steevens is right.


P. 584.-661.-263.

Where I could not be honest,

I never yet was valiant: for this business,

It toucheth us as France invades our land,
Not bolds the king; with others, whom, I fear,
Most just and heavy causes make oppose.
Edg. Sir, you speak nobly.

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.

P. 591.-662.-264.

Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers.
Here is the guess of their true strength and forces
By diligent discovery.

I think here (not hard) is the guess the true reading.


P. 591.-668.-273.

Sir, I thought it fit

To send the old and miserable king

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,
Which do command them.

I think Mr. Steevens's first explanation of impress'd lances the true one.


P. 591.-668.-274.

He led our powers;

Bore the commission of my place and person;

The which immediacy may well stand up,

And call itself your brother.

I think Mr. Malone's is the true explanation of immediacy.


P. 592.-669-275.

Mean you to enjoy him?

Alb. The let-alone lies, not in your good will.

Edm. Nor in thine, lord.

Alb. Half-blooded fellow, yes.

This, I think, is rightly explained by Mr.


P. 599.-676.--284.

Edg. This would have seem'd a period

To such as love not sorrow, but another,

To amplify too much, would make much more,
And top extremity.

I think this passage is very obscure. I incline to Mr. Malone's explanation of it.

P. 600.-677-286.

Edg. Whilst I was big in clamour, came there a man,
Who having seen me in my worst estate,

Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding
Who 'twas that so endur'd, with his strong arms
He fasten'd on my neck, and bellow'd out
As he'd burst heaven; threw him on my father,
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him,
That ever ear received.

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.


P. 602.-680.-290.

Lend me a looking-glass;

If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Why, then she lives.

Kent. Is this the promis'd end?

Edg. Or image of that horror.

I can by no means bring myself to believe that Mr. M. Mason's explanation is the true one. I 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?"

P. 606.-684.-296.

Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life:
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,

And thou no breath at all?

Before I 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.


P. 609.-688.-301.
Friends of my soul, you twain

[to Kent and Edgar.
Rule in this realm, and the gor'd state sustain.
Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go,
My master calls, and I must not say, no.

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
That ever ear receiv'd; which in recounting
His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack.

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Mon. But he, his own affections' counsellor,
Is to himself—I will not say, how true-
But to himself so secret and so close,

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,
Or dedicate his beauty to the sun.

I think we should receive Theobald's emendation to the sun, (instead of to the same ;) it wonderfully improves the passage.

P. 17.-17.-339.

Rom. Love is a smoke rais'd with the fume of sighs;
Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes.

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

Lib. I. Od. 4.

Vulcanus ardens urit officinas.

where for urit Scaliger reads urget.

P. 18.-17.-340.

Rom. Well, in that hit, you miss; she'll not be hit
With Cupid's arrow, she hath Dian's wit;

And, in strong proof of chastity well arm'd,

From love's weak childish bow she lives unharm'd.

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