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Like rats oft bite the holy cords atwain
Which are too intrince t'unloofe: footh ev'ry paffion,
That in the nature of their lords rebels:
Bring oil to fire, fnow to their colder moods;
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With ev'ry gale and vary of their masters;
As knowing naught, like dogs but following.

Plain, blunt Men.

This is fome fellow,

Who, having been prais'd for bluntnefs, doth affect
A faucy roughnefs; and conftrains the garb,
Quite from his nature. He can't flatter, he,-
An honeft mind and plain, he must speak truth;
And they will take it, fo; if not, he's plain.
These kind of knaves, I know, which in this plainne fs
Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty (8) filly, ducking obfervants,
That stretch their duties nicely.


Defcription of Bedlam Beggars,

While I may 'fcape,

I will preferve myself: and am bethought
To take the baseft and the poorest shape,
That ever penury in contempt of man

Brought near to beaft: my face I'll grime with filth;
Blanket my loins; else all my hair in knots;


the word, and what the critics would read, I have kept to the
old editions, notwithstanding the quotation made by me from
Mr. Edwards, in the place juft referred to. I forbear quoting
any fimilar paffages here: Horace and Juvenal abound with
them, and Shakespear himself hath excellently painted the cha-
racter in Polonius. See particularly Hamki, Act 4. Sc. 7.

(8) Silly.] Some read filky: filly is not always taken in a bad fenfe amongst the old writers.



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And with presented nakedness out-face
The winds, and perfecutions of the sky.
The country gives me proof and prefident
Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Strike in their numb'd and mortify'd bare arms,
Pins, wooden pricks, nails, fprigs of rosemary;
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting villages, fheep-coats and mills,
Sometimes with lunatic bans, fometimes with pray'rs,
Inforce their charity.

SCENE X. The faults of Infirmity pardonable.

Fiery? the fiery duke? tell the hot duke, that
No, but not yet; may be, he is not well;
Infirmity doth still neglect all office,

Whereto our health is bound; we're not ourselves,
When nature, being oppreft, commands the mind
To fuffer with the body. I'll forbear;
And am fall'n out with my more headier will,
To take the indifpos'd and fickly fit
For the found man..

SCENE XI. Unkindness.

Thy fifter's nought; oh Regan, fhe hath tied Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture here.

[Points to bis heart.

SCENE XII. Offences mistaken.

All's not offence that indifcretion (9) finds, And dotage terms fo.


(9) Finds] Finds is an allufion to a jury's verdict: and the We meet with the word fo relates to that as well as to terms. very fame expreffion in Hamlet, Act. 5. Sc. 1.


Rifing Paffion.

I pr'ythee, daughter, do not make me mad, I will not trouble thee, my child. Farewel; We'll no more meet, no more see one another; But yet, thou art my flefh, my blood, my daughter,Or rather a disease that's in my flesh,

Which I must needs call mine; thou art a bile,
A plague-fore, or imboffed carbuncle,

In my corrupted blood; but I'll not chide thee.
Let fhame come when it will, I do not call it ;
I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot,
Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove.

The Neceffaries of Life, few.

(10) O, reafon not the need: our basest beggars Are in the pooreft things fuperfluous ;

Why, 'tis found fo.

Shakespear ufes the word in this sense in other places;

The coroner hath fet on her, and finds it christian burial. Ib. As you like it. A. 4. S. 2. Leander was drown'd, and the foolish chroniclers [perhaps coroners] of that age found it was-Hero of Seftos." Edwards.

O wretched man! in what a mist of life,
Inclos'd with dangers, and befet with strife,
He spends his little fpan, and over-feeds
His cram'd defires with more than nature needs.
For nature wifely ftints our appetite,
And craves no more than undisturb'd delight.
Which minds unmixt with cares and fears obtain;
A foul ferene, a body void of pain.


(10) 0, reafon, &c.] The poets abound with fentiments fimilar to this: take the two following paffages from Lucretius and Lucan.

So little this corporeal frame requires,
So bounded are our natural defires,

H 2


Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is cheap as beasts.

Lear on the Ingratitude of his Daughters.
old man,

You fee me here, you gods, a poor
As full of grief as age; wretched in both!
If it be you that stir these daughters' hearts
Against their father, fool me not fo much
To bear-it tamely; (11) touch me with noble anger:
O let not womens' weapons, water-drops,
Stain my man's cheeks. No, you unnat❜ral hags,
I will have fuch revenges on you both,
(12) That all the world fhall-I will do fuch things;-
What they are, yet I know not; but they shall be


That wanting all, and fetting pain afide,
With bare privation fenfe is fatisfy'd.

Behold, ye fons of luxury! behold,
Who scatter in excefs your lavish gold;
For whom all earth all ocean are explor'd,
To fpread the various proud voluptuous board:
Behold how little thrifty nature craves.

See LUCRET. B. 2.

See Lucan, B. 4. Rowe's tranfl.

(11) Touch me, &c.] " If you, ye gods, have stirred my daughters' hearts against me: at left let me not bear it with any unworthy támeness; but touch me with noble anger; let me refent it with fuch refolution as becomes a man."woman's weapons, water-drops, stain my man's cheeks. See Canons of Crit. p. 78.

-And let not

Haud quid fit fcio,
Sed grande quiddam eft.

(12) Thai, &c.] This feems to have been imitated from the ene or the other of these paffages following:

What it is I know not
But fomething terrible it is-

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Senec. Thyeft. A. 2.


The terrors of the earth; you think, I'll weep:
No, I'll not weep. (13) I have full caufe of weeping:
This heart shall break into a thousand flaws,
Or ere I weep. O fool, I fhall go mad.

SCENE XIII. Wilful Men.

O, fir, to wilful men,

The injuries, that they themselves procure,
Muft be their schoolmasters.



Defcription of Lear's Diftrefs amidst the Storm.

Kent. Where's the king?

Gent. Contending with the fretful elements; Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea;

Or fwell the curled waters 'bove the main,

That things might change, or ceafe: tears his white hair,

(Which the impetuous blafts, with eyelefs rage,
Catch in their fury ;)

Strives in his little world of man t'out-fcorn
The to-and-fro conflicting wind and rain.

-Nefcio quid ferox

Decrevit animus intus, et nondum fibi audet fateri. Medea.

I know not what my furious mind

Hath inwardly determin'd, and still darès not
Even to itself reveal.

Magnum eft quodcunque paravi :
Quid fit adhuc dubita.


'Tis fomething great I've inly meditated-
What it is, yet I'm doubtful.


Ovid. Met. 6.

(13) I have, &c:] Perhaps this fhould be, Tho' I've full caufe.

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