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And the remainder, that shall still depend,
Darkness and devils I
Gon. You strike my people; and your disorder'd rabble. Make servants of their betters.
Enter ALBANY. Lear. Woe, that too late repents,—0, sir, are you
come ?1 Is it your will ? [to Alb.] Speak, sir.—Prepare my
Pray, sir, be patient.3
[To Gon. My train are men of choice and rarest parts, That all particulars of duty know; And in the most exact regard support The worships of their name.-0 most small fault,
still depend,] Depend for continue in service. Warburton., So, in Measure for Measure :
“ Canst thou believe thy living is a life,
“ So stinkingly depending ?" Steevens. 9 Woe, that too late repents,] This is the reading of the folio. Both the quartos, for Woe, have We, and that of which the first signature is B, reads-We that too late repent 's —; i. e. repent us: which I suspect is the true reading. Shakspeare might have had The Mirrour for Magistrates in his thoughts:
They callid him doting foole, all his requests debarr’d,
" 'Gainst me, —.” Story of Queen Cordila. Malone. My copy of the quarto, of which the first signature is A, reads TVe that too late repent's us. Steevens. 0, sir, are you come?] These words are not in the folio.
Malone. 2 Than the sea-monster!] Mr. Upton observes, that the sea-monster is the Hippotamus, the hieroglyphical symbol of impiety and ingratitude. Sandy's, in his Travels, says-that he killeth his sire, and ravisheth his own dam.” Steevens.
3 Pray, sir, be patient.] The quartos omit this speech. Steevens.
How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show!
Alb. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
Lear. It may be so, my lord.--Hear, nature, hear;
like an engine,] Mr. Edwards conjectures that by an engine is meant the rack. He is right. To engine is, in Chaucer, to strain upon the rack; and in the following passage from The Three Lords of London, 1590, engine seems to be used for the same instrument of
“ From Spain they come with engine and intent
“ To slay, subdue, to triumph, and torment." Again, in The Night-Walker, by Beaumont and Fletcher: “ Their souls shot through with adders, torn on engines."
Steevens. Go, go, my people.] Perhaps these words ought to be regui. lated differently:
Go, go:---my people! By Albany's answer it should seem that he had endeavoured to appease Lear's anger; and perhaps it was intended by the author that he should here be put back by the king with these words,—“Go, go;” and that Lear should then turn hastily from his son-in-law, and call his train : “My people!” Mes Gens, Fr. So, in a former part of this scene :
“ You strike my people; and your disorder'd rabble
" Make servants of their betters." Again, in Othello, Act I, sc. i:
Call up my people." However the passage be understood, these latter words must bear this sense. The meaning of the whole, indeed, may be only—“Away, away, my followers!” Malone. With Mr. Malone's last explanation I am perfectly satisfied.
Stecoens. 6 Of what hath mou'd you.] Omitted in the quartos. Steevens. from her derogate body -] Derogate for unnatural.
Warburion. Rather, I think, degraded; blasted. Johnson. VOL. XIV,
A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Alb. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes this?
Her shrunk and wasted body. See Bullokar's English Expositor, 1616: “ Derogate. To impaire, diminish, or take away." Malone.
Degraded (Dr. Johnson's first explanation) is surely the true one. So, in Cymbeline : “Is there no derogation in't ?-You cannot derogate, my lord,’i. e. degrade yourself. Steevens.
thwart -] Thwart, as a noun adjective, is not frequent in our language It is, however, to be found in Promos and Cassandra, 1578: “ Sith fortune thwart doth crosse my joys with care.”
Henderson. disnatur'd -] Disnatur'd is wanting natural affection. So Daniel, in Hymen's Triumph, 1623 :
“ I am not so disnatured a man." Steevens.
cadent tears - ] i. e. Falling rears. Dr. Warburton would read candent. Steevens.
The words—these hot tears, in Lear's next speech, may seem to authorize the amendment; but the present reading is right. It is a more severe imprecation to wish, that tears by constant flowing may fret channels in the cheeks, which implies a long life of wretchedness, than to wish that those channels should be made by scalding tears, which does not mark the same continuation of misery. The same thought occurs in Troilus and Cressida, Act V, sc. iii :
" Not Priamus and Hecuba on knees,
“ Their eyes o'er-galled with recourse of tears,” should prevent his going to the field. M. Mason. 2 Turn all her mother's pains, and benefits,
To laughter and contempt;] “ Her mother's pains" here signifies, not bodily sufferings, or the throes of child-birih, (with which this “ disnatured babe” being unacquainted, it could not deride or despise them) but maternal cares; the solicitude of a mother for the welfare of her child. So, in king Richard III:
“ "Tis time to speak; my pains are quite forgot." Benefits mean good offices; her kind and beneficent attention to the education of her offspring, &c. Mr. Roderick has, in my opinion, explained both these words wrong. He is equally mistaken in supposing that the sex of this child is ascertained by the word her; which clearly relates, not to Goneril's issue, but to herself. “ Her mother's pains" means--the pains which she (Goneril) takes as a mother. Malone.
Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause ;
What's the matter, sir?
[To Gox. That these hot tears,3 which break from me perforce, Should make thee worth them.-Blasts and fogs upon
3 That these hot tears, &c.] I will transcribe this passage from the first edition, that it may appear to those who are unacquainted with old books, what is the difficulty of revision, and what indulgence is due to those that endeavour to restore corrupted passages.— That these hot tears, that breake from me perforce, should make the worst blasts and fogs upon the untenler woundings of a father's curse, peruse every sense about the old fond eyes, beweep this cause again, &c. Fohnson.
4 The untented woundings – ] Untented wounds, means wounds in their worst state, not having a tent in them to digest them; and may possibly signify here such as will not admit of having a tent put into them for that purpose. Our author quibbles on this practice in surgery, in Troilus and Cressida:
« Patr. Who keeps the tent now?
“ Ther. The surgeon's box, or the patient's wounud.” One of the quartos reads, untender. Steevens.
that you lose,] The quartos read that you make. Steevens. 0 Let it be so:
&c.] The reading is here gleaned up, part from the first, and part from the second edition. Johnson.
Let it be so, is omitted in the quartos. Steevens.
And is it come to this is omitted in the folio. Yet have I left a daughter is the reading of the quartos; the folio has, I have another daugh. ter Malone.
I have cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant thee.?
[Exeunt LEAR, KENT, and Attendanis. Gon. Do you mark that, my lord ?
Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril, To the great love I bear you, -
Gon. Pray you, content. What, Oswald, ho! You, sir, more knave than fool, after
[To the Fool. Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, and take the fool with thee.
A fox, when one has caught her,
[Exit. *Gon. This man hath had good counsel :-A hundred
knights! ?Tis politick, and safe, to let him keep At point, a hundred knights. Yes, that on every dream, Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike, He may enguard his dotage with their powers, And hold our lives in mercy. -Oswald, I say!
Alb. Well, you may fear too far.
Safer than trust:2
thou shalt, I warrant thee.] These words are omitted in the folio. Malone.
8 *Gon.] All from this asterisk to the next is omitted in the quartos. Steevens.
9 At point, ] I believe, means completely armed, and consequently ready at appointment or command on the slightest notice. Steevens.
1 And hold our lives in mercy.] Thus the old copies. Mr. Pope who could not endure that the language of Shakspeare's age should not correspond in every instance with that of modern times, reads—at mercy; and the subsequent editors have adopted his innovation.
Malone. 2 Safer than trust :) Here the old copies add-too far; as if these words were not implied in the answer of Goneril. The redundancy of the metre authorizes the present omission. Steevens.