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Why, the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took
your choice, sir. Lear. 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 flesh, my blood, my daughter; Or, rather, a disease that's in my flesh, Which I must needs call mine: thou art a boil, A plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle,3
out the word war after it, and yet signifies to make war, as before in
My life I never held but as a pawn
" To wage against thine enemies." The words-necessity's sharp pinch! appear to be the reflection of Lear on the wretched sort of existence he had described in the preceding lines.
and sumpter --] Sumpter is a horse that carries necessaries on a journey, though sometimes used for the case to carry them in.
--See Beaumont and Fletcher's Noble Gentleman, Seward's edit. Vol. VIII, note 35; and Cupid's Revenge:
I'll have a horse to leap thee, “ And thy base issue shall carry sumpters." Again, in Webster's Duchess of Malfy, 1623 :
“ His is indeed a guarded sumpter-cloth,
Only for the remove o'the court." Steevens. 9 But yet thou art my flesh, &c.] So, in King Henry VI, Part I:
“ God knows, thou art a collop of my flesh.” Steevens.
thou art a boil, &c.] The word in the old copies is written byle, and all the modern editors have too strictly followed them. The mistake arose from the word boil being often pronounced as if written bile. In the folio, we find in Coriolanus the same false spelling as here:
Byles (boils] and plagues " Plaster you o'er!" Malone. 2. A plague-sore,] So, in Thomas Lupton's Fourth Booke of Notable Thinges, bl. I. 4to : “ If you wyll knowe whether one shall escape or not, that is infected with the plague, (having the plague-sore) gave the partie, &c. And also anoint the plague-sure" &c. The plague-sure, we may suppose, was the decisive mark of infection, Steevens. VOL. XIV.
In my corrupted blood. But I 'll not chide thee;
Not altogether so, sir;
Is this well spoken now?
Gon. Why might not you, my lord, receive attendance From those that she calls servants, or from mine? Reg. Why not, my lord ? If then they chanc'd to slack
Lear. I gave you all
And in good time you gave it.
Reg. And speak it again, my lord; no more with me.
vour'd, When others are more wicked;4 not being the worst,
3 - embossed carbuncle,] Embossed is swelling, protuberant.
Fohnson. So, in Timon of Athens:
“Whom once a day with his embossed froth
Stands in some rank of praise :--I 'll go with thee;
Hear me, my lord;
What need one?
man's cheeks !--No, you unnatural hags,
4 Those wicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd,
When others are more wicked;] This passage, I think, should be pointed thus :
Those wicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd,
Stands in some rank of praise.-
- patience, patience I need!] I believe the word patience was repeated inadvertently by the compositor. Malone. The compositor has repeated the wrong word: Read:
You heavens, give me that patience that I need.
You heavens, give me patience !--that I need. Ritson.
Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws,?
[Exeunt LEAR, GLO. KENT, and Fool. Corn. Let us withdraw, 'twill be a storm.
[Storm heard at a Distance. Reg.
This house Is little; the old man and his people cannot Be well bestow'd. Gon.
'Tis his own blame; he hath put Himself from rest, and must needs taste his folly.
Rrg. For his particular, I 'll receive him gladly,
So am I purpos’d.
Whither is he going? Glo. He calls to horse ;9 but will I know not whither. Corn. 'Tis best to give him way; he leads himself. Gun. My lord, entreat him by no means to stay.
Glo. Alack, the night comes on, and the bleak winds,
O, sir, to wilful men,
into a hundred thousand flaws,] A flaw signifying a crack or other similar imperfection, our author, with his accustomed li. cense, uses the word here for a small broken particle. So again, in the fifth Act:
But his flaw'd heart
- he hath put
Himself from rest,] The personal pronoun was supplied by Sir Thomas Hanmer. He hath was formerly contracted thus ; H'ath; and hence perhaps the mistake. Malone. 9 Corn. Whither is he going ?
Glo. He calls to horse ;] Omitted in the quartos. Steevens. 1 Do sorely ruffle ;] Thus the folio. The quartos read-Do sorely russel, i.e. rustle. Steevens.
Ruffle is certainly the true reading. A ruffler, in our author's time, was a noisy, boisterous, swaggerer. Malone.
And what they may incense him to, being apt
Corn. Shut up your doors, my lord; 'tis a wild night; My Regan counsels well : come out o'the storm. [Exeunt.
ACT III.....SCENE I.
A Storm is heard, with Thunder and Lightning.
Enter Kent, and a Gentleman, meeting. Kent. Who's here, beside foul weather? Gent. One minded like the weather, most unquietly. Kent. I know you; Where's the king?
Gent. Contending with the fretful element:3 Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea, Or swell the curled waters 'bove the main, That things might change, or cease: tears his white
hair ; 5
incense him to, ] To incense is here, as in other places, to instigate. Malone.
- the fretful element:] i.e. the air. Thus the quartos; for which the editor of the folio substituted elements. Malone.
4 Or swell the curled waters 'bove the main,] The main seems to signify here the main land, the continent. So, in Bacon's War with Spain: “ In 1589, we turned challengers, and invaded the main of Spain.”
This interpretation sets the two objects of Lear's desire in proper opposition to each other. He wishes for the destruction of the world, either by the winds blowing the land into the waters, or raising the waters so as to overwhelm the land. So, Lucretius, III, 854 :
terra mari miscebitur. et mare cælo." See also the Æneid I, 133, and XII, 204. Steevens. So, in Troilus and Cressida :
The bounded waters
“ And make a sop of all this solid globe.” The main is again used for the land, in Hamlet :
“ Goes it against the main of Poland, sir?” Malone.
tears his white hair ;] The six following verses were omitted in all the late editions; I have replaced them from the first, for they are certainly Shakspeare's. Pope.