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ter than this rain-water out o'door. Good nuncle, in, and ask thy daughters blessing; here's a night pities neither wise men nor fools.

Lear. Rumble thy bellyfull! Spit, fire! spout, rain! Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters : I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness, I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children, You owe me no subscription ;ô why then let fall Your horrible pleasure ; here I stand, your slave, A poor, infirm, weak, and despis’d old man:But yet I call you servile ministers, That have with two pernicious daughters join'd Your high-engender'd battles, 'gainst a head So old and white as this. 0!0! 'tis foul !7

Fool. He that has a house to put his head in, has a good head-piece.

The cod-piece that will house,

Before the head has any,
The head and he shall louse ;--

So beggars marry many.8
The man that makes his toe

What he his heart should make,
Shall of a corn cry woe,o

And turn his sleep to wake. --for there never 'was yet fair woman, but she made mouths in a glass.

Enter KENT.
Lear. No, I will be the pattern of all patience,

Cotgrave in his Dict. 1611, defines Eau benite de cour, court holie water; compliments, faire words, flattering speeches,” &c. See also Florio's Italian Dict. 1598: “ Mantellizare, To flatter, to claw,-to give one court holie-water.Malone. 6 You owe me no subscription;] Subscription for obedience.

Warburton. See p. 155, n. 4. Malone.

'tis foul!] Shameful; dishonourable. Johnson. So beggars marry many.] i. e. A beggar marries a wife and lice.

Fohnson. Rather, “So many beggars marry;" meaning that they marry in the manner he has described, before they have houses to put their heads in. M. Mason.

cry woe,] i.e. be grieved, or pained. So, in K. Richard III: ** You live, that shall cry woe for this hereafter." Malone.



I will say nothing.?

Kent. Who's there?

Fool. Marry, here's grace, and a cod-piece; that's a wise man, and a fool.2

Kent. Alas, sir, are you here ?3 things that love night,
Love not such nights as these; the wrathful skies
Gallow the very wanderers of the dark,4
And make them keep their caves : Since I was man,
Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,
Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never
Remember to have heard: man's nature cannot carry
The affliction, nor the fear.5

Let the great gods,
That keep this dreadful pothero o'er our heads,
Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch,
That hast within thee undivulged crimes,
Unwhipp'd of justice: Hide thee, thou bloody hand;
Thou perjur’d, and thou simular man of virtue
That art incestuous: Caitiff, to pieces shake,



1 No, I will be the pattern of all patience,

I will say nothing.] So Perillus, in the old anonymous play, speaking of Leir :

“ But he, the myrrour of mild patience,
“ Puts up all wrongs, and never gives reply.” Steevens.

grace, and a cod-piece; that's a wise man, and a fool.] In Shakspeare's time,“ the king's grace” was the usual expression. In the latter phrase, the speaker perhaps alludes to an old notion concerning fools. Malone.

Alluding perhaps to the saying of a contemporary wit; that there is no discretionebelow the girdle. Steevens.

are you here?] The quartos read-sit you here? Steevens. 4 Gallow the very wanderers of the dark,] So, in Venus and Adonis :

'stonish'd as night-wanderers are.” Malone. Gallow, a west-country word, signifies to scare or frighten,

Warburton. So, the Somersetshire proverb: “ The dunder do gally the beans." Beans are wilgarly supposed to shoot up faster after thunder-storm.

Steevens. 5

- fear.] So the folio: the latter editions read, with the rto, force for fear, less elegantly. Johnson.

keep this dreadful pother --- ] Thus one of the quartos and the folio. The other quarto reads thund'ring.

The reading of the text, however, is an expression common to others. So, in The Scornful Lady of Beaumont and Fletcher :

faln out with their meat, and kept a pudder.Steevens.


That under covert and convenient seeming?
Hast practis'd on man's life!-Close pent-up guilts,
Rive your concealing continents, and cry
These dreadful summoners grace.9-I am a man',
More sinn'd against, than sinning.

Alack, bare-headed !?
Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel;
Some friendship will it lend you 'gainst the tempest;


7 That under covert and convenient seeming - ] Convenient needs not be understood in any other than its usual and proper sense; accommodate to the present purpose ; suitable to a design. Convenient seeming is appearance such as may promote his purpose to destroy.

Fohnson. concealing continents,] Continent stands for that which con. tains or incloses. Johnson. Thus, in Antony and Cleopatra:

“ Heart, once be stronger than thy continent !" Again, in Chapman's translation of the twelfth Book of Homer's Odyssey :

“ I told our pilot that past other men
“ He most must bear firm spirits, since he sway'd

“ The continent that all our spirits convey'd,” &c. The quartos read, concealed centers. Steevens.


and cry

These dreailful summoners grace.] Summoners are here the offi. cers that summon offenders before a proper tribunal. See Chaucer's Som pour's Tale, v.625—670. Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. Vol. I. Steevens.

I find the same expression in a treatise published long before this play was written: they seem to brag most of the strange events which follow for the most part after blazing starres, as if they were the suminoners of God to call princes to the seat of judgment." Der fensative against the Poison of supposed Prophecies, 1581. Malone.

1 I am a man,] Oedipus, in Sophocles, represents himself in the same light. Oedip. Colon. v. 258 :

ταγεργα μ8. * Πεπονθοτ' εςι μαλλον η δεδρακοτα.” 7'yrwhitt. ? Alack, bare-headed!] Kent's faithful attendance on the old king, as well as that of Perillus, in the old play which preceded Shakspeare's, is founded on an historical fact. Lear, says Geoffrey of Monmouth, “when he betook himself to his youngest daughter in Gaul, waited before the city where she resided, while he sent a messenger to inform her of the misery he was fallen into, and to desire her relief to a father that suffered both hunger and nakedness. Cor. deilla was startled at the news, and wept bitterly, and with tears asked him, how many men her father had with himn. The messenger answered he had none but one man, who had been his armour-bearer, and was staying with him without the town." Malone.


Repose you there: while I to this hard house,
(More hard than is the stone whereof 'tis rais'd ;
Which even but now, demanding after you,
Denied me to come in,) return, and force
Their scanted courtesy.

My wits begin to turn.-
Come on, my boy: How dost, my boy? Arı cold?
I am cold myself. Where is this straw, my fellow?
The art of our necessities is strange,
That can make vile things precious. Come, your hovel,
Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart3
That 's sorry yet for thee.4
Fool. He that has a little tiny wit,

With heigh, ho, the wind and the rain,
Must make content with his fortunes fit;

For the rain it raineth every day. Lear. True, my good boy.-Come, bring us to this hovel.

[Exeunt LEAR and KENT. Fool. This is a brave night to cool a courtezan.5-I'll speak a prophecy ere I go:.

When priests are more in word than matter;
When brewers mar their malt with water;
When nobles are their tailors' tutors ; 6
No hereticks burn'd, but wenches' suitors:?
When every case in law is right;
No squire in debt, nor no poor knight;
When slanders do not live in tongues;
Nor cutpurses come not to throngs;
When usurers tell their gold i' the field;
And bawds and whores do churches build ;-
one part in my heart -] Some editions read :

thing in my heart from which Hanmer, and Dr. Warburton after him, have made string, very unnecessarily; but the copies have part. Johnson. 4 That's sorry yet &c.] The old quartos read:

That sorrows yet for thee. Steevens. 5 This is a brave night &c.] This speech is not in the quartos.

Steevens. 6 When nobles are their tailors' tutors;] i. e. invent fashions for them. Warburton.

7 No hereticks burn'd, but wenches' suitors: ] The disease to which wenches' suitors are particularly exposed, was called, in Shakspeare's time, the brenning or burning. Johnson.

So, in Isaiah, ii, 24:“ -and burning instead of beauty.” Steevens.


Then shall the realm of Albion
Come to great confusion.
Then comes the time, who lives to see't,

That going shall be us’d with feet. This prophecy Merlin shall make; for I live before his time.


A Room in Gloster's Castle.

Enter GLOSTER and EDMUND. Glo. Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural dealing: When I desired their leave that I might pity him, they took from me the use of mine on house; charged me, on pain of their perpetual displeasure, neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any way sus. tain him.

Edm. Most savage, and unnatural!

Glo. Go to; say you nothing: There is division be. tween the dukes; and a worse matter than that: I have received a letter this night ;-'tis dangerous to be spoken; I have locked the letter in my closet: these injuries the king now bears will be revenged home; there is part of a power already footed: we must incline to the king. I will seek him, and privily relieve him: go you, and maintain talk with the duke, that my charity be not of him perceived: If he ask for me, I am ill, and gone to bed. If I die for it, as no less is threatened me, the king my old master must be relieved. There is some strange thing toward, Edmund; pray you, be careful.

Edm. This courtesy, forbid thee, shall the duke


8 Then comes the time, &c.] This couplet Dr. Warburton transposed, and placed after the fourth line of this prophecy. The four lines, When priests,” &c. according to his notion, are “a satirical description of the present manners, as future;" and the six lines from When every case—to churches build," "a satirical description of fu. ture manners, which the corruption of the present would prevent from ever happening.” His conception of the first four lines is, I think, just; but, instead of his far-fetched conceit relative to the other six lines, I should rather call them an ironical, as the preceding are a satirical, description of the time in which our poet lived. The transposition recoinmended by this critick, and adopted in the late editions, is, in my opinion, as unnecessary as it is unwarrantable.


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