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Cor. O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Kind and dear princess!
- Louder the musick there.] I have already observed, in a note on The Second Part of King Henry IV, Vol. IX, p. 143, n. 4, that Shakspeare considered soft musick as favourable to sleep. Lear, we inay suppose, had been thus composed to rest; and now the Physician desires louder musick to be played, for the purpose of waking him. So again, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609, Cerimon, to recover Thaisa, who had been thrown into the sea, says
“ The rough and woeful musick that we have,
- Cause it to sound, 'beseech you.” Again, in The Winter's Tale:
" Musick, awake her; strike !" Malone.
Restoration, hang Thy medicine on my lips ;] This is fine. She invokes the goddess of health, Hygeiia, under the name of Restoration, to make her the ininister of her rites, in this holy office of recovering her father's lost
Warburton. Restoration is no more than recovery personified. Steevens. [Tostand &c.] The lines within crotchets are omitted in the folio.
Fohnson. to watch (poor perdu!) With this thin helın?] Thé allusion is to the forlorn-hope in an army, which are put upon desperate adventures, and called in French enfans perdus. These enfans perdus being always slightly and badly armed, is the reason that she adds, With this thin helm ? i. e. bareheaded. Warburton.
Dr. Warburton's explanation of the word perdu is just, though the latter part of his assertion has not the least foundation. Paulus Jovius, speaking of the body of men who were ancienly sent on this desperate adventure, says: “ Hos ab immoderatâ fortitudine perditos vocant, et in summo honore atque admiratione habent.” It is not likely that those who deserved so well of their country for exposing themselves to certain danger, should be sent out summâ admiratione, and yet slightly and badly armed.
The same allusion occurs in Sir W.D'Avenant's Love and Honour, 1649:
Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
. I have endur'd
“ More than a wet furrow and a great frost.” Again, in Cartwright's Ordinary:
-- as for perdues,
" Shows how they lie i' th' field." Steevens. In Polemon's Collection of Battles, 4to.bl. 1. printed by Bynneman, p. 98, an account of the battle of Marignano is translated from Jovius, in which is the following passage :-" They were very chosen fellowes taken out of all the Cantons, men in the prime of youth, and of singular forwardenesse : who by a very auntient order of that country, that by dooyng some deede of passyng prowesse they may obtaine rare honour of warrefare before they be growen in yeares, doe of themselves request all perillous and harde pieces of service, and ofien use with deadlye praise to runne unto proposed death. These men do they call, of their iminoderate fortitude and stoutnesse, the desperats forlorne hopen, and the Frenchmen enfans perdus: and it is lawfull for them, by the prerogative of their prowesse, to beare an ensigne, to have conducte and double wages all their life long. Neyther are the forlorne knowen from the rest by anye other marke and cognisance than the plumes of white feathers, the which, after the manner of captaines, they doe tourn behinde, waveryng over theyr shoulder with a brave kynde of riot.”
Again, in Bacon's Apology, touching the late Earl of Essex, 12mo. 1651, p. 105: --- you have put me like one of those that the Frenchmen call Enfans perlus that serve on foot before horsemen.”
Reed. Amongst other desperate services in which the forlorn hope or enfans peruus, were engaged, the night-watches seem to have been a common one. So, Beaumont and Fletcher:
“ I am set here like a perilu,
66 To watch a fellow that has wrongd my mistress.” Little French Lawyer, Act II, sc.ii. Whalley. With this thin helm?] With this thin covering of hair. Malune.
Mine enemy's dog,] Thus the folio. Both the quartos read, Mine injurious dog. Possibly the poet wrote-Mine injurer's dog
Steevens. 3 Had not concluded all.] It is wonder that thy wits and life had not all ended. Johnson. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, c. viii:
“ Ne spared they to strip her naked all."
Phys. Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.
Sir, do you know me? Lear. You are a spirit, I know; When did you
0, look upon me, sir,
Pray, do not mock me:6
“ And dispossess her all.” Steevens. 4 I am mightily abus’d.] I am strangely imposed on by appear. ances; I am in a strange mist of uncertainty. Fohnson.
5 No, sir, you must not kneel.] This circumstance I find in the old play on the same subject, apparently written by another hand, and published before any edition of Shakspeare's tragedy had made its appearance. As it is always difficult to say whether such accidental resemblances proceed from imitation, or a similarity of thinking on the same occasion, I can only point out this to the reader, to whose determination I leave the question. Steevens.
The words, No, sir, are not in the folio. Malone.
Let no man mock me, " For I will kiss her.” Stecvens. 7 Fourscore and upward;] Here the folio (and the folio only) adds --not an hour more or less. The authenticity of this passage Sir Joshua Reynolds justly suspects. It was probably the interpolation of some player, and is better omitted, both in regard to sense and versification.
Steevens. The words not an hour more or less, are judiciously reprobated by
I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.
And so I am, I am.
No cause, no cause.
In your own kingdom, sir. Lear. Do not abuse me.
Phys. Be comforted, good madam: the great rage
Mr. Steevens as the interpolation of some foolish player. We should therefore read:
Fourscore, and upward; and, to deal plainly with you. Ritson. • I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.) The quarto reads :
I feur, I am not perfect in my mind. Johnson. So one of the quartos. The other reads according to the present text. Steevens.
is curd - ] Thus the quartos. The folio reads:
is kill'd. Steevens.
(and yet &c.] This is not in the folio. Johnson. 2 To make him even o'er the time he has lost.] i.e. To reconcile it to his apprehension. Warburton.
The uncommon verb-to even, occurs again in Cymbeline, Act III, sciv:
" There's more to be consider'd; but we'll even
“ All that good time will give us." The meaning there seems to be, we will fully employ all the time we have. So here the Physician says, that it is dangerous to draw from Lear a full relation of all that he felt or suffered while his reason was disturbed ; to make him employ as much time in the recital of what has befallen him as passed during his state of insanity.
Malone. I believe, Dr. Warburton's explanation is just. The poor old king
Desire him to go in; trouble him no more,
Cor. Will 't please your highness walk?
You must bear with me: Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old, and foolish.
[Exeunt LEAR, Cor. Phys. and Attendants. [Gent. Holds it true, sir,3 That the duke of Cornwall was so slain? Kent.
Most certain, sir. Gent. Who is conductor of his people? Kent.
As 'tis said,
They say, Edgar,
Kent. Report is changeable.
Gent. The arbitrement is like to be a bloody. Fare you well, sir.
[Exit. Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrought, Or well, or ill, as this day's battle 's fought.] [Exit.
had nothing to tell, though he had much to hear. The speaker's meaning therefore I conceive to be it is dangerous to render all that passed during the interval of his insanity, even (i. e. plain or level,) to his understanding, while it continues in its present state of uncertainty. Steevens.
3 Holds it true, sir,] What is printed in crotchets is not in the folio. It is at least proper if not necessary; and was omitted by the author, I suppose, for no other reason than to shorten the representation.
Fohnson. It is much more probable, that it was omitted by the players, after the author's departure from the stage, without consulting him. His plays have been long exhibited with similar omissions, which render them often perfectly unintelligible. The loss however is little felt by the greater part of the audience, who are intent upon other matters.