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Lear. Say? How is that ? Reg. I cannot think, my sister in the least Would fail her obligation. If, perehance, She have restrain'd che riots of your followers ; 'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end, As clears her from all blame.
Lear. My curses on her !
Reg. O Sir, you are old,
you but mark, how this becomes the Use? (18)
Reg. Good Sir, no more ; these are unsightly tricks ; Return you to my sister.
Lear. Never, Regan :
(18) Do you but mark botu tbis becomes the house?] This phrase is to me unintelligible, and seems to say nothing to the purpose: Nei. ther can it mean, as I conceive, how this becomes the order of famiJies. Lear would certainly intend to reply, how does asking my daughter's forgiveness become me as a father, and agree with common fashion, the establini'd rule and custom of nature ? And therefore it seems no doubt to me, but the poet wrote, as I have alter'd the text. Let us examine, how he has expressed elsewhere upon this sentiment, Alonso says, in the Tempest ;
But, oh, how oddly will it sound, that I
Must ask my child forgiveness ?
I kneel before thee, and unproperly
Between the child and parent.
concluded to be against rule and custom : And that Shakespeare employs Use in this Signification, is too obvious to want a proof.
Look'd blank upon me; struck me with her tongue, (19)
Corn, Fie, Sir! fie!
Lear. You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding flames
Reg. O the blest gods !
curse: Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give (20)
Thee (19) Look'd black upon me,] This is a phrase which I do not understand; neither have I any where else met with it. But to look blank is a known expression, signifying, either to give discouraging looks to another, or to stand dismayed and disappointed one's-self. The poet means here, that Regan gave him cold looks, as he before phrases it in this play. In Hamlet, he has changed the adjective into a verb;
Each opposite, that blanks the face of joy. Milton (a ftudious imitator not only of our poet's words, but phrases ;) often uses blank in our author's senle here;
There without sign of boast, or sign of joy,
Par, Reg. B. 20
Mafque at Ludlow-Calle
Par. Loft, B. 96 And in another paffage, with an equivalent exsreslion ;
Thus while he fpake, each pafliun dimm'd his face. (20) Thy tender-hearted nature] This, as I presume, was Mr. Pope's sophistication; I have restored from the old copies, teridere kefied: (which, I am fatisfied, was the poet's word) i, e. whofe borom is keav'd with tender paflions. So in IV inter's Tale.
--But if one present
With violent bafts.
Ibid. B. 4.
Thee o'er to harshness; her eyes are fierce, but thine
Reg. Good Sir; to th' purpose. [Trumpet within
Reg. I know't, my fifter's: this approves her letter, That she would soon be here. Is your lady come?
Lear. This is a llave, whose easy-borrow'd pride
Enter Gonerill. Lear. Who stock't my fervant? Regan, I've good hope, Thou did'ft not know on't. Who comes here? O Heav'ns, If you do love old men, if
sweet sway (21) Hallow obedience, if yourselves are old,
Make And again afterwards in the same play ;
-'Tis such as you,
At each his needless beavings.
Once, or twice,
Lift. up thy brow, renowned Salisbury;
And with a great heart heave away this storm, (21)
----if your sweet sway Allow obedience, Could any man in his fenfes, and Lear has 'em yet, make it a question whether heaven allow'd obedience ? undoubtedly,
Make it your cause ; fend down and take my part.
Gor. Why not by th’ hand, Sir? how have I offended ?
Lear. O fides, you are too tough! Will you yet hold :-how came my man i' th' Stocks ?
Corn. I set him there,' Sir: but his own disorders Desery'd much less advancement.
Lear. You? did you?
Reg. I pray you, father, being weak, seem so.
Gon. At your choice, Sir.
the poet wrote-hallow obedience,-i. e. if by your ordinances you hold and pronounce it fanétified; and punish the violators of it as facrilegious persons,
Mr. Warburton (22) --To wage against the enmity o th' air, To be a comrade with the wolf and owl, Neceffity's farp pinch.] The breach of the sense here is a manifest proof, that these lines were transposed by the first editors : Neither can there be any syntax or grammatical coherence, unless we suppose Neceffity's sharp pinch to be the accusative to wage. As I've placed the verses, the sense is fine and easy; and the sentence compleat and hoished,
Lear. I prythee, daughter, do not make me mad,
Reg. Not altogether 10;
your fit welcome; give ear to my sister;
Lear. Is this well-spoken?
Reg. I dare avouch it, Sir; what, fifty followers ? Is it not well? what should you need of more? Yea, or so many ? fince both charge and danger Speak 'gainst so great a number : how in one house Should many people under two commands Hold amity? 'tis hard, almost impoflible.
Gon. Why might not you, my Lord, receive attendance From those that the calls servants, or from mine?
Reg. Why not, my Lord ? if then they chanc'd to
Lear. I gave you all-
Lear. Made you my Guardians, my depofitaries;