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With such a number; must I come to you
With five and twenty? Rezan, faid you fo?

Reg. And speak’t again, my Lord, no more with me.

Lear. Those wicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd,
When others are more wicked : Not being woril,
Stands in some rank of praise: I'll go with thee;
Thy fifty yet doth double five and twenty;
And thou art twice her love.

Gon. Hear me, my lord ;
What need you five and twenty, ten, or five,
To follow in a house, where twice so many
Have a command to tend you?

Reg. What needs one?

Lear. O, reason not the need : our bafest beggars
Are in the poorest thing fuperfluous;
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is cheap as beasts. Thou art a Lady;
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'ft,
Which scarcely keeps thee warm; but for true need,
You heav'ns, give me that patience which I need !
You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,
As full of grief as age; wretched in both !
If it be you, that stir these daughters hearts
Against their father, fool me not so much
To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger ; (23)

(23) touch me with noble anger.] It would puzzle one at first, to And the sense, and drift, and coherence of this petition. For if the gods sent this affliction for his punishment, bow could he expect that they would defeat their own design, and aßift him to revenge his injuries by touching bim with noble anger This question cannot wellbe answered, without going a little further than ordinary for the folution, We may be assured then, that Shakespeare bad here in his mind those opinions the ancient poets held of the misfortunes of par. ticular families. They tell us, that when the anger of the gods (for any act of impiety) was rais'd against an effending family, that their method of punishment was this : first, they inflamed the breasts of the children to unnatural acts against their parents; and then, of the parents againft their children; that they might destroy one another : and that both these outrages were the acts of the gods. To confider

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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 fee one another ;
But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter,
Or rather a disease that's in my fieth,
Which I must needs call mine; thou art a bile,
A plague-fore, or imbofled carbuncle,
In my corrupted blood; but I'll not chide thee.
Let shame come when it will, I do not call it;
I do not bid the thunder-bearer Moot,
Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging fove.
Mend, when thou can'ft; be better, at thy leisure.
I can be patient, I can stay with Regan;
I, and my hundred Knights.

Reg. Not altogether io;
I look'd not for you yet, nor am provided
For your fit welcome; give ear to my sister;
For those that mingle reason with your paslicn,
Must be content to think you old, and lo-
But she knows what she does.

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 ? since 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 impossible.

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
We could controul them ; if you'll come to me,
(For now I fpy a danger) I intreat you
To bring but five and twenty ; to no more
Will I give place or notice.

Lear. I gave you all-
Reg. And in good time you gave it.

Lear. Made you my Guardians, my depofitaries ;
But kept a reservation to be follow'd

flack ye,

With such a number; must I come to you
With five and twenty ? Rezan, said you fo?

Reg. And speak’t again, my Lord, no more with me,

Lear. Those wicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd,
When others are more wicked : Not being worth,
Stands in some rank of praile: I'll go

with thee;
Thy fifty yet doth double five and twenty;
And thou art twice her love.

Gon. Hear me, my lord ;
What need you five and twenty, ten, or five,
To follow in a house, where civice so many
Have a command to tend you?

Reg. What needs one?

Lear. O, reason not the need : our basest beggars
Are in the poorelt thing fuperfluous;
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is cheap as beasts. Thou art a Lady;
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'ít,
Which scarcely keeps thee warm; but for true need,
You heav'ns, give me that patience which I need !
You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,
As full of grief as age; wretched in both!
If it be you, that stir these daughters hearts
Against their father, fool me not so much.
To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger ; (23)

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(23) touch me with noble anger. ] It would puzzle one at first, to ind the sense, and drift, and coherence of this petition. For if the gods sent this affliction for his punishment, bow could be expect that they would defeat their own defign, and afift him to revenge his injuries by touching bim with noble anger? This question cannot wellbe answered, without going a little further than ordinary for the folu. tion. We may be assured then, that Shakespeare had here in his mind those opinions the ancient poets held of the misfortunes of par. ticular families. They tell us, that when the anger of ihe gods (for any act of impiety) was rais'd against an offending family, that their method of punishment was this : first, they inflamed the breasts of the children to unnatural acts against their parents; and then, of the parents against their children; that they might destroy one another : and that both these outrages were the acts of the gods. To confider C3

Lear

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The lion, and the belly-pinched wolf
Keep their furr dry; unbonnetted he runs,
And bids what will, take all.

Kent. But who is with him?

Gent. None but the fool, who labours to out-jest
His heart- truck injuries.
Kent. Sir, I do know you,

T
And dare, upon the warrant of my note,
Commend a dear thing to you. There's divifion
(Although as yet the face of it is cover'd
With mutual cunning) 'twixt Allany and Cornrvall :
Who have (as who have not, whom their great stars (25)
Thron’d and set high ?) servants, who seem no less ;
Which are to France the spies and speculations
Intelligent of our state. What hath been seen,
Either in fnuffs and packings of the Dukes;
Or the hard rein which both of them have borne
Against the old kind King; or something deeper,
(Whereof, perchance, these are but furnishings- -2
But true it is, from France there comes a power
Into this scatter'd kingdom; who already,
Wise in our negligence, have secret sea
In some of our best ports, and are at point
*To shew their open banner-Now to you,
If on my credit you dare build so far
To make your speed to Dover, you shall find
Some that will thank you, making just report
Of how unnatural and bemadding iorrow
The King hath cause to plain.
I am a gentleman of blood and breeding,
And from some knowledge and assurance of you,
Offer this office.

Gent. I'll talk further with you.
Kent. No, do not :

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(25) Who bave, as who have not,-] The eight subsequent verses were degraded by Mr. Pope as unintelligible, and to no purpose. For my part, I fee nothing in them but what is very easy to be understood; and the lines seem absolutely necessary to clear up the motives, upon which France prepared his invafion : nor without them is the sense of the context compleat,

For

For confirmation that I am much more
Than my out-wall, open this purse and take
What it contains. If you shall fee Cordelia,
(As, fear not, but you shall) thew her that ring,
And she will tell you who this fellow is,
That yet you do not know. Fie on that storm !!
I will go seek the King.

Gent. Give me your hand, have you no more to say *

Kent. Few words, but, to effect, more than all yet ; That, when we have found the King, (in which you take That

way, I this :) he that first lights on him, Halloo the other.

[Exeunt severally. Storm fill. Enter Lear and fool. Lear. Blow winds, and crack your cheeks ;. rage, blow.! You cataracts, and hurricanoes, spout "Till you have drencht out steeples, drown'd the cocks! You súlph'rous and thought-executing fires, Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunder-bolts, Singe my white head. And thou all-thaking thunder, Strike flat the thick rotundity o' th' world ; Crack nature's mould, all germins spill at once (26) That make ingrateful man.

Fool. (26) Crack nature's mould, all germains Spill at once.) Thus all the editions have given us this paffage, and Mr. Pope has explain'd ger. mains, to mean, relations, or kindred elements." Then it must have been germanes (from the Latin adjective, germanus;) a word more than once used by our author, tho' always talle spelt by his editors. So, in Hamlet;

The phrase would be more germane to the matter, if we could carry cannon by our fides : And so in O:hello;

You'll have your nephews neigh to you; You'll have coursers for cousins, and gennets for germanes.

But the poet means here, “ Crack nature's mould, and spill all " the feeds of matter, that are hoarded within it.” To retrieve which lense, we must write germins; (a substantive deriv'd from germen, otope: as the old gloffaries expound it';) and so we must again in Macbeth;

-Tho' the treasure
Of nature's germins tumble all together,
Ey'n till destruction ficken.

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