Imagens das páginas

But that thy strange Mutations make us wait thee,
Life would not yield to age.

Old Man. O my good Lord, I have been your tenant, And your father's tenant, these fourícore years.

Glo. Away, get thee away: good friend, be gone; Thy comforts can do me no good at all, Thee they may hurt.

Old Man. You cannot see your way.

Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes :
I stumbled when I saw. Full oft 'ris seen,
Our mean secures us; and our mere defects
Prove our commodities.-0 dear fon Edgar,
The food of thy abused father's wrath ;
Might I but live to see thee in my touch, (38)
I'd say, I had eyes again!

Old dation. My explanation of the poet's sentiment was,

« If the num"s ber of changes and vicissitudes, which happen in life, did not make

us wait, and hope for some turn of fortune for the better, we could never support the thought of living to be old, on any other • terms.” And our duty, as human creatures, is piously inculcated in this reflection of the author. Apollodorus, the comic poet, has left us a moral precept, upon which Shakespeare's reflection might have very well been grounded.

ουδέποτ' αθυμεϊν τον κακώς πράττονα δεί,

"Ανδρες, τα βελτίω δε προσδοκάν αεί. No hody, good people, ought to defpond under misfortunes, but always wait for a better turn.

(38) Migkt I but live to see thee in my touch,] I cannot but take notice, that these fine boldnefjes of expression are very infrequent in our English poetry, tho'familiar with the Greeks and Latins. We have pass’d another fignal one in this very play.

Such fhcets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,
Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never

Remember to have Leard. For tho' the verb bear properly answers to the thunder, the wind, and rain ; yet it does not so, but figuratively, to the meets of fire. I have obfervid an instance of this implex fort, exactly paraliel, in the Hero and Leander of Mufæus the grammarian.

Ν»χόμενόν τε Λέανδρον, όμα και λύχνον ακέν.

I bear Leander Grvim, the candle burn. The elder fcholiast upon Æschylus tells us very judiciously, [uitóyay! Tds corticois TO; Tò évspzése cv] That the transferring the properties of one sense to another, was used to add the greater force and energy.

My son

Old Man. How now? who's there?

Edg. O gods! who is't can say, I'm at the worst ?
I'm worse, than e'er I was.

Old Man. 'Tis poor mad Tom.

Edgar. And worse I may be yet: the worst is not,
So long as we can say, this is the worst.

Old Man. Fellow, where goeft ?
Glo. Is it a beggar-man?
Old Man. Madman and beggar too.

Glo. He has some reason, elle he could not beg.
I'th' last night's storm I such a fellow saw;
Which made me think a man, a worm.
Came then into

mind; and yet my

Was then scarce friends with him. I've heard more fince,
As flies to wanton boys, are we to th' gods;
They kill us for their sport.

Edg. How should this be?
Bad is the trade must play the fool to forrow,
Ang 'ring itself and others.--Bless thee, mafter.

Glo. Is that the naked fellow?
Old Man. Ay, my Lord.
Glo. Get thee away : if, for my

Thou wilt o'ertake us hence a mile or twain
I'th' way tow’rd Dover, do it for ancient love;
And bring some covering for this naked foul,
Whom I'll intreat to lead me.
Old Man. Alack, Sir, he is mad.

[blind :
Glo. 'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead the
Do as I bid, or rather do thy pleasure ;
Above the rest, be gone.

Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parrel that I have,
Comé on't, what will.

Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow.
His remark is upon this passage in the Seven Captains before 'Thebes ;

Κτύπον δεδορκα,
Πάταγόν τ' έχ ενός δορός.
Alack! I see the found, the dreadful crash,

Not of a single spear.
The late learned Dr. Gataker, in his treatise upon the style of the
New Testament, has amass'd examples of this figure in holy writ, as
well as from heathen writers, both Greek and Latin,



D 4

Edg. Poor Tom's a cold ;-I cannot daub it further.
Glo. Come hither, fellow.

Edg. And yet I must;
Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.

Glo. Know'st thou the way to Dover ?

Edg. Both file and gate, horse-way and foot-path : poor Tom hath been scar’d out of his good wits. Bless thee, good man, from the foul fiend. (39) Five fiends have been in poer t'um at once ; of luit, as Obidicut ; Hobbididen, prince of dumbness; Mabu, of stealing ; Mohu, of murder ; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing; who fince possesses chamber-maids and waiting-women.

[plagues Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heavens Have humbled to all strokes. That I am wretched, Makes thee the happier: heavens deal so still ! Let the superfluous, and luft-dieted man, That flaves your ordinance, that will not see Because he does not feel, feel your power quickly : So distribution should undo excess, And each man have enough. Do'lt thou know Dover

Edg. Ay, master.

Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending head
Looks fearfully on the confined deep :
Bring me but to the very brim of it,
And I'll repair the misery, thou do'st bear,
With something rich about me: from that place
I shall no leading need.

Edg. Give me thy arm;'
Poor Tom shall lead thee.


(39) Five fiend's bave been in poor Tom at once;] This passage Mr. Poje first restor’d from the old 410; but miserably man led, as it is there. I have set it right, as it came from our author, by the help of bishop Harfenet’s pamphlet, already quoted. Defnd there, all these devils were in Sarah and Friswood Williams, Mrs. Peckham's two chamber-maids; and particularly Flibbertigibčet, who made them n:op and mow like apes, says that author. And to their fuppos’d podelions Our poet is here fatirically alluding,

SCENE, the Duke of Albany's Palace.


the way.

Enter Gonerill, and Edmund. Gon. Elcome, my Lord. I marvel, otr mild husband

Not met us on

Enter Steward. Now, where's your master?

Stew. Madam, within ; but never man fo chang’d:
I told him of the army that was landed:
He smil'd at it. I told him you were coming,
His answer was, the worse. Of.Glofer's treachery,
And of the loyal service of his son,
When I inform’d him, then he call'd me sot ;
And told me, I had turn’d the wrong side out.
What most he should dislike, seems pleasant to him;
What like, offensive.

Gon. Then shall you go no further.
It is the cowith terror of his spirit,
That dares not undertake : he'll not feel wrongs,
Which tie him to an answer ; our wishes on the way
May prove effe&ts. Back, Edmund, to my brother';
Halten his musters, and conduct his powers.
I must change arms at home, and give the distaff

my husband's hands. This trusty servant
Shall pass between us : you ere long ihall hear,
If you dare venture in your own behalf,
A midrefs's command. Wear this ; fpare speech ;
Decline your head. This kiss, if it durit speak,
Would itretch thy spirits up into the air :
Conceive, and fare thee well.
· Edm, Yours in the ranks of death.

Gon. My most dear Glofter! [Exit Edmund.
Oh, the itrange difference of man, and man!
To thee a woman's services are due,
My fool ufurps my body.

Stew. Madam, here comes my Lord,

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

Enter Albany.

3 Gon. I have been worth the whistle.

Alb. Oh Gonerill,
You are not worth the dust, which the rude wind
Blows in your face.--I fear your disposition :
That nature, which contemns its origine,
Cannot be border'd certain in itself;
She that herself will fliver, and disbranch, (40)
From her maternal sap, perforce mult wither, (41)
And come to deadly use.

Gona (40) She that berself will shiver, and disbranch,] Shiver, in this place should bear the sense of disbranib; whereas it means, to thake; to Ay a-pieces into splinters ; in which sense he afterwards uses the word in this act ;

Thou’d'It hiver'd like an egg ; So that we may be assured, he would not have used the word in so contrary and false a sense here ; especialiy, when there is a proper: word to express the sense of disoranching, fo near this in found, and which he uses in other places, and that is, Niver: which, without. douht, is the true reading here. So in Macbeth;

--and flips of yew, Sliver'd in the moon's eclipse ; And, again, in Hamlet ;

There on the pendant boughs, her coronet weeds.
Clamb'ring to hang, an envious Sliver broke ;

Mr. Warburton. The old 4to reads fiver. But I owed this note to my friend's faga-. city, who never once saw that copy. On the other hand, what an: initance is it of Mr. Pope's inaccuracy in collation, who first added. this passage, from the old Quarto?

(41) From her material sap,] Thus the old 4to; but material sap, I. own, is a phrase that I don't understany. The mother-tree is the true technical term; and confidering, our author has said but just above, That nature, wbich contemns its origine, there is little room to questioa, but he wrote, -- From her mate nal sap. And so our best classical writers.

Hic plantas tenero abscindens de corpore matrum ; Virg, And again,

Cum semel in sylvis ima de ftirpe recisum.

Matre caret,
And Valerius Flaccus;

Que nique ja frordes, v?rides neque proferet uml ras,
Ut femel eft avulla jugis, & matre perempta,


« AnteriorContinuar »