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But that thy strange Mutations make us wait thee,
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 :
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,
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.
Old Man. How now? who's there?
Edg. O gods! who is't can say, I'm at the worst ?
Old Man. 'Tis poor mad Tom.
Edgar. And worse I may be yet: the worst is not,
Old Man. Fellow, where goeft ?
Glo. He has some reason, elle he could not beg.
Edg. How should this be?
Glo. Is that the naked fellow?
Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parrel that I have,
Not of a single spear.
Edg. Poor Tom's a cold ;-I cannot daub it further.
Edg. And yet I must;
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
Edg. Give me thy arm;'
(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.
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:
Gon. Then shall you go no further.
my husband's hands. This trusty servant
Gon. My most dear Glofter! [Exit Edmund.
Stew. Madam, here comes my Lord,
3 Gon. I have been worth the whistle.
Alb. Oh Gonerill,
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.
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.
Que nique ja frordes, v?rides neque proferet uml ras,