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In short and musty straw? Alack, alack! 'Tis wonder, that thy life and wits at once Had not concluded all."-He wakes; speak to him.

PHYS. Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.

COR. How does my royal lord? How fares your majesty?

LEAR. You do me wrong, to take me out o'the grave:

Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead.

Sir, do know me?
LEAR. You are a spirit, I know; When did


COR. Still, still, far wide!

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 perdus that serve on foot before horsemen." REED.

Amongst other desperate services in which the forlorn hope, or enfans perdus, were engaged, the night-watches seem to have been a common one. So, Beaumont and Fletcher:

"I am set here like a perdu,

"To watch a fellow that has wrong'd my mistress." Little French Lawyer, Act II. sc. ii. WHALLEY.

With this thin helm ?] With this thin covering of hair.


"Mine enemy's dog,] Thus the folio. Both the quartos read, Mine injurious dog. Possibly the poet wrote-Mine injurer's dog. STEEVENS.

7 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." Again, in Timon:

"And dispossess her all." STEEVENS.

PHYS. He's scarce awake; let him alone awhile. LEAR. Where have I been? Where am I?Fair day-light?


I am mightily abus'd.—I should even die with pity,
To see another thus.-I know not what to say.-
I will not swear, these are my hands :-let's see;
I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assur'd
Of my condition.


O, look upon me, sir,

And hold your hands in benediction o'er me:No, sir, you must not kneel.'

I am a very foolish fond
Fourscore and upward;

Pray, do not mock me:1
old man,
and, to deal plainly,

• I am mightily abus'd.] I am strangely imposed on by appearances; I am in a strange mist of uncertainty. JOHNSON.

9 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.


The words, No, sir, are not in the folio. MALONE. ! Pray, do not mock me :] So, in The Winter's Tale, Act V: Let no man mock me,


"For I will kiss her." STEEVENS.

• 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 Mr. Steevens as the interpolation of some foolish player. We should therefore read:

Fourscore, and upward; and, to deal plainly with you.


I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.3
Methinks, I should know you, and know this man;
Yet I am doubtful: for I am mainly ignorant
What place this is; and all the skill I have
Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
Where I did lodge last night: Do not laugh at me;
For, as I am a man, I think this lady
To be my child Cordelia.


And so I am, I am.

LEAR. Be your tears wet? Yes, 'faith. I pray,

weep not:


you have poison for me, I will drink it.
I know, you do not love me; for your sisters
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:
You have some cause, they have not.

No cause, no cause.


LEAR. Am I in France?
LEAR. Do not abuse me.
PHYS. Be comforted, good madam: the great

your own kingdom, sir.


You see, is cur'd in him: [and yet it is danger To make him even o'er the time he has lost."]

I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.] The quarto reads:
I fear, I am not perfect in my mind. JOHNSON.

So one of the quartos. The other reads according to the present text. STEEVENS.

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is cur'd-] Thus the quartos. The folio reads:
is kill'd. STEEVENS.

[and yet &c.] This is not in the folio. JOHNSON.


To make him even o'er the time he has lost.] i. e. To recon

cile it to his apprehension. WARBURTON.

The uncommon verb-to even, occurs again in Cymbeline, Act III. sc. iv:

Desire him to go in; trouble him no more,
Till further settling.

COR. Will't please your highness walk?


You must bear with me: Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old, and foolish. [Exeunt LEAR, CORDELIA, Physician, and Attendants.

[GENT. Holds it true, sir,7

That the duke of Cornwall was so slain?


GENT. Who is conductor of his people?


The bastard son of Gloster.

Most certain, sir.

As 'tis said,

"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 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.

7 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. JOHNSON.

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. MALONE.

They say, Edgar,

His banish'd son, is with the earl of Kent

In Germany.


Report is changeable. 'Tis time to look about; the powers o'the kingdom Approach apace.

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.


The Camp of the British Forces, near Dover.

Enter, with Drums and Colours, EDMUND, REGAN, Officers, Soldiers, and Others.


EDM. Know of the duke, if his last purpose hold; Or, whether since he is advis'd by aught To change the course: He's full of alteration, And self-reproving :-bring his constant pleasure. [To an Officer, who goes out.

[blocks in formation]

of alteration,] One of the quartos reads-
of abdication. STEEVENS.

his constant pleasure.] His settled resolution.

"We have this hour a constant will" &c.

308, n. 4.


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