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Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
The king hath cause to plain.

I am a gentleman of blood and breeding;
And, from some knowledge and assurance, offer
This office to you.]

GENT. I will talk further with you.

No, do not.
For confirmation that I am much more

Than my out wall, open this purse, and take
What it contains: If you shall see Cordelia,
(As fear not but you shall,*) show her this ring;
And she will tell you who your fellow is

That yet you do not know. Fye on this 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


That, when we have found the king, (in which your pain,

That way;
I'll this ;) he that first lights on him,
Holla the other.


[Exeunt severally.

(As fear not but you shall,)] Thus quarto B and the folio. Quarto A-As doubt not but you shall. MALONE.


-the king, (in which your pain,

That way; I'll this;) he that first &c.] Thus the folio. The late reading:

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for which you take

"That way, I this,"

was not genuine. The quartos read:

"That when we have found the king,

"Ile this way, you that, he that first lights
"On him, hollow the other." STEEVENS.

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Another Part of the Heath. Storm continues.

Enter LEAR and Fool.

LEAR. Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks!" rage! blow!

You cataracts, and hurricanoes, spout

Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!

You sulphurous and thought-executing' fires,
Vaunt couriers to oak-cleaving thunder-bolts,



Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks!] Thus the quartos. The folio has-winds. The poet, as Mr. M. Mason has observed in a note on The Tempest, was here thinking of the common representation of the winds, which he might have found in many books of his own time. So again, as the same gentleman has observed, in Troilus and Cressida :

"Blow, villain, till thy sphered bias cheek

"Outswell the cholick of puff'd Aquilon."

We find the same allusion in Kempe's Nine Daies Wonder, &c. quarto 1600: "—he swells presently, like one of the four winds." MALONE.


-thought-executing-] Doing execution with rapidity equal to thought. JOHNSON.

Vaunt couriers-] Avant couriers, Fr, This phrase is not unfamiliar to other writers of Shakspeare's time. It originally meant the foremost scouts of an army. So, in Jarvis Markham's English Arcadia, 1607:

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as soon as the first vancurrer encountered him face to face."

Again, in The Tragedy of Mariam, 1613:

"Might to my death, but the vaunt-currier prove.”

Again, in Darius, 1603:

"Th' avant-corours, that came for to examine."


Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thun


Strike flat the thick rotundity o'the world! Crack nature's moulds, all germens spill at once,' That make ingrateful man!

FOOL. O nuncle, court holy-water in a dry house is better than this rain-water out o'door. Good nuncle, in, and ask thy daughters blessing; here's a night pities neither wise men nor fools.

In The Tempest, "Jove's lightnings" are termed more familiarly


the precursors

"O' the dreadful thunder-claps.-" MALONE.

9 Strike flat &c.] The quarto reads,―Smite flat.


'Crack nature's moulds, all germens spill at once,] Crack nature's mould, and spill all the seeds of matter, that are hoarded within it. Our author not only uses the same thought again, but the word that ascertains my explication, in The Winter's Tale: "Let nature crush the sides o'the earth together, "And mar the seeds within." THEOBALD.

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"Of nature's germens tumble altogether." STEEVens.

spill at once,] To spill is to destroy. So, in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, Lib. IV. fol. 67:

"So as I shall myself spill." STEEVENS.

-court holy-water-] Ray, among his proverbial phrases, p. 184, mentions court holy-water to mean fair words. The French have the same phrase. Eaû benite de cour; fair empty words.-Chambaud's Dictionary.

The same phrase also occurs in Churchyard's Charitie, 1595: "The great good turnes in court that thousands felt,

"Is turn'd to cleer faire holie water there” &c.


Cotgrave in his Dict. 1611, defines Eau benite de cour, " court holie waters compliments, faire words, flattering speeches," &c. See also Florio's Italian Dict. 1598: "Mantellizare, To flatter, to claw, to give one court holie-water." MALone.

LEAR. Rumble thy bellyfull! Spit, fire! spout,


Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters:
I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness,
I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children,
You owe me no subscription;3 why then let fall
Your horrible pleasure; here I stand, your slave,
A poor, infirm, weak, and despis'd old man :-
But yet I call you servile ministers,
That have with two pernicious daughters join'd
Your high-engender'd battles, 'gainst a head
So old and white as this. O! O! 'tis foul !4

FOOL. He that has a house to put his head in, has a good head-piece.

The cod-piece that will house,
Before the head has any,
The head and he shall louse ;-
So beggars marry many.5

The man that makes his toe

What he his heart should make,

Shall of a corn cry woe,


And turn his sleep to wake.

• You owe me no subscription;] Subscription for obedience. WARBURTON.

See p. 336, n. 6. MALONE.

So, in Rowley's Search for Money, 1609, p. 17: "I tell yee besides this he is an obstinat wilfull fellow, for since this idolatrous adoration given to him here by men, he has kept the scepter in his own hand and commands every man: which rebellious man now seeing (or rather indeed too obedient to him) inclines to all his hests, yields no subscription, nor will he be commanded by any power," &c. REED.

'-'tis foul !] Shameful; dishonourable: JOHNSON. So beggars marry many.] i. e. A beggar marries a wife

and lice.


-for there was never yet fair woman, but she made mouths in a glass.

Enter KENT.

LEAR. No, I will be the pattern of all patience, I will say nothing."

KENT. Who's there?

FOOL. Marry, here's grace, and a cod-piece; that's a wise man, and a fool.8

KENT. Alas, sir, are you here? things that love


Love not such nights as these; the wrathful skies Gallow the very wanderers of the dark,'

Rather, "So many beggars marry;" meaning, that they marry in the manner he has described, before they have houses to put their heads in. M. MASON.


-cry woe,] i e. be grieved, or pained. So, in King Richard III:

"You live, that shall cry woe for this hereafter."

7 No, I will be the pattern of all patience,


I will say nothing.] So Perillus, in the old anonymous play, speaking of Leir:

"But he, the myrrour of mild patience,
"Puts up all wrongs, and never gives reply."


grace, and a cod-piece; that's a wise man, and a fool.] In Shakspeare's time," the king's grace" was the usual expression. In the latter phrase, the speaker perhaps alludes to an old notion concerning fools. See Vol. XV. p. 202, n. 5. MALONE. Alluding perhaps to the saying of a contemporary wit; that there is no discretion below the girdle. STEEVENS.

9 — are you here?] The quartos-sit you here?


1 Gallow the very wanderers of the dark,] So, in Venus and Adonis :

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'stonish'd as night-wanderers are." MALONE. Gallow, a west-country word, signifies to scare or frighten.


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