« ForrigeFortsett »
O undistinguish'd space of woman's will? !
[Erit EDGAR, dragging out the Body. Glo. The king is mad: How stiff is my vile
sense, That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling? Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract: So should my thoughts be sever'd from my griefs ; And woes, by wrong imaginations, lose The knowledge of themselves.
70 undistinguish'd space of woman's will !] Thus the folio. The quartos read-of woman's wit! The meaning (says Dr. Warburton in Sir Thomas Hanmer's edition, is, “ The variations in a woman's will are so sudden, and their liking and loathing follow so quick upon each other, that there is no distinguishable space between them." MALONE.
I believe the plain meaning is—“O undistinguishing licentiousness of a woman's inclinations !” STEEVENS.
This is a very good meaning, I admit: but how can it be deduced from the words in the text, unless space can be considered as synonymous with licentiousness. MaloNE.
8 Thee I'll RAKE up, the post UNSANCTIFIED, &c.] Ill cover thee. In Staffordshire, to rake the fire, is to cover it with fuel for the night. Johnson.
The epithet, unsanctified, refers to his want of burial in consecrated ground. Steevens.
9 - the death-practis'd duke :) The duke of Albany, whose death is machinated by practice or treason. Johnson.
1- and have inGENIOUS FEELING - Ingenious feeling signifies a feeling from an understanding not disturbed or disordered, but which, representing things as they are, makes the sense of · pain the more exquisite. WARBURTON.
2 — sever'd-] The quartos read fenced. STEEVENS.
Give me your hand :
A Tent in the French Camp. LEAR on a Bed, asleep; Physician, Gentleman', and Others, attending : Enter CORDELIA and Kent. Cor. O thou good Kent, how shall I live, and
Be better suited":
3 - Physician, Gentleman, &c.] In the quartos the direction is, “ Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Doctor," omitting by negligence the Gentleman, who yet in those copies is a speaker in the course of the scene, and remains with Kent, when the rest go out. In the folio, the direction is, “ Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Gentleman;" to the latter of whom all the speeches are given, which in the original copies are divided between the Physician and the Gentleman. I suppose, from a penury of actors, it was found convenient to unite the two characters, which, we see, were originally distinct. Cordelia's words, however, might have taught the editor of the folio to have given the Gentleman whom he retained the appellation of Doctor : :
“ Be govern’d by your knowledge, and proceed
“ I' the sway of your own will.” Malone. 4 -- every measure fail me.] All good which I shall allot thee, or measure out to thee, will be scanty. Johnson.
5 Be better suited :] i. e. Be better dressed, put on a better suit of clothes. STEEVENS.
These weeds are memories of those worser hours ;
Pardon me, dear madam;
[To the Physician. Phys. Madam, sleeps still.
Cor. O you kind gods,
hanged fath senses, o, "ature !
* Quarto, hurrying.
6 These weeds are MEMORIES of those worser hours;] Memories, i. e. Memorials, remembrancers. Shakspeare uses the word in the same sense, As You Like It, Act II. Sc. III. :
“ O, my sweet master! O you memory
“Of old Sir Rowland !” Steevens. So, in Stowe's Survey of London, 1618:-"A printed memorie hanging up in a table at the entrance into the church-door."
MALONE. 9 - my MADE INTENT:] There is a dissonancy of terms in made intent; one implying the idea of a thing done, the other, undone. I suppose Shakspeare wrote-laid intent; i. e. projected. WARBURTON.
An intent made, is an intent formed. So we say in common language, to make a design, and to make a resolution. Johnson.
8 of this CHILD-CHANGED father!] That is, changed by his children ; a father, whose jarring senses have been untuned by the monstrous ingratitude of his daughters. So, care-craz'd, crazed by care; wave-worn, worn by the waves : woe-wearied, harassed by woe, &c. MALONE.
« Of this child-changed father!" i. e. Changed to a child by his years and wrongs; or perhaps, reduced to this condition by his children. Steevens.
Lear is become insane, and this is the change referred to. Insanity is not the property of second childhood, but dotage. Consonant to this explanation is what Cordelia almost immediately adds :
So please your majesty, That we may wake the king ? he hath slept long. Cor. Be govern'd by your knowledge, and pro
ceed I'the sway of your own will. Is he array'd ? Gent, Ay, madam'; in the heaviness of his *
sleep, . We put fresh garments on him. Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do awake
him; I doubt not of his temperance. COR.
Very well. Phys. Please you, draw near.-Louder the musick there?
* First folio omits his.
“O my dear father! Restoration, hang
“ Have in thy reverence made !" Henley. 9 Ay, madam, &c.] The folio gives these four lines to a Gentleman. One of the quartos [quarto B,] gives the two first to the Doctor, and the two next to Kent. The other quarto [quartos A and C,] appropriates the two first to the Doctor, and the two following ones to a Gentleman. I have given the two first, which best belong to an attendant, to the Gentleman in waiting, and the other two to the Physician, on account of the caution contained in them, which is more suitable to his profession. STEEVENS.
In the folio the Gentleman and (as he is here called) the Physician, is one and the same person. RITSON.
* Very well.] This and the following line I have restored from the quartos, STEEVENS.
2 - Louder the musick there.] I have already observed, that Shakspeare considered soft musick as favourable to sleep. See Love's Labour's Lost, vol. iv. p. 387, Lear, we may suppose, had been thus composed to rest; and now the Physician desires louder musick to be played, for the purpose of waking him. So again, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609, Cerimon, to recover Thaisa, who had been thrown into the sea, says
“ The rough and woeful musick that we have,
Cor. O my dear father! Restoration, hang •
Kind and dear princess! Cor. Had you not been their father, these white
flakes Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face To be expos'd * against the warring winds ? [To stand 4 against the deep dread-bolted thun
der ? In the most terrible and nimble stroke Of quick, cross lightning? to watch (poor perdu !) With this thin helm ?] Mine enemy's dogo,
* First folio, opposed. Again, in The Winter's Tale :
“ Musick awake her ; strike !” MALONE, 3 – RESTORATION, hang.
Thy medicine on my lips ;] This is fine. She invokes the goddess of health, Hygeiia, under the name of Restoration, to make her the minister of her rites, in this holy office of recovering her fatlier's lost senses. WARBURTON
Restoration is no more than recovery personified. STEEVENS.
4 [To stand, &c.] The lines within crotchets are omitted in the folio. Johnson. 5- to watch (poor PERDU !)
With this thin helm?] The allusion is to the forlorn-hope in an army, which are put upon desperate adventures, and called in French enfans perdus. These enfans perdus being always slightly and badly armed, is the reason that she adds, " With this thin helm ?” i. e. bare-headed. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton's explanation of the word perdu is just, though the latter part of his assertion has not the least foundation, Paulus Jovius, speaking of the body of men who were anciently sent on this desperate adventure, says : “ Hos ab immoderatâ fortitudine perditos vocant, et in summo honore atque admiratione habent.” It is not likely that those who deserved so well of their country for exposing themselves to certain danger, should be sent out, summâ admiratione, and yet slightly and badly armed.
The same allusion occurs in Sir W. Davenant's Love and Honour, 1649: