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ALB.

Shut your mouth, dame, Or with this paper shall I stop it :-Hold, sir:Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil :No tearing, lady; I perceive, you know it.

Gires the Letter to EDMUND. Gon. Say, if I do; the laws are mine, not

thine: Who shall arraign me fort ? ALB.

Most monstrous ? ! Know'st thou this paper ? Gon.

Ask me not what I know.

. [Exit GONERIL. ALB. Go after her : she's desperate; govern her.

To an Officer, who goes out. EDM. What you have charg'd me with, that have

I done;
And more, much more: the time will bring it out;
Tis past, and so am I: But what art thou,
That hast this fortune on me? If thou art noble,
I do forgive thee.
EDG.

Let's exchange charity 8.
I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;
If more the more thou hast wrong'd me.
My name is Edgar, and thy father's son.
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
Make instruments to scourge us':

7 Most monstrous !] So quartos A and C, and the folio. The other quarto reads-“ Monster, know'st thou this paper ? " The folio_ " Most monstrous, O know'st,” &c. Malone.

“ Knowest thou these letters ? " says Leir to Ragan, in the old anonymous play, when he shows her both her own and her sister's letters, which were written to procure his death. Upon which she snatches the letters and tears them. STEEVENS.

8 Let's exchange charity.] Our author, by negligence, gives his Heathens the sentiments and practices of Christianity. In Hamlet there is the same solemn act of final reconciliation, but with exact propriety, for the personages are Christians : “ Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet,” &c.

JOHNSON

The dark and vicious place where thee he got,
Cost him his eyes.
EDM

Thou hast spoken right, 'tis true; The wheel is come full circle'; I am here.

ALB. Methought, thy very gait did prophecy
A royal nobleness :-I must embrace thee;
Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I
Did hate thee, or thy father!
Edg.

Worthy prince, I know't ?.
ALB. Where have you hid yourself?
How have you known the miseries of your father ?
Edg. By nursing them, my lord.—List a brief

tale ; And, when 'tis told, O, that my heart would

burst ! The bloody proclamation to escape, That follow'd me so near, (O our lives' sweetness ! That with the pain of death we'd hourly die 3, Rather than die at once !) taught me to shift * Into a mad-man's rags; to assume a semblance That very dogs disdain'd : and in this habit

9 - to scourge us :] Thus the quartos. The folio reads :

“— to plague us.” Steevens. 1 full circle ;] Quarto, full circled. Johnson.

2 I know it well.] The adverb-well, was supplied by Sir Thomas Harmer for the sake of metre. Steevens.

3 That with the pain of death, &c.] Thus both the quartos. The folio reads unintelligibly, “That we the pain," &c. The original copies have would ; but this was, I apprehend, a misprint in those copies for would, i. e, we would, or, as we should now write it, we'd In The Tempest, Act II. Sc. I. we have 'ould for she would. MALONE. I cannot think the folio reading →

“ That we the pain of death would hourly die,” unintelligible. To die hourly the pains of death, does not seem to me a very harsh ellipsis for, To die suffering the pains of death.

BOSWELL. 4 The bloody proclamation to escape,

- taught me to shift -] A wish to escape the bloody pro . elamation, taught me, &c. Malone.

Met I my father with his bleeding rings.
Their precious stones new lost"; became his

guide, Led him, begg'd for him, sav'd him from despair; Never (O fault !) reveal'd myself unto him, Until some half hour past, when I was arm’d, Not sure, though hoping, of this good success, I ask'd his blessing, and from first to last Told him my pilgrimage : But his flaw'd heart, (Alack, too weak the conflict to support !) 'Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief, Burst smilingly.

EDM. This speech of yours hath mov'd me, And shall, perchance, do good: but speak you on; You look as you had something more to say.

ALB. If there be more, more woful, hold it in ; For I am almost ready to dissolve, Hearing of this.

[EDG.6 This would have seem'd a period To such as love not sorrow; but another, To amplify too-much, would make much more, And top extremity?.

is his bleeding rings,

Their precious stones new lost;] So, in Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609 :

“ Her eye-lids, cases to those heavenly jewels

“ Which Pericles hath lost.” Malone. 6 [Edg.] The lines between crotchets are not in the folio.

JOHNSON. 9 - This would have seem'd a period

To such as love not sorrow; but ANOTHER,
To amplify Too-much, would make much more,

And top extremity.] The reader easily sees that this reflection refers to the Bastard's desiring to hear more ; and to Albany's thinking he had said enough. But it is corrupted into miserable nonsense. We should read it thus :

“ This would have seem'd a period. But such
As love to amplify another's sorrow

“ To much, would make much more, and top extremity." i. e. This to a common humanity would have been thought the

Whilst I wąs big in clamour, came there a man, Who having seen me in my worst estate,

utmost of my sufferings; but such as love cruelty are always for adding more to much, till they reach the extremity of misery.

WARBURTON. The sense may probably be this : “This would have seemed a period to such as love not sorrow; but-another, i. e. but I must add another, i. e. another period, another kind of conclusion to my story, such as will increase the horrors of what has been already told. So, in King Richard II. :

“ I play the torturer, by small and small,

- To lengthen out the worst." STEEVENS.
“ This would have seem'd a period
“ To such as love not sorrow; but another,
“ To amplify too-much, would make much more,
“ And top extremity.” So, in The Rape of Lucrece :

“ Devise extremes beyond extremity.” Too-much is here used as a substantive. A period is an end or · conclusion. So, in King Richard III. :

« 0, let me make the period to my curse." This reflection perhaps refers, as Dr. Warburton has observed, to the Bastard's desiring to hear more, and to Albany's thinking that enough had been said. This, says Edgar, would have seemed the utmost completion of woe, to such as do not delight in sorrow; but another, of a different disposition, to amplify misery, would. “ give more strength to that which hath too much.”.

Edgar's words, however, may have no reference to what Edmund has said; and he may only allude to the relation he is about to give of Kent's adding a new sorrow to what Edgar already suffered, by recounting the miseries which the old king and his faithful follower had endured. Mr. Steevens points thus :

but another ;-
“ To amplify too much, would make much more,

“ And top extremity :-" But if such a punctuation be adopted, what shall we do with the word would, which is thus left without a nominative case ? A preceding editor, who introduced the above punctuation, to obtain some sense, reads and points :

but another :-
“ (To amplify too-much, to make much more,
" And top extremity,)

“ Whilst I was big,” &c. and indeed without that alteration, the words thus pointed afford, ịn my apprehension, no sense. MALONE. Mr. Malone's explanation may be just ; and yet it is probable

VOL. X.

T

Shunn'd my abhorr’d society; but then, finding
Who 'twas that so endur'd, with his strong arms
He fasten'd on my neck, and bellow'd out
As he'd burst heaven; threw me on my father 8 :
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him,
That ever ear receiv'd : which in recounting
His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack : Twice then the trumpet sounded”,
And there I left him tranc'd.
ALB.

But who was this?
Edg. Kent, sir, the banish'd Kent; who in dis-

: guise Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service Improper for a slave.]

Enter a Gentleman hastily, with a bloody Knife.
Gent. Help! help ! O help!
Edg.

What kind of help?
ALB.

Speak, man.

that we are struggling with a passage, the obscurity of which is derived from its corruption. STEEVENS.

8 — threw me on my father ;7 Thus both the quartos, where alone this speech is found. Mr. Theobald, and the subsequent editors, read" threw him on my father.” This is a new and distinct idea ; but I do not think myself warranted to adopt it; the text being intelligible, and it being very improbable that the word me should have been printed instead of him.-Kent in his transport of joy, at meeting Edgar, embraced him with such violence, as to throw him on the dead body of Gloster.

MALONE. “ — threw me on my father.” Thus the quartos.

The modern editors have corrected the passage, as I have printed it, and as I suppose it to have been originally written, “threw him.There is tragick propriety in Kent's throwing himself on the body of a deceased friend; but this propriety is lost in the act of clumsily tumbling a son over the lifeless remains of his father.

STEEVENS. 9 — the TRUMPET sounded,] The quartos, where alone this speech is found, read trumpets ; but it was certainly a misprint, for one trumpet only had sounded. Dr. Johnson made the correction. MALONE.

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