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abruptness rather unusual, and the old king rushes in speech in scene iv. of this act,“ pretence or purpose of before us with all his passions at their height, and tearing unkindness.” It is the original sense of the word. him like fiends.
" – knaves, thieves, and TREACHERS”—The last word “Had the actor or the Poet put more of melancholy
is familiar to Chaucer, Spenser, and other old writers. and depression, and less of rage, into the character,
In the quarto it stands treacherers. The editions of the we should have been very much puzzled at his so sud
last century substituted treacherous, until Stevens redenly going mad. It would have required the change to
stored the true reading. have been slower, and besides his insanity must have been of another kind. It must have been monotonous "— to the charge of a star.”—The Poet here sneers and complaining instead of continually varying,--at one
at the doctrines of judicial astrology, very generally time full of grief, at another playful, and then wild as believed in his time,
and long after. The influence of the winds that waved about him, and fiery and sharp as
the stars in the ascendant at the time of birth, long kept the lightning that shot by him."
its hold on popular opinion in Great Britain, as we may
learn from “Guy Mannering," and Scott's notes on it. “The true blank of thine eye”—The “blank” means
It was the more willingly believed, because it afforded the white at which the arrow is shot.
an excellent excuse to their own conscience for many “— DISEASES of the world"-"Diseases" (which reads
a one, like Chaucer's “ Wife of Bath," who was glad disasters in the folio, giving an equally good sense)
to be able to say,is to be taken in the etymological sense of disease,
I followed ay mine inclination, inconveniences, which at the time was not unusual, and
By virtue of my constellation. in older English, general. In Wickliffe's ble, we have Coleridge's remarks upon this just censure of a popular “diseases of the world," and again, "ye shall have dis- error being put into the mouth of a scornful unprincipled ease in the world," for what is now rendered “ man, is striking:of the world—tribulation in the world.”
“Thus scorn and misanthropy are often the anticipa
tions and mouth-pieces of wisdom in the detection of “- a better WHERE to find"-i. e. a better place : superstitions. Both individuals and nations may be free "where" is used substantively, as in any-where, every. from such prejudices by being below them as well as where.-COLLIER.
by rising above them." "- let us hit together"-A very intelligible expression for—Let us agree together, i. e. strike at the
SCENE III. same time. Goneril follows up the figure by adding
“The Steward should be placed in exact antithesis • and i' the heat”-while the iron is hot. The folio
to Kent, as the only character of utter irredeemable (followed in some modern editions) has sit.
baseness in SHAKESPEARE. Even in this the judgment
and invention of the Poet are very observable ;--for SCENE II.
what else could the willing tool of a Goneril be? Not
a vice but this of baseness was left open to him."“ Thou, NATURE, art my goddess."--Edmund calls
COLERIDGE. nature his goddess, for the same reason that we call a bastard a natural son: one who, according to the law “Old fools are babes again."— These lines are found of nature, is the child of his father, but according to only in the first edition, and were thrown out of the those of civil society is nullius filius.-M. Mason.
revision for the copy from which the folio was printed, In this speech of Edmund you see, as soon as a man
perhaps for the reason intimated by Johnson, that the cannot reconcile himself to reason, how his conscience expression is obscure, and the construction harsh, and flies off by way of appeal to nature, who is sure upon
in shortening the drama for the stage, the author “chose Buch occasions never to find fault; and also, how shame to throw away the lines rather than correct them." sharpens a predisposition in the heart to evil. For it is They are nevertheless characteristic of the speaker. The a profound moral, that shame will naturally generale only difficulty as to the sense is, whether“ they'' refers to guilt; the oppressed will be vindictive, like Shylock;
“old men” or to “fatterers." “Old men inust be treated and in the anguish of undeserved ignominy the delusion
as babes, and checked as well as flattered, when they secretly springs up, of getting over the moral quality of are seen to be abused, or injured by flattery ;" or better, an action by fixing the mind on the mere physical act
with Tyrwhitt and Malone, “Old men must, like babes, alone.-COLERIDGE.
be treated harshly, as well as flattered (or soothed) when
flatteries are seen to be abused," which seems to me • The curIOSITY of nations”-i. e. the scrupulous quite satisfactory. This would be made more clear by strictness of nations. In the second speech of this play a strong emphasis on they. "curiosity” is used in a similar sense. Shall top the legitimate"- The quartos have “Shall
SCENE IV. tooth' legitimate," and the folio “Shall to th' legitim- “ That can my speech DIFFUSE"-To diffuse meant, ate:" of which the older editors could make nothing in the time of Shakespeare, to disorder or confuse. satisfactory. Warburton and Hanmer quarrelled whether A “diffused song,” in the MERRY Wives of Windsor, it should read “ be the legitimate” or “ toe the legitim- meant obscure, indistinct. We find, in Stowe's Chronate," until the witty Edwards, in his “ Canons of Criti- icle, “I doubt not but thy speech shall be more diffuse cism,” after laughing at both, suggested the slight to him, than his French shall be to thee." emendation of "top," which has since been adopted in all editions.
“Let me not stay a jot for dinner."--" In Lear old
age is itself a character,-its natural imperfections being "— SUBSCRIB'd his power"-i. e. Yielded his power;
increased by life-long habits of receiving a prompt obeas in TROILUS and Cressida, it is said “Hector-sub- dience. Any addition of individuality would have been scribes to tender objects."
unnecessary and painful; for the relations of others to
him, of wondrous fidelity and of frightful ingratitude, “ Upon the GAD"-Upon a new and sudden excite
alone sufficiently distinguish him. Thus Lear becomes ment; a phrase drawn from the use of the gad, the
the open and ample play-room of nature's passions."old, as it still is in many places, the vulgar word for
COLERIDGE. a goad, and applied to any sharp point of metal, or other instrument to drive cattle. Hence the gad-fly, or sharp
the fool hath much pined away."--" The Fool stinging fly.
is no common buffoon to make the groundlings laugh,
no forced condescension of Shakespeare's genius to the “ - and to no other PRETENCE"-Shakespeare always taste of bis audience. Accordingly the Poet prepares uses pretence for design or intention. See Lear's for his introduction, which he never does with any of
his common clowns and fools, by bringing him into liv part, with despair in his face, and a tongue for ever ing connection with the pathos of the play. He is as struggling with a jest, that should thrill every bosom. wonderful a creation as Caliban ;-his wild babblings, What! banish him from the tragedy, when Lear says, and inspired idiocy, articulate and guage the horrors of I have one part in my heart that's sorry for thee;' and the scene."-COLERIDGE.
when he so feelingly addresses him with,. Come on, " • Now, our joy, though last, not least,' my dearest | my boy: how dost, my boy? Art cold?' I ain cold of all fools, Lear's Fool! Ah, what a noble heart, a myself.' At that pitch of rage, ‘Off! off, you lendings! gentle and a loving one, lies beneath that party-coloured Come, unbutton here!' could we but see the Fool throw jerkin! Thou hast been cruelly treated. Regan and himself into his master's arms, to stay their fury, lookGoneril could but hang thee, while the unfeeling players ing up in his countenance with eyes that would fain did worse ; for they tainted thy character, and at last appear as if they wept not, and hear his pathetic enthrust thee from the stage, as one unfit to appear in their treaty, Pr'ythee, nuncle, be contented ;'-pshaw! these worshipful company. Regardless of that warning voice, players know nothing of their trade. While Gloster forbidding them to speak more than is set down for and Kent are planning to procure shelter for the king, them,' they have put into thy mouth words so foreign to whose wits at that time begin to unsettle,' he remains thy nature, that they might, with as much propriety, be silent in grief; but afterwards, in the farm-house, we given to Cardinal Wolsey. But let me take thee, with find him endeavouring to divert the progress of Lear's out addition or diminution, from the hands of Shake madness, as it becomes haunted by the visions of his speare, and then thou art one of his perfect creations. daughters, and that in the most artful manner, by huLook at him! It may be your eyes see him not as mine | mouring the wanderings of his reason, and then striving do, but he appears of a light delicate frame, every fea to dazzle him with cheerfulness. At the last, we beture expressive of sensibility even to pain, with eyes hold him, when all his efforts are proved unavailing, lustrously intelligent, a mouth blandly beautiful, and utterly dumb."— Ch. ARMITAGE Brown. withal a hectic Aush upon his cheek. O that I were a painter! O that I could describe him as I knew him in
“— there, take my coxcomb"-By “coxcomb” the my boyhood, when the Fool made me shed tears, while
fool means his cap; called so because on the top of it Lear did but terrify me!
was sewed a piece of red cloth, resembling the comb of “I have sometimes speculated on filling an octavo
a cock. Hence the modern use denotes a vain, conon Shakespeare's admirable introduction of characters.
ceited fellow. This would rank among his best. We are prepared to see him with his mind full of the fatal division of the kingdom,' and oppressed with thick-coming fancies ;' and when he appears before us we are convinced of both, though not in an ordinary way. Those who have never read any thing but the French theatre, or the English plays of the last century, would expect to see him upon the scene wiping his eyes with his cloak ; as if the worst sorrows did not often vent themselves in jests, and that there are not beings who dare not trust their nature with a serious face when the soul is deeply struck. Besides, his profession compels him to raillery and seeming jollity. The very excess of merriment is here an evidence of grief; and when he enters throwing his coxcomb at Kent, and instantly follows it up with allusions to the miserable rashness of Lear, we ought to understand him from that moment to the last.
(The Coxcomb.) Throughout this scene his wit, however varied, still aims at the same point; and in spite of threats, and re “ How now, NUNCLE"-A familiar contraction of mine gardless how his words may be construed by Goneril's uncle, as ningle, &c. The customary appellation of rreatures, with the eagerness of a filial love he prompts the old licensed fool to his superiors was uncle. In the old king to resume the shape he had cast off.' Beaumont and Fletcher's “Pilgrim," when Alinda as*This is not altogether fool, my lord.' But alas! it is sumes the character of a fool, she uses the same lantoo late; and when driven from the scene by Goneril, guage. She meets Alphonso, and calls him nuncle; to he turns upon her with an indignation that knows no which he replies by calling her naunt. In the same fear of the halter for himself.'
style, the fools call each other cousins. Mon oncle was “That such a character should be distorted by play. long a term of respect and familiar endearment in ers, printers, and commentators! Observe every word France, as well as ma tante. They have a proverb, “Il he speaks; his meaning, one would imagine, could not est bien mon oncle, qui le ventre me comble." It is be misinterpreted; and when at length, finding his remarkable that the lower people in Shropshire call the covert reproaches can avail nothing, he changes his dis judge of assize "my nuncle the judge."—NARES AND course to simple mirth, in order to distract the sorrows VAILLANT. of his master. When Lear is in the storm, who is with
" — when the lady BRACH"-A“brach" was a female him? None—not even Kent
hound, but the word was also used for dogs in general. None but the Fool; who labours to outjest His heart-struck injuries.
“Lend less than thou OWEST,
Learn more than thou TROWEST." The tremendous agony of Lear's mind would be too painful, and even deficient in pathos, without this poor
Ove had a double and apparently contradictory sense faithful servant at his side. It is he that touches our
in old English-its present one, and that now obsolete, hearts with pity, while Lear fills the imagination to
and answering to the verb “to own.” The latter sense aching. The explosions of his passion,' as Lamb has
was still common in Shakespeare's day, as in the Temwritten in an excellent criticism, are terrible as a vol.
PEST, “no sound that the earth owes," and may be cano; they are storms turning up, and disclosing to the
found in Massinger, and Drayton, and even the prose bottom that sea, his mind, with all its vast riches. Such
writers of that day. The proverb then means, “ Do not a scene wanted relief, and Shakespeare, we may rely
lend all you have." To trow is to believe: as, “ Do not upon it, gives us the best. But it is acted otherwise,
believe all you hear.” no, it is Tate that is acted. Let them, if they choose, - and loads too"- Modern editors, without the bring this tragedy on the stage ; but, by all means, let us slightest authority, read “and ladies too,” when the not be without the Fool. I can imagine an actor in this old copies have not a word about ladies: all the fool
means to say is, that if he had a monopoly of folly, passion alone, that he is not moved by rage, griel, or great men would have part of it, and a large part, too- indignation singly, but by a tumultuous combination of * and loads too”—printed lodes in the quartos.
them all together, when all claim to be heard at once, “ – now thou art an O WITHOUT A FIGURE"--The
and when one naturally interrupts the progress of the Fool means, that Lear, “having pared his wit on both
other. Shakespeare wrote them for the mouth of one sides, and left nothing in the middle," is become a
who was to assume the action of an old man of four. mere cipher.—MALONE.
score, for a father as well as a monarch, in whom the
most bitter execrations are accompanied with extreme we were left darkling"-Dr. Farmer supposes | anguish, with deep sighs and involuntary tears. Garrick that the words—" So, out went the candle,'' &c., are a rendered the curse so deeply affecting to the audience fragment of some old song. Shakespeare's fools are that during his utterance of it they seemed to shrink certainly copied from the life. The originals whom he from it as from a blast of lightning. His preparation copied were no doubt men of quick parts ; lively and for it was extremely affecting ; his throwing away his sarcastic. Though they were licensed to say any thing, crutch, kneeling on one knee, clasping his hands together, it was still necessary to prevent giving offence, that
and lifting his eyes towards heaven, presented a picture every thing they said should have a playful air : we may worthy the pencil of a Raphael." suppose, therefore, that they had a custom of taking off Kemble appears to have returned to the original idea the edge of too sharp a speech by covering it hastily with of unmixed wrath. Boaden thus describes this curse, the end of an old song, or any glib nonsense that came as given by him in his best personification of Lear:into the mind. I know of no other way of accounting “ The curse, as he then enacted it, harrowed up the for the incoherent words with which Shakespeare often
soul; the gathering himself together, with the hands finishes this Fool's speeches.—Sir J. REYNOLDS. convulsively clasped, the increasing power, and rapidity,
" Lear's shadow”—Here, with M. Mason, Singer and and suffocation of the concluding words, all evinced Knight, we follow the folio arrangement, in preference
profound emotion. His countenance, in grandeur, apto that of the quartos, (adopted by Stevens, Malone, proached the most awful impersonation of Michael An. Collier, and most later editors,) which read “ Lear's gelo." shadow” as a broken sentence of Lear's own speech.
Walter Scott has, in his review of the “Life of Kem“ Who is it can tell me who I am ?" says Lear. In
ble," preserved an anecdote of Mrs. Siddons, which the folio, the reply, “ Lear's shadow," is rightly given shows that that great expounder of Shakespeare's to the Fool, but ihe latter part of the speech of Lear is
thoughts had again taken a different view of the most omitted in that copy. Lear heeds not what the Fool re- effective means of embodying and giving expression to plies to his question, but continues :-"Were I to judge this terrible burst of passion. Her recitations of the from the marks of sovereignty, knowledge, or reason, scenes of Lear, Othello, and other male characters, given I should think I had daughters, yet that must be a in her public readings, are remembered by critics as false persuasion ;— It cannot bem." The Fool seizes the among the noblest and most exquisite specimens of the pause in Lear's speech to continue his interrupted reply
art, more admirable as exhibited alone, without the aid to Lear's question: he had before said, “ You are Lear's
or illusion of the interest, or dialogue, or costume of the shadow;" he now adds, " which they (i. e. your daugh- stage. ters) will make an obedient father.' Lear heeds him Scott, after observing that Kemble at times sacrificed not in his emotion, but addresses Goneril with “ Your energy of action to grace, adds :--“We remember the name, fair gentlewoman."-SINGER.
observation being made by Mrs. Siddons herself; nor
shall we easily forget the mode in which she illustrated “Than the SEA-MONSTER"--The sea-monster is the her meaning. She arose and placed herself in the attiHippopotamus, the hieroglyphical symbol of impiety and tude of one of the old Egyptian statues; the knees joined ingratitude. Sandys, in his “ Travels," says--" that he together, and the feet turned a little inwards. She killeth his sire, and ravisheth his own dam.”-Upton. placed her elbows close to her sides, folded her hands, “ Hear, nature, hear.”—The classical reader will find
and held them upright, with the palms pressed to each
other. Having made us observe that she had assumed a very remarkable and noble parallel to this imprecation
one of the most constrained, and, therefore, most un. in that of dipus upon his sons, in the “Edipus Coloneus” of Sophocles. There is not the remotest proba graceful positions possible, she proceeded to recite the bility that the Greek drama was in any way known to
curse of Lear on his undutiful offspring, in a manner
which made hair rise and flesh creep;—and then called Shakespeare, as whatever might have been the precise
on us to remark the additional effect which was gained extent of his literary acquirements, Greek tragedy was
by the concentrated energy which the unusual and uncertainly not within their limits, and Sophocles had not then been translated. Nor is there in these lines any of
graceful posture itself applied." that sort of similarity which marks imitation, whether “And from her DEROGATE body."-Degraded, blasted, immediate, or as sometimes happens, indirect and un- as in CYMBELINE, “ Is there no derogation on it?" conscious. The resemblance is that of deep passion, not
“Th' UNTENTED woundings of a father's curse."that of imagery. It is the coincidence of genius in dis
The rankling or never-healing wounds inflicted by patant ages, and under very different influences of taste,
rental malediction. Tents are well-known dressings and manners, and opinions, pourtraying the same terrible intensity of parental malediction. The curse of Edipus Shakespeare qnibbles upon this surgical practice in
inserted into wounds as a preparative to healing them. is prophetic of the fate of his sons, and dictated by the
TROILUS AND CRESSIDA:-mythological and fatalist opinions of Greece. Shake
Patr. Who keeps the tent now? speare appeals to universal feeling, invoking on the un- Ther. The surgeon's box, or the patient's wound, grateful child pangs similar to those which she inflicts. The mode of delivering this terrific imprecation was
“ I cannot be so partial," etc.- Observe the baffled much discussed by the critics of the last century. Booth,
endeavour of Goneril to act on the fears of Albany, and the rival of Garrick, spoke it after the traditionary man
yet his passiveness, his inertia; he is not convinced, ner of Betterton, and very probably much as Burbage,
and yet he is afraid of looking into the thing. Such the original Lear of the Poet's own day, had pronounced
characters always yield to those who will take the it—with fierce and rapid vehemence. Garrick depicted
trouble of governing them, or for them. Perhaps, the the struggles of parental affection, and shifting emotions
influence of a princess, whose choice of him had royal. of contending passions, for which he was considered by
ized his state, may be some little excuse for Albany's the critics of the older school as too deliberate, and
weakness.-COLERIDGE. wanting in indignant energy. His contemporary, Davies, “ AT Point a hundred knights”-i. e. complely armthus defends him in “ Davies's Miscellanies :"
ed, and consequently ready at appointment or command “We should reflect that Lear is not agitated by one on the slightest notice.
father. Regan is not, in fact, a greater monster than
Goneril, but she has the power of casting more venom.“O, let me not be mad," etc.—The mind's own an
COLERIDGE. ticipation of madness! The deepest tragic notes are often struck by a half sense of an impending blow. The " He did DEWRAY his practice”—The quartos here Fool's conclusion of this act by a grotesque prattling read betray for “ bewray,” which is the older word for seems to indicate the dislocation of feeling that has be- the same meaning. gun and is to be continued.--COLERIDGE.
SCENE II. Fool's last couplet.— It is but justice to the Poet to state that the two or three passages delivered by the
" If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold,” etc.—Lipsbury Fool in this play occur in the form of tags (as they are pinfold may, perhaps, like “ Lob's pond,” be a coined technically called ;) that is, phrases or lines spoken in
but with what allusion does not appear.
name, conclnsion, or while making an exit. These were prob- " — thy ADDITION”—The description of an individual ably interpolations in the first instance, and gradually in a legal document is called his addition. Action-taking became incorporated with the text of the prompter's knave is one who would bring a suit for a beating, instead book. The severity with which the Poet, in Hamlet's of defending himself. Glass-gazing” refers to Oswald's advice to the players, remarks on the clowus “speaking vanity in the frequent use of the mirror. For the rest, more than was set down for them," indicates that he we must, with Johnson, confess our inability to explain had himself suffered in this way.
the epithets, many of which, seem slang phrases of the times.
" – nature disclaims in thee"-We should now say “nature disclaims thee;" but the text was the phraseology of the time, as may be proved by various instances: one from Ben Jonson will be sufficient:
And, then, his father's oft disclaiming in him. " — this UNBOLTED villain”-i. e. this unsifted or coarse villain.-COLLIER.
"- hale yon beaks"— The halcyon is the kingfisher; and there was a popular opinion that the bird, if hung up, would indicate by the turning of its beak the point from which the wind blew. So in Marlowe's “ Jew of Malta:'
But how now stands the wind ?
Into what corner peers my halıyon's bill? “ – home to CAMELOT"-In Somersetshire, where the romances say that King Arthur kept his western court.
It is mentioned in Drayton's “ Polyolbion," song iii. (Sophocles.-From a Bust in the British Museum.)
Great quantities of geese were bred on the moors
there, but the allusion seems to be to some proverbial ACT II.--SCENE I.
speech, perhaps from the old romances of King Arthur. “— queazy" —is used by old writers from Hackluyt change was not made without reason. Although Kent
“Great aspect"—The quartos have grand. The to Milton, as it still is provincially, for that state of the stomach which is easily provoked to sickness, and thence
meant to go out of his dialect, the word grand sounded
ironically, and was calculated to offend more than was metaphorically for any tendency to disease or danger.
needful.-Knight. “ Do more than this in sport" —Passages are quoted from dramatic writers of the time to show, that young
“ When he, COMPACT"_" Compact" here means in men, out of gallantry stabbed their arms, in order to
concert with, having entered into a compact. The word
used in the quartos, and many modern editions, is condrink the healths of their mistresses in blood.
junct, which admits a similar explanation. “And found_dispatch.”—The sense is interrupted. He shall be caught-and, found, he shall be punished
“ – the FLESHMENT of this dread exploit"—A young with dispatch.-Johnsos.
soldier is said to flesh his sword the first time he draws
blood with it. Fleshment, therefore, is metaphorically "My worthy arch”-i. e. chief; now used only in applied to the first act of service, which Kent, in his composition, as arch-duke, arch-angel, &c.-STEVENS. new capacity, had performed for his master; and, at the * And found him right to do it, with curst speech,"
same time, in a sarcastic sense, as though he had esetc.-“ Pight” is pitched, fixed, settled. “ Curst" is
teemed it an heroic exploit to trip a man behind who severe, harsh, vehemently angry.-Johnson.
was actually falling.-Henler. “Thou un possessing bastard." — Thus the secret
“But Ajax is their fool"— Meaning, as we should poison in Edmund's own heart steals forth; and then
now express it, Ajax is a fool to them; there are none observe poor Gloster's
of these knaves and cowards but if you believe themLoyal and natural boy!
selves, who are not so brave that Ajax is a fool com
pared to them. When a man is compared to one who as if praising the crime of Edmund's birth !-COLERIDGE.
excels him much in any art, it is a vulgar expression to “My very CHARACTER"—i. e. my own hand-writing. say, “Oh, he is but a fool to him.” So, in the Taming “To make thee caPABLE”-i. e, capable of inheriting
OF THE SHKEW,his father's lands and rank, which, as an illegitimate son,
Tut, she's a lamb, a dove, a fool to him. he could not otherwise do. The word in this sense
" To the warm sun"— The common saw here alluded was of common use.
to is found in Heywood's “ Dialogues and Proverbs :"“ What! did my father's godson seek your life?”.
In your running from him to me, Compare this speech of Regan's with the unfeminine
Ye run out of God's blessing into the warm sun. violence of her
When Hamlet says “I am too much i' the sun," he reAll vengeance comes too short, &c.,
fers to the same proverb. and yet no reference to the guilt, but only to the acci- “Losses their remedies"— This monologue of Kent's dent, which she uses as an occasion for sneering at her ll has presented many difficulties to commentators. In
the original copies there are no stage directions; but in distracted, when he is no other than a dissembling the modern editions which preceded Johnson's, we find knave.' several of these explanations which have been rejected “In 'The Bellman of London,' by Decker, 1640, is of late years. When Kent says
another account of one of these characters, under the A pproach, thou beacon to this under globe-
title of what he calls an Abraham Man: - He sweares there was formerly inserted in the margin, looking up he hath been in Bedlam, and will talk frantickely of purto the moon.
It is now agreed that the beacon is the pose: you see pinnes stuck in sundry places of his naked sun; and that Kent wishes for its rising, that he may flesh, especially in his armes, which paine he gladly read the letter.. But when he says “ 'tis from Corde- puts himself to, only to make you believe he is out of lia,” a direction was added-opening the letter. Some his wits. He calls himself by the name of Poore Tom, of the remaining portions of his speech these editors and comming near any body cries out Poore Tom is consider as parts of the letter, and give a direction ac- a-cold. Of these Abraham men, some be exceeding cordingly. We agree with Malone that, although Kent merry, and doe nothing but sing songs fashioned out of has a letter from Cordelia, and knows that she has been their own braines: some will dance, others will doe informed of his “ obscured course,” he is unable to read nothing but either laugh or weepe : others are dogged, it in the dim dawning. Tieck says, “ The Poet desires and so sullen both in loke and speech, that spying but here to remind us again of Cordelia, and to give a dis- a small company in a house, they boldly and bluntly tant intimation that wholly new events are about to be enter, compelling the servants through feare to give introduced."-Knight.
them what they demand.'” Collier rejects the interpolated stage-directions, but interprets the words as broken parts of Cordelia's letter,
“Poor pelting villages"--Petty, of little worth. read by an imperfect light. I do not find any difficulty
“ Lunatic bans"--i. e. Curses. in the passage, and understand it as well explained by “Poor Turly good"--Warburton would read TurluMr. Singer :
pin, and Hanmer Turluru; but there is a better reason “ Its evident meaning appears to me to be as follows:
for rejecting both these terms than for preferring either, Kent addresses the sun, for whose rising he is impa- namely, that Turlygood is the corrupted word in our tient, that he may read Cordelia's letter. Nothing language. The Turlupins were a fanatical sect that (says he) almost sees miracles, but misery : I know this
over-ran France, Italy, and Germany, in the thirteenth letter which I hold in my hand is from Cordelia; who and fourteenth centuries. They were at first known by hath most fortunately been informed of my disgrace and the names of Beghards or Beghins, and brethren and wandering in disguise ; and who seeking it, shall find sisters of the free spirit. Their manners and appear. time (i. e. opportunity) out of this enormous (i. e. dis- ance exhibited the strongest indications of Innacy and ordered, unnatural) state of things, to give losses their
distraction. The common people alone called them remedies; to restore her father to his kingdom, herself Turlupins ; a name which, thongh it has excited much to his love, and me to his favour.'”
doubt and controversy, seems obviously to be connected
with the wolvish howlings which these people in all SCENE III.
probability would make when influenced by their re“ Enter Edgar."
ligious ravings. Their subsequent appellation of the
fraternity of Poor Men might have been the cause why Edgar's assumed madness serves the purpose of taking
the wandering rogues called Bedlam beggars, and one off part of the shock which would otherwise be caused
of whom Edgar personates, assumed or obtained the by the true madness of Lear, and further displays the
title of Turlupins or Turlygoods, especially if their mode profound difference between the two. In every attempt
of asking alms was accompanied by the gesticulations at representing madness throughout the whole range of
of madmen. Turlupino and Turluru are old Italian dramatic literature, with the single exception of Lear, it terms for a fool or madman; and the Flemings had a is mere light-headedness, as especially in Otway. In
proverb, “As unfortunate as Turlupin and his chilEdgar's ravings, Shakespeare all the while lets you see dren.”-DOUCE. a fixed purpose, a practical end in view ;-in Lear's,
Collier conjectures ingeniously but without any anthere is only the brooding of the one anguish, an eddythority of old' authors, that “Turlygood is a corruption without progression.”—COLERIDGE.
of Thoroughly good.” “ Of BEDLAM BEGGARS”—Mr. D'Israeli, in his “ Curiosities of Literature,” thus speaks of “ Bedlam beg
" — wooden NETHER-stocks"_" Nether-stocks" were “ The fullest account that I have obtained of these
stockings, and were distinguished from upper-stocks, singular persons is drawn from a manuscript note, from
or over-stocks, as breeches were called.-COLLIER. some of papers : lams did travel about the country; they had been poor
inue, or menials. The word is sometimes used for a distracted men, that had been put into Bedlam, where
family or retinue, and sometimes in the sense of the mulrecovering some soberness, they were licentiated to go
titude; therefore there is good reason for thinking it a begging ; i. e. they had on their left arm an armilla,
the ancient mode of spelling “many," and of the same an iron ring for the arm, about four inches long, as original meaning. Some etymologists resolve it into printed in some works. They could not get it off:
the old French “mesnie” or “ maisonie," a household, they wore about their necks a great horn of an ox, in a
from maison. string or bawdrick, which, when they came to a house,
“ Thou shalt have as many polours"--There is a they did wind, and they put the drink given to them into this horn, whereto they put a stopple. Since the
quibble here between dolours and dollars.--KNIGHT. wars, I do not remember to have seen any one of “O, how this MOTHER swells," etc.—Lear here affects
to pass off the swelling of his heart ready to burst with Stevens has gleaned from other old books the follow grief and indignation, for the disease called the mother, ing notices of these vagabonds :
or hysterica passin, which, in our author's time, was "Randle Holme, in his • Academy of Arms and Bla- not thought peculiar to women.- Johnson. zon,' has the following passage :- The Bedlam is in the In Harsnet's “ Declaration of Popish Impostures," same garb, with a long staff, and a cow or ox horn by Richard Mainy, gentleman, one of the pretended dehis side; but his cloathing is more fantastick and ridic- moniacs, deposes that the first night that he came to ulous; for, being a madman, he is madly decked and the seat of Mr. Peckham, where these impostures were dressed all over with rubins, feathers, cuttings of cloth, managed, he was somewhat evil at ease, and he grew and what not ? to make him seem a madman, or one worse and worse with an old disease that he had, and
*** Till the breaking out of the civil wars, Tom o Bed-. “ They summon'd up their meint"–. e. their ret