« FöregåendeFortsätt »
You cataracts, and hurricanoes, spout
Fool. O nuncle, court holy-waters in a dry house is better than this rain-water out o’door. Good nuncle, in, and ask thy daughter's blessing! Here's a night pities neither wise men nor fools.
Lear. Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! spout, rain!
2 Thought-executing, doing execution with celerity equal to thought.'
3 Avant-couriers, Fr. The phrase occurs in other writers of Shakspeare's time. It originally meant the foremost scouts of an army. In The Tempest Jove's lightnings’ are termed more familiarly
O' the dreadfnl thunder-clapg.' 4 There is a parallel passage in The Winter's Tale:
· Let nature crush the sides o'the earth together,
And mar the seeds within.' So again in Macbeth :
and the som of nature's germens tumble all together.' For the force of the word spill, see Genesis, xxxviii. 9.
5 Court holy-water is fair words and flattering speeches. Gonfiare alcuno ( says Florio ), to soothe or flatter one, to set one agogge, or with fair words bring him into a foole's paradise ; to fill one with hopes, or court holie-water.'. It appears to have been borrowed from the French, who have their Eau bénite de la cour in the same sense.
6 i. e. submission, obedience. See Act i. Sc. 2, note 5; and vol. vii. p. 388.
Your high engender'd battles, 'gainst a head
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,
So beggars marry many.
What he his heart should make,
And turn his sleep to wake. –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. Kent. Alas, sir, are you here? things that love
night, Love not such nights as these; the wrathful skies Gallow the very wanderers of the dark, And make them keep their caves: Since I was man, Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder, Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never Remember to have heard: man's nature cannot carry The affliction, nor the fear. Lear.
Let the great gods, That keep this dreadful pother o'er our heads,
7 Meaning the king and himself. The king's grace was the usual expression in Shakspeare's time: perhaps the latter phrase alludes to the saying of a contemporary wit, that there is no discretion below the girdle.
8 To gallow is to frighten, to scare; from the A. S. agælan, or agolman. In the corrupted form of to gally it is still in use in the west of England.
9 Thus the folio and one of the quartos; the other quarto reads thund'ring
Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch,
Alack, bare-headed !
My wits begin to turn, Come on, my boy: How dost, my boy? Art cold? I am cold myself. – Where is this straw, my
fellow? The art of our necessities is strange, That can make vile things precious. Come, your
10 i. e, counterfeit; from simulo, Lat.
--My practices so prevail'd,
Cymbeline, Act v. Sc. 5. 11 Continent for that which contains or encloses. Thus in Antony and Cleopatra :
Heart, once be stronger than thy continent.' The quartos ready-concealed centers.
12 Summoners are officers that summon offenders before a proper tribunal.
See Chaucer's Sompnour's Tale, v. 625-670.– Thus in Howard's Defensative against the Poison of supposed Prophecies, 1581 :—“They seem to brag most of the strange events which follow for the most part after blazing starres, as if they were the summoners of God to call princes to the seat of judgment.'
13 Edipus, in Sophocles, represents himself in the same light. Edip. Colon. v. 270 :
-------ta y'egyé μου
Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart
With a heigh, ho, the wind and the rain,
For the rain it raineth every day15.
[Exeunt LEAR and Kent. Fool. This is a brave night to cool a courtezan16. -I'll speak a prophecy ere I go:
When priests are more in word than matter;
That going shall be us'd with feet.
14 The quartos read, “That sorrows yet for thee.'
17 These lines are taken from what is commonly called Chaucer's Prophecy; but which is much_older than his time in its original form. It is thus quoted by Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1589:
• When faith fails in priestes saws,
Be brought to great confusion.'
SCENE JII. A Room in Gloster's Castle.
Enter GLOSTER and EDMUND. Glo. Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural dealing: When I desired their leave that I might pity him, they took from me the use of mine own house; charged me, on pain of their perpetual displeasure, neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any way sustain him.
Edm. Most savage, and unnatural!
Glo. Go to; say you nothing: There is division between the dukes; and a worse matter than that: I have received a letter this night;—'tis dangerous to be spoken :- have locked the letter in my closet: these injuries the king now bears will be revenged at home; there is part of a power already 1.2. footedl: we must incline to the king. I will seek him, and privily relieve him: go you, and maintain talk with the duke, that my charity be not of him perceived: If he ask for me, I am ill, and gone to bed. If I die for it, as no less is threatened me, the king my old master must be relieved. There is some strange thing toward, Edmund: pray you, be careful.
A Part of the Heath, with a Hovel.
Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool.
1 The quartos read, landed.