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A plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle,
Not altogether so, sir;
Is this well spoken, now? Reg. I dare avouch it, sir. What, fifty followers ? Is it not well? What should you need of more? Yea, or so many? sith that both charge and danger Speak 'gainst so great a number? How, in one house, Should many people, under two commands, Hold amity ? 'Tis hard ; almost impossible.
Gon. Why might not you, my lord, receive attend
From those that she calls servants, or from mine?
Reg. Why not, my lord ? If then they chanced to
We could control them. If you will come to me,
Lear. I gave you all-
And in good time you gave it.
Reg. And speak it again, my lord; no more with
1 Embossed here means swelling, protuberant.
Lear. Those wicked creatures yet do look well favored, When others are more wicked; not being the worst, Stands in some rank of praise : _I'll go with thee;
Hear me, my lord ;
What need one ?
You think I'll weep;
[Exeunt LEAR, GLOSTER, KENT, and Fool.
1 i. e. to be not the worst deserves some praise. 2 As cheap here means as litlle worth.
3 Flaws anciently signified fragments, as well as mere cracks. Among the Saxons it certainly had that meaning. The word, as Bailey observes, was “ especially applied to the breaking off shivers or thin pieces from precious stones.”
Corn. Let us withdraw ; 'twill be a storm.
[Storm heard at a distance. Reg.
This house Is little; the old man and his people cannot Be well bestowed. Gon.
'Tis his own blame hath put Himself from rest, and must needs taste his folly.
Reg. For his particular, I'll receive him gladly,
So am I purposed.
lord of Gloster ?
Corn. Followed the old man forth ;—he is returned.
Whither is he going? Glo. He calls to horse ; but will I know not
O sir, to wilful men,
night. My Regan counsels well; come out o’ the storm.
1 Thus the folio. The quartos read, “Do sorely russel," i. e. rustle. But ruffle is most probably the true reading.
2 To incense is here, as in other places, to instigate.
SCENE I. A Heath. A storm is heard, with thun
der and lightning
Enter Kent, and a Gentleman, meeting: Kent. Who's here, beside foul weather? Gent. One minded like the weather, most unquietly. Kent. I know you ; where's the king ?
Gent. Contending with the fretful element; Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea, Or swell the curled waters 'bove the main, That things might change, or cease ;? tears his white
Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,
But who is with him?
Sir, I do know you ; And dare, upon the warrant of my art, Commend a dear thing to you.
There is division,
| The main seems to signify here the main land, the continent.
2 The first folio ends this speech at “ change or cease," and begins again at Kent's speech,“ But who is with him?" 3 Steevens thinks that we should read “out-storm." 4 That is, a bear whose dugs are drawn dry by its young. 5 So in Antony and Cleopatra, Enobarbus says :
“ I'll strike, and cry, Take all." 6 i. e. on the strength of that art or skill which teaches us “ to find the mind's construction in the face.” The folio reads :
upon the warrant of my note ;” which Dr. Johnson explains,“ my observation of your character.”
Although as yet the face of it be covered
Gent. I will talk further with you. .
No, do not.
1 This and the seven following lines are not in the quartos. The lines in crotchets lower down, from “ But, true it is,” &c. to the end of the speech, are not in the folio. So that if the speech be read with omission of the former, it will stand according to the first edition; and if the former lines are read, and the latter omitted, it will then stand according to the second. The second edition is generally best, and was probably nearest to Shakspeare's last copy ; but in this speech the first is preferable; for in the folio the messenger is sent, he knows not why, he knows not whither.
2 Snuffs are dislikes, and packings underhand contrivances. 3 A furnish anciently signified a sample. “To lend the world a furnish of wit, she lays her own out to pawn.”—Green's Groatsworth of Wit.