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Whose disposition, all the world well knows,
travelled hard ; Some time I shall sleep out, the rest I'll whistle. A good man's fortune may grow out at heels; Give you good morrow! Glo. The duke's to blame in this ; 'twill be ill taken.
[Exit. Kent. Good king, that must approve the common
saw ! 2
Thou out of Heaven's benediction com'st
1 A metaphor from bowling.
? The saw, or proverb alluded to, is in Heywood's Dialogues on Proverbs, b. ii. c. V.:
“ In your running from him to me, ye runne
Out of God's blessing into the warme sunne." i. e. from good to worse. Kent was thinking of the king being likely to receive a worse reception from Regan than that which he had already received from Goneril.
3 Kent addresses the sun, for whose rising he is impatient, that he may read Cordelia's letter. “ Nothing (says he) almost sees miracles, but misery: I know this letter which I hold in my hand is from Cordelia; who hath most fortunately been informed of my disgrace and wandering in disguise; and who, seeking it, shall find time (i
. e. opportunity), out of this enormous (i. e. disordered, unnatural) state of things, to give losses their remedies; to restore her father to his kingdom, herself to his love, and me to his favor."
SCENE III. A Part of the Heath.
Enter EDGAR. Edg. I heard myself proclaimed ; And, by the happy hollow of a tree, Escaped the hunt. No port is free; no place, That guard, and most unusual vigilance, Does not attend my taking. While I may 'scape, I will preserve myself; and am bethought To take the basest and most poorest shape, That ever penury, in contempt of man, Brought near to beast. My face I'll grime with filth ; Blanket my loins; elf all my hair in knots ; And with presented nakedness outface The winds, and persecutions of the sky. The country gives me proof and precedent Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices, Strike in their numbed and mortified bare arms Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary; And with this horrible object, from low farms, Poor pelting * villages, sheep-cotes and mills, Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers, Enforce their charity.–Poor Turlygood ! 6 Poor Tom ! That's something yet; Edgar I nothing am. [Exit.
1 Hair thus knotted was supposed to be the work of elves and fairies in the night.
2 In the Bell-Man of London, by Decker, 5th edit. 1640, is an count of one of these characters, under the title of Abraham Man:“ He sweares he hath been in Bedlam, and will talke frantickely of purpose: you see pinnes stuck in sundry places of his naked flesh, especially in his armes, which paine he gladly puts himselfe to, only to make you believe he is out of his wits. He calls himselfe by the name of Poore Tom, and coming near any body, cries out Poor Tom is a-cold.”
3 i.e. skewers: the euonymus, or spindle-tree, of which the best skewers are made, is called prick-wood.
4 Paltry. 6 Turlygood, an English corruption of turluru (Ital.), or turelureau (Fr.); both, among other things, signifying a fool or madman. It would, perhaps, be difficult to decide with certainty whether those words are corruptions of turlupino and turlupin ; but at least it seems probable. The Turlupins were a fanatical sect, which overran the continent in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, calling themselves Beghards or Beghins. Their manners and appearance exhibited the strongest indica
SCENE IV. Before Gloster's Castle.'
Enter LEAR, Fool, and Gentleman. Lear. 'Tis strange, that they should so depart from
As I learned,
Hail to thee, noble master!
Kent. No, my lord.
garters! Horses are tied by the head ; dogs and bears by the neck; monkeys by the loins, and men by the legs; when a man is over-lusty at legs, then he wears wooden nether-stocks.
Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place mistook, To set thee here? Kent.
It is both he and she,
Lear. They durst not do't;
tions of lunacy and distraction; and their popular name, Turlupins, was probably derived from the wolfish howling's they made in their fits of religious raving. Cotgrave interprets "Mon Turelureau, My Pillicock, my pretty knave.” 1 See note 2, Act i. Sc. 5. p. 39, ante. ? A quibble on crewel, i. e. worsted. 3 The old word for stockings.
To do, upon respect, such violent outrage.
My lord, when at their home
Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese fly that way"
Fathers, that wear rags,
Do make their children blind;
Shall see their children kind.
1 “To do, upon respect, such violent outrage,” means “ to do such violent outrage, deliberately, or upon consideration.” Respect is frequently used for consideration by Shakspeare.
2 i. e. “ spite of leaving me unanswered for a time.”
3 Meiny, signifying a family household, or retinue of servants, is from the French meinie, anciently written mesnie.
4 The personal pronoun, which is found in the preceding line, is understood before the word having, or before drew. The same license is taken by Shakspeare in other places.
5“ If this be their behavior, the king's troubles are not yet at an end." This speech is omitted in the quartos.
But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolors for thy daughters, as thou canst tell in a year.
Lear. O, how this mother swells up toward my heart!
Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.
Follow me not ; Stay here.
Gent. Made you no more offence than what you
Fool. An thou hadst been set i’ the stocks for that question, thou hadst well deserved it.
Kent. Why, fool ?
Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no laboring in the winter. All that follow their noses are led by their eyes, but blind men ; and there's not a nose among twenty, but can smel! him that's stinking. Let go thy hold, when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again; I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.
That, sir, which serves and seeks for gain,
And follows but for form,
And leave thee in the storm.
And let the wise man fly:
The fool no knave, perdy.
1 A quibble between dolors and dollars.
2 Lear affects to pass off the swelling of his heart, ready to burst with grief and indignation, for the disease called the mother, or hysterica passio, which, in the Poet's time, was not thought peculiar to women only.
3 If, says the fool, you had been schooled by the ant, you would have known that the king's train, like that sagacious insect, prefer the summer of prosperity to the colder season of adversity, from which no profit can be derived ; and desert him who has been left“ open and bare for every storm that blows."