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And wast thou fain, poor father,
Scene between Lear and Cordelia.
Cord. How does my royal Lord ? how fares your
Cord. Speak to me, fir; who am I?
Lear. You are a soul in bliss: but I am bound
die? Cord. Still, ftill, far wide. Phys. Madam, he's scarce awake; he'll foon grow
Cord. O look upon me, Sir,
Lear. Pray do not inock mea
Cor. Nay, then farewel to patience: witness for meg
Lear. Methinks I should know you, and know this
Cor. O pity, fir, a bleeding heart, and cease
Lear. Tell me, friends, Where am I?
Gent. Be comforted, good madam, for the violence
Lcar. You must bear with me, I am old and foolish.
Lear to Cordelia, when taken Prisoners)
No, no, no, no; come, let's away to prison, We two alone will sing like birds i'th'cage : When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down, And alk of thee forgiveness : so we'll live,
And pray, and fing, and tell old tales, and laugh
Edm. Take them away.
Lear. Upon fuch facrifices, my Cordelia, The gods themselves throw incense.
SCENE VIII. The Justice of the Gods.
(26) The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices Makes instruments to scourge us.
(25) And, &c.] 'Tis a catalogue
Of all the gamesters of the court and city:
The False One, Act i. Sc. I. The word fpies in the text, is taken in the sense of spies upon any one, to inspect their conduct, not fpies enployed by a person.
(26) Tbe, &c.] This retorting of punishments, and making the means by which we offended the scourge of our offence, is very common amongst the ancients, and perhaps had its rise from the Jewish people. An cyo for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, &c. Callimachus, in his hymn to Pallas, tells us, that goddess depriv'd the young hunter of his eyes, because they had offended, having seen her in the bath. See the Hymn, p. 75. And in Sophocless at the end of Electra, Orefics cries out to Ægistus;
Peace, and attend me to that place wlere thou
Edgar's Account of his discovering himself to his
List a brief tale,
Baft. This speech of yours hath mov'd me,
Alb. If there be more, more woeful, hold it in,
Edg(27). This would have seem'd a period
(27) This, &c.] The bastard, whose favage nature is well displayed by it, desires to hear more: the gentle Albany, touch'd at the sad tale, begs him no more to melt_his heart : upon which, Edgar observes, sensibly affected by Edmund's inhumanity, “ One should have imagined, this would have seemd a
To amplify too much, would make much more,
SCENE XII. Lear on the Death of Cordelia.
Howl, howl, howl, howl!.. you are men of fone; Had I your tongues and eyes,
I'd use thein so That Heav'ns vault shou'd crack; she's
for ever! I know when one's dead and when one lives; She's dead as earth! lend me a looking glass, If that her breath will mist or stain the stone, Why then she lives.
period, a sufficient end of woe, to such as love not forrow, who are not pleased to hear of the distresses of others : but another (a person of another and more cruel temper) to amplify too much, (to augment and aggravate that which is already too great) would Itill make much more (would still increase it) and top extremity itself; that is, even go beyond that which is already at the utmost limit." Nothing can be plainer than this, which Mr. Warburton condemning as miserable nonsense, reads thus, and admïts into his text!
This wou'd have seem'd a period; but fuch
Too much, wou'd make much more and top extremity! 'Tis remarkable, this fine speech, (and indeed many others) are omitted in the Oxford edition,