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Oh, undistinguish'd space of woman's will! (52)
Glo. The King is mad; how stiff is my vile sense,
[Drum afar of And woes, by wrong imaginations, lose The knowledge of themselves.
Edg. Give me your hand : Far off, methinks, I hear the beaten drum. Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend. [Exeunt.
SCENE changes to a Chamber.
Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Physician. Cor. O, thou good Kent, how shall I live and work To match thy goodness ? life will be too short, And ev'ry measure fail me.
(52) Ob, undistinguish'd space of woman's will!] This is the reading of the first Folio, which Mr. Pope very unhapı ily degrades, and substitutes, wit, the mistaken reading of the it Quarto. What idea he form’d to himself of the undistinguish'd space of a woman's wit, I can't tell; I am quite at a loss to understand any meaning in it. But the other reading gives us, as Mr. Warburton observes to me, a most elegant expression, and most satirical thought: and more delicate than the---Varium & mutabile semper fæmina---of VIRGIL. 'Tis not the extravagance, but the mutability, of a woman's will that is here satiriz'd. The change of which (our author would be understood to say,) is so speedy, that there is no space of time, no distance, between the present will and the next; but it is an undistinguish'd space. This sentiment may not be ill explain'd further from what honest Sancho, in Don Quixote, with infinite humour says upon the subject. Entre el Si y el No de la muger, no me atreveria yó a poner una punta do alfiler. Betwixt a woman's yea, and no, I would not undertake to thrust a pin's point.
Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o’erpaid; All
my reports go with the modeft truth, Nor more, nor clipt, but fo.
Cor. Be better suited ;
Kent. Pardon, dear madam,
know me not, 'Till time and I think meet.
Cor. Then be it so, My Lord.-How does the King? [To the Physician.
Phyf. Madam, sleeps still.
Cor. O you kind gods !
Phys. Please your Majesty,
Cor. Be govern’d by your knowledge, and proceed l' th’sway of your own will: is he array'd ?
Enter Lear in a chair, carried by fervants.
fresh garments on him.
Cor. O my dear father! restoration, hang Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss Repair those violent harms, that my two fifters Have in thy reverence made !
Kent. Kind and deareft Princess!
Cor. Had you not been their father, these white flakes Did challenge pity of them. Was this a face, To be expos'd against the warring winds ? To stand againit the deep, dread- bolted thunder? (53) In the moit terrible and nimble stroke
(53) To stand against the deep,] The following three lines and an hall, in no wise unworthy of our author, I have restor’d from the
Of quick, cross lightning? To watch( poor Perdue
Phys. Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.
Lear. You do me wrong to take me out o'th' grave;
Cor. Sir, do you know me ?
Lear. Where have I been? where am I? fair day-lighed
Cor. O look upon me, Sir,
Lear. Pray, do not mock me ;
Cor. And so I am ; I am.
If you have poison for me, I will drink it;
filters Have, as I do reme
member, done me wrong. You have some cause, they have not.
Cor. No cause, no caule.
Phys. Be comforted, good madam; the great rage,
Cor. Will't please your Highness walk?
Lear. You must bear with me; Pray you now, forget and forgive; I am old and fooliih.
[Exeunt Lear, Cord, Phyf. and Attendants,
Manent Kent and Gentleman. Gent. Holds it true, Sir, that the Duke of Cornwall was fo lain? (54?
Kent. Most certain, Sir,
Gent. They fay, Edgar, hiş banish'd Son, 'is with the Earl of Kent in Germany.
Kent. Report is changeable; 'Tis time to look about: the powers of the Kingdom approach apace.
Gent. The arbitrement is like to be bloody-Fare you well, Sir.
(Exit Gent. Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrought, Or well, or ill, as this day's battle’s fought.
[Exit Kent, (54) Gent. Holds it true, Sir?] This short dialogue, which was retrench'd by the players in their edition, I have restor'd from the old 4to. The matter of it is natural and easy; and tho' the language be not pompous, it is to the subject: and the uncertainty of common report, with regari to Kent and Edgar, must be very pleasing to the audience, who knew how rumour was mistaken in representing them to be abroad,
Enter Edmund, Regan, Gentlemen, and Soldiers,
Or whether since he is advis'd by aught,
Reg. Our fifter's man is certainly miscarry'd.
Reg. Now, sweet Lord,
Edm. In honour'd love.
Reg. But have you never found my brother's way To the fore-fended place ?
Edm. No, by mine honour, madam,
Reg. I never thall endure her ; dear my Lord,
Enter Albany, Gonerill, and Soldiers.
[ulide. (55) -be's full of alteration, And self-reproving brings his constant pleasure.] Thus in the impresions by Mr. Pope is this passage moft nonsensically read, and pointed, But fome better copies have a lifted to set it right.
(56) Gon. I'd rather loose the battle, --) This I have restorid from the old 410; and, considering the jealouly of the Princefies on each fide, it comes very naturally from Gonerill, upon her feeing Regan and Edmund together; as well as helps to mark the business going on, to the reader,