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debt,-he loved kings, and wrote psalms and birthday odes.

The following is the title of Nahum Tate's precious production :

THE HISTORY OF KING LEAR.

ACTED AT THE

QUEEN'S THEATRE.

REVIV'D, WITH ALTERATIONS,

By N. TATE.

LONDON :

Printed by H. Hills, for Richd. Wellington,

at the Lute, in St. Paul's Churchyard; and
E. Rumbold, at the Post House, Covent
Garden; and sold by Benj. Lintott, at the
Cross Keys, in St. Martin's Lane, 1699.

We have made our extracts from the acting copy, because, though we cannot imagine any to have read the play through, we must believe many to have sat out the performance.

128

THE THING CALLED LEAR, PUBLISHED IN 1623.

Actus Quartus, Scena Prima.

Enter EDGAR.
Yet better thus, and knowne to be contemn'd,
Than still contemn'd and flatter'd, to be worst : *
The lowest, most dejected thing of fortune,
Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear :
The lamentable change is from the best,
The worst returnes to laughter. Welcome then,
Thou unsubstantiall ayre, that I embrace!
The wretch that thou hast blown unto the worst,
Owes nothing to thy blasts.

Enter GLOUCESTER and an OLD MAN.

But who comes here? My father poorly led ?
World, world, O world!
But that thy strange mutations make us hate, thee,

3 Life would not yield to age.

wait
Old Man. O my good lord, I have bene your tenant,
And your father's tenant, these fourscore yeares.

Glo. Away, get the away: good friend, begone ;
Thy comforts can do me no good at all,
Thee, they may hurt.
Old Man.

You cannot see your way.
Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes :
I stumbled when I saw. Full oft 'tis seene

* Theobald says this sentiment is so much akin to a passage in Ovid, that it seems to be taken directly from it :

Fortuna miserrima tula est
Nam timor eventûs deterioris abest.

Epist. ii, lib. 2, ex Ponto.

129

NAHUM TATE'S NEW VERSION.

Act IV. Scene 1.

Corn. I will have my revenge e'er I depart his house. Regan, see here, a plot upon our state;

[Gives her a letter. 'Tis Gloster's character, who has betray'd His double trust, of subject and of host.

Reg. Then double be our vengeance; this confirms
Th’ intelligence that we but now receiv'd
That he hath been this night to seek the King.
But, who, sir, was the kind discoverer?

Corn. Our eagle, quick to spy, and fierce to seize,
Our trusty Edmund,

Reg. 'Twas a noble service;
0, Cornwall, take him to thy deepest trust,
And wear him as a jewel at thy heart.

Edm. Think, sir, how hard a fortune I sustain,
That makes me thus repent of serving you.
Oh, that this treason had not been, or I
Not the discoverer!

Corn. Edmund, thou shalt find
A father in our love, and from this minute
We call thee Earl of Gloster ; but there yet
Remains another justice to be done,
And that's to punish this discarded traitor ;
But, lest thy tender nature should relent
At bis just sufferings, nor brook the sight,
We wish thee to withdraw.

Reg. The grotto, sir, within the lower grove
Has privacy, to suit a mourner's thought. [Aside to him.

Edm. And there I may expect a comforterHa, madam?

[Aside to her. Reg. What may happen, sir, I know not ; But 'twas a friend's advice. (Aside to him.) [Exit Edmund.

Corn. Bring the traitor in.

I'd say,

Our meanes secure us; and our meer defects
Prove our commodities. O deare sonne Edgar,
The food of thy abused father's wrath ;
Might I but live to see thee in my touch, *

I had eyes again.
Old Man. How now? who's there?

Edg. O gods! who is't can say, I am at the worst?
I am worse, than e'er I was.
Old Man.

'Tis poore mad Tom. Edg. And worse I may be yet: the worst is not, So long as we can say, this is the worst.

Old Man. Fellow, where goest ?
Glo. Is it a beggar man?
Old Man. Madman, and beggar too.

Glo. He has some reason, else he could not beg.
I'th' last night's storme I such a fellow saw; †
Which made me think a man, a worme. My sonne,
Came then into my minde, and yet my minde
Was then scarce friends with him.
(I've heard more since.)
As flies to wanton boyes, are we to th' gods ;
They kill us for their sport.

Edg. How should this be ?
Bad is the trade that must play foole to sorrow,
Ang’ring itself and others—Bless thee, master.

Glo. Is that the naked fellow?

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* “ I cannot but take notice, that these boldnesses of expres. sion are very infrequent in our English Poetry, though familiar with the Greeks and Latins." --THEOBALD.

+ We recollect an old blind organist who always used the ex. pression, "I'beg pardon, I did not see you at first.”

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