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Prove our commodities. — Ah! dear son Edgar,
How now! Who's there? Edg. [Aside.] O gods! Who is't can say, “I am at
the worst ?” I am worse than e'er I was. Old Man.
'Tis poor mad Tom. Edg. [Aside.] And worse I may be yet: the worst
Old Man. Fellow, where goest ?
Is it a beggar-man? Old Man. Madman, and beggar too.
Glo. He has some reason, else he could not beg.
[Aside.] How should this be ?Bad is the trade that must play fool to sorrow, Angering itself and others. [To him.] Bless thee, mas
ter! Glo. Is that the naked fellow? Old Man.
Ay, my lord. Glo. Then, pr’ythee, get thee gone. If, for my sake, Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain, l' the way toward Dover, do it for ancient love;
middle state secures us.” The “mean” is often used to express a condition neither high nor low. All the old copies read, “ Our means secure us ;” but it was an easy typographical error.
5 Then, pr’ythee, get thee gone. If, for my sake,] So the quartos : the folio, defectively as regards metre, gives the whole line as follows: “ Get the away. If for my sake."
And bring some covering for this naked soul,
Alack, sir! he is mad. Glo. 'Tis the times' plague, when madmen lead the
blind. Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure ; Above the rest, be gone.
Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parel that I have, Come on't what will.
[Exit. Glo. Sirrah; naked fellow. Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold.- [Aside.] I cannot daub it
farther 6. Glo. Come hither, fellow. Edg. [Aside.] And yet I must.—[To him.] Bless
thy sweet eyes, they bleed. Glo. Know'st thou the way to Dover?
Edg. Both stile and gate, horse-way and foot-path. Poor Tom hath been scared out of his good wits: bless thee, good man's son, from the foul fiend?! Five fiends have been in poor Tom at onceo; of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididance, prince of dumbness; Mahu, of stealing; Modo, of murder; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing, who since possesses chamber-maids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master! Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven's
6 I cannot DAUB it farther.] Meaning, “ I cannot keep up my disguise any longer." To “ daub” was of old used in this sense not unfrequently : we have had it in “Richard III.” Vol. v. p. 423, “So smooth he daub’d his vice with show of virtue.” The quartos misprint “ daub,” dance.
7 Bless THEE, good man's son, from the foul fiend !) This is the reading of the folio : the quartos give it, “ Bless the good man from the foul fiend ! ”
& Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once ;] To the end of this speech is not in the folio. It is corruptly printed in the quartos; thus,“ mopping and mowing" stands Mobing and Mohing, as if the names of two other fiends.
That slaves your ordinance, that will not see
Edg. Ay, master.
Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending head Looks fearfully in the confined deep: Bring me but to the very brim of it, And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear, With something rich about me: from that place I shall no leading need.
Give me thy arm: Poor Tom shall lead thee.
Edi 10 lead: S rich any thou
Before the Duke of ALBANY's Palace.
Enter GONERIL and EDMUND; OSWALD meeting them. Gon. Welcome, my lord : I marvel, our mild hus
band Not met us on the way.—Now, where's your master?
Osw. Madam, within; but never man so chang’d. I told him of the army that was landed; He smild at it: I told him, you were coming ; His answer was, “The worse :” of Gloster's treachery, And of the loyal service of his son, When I inform’d him, then he call’d me sot, And told me I had turn'd the wrong side out. What most he should dislike', seems pleasant to him; What like, offensive.
• That SLAVES your ordinance,] i.e. that makes a slave of heaven's ordinances. This is the explanation of nearly all the commentators, though Malone inclines somewhat to the reading of the quartos, “ That stands your ordinance," taking stands in the sense of withstands.
1 What most he should dislike,] The quartos print “ dislike " desire. In Goneril's next speech, for “cowish terror" they have “cowish curre," and for “command” they read coward,
Then, shall you go no farther.
[To EDMUND. It is the cowish terror of his spirit, That dares not undertake: he'll not feel wrongs, Which tie him to an answer. Our wishes on the way May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother; Hasten his musters, and conduct his powers : I must change arms at home, and give the distaff Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant Shall pass between us : ere long you are like to hear, If you dare venture in your own behalf, A mistress's command. Wear this; spare speech;
[Giving a Favour.
Edm. Yours in the ranks of death.
My most dear Gloster!
[Exit EDMUND. O, the difference of man, and man?! To thee a woman's services are due : My fool usurps my body. Osw.
Madam, here comes my lord.
[Exit OswALD. Enter ALBANY. Gon. I have been worth the whistle 5.
? I must change arms at home,] The folio, less intelligibly and forcibly, “I must change names at home.”
3 0, the difference of man, and man!) A line wanting in the quartos.
+ My FooL usurps my BODY.] Such is the wording of the folio, and it affords an obvious meaning, quite consistent with the previous part of the speech. The old quartos present a variety of readings : one copy without the Stationer's address, has “My foot usurps my head,” and another, “My fool usurps my bed," while that with the Stationer's address gives it, “My foot usurps my body.”' With this information, the reader will be able to judge for himself as to the fit. ness of adopting the text of the folio. * 5 I have been worth the whistle.) So the quartos and folio; John Heywood, among his Proverbs, (first printed in 1547) gives the following :-“ It is a poor dog that is not worth the whistling.” Boswell states that two of the quartos read whistling : this is a mistake.
O Goneril! You are not worth the dust which the rude wind Blows in your face.—I fear your disposition : That nature, which contemns its origin, Cannot be border'd certain in itself?; She that herself will sliver and disbranch From her material sap, perforce must wither, And come to deadly use. Gon. No more: the text is foolish.
Alb. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile; Filths savour but themselves. What have you done? Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform’d? A father, and a gracious aged man, Whose reverence the head-lugg'd bear would lick, Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you madded. Could my good brother suffer you to do it? A man, a prince, by him so benefited ? If that the heavens do not their visible spirits Send quickly down to tame these vile offences, It will come, Humanity must perforce prey on itself, Like monsters of the deep. Gon.
Milk-liver'd man! That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs; Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning Thine honour from thy suffering; that not know'sto, Fools do those villains pity, who are punish'd Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy drum?
o I fear your disposition :) From these words, down to Goneril's speech, beginning, “ Milk-liver'd man," is only in the quartos. They differ in some immaterial particulars. 7 That nature, which contemns its origin,
Cannot be BORDER'D CERTAIN in itself ;] The sense is, (observes Heath) That nature, which is arrived to such a pitch of unnatural degeneracy, as to contemn its origin, cannot from thenceforth be restrained within any certain bounds.
& Humanity must perforce prey on itself,] The quartos read corruptly, “Humanly” for “Humanity."
9 – that not know'st,] In the folio the speech ends at “suffering.” From thence to “ alack! why does he so ?” is therefore only in the quartos.