Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,
Although as yet the face of it be cover'd
With mutual cunning, 'twixt Albany and Cornwall ;
Who have (as who have not, that their great stars
Thron’d and set high ?) servants, who seem no less;
Which are to France the spies and speculations
Intelligent of our state; what hath been seen,
Either in snuffs and packings3 of the dukes;
Or the hard rein which both of them have borne
Against the old kind king; or something deeper,
Whereof, perchance, these are but furnishings ;4-
[But, true it is, from France there comes a power

my note.


- The warrant of my art" seems to mean on the strength of my skill in physiognomy. Steevens.

upon the warrant of my art,] On the strength of that art or skill, which teaches us " to find the mind's construction in the face.” The passage in Macbeth from which I have drawn this paraphrase, in which the word art is again employed in the same sense, confirms the reading of the quartos. The folio reads-upon the warrant of my note: i.e. says Dr. Johnson, “my observation of your character.”

Malone. 1 Who have (as who have not,] The eight subsequent verses were degraded by Mr. Pope, as unintelligible, and to no purpose. For my part, I see nothing in them but what is very easy to be nnderstood; and the lines seem absolutely necessary to clear up the motives upon which France prepared his invasion : nor without them is the sense of the context complete. Theobald. The quartos omit these lines. Steevens.

what hath been seen,] What follows, are the circumstances in the state of the kingdom, of which he supposes the spies gave France the intelligence. Steevens.

3 Either in snuffs and packings - ] Snuffs are dislikes, and packings underhand contrivances.

So, in Henry IV, P. I: “Took it in snuff;" and in King Edward III, 1599:

“ This packing evil, we both shall tremble for it.” Again, in Stanyhurst's Virgil, 1582:

“ With two gods packing one woman silly to cozen.” We still talk of packing juries, and Antony says of Cleopatra, that she has “packd cards with Cæsar.” Steevens.

4 -- are but furnishings ;] Furnishings are what we now call colours, external pretences. Johnson.

A furnish anciently signified a sample. So, in the Preface to Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, 1621: “ To lend the world a furnish of wit, she lays her own to pawn.” Steevens.

5 But, true it is, &c.] In the old editions are the five following lines which I have inserted in the text, which seem necessary to the plot,

Into this scatter'd kingdom; who already,
Wise in our negligence, have secret feet
In some of our best ports, and are at point
To show their open banner.-Now to you:
If on my credit you dare build so far
To make your speed to Dover, you shall find

as a preparatory to the arrival of the French army with Cordelia in Act IV. How both these, and a whole scene between Kent and this gentleman in the fourth Act, came to be left out in all the later edi. tions, I cannot tell; they depend upon each other, and very much contribute to clear that incident. Pope.

- from France there comes a power Into this scatter'd kingdom ; who already, Wise in our negligence, have secret feet

In some of our best ports,] This speech, as it now stands, is collected from two editions: the eight lines degraded by Mr. Pope, are found in the folio, not in the quarto ; the following lines inclosed in crotchets are in the quarto, not in the folio. So that if the speech be read with omission of the former, it will stand according to the first edition; and if the former are read, and the lines that follow them omitted, it will then stand according to the second. The speech is now tedious, because it is formed by a coalition of both. The second edition is generally best, and was probably nearest to Shakspeare's last copy; but in this passage the first is preferable: for in the folio, the messenger is sent, he knows not why, he knows not whither. I suppose Shakspeare thought his plot opened rather too early, and made the alteration to veil the event from the audience; but trusting too much to himself, and full of a single purpose, he did not accom. modate his new lines to the rest of the scene. Scattered means divided, unsettled, disunited. Johnson.

have secret feet In some of our best ports,] One of the quartos (for there are two that differ from each other, though printed in the same year, and for the same printer,) reads secret feet. Perhaps the author wrote secret foot, i. e. footing. So, in a following scene :

what confederacy have you with the traitors “ Late footed in the kingdom ?" A phrase, not unlike that in the text, occurs in Chapman's version of the nineteenth Book of Homer's Odyssey:

what course for home would best prevail “ To come in pomp, or beare a secret sail.Steevens. These lines, as has been observed, are not in the folio. Quarto A reads-secret fee; quarto B-secret feet. I have adopted the latter reading, which I suppose was used in the sense of secret footing, and is strongly confirmed by a passage in this Act: “These injuries the king now bears will be revenged home; there is part of a power already footed: we must incline to the king.” Again, in Coriolanus :

· Why, thou Mars, I 'll tell thee,
“ We have a power on foot.Malone.


this purse,

Some that will thank you, making just report
Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
The king hath cause to plain.
I am a gentleman of blood and breeding;
And, from some knowledge and assurance, offer
This office to you.]

Gent. I will talk further with you.

No, do not.
For confirmation that I am much more
'Than my out wall, open

and take What it contains: If

you shall see Cordelia, (As fear not but you shall?) show her this ring; And she will tell you who your fellow is That yet you do not know. Fy on this storm! 1 will go seek the king.

Gent. Give me your hand: Have you no more to say?

Kent. Few words, but, to effect, more than all yet; That, when we have found the king, (in which your pain That way, I'll this;) he that first lights on him, Holla the other.

[Exeunt severally.



Another Part of the Heath. Storm continues.

Enter LEAR and Fool. Lear. Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow! You cataracts, and hurricanoes, spout



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(As fear not but you shall)] Thus quarto B and the folio. Quarto A-As doubt not but you shall. Malone.

the king, (in which your pain, That

way; I'll this;) he that first &c.] Thus the folio. The bate reading :

for which you take
“ That way, I this,".
was not genuine. The quartos read :

66 That when we have found the king,
« Ile this way, you that, he that first lights

« On him, hollow the other.” Steevens. 9 Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks'] Thus the quartos. The fólio has_winds. The poet, as Mr. M. Mason has observed in a note on The Tempest, was here thinking of the common representation of the winds, which he might have found in many books of time. So again, as the same gentleman has observed, in' Cressida :

Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executingi fires,
Vaunt couriers? to oak-cleaving thunder-bolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o'the world!
Crack nature's moulds, all germens spill at once,4
That make ingrateful man!

Fool. O nuncle, court holy-waters in a dry house is bet

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“Blow, villain, till thy sphered bias cheek

“ Outswell the cholick of puff'd Aquilon.We find the same allusion in Kempe's Nine Daies Wonder, &c. quarto, 1600: “ he swells presently, like one of the four winds."

Malone. thought-executing - ] Doing execution with rapidity equal to thought. Johnson.

2 Vaunt couriers —] Avant couriers, Fr. This phrase is not unfamiliar to other writers of Shakspeare's time. It originally meant the foremost scouts of an army. So, in Jarvis Markham's English Arcadia, 1607 :

as soon as the first vancurrer encountered him face to

face." Again, in The Tragedy of Mariam, 1613:

“ Might to my death, but the vaunt-currier prove." Again, in Darius, 1603 :

“ Thavant-corours, that came for to examine.” Steevens. In The Tempest Jove's lightnings” are termed more familiarly

the precursors
« O’the dreadful thunder-claps.

3 Strike flat &c.] The quarto reads,-Smite flat. Steevens.

4 Crack nature's moulds, all germens spill at once,] Crack nature's mould, and spill all the seeds of matter, that are hoarded within it. Our author not only uses the same thought again, but the word that ascertains my explication, in The Winter's Tale:

“ Let nature crush the sides oʻthe earth together,

" And mar the seeds within." Theobald. So again, in Macbeth :

and the sum
“ Of nature's germens tumble altogether.” Steevens.

spill at once,] To spill is to destroy. So, in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, Lib. IV, fol. 67 :

“ So as I shall myself spill.Steevens.

court holy-water -] Ray, among his proverbial phrases, p. 184, mentions court holy-water to mean fair words. The French have the same phrase, Eaủ benite de cour; fair empty words. Chambaud's Dictionary. The same phrase also occurs in Churchyard's Charitie, 1595:

“ The great good turnes in court that thousands felt,
“ Is turn'd to cleer faire holie water there” &c. Steevens.


ter than this rain-water out o’ door. Good nuncle, in, and ask thy daughters blessing; here's a night pities neither wise men nor fools.

Lear. Rumble thy bellyfull! Spit, fire! spout, rain! Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters: I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness, I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children, You owe me no subscription ;6 why then let fall Your horrible pleasure; here I stand, your slave, A poor, infirm, weak, and despis’d old man:But yet I call you servile ministers, That have with two pernicious daughters join'd Your high-engender'd battles, 'gainst a head So old and white as this. 0!0! 'tis foul !?

Fool. He that has a house to put his head in, has a good head-piece.

The cod-piece that will house,

Before the head has any,
The head and he shall louse ;

So beggars marry many.8
The man that makes his toe

What he his heart should make,
Shall of a corn cry woe,

And turn his sleep to wake. --for there never was yet fair woman, but she made mouths in a glass.

Enter KENT.
Lear. No, I will be the pattern of all patience,

Cotgrave in his Dict. 1611, defines Eau benite de cour,

court holie svater; compliments, faire words, flattering speeches,” &c. See also Florio's Italian Dict. 1598: “ Mantellizare, T'o flatter, to claw,--to give one court holie-water." Malone. 6 You owe me no subscription;] Subscription for obedience.

Warburton. See p. 155, n. 4. Malone.

tis foul!] Shameful; dishonourable. Johnson. 8 So beggars marry many.) i. e. A beggar marries a wife and lice.

Johnson. Rather, “ So many beggars marry;" meaning that they marry in the manner he has described, before they have houses to put their heads in. M. Mason.

- cry woe,] i.e. be grieved, or pained. So, in K. Richard III: You live, that shall cry woe for this hereafter." Malone.


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