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Who alone suffers, suffers most i' the mind;
Leaving free things3, and happy shows, behind :
But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip,
When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship *.
How light and portable my pain seems now,
When that which makes me bend, makes the king
bow ;

He childed, as I father'd !-Tom, away:
Mark the high noises; and thyself bewray",


free things,] States clear from distress. JOHNSON.

4 But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip,

When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.] So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece :

"And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage." Again, in Romeo and Juliet :

"Or, if sour woe delights in fellowship-."

Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris.-Incert. Auct.


5 Mark the high noises ;] Attend to the great events that are approaching, and make thyself known when that false opinion now prevailing against thee shall, in consequence of just proof of thy integrity, revoke its erroneous sentence, and recall thee to honour and reconciliation. JOHNSON.

By the high noises, I believe, are meant the loud tumults of the approaching war.

Thus Claudian, in his Epist. ad Serenam :

Præliaque altisoni referens Phlegræa mariti. STEEVENS. The high noises are perhaps the calamities and quarrels of those in a higher station than Edgar, of which he has been just speaking. The words, however, may allude to the proclamation which had been made for bringing in Edgar:

"I heard myself proclaim'd,

"And by the happy hollow of a tree,


Escap'd the hunt." MALONE.

6- and thyself BEWRAY,] Bewray, which at present has only a dirty meaning, anciently signified to betray, to discover. In this sense it is used by Spenser; and in Promos and Cassandra, 1578: Well, to the king Andrugio now will hye,



Hap lyfe, hap death, his safetie to bewray." Again, in The Spanish Tragedy:


With ink bewray what blood began in me.” Again, in Lyly's Endymion, 1591:


lest my head break, and so I bewray my brains."


When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee',

In thy just proof, repeals, and reconciles thee.
What will hap more to-night, safe scape the king!
Lurk, lurk.]


A Room in GLOSTER'S Castle.


CORN. Post speedily to my lord your husband; show him this letter:-the army of France is landed:-Seek out the villain Gloster.

REG. Hang him instantly.
GON. Pluck out his eyes.

CORN. Leave him to my displeasure.-Edmund, keep you our sister company; the revenges we are bound to take upon your traitorous father, are not fit for your beholding. Advise the duke, where you are going, to a most festinate preparation; we are bound to the like. Our posts shall be swift, and intelligent betwixt us9. Farewell, dear sister -farewell, my lord of Gloster '.



[Exeunt some of the Servants.

7 whose wrong thought defiles thee,] The quartos, where alone this speech is found, read—“ whose wrong thoughts defile thee." The rhyme shows that the correction, which was made by Mr. Theobald, is right. MALONE.

i 8 a most FESTINATE preparation ;] Here we have the same error in the first folio, which has happened in many other places; the u employed instead of an n. It reads festiuate. The quartos festuant. See Timon of Athens, Act IV. Sc. III. and vol. viii. p. 176. MALONE.

9- and INTELLIGENT betwixt us.] So, in a former scene: - spies and speculations

Intelligent of our state." STEEVENS.

Thus the folio. The quartos read—" swift and intelligence betwixt us:" the poet might have written-swift in intelligence-.



Enter Steward.

How now? Where's the king?

STEW. My lord of Gloster hath convey'd him hence:

Some five or six and thirty of his knights,
Hot questrists after him2, met him at gate;
Who, with some other of the lord's dependants,
Are gone with him towards Dover : where they

To have well-armed friends.

Get horses for your mistress.
GON. Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.
CORN. Edmund, farewell.-Go, seek the traitor

Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us :
[Exeunt other Servants.
Though well we may not pass upon his life
Without the form of justice; yet our power
Shall do a courtesy to our wrath 3, which men



my lord of Gloster.] Meaning Edmund, newly invested with his father's titles. The Steward, speaking immediately after, mentions the old earl by the same title. JOHNSON.

2 Hot QUESTRISTS after him.] A questrist is one who goes in search or quest of another. Mr. Pope and Sir T. Hanmer read-questers. STEEVENS.

3 Though well we may not PASS upon his life

yet our power

Shall do a COURTESY to our wrath,] To do a courtesy is to gratify, to comply with. To pass, is to pass a judicial sentence. JOHNSON.

I believe," do a courtesy to our wrath," simply means-bend to our wrath, as a courtesy is made by bending the body.

The original of the expression, to pass on any one, may be traced from Magna Charta : nec super eum ibimus, legale judicium parium suorum."


nisi per

It is common to most of our early writers. So, in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540: "I do not nowe consider the mischievous pa geants he hath played; I do not now passe upon them." Again,

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May blame, but not control. Who's there? The

traitor ?

Re-enter Servants, with Gloster.

REG. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.
CORN. Bind fast his corky arms *.
GLO. What mean your graces ?--Good my
friends, consider

You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends.
CORN. Bind him, I say. [Servants bind him.
Hard, hard :-O filthy traitor!
GLO. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none 5.
CORN. To this chair bind him :-Villain, thou
shalt find- [REGAN plucks his Beard.
GLO. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done
To pluck me by the beard.

in If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612: "A jury of brokers, impanel'd, and deeply sworn to passe on all villains in hell." STEEVENS.

4-corky arms.] Dry, withered, husky arms. JOHNSON.

As Shakspeare appears from other passages of this play to have had in his eye Bishop Harsnet's Declaration of Egregious Popish Impostures, &c. 1603, 4to. it is probable, that this very expressive, but peculiar epithet, corky, was suggested to him by a passage in that very curious pamphlet: "It would pose all the cunning exorcists, that are this day to be found, to teach an old corkie woman to writhe, tumble, curvet, and fetch her morice gamboles, as Martha Bressier (one of the possessed mentioned in the pamphlet) did." PERCY.

5 I am none.] Thus the folio. The quartos read—“ I am MALONE.



By the kind gods,] We are not to understand by this the gods in general, who are beneficent and kind to men: but that particular species of them called by the ancients dii hospitales, kind gods. So, Plautus, in Pœnulo:

Deum hospitalem ac tesseram mecum fero. WARBUrton. Shakspeare hardly received any assistance from mythology to furnish out a proper oath for Gloster. People always invoke their deities as they would have them show themselves at particular times in their favour; and he accordingly calls those kind gods whom he would wish to find so on this occasion. He does so yet

REG. So white, and such a traitor!
Naughty lady,
These hairs, which thou dost ravish from my chin,
Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your host;
With robbers' hands, my hospitable favours
You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?
CORN. Come, sir, what letters had you late from


REG. Be simple-answer'd, for we know the truth.

CORN. And what confederacy have you with the traitors

Late footed in the kingdom?

REG. To whose hands have you sent the lunatick king,


GLO. I have a letter guessingly set down, Which came from one that's of a neutral heart, And not from one oppos'd.




CORN. Where hast thou sent the king?


And false.


To Dover.

a second time in this scene.
evince the truth of my supposition. STEEVENS.

Cordelia also uses the same invocation in the 4th Act:

Our own liturgy will sufficiently


'O, you kind gods,


"Cure this great breach in his abused nature !


7 Will quicken,] i. e. quicken into life. M. MASON.


my hospitable FAVOURS] Favours means the same as features, i. e. the different parts of which a face is composed. So, in Drayton's epistle from Matilda to King John: "Within the compass of man's face we see, "How many sorts of several favours be.

Again, in David and Bethsabe, 1599:

"To daunt the favours of his lovely face." STEEVENS. 9 Be simple-answer'd,] The old quarto reads, Be simple answerer.-Either is good sense: simple means plain. STEEVENS.

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