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That's something yet;-Edgar I nothing am."



Before Gloster's Castle."

Enter LEAR, Fool, and Gentleman.

LEAR. 'Tis strange, that they should so depart from home,

And not send back my messenger.

up and down Europe. However, the church of Rome hath dignified them with the name of hereticks, and actually burned some of them at Paris. But what sort of religionists they were, appears from Genebrard's account of them. "Turlupin Cynicorum sectam suscitantes, de nuditate pudendorum, & publico coitu." Plainly, nothing but a band of Tom-o'-Bedlams.


Hanmer reads-poor Turluru. It is probable the word Turlygood was the common corrupt pronunciation. JOHNSON.


Edgar I nothing am.] As Edgar I am outlawed, dead in law; I have no longer any political existence. JOHNSON. The critick's idea is both too complex and too puerile for one in Edgar's situation. He is pursued, it seems, and proclaimed, i. e. a reward has been offered for taking or killing him. In assuming this character, says he, I may preserve myself; as Edgar I am inevitably gone. RITSON.

Perhaps the meaning is, As poor Tom, I may exist: appearing as Edgar, I am lost. MALONE.

Before Gloster's Castle.] It is not very clearly discovered why Lear comes hither. In the foregoing part he sent a letter to Gloster; but no hint is given of its contents. He seems to have gone to visit Gloster while Cornwall and Regan might prepare to entertain him. JoHnson.

It is plain, I think, that Lear comes to the Earl of Gloster's in consequence of his having been at the Duke of Cornwall's, and having heard there, that his son and daughter were gone to

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No, my lord." FOOL. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters!"

the Earl of Gloster's. His first words show this: "'Tis strange that they (Cornwall and Regan) should so depart from home, and not send back my messenger (Kent)." It is clear also, from Kent's speech in this scene, that he went directly from Lear to the Duke of Cornwall's, and delivered his letters, but, instead of being sent back with any answer, was ordered to follow the Duke and Duchess to the Earl of Gloster's. But what then is the meaning of Lear's order to Kent, in the preceding Act, scene v: Go you before to Gloster with these letters. The obvious meaning, and what will agree best with the course of the subsequent events, is, that the Duke of Cornwall and his wife were then residing at Gloster. Why Shakspeare should choose to suppose them at Gloster, rather than at any other city, is a different question. Perhaps he might think, that Gloster implied such a neighbourhood to the Earl of Gloster's castle, as his story required. TYRWHITT.




p. 378, n. 3. MALONE.

No, my lord.] Omitted in the quartos. STEEVENS.

he wears cruel garters!] I believe a quibble was here intended. Crewel signifies worsted, of which stockings, garters, night-caps, &c. are made; and it is used in that sense in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady, Act II:

"For who that had but half his wits about him

"Would commit the counsel of a serious sin
“To such a crewel night-cap.".

So, again, in the comedy of The Two Angry Women of Abington, printed 1599:



I'll warrant you, he'll have

"His cruell garters cross about the knee.” So, in The Bird in a Cage, 1633:

"I speak the prologue to our silk and cruel
"Gentlemen in the hangings."

Horses are tied by the heads; dogs, and bears, by the neck; monkies by the loins, and men by the legs when a man is over-lusty' at legs, then he wears wooden nether-stocks.2

LEAR. What's he, that hath so much thy place mistook

To set thee here?


It is both he and she,

Your son and daughter.

Again, in Woman's a Weathercock, 1612:

"Wearing of silk, why art thou still so cruel."


1-over-lusty-] Over-lusty, in this place, has a double signification. Lustiness anciently meant sauciness.

So, in Decker's If this be not a good Play the Devil is in it,


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upon pain of being plagued for their lustyness.”

Again, in Claudius Tiberius Nero, 1607:


she'll snarl and bite,

"And take up Nero for his lustiness."

Again, in Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch: "Cassius' soldiers did shewe themselves verie stubborne and lustie in the campe," &c. STEEVENS.


then he wears wooden nether-stocks.] Nether-stocks is the old word for stockings. Breeches were at that time called "men's overstockes," as I learn from Barrett's Alvearic, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580.

It appears from the following passage in the second part of The Map of Mock Beggar Hall, &c. an ancient ballad, that the stockings were formerly sewed to the breeches:

"Their fathers went in homely frees,

"And good plain broad-cloth breeches;
"Their stockings with the same agrees,
"Sew'd on with good strong stitches."

Stubbs, in his Anatomie of Abuses, has a whole chapter on The Diversitie of Nether-Stockes worne in England, 1595. Heywood among his Epigrams, 1562, has the following:


Thy upper-stocks, be they stuft with silke or flocks, "Never become thee like a nether paire of stocks.”

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KENT. Yes.

LEAR. No, I say.

KENT. I say, yea.

LEAR.3 No, no; they would not.

KENT. Yes, they have.

LEAR. By Jupiter, I swear no.
KENT. By Juno, I swear, ay.*

LEAR. They durst not do't;

They could not, would not do't; 'tis worse than murder,


To do upon respect such violent outrage:
Resolve me, with all modest haste, which way
Thou might'st deserve, or they impose, this usage,
Coming from us.


My lord, when at their home

3 Lear.] This and the next speech are omitted in the folio. -I have left the rest as I found them, without any attempt at metrical division; being well convinced that, as they are collected from discordant copies, they were not all designed to be preserved, and therefore cannot, in our usual method, be arranged. STEEvens.

4 By Juno, I swear, ay.] Omitted in the quartos.


To do upon respect such violent outrage:] To violate the publick and venerable character of a messenger from the king.


To do an outrage upon respect, does not, I believe, primarily mean, to behave outrageously to persons of a respectable character, (though that in substance is the sense of the words,) but rather, to be grossly deficient in respect to those who are entitled to it, considering respect as personified. So before in scene 2:

"You shall do small respect, show too bold malice


Against the grace and person of my master,

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Stocking his messenger." MALONE.

I did commend your highness' letters to them,
Ere I was risen from the place that show'd
My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post,
Stew'd in his haste, half breathless, panting forth
From Goneril his mistress, salutations;
Deliver❜d letters, spite of intermission,

Which presently they read: on whose contents, They summon'd up their meiny, straight took horse;

• Deliver'd letters, spite of intermission,] Intermission, for another message, which they had then before them, to consider of; called intermission, because it came between their leisure and the Steward's message. WARBURTON.

Spite of intermission is without pause, without suffering time to intervene. So, in Macbeth:

11. 866 gentle heaven,

“Cut short all intermission," &c.


·Spite of intermission, perhaps means in spite of, or without regarding, that message which intervened, and which was entitled to precedent attention.

Spite of intermission, however, may mean, in spite of being obliged to pause and take breath, after having panted forth the salutation from his mistress. In Cawdrey's Alphabetical Table of hard Words, 1604, intermission is defined, "foreslowing, a pawsing or breaking off" MALone.

7 They summon'd up their meiny,] Meiny, i. e. people.

Mesne, a house. Mesnie, a family, Fr.
So, in Monsieur D'Olive, 1606:

66 if she, or her sad meiny,

"Be towards sleep, I'll wake them."


Again, in the bl. 1. romance of Syr Eglamoure of Artoys, no


Again :

"Of the emperoure took he leave ywys,

"And of all the meiny that was there."

"Here cometh the king of Israel,

"With a fayre meinye." STEEVENS.

So, in Lambard's Archeion, 1635, p. 2: "-whilest all the world consisted of a few householders, the elder (or father of the family) exercised authoritie over his meyney."` REED.

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