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condition, but therewithal the unruly waywardness, that infirm and cholerick years bring with them.

Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him, as this of Kent's banishment.

Gon. There is further compliment of leave-taking between France and him. Pray you, + let us hit together. If our father carry authority with such disposition as he bears, this last surrender of his will but of. fend us.

Reg. We shall further think of it.
Gon. We must do something, and i’ th’heat.

[Exeunt.

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Changes to a Castle belonging to the Earl of Glo'ster.

Enter Edmund, with a Leitir. Edm. SITHOU, Nature, art my Goddess; to

thy law My services are bound; wherefore should I Stand in the plague of custom, and permit

The

THO

6

4 let us hit] So the old

quar

6 Stand in the PLAGUE of culto. The folio, let us fil.

ton] To fand in the plague s Tbou, Nature, art my God- of cuft7, is an absurd expresion.

deis ;] He makes his bal We should read, tard an Atheist. Italian Athe Stand in the PLAGE of custom. ism had much infected the Eng. i. e. the place, the country, the lish Court, as we learn from the boundary of custom. Why should best writers of that time. But I, when I profess to follow the this was the general title those freedom of nature, be confined Atheists in their works gave to within the narrow limits of cur. Nature ; thus Vanini calls one of tom? Plage, is a word in comhis books, De admirandis NATU mon use amongst the old Engli; Regine de A QUE MORTA writers. So Chaucer, LIUM Arcanis. So that the title

The PLAGIS of the North by land here is emphatical.

and fea.- From pla a. WARBURTON.

WARBURTON.

7 The courtesy of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines

Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base ?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as gen'rous, and my shape as true,
As honest Madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base, with baseness, bastardy, base, base,
* Who, in the lasty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality ;
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got ’tween a-sleep and wake? Well then,

The word plague is in all the gle had a religious reverence old copies : I can scarcely chink paid to it at that time. And it right, nor can I yet reconcile therefore the best characters in myself to the emendation pro- this play acknowledge the force poled, though I have nothing of the stars' influence.

' But how better to offer.

much the lines following this, 7 The courtesy of Nations are in character, may be seen by Mr. Popreads Nicely. The Co that monstrous with of Vanini, pies, give, the Curiosity of the Italian Atheist, in his tract Nations; but our Author's Word De admirandis nature, &c. printwas, Curtesy. In our Laws, some ed at Paris, 1616, the very year Lands are held by the Curtesy of our poet died. O utinam extra En land,

THEOBALD. legitimum connubialem thorum E.mund inveighs against the cffem procreatus! Ita enim progetyranny of custom, in two in nitores mei in Venerem incaluif. fiances, with respect to younger fent ardentiùs, ac cumulatim afbrothers, and to batlards.' In the fatimque generosa femina contuformer he must not be underttood lifient, è quibus ego forme blanto mean himself, but the argu ditiam et elegantiam, robulas corment becomes general by imply- poris vires, mentemque innubilam ing more than is faid, Wherefore consequutus fuiffem. At quia confbould I or any man. HANMER. jugatorum fum foboles, his or8 Who, in the luffy plealth of batus fum bonis. Had the book

nature, &c.] These fine lines been published but ten or twenty are an instance of our author's years sooner, who would not have admirable art in giving proper believed that Shakespear alluded sentiments to his characters. The to this paffige? But the divinity Bastard's is that of a confirmed of his genius foretold, as it were, Atheit; and his being made to what such an Atheist, as Vanini, ridicule judiciul afirology was de- would say, when he wrote upon figned as one mark of such a such a subject. character. For this impious jug.

WARBURTON,

Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land;
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund,
As to th' legitimate ; fine word - legitimate.
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base

Shall be th' legitimate. I grow, I prosper ; ? Now, Gods, stand up for bastards !

8

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To bim, Enter Glo'ster. Glo. Kent banilh'd thus! and France in choler parted! And the King gone to-night! subscrib’d his pow'r ! Confin'd to ? exhibition ! 3 all this done Upon the gad !- Edmund, how now? what news ?

1

i. e.

8 Shall be th' legitima!e. -] fon? He does not tell us; but Here the Oxford Editor would the poet allude; to the debaucheshow us that he is as good at ries of the Pagan Gods, who coining phrases as his Auther, made heroes of all their bastards. and so alters the text thus,

WAR BURTON. Shall toe b' legitimate.

fubfcribd his pou'r!) says he, fand on even ground Subfcriz’d, for transferred, aliewith him, as he would do with nated.

WARBURTON. his author. WARBURTON. To subscribe, is, to transfer by

Hanmer's emendation will ap- signing or subscribing a writing pear very plausible to him that of teltimony. We now use the Thall consult the original reading term, He subscribed forty pounds Butler's quarto reads,

to the new building. -Edmund be base

2 Exhibition is allowance. The Sball tootb' legitimate.

term is yet used in the universiThe folio,-Edmund the base ties. Sball to ib' legitimate.

-all this done Hanmer, therefore, could hardly Upon the gad!] So the old be charged with coining a word, copies: the later edicions read, though his explanation may be doubted. To toe him, is per Upon the gad! haps, to kick him out, a phrase which, besides that it is unauyet in vulgar use; or, to toe, thorised, is less proper. To do may be literally to supplant. The upon the gad, is, to act by the word be has no anthority. fudden stimulation of caprice, as 9 Now, Gods, fana up for cattle run madding when they are bastards !] For what rea sung by the gad fy.

Edm,

3

- all is gone

Edm. So please your lordship, none.

[Putting up the letter. Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter? Edm. I know no news, my Lord. G!.. What paper were you reading ? Edm. Nothing, my Lord.

Glo. No! what needed then that terrible dispatch of it into your pocket ? the quality of nothing hath not such need to hide itseif. Let's see ; come. If it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.

Elm. I beseech you, Sir, pardon me, it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o’er read; and for so much as I have perus’d, I find it not fit for

your over looking

Glo. Give me the letter, Sir.

Edm. I shall offend, either to detain, or give it. The contents, as in part I understand them, are to blame

Glo. Let's see, let's see.

Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as an essay, or + taste of my virtue.

Glo. reads.) “This policy and reverence of age makes the world biter to the best of our times ; keeps our fortunes from us, till our oldness cannot relish them. I begin to find an idle and fond bondage in the oppression of eged tyranny; which fways, not as it hath power, but

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taste of my virtue.! Though others to old customs, it is now tate may stand in this place, yet become an established rule, that I believe we should read, alfayor fathers shall keep all they have teft of my virtue: they are both till they die. WARBURTON. metallurgical terms, and properly All this may be spared. Age, joined. So in Hamlet,

not ages, is the reading of both Bring me to the test. the copies of authority. But5 This policy and reverence of ler's quarto has, this policy of age; ages] Ages fignifes former times. the folia, this policy and reverence So the sense of the words is this, of age. what between the policy of some, idle and fond ] Weak and and the superstitious reverence of foolish.

as it is suffered. Come 10 me, that of this I may Speak more. If our fatber would sleep, till I wok'd him, you jould enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live the beloved of your brother Edgar.-Hum-Conspiracy ! Neep, till I wake him-you should enjoy half his revenue--My son Edgar! bad he a hand to write this! a heart and brain to breed it in !- When came this to you ? who brought it?

Edm. It was not brought me, my Lord; there's the cunning of it. I found it thrown in at the case. ment of my closer.

Glo You know the character to be your brother's ?

Edm. If the matter were good, my Lord, I durst swear, it were his; but in respect of that, I would fain think, it were not.

Gio. It is his.

Edm. It is his hand, my Lord; I hope, his heart is not in the contents.

Gl. Has he never before founded you in this business?

Edm. Never, my Lord. But I have heard him oft maintain it to be fit, that fons at per cet age, and fathers declining, the father should be as a ward to the fon, and the fon manage his revenue.

Glo. O villain, villain! his very opinion in the letter. Abhorred villain! unnatural, decefied, brutish villain! worse than brutith! Go, firrah, feck him ; I'll apprehend him. Abominable villain! where is he?

Edm. I do not well know, my Lord. If it shall please you to fufpend your indignation against my brother, 'till you can derive from him beter testimony of his intent, you should run a certain course; where, if you v olently proceed against him, mistaking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your own honour, and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life for him, that he hath writ this to

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