Philip Weller caricature
Philip and Weller hugging

Welcome to my web site, now under development for more than twenty years.   
-- Philip Weller, November 13, 1941 - February 1, 2021
Dr. Weller, an Eastern Washington University professor of English and Shakespearean scholar for more than 50 years.


King Lear : Act 4, Scene 4



           Enter, with drum and colours, CORDELIA,
colours: i.e., battle flag.

           [Doctor,] and Soldiers.

      CORDELIA
  1   Alack, 'tis he: why, he was met even now
1. he was met even now: i.e., he [King Lear] was seen very recently.

  2   As mad as the vex'd sea; singing aloud;
  3   Crown'd with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds,
3. rank: luxuriant, thick, coarse.

  4   With burdocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,
  5   Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
  6   In our sustaining corn. A century send forth;
3-6. fumiter . . . sustaining corn: i.e., common weeds. >>>
century: battalion [100 men].

  7   Search every acre in the high-grown field,
  8   And bring him to our eye.

           Exit an Officer.

                                               What can man's wisdom
  9   In the restoring his bereaved sense?
9. What can . . . sense?: What can human knowledge do to restore the good sense he lost?

 10   He that helps him take all my outward worth.
10. He . . . worth: He who helps him can take all my material wealth.


      Doctor
 11   There is means, madam:
 12   Our foster-nurse of nature is repose,
12. Our . . . repose: i.e., That which comforts and nourishes human nature is rest.

 13   The which he lacks; that to provoke in him,
 14   Are many simples operative, whose power
13-14. that to provoke . . . operative: to induce rest there are effective medicinal herbs.  eye of anguish: wakeful suffering.

 15   Will close the eye of anguish.

      CORDELIA
                                                        All blest secrets,
 16   All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
18. unpublish'd virtues: obscure healing plants.

 17   Spring with my tears! be aidant and remediate
17. Spring with my tears!: Grow as fast as my tears fall! aidant and remediate: healing and restorative.

 18   In the good man's distress! Seek, seek for him;
 19   Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
 20   That wants the means to lead it.
20. wants: lacks.


           Enter a Messenger.

      Messenger
                                                          News, madam;
 21   The British powers are marching hitherward.
21. powers: armies.


      CORDELIA
 22   'Tis known before; our preparation stands
22. our preparation: the troops we have ready.

 23   In expectation of them. O dear father,
 24   It is thy business that I go about;
 25   Therefore great France
25. France: i.e., the king of France, Cordelia's husband.

 26   My mourning and importun'd tears hath pitied.
26. My . . . tears: my sad and pressing tears.

 27   No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
27. blown: inflated. our arms incite: motivate us to take up arms.

 28   But love, dear love, and our aged father's right:
28. But love, dear love, and our aged father's right: i.e., we are fighting for nothing but love, precious love, and our aged father's rights.

 29   Soon may I hear and see him!

           Exeunt.