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Tavert your liking a more worthier way,
Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd
Almost t acknowledge hers.

This is most strange,
That she, that even but now was your best object,
The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
Most best, most dearest“, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
So many folds of favour. Sure, her offence
Must be of such unnatural degree,
That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection
Fall'n into taint: which to believe of her,
Must be a faith that reason, without miracle,
Could never plant in me.

I yet beseech your majesty, (If for I want that glib and oily art, To speak and purpose not, since what I well intend', I'll do't before I speak) that you make known It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness, No unchaste actions, or dishonour'd step, That hath depriv’d me of your grace and favour; But even for want of that for which I am richer, A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue That I am glad I have not, though not to have it, Hath lost me in your liking. Lear.

Better thou
Hadst not been born, than not to have pleas'd me

France. Is it but this?? a tardiness in nature,

6 Most best, most dearest,] The folio, less forcibly, “ The best, the dearest;" and in the last line of the speech, Should for “ Could” of the quartos.

7 — since what I well intend,] So the quartos. The folio, erroneously, “will intend.” In the next line it is probably right in changing may know of the quartos to “make known.”

* No UNCHASTE action,] The quartos," unclean action," and two lines lower, rich for “ richer."

Better thou] Before these words the quartos insert the expressions of impatience,“ Go to, go to,” which are natural, but detrimental to the measure.

| Is it but this ?] The quartos, unnecessarily, “ Is it no more but this ?”


Which often leaves the history unspoke,
That it intends to do ?–My lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the lady? Love is not love,
When it is mingled with respects, that stand
Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.

Royal Lear?,
Give but that portion which yourself propos’d,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Duchess of Burgundy.

Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm?.

Bur. I am sorry, then, you have so lost a father, That you must lose a husband.

Peace be with Burgundy: Since that respects of fortune+ are his love, I shall not be his wife. France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being

poor, Most choice, forsaken, and most lov’d, despis'd, Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon : Be it lawful; I take up what's cast away. Gods, gods ! 'tis strange, that from their cold'st neglect My love should kindle to inflam'd respect. Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance, Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France : Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy Shall buys this unpriz'd precious maid of me.Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind : Thou losest here, a better where to find.

? Royal Lear,] The folio, “ Royal king,” and in a previous line, regards for “ respects ;” but it is probably right in reading “ She is herself a dowry," for “ She is herself and dower” of the quartos, although the latter is very intelligible.

3 I am firm.) These words are only in the folio : they seem to weaken the sense and clog the metre, but we cannot feel warranted in omitting them.

4 — respects of fortune-] i.e. considerations of fortune, using “respects" in the same sense as a few lines earlier : the folio has “respect and fortunes.”

S SHALL buy-] The folio reads “ Can buy."

6 — a better WHERE to find.) i. e. a better place : “ where” is used substantively, as in any where, erery where, &c.

ALBANY, ur sisters. vashid e

Lear. Thou hast her, France : let her be thine, for

Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of hers again :—therefore, be gone
Without our grace, our love, our benison.-
Come, noble Burgundy.

[Flourish. Exeunt LEAR, BURGUNDY, CORN

WALL, ALBANY, GLOSTER, and Attendants. France. Bid farewell to your sisters.

Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you : I know you what you are;
And, like a sister, am most loath to call
Your faults as they are nam’d. Love well our father':
To your professed bosoms I commit him ;
But yet, alas! stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place.
So, farewell to you both.

Gon. Prescribe not us our duty.

Let your study
Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you
At fortune's alms: you have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the wants that you have wanted.

Cor. Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides; Who cover faults, at last shame them derides'. Well may you prosper! France.

Come, my fair Cordelia.

(Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA. Gon. Sister, it is not little I have to say of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think, our father will hence to-night.

Reg. That's most certain, and with you; next month with us.

? Love well our father :) The quartos, “ Use well our father."

8 And well are worth the waNT-] The folio rightly reads " want " for worth of the quartos.

9 – at last shame then derides.] So the quartos, (excepting that “cover," by a very common error, is misprinted covers,) correctly; and the folio, corruptly, “ at last with shame derides."

Gon. You see how full of changes his age is; the observation we have made of it hath not been littlelo: he always loved our sister most, and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off, appears too grossly.

Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age; yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.

Gon. The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash; then, must we look to receive from his age, not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted condition, but, therewithal, the unruly waywardness that infirm and choleric years bring with them.

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

Gon. There is farther compliment of leave-taking between France and him. Pray you, let us hit together': if our father carry authority with such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us.

Reg. We shall farther think of it.
Gon. We must do something, and i' the heat.



A Hall in the Earl of GLOSTER's Castle.

Enter EDMUND, with a letter.

Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess'; to thy law My services are bound. Wherefore should I

10 Hath not been little.] The negative is from the quartos. What follows shows that it was accidentally omitted in the folio.

· Let us ut together :] A very intelligible expression for “ Let us agree together:" i. e, strike at the same time. The folio misprints "hit" sit. Goneril afterwards follows up the figure " let us hit together," by adding “and i'the heat,” --while the iron is hot.

? Thou, nature, art my goddess ;] This speech in the folio is printed as verse, and in the quartos as prose. Such is the case with many others in the course of the drama.

Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity 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 generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness ? bastardy? base, basef?
Who in the lusty stealth of nature take
More composition and fierce quality,
Than doth within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake?-Well then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund,
As to the legitimate. Fine word, -legitimate”!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate®. I grow; I prosper :-
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

Glo. Kent banish'd thus! And France in choler

parted! And the king gone to-night! subscrib’d his power?! Confin'd to exhibition! All this done


3 The curiosity of nations, i.e. the scrupulousness of nations. In the second speech of this play “curiosity” has been used in the same sense. Edmund is here soliloquizing on his own bastardy, and on the eyils to which bastards were exposed by custom and the scrupulous laws of nations.

1- with baseness ? bastardy ? ba se, base ?] The quartos only have a base bastardy ?” for these words of the folio.

S Fine word,-legitimate !] These words are only in the folio.

6 Shall TOP The legitimate.] The quartos have,“ Shall tooth' legitimate," and the folio, “ Shall to'th' legitimate.” “Shall top the legitimate" is the ingenious emendation of Edwards, which in fact only substitutes the letter p for o in the quartos.

7 -- SUBSCRIB'D his power !) i. e. surrendered his power: the folio alone has prescrib'd. “Exhibition ” in the next line is maintenance, and is still used in that sense at our Universities. We have it also in “Othello," A. i. sc. 3.

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