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To speak and purpose not; since what I well intend,
France. Is it but this ?8 a tardiness in nature,
Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry then, you have so lost a father,
Peace be with Burgundy! Since that respects of fortune are his love,
For has the power of_because. Thus, in
" For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
“ Lag of a brother.” Steevens. 8 Is it but this? &c.] Thus the folio. The quartos, disregarding metre
Is it no more but this ? &c. Steevens.
with respects,] i. e. with cautious and prudential considera: tions. See Vol. XII, p. 66, n. 3. Thus the quartos. The folio has--regards. Malone.
- from the entire point.] Single, unmixed with other considerations. Fohnson.
Dr. Johnson is right. The meaning of the passage is, that his love wants something to mark its sincerity:
“Who seeks for aught in love but love alone.” Steevens. 2 She is herself a dowry.] The quartos read:
She is herself and dower. Steevens. 3 Royal Lear,] So the quarto ; the folio has-Royal king. Steerens
I shall not be his wife.
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art mcst 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
us, of ours, and our fair France:
Lear. Thou hast her, France : let her be thine; for we
Glo. and Attendants.
Cor. The jewels5 of our father, with wash'd eyes
4 Thou losest here,] Here and where have the power of nourts: Thou losest this residence to find a better residence in another place.
Johnson. So, in Churchyard's Farewel to the World, 1592:
“That growes not here, takes roote in other where." See Vol. VI, p. 341, n. 9. ' Steevens.
5 The jewels -] As this reading affords sense, though an aukward one, it may stand: and yet Ye instead of The, a change adopted by former editors, may be justified; it being frequently impossible, in ancient MSS. to distinguish the one word from the customary abbre. viation of the other. Steevens.
Use well our father:] So the quartos. The folio reads, Love well. Malone..
professed bosoins -) All the ancient editions read-pro fessed. Mr. Pope-professing ; but, perhaps, unnecessarily, as Shakspeare often uses one participle for the other ;-longing for longed in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and all obeying for all-obeyed in Antoriy and Cleopatra. Steevens.
I would prefer him to a better place.
Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Let your study
Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning2 hides ; Who cover faults,3 at last shame them derides.
8 Prescribe not us our duties. ] Prescribe was used formerly without to subjoined. So, in Massinger's Picture :
Shall I prescribe you, “ Or blame your fondness.” Malone. . At fortune's alıns.] The same expression occurs again in Othello,
“ And shoot myself up in some other course,
“ To fortune's alms.” Steevens. 1 And well are worth the want that you have wanted.] You are well deserving of the want of dower that you are without. So, in The
Third Part of King Henry VI, Act. IV, sc.i: “ Though I want a kingdom,” i.e. though I am without a kingdom. Again, in Stowe's Chronicle, p. 137: “ Anselm was expelled the realm, and wanted the whole profits of his bishoprick," i. e. he did not receive the profits, kc. Tollet.
Thus the folio. In the quartos the transcriber or compositor inadyertently repeated the word worth. They read:
“ And well are worth the worth that you have wanted.” This, however, may be explained by understanding the second worth in the sense of wealth. Malone. plaited cunning - ] i.e. complicated, involved cunning:
Johnson. I once thought that the author wrote plated :-cunning superinduced, thinly spread over. So, in this play:
Plate sin with gold, “ And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks." But the word unfold, and the following lines in our author's Rape of Lucrece, show, that plaited, or (as the quartos have it) pleated, is the true reading :
- For that he colour'd with his high estate,
“Hiding base sin in pleats of majesty." Malone. 3 Who cover faults, &c.] The quartos read:
Who covers faults, at last shame them derides. The former editors read with the folio:
Who covers faults at last with shame derides. Steevens. Mr. M. Mason believes the folio, with the alteration of a letter, to be the right reading :
Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides,
Who covert faults at last with shame derides. The word who referring to time.