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I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.8
And so I am, I am.
No cause, no cause.
In your own kingdom, sir. Lear. Do not abuse me.
Phys. Be comforted, good madam: the great rage You see, is cur’do in him: [and yet it is danger To make him even o'er the time he has lost.?]
Mr. Steevens as the interpolation of some foolish player. We should therefore read:
Fourscore, and upward; and, to deal plainly with you. Ritson, • I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.] The quarto reads :
I fear, I am not perfect in my mind. Johnson. So one of the quartos. The other reads according to the present text. Steevens.
is curd -) Thus the quartos. The folio reads:
is kill'd. Steevens.
[and yet &c.] This is not in the folio. Fohnson. 9 To make him even o'er the time he has lost.] i.e. To reconcile it to his apprehension. Warburton.
The uncommon verb-to even, occurs again in Cymbeline, Act III, sc. iv:
6. There's more to be consider'd; but we 'll even
“ All that good time will give us.” The meaning there seems to be, we will fully employ all the time we have. So here the Physician says, that it is dangerous to draw from Lear a full relation of all that he felt or suffered while his reason was disturbed; to make him employ as much time in the recital of what has befallen him as passed during his state of insanity.
Malone. I believe, Dr. Warburton's explanation is just. The poor old king
Desire him to go in; trouble him no more,
Cor. Will 't please your highness walk ?
You must bear with me: Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old, and foolish.
[Exeunt LEAR, Cor. Phys. and Attendants. [Gent. Holds it true, sir,3 That the duke of Cornwall was so slain? Kent.
Most certain, sir. Gent. Who is conductor of his people? Kent.
As 'tis said,
They say, Edgar,
Kent. Report is changeable.
Gent. The arbitrement is like to be a bloody. Fare you well, sir.
[Exit. Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrought, Or well, or ill, as this day's battle 's fought.] [Exit.
had nothing to tell, though he had much to hear. The speaker's meaning therefore I conceive to be-it is dangerous to render all that passed during the interval of his insanity, even (i. e. plain or level,) to his understanding, while it continues in its present state of uncertainty. Steevens.
3 Holds it true, sir,] What is printed in crotchets is not in the folio. It is at least proper if not necessary; and was omitted by the author, I suppose, for no other reason than to shorten the representation.
Johnson. It is much more probable, that it was omitted by the players, after the author's departure from the stage, without consulting him. His plays have been long exhibited with similar omissions, which render them often perfectly unintelligible. The loss however is little felt by the greater part of the audience, who are intent upon other matters.
ACT V ..... SCENE I.
The Camp of the British Forces, near Dover.
Officers, Soldiers, and Others.
[To an Officer, who goes out.
Now, sweet lord, You know the goodness I intend upon you: Tell me, but truly,—but then speak the truth, Do you not love my sister? Edm.
In honour'd love. [Reg. But have you neveró found my
way To the forefended place?? Edm.
That thought abuses you.
of alteration,] One of the quartos reads
of abdication. Steevens.
his constant pleasure.] His settled resolution. Johnson. So, before :
“ We have this hour a constant will” &c. See p.
135, n. 4. Steevens. @ But have you never &c.] The first and last of these speeches, printed within crotchets, are inserted in Sir Thomas Hanmer's, Mr. Theobald's, and Dr. Warburton's editions; the two intermediate ones, which were omitted in all others, I have restored from the old quartos, 1608. Whether they were left out through negligence, or because the imagery contained in them might be thought too luxu. riant, I cannot determine ; but sure a material injury is done to the character of the Bastard by the omission; for he is made to deny that flatly at first, which the poet only meant to make him evade, or return slight answers to, till he is urged so far as to be obliged to shelter himself under an immediate falsehood. Query, however, whether Shakspeare meant us to believe that Edmund had actually found his way to the forefended place? Steevens.
forefended place?] Forefended means prohibited, forbidden. So, in King Henry VI, P. I:
“Now, heaven forefend! the holy maid with child ?" Steedens. 8 That thought abuses you.] That thought imposes on you: you Reg. I am doubtful that you have been conjunct And bosom’d with her,9 as far as we call hers.
Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.]
Reg. I never shall endure her: Dear my lord,
Fear me not:
Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, and Soldiers. Gon. I had rather lose the battle, than that sister Should loosen him and me.
[Aside. Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met. Sir, this I hear,—The king is come to his daughter, With others, whom the rigour of our state Forc’d to cry out. (Where I could not be honest, I never yet was valiant:2 for this business, It toucheth us as France invades our land, Not bolds the king ;3 with others, whom, I fear,
are deceived. This speech and the next are found in both the quartos, but omitted in the folio. Malone.
bosom'd with her,] Bosom'd is used in this sense by Hey. wood, in The Fair Maid of the West, 1631:
“We 'll crown our hopes and wishes with more pomp
“ That night he bosom'd Helen.” Again, in Heywood's Silver Age, 1613:
“ With fair Alcmena, she that never bosom'd
- (Where I could not - ] What is within the crotchets is omitted in the folio. Steevens. 2 - Where I could not be honest,
I never yet was valiant :] This sentiment has already appeared ia Cymbeline :
- Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause,
“ But now thou seem'st a coward.” Again, in an ancient MS. play, entituled, The Second Maiden's Tragedy:
“ That worke is never undertooke with corage,
" That makes his master blush.” Steevens. 3 Not bolds the king;] The quartos read bolds, and this may be the true reading. This business (says Albany) touches us as France invades our land, not as it bolds the king, &c. i. e. emboldens him to assert his former title. Thus in the ancient interlude of Hycke Scorner :
“ Alas, that I had not one to bold me!" Again, in Arthur Hall's translation of the 4th Iliad, 4to. 1581 : VOL. XIV.
Most just and heavy causes make oppose.4
Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.5]
Why is this reason'd?
Let us then determine With the ancient of war on our proceedings.
Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent.
“ And Pallas bolds the Greeks, and blames whom scar doth
there dismay.” Steevens. • Sir, this I hear,-[as far as to]-make oppose.] The meaning is, the king and others whom we have opposed are come to CordeJia. I could never be valiant but in a just quarrel. We must distinguish ; it is just in one sense and unjust in another. As France in. vades our land I am concerned to repel him; but as he holds, entertains, and supports the king, and others whom I fear many just and heavy causes make, or compel, as it were, to oppose us, I esteem it unjust to engage against them. This speech, thus interpreted accord. ing to the common reading, is likewise very necessary: for other. wise Albany, who is characterised as a man of honour and observer of justice, gives no reason for going to war with those, whom he owns had been much injured under the countenance of his power.
Warburton. The quartos read-For this I hear, &c. Perhaps Shakspeare wrote --Fore this, I hear, the king, &c. Sir is the reading of the folio. Dr. Warburton has explained this passage, as if the copies readNot holus the king, i. e. not as he holds the king; but both the quartos, in which alone the latter part of this speech is found, readbulds. However, Dr. Warburton's interpretation is preserved, as bolds may certainly have been a misprint for holds, in copies in which we find mov’d, for noble, (Act V, sc. iii,) O father, for O fault, (ibid.) the mistress of Hecate, for the mysteries of Hecate, (Act I, sc. i,) blossoms for bosoms, (Act V, sc. iii,) a mistresses coward, for a mistresses command, (Açt IV, sc. ii,) Sic. &c. Malone. 5 Sir, you speak nobly.] This reply must be understood ironically.
Malone. 6 For these domestick and particular broils —] This is the reading of the folio. The quartos have it
For these domestick doure particulars. Steerens. Doore, or dore, as quarto B has it, was probably a misprint for dear; i.e. important. Malone.
Door particulars, signify, I believe, particulars at our very doors, close to us, and consequently fitter to be settled at home. Steevens. 7 Are not to question here.] Thus the quartos. The folio reads
dre not the question here. Steevens. 8 Eum.] This speech is wanting in the folio. Steevens.