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Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu ;
He'll shape his old course in a country new.



Enter Glo'ster, with France and Burgundy, and attendants,

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Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.

Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
We first address tow'rd you, who with m this king
Have rivall’d for our daughter; what" in the least
Will you require in present dower with her,
Or cease your quest of love?

Bur. • Most royal majesty,
I crave no more than what your highness offer'd,
Nor will you tender less.

Lear. Right noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us, P we held her fo;
But now her price is fall’n. Sir, there she stands,
If aught within that little seeming substance,
Or all of it with our displeasure 9 piec’d,
And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,
She's there, and she is yours.

Bur. I know no answer.

I So the qu’s; the fo's, R. and P. give this speech to Cordelia; and T. first discovers this error.

m The qu's read a for this.
A P. alters this to at least; followed by all but j.
o The qu's omit moft.
P The qu's and it fo read we did bold, &c.
a P. reads pierc'd.
! The qu's read else for more.


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Lear. s Wil you with those infirmities The owes,
Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,
* Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her?

Bur. Pardon 'me, royal sir;
Election makes not up on such conditions.

Lear. Then leave her, fir; for by the pow'r that made me,
I tell you all her wealth.-For you, great king, [To France.
I would not from your love make such a stray,
To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you,
T'avert your liking a more worthier way
Than on a wretch whom nature is alham'd
Almost tacknowledge hers.

France. This is most strange!
That she, * who even but now was your 9 best object,
2 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

s Before will the qu's insert fir.
? The qu's read cover'd for dower'd.
# P. and all after, omit me.

W So read all the editions before P, who alters it to worthy, followed by those after him. But the double comparative is very common in Shakespear; and was, no doubt, the language of that age. It is not the part of an editor to modernise his author.

* The qu's read that for who; the ift f. whom.
✓ The ift f. omits beft.

? P. alters this, Your praise's argument, &c. this is modernising again, for the fake of measure : followed by all but 7.

* So the qu’s; the fo’s, R. and J. the best, the deareft. P. first, and then all the relt, dearest and beft.

Beft (quoth 7.) is added from the first copy. Why, Dr. J. there is RO copy without it,


So many folds of favour! sure, her offence
Must be of such unnatural degree
That monsters it; (or you for vouch'd affections
Fall'n into taint:) which to believe of her
Must be a faith that reason without miracle
Could never f plant in me.

Cor. I yet beseech your majesty-
If_8 for I want that glib and oily art,

c P, and H. read furc th' offence, &c. d R. and P. read as monstrous is,

e So the qu’s; the fo's read Or your fore-voucht affertion fall into trint, &c. R. P. and H. read Or your fore-voucht affe&tion could not fall into taint, &c. T. and W. Or your fore-vouch'd affc&tion fall'n into taint, &e. J. reads as the fo's, but interprets or before, because or ever signifies before ever; but does he remember where or had at any time this signification unless joined with ever? R. seems to make the best sense of all these readings, but then he is obliged to interpolate. But let us now try the old reading; and to make sense of it, the best way perhaps will be to consider what was the real cause of the estrangement of Lear's love from Cordelia; it was the vouch'd affe&tions of his three daughters: the two eldest vouch'd such affection to him as was beyond all nature and possibility to a father ; but Cordelia vouched only such an affection as was natural and reasonable for a daughter to feel for her father. Now Lear was fallen into taint, i. e. his judgment was corrupted, in preferring the extravagant and lying protestations of his eldest daughters, to the sincere and just ones of his youngest. And if we ruminate a little, this is the only second reason for Lear's rejecting Cordelia that can with any probability be supposed to be guefled at by France : for it would be rude in France to charge Lear with vouching the dearest affections to one he did not really love; and it is absurd to suppose that so great a love should change to hate, without she had committed some very great crime, and which France could not be brought to believe; therefore this second guess becomes the only one, and the true one, viz. that Regan and Gonerill had, by their superior art in coaxing, won all Lear's love from Cordelia.

f The ad q. reads plaint; fo Steevens, and gives no other reading.

& H. alters, for to , to make. grammar of the passage ; but perhaps Shakespear designed this as an interruption. See p. 17, note i.


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To speak and purpose not, since what I well intend,
I'll do't before I speak-i that you may know [To France.
It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
No kunchalte action, or dishonour'd step-
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour. [To Lear.
But er'n' for want of that, for which I'm m richer,
A still soliciting eye, and such a tongue,
* As I am glad • I have not; though, not to have it,
Hath lost me in your liking.

Lear. P Go to, go to ! better thou hadft not been born
Than not to have pleas'd me better.

France. Is it 'no more but this? a tardiness in nature,
Thar 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 regards: that stands

The fo's and R. read will for well.
i The fo's (followed by all the rest) read that you make known, to make
it grammar with 1 yet beseech your majesty: but I am apt to think Shakespear
intended this as a broken speech, which should express the modest fear and
bafhful diffidence of Cordelia, heightened' by her concern under her present
pitiable circumstances. She begins speaking to the king in a broken inter-
rupted manner; then to France, that you may know, &c. then, without
making a period, to the king again.

* The qu's read unclean for unchasie.
I H. reads the for for.
# The qu's read rich.
. So the qu's; all the rest read that for as.
• P. alters I have not to I've not; followed by the rel.

So the qu's; all the rest omit go to, go to!
4 The fo's and R. read i' have; but P. and all after, intirely omit po.
' So the qu's; all the rest omit no more.
. So the qu’s; all the rest read which for that.

' So the qa's, fo's, and R. where stands refers to love; Love is not loze, ukra, &c, love is not love, that stands, &c. all the relt read stand.



Aloof from the u entire point. Say, will you have her?
w She is, herself, and dower.

Bur. [To Lear.] * Royal Lear,
Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Dutchess of Burgundy.

Lear. Nothing :- I have sworn y.

Bur, I am sorry then you have so loft a father, [T. Cor. That you must lose a husband.

Cor. Peace be with Burgundy,
Since that a 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 a 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.

u So the qu's; all the rest read th' intire.

1. explains intire, right, true; F. single, unmixed with other considerations. But

w She is, herself, and dower (which is the reading of the qu’s) explains the meaning of intire, whole. “ That is not love which is mingled with “ regards; that cannot be love that stands aloof from the whole point (the " perfon and the dower) for in Cordelia you have both herself and her “ dower.” Shakespear, I suppose, means, that the super-plus of perfections and good qualities the possessed above the generality of her sex, were to her in lieu of a dower. The rest read flue is herself a dowry.

* So the qu's; all the rest read royal king, i. e. kingly king. Is it not strange that none of the editors should consult the qu's in this place? for if they had, they would certainly have restored the old reading.

y After sworn, the fo's and R. read I am firm. 2 The fo's, R. and P. read respect and fortunes, a The ist q. reads ceaze for seize.

The ist q, reads couldst.


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