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Caldecott, Mr. Knight, and Mr. Collier, adopt, though it is such a manifest error, that, even without the authority of any old copy, an editor would be bound to make the word plural. Fortinbras is now speaking of the bodies generally, -of Hamlet, the King, the Queen, and Laertes, who are all lying dead, and who, he says, present a spectacle that only becomes the field of battle. It would almost seem that the restorers of “body” had forgotten what precedes the present speech, viz.,

Hor. · · · · · ·
. . : give order that these bodies
High on a stage be placed to the view;
And let me speak to the yet unknowing world," &c.

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I find that in note (20), p. 583, I have made a slight mistake in quoting Delius's unhappy emendation: he reads,

" the dram of bale Doth all the noble substance off and out To his own scandal.


Lear, king of Britain.
King of France.
Duke of Burgundy.
Duke of Cornwall.
Duke of Albany.
Earl of Kent.

EDGAR, son to Gloster.
EDMUND, bastard son to Gloster.
CURAN, a courtier.
Old Man, tenant to Gloster.
Oswald, steward to Goneril.
An Officer employed by Edmund.
Gentleman attendant on Cordelia.
A Herald.
Servants to Cornwall.

Regan, daughters to Lear.

Knights attending on the King, Officers, Messengers, Soldiers, and





Scene I. A room of state in King Lear's palace.

Enter KENT, GLOSTER, and EDMUND. Kent. I thought the king had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.

Glo. It did always seem so to us: but now, in the division of the kingdom, it appears not which of the dukes he values most; for equalities are so weighed, that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.

Kent. Is not this your son, my lord ?

Glo. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge: I have so often blushed to acknowledge him, that now I am brazed

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Kent. I cannot conceive you.

Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could: whereupon she grew round-wombed, and had, indeed, sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault?

Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.

Glo. But I have a son, sir, by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account: though this knave came something saucily into the world before he was sent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good sport at his making, and the whoreson must be acknowledged.Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund ?

Edm. No, my lord.

Glo. My lord of Kent: remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.

Edm. My services to your lordship.
Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you better.
Edm. Sir, I shall study deserving.

Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again.—The king is coming.

[Sennet within.


and Attendants. Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Glos

ter. Glo. I shall, my liege. [Exeunt Gloster and Edmund.

Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.Give me the map there.— Know that we have divided In three our kingdom: and 'tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age; Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Unburden'd crawl toward death.–Our son of Cornwall, And you, our no less loving son of Albany, We have this hour a constant will to publish Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife May be prevented now. The princes, France and Bur

gundy, Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, And here are to be answer’d.—Tell me, my daughters, (Since now we will divest us, both of rule, Interest of territory, cares of state,) Which of you shall we say doth love us most ? That we our largest bounty may extend Where nature doth with merit challenge.--Goneril, Our eldest-born, speak first. Gon. Sir, I love you more than words (1) can wield the

matter; Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty ;

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