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Kent. See better, Lear, and let me still remain
Lear. Now, by Apollo,
Now, by Apollo, king,
0 vassal! miscreant!
[Laying his hand on his sword. Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
Hear me, recreant !
To shield thee from diseases of the world;
[To CORDELIA. That justly think’st, and hast most rightly said !And your large speeches may your deeds approve,
[To Regan and GONERIL. 1 The blank is the mark at which men shoot.
* “ They to whom I have surrendered my authority, yielding me the ability to dispense it in this instance." Quarto B. reads - make good.”
3 'Thus the quartos. The folio reads " disasters.” By diseases are meant uneasinesses, inconveniences.
• The quartos read “ Friendship ;” and in the next line, instead of " dear shelter," " protection.”
That good effects may spring from words of love.-
Re-enter GLOSTER, with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and
Attendants. Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
Lear. My lord of Burgundy, We first address towards you, who with this king Hath rivalled 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 hath your highness offered, Nor will you tender less. Lear.
Right noble Burgundy, When she was dear to us, we did hold her so; But now her price is fallen. Sir, there she stands; If aught within that little, seemingsubstance, Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced, And nothing more, may fitly like your grace, She's there, and she is yours. Bur.
I know no answer. Lear. Sir, Will you, with those infirmities she owes,3 Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate, Dowered with our curse, and strangered with our oath, Take her, or leave her ? Bur.
Pardon me, royal sir; Election makes not up on such conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that
I tell you all her wealth.—For you, great king,
1 A quest is a seeking or pursuit : the expedition in which a knight was engaged is often so named in the Faerie Queen.
Seeming here means specious. 3 i. e. oumns.
4 That is, I cannot decide to take her upon such terms; or, such conditions leave me no choice.
I would not from your love make such a stray,
This is most strange!
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 4 action, or dishonored step, That hath deprived me of your grace and favor ; 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.
France. Is it but this? a tardiness in nature,
1 In the phraseology of Shakspeare's age, that and as were convertible words. The uncommon verb to monster occurs again in Coriolanus.
2 The former affection which you professed for her must become the subject of reproach. Taint is here an abbreviation of attaint.
3 i. e. “ if cause I want," &c.
VOL. VII. 3
When it is mingled with respects, that stand
Lear. Nothing. I have sworn; I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry, then, you have so lost a father,
Peace be with Burgundy!
poor; Most choice, forsaken ; and most loved, despised ! 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 inflamed 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 buy this unprized precious maid of me. Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind; Thou losest here, a better where ? to find.
Lear. Thou hast her, France. Let her be thine; for
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
ALBANY, GLOSTER, and Attendants.
Cor. The jewels of our father, with washed eyes Cordelia leaves you ; I know you what you are ;
1 i. e. with cautious and prudential considerations.—The folio has regards.
Here and where have the power of nouns.
And, like a sister, am most loath to call
Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Let your study
Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited ? 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 a 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
Gon. You see how full of changes his age is; the observation we have made of it hath not been little. 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.
1 We have here professed for professing. It has been elsewhere observed that Shakspeare often uses one participle for another. 2 Thus the folio. The quartos read:
" And well are worth the worth that you have wanted.” The meaning of the passage, as it now stands in the text, is, “ You well deserve to want that dower, which you have lost by having fáiled in your obedience.
3 That is, complicated, intricate, involved, cunning. 4 The quartos read:
“Who covers faults, at last shame them derides." The folio has :
“Who covers faults, at last with shame derides." Mason proposed to read :
“ Who covert faults, at last with shame derides." The word who referring to Time.