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The same,


What is’t thou say'st ? Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle, and low an excellent thing in woman.
I kill'd the slave that was a hanging thee.

Officer. 'Tis true, my lords, he did.

Did I not, fellow ?
I have seen the day, with my good biting faulchion
I would have made them skip: I am old now,
And these same crosses spoil me.

- Who are you? Mine eyes are not o' the best: I'll tell you straight. Kent. If Fortune brag of two she lov’d and

hated, One of them we behold.

Lear. This is a dull light. Are you not Kent?

Kent. Your servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius ?

He's a good fellow, I can tell you that; He'll strike, and quickly too. — He's dead and rotten.

Kent. No, my good lord ; I am the very man
Lear. I'll see that straight.
Kent. That from your first of difference and de-


, Have follow'd your sad steps. Lear.

You are welcome hither. Kent. Nor no man else. All 's cheerless, dark, and

deadly :
Your eldest daughters have fordone themselves,
And desperately are dead.

Ay, so I think.
Alb. 'He knows not what he says; and vain

is it, That we present us to him. Edg.

Very bootless.

Enter an Officer,

Off. Edmund is dead, my lord.


That's but a trifle here. You lords, and noble friends, know our intent. What comfort to this great decay' may come, Shall be applied : for us, we will resign, During the life of this old Majesty, To him our absolute power. - You, to your rights,

[To EDGAR and KENT. With boot, and such addition, as your honours Have more than merited. All friends shall taste The wages of their virtue, and all foes The cup of their deservings. — 0, see, see! Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no

life : Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, And thou no breath at all ? Thou'lt come no more, Never, never, never, never, never ! Pray you, undo this button : thank you, sir. Do you see

this ? Look on her, look, her lips, Look there, look there !

[He dies. Edg.

He faints ! — My lord, my lord !. Kent. Break, heart; I pr'ythee, break! Edg.

Look up, my lord. Kent. Vex not his ghost: 0, let him pass : he hates

That would upon the rack of this tough world
Stretch him out longer.

He is gone, indeed.
Kent. The wonder is, he hath endur'd so long :
He but usurp'd his life.

Alb. Bear them from hence. Our present busi


Is general woe. Friends of my soul, you twain

[To KENT and EDGAR. Rule in this realm, and the gor'd state sustain.

Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go: My master calls me; I must not say, no.

Alb. The weight of this sad time we must obey ; Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most: we, that are young, Shall never see so much, nor live so long.

[Exeunt, with a dead march, NOTES ON KING LEAR.



p. 207.

p. 208.

the Duke of Albany:- At an early period Scota land was called Albany ; but Shakespeare probably used the name here with no particular country in mind.

that curiosity in neither":- i. e., that exact scrutiny in neither. We still say, to examine curiously.

of either's moiety": • Moiety' was frequently used of old to mean any considerable part.

6. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again": - No remark has been made upon this speech by any commentator or editor; but I confess that I cannot understand it. 6. I shall, my liege" :--- So the 4to.; the folio, “

“my Lord,” the latter word having doubtless been caught from the line above.

Conferring them on younger strengths" The 4tos., Confirming them on younger years.

I love you more than words can wield the matter The folio, “ more than wordby a manifest misprint almost too trifling for notice. Here Shakespeare followed Holinshed closely, as will be seen. —- ' He first asked Gonorilla the eldest how well she loved him ; who calling hir gods to record, protested that she loved him more than her own life, which by right and reason should be most deere unto hir. With which answer the father being well pleased, turned to the second, and demanded of hir how well she loved him; who answered (confirming hir saieings with great othes,) that she loved him more than toong could expresse, and farre above all other creatures of the world. Then called he his youngest


p. 209.


p. 209.

daughter Cordeilla before him, and asked hir, what account she made of him; unto whom she made this answer as followeth : Knowing the great love and fatherlie zeale that you have alwaies born towards me, (for the which I maie not answere you otherwise than I thinke and as my conscience leadeth me,) I protest unto you that I have loved you ever, and will continuallie (while I live) love you as my natural father. And if you would more understand of the love I bear you, ascertain yourself, that so much as you have, so much you are worth, and so much I love you, and no more."

6. What shall Cordelia do?" -Thus the 4tos. ; the folio, “ What shall Cordelia speak?The reply plainly shows that the 4tos. are right, and the folio wrong.

wife of Cornwall? [Speak]:- Speak, found in the 4tos., and necessary to the line, was dropped from the folio. At the beginning of the next line the folio also omits .Sir,' and has, I believe, been always followed hitherto, But it is a delicate touch of keeping that Goneril and Regan should both render their yet not discrowned father this lip-service.

“Only she comes too short, that I profess," &c.:— i. e., in that I profess.

" Which the most precious square of sense possesses The most precious square of sense is a very obscure phrase ; but I am by no means confident that it is corrupt. It seems to mean the entire domain of sensation. The folio for possesses' has professes,' caught from the second line above.

- More richer than my tongue": Thus the 4tos. ; the folio, “

• More ponderous,” &c., which may possibly be a misprint for “ More precious."

p. 210.

Now, our joy, " Although our last and least,&c.: - Thus the folio. The 4tos. have,

oo but now our ioy Although the last, not least in our deere loue What can you say to win a third; more opulent

Then your sisters ? It has been the general custom to “ correct the reading of the folio by that of the 4tos., and to print

“ Now our joy,
Although the last not least, in whose dear love
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interess'd” &c.



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