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Give me the map there.-Know that we have divided
Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife
May be prevented now. The princes, France and Burgundy,
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,c)
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* can wield the matter; Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty;
Beyond what can be valu'd, rich or rare;
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour;
As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable;
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
CORD. [Aside.] What shall Cordelia do?† Love, and be silent.
With shadowy forests and with champains rich'd,
REG. I am made of that self metal as my sister,
fast intent-] The quartos read, first intent; but "fast intent," signifying fixed, settled intent, is, like "darker purpose," and "constant will," peculiarly in Shakespeare's manner.
Unburden'd crawl toward death.]
The passage commencing with these words, down to "May be prevented now," does not occur in the quartos.
I find she names my very deed of love;
Which the most precious square of sense possesses.
And find I am alone felicitate
In your dear highness' love.
Ondelea is much
Then poor Cordelia!
And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love's
LEAR. To thee and thine, hereditary ever,
LEAR. Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.
CORD. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
According to my bond; nor more nor less.
LEAR. How, how, Cordelia! mend your speech a little, Lest it may mar your fortunes.
(*) First folio, professes.
Good my lord,
(†) First folio, you.
Square of sense-] By square of sense, if square is not a corruption, may be meant the complement or compass of sense. Mr. Collier's annotator suggests, "sphere of sense;" but what is "sphere of sense?".
b More richer than my tongue.] The folio reads, “More ponderous," &c.
• Although our last, not least;"&c.] In the quartos this passage stands,-
In the folio,
"Although our last and least; to whose yong love,
Strive to be interest. What can you say, to draw
That and in the folio is a misprint for "not," it seems scarcely possible to doubt, yet Mr. Collier and Mr. Knight read, "our last and least." "Though last not least," was one of the commonest forms of expression in Shakespeare's age; in addition to the overwhelming array of examples cited in the Variorum edition of 1821, Vol. II., pp. 276-279, take the following:
"The last, not least, of these brave bretheren."
"Though I speak last, my lord, I am not least."
MIDDLETON'S Mayor of Queenborough, Act I. Sc. 3.
"My last is, and not least."
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER'S Monsieur Thomas, Act III. Sc. 1.
You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me: I
That lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall carry
To love my father all.*
LEAR. But goes thy heart with this?
LEAR. So young, and so untender?
Ay, good my† lord.
LEAR. Let it be so,-thy truth, then, be thy dower: For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate, and the night;
By all the operation of the orbs
From whom we do exist, and cease to be,
Hold thee, from this, for ever! The barbarous Scythian,
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
LEAR. Peace, Kent!
Good my liege,
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I lov'd her most, and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery.-Hence, and avoid my sight!
So be my grave my peace, as here I give
Her father's heart from her!-Call France.-Who stirs?
Call Burgundy.-Cornwall and Albany,
With my two daughters' dowers digest this third:
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
Pre-eminence, and all the large effects
That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly course,
By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
(*) First folio omits, To love my father all.
(†) First folio, my good.
The mysteries of Hecate,-] The quartos read mistresse, the first folio, miseries: the correction was made in the second folio.
b To CORDELIA.] This direction is modern, and some editors contend that the words,
66 - Hence, and avoid my sight!"
arc addressed to Kent. Few readers, we apprehend, will agree with them.
Make with you by due turns. Only we still† retain
Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,
Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd,
As my great patron thought on in my prayers,
[Giving the crown.
LEAR. The bow is bent and drawn, make from the shaft.
The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly,
When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man?
When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour's bound,
This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgment,
Kent, on thy life no more! KENT. My life I never held but as a
To wage against thine enemies; ne'er fear to lose it,
Thy safety being theft motive.
Out of my sight!
KENT. See better, Lear; and let me still remain
The true blank of thine eye.
LEAR. Now, by Apollo!-
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.
Now, by Apollo, king,
O, vassal! miscreant !
[Laying his hand on his sword.
ALB. CORN. Dear sir, forbear.a
KENT. Kill thy physician, and the ‡‡ fee bestow
Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift;
Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
Hear me, recreant !
On thine allegiance hear me !
Since §§ thou hast sought to make us break our vow,||||
First folio, turne.
First folio, addition.
First folio, reserve thy state.
First folio omits, a.
First folio, thy.
First folio, vowes.
First folio, shall.
First folio, falls.
(T) First folio, sounds Reverbe.
(¶¶) First folio, sentences.
• Dear sir, forbear.-] Omitted in the quartos.
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
KENT. Fare thee well, king: sith thus thou wilt appear,
To REGAN and GONERIL.
That good effects may spring from words of love.-
Flourish. Re-enter GLOUCESTER; with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and
GLO. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
We first address toward you, who with this king
Or cease your quest of love?
Most royal majesty, I crave no more than hath your highness offer'd,
Nor will you tender less.
I know no answer.
LEAR. Will you, with those infirmities she owes, Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,
Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her?
Election makes not up on
Pardon me, royal sir;
LEAR. Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that made me,
(*) First folio, in.
To shield thee from diseases of the world;] So the quartos; the folio has-"disasters of the world." Diseases, in its old and literal sense of discomforts, hardships, and the like, is, however, much the more appropriate word.
b Freedom lives hence,-] The quartos have Friendship for "Freedom;" and in the next line, instead of "dear shelter," they read protection.