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(Since now we will divest us, both of rule,
Which of you, shall we say, doth love us most?
Where merit doth most challenge it.-Goneril,
Do love you more than words can wield the matter,
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare;
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour:
Reg. I am made of that self metal as my sister,
Only she comes too short,-that' I profess
Myself an enemy to all other joys,
Which the most precious square of sense" possesses;
In your dear highness' love.
Then poor Cordelia! [Aside.
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
i Beyond all manner of so much-] Beyond all assignable quantity. I love you beyond limits, and cannot say it is so much, for how much soever I should name, it would yet be more.-JOHNSON.
rich'd-] For enriched.-M. MASON.
that-] For in that; i. e. inasmuch as.—MALONE.
square of sense-] i. e. The full complement of all the senses.-EDWARDS.
No less in space, validity," and pleasure,
Lear. Nothing can come of nothing: speak again.
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.
Good my lord,
That lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall carry
Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all.
Lear. But goes this with thy heart?
Lear. So young, and so untender?
Cor. So young, my lord, and true.
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;
From whom we do exist, and cease to be;
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
validity,] i.e. Worth, value.
conferred-] This is the correct reading of the folio. Steevens reads after the quarto, confirm'd on; which, as M. Mason observes, is false English : we confer on a person, but we confirm to him.
P interess'd;] From to interesse, the original form of to interest; from interesser, Fr.-NARES.
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee, from this, for ever. The barbarous Scythian,
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
As thou my sometime daughter.
Lear. Peace, Kent!
Good my liege,
Come not between the dragon and his wrath:
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.
That troop with majesty.-Ourself, by monthly course,
By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain
The name, and all the additions to a king;'
Revenue, execution of the rest,t
Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,
This coronet part between you.
[Giving the Crown.
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,-
The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly,
- from this,] i.e. From this time.-STEEVENS.
all the additions to a king ;] All the titles belonging to a king.
execution of the rest,] i. e. All the other business.-JOHNSON.
When Lear is mad. What would'st thou do, old man?
When majesty stoop to folly. Reverse thy doom;
This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgment,
Kent, on thy life no more.
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn
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,
[Laying his hand on his sword.
Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
O, vassal! miscreant!
Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift;
Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee, thou dost evil.
Hear me, recreant!
On thine allegiance hear me !
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow,
u Reverbs-] i. e. Reverberates. This contraction is supposed to be peculiar to Shakspeare.-NARES.
× The true blank-] i. e. The white or exact mark at which the arrow is shot. See better, says Kent, and keep me always in your view.-JOHNSON.
y Our potency made good,] i. e. They to whom I have yielded my power and authority, yielding me the ability to dispense it in this instance, take thy reward.-STEEVENS.
Five days we do allot thee, for provision
Upon our kingdom: if, on the tenth day following,
This shall not be revok'd.
Kent. Fare thee well, king: since thus thou wilt appear, Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.
The gods to their dear shelter take thee maid,
That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said!—
[To REGAN and GONERIL.
That good effects may spring from words of love.—
Re-enter GLOSTER; with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and
Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
We first address towards 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.
Right noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
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 piec'd,
— by Jupiter,] Shakspeare makes his Lear too much a mythologist: he bad Hecate and Apollo before.-JOHNSON.
a He'll shape his old course— -] He will follow his old maxims; he will continue to act upon the same principles.-JOHNSON.
quest of love?] i. e. Amorous expedition. The term originated from Romance. A quest was the expedition in which a knight was engaged.— STEEVENS.