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Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,
And find, I am alone felicitate (sesses; In your dear highness' love. - Č. Then poor Cordelia [Aside.
And yet not so; since I am sure, my love's
* That is, beyond all assignable quantity.
They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed, That lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall
carry Half my love with him, half my care, and duty:
5 Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all.
Or he that makes his generation messes
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
50|As my great patron thought on in my prayers,"
Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from the shaft.
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly,
* That seems to stand without relation, but is referred
to find; the first conjunction being inaccurately suppressed.—I find that she names my deed, I find
that I profess, &c. * i. e. from this time.
* Square here means compass, comprehension.
: Walidity, for worth, value. And, in thy best consideration, check ment, This hideous rashness: answer my life, my judgeThy youngest daughter does not love thee least; 'or are those empty-hearted, whose low sound Reverbs no hollowness. Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more. Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn To wage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it, Thy safety being the motive. ar. Out of my sight! Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain The true blank” of thine eye. Lear. Now, by Apollo, Kent. Now, by Apollo, king, hou swear'st thy gods in vain. Lear. O vassal miscreant! [Laying his hand on his sword. Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear. Kent. Do; 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. ... Lear. Hear me, recreant; On thine allegiance hear me!— Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow, (Which we durst never yet,) and, with strain'd ride , To comeo our sentence and our power", (Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,) Our potency made good, take thy reward. Five davs we do allot thee for provision To shield thee from disasters of the world; And, on the sixth, to turn thy hated back Upon our kingdom: if on the tenth day following, Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions, The moment is thy death: Away! By Jupiter, This shall not be revok'd. Aent. Why, 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, [To Cordelia. That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said.— And your large speeches may your deeds approve, [To Regan and Goneril. Hoo. effects may spring from words of love.— Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu: He'll shape his old course in a country new. [Erit. Upon the gad's Edmund! How now? what - news? " Edm. So please your lordship, none. [Putting up the letter. Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter? Edm. I know no news, my lord. Glo. What paper were you reading? - Edm. Nothing, my lord. Glo. No? What needed then that terrible dispatch of it into your pocket? The quality of nothing hath not such need to hide itself. Let's see: £ome, if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles. Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a letter from my brother, that I have not allo'er-read; and for so much as I have perus'd, I find it not fit for your overlooking. Glo. Give me the letter, sir. Edm. I shall offend, either to detain or give it. The contents, as in part I understand them, are to blame. Glo. Let’s see, let’s see. Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as an assay or taste of my virtue. Glo. [reads.]. “This policy, and reverence of “age, makes the world bitter to the best of our “times; keeps our fortunes from us, 'till our old“ness cannot relish them. I begin to find an idle “ and fond bondage in the oppression of aged ty-- ranny; who sways, not as it hath power, but “ as it is suffered. Come to me, that of this I may “speak more. If our father would sleep ’till I “wak'd him, you should enjoy half his revenue “for ever, so live the beloved of your brother, “Edgar.”—Hum!---Conspiracy —“Sleep, 'till I “wak'd him!—you shall enjoy half his reve“nue !”—Myson Edgar Had hea hand to write this? a heart and brain to breed it in 2—When came this to you? Who brought it? Edm. It was not brought me, my lord, there's the cunning of it; I found it thrown in at the casement of my closet. Glo. You know the character to be your brother's Edm. If the matter were good, my lord, I durst swear it were his; but, in respect of that, I would fain think it were not. Glo. It is his. Edm. It is his hand, my lord; but I hope, his heart is not in the contents. [this business Glo. Hath he never heretofore sounded you in Edm. Never, my lord: But I have often heard him maintain it to i. fit, that, sons at perfect age, and fathers declining, the father should be as ward to the son, and the son manage his revenue. Glo. O villain, villain!—llis very opinion in
- Re-enter Gloster, with France, Burgundy, and Attendants.
Glo. H.'s France and Burgundy, my noble ord.
Lear. My lord of Burgundy, We first address towards you, who with this king Haye rivall'd 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 offer'd,
* Means the same as reverberates.
is shot—see better, says Kent, and keep me alwa “ i.e. our potter to erecute that sentence. The term originated from romance.—A quest was the expedition in which a knight was eni. e. is possessed of:
passing due bounds. adition.
aged. * Seeming is specious. is here used for corruption and for disgrace.
* The blank is the white or exact mark at which the arrow
ys in your tiew. i. e. pride exorbitant; pride
* Taint Ani
And here I take Cordclia by the hand,
Your faults, as they are nam'd. Use well our fa-35
To your professing bosoms I commit him:
Gon. You see how full of changes his age iss the observation we have made of it hath not been little he always lov'd our sister most; and with what poor judgement he hath now cast her off,
Teg. 'Tis the infirmity of his o yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself. Gon. The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash ; then must we look to receive from his age, not alone the imperfections of longengrafted condition, but thesewithal the unruly waywardness that infirm and choleric years bring with them. Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him, as this of Kent's banishment. Gon. There is further compliment of leavetaking between France and him. Pray you, let us hit together “: If our father carry authority with such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us. Reg. We shall further think of it. Gon. We must do something, and i'the heat". [Ereunt,
A Castle belonging to the Earl of Gloster. Enter Edmund, with a letter. * - Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thylaw My services are bound: Wherefore should I Ständ in the plague” of custom ; and permit The curiosity’ of nations to" deprive me, For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines base? Lag of a brother Why bastard wherefore When my dimensions are as well compact, My ... generous, and my shape as true, As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base? Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take More composition, and fierce quality Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed, Go to the creating of a whole tribe of fops, Got 'tween asleep and wake —Well then, Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land: Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund, As to the legitimate: Fine word, legitimate! Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed, And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
|Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!
Here and where have the power of nouns—Thou losest this residence to find a better residence
in another place. 2
meaning is, “You well deserve to meet with that want of love from your husband, which you have professed to trant for our father.” - - - - * i. e. We must strike while the iron’s hot. quiesce, submit tamely to the plagues and injustice of custom
*i.e. complicated, involved cunning. • ‘That is, Wherefore should I ag. * Curiosity, in the time of Shak:
speare, was a word that signified an over-nice scrupulousness in manners, dress, &c.—The curiost of
ruttions rheans, the idle, nice distinctions of the world.
the letter Abhorred villain! Unnatural, detested, brutish villain! worse than brutish —Go, sirrah, seek him; I'll apprehend hin:—Abominable yillain!—Where is he? Edm. I do not well know, my lord. If it shall please you to suspendyour indignation against my brother, 'till you can derive from him better testimony of his intent, you should run a certain course; where, if you violently proceed against him, mistaking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your own honour, and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life for him, that he hath writ this to feel my affection to your honour, and to no other pretence of danger. Glo. Think you so? Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall hear us confer of this, and by an auricular assurance have your satisfaction; and that without any further delay than this very evenGlo. He cannot be such a monster.— [ing. Edm. Nor is not, sure. Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him.—Heaven and earth !—Edmund, seek him out; wind me into him, I pray you; frame the business after your own wisdom: I would unstate myself, to be in a due resolution". Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently; convey" the business as I shall find means, and acquaint you withal. Glo. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us: Though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourg'd by the frequenteffects”; love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond crack'd''twixt son and father. This villain of mine comes under the Fo there’s son against father: the king falls from bias of nature; there's father against child. We have seen the best of our time: Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to our graves! Find out this villain, Edmund: it shall lose thee nothing; do it carefully: —And the noble and true-hearted Kent banish’d 1 his offence, honesty! Strange strange! [Exit. Edm. This is the excellent foppery oftheworld! that, when we are sick in fortune, (often the surfeit of our own behaviour) we make guilty of our disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains, by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, lyars, and adulterers, by an enforc'd obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: An admirable evasion of whore
* To do upon the gad, is, to act by the sudden stimulation of caprice, as cattle run madding when
they are stung by the gad-fly.
*i. e. weak and foolish.
* Pretence is design, purpose. “The
meaning is, according to Dr. Johnson, Do you frame the business, who can act with less emotion; I would unstate myself; it would in me be a departure from the paternal character, to be in a due resolution, to be settled and composed on such an occasion.—Mr. Steevens comments on this passage thus: “Edgar has been represented as wishing to possess his father's fortune, i. e. to unstate him; and therefore his father says, he would unstate himself to be sufficiently resolved to punish him.”—To
custate is to confer a fortune. * To convey, here
... natural philosophy can give account of eclipses, yet we feel their consequences. 3 O 3
means to manage artfully. * That is, though
master man, to lay his goatish disposition to the
That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty
All withme's meet, that I can fashion fit. [Elit.
S C E N E III.
S C E N E IV.
Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow,
How now, what art thou?
*The sense, according to Dr. Johnson, is this: “Old men must be treated with checks, when as they are seen to be deceived with flatteries: or, when they are weakenough to be seen abused by flatteries, they are
then weak enough to be used with checks. There is a
in our author, very requently the same as to ...}
well as I have §§ my dress—To diffuse speec
lay on the words used and abused—Toabiscis, * Thát is, If I can change my speech as h, signifies to disorder it, and so to disguise*