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Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu ;
Enter Glo'ster, with France and Burgundy, and attendants,
Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
Bur. • Most royal majesty,
Lear. Right noble Burgundy,
Bur. I know no answer.
I So the qu’s; the fo's, R. and P. give this speech to Cordelia; and T. first discovers this error.
m The qu's read a for this.
Lear. s Wil you with those infirmities The owes,
Bur. Pardon 'me, royal sir;
Lear. Then leave her, fir; for by the pow'r that made me,
France. This is most strange!
s Before will the qu's insert fir.
W So read all the editions before P, who alters it to worthy, followed by those after him. But the double comparative is very common in Shakespear; and was, no doubt, the language of that age. It is not the part of an editor to modernise his author.
* The qu's read that for who; the ift f. whom.
? P. alters this, Your praise's argument, &c. this is modernising again, for the fake of measure : followed by all but 7.
* So the qu’s; the fo’s, R. and J. the best, the deareft. P. first, and then all the relt, dearest and beft.
Beft (quoth 7.) is added from the first copy. Why, Dr. J. there is RO copy without it,
So many folds of favour! sure, her offence
Cor. I yet beseech your majesty-
c P, and H. read furc th' offence, &c. d R. and P. read as monstrous is,
e So the qu’s; the fo's read Or your fore-voucht affertion fall into trint, &c. R. P. and H. read Or your fore-voucht affe&tion could not fall into taint, &c. T. and W. Or your fore-vouch'd affc&tion fall'n into taint, &e. J. reads as the fo's, but interprets or before, because or ever signifies before ever; but does he remember where or had at any time this signification unless joined with ever? R. seems to make the best sense of all these readings, but then he is obliged to interpolate. But let us now try the old reading; and to make sense of it, the best way perhaps will be to consider what was the real cause of the estrangement of Lear's love from Cordelia; it was the vouch'd affe&tions of his three daughters: the two eldest vouch'd such affection to him as was beyond all nature and possibility to a father ; but Cordelia vouched only such an affection as was natural and reasonable for a daughter to feel for her father. Now Lear was fallen into taint, i. e. his judgment was corrupted, in preferring the extravagant and lying protestations of his eldest daughters, to the sincere and just ones of his youngest. And if we ruminate a little, this is the only second reason for Lear's rejecting Cordelia that can with any probability be supposed to be guefled at by France : for it would be rude in France to charge Lear with vouching the dearest affections to one he did not really love; and it is absurd to suppose that so great a love should change to hate, without she had committed some very great crime, and which France could not be brought to believe; therefore this second guess becomes the only one, and the true one, viz. that Regan and Gonerill had, by their superior art in coaxing, won all Lear's love from Cordelia.
f The ad q. reads plaint; fo Steevens, and gives no other reading.
& H. alters, for to sì, to make. grammar of the passage ; but perhaps Shakespear designed this as an interruption. See p. 17, note i.
To speak and purpose not, since what I well intend,
Lear. P Go to, go to ! better thou hadft not been born
France. Is it 'no more but this? a tardiness in nature,
The fo's and R. read will for well.
* The qu's read unclean for unchasie.
So the qu's; all the rest omit go to, go to!
' So the qa's, fo's, and R. where stands refers to love; Love is not loze, ukra, &c, love is not love, that stands, &c. all the relt read stand.
Aloof from the u entire point. Say, will you have her?
Bur. [To Lear.] * Royal Lear,
Lear. Nothing :- I have sworn y.
Bur, I am sorry then you have so loft a father, [T. Cor. That you must lose a husband.
Cor. Peace be with Burgundy,
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being poor,
u So the qu's; all the rest read th' intire.
1. explains intire, right, true; F. single, unmixed with other considerations. But
w She is, herself, and dower (which is the reading of the qu’s) explains the meaning of intire, whole. “ That is not love which is mingled with “ regards; that cannot be love that stands aloof from the whole point (the " perfon and the dower) for in Cordelia you have both herself and her “ dower.” Shakespear, I suppose, means, that the super-plus of perfections and good qualities the possessed above the generality of her sex, were to her in lieu of a dower. The rest read flue is herself a dowry.
* So the qu's; all the rest read royal king, i. e. kingly king. Is it not strange that none of the editors should consult the qu's in this place? for if they had, they would certainly have restored the old reading.
y After sworn, the fo's and R. read I am firm. 2 The fo's, R. and P. read respect and fortunes, a The ist q. reads ceaze for seize.
The ist q, reads couldst.