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I tell you all her wealth. For you, great king,
I would not from your love make such a stray,
This is most strange!
Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour:
That I am glad I have not, though, not to have it,
Had'st not been born, than not to have pleas'd me better.
8 or your fore-vouch'd affection
Fall into taint:] Either her offence must be monstrous, or, if she has not committed any such offence, the affection which you always professed to have for her must be tainted and decayed, and is now without reason alienated from her.
9 If for I want, &c.] If this be my offence, that I want the glib and oily art, &c.
France. Is it but this+? a tardiness in nature,
Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm.
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being
Most choice, forsaken; and most lov'd, despis'd!
Be it lawful, I take up what's cast away.
Gods, gods! 'tis strange, that from their cold'st neglect
Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance,
Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.-
+"It is no more but this?" MALONE.
with respects,] i. e. with cautious and prudential considerations.
-from the entire point.] Single, unmixed with other considerations.
3 Thou losest here,] Here and where have the power of nouns. Thou losest this residence to find a better residence in another place.
Lear. Thou hast her, France; let her be thine; for we
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
[Flourish. Exeunt LEAR, BURGUNDY, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GLOSTER, and Attendants. France. Bid farewell to your sisters.
Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are; And, like a sister, am most loath to call
Your faults, as they are nam'd. Use well our father :
Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Let your study
Come, my fair Cordelia. [Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA. Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say, of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think, our father will hence to-night.
Reg. That's most certain, and with you; next month with us.
Gon. You see how full of changes his age is; the observation we have made of it hath not been little : he always loved our sister most; and with what poor
· plaited cunning —] i. e. complicated, involved cunning.
judgment he hath now cast her off, appears too
Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age: yet he hath evre 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 long-engrafted conditions, but, therewithal, the unruly waywardness that infirm and cholerick 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 leave-taking 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.7
A Hall in the Earl of Gloster's Castle.
Enter EDMUND, with a Letter.
Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
of long-engrafted condition,] i. e. of qualities of mind, confirmed by long habit.
let us hit-] i. e. let us agree.
the heat.] i. e. We must strike while the iron's hot. Thou, nature, art my goddess ;] Edmund calls nature his goddess. for the same reason that we call a bastard a natural son; one, who according to the law of nature, is the child of his father, but according to those of civil society, is nullius filius.
9 Stand in the plague of custom;] Wherefore should I acquiesce, submit tamely to the plagues and injustice of custom?
The curiosity of nations' to deprive me,"
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
Glo. Kent banish'd thus! And France in choler parted!
And the king gone to-night! subscrib'd his power!3
Edmund! How now; what news!
[Putting up the Letter.
1 The curiosity of nations -] i. e. the idle, nice distinctions of the world.
to deprive me,] To deprive was, in our author's time, synonymous to disinherit.
subscrib'd his power!] To subscribe in Shakspeare, is to yield or surrender.
exhibition!] is allowance. The term is yet used in the
All this done
Upon the gad i. e. is done suddenly, or, as before, while the iron is hot. A gad is an iron bar.