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We have this hour a conftant will to publish
Our daughters' feveral dow'rs, that future ftrife
May be prevented now. The princes, France, and Burgundy, Great rivals in our a youngest daughter's love,
Long in our court have made their amorous fojourn,
And here are to be anfwer'd. Tell me, my daughters,
(Since now we will diveft us both of rule,
Intereft of territory, cares of State)
Which of you, fhall we fay, doth love us moft?
That we our largest bounty may extend
'Where nature doth with merit challenge. Gonerill, Our eldest born, speak first.
Gon. Sir, I do love you more than " words can
Dearer than eye-fight, fpace, and liberty;
Beyond what can be valued rich or rare;
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour;
iThe qu's read confirming.
The qu's read years for ftrengths.
I What is in italic is omitted in the qu's.
m The qu's read The two great princes, &c. The 3d and 4th fo's read
prince for princes.
n So the qu's; all the rest younger.
The 3d and 4th fo's omit me.
P P. omits my, followed by the after-editors.
4 Thefe two lines are omitted in the qu's.
• The qu's read, Where merit doth most challenge it, Gonerill, &c.
$ This line is omitted by P. and all after but 7. in the room of which
they put I love you, fir.
The fo's, R. and J. omit do.
u The fo's, and R. read word.
The ad q. reads weild.
As much was child e'er lov'd, or father * found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable, y Beyond all manner of fo much I love you.
Cor. What shall Cordelia do? love and be filent. [Afide. Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
With fhadowy forests, band with champains rich'd,
We make thee lady. To thine and Albany's iffue
Be this perpetual.What fays our fecond daughter?
Reg. Sir, I am made of the self-fame metal that my fifter is; And prize me at her worth. In my true heart
I find, the names my very deed of love;
h Only fhe comes too fhort; that I profess Myfelf an enemy to all other joys,
Which the most precious i fquare of fenfe k poffeffes,
w The qu's read a for as; and
* Friend for found.
▾ Beyond, &c. i. e. Beyond all imaginable extent of whatever I have yet expreffed. Heath.
The fo's and R. read speak for do.
a The qu's read fhady.
b The words in italic omitted in the qu's.
So the 1ft f. the ad and all after champions.
d So the qu's; the rest of for to.
• The fo's and R. omit speak.
f So the qu's; the reft read, I am made of that felf mettle as my fifter, and prize, &c.
There is no stop in the qu's after worth; but in the fo's a period, which feems to give the better sense. Upon examining her own fincere heart, she finds her love equal to her sisters, nay greater.
The qu's read, Only he came fort, &c.
i By the square of fenfe, we are here to understand the four nobler fenfes, viz. the fight, hearing, taße, and smell: for a young lady could not, with decency,
And find I am alone felicitate
In your dear highness' love.
Cor. Then poor Cordelia!
And yet not fo, fince I am fure, my love's
Lear. To thee and thine, hereditary ever,
Than that a conferr'd on Gonerill. Now our joy,
A third, more opulent than your fifters? Speak.
Cor. Nothing, my lord.
u Cor. Nothing.
decency, infinuate she knew of any pleasures which the fifth afforded. This is imagined and expreffed with great propriety and delicacy. W.
But by fquare of fenfe, Shakespear seems rather to understand the whole compass or extent of fenfe, without regard to any particular number, as W. fuppofes. Befides, by an exclufion of the fifth from the number of the senses he makes the lady infinuate the idea of that very pleasure which he reprefents her as affecting to feem totally ignorant of
H. reads fpirit for fquare.
The fo's and R. read profeffes.
1 The qu's read, More richer.
W. fays we should read their tongue. See Heath in loc.
• Before now the qu's read but.
The qu's read, not leaft in our dear love, what can you fav, &c.
4 The fo's, R. and P. read intereft.
P. and all after him read, What fay you, &c.
So the qu's; all the rent read draw for win.
The qu's omit speak.
These two freeches are not in the qu's.
Nothing * can come of nothing; speak again.
Cor. 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 fpeech a little, Left it may mar your fortunes.
Cor. Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me: I
haply when I fhall wed,
That lord, whofe hand must take my plight, fhall carry
Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
Sure, I fhall never marry like my fifters,
To love my father, all.
Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Cr. Ay, my good lord.
Lear. So young, and fo untender?
Cor. So young, my lord, and true.
Lear. Well, let it be fo; 8 thy truth then be thy dower: For by the facred radiance of the fun,
w The qu's read How? Nothing can come, &c.
So the qu's; the rest read you for it.
• R.'s oft. merry.
The fo's and R. omit thefe words in italic.
• The qu's read, But goes this with thy heart?
f All but the qu's omit Well.
The 3d and 4th fo's and R. read the for thy.
The myfteries of Hecate, and the i night,
By all the k operations of the orbs,
From whom we do exift, and cease to be,
Kent. Good my liege
Lear. Peace, Kent!
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I lov'd her most, and thought to fet my rest
On her kind nursery. Hence, m and avoid my fight!" [To Con.
So be my grave my peace, as here I give
Her father's heart from her. Call France-who ftirs?
h The qu's read miftreffe; the ft f. miferies.
i The qu's read might.
k The qu's and 1st f. operation.
I The qu's omit to my bofom.
m So all before P. who, with the after-editors, omits and.
n All the modern editions direct the words, Hence, and avoid my fight, to be spoken to Cordelia; but they are undoubtedly addreffed to Kent. For in the next words Lear fends for France and Burgundy, in order to tender them his youngest daughter, if either of them would accept her without a dowry. At fuch a time therefore to drive her out of his prefence would be a contradiction to his declared intention. Heath.
And for that very reafon I think, with fubmiffion, the words are spoken to Cordelia, and not to Kent. It is plain, Cordelia had raised his fury to the highest pitch; Kent was not yet so far advanced; he had but just begun to speak, and that in the most respectful terms, Good my lege.-Lear, with all his rage, still retained fo much love and refpect for him, and so much hope