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I am a very foolish fond old man,
child Cordelia. Cor.
And so I am, I am. Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, 'faith. I pray,
If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
No cause, no cause.
In your own kingdom, sir. Lear. Do not abuse me.
Phys. Be comforted, good madam: the great rage,
Cor. Will't please your highness walk?
You must bear with me: 'Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old, and foolish. [Exeunt LEAR, CORDELIA, Physician, and
12 The folio here adds the words ‘not an hour more or less. Which, as they are absurd and superfluous, have been justly degraded as the interpolation of some inconsiderate player.
'To make him even o'er the time he has lost,' is to make the occurrences of it plain or level to his troubled mind. See Baret's Alvearie, 1573, E. 307.
[Gent. Holds it true, sir,
Most certain, sir.
As 'tis said,
They say, Edgar,
Kent. Report is changeable.
Gent. The arbitrement is like to be a bloody.
[Exit. Kent. My point and period will be thoroughly
SCENE I. The Camp of the British Forces, near
Enter, with Drums, and Colours, EDMUND, RE
GAN, Officers, Soldiers, and Others.
[To an Officer, who goes' out. Reg. Our sister's man is certainly miscarried.
14 What is printed in crotchets is not in the folio. It is at least proper, if not necessary, and was perhaps only omitted by the players to abridge a play of very considerable length.
1 i. e. bis settled resolution. See Act i. Sc. 1, note 8.
Edm. "Tis to be doubted, madam.
Now, sweet lord,
In honour'd love.
you. Reg. I am doubtful that
have been conjunct And bosom’d with her, as far as we call hers.
Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.]
Reg. I never shall endure her: Dear my lord, Be not familiar with her. Edm.
Fear me not: She, and the duke her husband,
Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, and Soldiers. Gon. I had rather lose the battle, than that sister Should loosen him and me.
[Aside. Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met. — Sir, this I hear, -The king is come to his daughter, With others, whom the rigour of our state Forc'd to cry out. [Where I could not be honest, I never yet was valiant: for this business,
2 The first and last of these speeches within crotchets are inserted in Hanmer's, Theobald's, and Warburton's editions, the two intermediate ones, which were omitted in all others, are restored from the 4to. 1608. Whether they were left out through negligence, or because the imagery contained in them might be thought too luxuriant, I cannot determine ; but surely a material injury is done to the character of the Bastard by the omission; for he is made to deny that flatly at first, which the poet only meant to make him evade, or return slight answers to, till he is urged so far as to be obliged to shelter himself under an immediate falsehood. Query, however, whether Shakspeare meant us to believe that Edmund bad actually found his way to the forefended (i, e. forbidden) place ? —Steevens:
Imposes on you; you are deceived.
It toucheth us as France invades our land,
Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.
Why is this reason'd ?
Let us then determine
Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent 6.
As they are going out, Enter EDGAR, disguised. Edg. If e'er your grace had speech with man so
poor, Hear me one word. Alb.
I'll overtake you.--Speak. [Exeunt EDMUND, REGAN, GONERIL, Offi
cers, Soldiers, and Attendants. Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter. If you have victory, let the trumpet sound
4 • This business (says Albany) touches us, as France invades our land, not as it emboldens or encourages the king to assert his former title.' Thus in the ancient Interlude of Hycke Scorner :
* Alas, that I had not one to bolde me.' Again in Arthur Hull's translation of the fourth Iliad, 4to.1581:
• And Pallas bolds the Greeks,' &c. • To make bolde, to encourage, animum addere.'- Baret. 5 The quartos bave it:
• For these domestick doore particulars.' The folio reads, in the subsequent line:
• Are not the question here.' 6 This speech is wanting in the folio.
For him that brought it: wretched though I seem,
Alb. Stay till I have read the letter.
I was forbid it.
[Erit. AU. Why, fare thee well; I will o'erlook thy paper.
Re-enter EDMUND. Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers, Here is the guess of their true strength and forces By diligent discovery 8;- but your haste Is now urg'd on you. Alb.
We will greet the time. [Exit. Edm. To both these sisters have I sworn my love; Each jealous of the other, as the stung Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take? Both! one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy’d, If both remain alive; To take the widow, Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril ; And hardly shall I carry out my side 10,
7 i. e. all designs against your life will have an end. These words are not in the quartos.
8 i. e, the conjecture, or what we can gather by diligent espial, of their strength. So in King Henry IV. Part 1. Act iv. Sc.1:
send discoverers forth To know the number of our enemies.' The passage has only been thought obscure for want of a right understanding of the word discovery, which neither Malone nor Steevens seem to have understood.
9 i. e. be ready to meet the occasion.
10 Hardly shall I be able to make my side (i. e. my party) good; to maintain the game. Steevens has shown that it was a phrase commonly used at cards. So in the Paston Letters, vol. iv. p. 155:– Heydon's son hath borne out the side stoatly here,' &c.