I am a very foolish fond old man,
Fourscore and upward 12; and, to deal plainly,
I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.
Methinks, I should know you, and know this man:
Yet I am doubtful : for I am mainly ignorant
What place this is; and all the skill I have
Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
Where I did lodge last night: Do not laugh at me;
For, as I am a man, I think this lady
To be


child Cordelia. Cor.

And so I am, I am. Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, 'faith. I pray,

weep not:

If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
I know, you do not love me; for your sisters
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong :
You have some cause, they have not.

No cause, no cause.
Lear. Am I in France ?

In your own kingdom, sir. Lear. Do not abuse me.

Phys. Be comforted, good madam: the great rage,
You see, is cur’d in him: [and yet it is danger
To make him even 13 o'er the time he has lost.]
Desire him to go in; trouble him no more,
Till further settling.

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.


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[Gent. Holds it true, sir,
That the Duke of Cornwall was so slain?

Most certain, sir.
Gent. Who is conductor of his people?

As 'tis said,
The bastard son of Gloster.

They say, Edgar,
His banish'd son, is with the Earl of Kent
In Germany

Kent. Report is changeable.
'Tis time to look about; the powers o'the kingdom
Approach apace.

Gent. The arbitrement is like to be a bloody.
Fare you well, sir.

[Exit. Kent. My point and period will be thoroughly

Or well, or ill, as this day's battle's fought 14.]


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SCENE I. The Camp of the British Forces, near


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Enter, with Drums, and Colours, EDMUND, RE

GAN, Officers, Soldiers, and Others.
Edm. Know of the duke, if his last purpose hold;
Or, whether since he is advis'd by aught
To change the course: He's full of alteration,
And self-reproving:—bring his constant pleasure?.

[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.

brother's way

Edm. "Tis to be doubted, madam.

Now, sweet lord,
You know the goodness I intend upon you:
Tell me,--but truly,--but then speak the truth,
Do you not love

my sister?

In honour'd love.
[Reg. But have you never found my
To the forefended 2 place?
That thought abuses 3

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,
Not bolds 4 the king; with others, whom, I fear,
More just and heavy causes make oppose.

Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.

Why is this reason'd ?
Gơn. Combine together ’gainst the enemy:
For these domestick and particular broils 5
Are not to question here.

Let us then determine
With the ancient of war on our proceedings.

Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent 6.
Reg. Sister, you'll go with us?
Gon. No.
Reg. 'Tis most convenient; 'pray you, go with us.
Gon. O, ho, I know the riddle: [Aside.] I will go.


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,
I can produce a champion, that will prove
What is avouched there: If you miscarry,
Your business of the world hath so an end,
And machination ceases?. Fortune love you!

Alb. Stay till I have read the letter.

I was forbid it.
When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,
And I'll appear again.

[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.

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