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And so I am, I am. Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, 'faith. I pray,
No cause, no cause.
In your own kingdom, sir. LEAR. Do not abuse me. Phys. Be comforted, good madam: the great
rage, You see, is curd * in him: [and yet it is danger To make him even o'er the time he has lost 6. Desire him to go in ; trouble him no more, Till further settling.
Cor. Will’t please your highness walk ?
- is cur’D ---] Thus the quartos. The folio reads :
is kill'd." STEEVENS. - [and yet &c.] This is not in the folio. Johnson, And in the quartos, this speech, and the remainder of the scene, excepting the last two lines, are printed as prose. Boswell.
6 To make him even o'er the time he has lost.] 1. e. To reconcile it to his apprehension. WARBURTON.
The uncommon verb-to even, occurs again in Cymbeline, Act III, Sc. IV. :
“ There's more to be consider'd ; but we'll even
“ All that good time will give us." The meaning there seems to be, we will fully employ all the time we have. So here the Physician says, that it is dangerous to draw from Lear a full relation of all that he felt or suffered while his reason was disturbed; to make him employ as much time in the recital of what has befallen him as passed during his state of insanity. Malone.
I believe, Dr. Warburton's explanation is just. The poor old king had nothing to tell, though he had much to hear. The speaker's meaning therefore I conceive to be-it is dangerous to render all that passed during the interval of his insanity, even (i. e. plain or level) to his understanding, while it continues in its present state of uncertainty. STBETENS.
You must bear with me : Pray now forget and forgive: I am old, and foolish.
[Exeunt LEAR, CORDELIA, Physician, and
Most certain, sir.
As 'tis said,
They say, Edgar,
KENT. Report is changeable. 'Tis time to look about; the powers o' the king
dom Approach apace.
Gent. The arbitrement is like to be a bloody. Fare you well, sir,
[Exit. Kent. My point and period will be throughly
wrought, Or well, or ill, as this day's battle's fought.] [Erit.
7 Holds it true, sir,] What is printed in crotchets is not in the folio. It is at least proper, if not necessary; and was omitted by the author, I suppose, for no other reason than to shorten the representation. Johnson.
It is much more probable, that it was omitted by the players, after the author's departure from the stage, without consulting him. His plays have been long exhibited with similar omissions, which render them often perfectly unintelligible. Malone.
ACT V. SCENE I.
The Camp of the British Forces, near Dover.
Enter, with Drums and Colours, EDMUND, REGAN,
Officers, Soldiers, and Others. Epm. 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. Edm. 'Tis to be doubted, madam. Reg.
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 ? Edm.
In honour'd love. [Reg. But have you never found my brother's
way To the forefended place ? ?
of ALTERATION] One of the quartos reads
of abdication." Steevens. - his constant pleasure.] His settled resolution. Johnson. So, before :
“ We have this hour a constant will,” &c. See p. 8, n. 4. Steevens.
' But have you never, &c.] The first and last of these speeches, printed within crutchets, are inserted in Sir Thomas Hanmer's, Mr. Theobald's, and Dr. Warburton's editions; the two intermediate ones, which were omitted in all others, I have restored from the old quartos, 1608. Whether they were left out through negligence, or because the imagery contained in them might be thought too luxuriant, I cannot determine ; but sure a material injury is done to the character of the Bastard by the omission ; for he is made to deny that fatly 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
That thought abuses you'. Reg. I am doubtful that you have been conjunct And bosom'd with hero, as far as we call hers.
Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.
Reg. I never shall endure her: Dear my lord,
Fear me not:-
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 o : for this business, meant us to believe that Edmund had actually found his way to the forefended place? Steevens.
1 - FOREFENDED place ?) Forefended means prohibited, forbidden. So, in King Henry VI. Part I.: “ Now, heaven forefend! the holy maid with child ?"
Steevens. 3 That thought abuses you.] That thought imposes on you : you are deceived. This speech and the next are found in both the quartos, but omitted in the folio. Malone.
- BOSOM'D with her,] Bosom'd is used in this sense by Heywood, in The Fair Maid of the West, 1631 :
“ We'll crown our hopes and wishes with inore pomp
“ That night he bosom'd Helen." Again, in Heywood's Silver Age, 1613 :
“ With fair Alcmena, she that never bosom'd
“ Mortal, save thee." STEEVENS. S - (Where I could not -] What is within the crotchets is omitted in the folio. STERVENS. 6 - Where I could not be honest,
I never yet was valiant :] This sentiment has already appeared in Cymbeline:
“ Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause,
It toucheth us as France invades our land,
Edm. Sir, you speak nobly".]
Why is this reason'd ?
Again, in an ancient MS. play, entituled, The Second Maiden's Tragedy :
That worke is never undertooke with corage,
“ That makes his master blush.” Steevens. 7 Not bolds the king;] The quartos read bolds, and this may be the true reading This business" (says Albany) “ touches us as France invades our land, not as it bolds the king,” &c. i. e. emboldens him to assert his former title. Thus in the ancient interlude of Hycke Scorner :
Alas, that I had not one to bold me!" Again, in Arthur Hall's translation of the 4th Iliad, 4to. 1581 : “ And Pallas bolds the Greeks, and blames whom scar doth
there dismay." Steevens. 8 Sir, this I hear,--(as far as to]-make oppose.] The meaning is, “ the king and others whom we have opposed are come to Cordelia.” I could never be valiant but in a just quarrel. We must distinguish ; it is just in one sense and unjust in another. As France invades our land I am concerned to repel him; but as he holds, entertains, and supports the king, and others whom I fear many just and heavy causes make, or compel, as it were, to oppose us, I esteem it unjust to engage against them. This speech, thus interpreted according to the common reading, is likewise very necessary : for otherwise Albany, who is characterised as a man of honour and observer of justice, gives no reason for going to war with those, whom he owns had been much injured under the countenance of his power.
WARBURTON. The quartos read~" For this I hear," &c. Perhaps Shakspeare wrote--"'Fore this, I hear, the king,” &c. Sir is the reading of the folio. Dr. Warburton has explained this passage, as if the copies read—“Not holds the king," i. e. ‘not as he holds the king; but the quartos, in which alone the latter part of this speech is found, read-bolds. However, Dr. Warburton's interpretation may be right, as bolds may certainly have been a misprint for holds, in copies in which we find mov'd, for noble, (Act V. Sc. III.) O father, for fault, (ibid.) the mistress of Hecate, for the mysteries of Hecate, (Act I, Sc. I.) blossoms for bosoms, Act V. Sc. III. a mistresses coward, for a mistresses command, Act IV. Sc. II. &c. &c. MALONE.
9 Sir, you speak nobly.) This reply must be understood ironically. MALONE.