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Call Burgundy.-Cornwall and Albany,
With my two daughters'
dowers digest P this third.
Let pride, which fhe calls plainnefs, marry her.
I do inveft you jointly 9 with my power,
Ourself by monthly course,
With refervation of an hundred knights,
By you to be fuftain'd, fhall our abode
Make with you by due turns; only we still retain
of diverting him from the attempt, he faw he was beginning, to diffuade him from his refolution of difinheriting Cordelia, that he warns him of the danger of continuing it-Come not between the dragon and his wrath; and even after proceeding in it, when Kent interrupted him a second time, and refumed his addresses, Lear alfo continued his warning-The bow is bent and drawn, make from the shaft. Kent, seeing that respectful behaviour had no effect, has recourse to rougher language: even after that, Lear thinks to make him cease by a fevere and paffionate prohibition-Kent, on thy life no more. Kent still persists, and urges his own inflexible loyalty as a reason for his being heard: Lear then first bids him out of my fight; Kent further intreats, Lear fwears, Kent returns the oath, and at last urges his reproaches with fuch vehemence, that Lear, despairing of filencing him any other way, pronounces the final sentence of banishment upon him. This is the natural, not the defigned gradation of Lear's anger. It rifes by degrees to its height, and at last falls with its full weight. These steps by which it advances shew a reluctance in the king to be so severe upon one for whom he had the greateft regard: whereas the imaginary breach of filial love and duty, which he foolishly fancied he found in Cordelia, had already extinguished all sparks of his imaginary love to her. The contradiction to his declared intention is the natural effect of his rage, which vented itself in fudden and contrary starts of paffion. The whole scene, in this view, I take to be one of the most beautiful in all Shakespear.Neither qu's nor fo's have any direction in this place.
• The qu's read dower.
P So the qu's; all the rest read the for this.
The qu's read in for with.
• P and all after him omit we ftill; the fo's and R. instead thereof read we shall.
The name and all th' additions to a king;
Kent. Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honour'd as w
["Giving the crown.
Lov'd as my father, as my mafter follow'd,
As my great patron thought on in my prayers—
Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from the shaft.
The region of my heart; be Kent unmannerly,
When power to flattery bows? a To plainnefs honour's bound,
So the qu's: all the reft addition.
P. omits of the reft, which is in all the editions before him; and is followed by T. and H. W. fays this reading is evidently corrupt, and the editors not knowing what to make of of the reft, left it out (but he does not tell us that it was his friend P. who firft omitted it) The true reading without doubt was of th' heft, &c. Heft is an old word for regal command. W.
Heft or beheft is any command as well as regal.
i. e. the witch Sycorax's. Temp. act i. fcene iii.
Refusing her grand hefts,
did not write of the reft, it is most likely he wrote all the reft. Heath conjectures interest.
"Not in any edition before Pope's.
w The 4th f. R. and P. read a for my.
The 2d, 3d, and 4th fo's had omitted great; to fupply the deficiency thereof in the measure R. puts in and, reading And as my patron, &c. followed by all but J.
The ft q. reads man for mad.
z The qu's read wilt thou.
a P. reads and divides in this manner,
to plainness honour
Is bound, when majefty to folly falls.
When majefty falls to folly. Reverse thy doom,
This hideous rafhnefs; answer my life my judgment,
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least;
Lear. Kent, on * thy life no more.
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thine enemies, f nor fear to lofe it,
Lear. Out of my fight!
Kent. See better, Lear, and let me still remain
The true blank chine eye.
Lear. Now by Apollo-
Thou (wear'ft thy gods in vain.
[Laying his hand on his fword.
Alb. Corn. Dear fir, forbear.
Referve thy ftate; with better judgment check
and is followed by all but J.
b The qu's read floops.
So the qu's; all the reft read Reserve thy ftate.
The fo's and R. read sounds reverb.
The 3d and 4th fo's read my for thy.
• P. alters enemies to foes; followed by all but J.
f The fo's and R. read ne'er for nor. And
8 Omit the.
h The blank is the white or exact mark at which the arrow is fhot. See
better, fays Kent, and keep me always in your view. J.
i The qu's omit 0.
The qu's read recreant.
! This speech is omitted in the qu's,
Kent. m Do, kill thy phyfician, and thy fee bestow
Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy ° doom,
Or whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee thou dost evil.
Lear. Hear me, P recreant! 9 on thine allegiance hear me ! Since thou haft fought to make us break our vow,
Which we durft never yet; and with ' strain'd pride,
So the qu's; the reft omit Do.
n The 3d and 4th fo's and R. read the for thy. • The fo's and R. read gift for doom.
P The qu's omit recreant.
These words in italic are in all the editions before P. who omits them;
and fo do the after-editors.
The fo's and R. read That for Since. And
vows for vow.
The qu's read firaied.
u So the qu's; the rest betwixt.
w The 1ft f. reads fentences.
x P. alters made to make; followed by W. who has the following note. Mr. Theobald by putting the first line (i. e. the line before this) into a parenthesis, and altering make to made in the fecond line (i. e. this line) had deftroyed the fenfe of the whole; which, as it stood before he corrupted the words, was this: "You have endeavoured, fays Lear, to make me "break my oath, you have prefumed to stop the execution of my sentence: "the latter of these attempts neither my temper nor high station will suffer me "to bear; and the other, had I yielded to it, my power could not make good "or excufe."—Which, in the first line, referring to both attempts: but the ambiguity of it, as it might refer only to the latter, has occafioned all the obfcurity of the paffage. W.
It is not true that T. altered make to made (unless by this he means that T. has altered P.'s copy, which is in truth only restoring); one of the qu's, and all the f. editions read made-IVhich we durft never yet, &c. relating to the former attempt, Which nor our nature, &c. can relate only to the latter. Nor is there any obfcurity in this equal to what W. has introduced.
Four days we do allot thee for provision,
And on the fifth, to turn thy hated back
Kent. Why, fare thee well, king, fince thus thou wilt
'Friendship lives hence, and banishment is here.
So the qu's; all the reft Five, and fixth.
* So the qu's; all the rest difafters for diseases. But though the word jeases in the common fenfe of the word fignifies sicknesses; here it is ufed in the uncommon and literal sense, and means, a want of ti e ease and conveniences of life, i. e. hardships. See Hurd's note on the Callida jun&tura of Hər. Ars Poet. I. 47.
b So the qu's, and 1ft f. the reft omit on.
So the qu's; the rest omit why to make the measure of the verse more exact; but it seems to exprefs Kent's blunt humour the more strongly; and the nicety of the measure is not worth insisting on, especially when it robs the paffage of a word of fuch fignificancy.
So the qu's; all the rest fith.
e The ad q. omits thus.
f So the qu's; the rest freedom; but friendship feems more properly oppofed to banishment; for what is banifoment, but the being driven away from our friends and countrymen? Freedom may with greater propriety be opposed. to flavery.
8 The qu's read protellion; but dear felter is more like Shakespear.
The qu's read the maid, that rightly thinks, and bath moft, &c. bating
that the ift reads haft for bath.
iSo the qu's; the reft make rightly and justly change places.