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Lear. Mean-time we shall express our darker purpose.? Give me the map there.8-Know, that we have divided, In three, our kingdom: and 'tis our fast intento To shake all cares and business from our age;? Conferring them on younger strengths, while we3 Unburden'd crawl toward death.-Our son of Cornwall, And you, our no less loving son of Albany, We have this hour a constant will* to publish Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife May be prevented now. The princes, France and Bur
gundy, Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, And here are to be answer'd.-Tell me, my daughters, (Since nowo we will devest us, both of rule, Interest of territory, cares of state,)
express our darker purpose.] Darker, for more secret; not for indirect, oblique. Warburton.
This word may admit a further explication. We shall express our darker purpose : that is, we have already made known in some mea. sure our desire of parting the kingdom; we will now discover what has not been told before, the reasons by which we shall regulate the partition. This interpretation will justify or palliate the exordial dialogue. Johnson.
8 Give me the map there.] So the folio. The quartos, leaving the verse defective, read — The map there. Steevens.
and 'tis our fast intent -] Fast is the reading of the first folio, and, I think, the true reading. Johnson.
Our fast intent is our determined resolution. The quartos have our first intent. Malone.
- from our age;] The quartos read-of our state. Steevens. 2 Conferring them on younger strengths,] is the reading of the folio; the quartos read, Confirming thein on younger years. Steevens.
while we &c.] From while we, down to prevented now, is omitted in the quartos. Steevens. constant will —] Seems a confirmation of fast intent.
Fohnsoit. Constant is firm, determined. Constant will is the certa voluntas of Virgil. The same epithet is used with the same meaning in The Merchant of Venice:
else nothing in the world 66 Could turn so much the constitution
“ Of any constant man.” Steevens. 5 Since now &c.] These two lines are omitted in the quartos.
Which of you, shall we say, cloth love us most?
[Aside. Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
6 IV here merit doth most challenge it.] The folio reads:
“ Where nature doth with merit challenge: i. e. where the claim of merit is superadded to that of nature; or where a superior degree of natural filial affection is joined to the claim of other merits. Steevens. 7 Gon. Sir, I
Do love you more than words can wield the matter,
No less than life,] So, in Holinshed : 6 — he first asked Gono. rilla the eldest, how well she loved him; who calling hir gods to record, protested that she loved him inore than her own life, which by right and reason should be inost deere unto hir. With which answer the father being well pleased, turned to the second, and demanded of hir how well she loved him; who answered (confirming hir saieings with great othes,) that she loved him more than toong could expresse, and farre above all other creaiures of the world.
“ Then called he his youngest daughter Cordeilla before him, and asked hir, what account she made of him; unto whom she made this answer as followeth: Knowing the great love and fatherlie zeale that you have alwaies born towards me, (for the which I maie not answere you otherwise than I thinke and as my conscience leadeth me,) i protest unto you that I have loved you ever, and will conti. nuallie (while I live) love you as my natural father. And if you would more understand of the love I bear you, ascertain your selfe, that so much as you have, so much you are worth, and so much I love you, and no more." Malone.
8 Beyond all manner of so much -] Beyond all assignable quantity. I love you beyond limits, and cannot say it is so much, for how much soever I should name, it would be yet more. Johnson. Thus Rowe, in his Fair Penitent, sc. i:
I can only “ Swear you reign here, but never tell how much.” Steevens.
do?] So the quarto; the folio has speak. Johnson.
With shadowy forests and with champains rich'd,
Reg. I am made3 of that self metal as my sister,
and with champains rich’d, With plenteous rivers ---] These words are omitted in the quartos. To rich is an obsolete verb. Steevens.
Rich'd is used for enriched, as ’tice for entice, 'bate for abate, strain for constrain, &c. M. Masun. Speak.] Thus the quartos. This word is not in the folio.
Malone. 3 I am made &c.] Thus the folio. The quarto reads, Sir, I am made of the self-same metal that my sister is. Steevens.
4 An:l prize me at her worth. &c.] I believe this passage should rather be pointed thus:
Anl prize me at her worth, in my true heart
I fiu, she names &c.
Ant prise you at her worth.
M. Mason. Prize me at her worth, perhaps means, I think myself as worthy of your favour as she is. Henley.
5 Only she comes too short,--that I profess &c.] That seems to stand without relation, but is referred to find, the first conjunction being in. accurately suppressed. I find that she names my deed, I find that I profess, &c. Johnson.
The true meaning is this:-"My sister has equally expressed my sentiments, only she comes short of me in this, that I profess myself an enemy to all joys but you.”—That I profess, means, in that I profess. M. Mason
In that, i. e. inasmuch as, I profess myself, &c. Thus the folio. The quartos read:
Only she came short, that I profess,” &c. Malone. 6 Which the most precious square of sense possesses ; ] Perbaps square means only compass, comprehension. Johnson. So, in a Parænesis to the Prince, by Lord Sterline, 1604:
5: The square of reason, and the mind's clear eye."
And find, I am alone felicitate
dear highness' love. Cor.
Then poor Cordelia! [.Aside.
Lear. To tliee, and thine, hereditary ever,
Golding, in his version of the 6th Book of Ovid's Metamorphoses, translates
quotiesque rogabat « Ex justo
“ As oft as he demanded out of square." i. e. what was unreasonable. Steevens.
I believe that Shakspeare uses square for the full complement of all the senses. Edwards.
7 More richer than my tongue. ] The quartos thus: the folio-more ponderous. Steevens.
We should read—their tongue, meaning her sisters. Warburton. I think the present reading right. Fohnson.
8 No less in space, validity,] Validity, for worth, value ; not for integrity, or good title. Warburton.
So, in The Devil's Charter, 1607: The countenance of your friend is of less value than his councel, yet both of very small validity.” Ste
confirm'd-] The folio reads, conferrd. Steevens. Why was not this reading adhered to ? It is equally good sense and better English. We confer on a person, but we confirm to him.
M. Muson, Now, our joy, &c.] Here the true reading is picked out of two copies. Butter's quarto reads:
But now our joy,
“ What can you say to win a third,” &c. The folio:
Now our joy,
“ Strive to be intress’d. What can you say.” &c. Johnson. 2 Although the last, not least; &c.] So, in the old anonymous play, King Leir speaking to Mumford:
to thee last of all; “ Not greeted last, 'cause thy desert was small.” Steevens. Again, in The Spanish Tragedy, written before 1593:
“The third and last, not least, in our account.” Malone.
The yines of France, and milk of Burgundy,
Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Lear. How, how, Cordelia ?6 mend your speech a little,
Good my lord, You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me: I Return those duties back as are right fit, Obey you, love you, and most honour you. Why have my sisters husbands, if they say, They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed, That lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall carry Half my love with him, half my care, and duty: Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters, To love my father all.7
Lear. But goes this with thy heart ?8
3 Strive to be interess'd ;] To interest and to interesse, are not, perhaps, different spellings of the same verb, but are two distinct words though of the same import; the one being derived from the Latin, the other from the French interesser. Steevens. to draw -] The quarto reads--what can you say, to win.
Steevens. 5 Lear. Nothing? Cor. Nothing.] These two speeches are wanting in the quartos.
Steevens. 0 How, how, Cordelia?] Thus the folio. The quartos read-Go to,
Steevens. 7 To love my father all.]. These words are restored from the first edition, without which the sense was not complete. Pope.
8 But goes this with thy heart?] Thus the quartos, and thus I have no doubt Shakspeare wrote, this kind of inversion occurring often in his plays, and in the contemporary writers. So, in King Henry VIII:
and make your house our Tower." Again, in The Merchant of Venice:
That many may be meant “ By the fool multitude." See Vol. IV, p. 358, n. 7. The editor of the folio, not understanding this kind of phraseology,