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And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,

She's there, and she is yours.


Lear. Sir,

I know no answer.

Will you, with those infirmities she owes,"

Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,

Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her?


Pardon me, royal sir;

Election makes not up on such conditions."

Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that made

I tell you all her wealth. For you, great king,



I would not from your love make such a stray,
To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you
To avert your liking a more worthier way,
Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd
Almost to acknowledge hers.


This is most strange!

That she, that even now was your best object,
The argument of your praise, balm of your age,

Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
So many folds of favour! Sure, her offence
Must be of such unnatural degree,

That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection
Fall into taint: which to believe of her,
Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
Could never plant in me.


I yet beseech your majesty,

(If for" I want that glib and oily art,

To speak and purpose not; since what I well intend,
I'll do't before I speak,) that you make known

- owes,] i. e. Is possessed of.

• Election makes not up on such conditions.] Election comes not to a decision; in the same sense as when we say, "I have made up my mind on that subject.”— MALONE.

t or your fore-vouch'd affection

Fall into taint: i. e. Her offence must be monstrous, or the former affection which you possessed for her must fall into taint; that is, become the subject of reproach.-M. MASON.

"-for-] i. e. Because.

It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step,

That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour:
But even for want of that, for which I am richer;
A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue

That I am glad I have not, though, not to have it,
Hath lost me in your liking.


Better thou

Had'st not been born, than not to have pleas'd me better. France. Is it but this? a tardiness in nature,

Which often leaves the history unspoke,

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That it intends to do? My lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the lady? Love is not love,
When it is mingled with respects, that stand
Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.


Royal Lear,

Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,

Duchess of Burgundy.

Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm.

Bur. I am sorry then, you have so lost a father, That you must lose a husband.


Peace be with Burgundy!

Since that respects of fortune are his love,

I shall not be his wife.

France. Fairest Cordelia, thou art most rich, being poor; Most choice, forsaken; and most lov'd, despis'd!

Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon :

Be it lawful, I take up what's cast away.

Gods, gods! 'tis strange, that from their cold'st neglect

My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.

Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance,
Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France:

Not all the dukes of wat'rish Burgundy

Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.

mingled with respects, that stand

Aloof from the entire point.] i.e. Mixed with considerations that have no reference to the essential point. Entire has the sense of unmingled, single.

Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind:

Thou losest here, a better where to find.

Lear. Thou hast her, France; let her be thine; for we Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see

That face of her's again :-Therefore be gone,
Without our grace, our love, our benizon.

Come, noble Burgundy.

[Flourish. Exeunt LEAR, BURGUNDY, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GLOSTER, and Attendants.

France. Bid farewell to your sisters.

Cor. Ye2 jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are;
And, like a sister, am most loath to call

Your faults, as they are nam'd. Use well our father:
To your professed bosoms I commit him:

But yet, alas! stood I within his grace,

I would prefer him to a better place.
So farewell to you both.

Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Let your study
Be, to content your lord; who hath receiv'd you
At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have wanted."
Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides;
Who covers faults, at last shame them derides.

Well may you prosper!


Come, my fair Cordelia.

[Exeunt FRANCE and CORDElia. Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say, of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think, our father will hence to-night.

y Thou losest here, a better where-] Here and where have the power of nouns. Thou losest this residence to find a better residence in another place.— JOHNSON.

2 Ye-] Old copy the: but the change in the reading may be justified, as in ancient MSS. it was frequently impossible to distinguish the one word from the customary abbreviation of the other.-STEEVENS.


professed]-for professing. Shakspeare often uses in this manner one participle for the other.-STEEVens.

b And well are worth the want that you have wanted.] i. e. Are well deserving of the want of dower that you are without.-TOLLet.


plaited-] i. e. Complicated, involved.

Reg. That's most certain, and with you; next month with us.

Gon. You see how full of changes his age is; the observation we have made of it hath not been little: he always loved our sister most; and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off, appears too grossly.

Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age: yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.


Gon. The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash; then must we look to receive from his age, not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted condition, but, therewithal, the unruly waywardness that infirm and cholerick years bring with them.

Reg. Such unconstant starts we are like to have from him, as this of Kent's banishment.

Gon. There is further compliment of leave-taking between France and him. Pray you, let us hit together: If our father carry authority with such dispositions, as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us. Reg. We shall further think of it.

Gon. We must do something, and i'the heat.'



A Hall in the Earl of Gloster's Castle.

Enter EDMUND, with a Letter.

Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law My services are bound: Wherefore should I

Stand in the plague of custom; and permit

The curiosity of nations to deprive me,


of long-engrafted condition,] i. e. Of qualities of mind, confirmed by long habit.-MALONE.

let us hit-] i. e. Let us agree.-STEEVENS.

i'the heat.] i. e. We must strike while the iron's hot.-STEEVENS, Thou, nature, art my goddess;] Edmund calls nature his goddess, for the same reason that we call a bastard a natural son; one, who according to the law of nature, is the child of his father, but according to those of civil society, is nullius filius.-M. MASON.

b Stand in the plague of custom ;] Wherefore should I acquiesce, submit tamely to the plagues and injustice of custom ?--STEEVENS.

The curiosity of nations-] i. e. The idle strictness of civil institutions.-M. MASON.

For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality,
Than doth within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake?-Well then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund,
As to the legitimate: Fine word,-legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall stop the legitimate.. I grow; I prosper :-
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!


Glo. Kent banish'd thus! And France in choler parted! And the king gone to-night! subscrib'd his power! Confin'd to exhibition! All this done

Upon the gad !"Edmund! How now; what news? Edm. So please your lordship, none.

[Putting up the Letter. Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter? Edm. I know no news, my lord.

Glo. What paper were you reading?

Edm. Nothing, my lord.

Glo. No? what needed then that terrible despatch of it into your pocket? the quality of nothing hath not such need to hide itself. Let's see: Come, if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.


Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a letter from


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subscrib'd-]i. e. Surrendered.

exhibition!] i. e. Allowance. The term is yet used in the universities.

Upon the gad!] i. e. Suddenly, or, as before, while the iron is hot. A gud is an iron bar.-RITSON.

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