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Upon our kingdom : if, on the tenth day following,
Kent. Fare thee well, king: since thus thou wilt appear,
[To Reg. and Gon.
Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
Most royal majesty,
By Jupiter, ] Shakspeare makes his Lear too much a my. thologist: he had Hecate and Apollo before. Johnson.
4 Freedom lives hence,] So the folio: the quartos concur in read. ing-Friendship lives hence. Steevens.
dear shelter -] The quartos read-protection. Steevens. 6 That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said!] Thus the folio. The quartos read :
“ That rightly thinks, and hast most justly said. Malone. 7 He'll shape his old course - ] He will follow his old maxims; he will continue to act upon the same principles. Johnson.
adieu ; He'll shape his old course in a country new.
w.] There is an odd coin. cidence between this passage, and another in The Battell of Alcazar, &c. 1594:
adue; - For here Tom Stukley shapes his course anue. Steevens.
-quest of love?] Quest of love is amorous expedition. The term originated from Romance. A quest was the expedition in which a knight was engaged. This phrase is often to be met with in The Fairy Queen. Steevens.
Right noble Burgundy,
I know no answer.
Pardon me, royal sir; Election makes not up on such conditions.3
9- we did hold her so ;] We esteemed her worthy of that dowry, which, as you say, we promised to give her. Malone.
- seeming - ) is beautiful. Johnson. Seeming rather means specivus. So, in The Merry Wives of Wind
- pluck the borrowed veil of modesty from the so seeming mistress Page.” Again, in Measure for Measure:
hence shall we see, “ If power change purpose, what our seemers be.” Steevens. owes,
s,] i. e. is possessed of. So, in A Midsummer Nights Dream :
“ All the power this charm doth owe.” Steevens. 3 Election makes not up on such conditions.) To make up signifies to complete, to conclude; as, they made up the bargain; but in this sense it has, I think, always the subject noun after it. To make up, in familiar language, is neutrally, to come forward, to make advances, which, I think, is meant here. Johnson. I should read the line thus:
Election makes not, upon such conditions. M. Mason. Election makes not up, I conceive, means, Election comes not to a decision; in the same sense as when we say, “ I have made up my mind on that subject.” In Cymbeline this phrase is used, as here, for finished, completed:
Being scarce made up,
I mean, to man,”-&c. Again, in Timon of Athens:
remain assur'd, “ That he's a made up villain.” In all these places the allusion is to a piece of work completed by a tradesman.
The passages just cited show that the text is right, and that our poet did not write, as some have proposed to read:
Election makes not, upon such conditions. Malone.
Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that made
me, I tell you all her wealth. - For you, great king,
[To FRANCE. I would not from your love make such a stray, To ch 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. France.
This is most strange! That she, that even but now was your best object, The argument of your praise, balm of your age, Most best, most dearest,4 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,5 or your fore-vouch'd affection Fall into taint:6 which to believe of her,
4 Most best, most dearest ;] Thus the quartos. The folios read The best, the dearest
Steevens. We have just had more worthier, and in a preceding passage more richer. The same phraseology is found often in these plays and in the contemporary writings. Malone.
such unnatural degree, That monsters it,] This was the phraseology of Shakspeare's age. So, in Coriolanus:
" But with such words that are but rooted in
“ Your tongue.” Again, ibidem:
No, not with such friends, " That thought them sure of you." Three of the modern editors, however, in the passage before us, have substituted As for That. Malone.
That monsters it,] This uncommon verb occurs again in Coriolanus, Act II, sc. ii :
“ To hear my nothings monster'd.” Steevens.
or your fore-vouch'd affection
or your fore-vouch'd affection Fall'n into taint: This line has no clear or strong sense, nor is this reading authorised by any copy, though it has crept into all the late editions. The early quarto reads:
or you, for vouch'd affections,
Fall’n into taint. The folio:
Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
I yet beseech your majesty, (If for I want? that glib and oily art,
or your fore-vouch'd affection Fall into taint. Taint is used for corruption and for disgrace. If therefore we take the oldest reading it may be reformed thus:
- sure her offence
Fall into taint. Her offence must be prodigious, or you must fall into reproach fór having vouched affection which you did not feel. If the reading of the folio be preferred, we may, with a very slight change, produce the same sense :
sure her offence
Falls into taint. That is, falls into reproach or censure. But there is another possible sense. Or signifies before, and or ever is before ever; the meaning in the folio may therefore be, Sure her crime must be monstrous, before jour affection can be affected with hatred. Let the reader determine.As I am not much a friend to conjectural emendation, I should pre. fer the latter sense, which requires no change of reading. Fohnson.
The meaning of the passage as I have printed it (fall’n into taint] is, I think, Either her ofience must be monstrous, or, if she has not committed any such offence, the affection which you always pro. fessed to have for her must be tainteil and decayed, and is now without reason alienated from her.
I once thought the reading of the quartos right-or you, for vouch'd affections, &c. i. e. on account of the extravagant professions made by her sisters: but I did not recollect that France had not heard these. However, Shakspeare might himself have forgot this circum. stance. The plural affections favours this interpretation.
The interpretation already given, appears to ine to be supported loy our author's words in another place :
“ When love begins to sicken and decay,” &c. Malone. The present reading which is that of the folio, is right; and the sense will be clear, without even the slight amendment proposed by Jolinson, 10 every reader who shall consider the word must, as referring to fall as well as to be. Her offence must be monstrous, or the former affection which you professed for her, must fall into taint; that is, become the subject of reproach. M. Mason.
Trint is a term belonging to falconry. So, in The Booke of Haukyng, &c. bl. 1. no date: “A taint is a thing that goeth overthwart the fethers, &c. like as it were eaten with wormes. Steevens.
? If for I want &c.] If this be my offence, that I want the glio. 3nd oily art, &c. Malone.
To speak and purpose not; since what I well intend,
France. Is it but this ?8 a tardiness in nature,
Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry then, you have so lost a father,
Peace be with Burgundy! Since that respects of fortune are his love,
For has the power of—because. Thus, in
“ Lag of a brother.” Steevens. 8 Is it but this? &c.] Thus the folio. The quartos, disregarding
Is it no more but this? &c. Steevens.
with respects,] i. e. with cautious and prudential considerations. See Vol. XII, p. 66, n. 3. Thus the quartos. The folio has-regards. Malone.
- from the entire point.] Single, unmixed with other considerations. Fohnson.
Dr. Johnson is right. The meaning of the passage is, that his love wants something to mark its sincerity:
" Who seeks for aught in love but love alone.” Steevens. 2 She is herself a dowry.] The quartos read:
She is herself and dower. Steevens. 3 Royal Lear,] So the quarto ; the folio has-- Royal king. Steevens.