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I yet beseech your majesty,

(If for I want that glib and oily art,

To speak and purpose not; since what I well * in


I'll do't before I speak,) that you make known † 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

Hadst not been born, than not to have pleas'd me


FRANCE. Is it no more but this1? a tardiness in


Which often leaves the history unspoke,

That it intends to do ?-My lord of Burgundy,

* First folio, will.

† Quartos, that you may know.

"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 Johnson, to 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.

Taint 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.

8 If FOR I want, &c.] If this be my offence, that I want the glib and oily art, &c. MALONE.

For has the power of-because. Thus, in p. 32:

"For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines

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9 NO UNCHASTE action,] The quartos read—no unclean action. Unclean, in the sense of unchaste, is the constant language of Scripture. BOSWELL.

Is it but this? &c.] Thus the folio. The quartos, disregarding metre

"Is it no more but this?" &c. STEEVENS.

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 Lear1,

Give but that portion which you 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, that 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

* Quartos, in.

- with RESPECTS,] i. e. with cautious and prudential considerations. See vol. viii. p. 291, n. 4.

Thus the quartos. The folio has-regards. MALone.

2- from the entire point.] Single, unmixed with other considerations. JOHNSON.

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."


3 She is herself A DOWRY.] The quartos read: "She is herself and dower." STEEVENS. Royal LEAR,] So the quarto; the folio has-Royal king. STEEVENS.


Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.-
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 hers 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. The 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.

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

So, in Churchyard's Farewell to the World, 1592:

"That growes not here, takes roote in other where." See note on The Comedy of Errors, Act II. Sc. I. vol. iv. p. 169. STEEVENS.

6 THE jewels-] As this reading affords sense, though an aukward one, it may stand and yet Ye instead of The, a change adopted by former editors, may be justified; it being frequently impossible, in ancient MSS. to distinguish the one word from the customary abbreviation of the other. STEEVENS.

7-USE well our father:] So the quartos. The folio reads -Love well. MALONE.

8 PROFESSED bosoms-] All the ancient editions readprofessed. Mr. Pope-professing; but, perhaps, unnecessarily, as Shakspeare often uses one participle for the other;-longing for longed in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and all-obeying for allobeyed in Antony and Cleopatra. STEEVENS.

GON. Prescribe not us our duties o.

REG. Let your study Be, to content your lord; who hath receiv'd you At fortune's alms 1. You have obedience scanted, And well are worth the want that you have


COR. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning



9 PRESCRIBE not us our duties.] Prescribe was used formerly without to subjoined. So, in Massinger's Picture: Shall I prescribe you,


"Or blame your fondness."


At FORTUNE'S ALMS.] The same expression occurs again in Othello :

"And shoot myself up in some other course,


To fortune's alms." STEEVENS.

2 And well are worth the want that you have wanted.] You are well deserving of the want of dower that you are without. So, in The Third Part of King Henry VI. Act IV. Sc. I.: " Though I want a kingdom," i. e. though I am without a kingdom. Again, in Stowe's Chronicle, p. 137: " Anselin was expelled the realm, and wanted the whole profits of his bishoprick," i. e. he did not receive the profits, &c. TOLLET.

Thus the folio. In the quartos the transcriber or compositor inadvertently repeated the word worth. They read:

"And well are worth the worth that you have wanted." This, however, may be explained by understanding the second worth in the sense of wealth. MALONE.

A clash of words similar to that in the text, occurs in Chapman's version of the twentieth Iliad:

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the gods' firme gifts want want to yeeld so soone, "To men's poore powres-." STEEVENS.

3-PLAITED cunning-] i. e. complicated, involved cunning. JOHNSON.

I once thought that the author wrote plated:-cunning superinduced, thinly spread over. So, in this play:


Plate sin with gold,

"And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks."

But the word unfold, and the following lines in our author's Rape of Lucrece, show, that plaited, or (as the quartos have it) pleated, is the true reading:

"For that he colour'd with his high estate,

"Hiding base sin in pleats of majesty." MALONE.

Who cover 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.

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 wayward

4 Who cover faults, &c.] The quartos read:

"Who covers faults, at last shame them derides." The former editors read with the folio:

"Who covers faults at last with shame derides."


Mr. M. Mason believes the folio, with the alteration of a letter, to be the right reading:

"Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides,

"Who covert faults at last with shame derides."

The word who referring to time.

In the third Act, Lear says:


Caitiff, shake to pieces,

"That under covert, and convenient seeming,
"Hast practis'd on man's life." REED.

In this passage Cordelia is made to allude to a passage in Scripture-Prov. xxviii. 13: "He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them, shall have mercy." HENLEY.

sof long-engrafted CONDITION,] i. e. of qualities of mind, confirmed by long habit. So, in Othello, vol. ix. p. 424 : a woman of so gentle a condition!" MALone.

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