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We make thee lady: To thine and Albany's issue Be this perpetual.-What says our second daughter, Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak 2.
REG. I am made of that self metal as my sister, And prize me at her worth. In my true heart I find, she names my very deed of love; Only she comes too short,-that I profess Myself an enemy to all other joys, Which the most precious square of sense possesses;
- and with champains RICH'D,
With plenteous rivers-] These words are omitted in the quartos. To rich is an obsolete verb. It is used by Thomas Drant, in his translation of Horace's Epistles, 1567:
"To ritch his country, let his words lyke flowing water fall." STEEVENS. Rich'd is used for enriched, as 'tice for entice, 'bate for abate, 'strain for constrain, &c. M. MASON.
Speak.] Thus the quartos. This word is not in the folio.
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 And prize me at her worth, &c.] I believe this passage should rather be pointed thus:
"And prize me at her worth, in my true heart
That is," And so may you prize me at her worth, as in my true heart I find, that she names," &c.
I believe we should read:
"And prize you at her worth." That is, set the same high value upon you that she does,
M. MACON. "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 inaccurately 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.
And find, I am alone felicitate
Then poor Cordelia! [Aside. And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love's More richer than my tongue'.
LEAR. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever, Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom; No less in space, validity, and pleasure, Than that confirm'd on Goneril.-Now, our joy',
6 Which the most precious SQUARE of sense possesses ;] haps square means only compass, comprehension. JOHNSON. So, in a Parænesis to the Prince, by Lord Sterline, 1604: "The square of reason, and the mind's clear eve." Golding, in his version of the 6th book of Ovid's Metamorphosis, translates
"As oft as he demanded out of square." i. e. what was unreasonable.
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.
I think the present reading right. JOHNSON.
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 smalĺ validity." STEEVens.
9— confirm'd] The folio reads, conferr'd. 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.
The same expression is found before, p.7, with the same variation. Either the folio or the quarto should have been adhered to in both places. To confirm on a person is certainly not English now; but it does not follow that such was the case in Shakspeare's time. The original meaning of the word to establish would easily bear such a construction. BOSWELL.
Now, our joy, &c.] Here the true reading is picked out of two copies. Butter's quarto reads:
Although the last, not least 2; to whose young love
LEAR. Nothing will come of nothing: speak
COR. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
* Quartos, How! nothing can come.
† First folio, no more.
But now our joy,
Although the last, not least in our dear love, "What can you say to win a third," &c.
Now our joy,
Although our last, and least; to whose young love "The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy,
"Strive to be int'ress'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."
3 Strive to be INTERESS'D ;] So, in the Preface to Drayton's Polyolbion : "there is scarce any of the nobilitie, or gentry of this land, but he is some way or other by his blood interessed therein."
Again, in Ben Jonson's Sejanus:
"Our sacred laws and just authority
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 STEEVENS.
s Lear. Nothing?
Cor. Nothing.] These two speeches are wanting in the quartos. STEEVENS.
LEAR. How, how, Cordelia? mend your speech
Lest it may mar your fortunes.
COR. 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
Half my love with him, half my care, and duty:
LEAR. But goes this with thy heart 9 ?
6 How, HOW, Cordelia?] Thus the folio. The quartos read -Go to, go to. STEEVENS.
- Haply, when I shall wed, &c.] So, in The Mirrour for Magistrates, 1587, Cordila says:
Nature so doth bind and me compell
"To love you as I ought, my father, well;
"To find in heart to bear another more good will:
"Thus much I said of nuptial loves that meant." STEEVENS. See also the quotation from Camden's Remaines, in the Preliminary Remarks to this play. MALONE.
8 To love my father all.] These words are restored from the first edition, without which the sense was not complete. POPE.
9 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, vol. v. p. 68 :
By the fool multitude.”
The editor of the folio, not understanding this kind of phraseology, substituted the more common form-But goes thy heart with this as in the next line he reads, Ay, my good lord, instead of-Ay, good my lord, the reading of the quartos, and the constant language of Shakspeare. MALONE.
LEAR. Let it be so,-Thy truth then be thy dower :
For, by the sacred radiance of the sun;
Or he that makes his generation * messes
LEAR. Peace, Kent!
Good my liege,—
Come not between the dragon and his wrath : I lov'd her most, and thought to set my rest On her kind nursery.--Hence, and avoid my sight!— [TO CORDELIA.
1 So young, and so untender?] So, in Shakspeare's Venus
and Adonis :
"Ah me, quoth Venus, young, and so unkind?" MALONE. 2 The MYSTERIES of Hecate,] The quartos have mistress, the folio-miseries. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio, who likewise substituted operations in the next line for operation, the reading of the original copies. MALONE.
3 Hold thee, from this,] i. e. from this time. STEEVENS. MALONE. generation] i. e. his children.
5 I lov'd her most,] So, Holinshed: " which daughters he greatly loved, but especially Cordeilla, the youngest, farre above the two elder." MALONE.
6 [To Cordelia.] As Mr. Heath supposes, to Kent. For in the next words Lear sends for France and Burgundy to offer Cordelia without a dowry. STEEVENS.