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ACT I. SCENE 1.
The KING's PALACE.
Enter Kent, Glo'fter, and Edmund the Bastard.
Thought, the King had more affected the Duke of
Glo. It did always feem fo to us, but now, ' in the Divifion of the Kingdom, it appears not, which of the Dukes he values moft; for qualities are fo weigh'd, that curiofity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.
Kent. Is not this your fon, my Lord?
Glo. His Breeding, Sir, hath been at my charge. I
in the divifion of the kingdom] There is fomething of obfcurity or inaccuracy in this preparatory fcene. The King has already divided his kingdom, and yet when he enters he examines his daughters, to difcover in what proportions he fhould divide it. Perhaps Kent and Gloucester only were privy to his defign, which he still kept in his own hands, to be changed or
performed as fubfequent reafons
3 that curiofity in neither] Curinfity, for exactet fcrutiny. The fenfe of the whole fentence is, The qualities and properties of the feveral divifions weighed and balanced againft one another, that the exacteft fcrutiny could not determine in preferring one fhare to the other. WARBURTON.,
have so often blush'd to acknowledge him, that now I am braz'd to't.
Kent. I cannot conceive you.
Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could, whereupon fhe grew round-womb'd; and had, indeed, Sir, a fon for her cradle, ere fhe had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault?
Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the iffue of it being fo proper.
Glo. But I have a fon, Sir, by order of law, fome year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account. Though this knave came fomewhat faucily to the world before he was fent for, yet was his mother fair, there was good fport at his making, and the whorefon must be acknowledged. Do you know this Nobleman, Edmund ?
Edm. No, my Lord.
Glo. My Lord of Kent.
Remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.
Kent. I must love you, and fue to know you better. Edm. Sir, I fhall study your deferving.
Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again. [Trumpets found, within. -The King is coming.
4 fome year elder than this,] The Oxford Editor, not underftanding the common phrase, alters year to years. He did not confider, the Baftard fays,
For that I am some twelve ar
Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Gonerill, Regan, Cordelia, and Attendants.
Lear. Attend the Lords of France and Burgundy,
Glo. I fhall, my Liege.
Lear. Mean time we fhall exprefs our darker purpose.
Give me the Map here. Know, we have divided,
And you, our no lefs loving fon of Albany,
s express our darker purpose.] Darker, for more fecret; not for indirect, oblique.
1608, and firft folio of 1623; where we find it,
-and 'tis our FIRST intent, which is as Shakespear wrote it: who makes Lear declare his purpofe with a dignity becoming his character: That the first reafon of his abdication was the love of his people, that they might be protected by fuch as were better able to discharge the truft; and his natural affection for his daughters, only the fecond. WARBURTON. Faft is the reading of the first folio, and I think the true reading.
7 Confiant will feems a confirmation of faft intent.
This word may admit a further explication. We shall exprefs our darker purpose: that is, we have already made known in fome measure our defign 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 juftify or palliate the exordial dialogue.
and 'tis our FAST intent,] This is an interpolation of Mr. Lewis Theobald, for want of knowing the meaning of the old reading in the quarto of
Great rivals in our younger daughter's love,
Long in our Court have made their am'rous fojourn,
Which of you, fhall we fay, doth love us most,
I love you more than words can wield the matter,
No lefs than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour; As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable, * Beyond all manner of fo much! love you.
Cor. What fhall Cordelia 9 do? love and be filent.
With shadowy forefts and with champions rich'd,
Reg. I'm made of that felf-metal as my fifter,
8 Beyond all manner, &c.] i. e. beyond all expreffion.
WARBURTON. Beyond all manner of much-] Byond all affignable quanti ty. I love you beyond limits, and cannot fay it is fo much, for how much foever I fhould name it would yet be more.
9 So the quarto: the folio has Speak.
1-that I profess] That feems to ftand without relation, but is referred to find, the firft conjunction being inaccurately fuppreffed. I find that he names any deed, that I profefs, &c.
Myself an enemy to all other joys,
2 Which the most precious fquare of fenfe poffeffes;
Cor. Then poor Cordelia!
And yet not fo, fince, I am fure, my love's
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
4 No lefs in Space, validity,] Validity, for worth, value; not for integrity, or good title.
5 Now our joy,] Here the true reading is picked out of two copies. Butler's quarto reads, -But ow our joy,
Although the last, not least in
I think the prefent reading right,
our dear love,
What can you fay to win third, &c.
Now our joy,
Although our last, and leaft;
The vines of France, and milk
Strive to be int'refs'd. What can you fay.