Reg. I am doubtful that you have been conjunct And bosom’d with her, as far as we call hers.

Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.]

Reg. I never shall endure her: Dear my lord,
Be not familiar with her.

Fear me not:
She, and the duke her husband,

Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, and Soldiers. Gon. I had rather lose the battle, than that sister Should loosen him and me.

[Aside. Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met.Sir, this I hear,—The king is come to his daughter, With others, whom the rigour of our state Forc'd to cry out. (Where I could not be honest, I never yet was valiant:2 for this business, It toucheth us as France invades our land, Not bolds the king;3 with others, whom, I fear',



are deceived. This speech and the next are found in both the quartos, but omitted in the folio. Malone.

bosom'd with her,] Bosom'd is used in this sense by Herwood, in The Fair Maid of the West, 1631:

“ We 'll crown our hopes and wishes with more pomp
“ And sumptuous cost, than Priam did his son

" That night he bosom'd Helen.” Again, in Heywood's Silver Age, 1613:

* With fair Alcmena, she that never bosom'd
“ Mortal, save thee.” Steevens.

[Where I could not —] What is within the crotchets is omitted in the folio. Steevens.

Where I could not be honest, I never yet was valiant:] This sentiment has already appeared ina Cymbeline:

Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause,

“ But now thou seem'st a coward." Again, in an ancient MS. play, entituled, The Second Maiden's Tragedy:

" That worke is never undertooke with corage,

" That makes his master blush.” Steevens. 3 Not bolds the king ;] The quartos read bolds, and this may be the true reading. This business (says Albany) touches us as France invades our land, not as it bolds the king, &c. i. e. emboldens him to assert his former title. Thus in the ancient interlude of Hycke Scorner :

“ Alas, that I had not one to bold me!” Again, in Arthur Hall's translation of the 4th Iliad, 4to. 1581 : VOL. XIV.


Most just and heavy causes make oppose.*

Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.:]

Why is this reason'd?
Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy:
For these domestick and particular broils6
Are not to question here.7

Let us then determine With the ancient of war on our proceedings.

Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent.

" And Pallas bolds the Greeks, and blames whom scar doth

there dismay." Steevens. - Sir, this I hear,-[as far as to ]—make oppose.] The meaning is, the king and others whom we have opposed are come to Cordelia. I could never be valiant but in a just quarrel. We must distinguish ; it is just in one sense and unjust in another. As France invades our land I am concerned to repel him; but as he holds, entertains, and supports the king, and others whom I fear many just ani heavy causes make, or compel, as it were, to oppose us, I esteem it anjust to engage against them. This speech, thus interpreted accord. ing to the common reading, is likewise very necessary: for otherwise Albany, who is characterised as a man of honour and observer of justice, gives no reason for going to war with those, whom he owns had been much injured under the countenance of his power.

Warburton. The quartos read— For this I hear, &c. Perhaps Shakspeare wrote -*Fore this, I hear, the king, &c. Sir is the reading of the folio. Dr. Warburton has explained this passage, as if the copies readNot holi's the king, i. e. not as he holds the king; but both the quar. tos, in which alone the latter part of this speech is found, readboids. However, Dr. Warburton's interpretation is preserved, as volls may certainly have been a misprint for holds, in copies in which we find mor’d, for noble, (Act V, sc. iii,) O father, for O fault, (ibid.) the mistress of Hecate, for the mysteries of Hecate, (Act I, sc. i,) blossoms for bosomis, (Act V, sc, iii,) a mistresses coward, for a mistresses cominant, (Act IV, sc. ii,) &c. &c. Malone. 3 Sir, you speak nobly.] This reply must be understood ironically.

Malone. 6 For these domestick and particular broils --] This is the reading of the folio. The quartos have it

For these domestick doore particulars. Steevens. Dore, or dore, às quarto B has it, was probably a misprint for dear; i.e. important. "Malone.

Door particulars, signify, I believe, particulars at our very doors, cluse to us, and consequently fitter to be settled at home. Steevens. 7 Are not to question here.] Thus the quartos. The folio reads-

Ire not the question here. Steeve:is. 8 Eum.] This speech is wanting in the folio. Steevens.

Reg. Sister, you 'll go with us?
Gon, No.
Reg. 'Tis most convenient; pray you, go with us.
Gon. O, ho, I know the riddle: [Aside.] I will go.

As they are going out, enter EDGAR, disguised.
Edg. If e'er your grace had speech with man so poor,
Hear ne one word.

I'll overtake you.-Speak.
[Exeunt EDM. REG. Gox. Officers, Soldiers,

and Attendants.
Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.
If you have victory, let the trumpet sound
For him that brought it: wretched though I seem,
I can produce a champion, that will prove
What is avouched there: If you miscarry,
Your business of the world hath so an end,
And machination ceases. 9 Fortune love you!

Alb. Stay till I have read the letter.

I was forbid it.
When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,
And I 'll appear again.

[Exit Alb. Why, fare thee well; I will o'erlook thy paper.

Re-enter EDMUND. Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers. Here is the guess of their true strength and forces By diligent discovery ;--but your haste Is now urg'd on you. Alb.

We will greet the time. [Exit.

9 And machination ceases.] i.e. All designs against your life will have an end.

Steevens. These words are not in the quartos. In the latter part of this line, for love, the reading of the original copies, the folio has loves. Malone.

1 Here is the guess &c.] The modern editors read, Hard is the guess. So the quartos. But had the discovery been diligent, the guess could not have proved so difficult. I have given the true reading from the folio. Steevens.

The original reading is, I think, sufficiently clear. The most dili.' gent inquiry does not enable me to forin a conjecture concerning the true strength of the eneiny. Whether we read hard or here, the adversative particle but in the subsequent line seems employed with little propriety. According to the present reading, it may mean, but you are now so pressed in point of time, that you have little leisure for such speculations. The quartos read their great strength. Malone. We will greet the time,] We will be ready to meet the occasion.


Edm. To both these sisters have I sworn my love ;
Each jealous of the other, as the stung
Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take?
Both ? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy'd,
If both remain alive: To take the widow,
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril;
And hardly shall I carry out my side,


carry out my side,] Bring my purpose to a successful issue, to completion. Side seems here to have the sense of the French word partie, in prendre partie, to take his resolution. Fohnson. So, in the The Honest Man's Fortune, by Beaumont and Fletcher :

and carry out " A world of evils with thy title." Again, in one of the Paston Letters, Vol. IV, p. 155: “ Heydon's son hath borne out the side stoutly here” &c. Steevens:

The Bastard means, “ I shall scarcely be able to make out my game.” The allusion is to a party at cards, and he is afraid that he. stall not be able to make his side successful. So, in Ben Jonson's Silent Woman, Centaure says of Epicene

“ She and Mavis will set up a side." That is, will be partners. And in Massinger's Unnatural Combat, Belgard says:

And if now
“ At this downright game, I may but hold your cards,

“I'll not pull down the side."
In The Maid's Tragedy, the same expression occurs:

Dula. I'll hold your cards against any two I know.
Evad. Aspasia take her part.

Dula. I will refuse it;

“ She will pluck down a side, she does not use it." But the phrase is still more clearly explained in Massinger's Great Duke of Florence, where Cozimo says to Petronella, who had challenged him to drink a second bowl of wine:

“ Pray you, pause a little ;
“ If I hold your cards, I shall pull down the side ;

“ I am not good at the game.” M. Mason. The same phrase has forced its way into Chapman's version of the fifth Iliad:

thy body's powers are poor, “ And therefore are thy troops so weak: the soldier ever


“ Follows the temper of his chief; and thou pull’st down a

side.Steevens. Edmund, I think, means, hardly shall I be able to make my party good; to maintain my cause. We should now say-to bear out, which Coles, in his Dictionary, 1679, interprets, to make good, to save harmless.

Side, for party, was the common language of the time. So, in a Letter from William Earl of Pembroke to Robert Earl of Leicester,

Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use
His countenance for the battle ; which being done,
Let her, who would be rid of him, devise
His speedy taking off. As for the mercy
Which he intends to Lear, and to Cordelia,
The battle done, and they within our power,
Shall never see his pardon: for my state
Stands on me to defend, not to debate.



A Field between the two Camps.
Alarum within. Enter, with Drum and Colours, LEAR,
CORDELIA, and iheir Forces; and exeunt.

Edg. Here, father, take the shadow of this tree
For your good host; pray that the right my thrive:
If ever I return to you again,
I 'll bring you comfort.

Grace go with you sir! [Exit Eng.
Alarums ; afterwards a Retreat. Re-enter Edgar.

Edg. Away, old man, give me thy hand, away; King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta’en: Give me thy hand, come on.

Glo. No further, sir; a man may rot even here.

Edg. What, in ill thoughts again? Men must endure Their going hence, even as their coming hither: Ripeness is all :6 Come on. Glo.

And that 's true too.? [Exeunt.


my state

Michaelmas Day, 1625,–Sydney Papers, Vol. II, p. 361: “The queenes side, and so herself, labour much to ly at Salisbury." Malone.

for Stands on me &c.] I do not think that for stands, in this place, as a word of inference or casuality. The meaning is, rather---Such is my determination concerning Lear; as for my state it requires now, not deliberation, but defence and support. Johnson.

5 Enter Edgar &c.] Those who are curious to know how far Shakspeare was here indebted to the Arcadia, will find a chapter from it entitled, - The pitifull State and Storie of the Paphlagonian unkinde King, and his kinde Sonne; first related by the Sonne, then by the blind Father.” P. 141, edit. 1590, quarto, annexed to the conclusion of this play. Steevens. 6 Ripeness is all:] i.e. To be ready, preparel, is all.

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