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Lear, Nothing can come of nothing; fpeak again. Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty According to my bond, no more nor less.
Lear. How, how, Cordelia? mend your speech a little,
Left you may mar your fortunes.
You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me. I
Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
To love my father all.
Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Lear. So young, and fo untender?
Lear. Let it be fo, thy truth then be thy dower:
Hold thee, from this, for ever. The barb'rous Scythian,
Or he, that makes his generation meffes
6 To love my father all.-] first edition, without which the Thefe words restored from the fenfe was not compleat. POPE.
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
Kent. Good my Liege-
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
So be my grave my peace, as here I give
the whole is, I will only retain the name and all the ceremonious obfervances that belong to a King; the fentials, as fway, revenue, administration of the laws, be yours.
Execution of the reft] I do not fee any great difficulty in the words, execution of the rest, which are in both the old copies. The execution of the rest is, I fuppole, all the other bufinefs. Dr. Warburton's own explanation of his amendment confutes it; if best be a regal command, they were, by the grant of Lear, to have rather the bet than the execution.
This Coronet part between you.
Whom I have ever honour'd as my King,
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
When Majefty falls to folly. Reserve thy ftate,
This hideous rafhnefs; answer my life my judgment,
Lear. Kent, on thy life no more.
Think't thou, that duty fhall bave dread to pak,] have given this paffage according to the old folio, from which the modern editions have filently departed, for the fake of better numbers, with a degree of infincerity, which, if not fometimes detected and cenfured, mult impair the credit of antient books. One of the editors, and perhaps only one, knew how much mifchief may be done by fuch clandeftine alterations.
[Giving the Crown.
To wage against thine enemies, nor fear to lofe it,
Kent. See better, Lear, and let me ftill remain
[Laying his band on his fword. Alb. Corn. Dear Sir, forbear. Kent. Kill thy phyfician, and thy fee bestow Upon the foul difeafe; revoke thy doom, Or whilft I can vent clamour from my throat, I'll tell thee, thou doft evil.
Lear. Hear me, recreant!
Since thou haft fought to make us break our vow, Which we durft never yet; and with ' ftrain'd pride,
To come betwixt our fentence and our power; 'Which nor our nature, nor our place, can bear;
Our ftood before he corrupted the words, was this: "You have "endeavour'd, fays Lear, to "make me break my oath, "you have prefumed to stop the "execution of my fentence: "the latter of thefe attempts "neither my temper nor high "ftation will fuffer me to bear; " and the other, had I yielded "to it, my power could not "make good, or excufe."Which, in the first line, referring to both attempts: But the ambiguity of it, as it might refer only to the latter, has occafioned all the obfcurity of the paffage.
WARBURTON. Theobald only inferted the parenthesis; he found made good in the best copy of 1623. Dr.
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
Kent. Fare thee well, King; fith thus thou wilt
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here. The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid, [To Cordelia. That juftly think'ft, and haft most rightly said. And your large fpeeches may your deeds approve, [To Reg. and Gon. That good effects may fpring from words of love. Thus Kent, O Princes, bids you all adieu; "He'll shape his old courfe in a country new. [Exit.
Warbu ton has very acutely explained and defended the reading that he has chofen, but I am not certain that he has chofen
right. If we take the reading of the folio, our potency made good, the fenfe will be lefs profound indeed, but lefs intricate, and equally commodious. As thou haft come with unreofonable pride between the fentence which I had poffed, and the power by which I fall execute it, take thy reward in another fentence which hall make good, shall establish, hall maintain, that power.
If Dr. Warburton's explanation be chofen, and every reader will wish to choose it, we may better read,
Which nor our nature, nor cur ftate can bear,
Or potency make good.
Mr. Davies thinks, that our potency made good relates only to our place. Which our nature cannot bear, nor our place, without departure from the potency of that place. This is eafy and clear.
Lear, who is characterized as hot, heady and violent, is, with very juft obfervation of life, made to entangle himself with vows, upon any fudden provocation to vow revenge, and then to plead the obligation of a vow in defence of implacability.
4 By Jupiter.] Shakefieare makes his Lear too much a mythologift: he had Hecate and Apallo before.
5 Hel fhape his old course-] He will follow his old maxims; he will continue to act upon the fame principles.