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I might have sav'd her; now, she's gone for ever !
Cordelia, Cordelia! stay a little. Ha!
What is't thou say'st ?—Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle, and low-an excellent thing in woman.-
I kill'd the slave that was a hanging thee.

Off: 'Tis true, my lords, he did.

Did I not, fellow?
I have seen the day, with my good biting faulchion
I would have made them skip': I am old now,
And these same crosses spoil me.- Who are you?
Mine eyes are not o' the best :-I'll tell you straight.

Kent. If fortune brag of two she lov'd and hated, One of them we behold.

Lear. This is a dull sight'.—Are you not Kent ?

Kent. Your servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius?

Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that; He'll strike, and quickly too.—He's dead and rotten.

Kent. No, my good lord; I am the very man-
Lear. I'll see that straight.

Kent. That from your first of difference' and decay,
Have follow'd your sad steps.

You are welcome hither. Kent. Nor no man else. All's cheerless, dark, and

deadly: Your eldest daughters have fordone themselves?,

The same,


? I would have made them skip :) This is the reading of the quartos : the folio has him for “ them.”

she lov'd and hated,] The quartos “she lov'd or hated.” The meaning of this passage, says Monck Mason, appears to me to be this : If Fortune, to display the plenitude of her power, should brag of two persons, one of whom she had highly elevated, and the other she had wofully depressed, we now behold the latter. 9 This is a dull sight.] Words found only in the folio.

your First of difference] The quartos, obviously corruptly, “your life of difference.”

- have FORDONE themselves ;] This is probably the true reading, and from the folio. We have before been told in this scene that Goneril “fordid herself,” or destroyed herself. One of the quartos has “fordoome themselves," the other quartos print it fordoom'd. Nevertheless, only Goneril had, in fact, “ fordone" herself.



And desperately are dead.

Ay, so I think.
Alb. He knows not what he says"; and vain is it,
That we present us to him.

Very bootless.

Enter an Officer. Off. Edmund is dead, my lord. Alb.

That's but a trifle here. You lords, and noble friends, know our intent. What comfort to this great decay* may come, Shall be applied : for us, we will resign, During the life of this old majesty, To him our absolute power.—You, to your rights,

[To EDGAR and KENT. With boot, and such addition, as your honours Have more than merited.—All friends shall taste The wages of their virtue, and all foes The cup of their deservings.—0! see, see!

Lear. And my poor fool is hang’d'! No, no, no life: Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, And thou no breath at all? Thou'lt come no more, Never, never, never, never, never ! Pray you, undo this button : thank you, sir. Do you see this? Look on her,—look,—her lips,Look there, look there! Edg.

He faints !-My lord, my lord ! — 3 He knows not what he says ;] Thus the folio : the quartos sees.

to this great decay] Meaning Lear. The quartos omit “great.” • And my poor fool is hang'd!] It has been disputed whether, in these words, Lear refers to Cordelia or to his fool, of whom, in the two last acts, we have heard nothing. Sir Joshua Reynolds was of opinion that Shakespeare thus meant to inform the audience of the fate of the Fool; but it may be urged that, as Cordelia had been hanged, the poet would probably have chosen some other death for the Fool, in order to render the matter quite clear, supposing Lear to have allowed his thoughts to wander from his daughter, lying dead before him. On the other hand, if Shakespeare did not mean to revert to the Fool, he has certainly omitted to account for a prominent and important character.

6 Do you see this ? &c.] This line and the following hemistich are not in the quartos. After " thank you, sir," they have only the interjection ()! five times repeated.

[He dies.


Kent. Break, heart; I pr’ythee, break?!

Look up, my lord. Kent. Vex not his ghost: 0 ! let him pass: he hates

That would upon the rack of this tough world
Stretch him out longer.

He is

indeed. Kent. The wonder is, he hath endur'd so long: He but usurp'd his life.

Alb. Bear them from hence. Our present business Is general woe.-Friends of my soul, you twain

[To Kent and EDGAR. Rule in this realm®, and the gor'd state sustain.

Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go: My master calls me; I must not say, no'.

Alb. The weight of this sad time we must obey; Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say. The oldest hath borne most: we, that are young, Shall never see so much, nor live so long.

[Exeunt, with a dead March.


· Break, heart ; &c.] This line is in the quartos erroneously given to Lear, whose death is not there marked in the stage directions.

8 Rule in this REALM,] Rule in this kingdomin the quartos ; and for “ gor'd state” one of them (that without the address) has “good state.”

9 My master calls me, I must not say, no :) So the folio : the quartos “My master calls, and I must not say no.” The second folio here adds Dier, as a stage-direction in the margin, but there is nothing in the older editions to war. rant its introduction.

10 The weight of this sad time-] In the folio this speech is mistakenly assigned to Edgar. All the quartos concur in giving it to Albany.


“ The Tragedy of Othello, The Moore of Venice. As it hath beene diuerse times acted at the Globe, and at the Black-Friers, by his Maiesties Seruants. Written by William Shakespeare. London, Printed by N. O. for Thomas Walkley, and are to be sold at his shop, at the Eagle and Child, in Brittans Bursse. 1622.” 4to. 48 leaves, irregularly paged.

“ The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice," occupies thirty pages in the folio of 1623 ; viz. from p. 310 to p. 339 inclusive, in the division of “ Tragedies : " it is there, as in the three later folios, divided into Acts and Scenes, and on the last page is a list of the characters, headed, " The Names of the Actors.”

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