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Iach. I am down again :
But now my heavy conscience sinks my knee,
As then your force did. Take that life, 'beseech
Which I so often owe: but your ring first; [you, 5
And here the bracelet of the truest princess,
That ever swore her faith.

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Arv. You holp us, sir.

As you did mean indeed to be our brother;
Joy'd are we, that you are.

Post. Your servant, princes.

of Rome,

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Sooth. The fingers of the powers above do tune
The harmony of this peace. The vision
Which I made known to Lucius, ere the stroke
Of this yet scarce-cold battle, at this instant
Is full accomplished: For the Roman eagle,
10 From south to west on wing soaring aloft,

Lessen'd herself, and in the beams o' the sun
So vanish'd: which fore-shew'd, our princelyeagle,
The imperial Cæsar, should again unite
His favour with the radiant Cymbeline,
15 Which shines here in the west.

-Good my lord

Call forth your soothsayer: As I slept, methought, 20 A Roman and a British ensign wave
Great Jupiter, upon his eagle back'd,
Appear'd to me, with other sprightly shews'
Of mine own kindred: when I wak'd, I found
This label on my bosom; whose containing
Is so from sense in hardness, that I can
Make no collection of it: let him shew
His skill in the construction.

Luc. Philarmonus,

Sooth. Here, my good lord.

Luc. Read, and declare the meaning.
Soothsayer reads.



"When as a lion's whelp shall to himself "unknown, without seeking find, and be em"brac'd by a piece of tender air; and when from a stately cedar shall be lopt branches, which, 35 "being dead many years, shall after revive, be "joined to the old stock, and freshly grow; then "shall Posthumus end his miseries, Britain be "fortunate, and flourish in peace and plenty." Thou, Leonatus, art the lion's whelp; The fit and apt construction of thy name, Being Leo-natus, doth import so much; The piece of tender air thy virtuous daughter, [To Cymbeline. Which we call mollis aer; and mollis aer 45 We term it mulier: which mulier, I divine, [now Is this most constant wife; [To Post.] who, even Answering the letter of the oracle, Unknown to you, unsought, were clip'd about, With this most tender air.

My peace we will begin:-And, Caius Lucius,
Although the victor, we submit to Cæsar,

And to the Roman empire, promising

To pay our wonted tribute, from the which
We were dissuaded by our wicked queen;
On whom heaven's justice (both on her, and her's)
Hath lay'd most heavy hand.

Friendly together: so thro' Lud's town march;
And in the temple of great Jupiter

Our peace we'll ratify; seal it with feasts.
Set on there :-Never was a war did cease,
25 Ere bloody hands were wash'd, with such a peace.
[Exeunt ommes.

Cym. This hath some seeming.

Sooth. The lofty cedar, royal Cymbeline,
Personates thee: and thy lopt branches point,
Thy two sons forth: who, by Belarius stolen,
For many years thought dead, are now reviv'd, 55
To the majestic cedar join'd; whose issue
Promises Britain peace and plenty.

Cym. Well.

4 SONG, sung by Guiderius and Arciragus oter Fidele, supposed to be dead.





Cym. Laud we the gods;

And let our crooked smokes climb to their nostrils
From our blest altars! Publish we this peace
To all our subjects. Set we forward: Let


To fair Fidele's grassy tomb,

Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each op'ning sweet, of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing spring.


No wailing ghost shall dare appear
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove :
But shepherd-lads assemble here,

And melting virgins own their love.

No wither'd witch shall here be seen,

No goblins lead their nightly crew:
The female fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grave with pearly dew.

The red-breast oft' at ev'ning hours
Shall kindly lend his little aid,
With hoary moss, and gather'd flowers,
To deck the ground where thou art laid.


When howling winds, and beating rain,
In tempests shake the sylvan cell ;
Or 'midst the chace on ev'ry plain,

The tender thought on thee shall dwell.

Each lonely scene shall thee restore;
For thee the tear be duly shed:
Belov'd, till life could charm no more;
And mourn'd, till pity's self be dead.


1 Sprightly shews are ghostly appearances; but should be read spritely shews. a corollary, a consequence deduced from premises.

A collection is



LEAR, King of Britain.
King of FRANCE.
Duke of CORNwall.
Duke of ALBANY.
Earl of GLOSTer.
Earl of KENT.
EDGAR, Son to Gloster.
EDMUND, Bastard Son to Gloster.

CURAN, a Courtier.


Daughters to Lear.

Knights attending on the King, Officers, Messengers, Soldiers, and Attendants.

SCENE, Britain.

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OSWALD, Steward to Goneril.
A Captain, employed by Edmund.
Gentleman, Attendant on Cordelia.
A Herald.

Old Man, Tenant to Gloster.
Servants to Cornwall.

Kent. I cannot conceive you.

Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could: whereupon she grew round-womb'd; and had, indeed, sir, a son for her cradle, ere she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault?

Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.

Glo. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some years elder than this, who is yet no dearer in my account, though this knave came somewhat 25 saucily into the world before he was sent for: yet was his mother fair; there was good sport at his making, and the whoreson must be acknowledged.




-Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund ?
Edm. No, my lord.

Glo. My lord of Kent. Remember him here after as my honourable friend.

Edm. My services to your lordship.

[ter. Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you bet Edm. Sir, I shall study deserving. Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again:-The king is coming.

[Trumpets sound within. Enter Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, and Attendants.

Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy,

Glo.Ishall, myliege. [ExeuntGloster and Edmund. Lear. Mean time we shall express our darker purpose.

The map there.-Know, that we have divided In three our kingdoin: and 'tis our fast intent 20 To shake all cares and business from our age;

Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
Unburthen'd crawl toward death. Our son of

And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife
May be prevented now. The princes, France and

Curiosity is scrupulousness, or captiousness.

2 The strict sense of the word moiety is half, one of two equal parts: but Shakspeare commonly uses it for any part or division. 3 Darker, for anore secret; not for indirect, oblique. Constant is firm, deiørmined.



Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,
Longinourcourt have made their amorous sojourn,
And here are to be answer.d.-Tell me, mydaugh-
(Since now we will divest us, both of rule, [ters,
Interest of territory, cares of state,)
Which of you, shall we say, doth love us most?
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where nature doth with merit challenge.-Go-
Our eldest born, speak first.

Gon. Sir, I

They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed, That lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall carry


Half my love with him, half my care, and duty:
Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all.

[ter, 10

Do love you more than words can wield the mat-
Dearer than eye-sight, space and fiberty ;
Beyond what can be valued rich or rare; [nour:
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, ho-
As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable;
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
Cor. What shall Cordelia do? Love, and be
Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line 20

Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Cor. Ay, my good lord.


Lear. So young, and so untender?
Cor. So young, my lord, and true.
Lear. Let it be so-Thy truth then be thy
For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate, and the night;
By all the operations of the orbs,

15 From whom we do exist, and cease to be;
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee, from this, for ever. The barbarous

Or he that makes his generation messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
As thou my sometime daughter.
Kent. Good my liege,—
Lear. Peace, Kent!

to this,

With shadowy forests and with champains rich'd,
With plenteous rivers, and white-skirted meads,
We make thee lady: To thine and Albany's issue
Bethis perpetual.--What says our second daughter, 25
Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak.

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 pos-
And find, I am alone felicitate



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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
[To Cordelia
So be my grave my peace, as here I give
Her father's heart from her!-Call France;-
Who stirs ?

In your dear highness' love.

Cor. Then poor Cordelia !

And yet not so; since I am sure, my love's
More pond'rous 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,
Although the last, not least; to whose young love,
The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy,
Strive to be interess'd; what can you say, to draw
A third, more opulent than your sisters? Speak. 45
Cor. Nothing, 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,

Lear. Nothing

Cor. Nothing.


Lear. Nothing can come of nothing: speak
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
According to any bond; nor more, nor less.
Lear. How, how, Cordelia! mend your speech
a little,

Lest it may mar your fortunes.
Cor. Good my lord,

Call Burgundy.Cornwall, and Albany,
With my two daughters' dowers digest this third:
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
I do invest you jointly with my power,
Pre-eminence, and all the large effects [course,
That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly
40 With reservation of an hundred knights,

By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode [tain
Make with you by due turns. Only, we shall re-
The name, and all the addition to a king;
The sway, revenue, execution of the rest',
Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,
This coronet part between you. [Giving the crown.
Kent. Royal Lear,

Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,
Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd,
50 As my great patron thought on in my prayers,—
Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from
the shaft.

[Aside. 35

Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly, 55 When Lear is mad. What would'st thou do, old


Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak, When power to flattery bows? To plainness ho nour's bound,

60When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom;

That is, beyond all assignable quantity. 2 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. Square here means compass, comprehension. Validity, for worth, value. i. e. from this time. i. e. the execution of all the other business.

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Lear. Hear me, recreant;

On thine allegiance hear me!—

Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow, 25
(Which we durst never yet,) and, with strain'd

To come betwixt our sentence and our power,
(Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,)
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
Five days we do allot thee for provision
To shield thee from disasters of the world;
And, on the sixth, to turn thy hated back
Upon our kingdom: if on the tenth day following,
Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death: Away! By Jupiter,
This shall not be revok'd.

Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.


I tell you all her wealth.-For you, great king,
[To France.
I would not from your love make such a stray,
To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you
To avert your liking a more worthier
Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd
Almost to acknowledge hers.

France. This is most strange!

Bur. Pardon me, royal sir;


Election makes not up on such conditions. Lear. Then leave her, sir; for by the power that made me,

Kent. Why, fare thee well, king: since thus
thou wilt appear,
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.-40
The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
[To Cordelia.
That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said.-
And your large speeches may your deeds approve,
[To Regan and Goneril. 45
That good effects may spring from words of love.
Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu;
He'll shape his old course in a country new. [Exit.
Re-enter Gloster, with France, Burgundy, and


That she, who even but now was your best object,
The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
The best, the dearest, should in this trice of time
30 Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
So many folds of favour! Sure, her offence
Must be of such unnatural degree,


That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection
Fall into taint; which to believe of her,
Must be of faith, that reason without miracle
Should never plant in me.


Cor. I yet beseech your majesty,
(If for I want that glib and oily art,
To speak and purpose not; since what I well in-
I'll do 't before I speak) that you make known
It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step,
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour:
But even for want of that, for which I am richer:
A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
That I am glad I have not, though not to have it
Hath lost me in your liking.

Lear. Better thou


Hadst not been born, than not to have pleas'd me France. Is it no more but this? a tardiness in nature,

Lear. My lord of Burgundy,


Which often leaves the history unspoke,
That it intends to do?-My lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the lady? Love is not love,
When it is mingled with regards, that stand
Aloof from the entire 10 point. Will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.

We first address towards you, who with this king
Have rivall'd for our daughter; What, in the least,
Will you require in present dower with her,
Or cease your quest of love'?

Bur. Most royal majesty,

Bur. Royal Lear,

Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,

1 Means the same as reverberates.

2 The blank is the white or exact mark at which the arrow i. e. pride exorbitant; pride Quest of love is amorous expe


is shot. See better, says Kent, and keep me always in your view. passing due bounds. i. e. our power to execute that sentence. dition. The term originated from romance.-A quest was the expedition in which a knight was engaged. Seeming is specious. 'i. e. is possessed of. i.e. makes not advances. ? Taint is here used for corruption and for disgrace. 10 Entire for single.



30 2


And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Dutchess of Burgundy.

Lear. Nothing; I have sworn: I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry then you have so lost a father,
That you must lose a husband.

Cor. Peace be with Burgundy!
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife.

France. Fairest Cordelia, thou art most rich,
being poor;

Most choice, forsaken; and most lov'd, despis'd
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon:
Be it lawful, I take up what's cast away.
Gods, gods! 'tis strange, that from their cold'st

My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.-
Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my

Is queen of us, and ours, and our fair France:
Not all the dukes of wat'rish Burgundy
Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.-
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind:
Thou losest here, a better where to find.

Lear. Thou hast her, France: let her be thine; for we

Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of her's again:-Therefore be gone,
Without our grace, our love, our benizon.-
Come, noble Burgundy.


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A Castle belonging to the Earl of Gloster.
Enter Edmund, with a letter.
Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound: Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom; and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
40 More composition, and fierce quality


Reg. Prescribe not us our duties.
Gon. Let your study

Be, to content your lord; who hath receiv'd you
At fortune's alis: You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have

wanted 2.


Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited 3 cunning
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
Well inay you prosper!

Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating of a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake?-Well then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund,
As to the legitimate: Fine word,-legitimate!
my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:-
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

France. Come, my fair Cordelia.

Enter Gloster.


[Flourish. Exeunt Lear, Burgundy, &c.30 France. Bid farewell to your sisters.

Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are:
And, like a sister, am most loth to call [ther:
Your faults, as they are nam'd. Use well our fa-35
To your professing bosoms I commit him:
But vet, alas! stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place.

So farewell to you both.

Reg. We shall further think of it.

Gon. We must do something, and i' the heat. [Exeunt.

[Exeunt France and Cordelia. Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say, of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think, our father will hence to-night.

Reg. That's most certain, and with you; next 55 month with us.

Glo. Kent banish'd thus! And France in choler parted!

And the king gone to-night! subscrib'd' his power!

Confin'd to exhibition "! All this done



Here and there have the power of nouns.-Thou losest this residence to find a better residence in another place. The meaning is, "You well deserve to meet with that want of love from your husband, which you have professed to want for our father." i. e. complicated, involved cunning. 4. i. e. agree. i. c. We must strike while the iron's hot. That is, Wherefore should I acquiesce, submit famely to the plagues and injustice of custom? Curiosity, in the time of Shakspeare, was a word that signified an over-nice scrupulousness in manners, dress, &c.-The curiosity of nations means, the idle, nice distinctions of the world. To deprive was, in our author's time, synonymous to disinherit. ? Subscrib'd for transferred, alienated. 1o Exhibition is allowance.


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