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Lear. To thee and thine hereditary ever I do invest you jointly with my power, Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom ; Pre-eminence, and all the large effects No less in space, validity, and pleasure, That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly Than that conferr'd on Goneril. Now, our
With reservation of an hundred knights, Although the last, not least ; to whose young By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode love
Make with you by due turns. Only we still The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
retain Strive to be interess'd ; what can you say to The name, and all the additions to a king ; draw
The sway, revenue, execution of the rest, A third more opulent than your sisters ? Speak. Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm, 140 Cor. Nothing, my lord.
This coronet part betwixt you. Lear. Nothing!
[Giving the crown. Cor. Nothing
Royal Lear, Lear: Nothing will come of nothing: speak Whom I have ever honor'd as my king, again.
Loved as my father, as my master follow'd, Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave As my great patron thought on in my prayMy heart into my mouth : I love your majesty
ers, According to my bond ; nor more nor less. Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make Lear. How, how, Cordelia ! mend your
from the shaft. speech a little,
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork Lest it may mar your fortunes.
Good my lord, The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly, You have begot me, bred me, loved me : I When Lear is mad. What wilt thou do, oid Return those duties back as are right fit,
man ? Obey you, love you, and most honor you. 100 Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to Why have my sisters husbands, if they say
speak, They love you all ? Haply, when I shall wed, When power to flattery bows ? To plainness That lord whose hand must take my plight honor's bound,
When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy Half my love with him, half my care and duty:
doom ; Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters, And, in thy best consideration, check To love my father all.
This' hideous rashness : answer my life my Lear. But goes thy heart with this ?
Ay, good my lord. Thy youngest daughter does not love thee Lear. So young, and so untender ?
least; Cor. So young, my lord, and true.
Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound Lear. Let it be so ; thy truth, then, be thy Reverbs no hollowness. dower :
Kent, on thy life, no more. · For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn The mysteries of Hecate, and the night ; To wage against thy enemies ; nor fear to By all the operation of the orbs
lose it, From whom we do exist, and cease to be ; Thy safety being the motive. Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Out of my sight ! Propinquity and property of blood,
Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still reAnd as a stranger to my heart and
160 Hold thee, from this, for ever. The barbar- The true blank of thine eye. ous Scythian,
Lear. Now, by Apollo, Or he that makes his generation messes
Now, by Apollo, king, To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom 120 Thou swear’st thy gods in vain. Be as well neighbor'd, pitied, and relieved, Lear.
O, vassal! miscreant ! As thou my sometime daughter.
(Laying his hand on his sword. Kent.
Good my liege,- Alb Lear. Peace, Kent ! Come not between the dragon and his wrath. Kent. Do: I loved her most, and thought to set my rest Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow On her kind nursery. Hence, and avoid my Upon thy foul disease. Revoke thy doom ; sight!
Or, whilst I can vent clamor from my throat, So be my grave my peace, as here I give I'll tell thee thou dost evil. Her father's heart from her ! Call France; Lear.
Hear me, recreant ! who stirs ? On thine allegiance, hear me !
170 Call Burgundy. Cornwall and Albany,
Since thou hast sought to make us break our With my two daughters' dowers digest this
VOW, third :
130 Which we durst never yet, and with strain'd Let pride, whịch she calls plainness, marry pride bei
To come between our sentence and our power,
Corin. Dear sir, forbear.
Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,
wilt appear, Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here. [To Cordelia] The gods to their dear shelter
take thee, maid, That justly think'st, and hast most rightly
said ! [To Regan and Goneril] And your large
speeches may your deeds approve, 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. Flourish. Re-enter GLOUCESTER, with
FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and Attendants. Glou. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
191 Lear. My lord of Burgundy. We first address towards you, who with this
king Hath rivali'd for our daughter : what, in the
Most royal majesty, I crave no more than what your highness
offer'd, Nor will you tender less. Lear.
Right noble Burgundy, When she was dear to us, we did hold her so; But now her price is fall’n. Sir, there she stands :
200 If aught within that little seeming substance, Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced, And nothing more, may fitly like your grace, She's there, and she is yours. Bur.
I know no answer. Lear. Will you, with those infirmities she
owes, Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate, Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with
our oath, Take her, or leave her ? Bur.
Pardon me, royal sir ; Election makes not up on such conditions. Lear. Then leave her, sir ; for, by the power that made me,
210 I tell you all her wealth. (To France] For
you, great king, 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 way Than on wretch whom nature is ashamed
Almost to acknowledge hers.
This is most strange, That she, that even but now was your best
object, The argument of your praise, balm of your
age, Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time
219 Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle So many folds of favor. Sure, her offence Must be of such unnatural degree, That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affec
tion Fall'n into taint : which to believe of her, Must be a faith that reason without miracle Could never plant in me. Cor.
I yet beseech your majesty,– for I want that glib and oily art, To speak and purpose not ; since what I well
intend, I'll do't before I speak,-that you make knowr It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness, 230 No unchaste action, or dishonord step, That hath deprived me of your grace and
favor ; But even for want of that for which I am
richer, still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue As 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 pleased
me better. France. Is it but this,-a tardiness in na
ture Which often leaves the history unspoke 239 That it intends to do? My lord of Burgundy, What say you to the lady? Love's not love When it is mingled with regards that stand Aloof from the entire point. Will you have
her ? She is herself a dowry. Bur.
Royal Lear, Give but that portion which yourself pro
posed, And here I take Cordelia by the hand, Duchess 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 ! 250 Since that respects of fortune are his love, I shall not be his wife. France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most
rich, being poor ; Most choice, forsaken ; and most loved, de
spised! 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
neglect My love should kindle to inflamed respect. Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my
chance, Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France :
Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy 261 SCENE II. The Earl of Gloucester's castle.
Enter EDMUND, with a letter.
Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy Lear. Thou hast her, France : let her be
law thine ; for we
My services are bound. Wherefore should I Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see Stand in the plague of custom, and permit That face of hers again. Therefore be gone The curiosity of nations to deprive me, Without our grace, our love, our benison. For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon. Come, noble Burgundy.
shines (Flourish. Exeunt all but
France, Lag of a brother? Why bastard ? wherefore Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia.
base ? France. Bid farewell to your sisters. 270 When my dimensions are as well compact, Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd My mind as generous, and my shape as true, eyes
Aš honest madam's issue? Why brand they Cordeliă leaves you : I know you what you
With base ? with baseness ? bastardy ? base, And like a sister am most loath to call
10 Your faults as they are named. Use well our Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take father :
More composition and fierce quality To your professed bosoms I commit him
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed, But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops, I would prefer him to a better place.
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well, then, So, farewell to you both.
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land : Reg. Prescribe not us our duties.
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund Gon.
Let your study As to the legitimate : fine word, -legitimate ! Be to content your lord, who hath received Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed, you
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base 20 At fortune's alms. You have obedience Shall top the legitimate. I grow ; I prosper : scanted,
Now, gods, stand up for bastards! And well are worth the want that you have wanted.
Enter GLOUCESTER. Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning Glou. Kent banish'd thus ! and France in hides :
choler parted! Who cover faults, at last shame them derides. And the king gone to-night ! subscribed his Well may you prosper!
Come, my fair Cordelia. Confined to exhibition ! All this done
[Exeunt France and Cordelia. Upon gad! Edmund, how now! what Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say
news ? of what most nearly appertains to us both. I Edm. So please your lordship, none. think our father will hence to-night.
(Putting up the letter. Reg. That's most certain, and with you ; Glou. Why so earnestly seek you to put next month with us.
up that letter ? Gon. You see how full of changes his age Edm." I know no news, my lord. is; the observation we have made of it hath Glou. What paper were you reading ? 30 not been little : he always loved our sister Edm. Nothing, my lord. most ; and with what poor judgment he hath Glou. No? What needed, then, that ternow cast her off appears too grossly.
rible dispatch of it into your pocket ? the Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age : yet he quality of nothing hath not such need to hide hath ever but slenderly known himself. itself. Let's see: come, if it be nothing, I shall
Gon. The best and soundest of his time not need spectacles. hath been but rash; then must we look to re- Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me : it is ceive from his age, not alone the imperfections a letter from my brother, that I have not all of long-engraffed condition, but therewithal o'er-read ; and for so much as I have perused, the unruly waywardness that infirm and I find it not fit for your o'er-looking. 40 choleric years bring with them.
Glou. Give me the letter, sir. Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to Edm. I shall offend, either to detain or have from him as this of Kent's banishment. give it. The contents, as in part I understand
Gon. There is further compliment of leave- them, are to blame. taking between France and him. Pray you, Glou. Let's see, let's see. let's hit together : if our father carry authority Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, with such dispositions as he bears, this last he wrote this but as an essay or taste of my surrender of his will but offend us. 310 virtue. Reg. We shall further think on't.
Glou. [Reads] ‘This policy and reverence Gon. We must do something, and i' the of age makes the world bitter to the best of beat,
facCunto gur times; keeps our fortuneş from us till our
oldness cannot relish them. I begin to find dom of nature can reason it thus and thus, an idle and fond bondage in the oppression of yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent aged tyranny; who sways, not as it hath effects : love cools, friendship falls off, brothpower, but as it is suffered. Come to me, that ers divide : in cities, mutinies ; in countries, of this I may speak more. If our father discord ; in palaces, treason ; and the bond would sleep till I waked him, you should en- cracked''twixt son and father. This villain of joy half his revenue for ever, and live the be- mine comes under the prediction ; there's son loved of your brother,
EDGAR.' against father : the king falls from bias of Hum-conspiracy !-'Sleep till I waked him, nature; there's father against child. We have -you should enjoy half his revenue,'—My seen the best of our time : machinations, holson Edgar! Had he a hand to write this ? a lowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders, heart and brain to breed it in ?-When came follow us disquietly to our graves. Find out this to you? who brought it ?
this villain, Edmund; it shall lose thee nothEdm. It was not brought me, my lord ; ing ; do it carefully. And the noble and truethere's the cunning of it ; I found it thrown in hearted Kent banished ! his offence, honesty ! at the casement of my closet.
[Exit. Glou. You know the character to be your Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the brother's ?
world, that, when we are sick in fortune,Edm. If the matter were good, my lord, I often the surfeit of our own behavior, we durst_swear it were his ; but, in respect of make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, that, I would fain think it were not. 70 and the stars : as if we were villains by necesGlou. It is his.
sity ; fools by heavenly compulsion ; knaves, Edm. It is his hand, my lord ; but I hope thieves, and treachers, by spherical predomhis heart is not in the contents.
inance ; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by Glou. Hath he never heretofore sounded an enforced obedience of planetary influence ; you in this business ?
and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrustEdm. Never, my lord : but I have heard ing on : an admirable evasion of whoremaster him oft maintain it to be fit, that, sons at man, to lay his goatish disposition to the perfect age, and fathers declining, the father charge of a star! My father compounded should be as ward to the son, and the son with my mother under the dragon's tail ; and manage his revenue.
my nativity was under Ursa major ; so that it Glou. O villain, villain ! His very opinion in follows, I am rough and lecherous. Tut, I the letter! Abhorred villain ! Unnatural, de- should have been that I am, had the maidentested, brutish villain ! worse than brutish ! liest star in the firmament twinkled on my Go, sirrah, seek him ; I'll apprehend him : bastardizing. Edgarabominable villain! Where is he?
Enter EDGAR, Edm. I do not well know, my lord. If it shall please you to suspend your indignation and pat he comes like the catastrophe of the against my brother till you can derive from old comedy : my cue is villanous melancholy, him better testimony of his intent, you shall with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam. O, these run a certain course ; where, if you violently eclipses do portend these divisions ! fa, sol, la, proceed against him, mistaking his purpose, mi. it would make a great gap in your own honor, Edg. How now, brother Edmund ! what and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. serious contemplation are you in ?
151 I dare pawn down my life for him, that he Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a predichath wrote this to feel my affection to your tion I read this other day, what should follow honor, and to no further pretence of danger. these eclipses. Glou. Think you so ?
Edg. Do you busy yourself about that? Edm. If your honor judge it meet, I will Edm. I promise you, the effects he writes place you where you shall hear us confer of of succeed unhappily ; as of unnaturalness this, and by an auricular assurance have your between the child and the parent; death, satisfaction ; and that without any further dearth, dissolutions of ancient amities ; divisdelay than this very evening.
101 ions in state, menaces and maledictions against Glou. He cannot be such a monster- king and nobles ; needless diffidences, banishEdm. Nor is not, sure,
ment of friends, dissipation of cohorts, nuptial Glou. To his father, that so tenderly and breaches, and I know not what. entirely loves him. Heaven and earth! Ed- Edg. How long have you been a sectary mund, seek him out : wind me into him, I astronomical ? pray you : frame the business after your own Edm. Come, come ; when saw you my wisdom. I would unstate myself, to be in a father last ? due resolution.
Edg. Why, the night gone by. Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently : con- Edm. Spake you with him ? vey the business as I shall find means, and Edg. Ay, two hours together.
170 acquaint you withal.
111 Edm. Parted you in good terms ? Found Glou. These late eclipses in the sun and you no displeasure in him by word or coup. moon portend no good to us ; though the wis- tenance ?
Edg. None at all.
Edm. Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended him : and at my entreaty forbear his presence till some little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure ; which at
; this instant so rageth in him, that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay.
Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong.
Edm. That's my fear. I pray you, have a continent forbearance till the speed of his rage goes slower ; and, as I say, retire with me to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my lord speak : pray ye, go ; there's my key : if you do stir abroad, go armed.
Edg. Armed, brother !
Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best ; go armed : I am no honest man if there be any good meaning towards you : I have told you what I have seen and heard ; but faintly, nothing like the image and horror of it : pray you, away.
Edg. Shall I hear from you anon?
[Exit Edgar. A credulous father ! and a brother noble, Whose nature is so far from doing harms, That he suspects none : on whose foolish hon
esty My practices ride easy ! I see the business. Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit: 199 All with me's meet that I can fashion fit.
[Exit. SCENE III. The Duke of Albany's palace. Enter GONERIL, and OswALD, her steward. Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman
for chiding of his fool ? Osw. Yes, madam.
Gon. By day and night he wrongs me ; He flashes into one gross crime or other, That sets us all at odds : l'll not endure it : His knights grow riotous, and himself up
braids us On every trifle. When he returns from hunt
ing, I will not speak with him ; say I am sick : If you come slack of former services,
9 You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer. Osw. He's coming, madam ; I hear him.
[Horns within. Gon. Put on what weary negligence you
please, You and your fellows ; I'll have it come to
question : If he dislike it, let him to our sister, Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one, Not to be over-ruled. Idle old man, That still would manage those authorities That he hath given away! Now, by my life, Old fools are babes again ; and must be used With checks as flatteries, when they are seen abused.
20 Remember what I tell you. Osu,
Gon. And let his knights have colder looks
among you ; What grows of it, no matter ; advise your fel
lows so : I would breed from hence occasions, and I
shall, That I may speak : I'll write straight to my
sister, To hold my very course. Prepare for dinner.
[Exeunt. SCENE IV. A hall in the same.
Enter KENT, disguised. Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow, That can my speech defuse, my good intent May carry through itself to that full issue For which I razed my likeness. Now, ban
ish'd Kent, If thou canst serve where thou dost stand con
demn'd, So may it come, thy master, whom thou lovest, Shall find thee full of labors. Horns within. Enter LEAR, Knights,
and Attendants. Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner ; go get it ready. [Exit an Attendant.] How now! what art thou ?
10 Kent. A man, sir. Lear, What dost thou profess? what
wouldst thou with us ? Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem ; to serve him truly that will put me in trust: to love him that is honest ; to converse with him that is wise, and says little ; to fear judgment; to fight when I cannot choose ; and to
at no fish. Lear. What art thou ?
Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king.
21 Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What wouldst thou ?
Kent. No, sir ; but you have that in your countenance which I would fain call master. Lear. What's that?
31 Kent. Authority. Lear. What services canst thou do ?
Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly : that which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in ; and the best of me is diligence. Lear. How old art thou ?
39 Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing, nor so old to dote on her for any thing: I have years on my back forty eight.
Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me : if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet. Dinner, ho, dinner ! Where's my knave? my fool? Go you, and call my fool hither. [Exit an Attendant,