« PreviousContinue »
May be prevented now. The princes, France and
Burgundy, Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, And here are to be answer’d.—Tell me, my daugh
ters, (Since now we will divest us, both of rule, Ivterest of territory, cares of state,) Which of you, shall we say, doth love us most? That we our largest bounty may extend Where merit doth most challenge it.-Goneril, Our eldest-born, speak first.
Gon. Sir, I Do love you more than words can weild the matter, Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty ; Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare; No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour : 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 silent.
[Aside. Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line to
this, With shadowy forests and with champains rich'd, With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads, We make thee lady: To thine and Albany's issue Be this perpetual. -What says our second daughter, 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 possesses; And find, I am alone felicitate In your dear highness? love.
Cor. Then poor Cordelia!
(Aside. And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love's More richer than my tongue.
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
Cor. Good my lord,
love and most honour you.
carry • Half my love with him, balf my care, and duty: Sure, I shall never marry
my sisters, To love my father all.
Lear. But goes this with thy heart?
For, by the sacred radiance of the sun;
Kent. Good my liege,
Lear. Peace, Kent ! Come not between the dragon and bis wrath : I lov'd her most, and thought to set my rest On her kind nursery.--Hence, and avoid my sight!
[To Cordelia. So be my grave my peace, as here I give Her father's heart from her!-Call France;—Who
course, With reservation of an hundred knights, By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain The name, and all the additions to a king;
Revenue, execution of the rest,
Kent. Royal Lear, Whom I have honour'd as my king, Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd, As my great patron thought on in my prayers, Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from the
shaft. Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly, When Lear is mad. What would'st thou do, old
man? Think'st thou, that duty shall have dread to speak, When power to fattery bows? To plainness honour's
bound, When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom; And, in thy best consideration, check This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgment, Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least; Nor are those empty-hearted, whose low sound Reverbs no hollowness.
Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more.
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn To wage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it, Thy safety being the motive. • Lear. Out of my sight!
Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain The true blank of thine eye.
Lear. Now, by Apollo,
Kent. Now, by Apollo, king, Thou swear’st thy gods in vain. Lear. (), vassal! misereant !
[Laying his hand on his sword Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
Lear. Hear me, recreant ! On thine allegiance hear me!Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow, (Which we durst never yet,) and, with strain'd pride, To come betwixt our sentence and our power; (Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,) Our potency make good, take thy reward. Five days we do allot thee, forprovision To shield thee from diseases 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. Kent. Fare thee well, king: since thus thou wilt
appear, Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.-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.
Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
Bur. Most royal majesty,