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KI N G L E A R.

I

A C. T I. SCEN E I.

SCENE A Palace. Enter Kent, Glo'fter, and Edmund the Bastard. Kent. Thought the King had more affected the Duke

of Albany than Cornwall,

Glo. It did always seem so to us : but now in the division of the kingdom, it appears not

which of the Dukes he values moft; for qualities are so weigh'd, that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.

Kent. Is not this your son, my Lord ?

Glo. His breeding, Sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often blush'd to acknowledge him, that now I am braz'd to't.

Kent. I cannot conceive you.

Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could; whereupon the

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 with the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.

Glo. But I have a son, Sir, by order of law, some years elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account; though this knave came somewhat sawcily 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 acknowledg’d. Do you know this nobleman, Edmund ? Baft. No, my Lord.

Glo.

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Glo, My Lord of Kent;
Remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.

Baft. My services to your Lordship.
Kent. I must love you, and fue to know you better.
Baft. Sir, I shall ftudy your deserving.

Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he fall again.
The King is coming
SCENE II. Tetbem, Enter King Lear, Cornwall,

Albany, Gonerill, Regan, Cordelia, and Attendants. Lear. Attend the Lords of France and Burgundy. Glo. Į shall, my Liege.

[Exit, Lear. Mean time we shall express our darker purpose. Give me the Map here. Know, we have divided In three, our kingdom; and 'tis our intent, To fhake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger ftrengths, while we Unburden'd crawl tow'rd death. Our fon of Cornwall, And you, our no less loving son of Albany, We have this hour a constant will to publisk Our daughters sev'ral Dow’rs, that future ftrife May be prevented. The Princes France and Burgundy, Great rivals in our younger daughter's love, Long in our Court have made their am'rous sojourn, And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, daughters, Since now we will divest us, both of rule,: 1 Int'rest of territory, and cares of state ; Which of you shall we say doth love us moft? That we our largeft bounty may extend Where nature doth with merit challenge. Gonerill Our eldest born, speak first.

Gon. I love you, Sir, Dearer than eye-fight, 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 loy'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 filent? [Alide.

Lear. Of all these bounds, ev'n from this line to this, With Madowy forests and with champions rich'd,

With

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 of Cornwall ? speak.

Reg. I'm made of that self-metal as my fifter,
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 moft precious spirit of sense possesses,
And find I am alone felicitate
In your dear liighness' love.
Cor. Then poor Cordelia !

[Afde,
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 confer'd on Gonerill.--Now our joy,
Although our last, not least ; in w bofe young love,"
The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy,
Strive to be int'ress’d: what say you to draw
A third, more opulent than your fifters ? Speak.

Cor. Nothing, my Lord.
Lear. Nothing?
Cor. Nothing
Lear. Nothing will come of nothing, speak again.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot beave
My lieart into my mouth : I love your Majesty
According to my bond, no more nor less.

Lear. How, how, Cordelia ? mend your speech a little,
Lest you may mar your fortunes.

Cor. Good 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
They love you all ? hap'ly when I shall wed,
That Lord whose hand must take my plight, fhall carry
Half my love with him, half my care and dutý.

Sure

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Sure I shall never marry like my lifters,
To love my father all-

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 dowre;
For by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate, and the night,
By all the operations of the orbs
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 barb'rous Scysbian,
Or be 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 ! Come not between the dragon and his wrath. I lov'd her moft, and thought to set my rest On her kind nurs'ry. Hence, avoid my fight! - [To Cor. So be my grave my peace, as here I give Her father's heart from her ; call France; who stirs ? Call Burgundy -Cornwall and Albany, With my two daughters dowres, digest the third. Let pride, which the calls plainnels, marry her. I do invest you jointly with my power, Preheminence, and all the large effects That troop with Majesty. Ourself by monthly course, With reservation of an hundred Knights, By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode Make with you by due turns: only retain The name and all th' addition to a King ; The sway, revenue, execution, Beloved sons, be yours; which to confirm This Coronet part between you.

[Giving ebe Crown, Kent. Royal Leary

Whom

Whom I have ever honour'd as my King,
Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd,
And as my patron thought on in my pray’rs

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 pow'r to flate’ry bows ? to plainness Honour le bound, when Majesty to folly falls. Reserve thy State ; with better judgment check This hideouş rashness; with my life I answer, Thy youngest daughter does not love thee leaft, 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 thy foes nor fear to lose it, Thy safety being the motive.

Lear. Out of my fight!

Kent. See better, Lear, and let me ftill remain The true blank of thine eye.

Lear. Now by Apollo

Kent. Now by Apollo, King, Thou swear'ft thy Gods in vain. Lear. O vaflal! miscreant !

(Laying his band on his sword. ' Alb. Corn. Dear Sir, forbear.

Kent, Kill thy physician, and thy fee bestow
Upon the foul disease ; 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 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 made good, take thy reward,
'Five days we do allot thee for provision,
To Thield thee from disasters of the world,

And

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