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And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
Upon our kingdom; if 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 ; fith thus thou wilt appear,
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here ;
The Gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid, [To Cor.
That justly think'ft, and hast most rightly said !
And your large speeches may your deeds
[To Gon. and Regan.
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.
SCENE III. Enter Glo'fter, with France and
Burgundy, and Attendants.
. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble Lord.
Lear. My Lord of Burgundy,
We first address tow'rd you, who with this King
Have rivall’d for our daughter; what at least
Will you require in present dowre with her,
Or cease your quest of love ?
Bur. Most royal Majesty,
I crave no more than what your Highness offer'd,
Nor will you tepder less.
Lear. Right noble Burgundy,
„When she was dear to us we held her so,
But now her price is fall’n: Sir, there she stands,
If ought within that little seeming substance,
Or all of it with our displeasure piec'd,
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 fhe owes,
Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,
Dowr'd with our curse, and Atranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her?
Bur, Pardon, royal Sir.
Election makes noć up on such conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, Sir; for by the pow's that made me,
I tell you all her wealth.—For you, great King, (ToFrance.
I would not from your love make such a stray,
To match you where I hate ; therefore beseech you
T'avert your liking a more worthy way
Than on a wretch whom nature is alham'd
Almoft to acknowledge hers.
France. This is most strange!
That the, who ev'n but now was your best object,
Your praise's argument, balm of your age,
Dearest and beft, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
So many folds of favour ! sure th' offence
Muft be of such unnatural degree,
As monsters it ; or your fore-voucht affection
Could not fall into taint ; which to believe
Of her muft be a faith reason without
A miracle should never plant in me.
Cor. I yet beseech your Majesty, (if so
I want that glib and oily art, to speak
And purpose not, fince whai I well intend,
I'll do't before I speak) that you make known
It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
No unchafte action, or dishonour'd step,
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour;
But ev'n the want of that, for which I'm richer,
A ftill solliciting eye, and such a tongue,
That I am glad I've not, though not to have it
Hath loft me in your liking.
Lear. Better thou
Haust not been born, than not have pleas'd me better.
France. Is it but this ? a tardiness in nature,
Which often leaves the history unspoke
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 th’intire point. Say will you have her?
She is her self a dowry.
Bur. Royal King,
Give but that portion which your self propos’d,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Dutchess of Burgundy.
Lear. Nothing -I've sworn,
Bur. I'm sorry then you have so loft 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, that art most rich, being poor
Most choice, forsaken ! and mof lov'd, despis'd!
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upoo,
Be’t lawful I take up what's cast away.
Gods, Gods! 'tis ftrange, that from their cold'At neglect
My love should kndle to enflam'd respect.
Thy dowreless daughter, King, thrown to my chance,
Is Queen of us, of ours, and our fair France:
Not all the Dukes of wat’rish Burgundy,
Can buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.
Bid them farewel, 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 hers again; therefore be gone
Without our grace, our love, our benizon :
Come, noble Burgundy.
(Flourish. Exeunt Lear and Burgundy.
France.. Bid farewel to your sisters.
Cor. Ye jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you : I know what you are,
And like a sister am most lorh to call
Your faults as they are nam’d. Love well our father ;
To your professing bosoms I commit him ;
But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place.
So farewel to you both.
Reg. Prescribe not us our duty.
Gon. Let your study
Be to content your Lord, who hath receiv'd you
At fortune's alms ; you have obedience scanted,
And well are worthy to want that you have wanted.
Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides,
Who cover'd faults at last with thame derides.
Well may you prosper !
France. Come, my fair Cordelia.
[Exeunt France and Cor.
Gon. Sifter, it is not little I've to say,
Oi what most nearly appertains to us both;
I think our father will go hence to-night.
Reg. That's certain, and with you ; next month with
Gon. You see how full of changes bis age is, the observation we have made of it hath not been little ; he always lov'd our fifter most, and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off, appears too grosly.
Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age ; yet he hath ever but Nenderly known himself.
Gon. The best and soundet of his time hath been but rah ; then muft we look from his age to receive not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted conditions, but therewithal the unruly waywardness, that infirm and cholerick years bring with them.
Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him, as this of Kent's banishment.
Gon. There is further compliment of leave-taking between Burgundy and him; pray you, let us fit together : if our father carrry authority, with such disposition as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us,
Reg. We shall further think of it.
Gon. We must do something, and i'th' heat. [Exeunt.
A Cuffle belonging to the Earl of Glo'ster.
Enter Bastard witb a letter.
Baft. Thou, Nature, art my Goddess, to thy law
My services are bound ; wherefore should I
Stand to the plague of custom, and permit
The courtesy of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother * and why bastard ? base ?,
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as gen'rous, and my shape as true,
As honest Madam's issue? why brand they us
With base? with baseness ? bastardy ? base, base ?
Who in the lufty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality,
Than doth within a dull, ftale, tired bed,
Go to creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got ’oween a-Neep and wake? Well then, good brother,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land,
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund,
As to th' legitimate ; fine word—legitimate-
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall toe t th' legitimate : I grow, I prosper;
Now, Gods, stand up for baftards !
SCE NE VII. To bim, Enter Glo'fter.
Glo. Kent banish'd thus ! and France in choler parted!
And the King gone to-night ! subscrib'd his pow'r,
Confin'd to exhibition ! all is gone
Upon the gad ! -Edmund, how now? what news ?
Baft. So please your Lordship, none. [Putting up the letter,
Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter
Baft. I know no news, my Lord.
Glo. What paper were you reading ?
Bafit. Nothing, my Lord.
Glo. No! what needed then that terrible dispatch of it into your pocket? the quality of nothing hath not fuch
• Edmund is here inveighing against the tyranny of custom, of which he produces two distinct intances, one with respe&t to younger brothers, the other with respect to bastards. In the former he must not be understood to mean himself though he fçsaks in the first person, but according to a common mode of ipeech to fuppose the case his own, and as in his own person to exclaim against the unreasonableness and injustice of the thing: the argument thus becomes general implying more than is faid, nairely, wherefore should I, or any man, &c.
+ As the treading upon another's Heels is an expression used to fignify the being not far behind him; so to 100 another means to cure up to and be upon cyen ground with him.