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LEAR, King of Britain.
King of France.
Duke of Burgundy
Duke of Cornwall.
Duke of Albany.
Earl of Glo'fter.
Earl of Kent.
Edgar, Son to Glo'ster.
Edmund, Bastard Son to Glo'fter.
Curan, a Courtier.
Oswald, Steward to Gonerill.
A Captain, employ'd by Edmund.
Gentleman, Attendant on Cordelia.
Old Man, Tenant to Glo'ster.
Servant to Cornwall.
ift. 3 Servants to Glo'fter.
Knights attending on the King, Officers, Messengers,
Soldiers and Attendants.
SCENE, the King's Palace.
Enter Kent, Glo'ster, and Edmund the Bastard.
Thought, the King had more affected the
Duke of Albany than Cornwall.
I 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 blu'd to acknowledge him, that now I am braz'd toʻt.
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 wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.
Glo. But I have a fon, Sir, by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account ; though this knave came somewhat fawcily to the world before he was sent for, yet was his mother fair ; there was good sport at his making, and the whorson must be acknowledg’d. Do you know this Nobleman, Edmund ?
Edm. No, my lord,
Glo. My lord of Kent ;
Remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.
Edm.My services to your lordship.
Kent, I must love you, and sue to know
Edm. Sir, I shall study your deserving.
Glo. He hath been out nine
een out nine years, and away he shall again.
A [Trumpets sound, within,
The King is coming.
Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Gonerill, Regan,
Cordelia, and Attendants.
Leár. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Glooster.
Glo, I shall, my Liege.
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 fast intent,
To shake all cares and business from our age;
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
Unburthen'd crawl tow'rd death. Our son of Cornwall,
And You, our no less loving fon of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughters sev'ral Dow'rs, that future strife [gundy,
May be prevented now. The Princes France and Bur-
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,
Int'rest 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. Gonerill,
Our eldest born, speak first.
Gon. I love you, Sir,
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.
Lear. Of all these Bounds, ev'n froin this line to this,
With shadowy forests and with champions 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 of Cornwall ? speak.
Reg. I'm made of that self-metal as my sister,
And prize me at her worth, in my true Heart. (1)
I find, she names my very deed of love;
Only she comes too short : that I profess
My self an enemy to all other joys,
Which the most precious square of sense possesses ;
And find, I am alone felicitate
dear Highness' love. Cor. Then poor Cordelia !
[Aside. And yet not so, fince, 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; to whose young love,
The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy,
Strive to be intress'd: what say you, to draw
(1) And prize me at her Worth. In my true Heart,] Mr. Bishop prescrib'd the Pointing of this Passage, as I have regulated it in the Text. Regan would say, that in the Truth of her Heart and Affection, the equals the worth of her Sister, Without this Change in the Pointing, the makes a Boaft of her self without any Cause aflign'd,