« PreviousContinue »
If aught 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.
I know no answer.
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?
Pardon me, royal sir; Election makes not up on such conditions, Lear. Then leave her, fir ; for, by the power that
made me, I tell you all her wealth.–For you, great king,
[To FRANCE. I would not from your love make such a stray, To match
where I hate ; therefore beseech you
To avert your liking a more worthier way,
Than on a wretch whom nature is alham'd
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 hest, most dearest, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous, to disinantle
So many folds of favour! Sure, her offence
Must be of such unnatural degree,
That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection
Fall into taint: which to believe of her,
Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
Could never plant in me.
I yet beseech your majesty, (If 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 known
It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
No unchaste action, or dichonour'd step,
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour :
But even for want of that, for which I am richer ;
A still-foliciting eye, and such a tongue
That I am glad I have not, though, not to have it,
Hath loft me in your liking.
Hadst not been born, than not to 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 is not love,
When it is mingled with respects, that stand
Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.
Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
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!
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I Mall not be his wife.
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being poor ;
Most choice, forsaken ; and most lov'd, despis d !
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's neglect
My love should kindle to infiam'd respect.
Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance,
Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France :
Not all the dukes of wat'rish Burgundy
Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me..
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind:
Thou losest here,j a better where to find.
Lear. Thou haft 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, BURGUNDY, CORNWALL, AL-
BANY, GLOSTER, and Attendants.
France. Bid farewell to your sisters.
Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you : I know you what you are ;
And, like a fifter, am most loath to call
Your faults, as they are nam'd. Use well our father :
To your profeffed bosoms I commit him :
But yet, alas ! stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place.
So farewell to you both.
Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Let your study
Be, to content your lord; who hath receiv'd you
At fortune's alms. You have obedience fcanted,
And well are worth the want that you have wanted.
Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides ;
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
Well may you prosper!
Come, my fair Cordelia.
[Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA.