Page images
PDF
EPUB

Kent. I cannot conceive you.

Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could: where. upon she grew round-wombed; 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.4 .

Glo. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account: though this knave came somewhat saucily 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 acknowledged.-Do you know this noble gentleman, 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 you · better.

Edm. Sir, I shall study deserving.

Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again:- The king is coming.

[Trumpets sound within.

Enter LEAR, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GONERIL, Re

GAN, CORDELIA, and Attendants. Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloster. Glo. I shall, my liege.

[Exeunt GLOSTER and EDMUND. Lear. Mean-time we shall express our darker

:. purpose.
4 being so proper.] 1. e. handsome.
- some year elder than this,] i. e. about a year.

- express our darker purpose.] That is, we have already made known in some measure our desire of parting the kingdom;

Give me the map there,-Know, that 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
Unburden'd crawl toward death.-Our son of Corn-

- wall
And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife
May be prevented now. The princes, France and

Burgundy, Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, i Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, , And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, my daughters, (Since now we will divest uš, both of rule, Interest 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 wield 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, hoa

nour: 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.

we will now discover what has not been told before, the reasons by which we shall regulate the partition. This interpretation will justify or palliate the exordial dialogue. JOHNSON.

7 and 'tis our fast intent=] Our determined resolution.

8 — constant will —) Constant is firm, determined. Constant will is the certa voluntas of Virgil.

9 Beyond all manner of so much-] Beyond all assignable quantity. I love you beyond limits, and cannot say it is so much, for how much soever I should name, it would be yet more.

Cor. What shall Cordelia do? Lore, and be silent.

[ Aside. Lear. Of all these bounds, eren from this line to

this, With shadowy forests and with champains richid, With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads, We make the lady: To thine and Abant's issue Be this perpetual.- What sets our second daughter, Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak.

Rez. 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 jors, Which the most precious square of sense possesses; And find, I am alone felicitate In your dear bighness' love. Cor.

Then poor Cordelia! [Aside. And yet not so; since, I am sure, my lore's More richer 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 confirm'd on Goneril.–Now, our joy, Although the last, not least ; to whose young love The vines of France, and miik of Burgundy, Strive to be interess'd;' what can you sav, to draw A third more opulent than your sisters Speak.

- that I profess, &e.) In that, i e, inasmuck as, I profess myself, &c.

• Which the nost precious scare of sense possesses :) Perhaps square means only compus, comprehension; or, the full complement of all the senses.

No less in space, tulidity,) Veličity, for worth, rale; Dot for integrity, or good tide.

* Strite to be interess'd;} To interest and to interesse, are not, perhaps, diferent speilings of the same verb, bet are two distinct words though of the same import; the one being derived from the Latin, the other from the French interesser.

Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Lear. Nothing?
Cor. Nothing.
Lear. Nothing can come of nothing : speak

again.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
According to my bond; nor more, nor less.
Lear. How, how, Cordelia? mend your speech a

little, Lest it 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? Haply, when I shall wed, That lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall

carry
Half my love with him, half my care, and duty:
Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all.

Lear. But goes this with thy heart?
Cor.

Ay, good my lord.
Lear. So young, and so untender?
Cor. So young, my lord, and true.
Lear. Let it be soy-Thy truth then be thy

dower:
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 barbarous

Scythian,

Or he that in appetite, shallied, and relier

Or he 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 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

stirs ? Call Burgundy.-Cornwall, and Albany, With my two daughters' dowers digest this third: Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her. I do invest you jointly with my power, Pre-eminence, 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 we still retain
The name, and ail the additions to a king;
The sway,
Revenue, execution of the rest,?
Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,
This coronet part between you. [Giving the Crown.
Kent.

Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,
Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd,
As my great patron thought on in my prayers,

king.

[ocr errors]

generation—] i. e. his children.
all the additions to a king;] All the titles belonging to a
execution of the rest,] All the other business.

« PreviousContinue »