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ACT I. SCENE I.
A Room of state in King Lear's Palace. Enter KENT, GLOSTER, and EDMUND. Kent. I 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 most; for equalities 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 brazed to it.
Kent. I cannot conceive you.
Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could : whereupon 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.
Glo. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, som:
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.
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,
Regan, CORDELIA, and Attendants.
[Exeunt Gloster and Edmund. Lear. Mean-time we shall express our darker
purpose. Give me the map there.—Know, that we have di
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
you. Cor. What shall Cordelia do 2?. Love, and be silent.
[Aside. Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line
to this, With shadowy forests and with champains rich'd,
With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,
Reg. I am made of that self metal as my sister,
Then poor Cordelia! [Aside.
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
Lear. How, how, Cordelia! mend your speech a
Good my lord,
and most honour you.
carry Half my love with him, half my care, and duty: Sure, I shall never marry
my sisters, To love my father all.
Lear. But goes this with thy heart?
Ay, good my lord.
Lear. Let it be so,—Thy truth then be thy dower;