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Glo. But I have a Son, Sir, by order of Law, some Year elder than this; who, yet is no dearer in iny Account, though this Knave came somewhat lawcily 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 acknowledged. Do you know this Nobleman, Edmund?
Baft. No, my Lord. .
Glo. My Lord of Kent;
Remember him hereafter, as my honourable Friend.
Baft. My services to your Lordship.
Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you better,
Bast. Sir, I shall study deserving.
Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again. The King is coming. Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Gonerill, Regan, Cor
delia, and Attendants. Laer. Attend the Lords of France and Burgundy, Gloster. Glo. I shall, my Lord.
[Exit. Lear. Mean time we shall express our darker purpose. Give me the Map here. Know, that we have divided Into three, our Kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent, To shake all cares and business from our Age, Confering them on younger strengths, while we Unburthen'd crawl toward Death. Our Son of Cornwall, And you our no lefs loving Son of Albany, We have this hour a constant will to publish, Our Daughters several Dowers, that future ftrife May be prevented now. The Princes, France and Bürgundy, Great Rivals in our younger Daughter's Love, 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 us both of Rule, Interest of Terrority, Cares of Scate, 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. Sir, I love you more than word 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, 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 speak? Love, and be filent.
Lear. Of all these bounds, even from 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 Issues
Be this perpetual. What says our second Daughter,
Our dearest Regan, Wife of Cornwall?
Reg. I am made of that felf-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
My self an Enemy to all other Joys,
Which the most precious square of sense professes,
And find I am alone felicitate
In your dear Highness love.
Cor. Then, poor Cordelia!
yet not so, fince I am sure my Love's More ponderous than my Tongue.
Laer. 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 and least; to whose young love,
The Vines of France, and Milk of Burgundy,
Strive to be interest: What can you say, to draw
A third, more opulent than your
Cor. Nothing, my Lord.
Lear. Nothing will come of nothing, speak again.
Cord. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My Heart into my Mouth: I love your Majesty
According to my Bond, no more nor less.
Lear. How, how, Cordelia ? Mend your speech a little, Left you 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
Why have my Sisters Husbands, if they say
They love you all? Happily 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.
Lear. But goes thy Heart with this?
Cor. Ay, my good Lord.
Lear. So young, and so untender?
Cor. So young, my Lord, and true.
Lear. Let it be fo, the Truth then be thy dowre
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 makes his Generation, Messes
To gorge his Appetite, thall 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 fight !---[To Cor.
So be my Grave my Peace, as here I give
Her Father's Heart from her; call France; who stirs ?
Cornwall, and Albany,
With my two Daughters Dowres, digest the third,
Let Pride, which she calls Plainness, marry her :
I do invest you jointly with my Power,
Preheminence, and all the large Effects
That troop with Majesty, Our self by monthly course
With reservation of an hundred Knights,
By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
Make with you by due turn, only we shall retain
The Name, and all th' addition to a King; the Sway,
Revenue, Execution of the rest,
Beloved Sons, be yours, which to confirm,
This Coronet part between you.
Kent. Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honour'd as a King,
Lov'd as my Father, as my Master follow'd,
And as my Patron, thought on in my Prayers
Lear. The Bow is bent and drawn, make from the Shaft.
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
The region of my Heart; be Kent unmannerly,
When Lear is mad; what wouldst thou do, old Man?
Think'st thou that Duty shall have dread to speak,
When Power to Flattery bows?
To plainness Honour's bound,
When Majefty falls to Folly; reserve thy State,
And in thy best consideration, check
This hideous rashness; answermy Life, my Judgment;
Thy youngest Daughter do's not love thee least,
Nor are those empty hearted, whose low sounds
Reverb no hollowness.
Lear. 'Kent, on thy Life no more.
Kent, My Life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thine Enemies, ne'er fear to lose its
Lear. Out of my light !
Kent. See better, Lear, and let me still remain The true Blank of thine Eye.
Lear. Now by Apollo
Kent. Now by Apollo ; King,
Thou swear'st thy Gods in vain.
Lear. O Vaffal! Miscreant!---[Laying his Hand on his Swordi
Alb, Corn. Dear Sir, forbear.
Kent. Kill thy Physician, and thy Fee bestow
Upon the foul Disease, revoke the Gift,
Or whilft i can vent clamour from my Throat, ;
I'll tell thee thou dost evil.
Lear. Hear me Recreant, on thine Allegiance hear me ;
That thou hast sought to make us break our Vows,
Which we durft never yet; and with strain'd Pride,
To come betwixt our Sentence and our Power,
Which, nor our Nature, nor our Place can bear,
Our Potency made good, take thy Reward.
Five days we do allot thee for Provision,
To shield thee from disasters of the World,
And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
Upon our Kingdom ; if the tenth Day following,
Thy banisht Trunk be found in our Dominions,
The Moment is thy Death, away. By Jupiter,
This shall not be revok'd.
Kent. Fare chee well, King, fith thus thou wilt appear,
Freedom lives hence, and Banishment is here ;
The Gods to their dear shelter take thee, Maid,
That justly think’st, and hast most rightly faid;
And your large Speeches may your Deeds
approve, 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. Enter Glofter, with France and Burgundy, and Attendants.
Cor. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble Lord.
Lear. My Lord of Burgundy,
We first address toward you, who, with this King,
Hath rivall'd for our Daughter; what in the 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 offerid,
Nor will you tender less.
Lear. Right Noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us we held her fo,
But now her price is falln : 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 the owes,
Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,
Dowr'd withour Curse, and stranger'd with our Oath,
Take leave, or leave her?
Bur. Pardon me, Royal Sir,
Ele&ion makes not up in such Conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, Sir, for by the Power that made me,
I tell you all her Wealth. For you, great King,
I would not from your Love make such a stray,
To match you where I hate ; therefore beseech you