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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,
Good, my lord,
and most honour you. 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?
Ay, good, my lord.
Lear. Let it be so.-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 whoin 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, 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?
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 majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom; And, in thy best consideration, check This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgment, Thy youngest daughter does not love the least; Nor are those empty-hearted, whose low sound Reverbs no hollowness. Lear.
Kent, on thy life, no more. Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn To wage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it, Thy safety being the motive. Lear.
Out of my sight! Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain The true blank of thine eye.
Lear. Now, by Apollo,
Now, by Apollo, king, Thou swear'st thy gods in vain. Lear.
0, vassal! miscreant !
[Laying his Hand on his Sword. Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
Hear me, recreant!
appear, Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
[To Cordelia. That justly think’st, and hast most rightly said ! And your large speeches may your deeds approve,
[To Regan and Goneril. 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. Re-enter GLOSTER; with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and
Attendants. Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord. Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
We first address towards you, who with this king
Most royal majesty,
Right noble Burgundy,
and she is yours. Bur. .
I know no answer. Lear. Sir, 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? Bur.
Pardon me, royal sir; Election makes not up on such conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that I tell you all her wealth.–For you, great king,
[To Frunce. I would not from your love make such a stray, To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you To avert your liking a more worthier way, Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd Almost to acknowledge hers. France.
This is most strange! That she, that even but now was your best object, The argument of your praise, balm of your age, Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle 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
I yet beseech your majesty
France. Is it but this? a tardiness in nature,
Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm.
Peace be with Burgundy!
[poor; France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being 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'st neglect My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance, Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France :