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DRAMATIS PERSONE.

Lear, King of Britain.,
King of France.
Duke of Burgundy.
Duke of Coruwall.
Duke of Albany.
Earl of Kent.
Earl of Gloster.
Edgar, Son to Gloster.
Edmund, Bastard Son to Gloster.
Curan, a Courtier.
Old Man, Tenant to Gloster.
Physician.
Fool.
Oswald, Steward to Goneril.
An Officer, employed by Edmond.
Gentleman, Attendant on Cordelia.
A Herald.
Servants to Cornwall.

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Knights attending on the King, Officers, Messengers,

Soldiers, and Attendants.

SCENE, Britain.

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SCENE 1. 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 inake 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 blushed to acknowledge him, that now I ain 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, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account: ihough 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 inust 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 bath been out nine years, and away he shall again :—The king is coming. (Trumpets sound within. Enter Lear, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GONERIL,

REGAN, CORDELJA, 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.
Give me the map there.-Know, that we have divided,
In three, our kingdom: and 'uis 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 Cornwall,
And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
We liave 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, 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 territory, cares of state),

Sir, I

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.
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, 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 do? Love, and be silent.

[Aside. Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line to this, With shadowy forests and with champains richd, With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads, We make thee lady: To thine and Albany's issue Be this perpetual. What says our second daughter, Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak.

Reg. I am made of that self metal as my sister, And prize me at her worth. In my true heart I find, she names iny very deed of love; Only she comes too short,--that I profess Myself an enemy to all other joys, Which the most precious square of sense possesses ; And find, I am alone felicitate In your dear highness' love. Cor.

Then poor Cordelia! [Aside.
And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love'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 milk of Burgundy,
Strive to be interess'd: what can you say, to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters ? Speak.

Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Lear. Nothing?

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