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Lear, King of Britain.,
Knights attending on the King, Officers, Messengers,
Soldiers, and Attendants.
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.
[Exeunt Gloster and Edmund.
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),
you, shall we say, doth love us most?
[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.
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
Cor. Nothing, my lord.