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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.

Glo. My lord of Kent: remember him hereaf. ter 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 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. Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloster.

Glo. I shall, my liege. [Exe. Glo. and Edm. Lear. Mean-time we shall express our darker

purpose. Give me the map there.-Know, that we have di

vided, In three, our kingdom: and 'tis our fast intenta To shake all cares and business from our age; Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Unburden'd crawl toward death. Our son of Com

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

Burgundy, Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, And here are to be answerd. Tell me, my daugh.

ters,

(1) More secret

(2) Determined resolution.

(Since now we will divest us, both of rule,
Interest of territory, cares of state,)
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.

Sir, I
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 si: lent.

[ Aside. Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line

to this, With shadowy forests and with champainsi rich'd, 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 my 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 felicitate3 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, 4 and pleasure,

(1) Open plains. (2) Comprehension.
(3) Made happy.

(4) Value.

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Cor.

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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?
Cor.

Nothing.
Lear. Nothing can come of nothing: speak again.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot beave
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,
Lest-it may már your fortunes.

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 have 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?
Cor.

Ay, good my lord.
Lear. So young, and so untender?
Cor. So young, my lord, and true.

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 whom we do exist, and cease to be ;
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Propinquity2 and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me

(1) Perhaps. (2) Kindred

Hold thee, from this,' for ever. The barbarous

Scythian,
Or he that makes his generation2 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? Call Borgundy:-Cornwall, and Albany, With my two daughters' dowers digest this third : Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her. I do invest you jointly with my power, Pre-eminence, and all the large effects That troop with majesty.-Ourself, by monthly

course, With reservation of a hundred knights, By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain The name, and all the additions to a king;

The sway,

be

Revenue, execution of the rest,4
Beloved sons,

yours: which to confirm, This coronet part between you. (Giving the crown. Kent.

Royal Lear, Whom I have ever honour'd as my king, Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd, As my great 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 (1) From this time. (2) His children. (3) Titles. (4) All other subjects.

1

Lear.

The region of my heart : be Kent unmannerly,
When Lear is mad. What would'st thou do, old

man?
Think'st thou, that duty shall have dread to speak,
When power to flattery bows? To plainness hon-

our's bound,
When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom;
And, in thy best consideration, check
This' hideous rashness: answer my life my judg-

ment,
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee 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.

Out of my sight!
Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain
The true blank2 of thine eye.

Lear. Now, by Apollo,
Kent.

Now, by Apollo, king,
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.
Lear.

O, vassal! miscreant !

(Laying his hand on his sword. Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.

Kent. Do ;
Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift ;
Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee, thou dost evil.
Lear.

Hear me, recreant !
On thine allegiance hear me!
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow
(Which we durst never yet,) and, with strain'd

pride,
To come betwixt our sentence and our power
(Which nor our nature nor our place can bear;)

(1) Reverberates. (2) The mark to shoot at.

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