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Fer. This is a most majestic vision, and
Harmonious charmingly. May I be bold
To think these spirits ?
Spirits, which by mine art
I have from their confines callid to enact
My present fancies.
Let me live here ever ;
So rare a wonder'd father and a wise
Makes this place Paradise.
[JUNO and CERES whisper, and send Iris on employment.] Pros.
Sweet, now, silence !
Juno and Ceres whisper seriously;
There's something else to do: hush, and be mute,
Or else our spell is marr'd.
Iris. You nymphs, called Naiads, of the windring brooks,
With your sedged crowns and ever-harmless looks,
Leave your crisp channels, and on this green land
Answer your summons ; Juno does command :
Come, temperate nymphs, and help to celebrate
A contract of true love ; be not too late.
Enter certain Nymphs. You sunburnt sicklemen, of August weary, Come hither from the furrow and be merry : Make holiday; your rye-straw hats put on, And these fresh nymphs encounter every one In country footing. Enter certain reapers, properly habited : they join with the
Nymphs in a graceful dance ; towards the end whereof PROSPERO starts suddenly, and speaks ; after which, to a strange, hollow, and confused noise, they heavily vanish.
Pros. [Aside] I had forgot that foul conspiracy
Of the beast Caliban and his confederates
Against my life : the minute of their plot
Is almost come. [To the Spirits.] Well done! avoid; no more
Fer. This is strange: your father's in some passion
That works him strongly.
Never till this day
Saw I him touch'd with anger so distemper'd.
Pros. You do look, my son, in a mov'd sort,
As if you were dismay'd : be cheerful, sir.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air :
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep. Sir, I am vex'd ;
Bear with my weakness ; my old brain is troubled :
Be not disturb’d with my infirmity :
If you be pleas'd, retire into my cell
And there repose : a turn or two I'll walk,
To still my beating mind.
We wish your peace.
King Lear. Act I., SCENE I.-A Room OF STATE IN King LEAR'S PALACE
Enter KENT and GLOSTER. 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 weighed, that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.—The king is coming. Enter one bearing a Coronet, then LEAR, then the Dukes of
ALBANY and CORNWALL, next GONERIL, REGAN, COR
DELIA, with followers. Lear. Attend the Lords of France and Burgundy, Gloster. Glo. I shall, my liege.
Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.
Give me the map there. Know, that we have divided
In three our kingdom; and 't is our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age,
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
Unburthened crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall,
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 answered. 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?
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where nature doth with merit challenge it.
Goneril, our eldest-born, speak first.
I 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 loved, or father found :
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable,
Beyond all manner of so much, I love you.
Cor. [Aside.] What shall Cordelia do ? Love, and be silent.
Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
With shadowy forests and with champains riched,
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 felicitate
dear highness' love. Čor. [Aside.]
Then, poor Cordelia !
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 conferred on Goneril.—Now, our joy,
Although our last, not least ; to whose young love
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interessed ; what can you say, to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters ? Speak.
Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Lear. Nothing will 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, Lest you may mar your fortunes. Cor.
lord You have begot me, bred me, loved 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 thy heart with this?
Ay, my good 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 operation 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.
Good my liegė, -
Lear. Peace, Kent !
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I loved her most, and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery.—Hence, and avoid my sight !
So be my grave my peace, as here I give
Her father's heart from her !—Call France. Who stirs 1–
Call Burgundy. Cornwall, and Albany,
With my two daughters' dowers digest the third :
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
I do invest you jointly with my power,
Preeminence, and all the large effects
That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly course,
With reservation of an hundred knights,
By you to be sustained, shall our abode
Make with you by due turn. Only we shall retain
The name and all the additions to a king;
The sway, revenue, execution of the rest,
be yours : which to confirm,
This coronet part between you.
Whom I have ever honoured as my king,
Loved as my father, as my master followed,
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 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
life my judgment, Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least;