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To wage against thy foes; nor fear to lose it,
Thy fafety being the motive.

Lear. Out of my fight!

Kent. See better, Lear, and let me ftill remain The true blank of thine eye.

Lear. Now by Apollo

Kent. Now by Apollo, King, Thou fwear'ft thy gods in vain. Lear. O vaffal! mifcreant!

[Laying his band on his fword.

Alb. Corn. Dear Sir, forbear.

Kent. Kill thy physician, and thy fee bestow
Upon the foul difeafe; revoke thy doom,
Or whilft I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee, thou doft evil.

Lear. Hear me, recreant!

Since thou haft fought to make us break our vow,
Which we durft never yet; and with strain'd pride,
To come betwixt our fentence and our power;
(Which nor our nature, nor our place, can bear;)
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
Five days we do allot thee for provifion,
To fhield thee from difafters of the world;
And, on the fixth, to turn thy hated back
Upon our Kingdom; if, the tenth day following,
Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death: away! By Jupiter,
This fhall not be revok'd.


Kent. Fare thee well, King; fith thus thou wilt
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here ;
The gods to their dear fhelter take thee, maid,
That juftly think'st, and hast most rightly faid;
And your large fpeeches may your deeds approve,
That good effects may fpring from words of love:
Thus Kent, O Princes, bids you all adieu,
He'll shape his old courfe in a country new.


Enter Glo'fter, with France and Burgundy, and


Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.


Lear. My lord of Burgundy,

We firft address tow'rd you, who with this King
Have rivall'd for our daughter; what at least
Will you require in prefent dower with her,
Or ceafe your quest of love?

Bur. Moft royal Majefty,

I crave no more than what your Highness offer'd,
Nor will you tender lefs.

Lear. Right noble Burgundy,

When she was dear to us, we held her fo;
But now her price is fall'n: Sir, there fhe ftands,
If aught within that little feeming fubftance,
Or all of it with our displeasure piec'd,

And nothing more, may fitly like your Grace,
She's there, and he is yours.

Bur. I know no answer.

Lear. Will you with those infirmities fhe owes, Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,

Dower'd with our curfe, and ftranger'd with our oath, Take her, or leave her?

Bur. Pardon, royal Sir;

Election makes not up on fuch conditions.

Lear. Then leave her, Sir; for by the pow'r that

made me,

I tell you all her wealth.

For you, great King, [To France. I would not from your love make such a stray,

To match you where I hate; therefore befeech you, T'avert your liking a more worthy way

Than on a wretch, whom nature is afham'd

Almoft t' acknowledge hers.

France. This is most strange!

That the, who ev'n but now was your best object,
Your Praife's argument, balm of your age,
Dearest and best; should in this trice of time
Commit a thing fo monftrous, to dismantle
So many folds of favour! fure, her offence
Must be of fuch unnatural degree,

That monfters it; or your fore-vouch'd affection
Fall'n into taint: which to believe of her,


Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
Should never plant in me.

Cor. I yet befeech your Majefty,

(If, for I want that glib and oily art,

To fpeak and purpofe not; fince what I well intend
I'll do't before I speak,) that you make known
It is no vicious blot, murther, or foulness,
No unchafte action, or dishonour'd step,

That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour :
But ev'n for want of that, for which I'm richer,
A fill folliciting eye, and fuch a tongue,

That I am glad I've not; though, not to have it,
Hath loft me in your liking.

Lear. Better thou

Hadft not been born, than not have pleas'd me better.
France. Is it but this? a tardiness in nature,
Which often leaves the hiftory unfpoke,
That it intends to do? my lord of Burgundy,
What fay you to the lady? love's not love,
When it is mingled with regards, that stand

Aloof from th' intire point. Say, will you have her?
She is her felf a dowry.

Bar. Royal King,

Give but that portion which your felf propos'd,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,

Dutchefs of Burgundy.

Lear. Nothing:

I've fworn.

Bur. I'm forry then, you have fo loft a father,

That you muft lose a husband.

Cor. Peace be with Burgundy,

Since that refpects of fortune are his love,

I fhall not be his wife.

France. Fairest Cordelia, that art moft rich, being


Moft choice, forfaken; and moft lov'd, defpis'd!
Thee and thy virtues here I feize upon :

Be't lawful, I take up what's caft away.

Gods, Gods! 'tis ftrange, that from their cold'ft neglect
My love fhould kindle to enflam'd respect.

Thy dow'rlefs daughter, King, thrown to my chance,

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Is Queen of us, of ours, and our fair France:
Not all the Dukes of wat'rish Burgundy
Can buy this unpriz'd, precious, maid of me.
Bid them farewel, Cordelia, tho' unkind;
Thou lofeft here, a better where to find.

Lear. Thou haft her, France; let her be thine, for we Have no fuch daughter; nor fhall ever fee That face of hers again; therefore be gone Without our grace, our love, our benizon: Come, noble Burgundy.

[Flourish. Exeunt Lear and Burgundy.

France. Bid farewel to your fifters.

Cor. Ye jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes Cordelia leaves you: I know what you are,

And, like a fifter, am moft loth to call

Your faults, as they are nam'd. Love well our father:

To your profeffing bofoms I commit him;

But yet, alas! ftood I within his grace,

I would prefer him to a better place.

So farewel to you both.

Reg. Prefcribe not us our duty.

Gon. Let your study

Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you

At fortune's alms; you have obedience scanted,

And well are worth the Want that you have wanted. (2) Cor. Time fhall unfold what plaited cunning hides, Who covers faults, at laft with fhame derides.

Well may you profper!

France. Come, my fair Cordelia.

[Exeunt France and Cor. Gon. Sifter, it is not little I've to say, Of what most nearly appertains to us both; I think, our father will go hence to night.

(2) And well are worth the Want that you have wanted.] This is a very obfcure Expreffion, and must be piec'd out with an implied Senfe, to be understood. This I take to be the Poet's Meaning, ftript of the Jingle which makes it dark: "You well deferve to meet with that Want of Love from your Husband, which you have profefs'd to want for our "Father."

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Reg. That's certain, and with you; next month with us.

Gon. You fee how full of changes his age is, the obfervation we have made of it hath not been little; he always lov'd our fifter moft, and with what poor judgment he hath now caft her off, appears too grofsly.

Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age; yet he hath ever but flenderly known himself.

Gon. The beft and foundest of his time hath been but rash; then must we look, from his age, to receive not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted condition, but therewithal the unruly waywardnefs, that infirm and cholerick years bring with them.

Reg. Such unconftant ftarts are we like to have from him, as this of Kent's banishment.

Gon. There is further complement of leave-taking between France and him; pray you, let us hit together: if our father carry authority with fuch difpofition as he bears, this laft furrender of his will but offend us.

Reg. We fhall further think of it.

Gon. We must do fomething, and i' th' heat. [Exeunt

SCENE changes to a Caftle belonging to the Earl of Glo'fter.


Enter EDMUND, with a Letter.

Hou, Nature, art my Goddefs; to thy law
My fervices are bound; wherefore should I

Stand in the plague of cuftom, and permit
The curtefie of nations to deprive me, (3)

For that I am fome twelve or fourteen moon-fhines

(3) The Nicety of Nations] This is Mr. Pope's Reading, ex Cathedra; for it has the Sanction of none of the Copies, that I have met with. They all, indeed, give it, Us, by a foolish Corruption, --the Curiofity of Nations; but I fome time ago prov'd, that our Author's Word was, Curtefie. Nor muft we forget that Tenure in our Laws, whereby fome Lands are held by the Curtefie of England.


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