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A C T I.
SCENE, the KING'S PALACE.
Enter Kent, Glo'fter, and Edmund the Baftard.
Thought, the King had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.
Glo. It did always feem fo to us: but now, in the Divifion of the Kingdom, it appears not, which of the Dukes he values moft; for qualities are fo weigh'd, that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.
Kent. Is not this your fon, my lord ?
Glo. His Breeding, Sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often blush'd to acknowledge him, that now I am braz'd to't.
Kent. I cannot conceive you.
Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could; whereupon fhe grew round-womb'd; and had, indeed, Sir, a fon for her cradle, ere fhe had a husband for her bed. Do you fmell a fault?
Kent. I cannot wifh the fault undone, the iffue of it being fo proper.
Glo. But I have a fon, Sir, by order of law, fome year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account; though this knave came fomewhat fawcily to the world before he was fent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good sport at his making, and the whorfon must be acknowledg'd. Do you know this Nobleman, Edmund?
Edm. No, my lord.
Glo. My lord of Kent ;
Remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.
Kent. I muft love you, and fue to know you better.
Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he fhall
The King is coming.
Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Gonerill, Regan,
Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy,
Glo. I fhall, my Liege.
Our daughters fev'ral Dow'rs, that future ftrife
The Princes France and
Great rivals in our younger daughter's love,
Long in our Court have made their am'rous fojourn, And here are to be anfwer'd. Tell me, daughters, (Since now we will divest us, both of rule,
Int'reft of territory, cares of state; }
Which of you, fhall we fay, doth love us moft!?
Gon. I love you, Sir,
Dearer than eye-fight, fpace and liberty;
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare;
No lefs than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour:
A love that makes breath poor, and fpeech unable,
Cor. What fhall Cordelia do? love and be filent.
[Afide Lear. Of all thefe Bounds, ev'n from this line to this, With fhadowy forests and with champions rich'd, With plenteous rivers and wide-fkirted meads, We make thee lady. To thine and Albany's iffue Be this perpetual-What fays our fecond daughter, Our dearest Regan, wife of Cornwall? fpeak.
Reg. I'm made of that felf-metal as my fifter,
Only the comes too fhort: that I profefs
Which the most precious fquare of fenfe poffeffes;
In your dear Highness' love."
Cor. Then poor Cordelia !
And yet not fo, fince, I am fure, my love's
More pond'rous than my tongue.
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
(1) And prize me at her Worth. In my true Heart,] Mr. Bisbet prefcrib'd the Pointing of this Paffage, as I have regulated it in the Text. Regan would fay, that in the Truth of her Heart and Affection, the equals the worth of her Sifter. Without this Change in the Pointing, the makes a Boat of her felf without any Cause affign'd,
Although our laft, not leaft; to whofe young love,
Strive to be int'refs'd: what fay you, to draw
Lear. Nothing can come of nothing; speak again.
My heart into my mouth: I love your Majefty
Lear. How, how, Cordelia ? mend your speech a little, Left you may mar your fortunes.
Cor. Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me. I
To love my father all,
Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Lear. So young, and fo untender?
Cor. So young, my lord, and true.
Lear. Let it be fo, thy truth then be thy dower : For by the facred radiance of the fun,
The myfteries of Hecate, and the night,
By all the operations of the orbs,
From whom we do exist, and cease to be;
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee, from this, for ever. The barb'rous Scythian,
Kent. Good my Liege
Lear. Peace, Kent!
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I lov'd her moft, and thought to fet
On her kind nurs'ry. Hence, avoid my fight!
So be my grave my peace, as here I give
Her father's heart from her; Call France; who firs?
Call Burgundy.Cornwall and Albany,
With my two daughters' dowers digeft the third.
That troop with Majefty. Our felf by monthly course,
By you to be fuftain'd, fhall our abode
Beloved fons, be yours; which to confirm,
Kent. Royal Lear,
[Giving the Crown.
Whom I have ever honour'd as my King,
Lov'd as my father, as my mafter follow'd,
And as my patron thought on in my pray'rs
Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from the fhaft.
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade The region of my heart; be Kent unmannerly, When Lear is mad: what would'st thou do, old man? Think'ft thou, that duty fhall have dread to fpeak, When pow'r to flatt'ry bows? to plainness Honour Is bound, when Majefty to folly falls.
Referve thy State; with better judgment check
Lear. Kent, on thy life no more.
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn