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Dramatis Personæ.

LEAR, King of Britain.
King of France.
Duke of Burgundy.
Duke of Cornwall.
Duke of Albany.
Earl of Glo'ster.
Earl of Kent.
Edgar, Son to Glo'ster.
Edmund, Bastard Son to Glo'ster.
Curan, a Courtier.
Doctor.
Fool.
Oswald, Steward to Gonerill.
A Captain employ'd by Edmund.
Gentleman, Attendant on Cordelia.
A Herald.
Old Man, Tenant to Glo'ster.
Servant to Cornwall.
ift.

} Servants to Glo'fter. 2d. Gonerite:72 ::: Regan, Daughteršito.'Lear: Cordelia, Knights attending on the King, Officers, Messengers,

Soldier's and Attendants.

SCEN E lies in Britain.

KING

VOX K I N G L E A R.

A C T I.

S CE N E

I.

The K I N G's P A LA C E.
Enter Kent, Glo'ster, and Edmund the Bastard.

KENT.

I Thought, the King had more affe&ed the Duke of

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 qualities are so 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 Iam braz'd to'l.

Kent. I cannot conceive you.

Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could ; whereupon she grew round-womb'd; 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 a son, Sir, by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account; though this knave came somewhat faucily to the world before he was sent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good fport at his making, and the whoreson must be acknowledg'd. Do you know this Nobleman, Edmund ?

Edm.

B 3

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 your deserving. Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again.

[Trumpets found, within. The King is coming.

SCENE II. Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Gonerill, Regan,

Cordelia, and Attendants. Lear. TTEND the lords of France and Burgundy, A

Gloster. Glo. I shall, my Liege.

[Exit. Lear. Mean time we shall express our darker pur

pose. Give me the Map here. Know, we have divided, In three, our Kingdom; and tis our first intent, To shake all cares and business from our age ; Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Unburden'd crawl tow’rd death. Our son of Corne

wall, And You, our no less loving son of Albany, We have this hour a constant will to publish Our daughters fev'ral Dow'rs, that future ftrife May be prevented now. The Princes France and Bur

gundy, Great rivals in our younger daughter's love, Long in our Court have made their am'rous sojourn, And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, daughters, (Since now we will diveft us, both of rule, Int’rest of territory, cares of state ;) Which of

you, shall we say, doth love us most ? That we our largest bounty may extend,

Where

Where nature doth with merit challenge. Gonerill, Our eldest born, speak first.

Gon. I love you, Sir, Dearer than eye-light, 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 shali Cordelia do? love and be filent.

[Aside. Lear. Of all these Bounds, ev'n from this line to

this, With shadowy forest, and with champions richod, 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 of Cornwall ? speak.

Reg. I'm made of that felf-metal as my fifter, 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 In your dear Highness' love. Cor. Then poor Cordelia !

[Aside. And yet

not so, since, I am sure, my love's More pond'rous than my tongue.

Lear. To ihee, and thine, hereditary ever, Remain this ample third of our fair Kingdom; No less in space, validity; and pleasure, Than that confer'd on GonerillNow ourjoy, Although our last, not least; to whose young love, The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy, Strive to be int’ress'd : what say you, to draw A third, more opulent than your sisters ? speak. Cor. Nothing, my lord. B4

Lear.

Lear. Nothing?
Cor. Nothing
Lear. Nothing can come of nothing; speak again.

Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my moạth: I love your Majesty
According to my bond, no more nor less.
Lear. How, how, Cordelia ? mend your speech a

little, Left

you may mar your fortune. Cor. 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? hap'ly, when I shall wed,
The i lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall

carry
Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
Sure, I lhall never marry

like
my

Gisters,
To love my father all.

Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Cor. 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 operations 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. The barb'rous Scy-

thian,
Or he that makes his generation messes,
To gorge his appetite; shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
As thou, my sometime daughter.

Kent.

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