Imágenes de páginas






[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


SCENE I. King Lear's palace. Enter
Kent, Gloucester, and Edmund.

the king had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall. XGLOUCESTER. 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.

KENT. Is not this your son, my lord? * GLOUCESTER. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge: I have so often blushed to acknowledge him that now I am brazed to it.


I cannot conceive you. GLOUCESTER.

Sir, this young fellow's mother could: whereupon she grew round-wombed, 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


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 something saucily 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! EDMUND.

No, my lord. GLOUCESTER.

My lord of Kent: remember him hereafter-as my honour

able friend. EDMUND.

My services to your lordship. KENT.

I must love you, and sue to know you better. EDMUND.

Sir, I shall study deserving. GLOUCESTER. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again.

(Sennet within.) The king is coming. (Enter one bearingacoronet, King Lear, Cornwall, Albany,

Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, @ Attendants.) LEAR.

Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester. GLOUCESTER.

I shall, my liege. (Exeunt Gloucester G Edmund.) LEAR.

Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.
Give me the map there.-Know that we have divided
In three our kingdom: and 'tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age,
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we

Unburthen'd crawl toward death. -Ourson 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,

here are to be answer'd. -Tell me, my daughters -
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 nature doth with merit challenge. -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 lov'd, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable;

Beyond all manner of so much I love you.

What shall Cordelia do! Love, and be silent.

Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
With shadowy forests and with champains 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.

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

In your dear highness' love.

Then poor Cordelia!


yet not so, since I am sure my love's
More ponderous than my tongue.

To thee and thine, hereditary ever
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom,
No less in space, validity and pleasure,
Than that conferr'd on Goneril.-Now, our joy,
Although our last and 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.

Nothing, my lord. LEAR.

Nothing? CORDELIA.

Nothing LEAR.

Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.

Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
According to my bond; nor more nor less.

How, how, Cordeliar mend your speech a little,

Lest it may mar your fortunes. CORDELIA.

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 thy heart with this! CORDELIA.

Ay, good my lord. LEAR.

So young, and so untender!

« AnteriorContinuar »