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SCENE I. King Lear's palace. Enter
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.
Unburthen'd crawl toward death. -Ourson of Cornwall,
And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
here are to be answer'd. -Tell me, my daughters -
Our eldest-born, speak first.
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,
Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak.
In your dear highness' love.
Then poor Cordelia!
yet not so, since I am sure my love's
To thee and thine, hereditary ever
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.
Nothing, my lord. LEAR.
Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.
Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
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!