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KING LEAR

A C T I.

SCENE, the KING'S PALACE.

Enter Kent, Glo'fter, and Edmund the Baftard.

KENT.

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?

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Kent.

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.
Edm. My fervices to your lordship.

Kent. I muft love you, and fue to know you better.
Edm. Sir, I fhall ftudy your deferving.

Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he fhall
[Trumpets found, within

again.

The King is coming.

Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Gonerill, Regan,
Cordelia,' and Attendants.

Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy,
Glofter.

Glo. I fhall, my Liege.

[Exit
Lear. Mean time we fhall exprefs our darker purpose.
Give me the Map here. Know, we have divided,
In three, our Kingdom; and 'tis our faft intent,
To shake all cares and business from our age;
Conferring them on younger ftrengths, while we
Unburthen'd crawl tow'rd death. Our fon of Cornwall,
And You, our no less loving fon of Albany,
We have this hour a conftant will to publish

Our daughters fev'ral Dow'rs, that future ftrife
May be prevented now.

The Princes France and

Burgundy,

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!?
That we our largeft bounty may extend,
Where nature doth with merit challenge. Gonerill,
Our eldest born, fpeak firft.

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:
As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found.

A love that makes breath poor, and fpeech unable,
Beyond all manner of fo much I love you.

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,
And prize me at her worth, in my true Heart. (1)
I find, the names my very deed of love;

Only the comes too fhort: that I profefs
My felf an enemy to all other joys,

Which the most precious fquare of fenfe poffeffes;
And find, I am alone felicitate

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,
Remain this ample third of our fair Kingdom;
No lefs in fpace, validity, and pleasure,
Than that confer'd on Gonerill.Now our joy,

[Afide.

(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,
The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy,

Strive to be int'refs'd: what fay you, to draw
A third, more opulent than your fifters ? fpeak..
Cor. Nothing, my lord.

Lear. Nothing?

Cor. Nothing.

Lear. Nothing can come of nothing; speak again.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave

My heart into my mouth: I love your Majefty
According to my bond, no more nor less.

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
Return thofe duties back, as are right fit;
Obey you, love you, and moft honour you.
Why have my fifters hufbands, if they fay,
They love you, all? haply, when I shall wed,
That lord, whofe hand muft take my plight, fhall carry
Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
Sure, I fhall never marry
like my fifters,

To love my father all,

Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Cor. Ay, my good lord.

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;
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 Scythian,
Or he that makes his generation, meffes
To gorge his appetite; fhall to my bofom
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
As thou, my fometime daughter.

Kent.

Kent. Good my Liege

Lear. Peace, Kent!

Come not between the dragon and his wrath.

I lov'd her moft, and thought to fet

my Rest

On her kind nurs'ry. Hence, avoid my fight!

So be my grave my peace, as here I give

[To Cor.

Her father's heart from her; Call France; who firs?

Call Burgundy.Cornwall and Albany,

With my two daughters' dowers digeft the third.
Let pride, which the calls plainnefs, marry her.
I do inveft you jointly with my Power,
Preheminence, and all the large effects

That troop with Majefty. Our felf by monthly course,
With refervation of an hundred Knights,

By you to be fuftain'd, fhall our abode
Make with you by due turns: only retain
The name and all th' addition to a King:
The fway, revenue, execution,

Beloved fons, be yours; which to confirm,
This Cor'onet part between you.

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
This hideous rafhnefs; with my life I answer,
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee leaft;
Nor are those empty-hearted, whofe low found
Reverbs no hollowness.

Lear. Kent, on thy life no more.

Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn
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