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Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper*.

Glo. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account: though this knave came somewhat 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 ?

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 deserving.

Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again:-The king is coming.

[Trumpets sound within.

Enter Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, and Attendants.

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

Glo. I shall, my liege.

[Exeunt Gloster and Edmund. Lear. Mean-time we shall express our darker t


Give me the map there.-Know, that we have di


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
Unburden'd crawl toward death.-Our son of Corn-


And you, our no less loving son of Albany,

+ More secret.

Determined resolution.

We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife
May be prevented now. The princes, France and

Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,

Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, And here are to be answer'd.-Tell me, my daugh


(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 merit doth most challenge it.-Goneril,
Our eldest-born, speak first.


Sir, I

Do 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 mach 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 shall Cordelia do? Love, and be si[Aside. Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line to


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.

Reg. 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 squaret of sense possesses;

* Open plains.

+ Comprehension.

And find, I am alone felicitate
In your dear highness' love.

Then poor Cordelia!
And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love's
More richer than my tongue.


Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever, Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom; No less in space, validity +, and pleasure, Than that confirm'd on Goneril.-Now, our joy, Although the last, not 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. 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 majesty
According to my bond; nor more, nor less.

Lear. How, how, Cordelia? mend your speech a


Lest it may mar your fortunes.

Good my lord,

Cor. 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


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 this with thy heart?


Lear. So young, and so untender?

* Made happy.

↑ Value.

Ay, good my lord.


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 thist, for ever.


The barbarous

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.


Lear. Peace, Kent!

Good my liege,

Come not between the dragon and his wrath:
I lov'd her most, and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery.-Hence, and avoid my sight!—

[To Cordelia.

So be my grave my peace, as here I give

Her father's heart from her! Call France ;-Who stirs ?

Call Burgundy.-Cornwall, and Albany,

With my two daughters' dowers digest this third:
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
I do invest you jointly with my power,
Pre-eminence, and all the large effects

That troop with majesty.-Ourself, by monthly


With reservation of an hundred knights,
By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode

Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain
The name, and all the additions to a king;

The sway,

* Kindred.
His children.

+ From this time.
§ Titles.

Revenue, execution of the rest*,

Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,

This coronet part between you. [Giving the crown.
Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,

Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd,
As my great patron thought on in my prayers,—
Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from the

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


Think'st thou, that duty shall have dread to speak, When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour's


When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom; And, in thy best consideration, check

This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgement,

Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least;
Nor are those empty-hearted, whose low sound
Reverbs + no hollowness.


Kent, on thy life, no more.

Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn

To wage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it,

Thy safety being the motive.


Out of my sight!

Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain

The true blank ‡ of thine eye.

Lear. Now, by Apollo,

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