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Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy
Shall buy this unprized precious maid of me.-
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind :
Thou losest here, a better where to find.

Lear. Thou hast her, France : let her be thine ;

for we

Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of hers again: therefore be gone,
Without our grace, our love, our benizon.-
Come, noble Burgundy.

[florish. Exeunt Lear, Burgundy, Cornwall,

Albany, Gloster, and Attendants. France. Bid farewell to your sisters.

Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes Cordelia leaves you : I know you

what

you are ; And, like a sister, am most loath to call Your faults as they are named. Use well our

father :
To your professed bosoms I commit him :
But yet, alas! stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place :
So farewell to you both.

Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Re.

Let your study
Be, to content your lord, who hath received you
At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have

wanted.2

| Blessing.

? i. e. you are well deserving of the want of dower which you are without

Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning

hides :
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
Well may you prosper!
France.

Come, my fair Cordelia.

[Exeunt France and Cordelia. Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think our father will hence to-night.

Re. That's most certain, and with you; next month with us. Gon. You see how full of changes his age

is ; the observation we have made of it hath not been little : he always loved our sister most; and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off, appears too grossly.

Re. 'Tis the infirmity of his age : yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.

Gon. The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash; then must we look to receive from his age, not alone the imperfections of long-ingrafted condition, but, therewithal, the unruly waywardness that infirm and choleric years bring with them.

Re. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him, as this of Kent's banishment.

Gon. There is farther compliment of leave-taking between France and him. Pray you, let us hit together : if our father carry authority with such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us.

1 Qualities of mind.

Re. We shall farther think of it.
Gon. We must do something, and i' the heat.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

A hall in the Earl of Gloster's castle.

Enter EDMUND, with a letter. Edm. Thou, Nature, art my goddess; to thy law My services are bound. Wherefore should I Stand in the plague of custom; and permit The curiosity of nations 1 to deprive me, For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon

shines Lag of a brother? Why bastard ? wherefore base ? When my dimensions are as well compact, My mind as generous, and my shape as true, As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us With base ? with baseness ? bastardy ? base, base ? Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take More composition and fierce quality, Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed, Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops, Got 'tween asleep and wake ?-Well then, Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land. Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund

· The scrupulous nicety of civil institutions.

As to the legitimate: fine word,- legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,

invention thrive, Edmund the base Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper. Now, gods, stand up for bastards !

And my

Enter GLOSTER.

Glos. Kent banish'd thus, and France in choler

parted, And the king gone to-night! subscribed 1 his power! Confined to exhibition ! ? All this done Upon the gad ! 3—Edmund! How now? what

news?

Edm. So please your lordship, none.

[putting up the letter. Glos. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter? Edm. I know no news, my

lord. Glos. What paper were you reading ? Edm. Nothing, my lord.

Glos. No? What needed then that terrible despatch of it into your pocket? the quality of nothing hath not such need to hide itself. Let's see : come; if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.

Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'er

3 Allowance.

1 Yielded, surrendered. 3 Suddenly.

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