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ACT I.
SCENE I. A Room of State in King Lear's Palace.

Enter KENT, GLOSTER, and EDMUND.
Kent. I THOUGHT the king had more affected
the duke of Albany, than Cornwall.

Glo. 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 weigh’d, that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.

Kent. Is not this your son, my lord ?
Glo. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge:
I bave so often blush'd to acknowledge him, that
now I am brazed to it.

Kent. I cannot conceive you.
Glo. 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 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 bim 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, RE

GAN, 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

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 strengtbs, while we
Unburden'd crawl toward death.-Our son 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 ainorous

sojourn,
And bere are to be answerd. 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 oor largest bounty may extend
Where merit doth most challenge it.-Goneril,
Our eldest-born, speak first.
Gon.

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

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A love that makes breath poor, and speech un

able: Beyond all manner of so much I love you. Cor. What shall Cordelia do ? Love, and be silent.

[Aside. Lear. 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, Wemake thee lady: To thine and Albany's issue Be this perpetual.-What says our second daugh

ter, 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 square of sense pos-

sesses;
And find, I am alone felicitate
In your dear bighness' love.
Cor.

Then poor Cordelia !

[Aside. 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 conferr'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: wbat 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. Únhappy 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 little, Lest it may mar your fortunes.

Cor.

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, Thai lord, whose hand must take my plight, sball

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 this with thy heart?
Cor.

Ay, good my lord.
Lear. So young, and so untender?
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 this, for ever. The barbarous

Scythian,
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.
Kent.

Good my liege,-
Lear. Peace, Kent !
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, wbich she calls plainness, marry her. I do invest you jointly with my power, Pre-eminence, and all the large effects That troop with inajesty.-Ourself, by monthly

course,

With reservation of a 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,
Revenue, execution of the rest,
Beloved sons, be yours : which to confirm,
This coronet part between you.

Giving the Crown.
Kent.

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 froin

the shaft. Kent. Let it fall rather, thongh the fork invade The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly When Lear is mad. What would'st thou do,

old man? Think'st thou, that duty shall have dread to

speak, When power to flattery bows? To plainness

honour's bound, When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy

doom; And, in thy best consideration, check Tbis hideous rashness: answer my life my

judgment, Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least; Vor are those empty hearted, whose low sound Reverbs no hollowness. Lear.

Kent, on thy life, no more. Kent. My life I never beld but as a pawn To wage against thine enemies, nor fear to lose it, T'hy safety being the motive.

Out of my sight! Kent. See better, Lear, and let me stiliremain 7 he true blank of thine eye. Lear. Now, by Apollo,Kent.

Now, by Apollo, king, 'I hou swear'st thy gods in vain. Lear.

0, vassal! miscreant !

(Laying his Hand on his Sword. Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear. Kent. Do;

Lear.

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