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The worth that learned charity aye wears.
Of Pericles, to rage the city turn;
The gods for murder seemed so content
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 weighed, 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 have so often blushed 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?
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 purpose.
Give me the map there.-Know, that we have divided,
In three, our kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent
And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
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 daughters,
(Since now we will divest us, both of rule,
Gon. Sir, I
Do love you more than words can wield the matter,
Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty;
As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found.
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, We make thee lady: To thine and Albany's issue Be this perpetual.-What says our second daugh
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
And find, I am alone felicitate In your dear highness' love. Cor. Then poor Cordelia !
And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love's
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.
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 little,
Lest it may mar your fortunes.
Cor. Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me: I
Half my love with him, half my care, and duty :
Lear. But goes this with thy heart?
Lear. So young, and so untender?
For, by the sacred radiance of the sun;
Or he that makes his generation messes
Kent. Good my liege,-
Come not between the dragon and his wrath:
Who stirs ?
Call Burgundy.-Cornwall, and Albany, [Aside. With my two daughters' dowers digest this third:
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her. | (Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,)
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly.To shield thee from diseases of the world;
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
And, in thy best consideration, check
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least;
Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more.
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn Towage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it, Thy safety being the motive.
Lear. Out of my sight!
Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain
The true blank of thine eye.
Lear. Now, by Apollo,Kent. Now, by Apollo, king, Thou swear'st thy gods in vain. Lear. O, vassal! miscreant!
And, on the sixth, to turn thy hated back
Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
Kent. Fare thee well, king: since thus thou
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid, [To Cordelia. That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said!-And your large speeches may your deeds approve, [To Regan and Goverd.
That good effects may spring from words of
Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu;
Will you require in present dower with her,
Bur. Most royal majesty,
I crave no inore than hath your highness offer'd,
Lear. Right noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
Bur. I know no answer.
Will you, with those infirmities she owes,
[Laying his hand on his sword. Take her, or leave her?
Alb. & Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Lear. Hear me, recreant!
On thine allegiance hear me !
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow, (Which we durst never yet,) and, with strain'd pride,
To come betwixt our sentence and our power;
Bur. Pardon me, royal sir;
Election makes not up on such conditions.
I tell you all her wealth.-For you, great king, a
I would not from your love make such a stray,
To avert your liking a more worthier way,
France. This is most strange !
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
Cor. I yet beseech your majesty, (If for I want that glib and oily art,
To speak and purpose not; since what I well
I'll do't before I speak,) that you make known
Lear. Better thou
That face of hers again:-Therefore be gone,
[Flourish. Exeunt Lear, Burgundy, Corn-
Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are;
To your professed bosoms I commit him ;
Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Be, to content your lord; who hath receiv'd you
Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
Hadst not been born, than not to have pleas'd Well may you prosper!
France. Is it but this? a tardiness in nature,
Bur. Royal Lear,
Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm.
That you must lose a husband.
Cor. Peace be with Burgundy!
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich,
Most choice, forsaken; and most lov'd, despis'd!
My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.-
Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France:
Lear. Thou hast her, France: let her be
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
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.
Reg. 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.
Reg. '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 longengrafted condition, but, therewithal, the unruly waywardness, that infirm and choleric years bring with them.
Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him, as this of Kent's banishment.
Gon. There is further compliment of leavetaking 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.
Reg. We shall further think of it.
SCENE II.—A hall in the Earl of GLOSTER'S
Enter EDMUND, with a letter.