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The King's palace.

Enter Kent, Glofter, and Edmund the Baftard.


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 curiofity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.




† Curiosity, for exacteft fcrutiny.


Kent. Is not this your fon, my Lord?


Glo. His breeding, Sir, hath been at my charge. 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

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 faucily into the world before he was fent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good sport at his making, and the whorson must be acknowledged. 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 shall [Trumpets found, within.


The King is coming.


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

Lear. Attend the Lords of France and Burgundy,


Glo. I fhall, my Liege.

[Exit. Lear. Mean time we thall exprefs our darker † purpose. Give me the map here: : know, we have divided, In three, our kingdom; and 'tis our firft intent, To fhake all cares and bufinefs from our age: Conferring them on younger ftrengths, while we Unburthen'd crawl tow'rd death. Our fon of Cornwall,

Darker, for more fecret; not for indire&, oblique.


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. 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, and cares of ftate)

Which of you, fhall we fay, doth love us most?
That we our largeft bounty may extend,

Where nature doth with merit challenge. Gonerill,
Our eldest born, speak firft..

Gon. I love you, Sir,

Dearer than eye-fight, space, 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 speech unable,
Beyond all manner † of fo much I love you.

Cor. What fhall Cordelia do? love, and be filent.

Lear. Of all these bounds, ev'n from this line to this,
With fhadowy forefts and with champions rich'd,
With plenteous rivers, and wide-skirted 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.
I find the names my very deed of love;
Only he comes too fhort: that I profess
Myfelf 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



More pond'rous than their tongue
Lear. To thee and thine, heriditary ever,
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom;

A 2

↑ i. e. beyond all expreffion.


No lefs in fpace, validity †, and pleasure,
Than that conferr'd on Gonerill. Now our joy,
Although our laft, not leaft; in 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; fpeak 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 fpeech 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 fhall wed,

That Lord whofe hand must 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 difclaim 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,


gorge his appetite, fhall to my bofom

Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,

Validity, for worth, value; not for integrity, or good title.


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