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АСТ. І. SCENE L
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.
Kent. I muft love you, and fue to know you better.
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,
Long in our court have made their am'rous fojourn,
Which of you, fhall we fay, doth love us most?
Where nature doth with merit challenge. Gonerill,
Gon. I love you, Sir,
Dearer than eye-fight, space, and liberty;
No lefs than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour;
Cor. What fhall Cordelia do? love, and be filent.
Which the most precious fquare of fenfe poffeffes;
Cor. Then poor Cordelia !
And yet not fo, fince I am fure
More pond'rous than their tongue
↑ i. e. beyond all expreffion.
No lefs in fpace, validity †, and pleasure,
Lear. Nothing can come of nothing; fpeak again.
My heart into my mouth: I love your Majefty
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
That Lord whofe hand must take my plight, fhall carry
To love my father all.
Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Lear. So young, and fo untender?
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;
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.