Imatges de pÓgina
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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. 1

[Trumpets sound within.

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
To shake all cares and business from our age;
Conferring them on younger strengths, 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 amorous sojourn,

And here are to be answer'd.-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 our 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.

A love that makes breath poor, and speech un

able:

Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
Čor. What shall Cordelia do? Love, and be
[Aside.
Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line

silent.

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

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 highness' 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: what 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. 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 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, That lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall

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, which she calls plainness, marry her.
I do invest you jointly with my power,
Pre-eminence, and all the large effects

That troop with majesty.-Ourself, by monthly

course,

F

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.

Kent.

Giving the Crown. 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, though 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

This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgment,

Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least; Nor are those empty hearted, whose low sound Reverbs no hollowness.

Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more. Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn To wage 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

1 he true blank of thine eye.

Lear. Now, by Apollo,

Kent.
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.
Lear.

Now, by Apollo, king,

[Laying his Hand on his Sword.

O, vassal! miscreant !

Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
Kent. Do;

Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift;
Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee, thou dost evil.

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
(Which nor our nature nor our place can bear);
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
Five days we do allot thee, for provision
To shield thee from diseases of the world;
And, on the sixth, to turn thy hated back'
Upon our kingdom: if, on the tenth day fol-
lowing,

Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter,
This shall not be revok'd.

Kent. Fare thee well, king: since thus thou wilt appear,

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 GONERIL. That good effects may spring from words of

love.

Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu : He'll shape his old course in a country new.

[Exit. Re-enter GLOSTER; with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and Attendants.

Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble
Lear. My lord of Burgundy,

[lord. We first address towards you, who with this king Hath rivall'd for our daughter; What, in the

least,

Will you require in present dower with her, Or cease your quest of love?

Bur.

Most royal majesty,

I crave no more than hath your highness offer'd, Nor will you tender less.

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