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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,
With reservation of an 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 th' 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.
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 from the shaft.
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
The region of my heart : be Kent unmannerly,
When Lear is mad.- What wouldst 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.
Kent, on thy life, no more.
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thinc enemies; nor fear to lose it,
Thy safety being the motivc.
Out of my sight!
Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain
The true blank of thine eye.
Lear. Now, by Apollo,-
Now, by Apollo, king,
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.
O, vassal! recreant !
[Laying his hand on his Sword. Alb., Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
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.
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 following,
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, sith thus thou wilt appear,
6 Five days we do allot thee] In the 4tos. it is Four days, and afterwards, consistently, "on the fifth."
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.-
The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
[To COR. 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.
Flourish. Re-enter GLOSTER; with FRANCE, BURGUNDY,
Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
We first address toward 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?
Most royal majesty,
I crave no more than hath your highness offer'd,
Nor will you tender less.
Right noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us, we did hold her so ;
But now her price is fall’n. Sir, there she stands :
If aught within that little-seeming substance,
Or all of it, with our displeasure piec'd,
And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,
She's there, and she is yours.
I know no answer.
Lear. Will you, with those infirmities she owes,
Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,
Dowcr'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her ?
Pardon me, royal sir ;
Election makes not up on such conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, sir ; for, by the power that made
I tell you all her wealth.—For you, great king, [To FRANCE.
I would not from your love make such a stray,
To match you where I hate : therefore, beseech you
T'avert your liking a more worthier way,
Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd
Almost tacknowledge hers.
This is most strange,
That she, that even but now was your blest object,
The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
So many folds of favour. Sure, her offence
Must be of such unnatural degree,
That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection
Fall'n into taint : which to believe of her,
Must be a faith that reason, without miracle,
Could never plant in me.
I yet beseech your majesty,
(If for I want that glib and oily art,
To speak and purpose not, since what I well intend
I 'll do't before I speak) that you make known
was your BLEST object,] So the Corr. fol. 1632, for “best object" of the old copies : the compositor, perhaps, caught best from the next line but one.
It is no vicious blot, nor other foulness,
No unchaste action, or dishonour'd stoop,
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour ;
But even for want of that for which I am richer,
A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
As I am glad I have not, though not to have it
Hath lost me in your liking.
Hadst not been born, than not to have pleased me better.
France. Is it but this? a tardiness in nature,
Which often leaves the history unspoke,
That it intends to do?- My lord of Burgundy
What say you to the lady? Love is not love,
When it is mingled with respects, that stand
Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.
Give but that portion which yourself propos’d,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Duchess of Burgundy.
Lear. Nothing: I have sworn ; I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry, then, you have so lost a father,
That you must lose a husband.
Peace be with Burgundy :
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife.
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being poor, Most choice, forsaken, and most lov'd, despis'd,
-NOR OTHER foulness,] So the Corr. fol. 1632, for "murder, or foulness”, and “stoop” for step, of the folios and 4tos.