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Gloc. But I have a son, Sir, by order of law, fome year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account. Do you know this nobleman, Edmund ?
Edm. No, my lord.
Gloc. My lord of Kent ;
Remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.
Edm. My services to your lordship.
Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you better.
Edm. Sir, I shall study your deserving.
[Trumpets found within. Gloc. The king is coming.
Scene opens, and discovers King Lear, Cornwall, Ala bany, Gonerill, Regan, Cordelia, and attendants.
Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Glo'ster. Gloc. I shall, my liege.
[Exit. Lear. Mean time we shall express our darker
Give me the map here. Know, 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
Unburthen'd crawl toward death. Our fon of
And you, our no-less-loving son of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughters sev'ral dow'rs, that future strife
May be prevented now. The princes France and
Great rivals in our younger daughter's love,
Long in our court have made their am'rous soo:
And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, daughters,
Which of you, shall we say, doth love us most?
That we our largest bounty may extend,
Where nature doth with merit challenge. Gonerill,
Our eldest born, speak first.
Gon. I love you, Sir,
Dearer than eye-fight, space, and liberty;
Beyond what can be valu’d, rich or rare;
No less than life,with grace, health, beauty, honour;
As much as child e'er loy'd, or father found.
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable;
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
Cord. What shall Cordelia do ? love, and be
[Aside. Lear. Of all these bounds, ev'n from this line to
this, With shadowy forests and with champains rich’d, With plenteous rivets and wide-skirted meads,
We make thee lady. To thine and Albany's iffue
Be this perpetual.-Whatfays our second daughter,
Our dearest Regan, wife of Cornwall ? speak.
Regan. I'm made of that self mould, as is my
And prize me at her worth, in my true heart.
I find, fhe names my very deed of love;
Only she comes too short : that I profess
Myself an enemy to all other joys,
Than your dear highness' love.
Cord. Then poor Cordelia !
And yet not so, since I am sure my love's
More pond'rous than my tongue.
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom;
No less in fpace, validity, and pleasure,
Than that conferr'd on Gonerill. Now our joy,
Altho' our last, not least; to whose young love,
The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy,
Strive to be intress'd! what say you, to draw
A third, more opulent than your sisters ? fpeak. .
Cord. Nothing, my lord.
Lear. Nothing ?
Lear. Nothing can come of nothing ; speak again.
Cord. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth : I love your majesty
According to my bond; no more nor less.
Lear. How, how, Cordelia ? mend your speech
a little ;
you may mar your
Cord. Good my lord,
You gave me being, 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? hap’ly, when I shall wed,
That lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall
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 thy heart with this?
Cord. Ay, my good lord.
Lear. So young, and so untender ?
Cord. 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 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.
Kent. Good my liege
Lear. Peace, Kent,
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I lov'd der most, and thought to set my rest
On her kind nurs’ry. Hence, avoid my fight!
So be my grave my peace, as here I give
Her father's heart from her; call France; who ftirs?
Call Burgundy.—Cornwall and Albany,
With my two daughters' dowers, digest the third.
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her,
I do invest you jointly with my power,
Preheminence, and all the large effects
That troop with majesty. Ourself by monthly course,
With reservation of a hundred knights,
By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
Make with you by due turns: only retain
The name and all th' addition to a king ;
The sway, revenue, execution,
Beloved fons, be yours! which to confirm,
This coronet part between you. [Giving the crow».
Kent. Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,