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Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
Belovèd sons, be yours: which to confirm,
[Giving the Crown to ALBANY.
Kent. Royal Lear, Whom I have ever honour'd as my king, Lov’d as my father, as my master follow'd,—
Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from the
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly, When Lear is mad.
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 The true blank of thine eye.
Lear. Now, by Apollo,
Kent. Now, by Apollo, king, Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.
Lear. O, vassall miscreant.
[Seizing his sword.
Alb., Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
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 between our sentence and our pow'r, 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,
Flourish. Re-enter GLosTER and EDMUND, with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and Attendants.
Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord,
Lear. My Lord of Burgundy, We first address towards you, who, with this king Hath rivall'd for our daughter: what, in the least, Will you require in present dow'r with her, Or cease your quest of love 2
Bur. Most royal majesty, I crave no more than hath your highness offer'd, Nor will you tender less.
Lear. Right noble Burgundy, When she was déar to us, we did hold her so; But now her price is fall'n. Sir, there she stands: Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath, Take her, or leave her ?
Bur. Pardon me, royal sir; Election makes not up on such conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the pow'r that
made me, I tell you all her wealth.-- (To FRANCE. For you, great king,
I would not from your love make such a stray,
France. This is most strange | Cor. I yet beseech your Majesty,+make known, It is no vicious blot, nor stain of foulness, No unchaste action, or dishonour’d step, That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour; But even for want of that for which I'm 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. Lear. Better thou Hadst not been born than not to have pleas'd 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 ? Will you have her ? She is herself a dowry. Bur. Royal King, Give but that portion which yourself propose, And here I take Cordelia by the hand, Duchess of Burgundy. Lear. I have sworn ; I am firm. Bur. I am sorry, then, you have so lost a father, That you must lose a husband. Cor. Peace be with Burgundy. Since that respects of fortune are his love, I shall not be his wife. France. Fairest Cordelia, thou art most rich, being poor; Most choice, forsaken ; and most lov'd, despis'd Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon. Thy dow'rless daughter, king, thrown to my chance, Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France: Not all the dukes of wat'rish Burgundy Can buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me. Lear. Thou hast her, France: let her be thine ; for we Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of hers again :-Therefore be gone
[Flourish. Exeunt LEAR, BURGUNDY,
France. Bid farewell to your sisters.
Cor. Ye jewels of our father, with wash’d eyes Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are ; And, like a sister, am most loathe to call Your faults as they are nam'd. Love well our father: To your professèd bosoms I commit him : But yet, alas, stood I within his grace, I would prefer him to a better place. So, farewell to you both.
Reg. Prescribe not us our duties.
Gon. Let your study Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you At fortune's alms.
Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning
Who cover faults, at last them shame derides.
France. Come, my fair Cordelia.
[Exeunt FRANCE and CoRDELIA.
Gon. I think our father will hence to-night. Reg. That’s most certain, and with you; next month with us. Gon. You see how full of changes his age is; he always lov'd our sister most ; and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off appears too grossly. Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him as this of Kent's banishment. Gon. Pray you, let us hit together: we must do something, and i' the heat.