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SCENE 1.-King LEAR's Palace.
Enter KENT, GLOSTER, and EDMUND.
thought the king had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.
Glo. It did always seem so to us: but A now, in the division of the kingdom, it appears not which of the dukes he values most.
Kent. Is not this your son, my lord ?
Glo. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge : I have so often blush'd to acknowledge him, that now I am braz’d to it. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year older than this, who is yet no dearer in my account. Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund ?
Edm. No, my lord.
Glo. 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 deserving. [Trumpets within.] The king is coming.
Enter LEAR, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN,
CORDELIA, Fool, and Attendants.
[Exeunt GLOSTER and EDMUND. Lear. Meantime we shall express our
darker purpose Give me the map there.-Know that we've 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. 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 nature doth with merit challenge.-Goneril, Our eldest-born, speak first.
Gon. Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter; Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty; As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable ;
Then poor Cordelia !
Lear. To thee and thine hereditary ever
Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
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.
Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Ay, good my lord.
Lear. Let it be so,—thy truth, then, be thy dow'r : For, by the sacred radiance of the sun, Here I disclaim all my paternal care, 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 her most, and thought to set my rest On her kind nursery.—Hence, and avoid my sight!So be my grave my peace, as here I give Her fathers heart from her !--Call France;who
stirs ? Call Burgundy.— [Exit a Knight.]-Cornwall and
Albany, With my two daughters' dow'rs 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, 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
Revenuc, execution of the rest,
Beloved sons, be yours : which to confirm,
[Giving the Crown to ALBANY. Kent.
Kent, on thy life, no more.
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, vassal! miscreant.
[Seising 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,