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The moment is thy death. Away! by Jupiter,
Kent. Fare thee well, king. [To CORDELIA.] The gods to their dear shelter take
thee, maid ![TO REGAN and GONERIL.] And your large speeches
may your deeds approve. Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu ; He'll shape his old course in a country new. (Exit. 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 ?
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 dèar 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 oati, 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, 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 t' acknowledge hers.
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 t' have pleas'd me
I have sworn; I am firm.
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,
CORNWALL, ALBANY, GLOSTER,
EDMUND, and Attendants. France. Bid farewell to your sisters.
Cor. Ye jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Reg. Prescribe not us our duties.
Let your study
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.
SCENE II. The Earl of GLOSTER's Castle.
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
[Hiding the letter.
Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'er-read; and for so much as I have perus’d, I find it not fit for your o’er-looking.
Glo. Give me the letter, sir.
Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as an essay or taste of my virtue.
Glo. [reads] “This policy and reverence of age makes the world bitter to the best of our times ; keeps our fortunes from us till our oldness cannot relish them. Come to 11:e, that of this I may speak inore. If our father would sleep till I wak'd him, you should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live the belov'd of your brother,
Edgar." “ Sleep till I wak’d him,-you should enjoy half his revènue,”—My son Edgar! When came this to you? who brought it?
Edm. It was not brought me, my lord,—there's the cunning of it; I found it thrown in at the casement of my closet.
Glo. O villain, villain! Abhorréd villain! Go, sirrah, seek him ; I'll apprehend him:-abominable villain!
Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall hear us confer of this, and that without any further delay than this very eyening. Glo. He cannot be such a monsterEdm. Nor is not, sure.
Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him.--Heaven and earth!--Edmund seek him out. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us. Find out this villain, Edmund; it shall lose thee nothing.
[Exit. Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune,-often the surfeit of our own behaviour,—we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars. Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my birth.Edgar !-pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy.