King Lear.


SCENE I. - A Room of State in King LEAR'S | Edm. My services to your lordship.

Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you

better. Enter KENT, GLOSTER, and EDMUND.

Edm. Sir, I shall study deserving. Kent. I thought the King had more affected the Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he Duke of Albany than Cornwall.

shall again. — The King is coming. Glo. It did always seem so to us : but now,

[Trumpets sound within. in the division of the kingdom, it appears not which of the dukes he values most; for equalities Enter LEAR, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GONERIL, are so weighed, that curiosity in neither can make

REGAN, CORDELIA, and Attendants. choice of either's moiety. Kent. Is not this your son, my lord ?

Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Glo. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge : | Gloster. I have so often blushed to acknowledge him, that Glo. I shall, my liege. now I am brazed to it.

[Exeunt GLOSTER and EDMUND. Kent. I cannot conceive you.

Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could :

purpose. whereupon she grew round-wombed, and had indeed, Give me the map there. — Know that we have sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for

divided her bed. Do you smell a fault ?

In three, our kingdom; and 't is our fast intent Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue To shake all cares and business from our age;

Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Glo. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some Unburdened crawl toward death. — Our son of year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my

Cornwall, account. Though this knave came somewhat sau. And you, our no less loving son of Albany, cily into the world before he was sent for, yet was We have this hour a constant will to publish his mother fair: there was good sport at his Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife making, and the whoreson must be acknowledged. May be prevented now. The princes, France - Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund ?

and Burgundy, Edm. No, my lord.

Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, Glo. My lord of Kent: remember him hereafter Long in our court have made their amorous as my honorable friend.


And here are to be answered. — Tell me, my Cor. Nothing daughters

Lear. Nothing can come of nothing: speak (Since now we will divest us, both of rule,

again. Interest of territory, cares of state),

Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave Which of you shall we say doth love us most ? My heart into my mouth. I love your majesty That we are largest bounty may extend

According to my bond : nor more, nor less. Where merit doth most challenge it. — Goneril, | Lear. How, how, Cordelia ? mend your speech Our eldest-born, speak first.

a little,
Gon. I do love you more than words can wield | Lest it may mar your fortunes.
the matter :

Cor. Good my lord,
Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty; You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare; Return those duties back as are right fit;
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, Obey you, love you, and most honor you.

Why have my sisters husbands, if they say
As much as child e'er loved, or father found. They love you all ? Haply, when I shall wed,
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable; That lord whose hand must take my plight, shall
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.

carry Cor. What shall Cordelia do ? Love, and be Half my love with him, half my care and duty : silent.

[Aside. Sure I shall never marry, like my sisters, Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line | To love my father all. to this,

Lear. But goes this with thy heart? With shadowy forests and with champains riched, Cor. Ay, good my lord. With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meals, I Lear. So young, and so untender? We make thee lady. To thine and Albany's issue | | Cor. So young, my lord, and true. Be this perpetual. — What says our second | Lear. Let it be so:— thy truth, then, be thy daughter,

Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall ? Speak. For, by the sacred radiance of the sun ;

Reg. I am made of that self metal as my sister, The mysteries of Hecate and the night;
And prize me at her worth. In my true heart By all the operations of the orbs
I find she names my very deed of love :

From whom we do exist, and cease to be, -
Only she comes too short, — that I profess Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Myself an enemy to all other joys

Propinquity and property of blood, Which the most precious sphere of sense possesses, And as a stranger to my heart and me And find I am alone felicitate

Hold thee, from this, for ever. The barbarous In your dear highness' love.

Cor. Then poor Cordelia ! [Aside. Or he that makes his generation messes
And yet not so, since I am sure my love's To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
More richer than my tongue.

Be as well neighbored, pitied, and relieved,
Lear. To thee and thine, hereditary ever, As thou, my sometime daughter.
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom; Kent. Good my liege, —
No less in space, validity, and pleasure,

Lear. Peace, Kent?
Than that confirmed on Goncril. — Now, our joy, Come not between the dragon and his wrath:
Although the last, not least; to whose young love I loved her most, and thought to set my rest
The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy, On her kind nursery. - Hence, and avoid my sight!
Strive to be interested; what can you say, to draw

[To CORDELIA. A third more opulent than your sisters ? Speak. So be my grave my peace, as here I give Cor. Nothing, my lord.

Her father's heart from her! - Call France :Lear. Nothing?

who stirs ?


Dear sir, forbear.

Call Burgundy. — Cornwall and Albany,
With my two daughters' dowers digest this third : Corn. 5
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her. Kent. Do: kill thy physician, and the fee
I do invest you jointly with my power,

bestow Pre-eminence, and all the large effects

Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift; That troop with majesty. — Ourself, by monthly Or, whilst I can vent clamor from my throat, course,

I'll tell thee thou dost evil. With reservation of an hundred knights,

Lear. Hear me, recreant ! By you to be sustained, shall our abode

On thine allegiance hear me!Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow The name and all the additions to a king; (Which we durst never yet) and with strained The sway,

pride Revenue, execution of the rest,

To come betwixt our sentence and our power Belovéd sons, be yours : which to confirm, (Which nor our nature nor our place can bear); This coronet part between you. [Giving the crown. Our potency made good, take thy reward. Kent. Royal Lear,

Five days we do allot thee, for provision Whom I have ever honored as my king, To shield thee from diseases of the world; Loved as my father, as my master followed, And on the sixth to turn thy hated back As my aged patron, thought on in my prayers, — Upon our kingdom : if on the tenth day following Lear. The bow is bent and drawn : make from Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions, the shaft.

The moment is thy death. Away! by Jupiter, Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade This shall not be revoked. The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly, Kent. Fare thee well, King: since thus thou When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old

wilt appear, man ?

Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here. — Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak, The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid, When power to flattery bows? To plainness

[To CORDELIA. honor's bound,

That justly think’st, and hast most rightly said.— When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy And your large speeches may your deeds approve, doom ;

[To REGAN and GONERIL. And, in thy best consideration, check

That good effects may spring from words of love.This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judg Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu : ment,

He'll shape his old course in a country new. Thy youngest daughter dost not love thee least;

[Exit. Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound

Re-enter GLOSTER; with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, Reverbs no hollowness. Lear. Kent, on thy life no more.

and Attendants. Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble To wage against thine enemies : nor fear to lose it,

lord. Thy safety being the motive.

Lear. My lord of Burgundy, Lear. Out of my sight!

We first address towards you, who with this king Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain Hath rivaled for our daughter:- What, in the The true blank of thine eye.

least, Lear. Now, by Apollo,

Will you require in present dower with her, Kent. Now, by Apollo, King,

Or cease your quest of love ? Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.

Bur. Most royal majesty, Lear. O, vassal! miscreant !

I crave no more than hath your highness offered, [Laying his hand on his sword. Nor will you tender less.

Lear. Right noble Burgundy,

That I am glad I have not, though not to have it When she was dear to us, we did hold her so; Hath lost me in your liking. But now her price is fallen. Sir, there she stands: Lear. Better thou If aught within that little, seeming substance, Hadst not been born, than not to have pleased me Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced,

better. And nothing more, may fitly like your grace, France. Is it but this ? a tardiness in nature, She's there, and she is yours.

Which often leaves the history unspoke Bur. I know no answer.

That it intends to do? — My lord of Burgundy, Lear. Sir,

What say you to the lady? Love is not love, Will you, with those infirmities she owes, When it is mingled with respects that stand Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,

Aloof from the entire point? Will you have her? Dowered with our curse, and strangered with our She is herself a dowry. oath,

Bur. Royal Lear, Take her, or leave her ?

Give but that portion which yourself proposed, Bur. Pardon me, royal sir;

And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Election makes not up on such conditions. Duchess of Burgundy.
Lear. Then leave her, sir : for, by the power Lear. Nothing I have sworn: I am firm.
that made me,

Bur. I am sorry, then, you have so lost a I tell you all her wealth. — For you, great king,


[To FRANCE. That you must lose a husband. [TO CORDELIA. I would not from your love make such a stray, I Cor. Peace be with Burgundy! To match you where I hate : therefore beseech Since that respects of fortune are his love. you

I shall not be his wife. To avert your liking a more worthier way,

France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, Than on a wretch whom nature is ashamed

being poor; Almost to acknowledge hers.

Most choice, forsaken; and most loved, despised ! France. This is most strange !

Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon : That she, that even but now was your best object, Be it lawful, I take up what's cast away. The argument of your praise, balm of your age, Gods, gods ! 't is strange, that from their cold'st Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of neglect time

My love should kindle to inflamed respect. — Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle Thy dowerless daughter, King, thrown to my So many folds of favor! Sure her offense

chance, Must be of such unnatural degree

Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France :
That monsters it, or your fore-vouched affection Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy
Fall into taint: which to believe of her,

Shall buy this unprized precious maid of me. — Must be a faith that reason, without miracle, Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind : Could never plant in me.

Thou losest here, a better where to find. Cor. I yet beseech your majesty

Lear. Thou hast her, France : let her be thine; (If for I want that glib and oily art,

for we To speak and purpose not; since what I well Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see intend,

That face of hers again :- therefore, be gone, I'll do 't before I speak), that you make known Without our grace, our love, our benizon. — It is no vicious blot, nor other foulness,

Come, noble Burgundy. No unchaste action or dishonored step,

[Flourish. E.ceunt LEAR, BURGUNDY, CORNThat hath deprived me of your grace and favor : WALL, ALBANY, GLOSTER, and Attendants. But even for want of that for which I am richer : France. Bid farewell to your sisters. A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue

Cor. The jewels of our father, with washed eyes

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Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are; SCENE II. — A Hall in the EARL OF GLOSTER'S And, like a sister, am most loath to call

Castle. Your faults as they are named. Use well our father :

Enter EDMUND, with a letter. To your professéd bosoms I commit him :

Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law But yet, alas ! stood I within his grace,

My services are bound. Wherefore should I I would prefer him to a better place.

Stand in the plague of custom; and permit So farewell to you both.

The curiosity of nations to deprive me, Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.

For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines Reg. Let your study

Lag of a brother? Why bastard; wherefore base ; Be to content your lord; who hath received you When my dimensions are as well compact, At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted, My mind as generous, and my shape as true, And well are worth the want that you have As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us wanted.

With base; with baseness; bastardy; base, base ; Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take hides :

More composition and fierce quality
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides. Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Well may you prosper !

Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
France. Come, my fair Cordelia. Got 'tween asleep and wake ? - Well then,

[Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA. Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land : Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say, of Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund, what most nearly appertains to us both. I think As to the legitimate. “Fine word, — legitimate!” our father will hence to-night.

Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed, Reg. That's most certain, and with you: next And my invention thrive, Edmund the base month with us.

Shall top the legitimate. I grow : I prosper. Gon. You see how full of changes his age is : Now, gods, stand up for bastards ! the observation we have made of it hath not been little. He always loved our sister most: and with

Enter GLOSTER. what poor judgment he hath now cast her off, ap Glo. Kent banished thus; and France in choler pears too grossly.

parted! Reg. 'T is the infirmity of his age : yet he hath And the king gone to-night: subscribed his power : ever but slenderly known himself.

Confined to exhibition ! All this done Gon. The best and soundest of his time hath Upon the gad ! - Edmund ! how now? what news? been but rash : then must we look to receive from Edm. So please your lordship, none. his age, not alone the imperfections of long-en

[Putting up the letter. grafted condition, but therewithal the unruly way Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that wardness that infirm and choleric years bring with

letter? them.

Edm. I know no news, my lord. Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have Glo. What paper were you reading ? from him, as this of Kent's banishment.

Edm. Nothing, my lord. Gon. There is further compliment of leave- Glo. No? what needed, then, that terrible destaking between France and him. Pray you, let us patch of it into your pocket? the quality of nothhit together: if our father carry authority with ing hath not such need to hide itself. Let's see : such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of come, if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles. his will but offend us.

Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me. It is a Reg. We shall further think of it.

letter from my brother, that I have not all o’erGon. We must do something, and i' the heat. read: for so much as I have perused, I find it not [Exeunt. fit for your over-looking.

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