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And prize me at her worth. In my true heart
I find, she names my very deed of love;

Only she comes too short,-*that I profess

Myself an enemy to all other joys,

Which the most precious squaret of sense possesses;
And find, I am alone felicitate

In your dear highness' love.

Cor. Then poor Cordelia!

And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love 's
More richer than my tongue.

Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom;
No less in space, validity,§ and pleasure,

Than that confirm'd on Goneril.-Now, our joy,
Although the last, not least; to whose young love
The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy,
Strive to be interess'd: what can you say, to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters ? Speak.
Cor. Nothing, my lord.

Lear. Nothing?

Cor. Nothing.

Lear. Nothing can come of nothing: speak again.

Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave

My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty

According to my bond; nor more, nor less.

Lear. How, how, Cordelia? mend your speech a little, Lest it may mar your fortunes.

Cor. Good my lord,

You have begot me, bred me, loved 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? Haply, when I shall wed,

That lord, whose hand must take my plight, shall carry
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 this with thy heart?

Cor. Ay, good my lord.

Lear. So young, and so untender?

Cor. So young, my lord, and true.

Lear. Let it be so.-Thy truth, then, be thy dower:

For, by the sacred radiance of the sun;

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. The barbarous Scythian,

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+ Made happy.

Or he that makes his generation* messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and relieved,
As thou my sometime daughter.
Kent. Good my liege,-

Lear. Peace, Kent!

Come not between the dragon and his wrath:

I loved 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 father's heart from her!-Call France;-Who stirs ?

Call Burgundy,-Cornwall, and Albany,

With my two daughters' dowers 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 a 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 the additions to a king;

The sway,

Revenue, execution of the rest,‡

Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,
This coronet part between you.

Kent. Royal Lear,

Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,

Loved as my father, as my master follow'd,

[Giving the crown.

As my great patron thought on in my prayers,

Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from the shaft.
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade

The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly,

When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man ?

Think'st thou, that duty shall have dread to speak,

When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour 's bound,
When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom;
And, in thy best consideration, check

This hideous rashness: answer my life, my judgment,
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least.
Nor are those empty-hearted, whose low sound
Reverbs no hollowness.

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,

*His children.

All other business.

+ Titles.

§ Aim.

Kent. Now, by Apollo, king,

Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.

Lear. O, vassal! miscreant! [Laying his hand on his sword,

Alb. Cor. Dear Sir, forbear.

Kent. Do;

Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow

Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift;

Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee, thou dost evil.

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 betwixt our sentence and our power
(Which nor our nature nor our place can bear),
Our potency make 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,
This shall not be revoked.

Kent. Fare thee well, king: since thus thou wilt appear,
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.-
The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
That justly think'st, and has most rightly said!-
And your large speeches may your deeds approve,



That good effects may spring from words of love.
Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu;

He'll shape his old course in a country new.


Re-enter GLOSTER; 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 dower with her,

Or cease your quest of love?

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 dear to us, we did hold her so;

But now her price is fall'n: Sir, there she stands;
If aught within that little seeming substance,
Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced,
And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,
She's there, and she is yours.

Bur. I know no answer.

*Our power still availing to this purpose.

Lear. Sir,

Will you with these infirmities she owes,

Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,

Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her ?

Bur. Pardon me, royal Sir;

Election makes not upt on such conditions.

Lear. Then leave her, Sir; for by the power that made me, I tell you all her wealth.-For you, great king,

I would not from your love make such a stray,

To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you
To avert your liking a more worthier way,
Than on a wretch whom nature is ashamed
Almost to acknowledge hers.

France. This is most strange !

That she, that even but now was your best object,
The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle

So many folds of favour! Sure, her offence

Must be of such unnatural degree,

That monsters it, or your 'fore-vouch'd affection
Fall into taint: which to believe of her,

Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
Could never plant in me.

Cor. I yet beseech your majesty

(If for I want that glib and oily art,


To speak and purpose not; since what I well intend,
I'll do't before I speak), that you make known
It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,

No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step,

That hath deprived me of your grace and favour:
But even for want of that, for which I am richer;
A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue

That 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 pleased 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? Love is not love,
When it is mingled with respects, I that stand
Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.

Bur. Royal Lear,

Give but that portion which yourself proposed,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,

Duchess of Burgundy.

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* Prudential cautiousness, that does not regard love as love, wholly and alone.

Lear. Nothing: 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 loved, despised:

Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon :

Be it lawful, I take up what's cast away.

Gods, gods! 'tis strange, that from their cold'st neglect
My love should kindle to inflamed respect.

Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance,
Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France:
Not all the dukes of wat'rish Burgundy

Shall buy this unprized precious maid of me.

Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind;

Thou losest here, a better where* to find.

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,
Without our grace, our love, our benison.t
Come, noble Burgundy.

ALBANY, GLOSTER, and Attendants.

France. Bid farewell to your sisters.

Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are;

And, like a sister, am most loath to call

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

To your professed 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.

Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Reg. Let your study

Be, to content your lord; who hath received you
At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have wanted.
Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides;
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
Well may you prosper!

France. Come, my fair Cordelia.

[Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA. Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say, of what most nearly appertains to us both. 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; the observation we have made of it hath not been little; he always loved our sister most; and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off, appears too grossly

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