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8.22.33 Т3 w
LEAR, King of Britain,
ACT I. SCENE I. - A Room of State in KING LEAR's Palace.
Enter KENT, GLOSTER, and EDMUND.
Kent. I thought, the king had more affected the duke of Albany, than Cornwall.
Gloster. It did always seem so to us: but now, in the division of the kingdom, it appears not which of the dukes he values most; for equalities are so weighed, that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.?
Kent. Is not this your son, my lord ?
Glos. His breeding, Sir, hath been at my charge: I have so often blushed to acknowledge him, that now I am brazed 3 to it.
Kent. I cannot conceive you.
Glos. Sir, this young fellow's mother could;4 whereupon she grew round-wombed, and had, indeed, Sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault?
Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper."
Glos. But I have a son, Sir, by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account:
1. Scotland was anciently called | not determine in preferring one share Albany.
to the other. 2. Curiosity, scrupulousness, cap 3. To braze, to harden to imputiousness; moiety strictly means half, dence. but Shakespeare commonly uses it for
4. i. e. could conceive: a play upon any part or division. The meaning the word. of the sentence is: The qualities and 5. A proper man was a handsome properties of the several divisions are man, a well-proportioned man. so weighed and balanced against one 6. Sore year elder, about a year another, that the exactest scrutiny could / older.
though this knave, came somewhat saucily into the world, before he was 'sent' for, yet was his mother fair, there was good sport at: his making, and the whoreson must be acknowledged. Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund ?
Edsevind. No, my lord.
Glós, My lord of Kent: remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.
Edm. My services to your lordship.
Glos. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again. The king is coming.
Sennet 1 within.
Enter LEAR, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, CORDELIA,
Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloster,
Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.» Give me the
there. Know, that we have divided In three, our kingdom; and 't is our fast intent 3 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.5 The princes, France and Burgundy, Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, And here are to be answer'd. — 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.
1. Sennet, flourish of trumpets. 4. Constant will, determined will; the
2. Darker purpose, secret, hidden same as fast intent. purpose.
5. See last pote but one of Scene 4, 3. Fast intent, fixed, settled intent. Act III.
Goneril. Sir, I love you more than words can wield the
matter;1 Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty; Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare; No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour: As much as child e’er lov’d, or father found; A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable; Beyond all manner of so much I love you.2 Cordelia. What shall Cordelia do ? Love, and be silent.
Regan. I am made of that self metal as my sister,
Then, poor Cordelia! (Aside.
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
1. i. e. more than words can deal comprehension; or, the full complement with, or express,
of all the senses.
But this passage 2. i. e. beyond all assignable quan- may possibly be corrupted. tity. I love you beyond limits, and 5. The use of both forms of comcannot say it is so much, for how much parison together was common with the soever I should name, it would be yet old writers. See many passages in
this play 3. i. e. in that, in as much as I pro 6. Validity, worth, value; not integfess &c.
rity, or good title. 4. Perhaps square means compass,
Strive to be interess'd; what can you say, to draw
Cordelia. Nothing, my lord.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
Lear. How? how, Cordelia? mend your speech a little, Lest you may mar your fortunes. Cor.
Good my lord,
loy'd me: I
Lear. But goes this with thy heart?
Ay, goodmy lord.
Lear. Let it be so: thy truth, then, be thy dower;
Good my liege,
1. i. e. As I am bound to do.
4. Sometime, former. As thou that wert my daughter.