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Knights attending on the King, Officers, Messengers,

Soldiers and Attendants.

SCENE lies in Britain.

KING

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I

Enter Kent, Glo'fter, and Edmund the Baftard.

KENT.

Thought, the King had more affected the Duke of
Albany than Cornwall.

Glo. It did always feem fo to us: but now, in the Divifion of the Kingdom, it appears not, which of the Dukes he values moft; for qualities are fo weigh'd, that curiofity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.

Kent. Is not this your fon, my lord?

Glo. His Breeding, Sir, hath been at my charge. I have fo often blush'd to acknowledge him, that now I am braz'd to't.

Kent. I cannot conceive you.

Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could; whereupon fhe grew round-womb'd; and had, indeed, Sir, a fon for her cradle, ere fhe had a hufband' for her bed. Do you fmell a fault?

Kent. I cannot with the fault undone, the issue of it being fo proper.

Glo. But I have a fon, Sir, by order of law, fome. year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account; though this knave came fomewhat faucily to the world before he was fent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good fport at his making, and the whorefon must be acknowledg'd. Do you know this Nobleman, Edmund?

B 3

Edm.

Edm. No, my lord.

Glo. My lord of Kent ;

Remember him hereafter as my honourable friend. Edm. My fervices to your lordship.

Kent. I muft love you, and fue,to know you better. Edm. Sir, I fhall ftudy your deferving.

Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he

fhall again.

The King is coming.

[Trumpets found, within.

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Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Gonerill, Regan, Cordelia, and Attendants.

Lear.

A

TTEND the lords of France and Burgundy,
Glofter.

Glo. I fhall, my Liege.

[Exit. Lear. Mean time we fhall exprefs our darker pur

pofe. Give me the Map here. Know, we have divided, In three, our Kingdom; and tis our firft intent, To fhake all cares and bufinefs from our age; Conferring them on younger ftrengths, while we Unburden'd crawl tow'rd death. Our fon of Cornwall,

And You, our no lefs loving fon of Albany,
We have this hour a conftant will to publish
Our daughters fev'ral Dow'rs, that future ftrife
May be prevented now. The Princes France and Bur-
gundy,

Great rivals in our younger daughter's love,
Long in our Court have made their am'rous fojourn,
And here are to be anfwer'd. Tell me, daughters,
(Since now we will diveft us, both of rule,
Int'reft of territory, cares of ftate;)

Which of you, fhall we fay, doth love us moft?
That we our largest bounty may extend,

Where

Where nature doth with merit challenge. Gonerill, Our eldest born, speak first.

Gon. I love you, Sir,

Dearer than eye-fight, fpace 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.

Cor. What fhall Cordelia do? love and be filent.

[Afide.
Lear. Of all thefe Bounds, ev'n from this line to
this,
With fhadowy foreft, and with champions rich'd,
With plenteous rivers and wide-fkirted meads,
We make thee lady. To thine and Albany's iffue
Be this perpetual.-What fays our fecond daughter,
Our dearest Regan, wife of Cornwall? fpeak.

Reg. I'm made of that felf-metal as my fister,
And prize me at her worth, in my true Heart.
I find, fhe names my very deed of love;
Only he comes too fhort: that I profess
Myfelf an enemy to all other joys,

Which the moft precious fquare of fenfe poffeffes;
And find, I am alone felicitate

In your dear Highnefs' love.

Cor. Then poor Cordelia!

And yet not fo, fince, I am fure, my love's

More pond'rous than my tongue.

[Afide.

Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever, Remain this ample third of our fair Kingdom; No lefs in fpace, validity, and pleasure, Than that confer'd on Gonerill-Now our joy, Although our laft, not leaft; to whofe young love, The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy, Strive to be int'refs'd: what say you, to draw A third, more opulent than your fifters ? fpeak. Cor. Nothing, my lord.

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Lear. Nothing?

Cor. Nothing.

Lear. Nothing can come of nothing; fpeak again.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave

My heart into my mouth: I love your Majefty
According to my bond, no more nor lefs.

Lear. How, how, Cordelia? mend your fpeech a
little,

Left

you may mar your fortune.

Cor. Good my lord,

Ι

You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me.
Return thofe duties back, as are right fit;
Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
Why have my fifters husbands, if they fay,
They love you, all? hap'ly, when I fhall wed,
That lord, whofe hand muft take my plight, fhall

carry

Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
Sure, I fhall never marry like my fifters,

To love my father all.

Lear. But goes thy heart with this?

Cor. Ay, my good lord.

Lear. So young, and fo untender?

Cor. So young, my lord, and true.

Lear. Let it be fo, thy truth then be thy dower:

For by the facred radiance of the fun,

The mysteries of Hecate, and the night,

By all the operations of the orbs,

From whom we do exift, 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 barb'rous Scy-
thian,

Or he that makes his generation messes,
To gorge his appetite; fhall to my bofom
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
As thou, my fometime daughter.

Kent.

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