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SCENE I.-A room of state in King Lear's palEnter Kent, Gloster, and Edmund.
Kent. I THOUGHT, the king had more affected the duke of Albany, than Cornwall.
Glo. 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 weigh'd, that curiosityl in neither can make choice of either's moiety.2
Kent. Is not this your son, my lord ? Glo. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge: I have so often blushed to acknowledge him, that now I am brazed to it.
Kent. I cannot conceive you. Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could : 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. 3
Glo. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account: though this knave came somewhat saucily
(1) Most scrupulous nicety.
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?
Edm. No, my lord.
Glo. My lord of Kent: remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.
Edm. My services to your lordship.
Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you better.
Edm. Sir, I shall study deserving.
he shall again :- The king is coming.
[Trumpets sound within. Enter Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Goneril, Regan,
Cordelia, and Attendants. Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloster.
Glo. I shall, my liege. [Exe. Glo. and Edm. Lear. Mean-time we shall express our darker!
purpose. Give me the map there.—Know, that we have di
vided, In three, our kingdom: and 'tis our fast intenta To shake all cares and business from our age; Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Unburden'd crawl toward death. Our son of Corn
wall, 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. 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 daugh
(1) More secret.
(2) Determined resolution.
(Since now we will divest us, both of rule,
you. Cor. What shall Cordelia do? Love, and be sllent.
[ Aside. Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line
to this, With shadowy forests and with champains! rich'd, With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads, We make thee lady: To thine and Albany's issue Be this perpetual.- What says our second daughter, Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak.
Reg. I am made of that self metal as my sister, And prize me at her worth. In my true heart
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 square2 of sense possesses ; And find, I am alone. felicitate3 In your dear highness' love. Cor.
Then poor Cordelia! [Aside. And yet not so; since, I am sạre, 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, 4 and pleasure,
(1) Open plains. (2) Comprehension. (3) Made happy.
Than that confirm'd on Goneril. ---Now, our joy,
Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Good my lord,
lov'd me: I
goes this with thy heart? Cor.
Ay, good my lord.
Lear. Let it be so. —Thy truth then be thy dower:
Hold thee, from this,' for ever. The barbarous
Good my liege,-
[To Cordelia. 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;
Revenue, execution of the rest,4
– Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from
the shaft. Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade (1) From this time. (2) His children. (3) Titles. (4) All other subjects.