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LEAR, King of Britain.
} Servants to Glo'fter. 2d. Gonerite:72 ::: Regan, Daughteršito.'Lear: Cordelia, Knights attending on the King, Officers, Messengers,
Soldier's and Attendants.
SCEN E lies in Britain.
VOX K I N G L E A R.
A C T I.
S CE N E
The K I N G's P A LA C E.
I Thought, the King had more affe&ed the Duke of
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 qualities are so weigh'd, that curiosity in neither can make choice of either’s moiety. Kent. Is not this your fon,
lord ? Glo. His Breeding, Sir, hath' been at my charge. I have so often blush'd to acknowledge him, that now Iam braz'd to'l.
Kent. I cannot conceive you.
Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could ; whereupon she grew round-womb'd; and had, indeed, Sir, a son for her cradle, ere she had a husband for her bed. Do
smell a fault? Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.
Glo. But I have a son, Sir, by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account; though this knave came somewhat faucily to the world before he was sent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good fport at his making, and the whoreson must be acknowledg'd. Do you know this Nobleman, Edmund ?
lord. Glo. My lord of Kent ;Remember him hereafter as my
better. Edm. Sir, I shall study your deserving. Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again.
[Trumpets found, within. The King is coming.
SCENE II. Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Gonerill, Regan,
Cordelia, and Attendants. Lear. TTEND the lords of France and Burgundy, A
Gloster. Glo. I shall, my Liege.
[Exit. Lear. Mean time we shall express our darker pur
pose. Give me the Map here. Know, we have divided, In three, our Kingdom; and tis our first intent, To shake all cares and business from our age ; Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Unburden'd crawl tow’rd death. Our son of Corne
wall, And You, our no less loving son of Albany, We have this hour a constant 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 sojourn, And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, daughters, (Since now we will diveft us, both of rule, Int’rest 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. Gonerill, Our eldest born, speak first.
Gon. I love you, Sir, Dearer than eye-light, 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. Cor. What shali Cordelia do? love and be filent.
[Aside. Lear. Of all these Bounds, ev'n from this line to
this, With shadowy forest, and with champions richod, 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 of Cornwall ? speak.
Reg. I'm made of that felf-metal as my fifter, 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 square of sense possesses; And find, I am alone felicitate In your dear Highness' love. Cor. Then poor Cordelia !
[Aside. And yet
not so, since, I am sure, my love's More pond'rous than my tongue.
Lear. To ihee, and thine, hereditary ever, Remain this ample third of our fair Kingdom; No less in space, validity; and pleasure, Than that confer'd on Gonerill—Now ourjoy, Although our last, not least; to whose young love, The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy, Strive to be int’ress'd : what say you, to draw A third, more opulent than your sisters ? speak. Cor. Nothing, my lord. B4
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
you may mar your fortune. Cor. Good my lord, You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me.
and most honour you.
Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Lear. Let it be so, thy truth then be thy dower :