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(Since now we will divest us, both of rule,
Interest of territory, cares of state,)
doth love us most?
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where merit doth most challenge it.-Goneril,
Our eldest-born, speak first.
Do love you more than words can wield the matter,
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.
Cor. What shall Cordelia do? Love, and be silent.
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
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.
Then poor Cordelia! [Aside.
And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love's
More richer than my tongue.
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever, Remains this ample third of our fair kingdom;
No less in space, validity, and pleasure,
Than that conferredo 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 ;P what can you say, to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters ? Speak.
Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Lear. 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.
Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, lov'd 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 ?
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
my sisters, To love my father all.
Lear. But goes this with thy heart?
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,
validity,] i.e. Worth, value.
conferred- ] This is the correct reading of the folio. Steevens reads after the quarto, confirm'd on ; which, as M. Mason observes, is false English: we confer on a person, but we confirm to him.
- interess'd;] From to interesse, the original form of to interest ; from interesser, Fr.-NARES.
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee, from this, 9 for ever. The barbarous Scythian, ,
Or he that makes his generation' messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
As thou my sometime daughter.
Good my liege,
Lear. Peace, Kent!
Come not between the dragon and his wrath :
I lov'd 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 an 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,
Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,
This coronet part between you.
[Giving the Crown. Kent.
Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,
Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd,
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,
from this,] i.e. From this time.-Steevens.
generation) i.e. His children.-MALONE.
all the additions to a king ;] All the titles belonging to a king.– MALONE.
When Lear is mad. What would'st thou do, old man?
Think'st thou, that duty shall have dread to speak,
When power to Aattery bows? To plainness honour's
When majesty stoop 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.
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.
Out of my sight!
Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain
The true blank of thine eye.*
Lear. Now, by Apollo,
Now, by Apollo, king,
Thou swear’st thy gods in vain.
0, vassal! miscreant!
[Laying his hand on his sword. Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
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.
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 made 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 revok'd.
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,
[To Cordelia. That justly think’st, and hast most rightly said !And your large speeches may your deeds approve,
[TO REGAN and Goneril. 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. [Exit.
Re-enter GLOSTER; with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and
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 ?
Most royal majesty,
I crave no more than hath your highness offer’d,
Nor will you tender less.
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, seeminga substance,
Or all of it, with our displeasure piec'd,
- by Jupiter,] Shakspeare makes his Lear too much a mythologist: he bad Hecate and Apollo before.-Johnson.
a He'll shape his old course—] He will follow his old maxims; he will continue to act upon the same principles.—Johnson.
quest of love?] i.e. Amorous expedition. The term originated from Romance. A quest was the expedition in which a knight was engaged.STEEVENS.
-- seeming- ) i. e. Specious.