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LEAR, King of Britain.
zd:} Servants to Glo'fter.
Knights attending on the King, Oficers, Messengers,
Soldiers and Attendants.
SCENE lies in Britain.
Enter Kent, Glo'ster, and Edmund the Bastard.
Glo. It did always seem so to us: but now,
in the Divifion of the Kingdom, it appears not, which of the Dukes he values moft ; for qualities are so weigh’d, that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety.
Kent. Is not this your son, my Lord ?
Glo. His breeding, Sir, hath been at my charge. I have so 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
she grew round-womb'd ; and had, indeed, Sir, a fon for her cradle, ere she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault?
Kent. I cannot with the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper. A 3
Glo. But I haye a fon, Sir, by order of law, fome year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account; though this knave came somewhat faucily to the world before he was fent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good sport at his making, and the whoreson must be acknowledg'd. Do you know this Nobleman, Edinund? Edm. No, my
Edm. My services to your Lordfhip.
[Trumpets found, within. The King is coming. Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Gonerill, Regan,
Cordelia, and Attendants. Lear. Attend the Lords of France and Burgundy, Glo'fter, Glo. I fhall, my Liege.
[Exit. Lear. Mean time we shall express our darker purpose. Give me the Map here. Know, we have divided, In three, our Kingdom ; and 'tis our fast 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 Cornwall, And you, our no less loving son of Albany, We have this hour a conftant will to publish Our daughters sev'ral Dow'rs, that future ftrife May be prevented now. The Princes France and Burgundy, Great rivals in our younger daughter's love, Long in our Court hare made their am'rous sojourn, And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, daughters, (Since now we will divest us, both of rule, Int'reft 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.