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Obey you,



and most honor you.

Why have my sisters husbands, if they say,

They love you 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 like 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,

Propinquity and property of blood,

And as a stranger to my heart and me

Hold thee, from this, forever. The barbarous Scythian, Or he that makes his generation 1 messes


To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbored, pitied, and relieved,
As thou my sometime daughter.


Lear. Peace, Kent!

Good my liege,

Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I loved 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,

Preeminence, and all the large effects

That troop with majesty.-Ourself, by monthly course, With reservation of a hundred knights,

1 His children.

By you to be sustained, shall our abode

Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain1 The name, and all the additions to a king;

The sway,

Revenue, execution of the rest,3

Beloved sons, be yours; which to confirm,

This coronet part between you. [Giving the crown.
Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honored as my king,

Loved as my father, as my master followed,

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, When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old


Think'st thou, that duty shall have dread to speak, When power to flattery bows? To plainness honor's


When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom;1 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 5 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!

1 Thus the quarto; folio, "we shall retain."

2 "All the titles belonging to a king."

3 By "the execution of the rest," all the other functions of the kingly office are probably meant.

4 The folio reads, "reserve thy state;" and has falls instead of "stoops to folly."

5 This is, perhaps, a word of the Poet's own; meaning the same as reverberates.

6 The expression to wage against is used in a letter from Guil. Webbe to Robt. Wilmot, prefixed to Tancred and Gismund, 1592:-" You shall not be able to wage against me in the charges growing upon this action."


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.

O vassal! miscreant!

[Laying his hand on his sword.

Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
Kent Do;

Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift,
Or, whilst I can vent clamor 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 strained pride,
To come betwixt our sentence and our power,
Which nor our nature nor our place can bear;)
Our potency made 2 good, take thy reward.
Five days we do allot thee, for provision
To shield thee from diseases 3 of the world;
And, on the sixth, to turn thy hated back

Upon our kingdom. If, on the tenth day following,
Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter,
This shall not be revoked.

Kent. Fare thee well, king; since thus thou wilt



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.

1 The blank is the mark at which men shoot. 2 "They to whom I have surrendered my authority, yielding me the ability to dispense it in this instance." Quarto B. reads "make good." 3 Thus the quartos. The folio reads "disasters." By diseases are meant uneasinesses, inconveniences.

4 The quartos read "Friendship;" and in the next line, instead of “dear shelter,” “protection."

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 Attendants.

Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord. Lear. My lord of Burgundy,

We first address towards you, who with this king Hath rivalled for our daughter. What, in the least, Will you require in present dower with her,

Or cease your quest of love?1


Most royal majesty, I crave no more than hath your highness offered,

Nor will you tender less.

Right noble Burgundy,

When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
But now her price is fallen. Sir, there she stands,
If aught within that little, seeming substance,
Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced,

And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,
She's there, and she is yours.


Lear. Sir,

I know no answer.

Will you, with those infirmities she owes,3

Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,

Dowered with our curse, and strangered with our oath, Take her, or leave her?



Pardon me, royal sir;

Election makes not up on such conditions.

Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that

made me,

I tell you all her wealth.-For you, great king,


1 A quest is a seeking or pursuit: the expedition in which a knight was engaged is often so named in the Faerie Queen.

Seeming here means specious.

3 i. e. oums.

4 That is, I cannot decide to take her upon such terms; or, such Conditions leave me no choice.

I would not from your love make such a stray,

To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you
To avert your liking a more worthier way,
Than on a wretch whom nature is ashamed
Almost to acknowledge hers.

This is most strange!

That she, that even but now was your best object,
The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
So many folds of favor! Sure, her offence
Must be of such unnatural degree,

That monsters it,' or your fore-vouched affection
Fall into taint; which to believe of her,


Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
Could never plant in me.


I yet beseech your majesty,

(If for I want that glib and oily art,

To speak and purpose not; since what I well intend, I'll do't before I speak,) that you make known

It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,

No unchaste action, or dishonored step,

That hath deprived me of your grace and favor;
But even for want of that, for which I am richer;
A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue

That I am glad I have not, though not to have it,
Hath lost me in your liking.


Better thou

Hadst not been born, than not to have pleased me better.
France. Is it but this? a tardiness in nature,

Which often leaves the history unspoke,
That it intends to do?-My lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the lady? Love is not love,

1 In the phraseology of Shakspeare's age, that and as were convertible words. The uncommon verb to monster occurs again in Coriolanus.

2 The former affection which you professed for her must become the subject of reproach. Taint is here an abbreviation of attaint.

3 i. e. "if cause I want," &c.

4 The quartos read, "no unclean action."

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