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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;
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
Lear. Peace, Kent!
Good my liege,
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
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.
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;
Revenue, execution of the rest,3
Beloved sons, be yours; which to confirm,
This coronet part between you. [Giving the crown.
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
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
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.
Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Hear me, recreant!
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow,
Upon our kingdom. If, on the tenth day following,
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,
And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,
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
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
This is most strange!
That monsters it,' or your fore-vouched affection
Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
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;
That I am glad I have not, though not to have it,
Hadst not been born, than not to have pleased me better.
Which often leaves the history unspoke,
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."