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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 abude
Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain
The name, and all the additions to a king ;
The sway, revenue, execution of the rest,
Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,
This coronet part between you.
[Giving the cro! Kent.
Whom I have ever honor'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,
When Lear is mad. What would'st thou do, old man ?
Think'st thou, that duty shall have dared to speak,
When power to flattery bows ? To plainness honor's bound,
When majesty stoops 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 sworch! Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
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 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 do we 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
[To REGAN and GONERIL That good effects may spring from words of love.Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu : 'Ye'll shape his old course in a country new.
Erit 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 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,
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 falln: Sir, there she stands ;
If aught within that little, seeming substance,
Or all of it, with our displeasure piec’d,
And nothing more may fitly like your grace,
She's there, and she is yours.
I know no answer
Will you, with those infirmities she owes,
Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,
Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd 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, [To France
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 asham'd
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-vouch'd 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 dishonor'd 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.
Hadst not been born, than not to have pleas'd 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
When it is mingled with respects, that stand
Aloof from the entire point. Will
have her ?
She is herself a dowry.
Give but that portion which yourself propos’d,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Duchess of Burgundy.
Lear. Nothing : I have sworn; I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry then, you have so lost a father,
you arust lose a husband. Cor.
Peace be with Burgundy!
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife.
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being poor;
Most choice, forsaken ; and most lov’d, despis'd!
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon :
Be it lawful, I take up what's cast away.
Gods, gods ! 'tis strange, that from their cold'st neglect
My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.-
Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance,
Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France:
Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy
Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.-
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind;
Thou losest here, a better where to find.
Lear. Thou hast her, France : let her be thine; for we
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of hers again :-Therefore be gone,
Without our grace, our love, our benison.
Come, noble Burgundy.
[Flourish. Exeunt LEAR, BURGUNDY, CORNWALL, ALE ANY
GLOSTER, and Attendants France. Bid farewell to your sisters.
Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are ;
And, like a sister, am most loath to call
Your faults as they are nam’d. Use well our father :
Το your professed bosoms I commit him:
But yet, alas ! stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place.
So farewell to you both.
Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Let your study
Be, to content your lord; who hath receiv'd you
At furtune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have wanted.
Cor. Time shall unfcd what plaited cunning hides;
Who covers faults, at last shame them derides.
Well may you prosper!
Come, my fair Cordelia.
Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA.
Confining ourselves to the main incidents connected with the story of Lear,-his wropors and sufferings, -we are necessarily compelled to omit much of the under plot of this Play, in which Shakspeare introduces, as a counterpart to Lear suffering under tha ingratitude of his children, Edgar, the son of Gloster, as a pattern of filial piety and love, unjustly persecuted by his father. Gloster is persuaded by the machinations of Edmand, to believe that Edgar seeks his life.
The next scene we extract, introduces Kent in the disguise of a Peasant, under the vame of Carus, seeking to engage himself in the service of the King, whom he fears will be improperly treated by Regan and Goneril.
SCENE IV.-A Hall in the Duke of Albany's Palacc.
Enter Kent, disguised.
Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow,
That can my speech diffuse, my good intent
May carry through itself to that full issue
For which I raz'd my likeness.—Now, banish'd Kent,
If thou canst serve where thou dost stand condemn'd,
(So may it come !) thy master, whom thou loy’st,
Shall find thee full of labors.
Horns within. Enter LEAR, Knights, and Attenaants. Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner; go, get it ready.- Erit an Attendant.]-How now, what art thou ?
Kent. A man, sir.
Lear. What dost thou profess? What would'st thou with us?
Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem; to serve him truly, that will put me in trust; to love him that is honest; to converse with him that is wise, and says little; to fear judgment; to fight, when I cannot choose ; and to eat no fisn.
Lear. What art thou ?
Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king.
Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject, as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What would'st thou ?
Lear. Who would'st thou serve ?
Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow ?
Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your countenance, which I would fain call master.
Lear. What's that ?
Lear. What services canst thou do?
Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly; that which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualiıied in: and the best of me is diligence.
Lear: How old art thou ?
Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing ; nor so old to dote on her for any thing: I have years on my back forty-eight.
Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me; If I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet.—Dinner, ho, dinner.Where's my knave ? my fool ? Go you, and call my fool hither;
Enter Steward. You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter ? Slew. So please you,
[Erit. Lear. What says the fellow there ? Call the clodpoll back.Where's my fool, ho ?-I think the world's asleep.-How now? where's that mongrel ?
Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.