Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker

purpose.

Give me the map there.-Know, that 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 toward death. Our son of Corn-

wall,

And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife
May be prevented now. The princes, France and
Burgundy,

Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,

Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn, And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, my daugh

ters,

(Since now we will divest us, both of rule,

Interest of territory, cares of state)

Which of you, shall we say, doth love us most?
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where merit doth most challenge it.—Goneril,
Our eldest-born, speak first.

Gon. Sir, I 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, honor:
As much as child e'er loved, 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.

[aside.

Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line

to this,

With shadowy forests and with champains 1 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.

Re. 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 2 of sense possesses;

And find, I am alone felicitate

In your dear highness' love.

Cor.
And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love 's
More richer than my tongue.

Then poor Cordelia! [aside.

Lear. To thee and thine, hereditary ever, Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom; No less in space, validity,3 and pleasure, Than that confirm'd on Goneril,-Now, our joy, Although the last, not least; to whose young love The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy

1 Open plains.

2 Comprehension.

? Value.

Strive to be interess'd; 1-what can you say, to

draw

A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.

Cor. Nothing, my lord.

Lear. Nothing?

Cor. Nothing.

Lear. Nothing will 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.

Cor.
Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I
Return those duties back as are right fit;

Obey you, love you, and most honor you.
Why have my sisters

They love you, all?

husbands, if they say,
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?

Cor.

Ay, good my lord.

Lear. So young, and so untender?

1 United.

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, for ever.

Scythian,

1

The barbarous

Or he that makes his generation 1 messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbor'd, pitied, and relieved,
As thou my sometime daughter.

Kent.

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

[to Cordelia.

Her father's heart from her!-Call France!-Who

stirs ?

Call Burgundy.-Cornwall, and Albany,

With my two daughters' dowers digest the third:
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
I do invest you jointly with my power,

His children.

[graphic][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »