« AnteriorContinuar »
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
As thou, my sometime daughter.
Kent. Good my liege,–
Lear. Peace, Kent!
Come not between the dragon and his wrath :
I lov'd 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 ber !—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 abode
Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain
The name, and all the additions to a king;
Revenue, execution of the rest,
Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,
This coronet part between you. [Giving the Crown.
Kent. Royal Lear,
Whom I have honour'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 dread to speak, When power to flattery bows ? To plainness honour'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.
Lear. 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.
Lear. Out of my sight!
Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain The true blank of thine eye.
Lear. Now, by Apollo,
Kent. Now, by Apollo, king, Thou swear'st thy gods in vain. Lear. O, vassal! miscreant !
[Laying his Hand on his Sword. Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift;
Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee, thou dost evil.
Lear. 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 make good, take thy reward.
Five days we do 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 deeds approve,
[To RegaN and GONERIL. 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. [Erit.
Re-enter Gloster; with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and
Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
We first address towards you, who with this king
Hath rivalld for our daughter; What, in the least,
Will you require in present dower with her,
Or cease your quest of love?
Bur. Most royal majesty,
I crave no more than hath your highness offer’d,
Nor will you tender less.
Lear. Right noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
But now her price is fall’n : 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.
Bur. I know no answer.
Lear. Sir, 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?
Bur. 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,
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 asham'd
Almost to acknowledge hers.
France. 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 favour ! 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.
Cor. 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 dishonour'd step,
That hath depriv’d me of your grace and favour:
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
Lear. Better thou
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 you have her?
She is herself a dowry.
Bur. Royal Lear,
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,
That you must lose a husband.
Cor. Peace be with Burgundy!
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife.