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LEAR, King of Britain.

King of .
Duke of Burgundy.
Duke of Cornwall.
Duke of Albany.
Earl of Gloster.
Earl of Kent.
Edgar, Son to Glofter.
Edmund, Bastard Son to Glofter.
Curan, a Courtier.
Steward to Gonerill.

Gonerill, Regan, Cordelia,

Daughters to Lear.

Knights attending on the King, Officers, Mefen

gers, Soldiers, and Attendants.

SCENE lyes in Britain.



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Enter Kent, Gloster, and Edmund the Bastard.

Κ Ε Ν Τ.

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Thought the King had more affe&ed the
Duke of Albany, than Cornwall.

Glo. It did always seem so to us: But now in the Division of the Kingdom, it appears not which of the Dukes he values moft; for

qualities are so weigh’d, that curiosity in neither, can make choice of either's moiety. Kent. Is not this your Son, my Lord?

. Glo. His breeding, Sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often blush'd to acknowledge him, that now I am braz'd to't. Kent. I cannot conceive you.

. Glo. Sir, this young Fellow's Mother could; whereupon The grew round womb'd, and had indeed, Sir, a Son for her Cradle, e'er she had a Husband for her. Bed. Do you Smell a Fault?

Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper. fo


Glo. But I have a Son, Sir, by order of Law, some Year elder than this; who, yet is no dearer in iny Account, though this Knave came somewhat sawcily to the World before he was sent for: Yet was his Mother fair, there was good sport at his making, and the whorson must be acknow, ledged. Do you know this Nobleman, Edmund?

Baft. No, my Lord.

Glo. My Lord of Kent;
Remember him hereafter, as my honourable Friend.

Baft. My services to your Lordship.
Kent. I must love you, and fue to know you better,
Bast. Sir, I shall study deserving.

Glo. He hath been out nine Years, and away he shall again. The King is coming. Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Gonerill, Regan, Cor

delia, and Attendants. Laer. Attend the Lords of France and Burgundy, Gloster. Glo. I shall, my Lord.

Lear. Mean time we shall express our darker purpose.
Give me the Map here. Know, that we have divided
Into three, our Kingdom; and 'tis our fålt incent,
To shake all cares and business from our Age,
Confering them on younger strengths, while we
Unburthen'd crawl toward Death. Our Son of Cornwall,
And you our no less loving Son of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish,
Our Daughters several Dowers, that future ftrife
May be prevented now. The Princes, France and Bürgundys
Great Rivals in our younger Daughter's Love,
Long in our Court, have made their amorous sojourn;
And here are to be answerd. Tell me, my Daughterss
Since now we will divest us both of Rule,
Interest of Terrority, Cares of State,
Which of

you shall we say doth love us most;
That we, our largest bounty may extend
Where Nature doth with merit challenge. Gonerill;
Our eldest borr, speak first.

Gon. Sir, I love you more than word 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, Honour:


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As much as Child e’er lov'd, 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 speak? Love, and be filent.

Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this Line, to this,
With shadowy Forests, and with Champions rich'd
With plenteous Rivers, and wide-skirted Meads,
We make thee Lady. To thine and Albany's Issues
Be this perpetual. What says our second Daughter,
Our dearest Regan, Wife of Cornwall ?

Reg. I am made of that felf-metal as my Sister,
And prize me at her worth. In my true Heart,
I find the names my very deed of love:
Only she comes too short, that I profess
My self an Enemy to all other Joys,
Which the most precious square of sense professes,
And find I am alone felicitate
In your dear Highness love.

Cor. Then, poor Cordelia!
And yet not so, since I am sure my Love's
More ponderous than my Tongue.

Laer. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
Remain this ample third of our fair Kingdom,
No less in space, validity, and pleasure,
Than that confer'd on Gonerill. Now our Joy,
Although our last and leaft; to whose young love,

The Vines of France, and Milk of Burgundy,
Strive to be interest: 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,

Cord. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My Heart into my Mouth: I love your Majesty
According to my Bond, no more nor less.

Lear. How, how, Cordelia ? Mend your speech a little,
Left you may mar your Fortunes.

Cor. Good, my Lord,
You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me.
I return those Duties back as are right fit,
Obey you,

love you,

and most honour you. Why

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