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Why have my Sisters Husbands, if they say
They love you all? Happily when I mall 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.
Lear. But goes thy Heart with this?
Cor. Ay, my good Lord.
Lear. So young, and so untender?
Cor. So young, my Lord, and true.
Lear. Let it be so, the Truth then be thy dowre:
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 exift, 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. The Barbarous Scythian,
Or he that makes his Generation, Messes
To gorge his Appetite, thall to my Bosom
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 fight !---[To Cor.
So be my Grave my Peace, as here I give
Her Father's Heart from her; call France; who stirs ?
- Cornwall, and Albany,
With my two Daughters Dowres, digest the third,
Let Pride, which she calls Plainness, marry her:
I I do invest you jointly with my Power,
Preheminence, and all the large Effects
That troop with Majesty, Our self by monthly course
With reservation of an hundred Knights,
By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
Make with you by due turn, only we shall retain
The Name, and all th' addition to a King; the Sway,
Revenue, Execution of the rest,
Beloved Sons, be yours, which to confirm,
This Coronet part between you.
Kent. Royal Leař,
Whom I have ever honour'd as a King,
Lov'd as my Father, as my Master follow'd,
And as my 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 Man?
Think'st thou that Duty shall have dread to speaky
When Power to Flattery bows?
To plainness Honour's bound,
When Majefty falls to Folly; reserve thy State,
And in thy best confideration, check
This hideous rashness; answermy Life, my Judgmenty
Thy youngest Daughter do's not love thee least,
Nor are those empty hearted, whose low sounds
Reverb no hollowness.
Lear. Kent, on thy Life no more.
Kent. My Life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thine Enemies, ne'er fear to lose its
Thy safety being Motive.
Lear. Out of my fight !
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 Vaffal! Miscreant!--[Laying his Hand on his Swordi
Alb. Corn. Dear Sir, forbear.
Kent. Kill thy Physician, and thy Fee bestow
Upon the foul Disease, revoke the Gift,
Or whilft I can vent clamour from my Throat;
I'll tell thee thou dost evil.
Lear. Hear me Recreant, on thine Allegiance hear me ;
That thou hast sought to make us break our Vows,
Which we durft 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 we do allot thee for Provision,
To shield thee from disasters of the World,
And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
Upon our Kingdom ; if the tenth Day following,
Thy banishe 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, fith thus thou wilt appear,
Freedom lives hence, and Banishment is here;
The Gods to their dear fhelter take thee, Maid,
That justly think'st, and hast most rightly faid;
And your large Speeches may your Deeds approve,
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.
Enter Glofter, with France and Burgundy, and Attendants.
Cor. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble Lord.
Lear. My Lord of Burgundy,
We first address toward you, who, with this King,
Hath rivall'd for our Daughter; what in the least
you require in present Dowre with her, Or cease your Quest of Love ?
Bur. Most Royal Majesty,
I crave no more than what your Highness offerd,
Nor will you tender less.
Lear. Right Noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us we held her fo,
But now her price is fall’n : Sir, there she stands,
If ought 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. Will you with those infirmities fhe owes,
Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,
Dowr'd withour Curse, and stranger'd with our Oath,
Take leave, or leave her?
Bur. Pardon me, Royal Sir,
Ele&ion makes not up in fuch Conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, Sir, for by the Power that made mes
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
T'avert your liking a more worthier way,
Than on a wretch whom Nature is afham'd
Almost to acknowledge hers.
Fra. This is most strange !
That she, who even but now, was your best Object,
The Argument of your Praise, balm of your Age,
The best, the deareft, 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,
As Monstrous is; or your fore-vouche affe&ion
Could not fall into Taint; which to believe of her
Must be a Faith, that reason without miracle
Should never plant in me.
Cor. I yet beseech your Majesty,
If for I want that glib and oily Art,
To speak and purpose not, fince what I will intend,
I'll do't before I speak, that you make known
It is no vicious blot, murther, or foulness,
No unchaste A&ion, or dishonour'd step,
That hath depriv'd me of your Grace and Favour,
But even for want of that, for which I am richier,
A still solliciting Eye, and such a Tongue,
That I am glad I have not, though not to have it,
Hath loft me in your liking.
Lear. Better thou hadft
Not been born, than not e’have pleas'd me better.
Fra. Is it but this ? A tardiners in Nature,
Which often leaves the History unspoke
That it intends to do; my Lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the Lady? Love's not Love
When it is mingled with regards, that stands
Aloof from th’intire Point, will you have her ?
She is her self a Dowry.
Bur. Royal King
Give but that Portion which your self propos'd,
And here I take Cordelia by the Hand,
Dutchess of Burgundy.
I have Sworn, I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry then you have so lost a Fathers
must lose a Husband.
Cor. Peace be with Burgundy,
Since that respe& and fortunes are his Love,
I shall not be his Wife.
Fra. 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 negle&.
My love should kindle to enflam'd respect.
Thy dowreless Daughter, King, thrown to my chance,
Is Queen of us, of ours, and our fair France :
Not all the Dukes of watrish Burgundy,
Can buy this unprizid precious Maid of me.
Bid them farewel, Cordelia, though unkind,
Thou losest here, a better where to find.
Laer. 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 Benizon : Come Noble Burgundy. [Flourish. [Exeunt.
Fra. Bid farewel 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 named. Love well our Father:
To your professed Bosoms I commit him,
But yet alas, stood I within his Grace,
I would prefer him to a betttr place,
So farewel to you both.
Reg. Prescribe not us our Duty.
Gon. Let your Study
Be to content your Lord, who hath receiv'd
you At Fortunes Alms; you have Obedience scanted, And well are worth the want that you have wanted. .
Cor. Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides, Who covers Faults, at last with shame derides. Well may you prosper.
Fra. Come, my fair Cordelia. [Exeunt France and Cor.
Gon. Sister, it is not little I have to say, Of what most nearly appertains to us both, I think our Father will go hence to Night.