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Beloved sons, be yours which to confirm,
[Giving the crown.
Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,
Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd,
As my great patron thought on in my prayers,-
When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom;
This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgment,
Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more.
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thine enemies;2 nor fear to lose it,
Lear. Out of my sight!
Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain
[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 !
 Reverbs-this I presume to be a word of the poet's own making, meaning the same as reverberates. STEEVENS.
 i. e. I never regarded my life as my own, but merely as a thing of which I had the possession, not the property; and which was entrusted to me as a pawn or pledge to be employed in waging war against your enemies.
 The blank-is the white or exact mark at which the arrow is shot. "See better," says Kent," and keep me always in your view." JOHNS.
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow,
Upon our kingdom: if, on the tenth day following,
Kent.Fare thee well, king: since thus thou wilt appear,
[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.7
Re-enter GLOSTER; with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and Attendants.
Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
We first address towards you, who with this king
Bur. Most royal majesty,
I crave no more than hath your highness offer'd,
Lear. Right noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
 The old copy reads starved pride; that is, pride exorbitant; pride passing due bounds. JOHNSON.
 As a proof that I am not a mere threatener, that I have power as well as will to punish, take the due reward of thy demerits; hear thy sentence. The words, Our potency made good, are in the absolute case. MALONE.  Shakspeare makes Lear too much of a mythologist: he had Hecate and Apollo before. JOHNSON.
 He will follow his old maxims; he will continue to act upon the same principles. JOHNSON.
 Seeming means specious.
Or all of it, with our displeasure piec'd,
And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,
Bur. I know no answer.
Will you, with those infirmities she owes, 9
Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
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, [To FRA.
Than on a wretch, whom nature is asham'd
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,
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:
That I am glad I have not, though not to have it,
Lear. Better thou
 Owes-i. e. possessed of.
 Election comes not to a decision; in the same sense as when we say, "I have made up my mind on that subject."
Hadst not been born, than not to have pleas'd me better.
Bur. Royal Lear,
Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
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.
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 neglect
Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance,
Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind:
Thou losest here, a better where to find.2
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,
Come, noble Burgundy.
[Flourish. Exe. LEAR, BURGUNDY, CORNWALL, ALBANY, 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:
To your professed bosoms I commit him :
 Here and where have the power of nouns. Thou losest this residence to find a better residence in another place.
But yet, alas! stood I within his grace,
Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Be, to content your lord; who hath receiv'd you
Well may you prosper!
Fran. Come, my fair Cordelia. [Exe. FRA. and COR. "Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say, of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think, our father will hence to-night.
Reg. That's most certain, and with you; next month with us.
Gon. You see how full of changes his ages is; the observation we have made of it hath not been little; he always loved our sister most; and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off, appears too grossly.
Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age: yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.
Gon. The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash; then must we look to receive from his age, not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted condition, but, therewithal, the unruly waywardness that infirm and choleric years bring with them.
Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him, as this of Kent's banishment.
Gon. There is further compliment of leave-taking between France and him. Pray you, let us hit together :5 If our father carry authority with such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us.
Reg. We shall further think of it.
Gon. We must do something, and i'the heat.6 [Exe.
 Plaited cunning-i. e. complicated, involved cunning. JOHNSON.  Of qualities of mind, confirmed by long habit. So, in Othello, "a wo man of so gentle a condition." MALONE.
 Hit-i. e. agree.
 I'the heat-i. e. We must strike while the iron's het. STEEVENS.