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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 so-

journ, And here are to be answer’d.-Tell me, my daugh

ters,
(Since now we will devest 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, ho-

nour:

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 do? Love, and be silent.

[Aside. Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line

to this, With shadowy forests and with champains richd, 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.

Reg. 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 of sense possesses;
And find, I am alone felicitate
In your dear highness' love.
Cor.

Then
poor

Cordelia! [Aside.
And yet not so: since, I am sure, my love's
More richer than my tongue.

Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom;
No less in space, validity, 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,
Strive to be interess’d; what can you say, to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.

Cor. Nothing, my lord.
Leur. Nothing?
Cor. Nothing
Lear. Nothing can 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, lov'd me: I
Return those duties back as are right fit,
Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
Why have my sisters husbands, if they say,
They love you, all? 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?
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. The barbarous

Scythian,
Or he that makes his generation messes
To gorge his appetite, shall 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 sight!

[To Cordelia. So be my grave my peace, as here I give Her father's heart from her!--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 naine, and all the additions to a king;

The sway,

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 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, – 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 ho

nour's bound, When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom; And, in thy best consideration, check This hideous rashness: answer my life my judg

ment, 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 То

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. f. Cor. Dear sir, forbear.

Kent. Do;
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,

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