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LEAR, King of Britain.
Servants to Glo'fter.
Knights attending on the King, Oficers, Messengers,
Soldiers and Attendants.
SCENE lies in Britain.
Enter Kent, Glo'fter, and Edmund the Bastard,
Albany than Cornwall.
G!o. It did always seem so to us : but now, in the Division of the Kingdom, it appears not, which of the Dukes he values molt; for qualities are so weigh'd, that curiosity in neither can make choice of either's moiety. Kent. Is not this
lord ? Gle. His Breeding, Sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often bluth'd to acknowledge him, that now I am braz'd to't.
Kent. I cannot conceive you.
G'o. Sir, this young fellow's mother could; whereupon me grew round-womb’d; and had, indeed, Sir, a fon for her cradle, ere the had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault?
Kent. I cannot with the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.
Glo. But I have a fon, Sir, by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in count; though this knave came somewhat faucily to the world before he was sent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good sport at his making, and the whorefon must be acknowledg'd. Do you know this Nobleman, Edmund?
Edm. No, nay lord.
Glo. My lord of Kent;-
Edn. My services to your lord ship.
[Trumpets found, within. The King is coming. Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Gonerill, Regan,
Cordelia, aiid Attendants. Leor. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Glofter. Glo. I shall, my Liege.
[Exit. Lear. Mean time we hall express our darker purpose, Give me the Map here. Know, we have divided, In three, our Kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent, To Make all cares and bufines, from our age; Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Unburden'd crawl tow'rd death. Our son of Cornwall, And you, our no less loving fon of Albany, We have this hour a constant will to publish Our daughters sev'ral Dow’rs, that future strife May be prevented now. The Princes France and Burgundy, Great rivals in our younger daughter's love, Long in our Court have made their am'rous sojourn, And here are to be answer’d. Tell me, daughters, (Since now we will divest us, both of rule, Int'rest of territory, 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 born, speak first.
Gon. I love you, Sir, Dearer than eye-fight, space and liberty; Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare; No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour: 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.
Reg. I'm made of that felf-metal as my lifler,
Cor. Then poor Cordelia !
Cor. Nothing, my lord. (1) And prize me at her worth. In my true heart.] Mr. Bishop prescrib'd the pointing of this passage, as I have regulated it in the text. Regan would say, that in the truth of her heart and affection, the equals worth of her fifter. Without this change in the jointing, he makes a boast of herself without any cause aflign'd.
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
Lear. How, how, Cordelia? mend your speech a little,
Cor. Good my lord,
love with him, haif my care and duty. Sure, I Mall never marry
fisters, To love my father all.
Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Lear. Let it be so, thy truth then be thy dower ;
Kent. Good my Liege
Lear. Peace, Kent !