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Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker
purpose. Give me the map there.—Know, that we have
divided In three our kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Unburden'd crawl toward death. Our son of Corn
wall, And you, our no less loving son of Albany, 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 sojourn, And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, my daugh
ters, (Since now we will divest 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, honor : As much as child e'er loved, 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 1 rich'd, 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.
Re. 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 2 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,3 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
1 Open plains.
Strive to be interess’d; 1—what can you say, to
Cor. Nothing, my lord.
little, Lest it may mar your fortunes. Cor.
Good my lord, You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I Return those duties back as are right fit; Obey you, love you, and most honor 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
my sisters, To love my father all.
Lear. But goes this with thy heart ?
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 :
gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Good my liege, -
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
I His children.