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King Lear Duke of *; gundy Duke of Cornwall Duke of Albany Earl of Kent Earl of Gloster Edgar Edmund First knight Second do. Third do. Physician Captain of the } guard fficer Oswald Herald Page to Goneril Page to Regan Old man Edward First ruffian Second do.

Goneril Regan Cordelia Aranthe

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scen E 1—an antechamber in king Lear’s palace, enter EDM UND.

Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound: why am I then
Deprived of a son’s right, because I came not
In the dull road that custom has prescribed P
Why bastard P wherefore base? when I can boast
A mind as gen’rous, and a shape as true
As honest madam’s issue P why are we
Held base, who, in the lusty stealth of nature
Take fiercer qualities than what compound
The scanted births of the stale marriage-bed P
Well then, legitimate Edgar, to thy right
Of law I will oppose a bastard's cunning.
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to legitimate Edgar ; with success
I’ve practised yet on both their easy natures.
Here comes the old man, chafed with the information,
Which last I forged against my brother Edgar;
A tale so plausible, so boldly utter'd,
And heighten’d by such lucky accidents,
That now the slightest circumstance confirms him,
And bage-born Edmund, spite of law, inherits.

enter Ke NT and G Lost ER.

Glost. Nay, good my lord, your charity O'ershoots itself, to plead in his behalf; You are yourself a father, and may feel

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The sting of disobedience from a son
First-born and best-beloved. O, villain Edgar !
Kent. Be not too rash; all may be forgery,
And time yet clear the duty of your son.
Glost. Plead with the seas, and reason down the
winds,
Yet shalt thou ne'er convince me; I have seen
His foul designs through all a father's fondness.
Edm. It works as I could wish; I'll show myself.
Glost. Ha, Edmund ! welcome, boy. O Kent see
here
Inverted nature, Gloster's shame and glory;
This by-born, the wild sally of my youth,
Pursues me with all filial offices;
Whilst Edgar, begg'd of heaven, and born in honor,
Draws plagues upon my head, that urge me still
To curse in age the pleasure of my youth.
Nay, weep not, Edmund, for thy brother's crimes.
O gen’rous boy! thou sharest but half his blood,
Yet lovest beyond the kindness of a brother;
But I’ll reward thy virtue. Follow me.
My lord, you wait the king, who comes resolved
To quit the toils of empire, and divide
His realms amongst his daughters. Heaven succeed it :
But much I fear the change.
Kent. I grieve to see him,
With such wild starts of passion hourly seized,
As render majesty beneath itself.
Glost. Alas! tis the infirmity of his age;
Yet has his temper ever been unfixt,
Chol'ric, and sudden (flourish of trumpets)
Hark, they approach. w
[ereunt Gloster, Kent, and Edmund

enter cor D ELIA and Ed GAR.

Edg. Cordelia, royal fair, turn yet, once more,
And, ere successful Burgundy receive
The treasure of thy beauties from the king,
Ere happy Burgundy for ever fold thee,
Cast back one pitying leck on wretched Edgar.

Cord. Alas! what would the wretched Edgar with The more unfortunate Cordelia, Who, in obedience to a father's will, Flies from her Edgar's arms to Burgundy's P [ereunt !"

scENE 11—a room of state in the palace.

(flourish of trumpets—drums)

* King LEAR upon his throne—ALBANY, cornwALL, BURG UNDY, KENT, GLosTER, Gone Ril, RE GAN, cor D ELIA, captain of the guads, knights, pages, gentleman with the map, gentleman with the crown, bords, ladies, &c. &c. discovered.

Lear. Attend, my lords of Albany and Cornwall, With princely Burgundy.

Alb. We do, my liege.

Lear. Give me the map. Know, lords, we have di

vided
In three our kingdom, having now resolved
To disengage from our long toil of state,
y Conferring all upon your younger years.
... You, Burgundy, Cornwall, and Albany,

Long in our court have made your amorous sojourn,
And now are to be answer'd. Tell me, my daughters,
Which of you loves us most, that we may place
Our largest bounty with the largest merit.
Goneril, our eldest born, speak first.

Gon. Sir, I do love you more than words can utter,
Beyond what can be valued rich or rare ;
Nor liberty, nor sight, health, fame, or beauty,
Are half so dear; my life for you were vile;
As much as child can love the best of fathers.

Lear. Of all these bounds, e'en from this line to this, With shady forests, and wide skirted meads, We make thee lady; to thine and Albany's issue Be this perpetual. What says our second daughter, Regan, wife to Cornwall P

Reg. My sister, sir, in part, exprest my love ;

For such as hers, is mine, though more extended : Sense has no other joy that I can relish ; I have my all in my dear liege's love. Lear. Therefore, to thee and thine hereditary, Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom. Cord. Now comes my trial. How am I distrest, That must with cold speech tempt the cho!’ric king, Rather to leave me dowerless, than condemn me To Burgundy’s embraces ! Lear. Speak now our last, not least in our dear love, [. So ends my task of state.-Cordelia, speak ; What can'st thou say to win a richer third, [. Than what thy sisters gain'd? | Cord. Now must my love in words, fall short of | theirs, As much as it exceeds in truth-Nothing, my lord. Lear. Nothing 2 | Cord. Nothing. | Lear. Nothing can come of nothing; speak again. Cord. Unhappy am I that I can't dissemble M Sir, as I ought, I love your majesty, No more, nor less. Lear. Take heed, Cordelia; h Thy fortunes are at stake ; think better on't, | And mend thy speech a little. Cord. O, my siege : You gave me being, bred me, dearly love me, And I return my duty as I ought, Obey you, love you, and most honor you. Why have my sisters husbands, if they love you all? Haply when I shall wed, the lord, whose hand Shall take my plight, will carry half my love ; For I shall never marry like my sisters, To love my father all. Lear. And goes thy heart with this? Tis said that I am chol’ric. Judge me, gods, Is there not cause P now, minion, I perceive The truth of what has been suggested to us, Thy fondness for the rebel son of Gloster. And, oh! take heed, rash girl, lest we comply

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