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Persons Kepresented. LEAR, King of Britain.
Fool. KING OF FRANCE.
OSWALD, Steward to Goneril. DUKE OF BURGUNDY.
An Officer, employed by Edmund, DUKE OF CORNWALL.
Gentleman, Attendant on Cordelia. DUKE OF ALBANY,
A Herald. EARL OF KENT.
Servants to Cornwall. EARL OF GLOSTER.
GONERIL, EDGAR, Son to Gloster.
REGAN, EIMUND, Bastard Son to Gloster.
-Daughters to Lear.
Knights attending on the King, Officers,
Messengers, Soldiers, and attendants.
Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away
he shall again :-The king is coming.
[Trumpets sound within SCENE I. A Room of State in King Lear's Palace. Enter LEAR, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GONERIL,
REGAN, CORDELIA, and Attendants. Enter KENT, GLOSTER, and EDMUND.
Lear. Attend the lords of France and BurKent. I THOUGHT the king had more affected Glo. I shall, my liege. (gundy, Gloster. the duke of Albany, than Cornwall.
(Exeunt Gloster and EDMUND. Glo. It did always seem so to us: but now, Lear, Mean time we shall express our darker in the division of the kingdom, it appears not purpose.
[divided, which of the dukes he values most; for equali-Give me the map there.—Know, that we have ties are so weigh'd, that curiosity in neither can In three, our kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent make choice of either's moiety,
To shake all cares and business from our age; Kent. Is not this your son, my lord ? Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
Glo. His breeding, sir, hath been at my Unburden'd crawl toward death.--Our son of charge: I have so often blush'd to acknowledge Cornwall, him, that now I am brazed to it.
And you, our no less loving son of Albany, Kent. I cannot conceive you.
We have this hour a constant will to publish Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could: Ourdaughters' several dowers, that future strife whereupon she grew round-wombed: and had, May be prevented now. The princes, France indeed, sir, a son for her cradle, ere she had a and Burgundy, husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault? Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,
Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue Long in our court have made their amorous of it being so proper.
(daughters Glo. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, And here are to be answer'd.—Tell me, my some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer (Since now we will divest us, both of rule, in my account: though this knave came some- Interest of territory, cares of state), what saucily into the world before he was sent Which of you, shall we say, doth love us most ? for, yet was his mother fair; there was good That we our largest bounty may extend sport at his making, and the whoreson must be Where merit doth most challenge it.-Goneril, acknowledged.-Do you know this noble gen- Our eldest-born, speak first. tleman, Edmund ?
Sir, I [matter, Edm. No, my lord.
Do love you more than words can wield the GL. My lord of Kent: remember him here- Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty; after as my honourable friend.
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare; Edm. My services to your lordship. No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you
honour: Elm. Sir, I shall study deserving. (better. As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found.
A lore that makes breath poor, and speech un-Ou her kind nursery.-Hence, and avoid my able :
[To CORDELIA. Beyond all manner of so much I love you. So be my grave my peace, as here I give Cor. What shall Cordelia do? Love, and be Her father's heart from her!-Call France;silent.
Who stirs ? Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line Call Burgundy - Cornwall and Albany, (third : to this,
[rich'd, With my two daughters' dowers digest this With shadowy forests and with champains Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her. With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted nieads, I do invest you jointly with my power, We make thee lady: Tothineaud Albany's issue Pre-eminence, and all the large effects Be this perpetual.- What says our second That troop with majesty.–Ourself, by monthly daughter,
Reg. I am made of that self metal as mysister, By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
retain Only she comes too short,—that I profess The name, and all the additions to a king; Myself an enemy to all other joys,
yours: which to confirm, In your dear highness' love.
This coronet part between you.
(Giving the Crown. (Aside. Kent.
Royal Lear, And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love's
Whom I have ever honour'd as my king, More richer than my tongue.
Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd, Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever, As my great patron thonght on in my prayers Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom; Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from No less in space, validity, and pleasure,
the shaft. Than that conferr'd on Goneril.-Now, onr joy, Kent. Letitiall rather, though the fork invade Although the last, not least: to whose young love The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy, When Lear is mad. What would'st thou do, Strive to be interess'd: what can you say, to draw old man?
(speak, A third more opulent than your sisters ? Speak. Think'st thou, that dnty shall have dread to Cor. Nothing, my lord.
When power to flattery bows? To plainness Lear. Nothing?
(doom; Cor. Nothing
(again. When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy Lear. Nothing can come of nothing: speak And, in thy best consideration, check
Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave This hideous rashness : answer my life my My heart into my mouth : I love your majesty judgment, According to my bond; nor more, nor less. Thy youngest daughter does not love the least;
Lear. How, how, Cordelia ? mend your speech Nor are those empty hearted, whose low sound
Good my lord,
Kent, on thy life, no more.
Out of my sight! They love you, all? Haply, when I shall wed, Kent. See better, Lear, and let me still remain That lord, whose hand must take my plight, The true blank of thine eye. shall carry
Lear. Now, by Apollo, Half my love with him, half my care, and duty; Kent.
Now, by Apollo, king, Sure I shall never marry like my sisters, Thou swear'st thy gods in vain. To love my father all.
O, vassal! miscreant ! Lear, But goes this with thy heart?
(Laying his Hand on his Sword. Cor.
Ay, good my lord. Alb. Corn, Dear sir, forbear.
Kent. Do ;
Lear. Let it be so, --Thy truth then be thy Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift;
Or, whilst I can vent clamour from thy throat, The mysteries of Hecate, and the night; I'll tell thee, thou dost evil. By all the operations of the orbs,
Hear me, recreant ! From whom we do exist, and cease to be; On thine allegiance hear me!
(vow, Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Since thou hast sought to make us break our Propinquity and property of blood,
(Which we durst never yet), and, with strain'd And as a stranger to my heart and me
pride, Hold thee, from this, for ever. The barbarous To come betwixt our sentence and our power Scythian,
(Which nor our nature nor our place can bear); Or he that makes his generation messes Our potency made good, take thy reward. To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom five days we do allot thee, for provision Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd, To shield thee from diseases of the world; As thou my sometime daughter.
And, on the sixth, to turn thy hated back. Kent.
Good my liege, -- Upon our kiugdom; if, on the tenth day folLuar. Peace, Kent!
lowing, Come not between the aragon and his wrath : Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions, I lov'd her inost, and thought to set my rest Thé moment is thy death. Away! by Jupiter,
This shall not be revok d. (wilt appear, | Hadst not been born, than not to have pleas'd
Kent, Fare thee well, king: since thus thou me better. Freedom lives hence,and banishment is here.- France. Is it but this? a tardiness in nature, The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid, Which often leaves the history unspoke,
[To CORDELIA. That it intends to do?-My lord of Burgundy, That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said ! What say you to the lady Love is not love, And your large speeches may your deeds ap- When it is mingled with respects, that stand prove,
(To Regan and GONERIL. Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her? That good effects may spring from words of She is herself a dowry. love.
Royal Lear, Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu : Give but that portion which yourself propos'd, He'll shape his old course in a country new. And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
(Exit. Duchess of Burgundy. Re-nter GLOSTER ; with FRANCE, BURGUNDY,and Lear. Nothing: I have sworn-I am firm, Attendants.
Bur. I am sorry then, you have so lost a father, Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble That you must lose a husband. Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
Peace be with Burgundy! We first address towards you,who with this king Since that respects of fortune are his love, Hath rivali'd for our daughter; What, in the I shall not be his wife.
[being poor! least,
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, Will you require in present dower with her, Most choice, forsaken; and most lov'd, despis'd! Or cease your quest of love?
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon : Bur.
Most royal majesty, Be it lawful, I take up what's cast away. I creve no more than hath your highness offerd, Gods, gods ! 'tis strange, that from their cold'st Nor will you tender less.
Right noble Burgundy, My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.When she was dear to us, we did hold her so; Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my But now her price is fall'n: Sir,there she stands; chance, If aught within that little, seeming substance, Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France : Or all of it, with our displeasure piec'd, Not all the dukes of wat'rish Burgundy And nothing more, may fitly like your grace, Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.-She's there, and she is yours.
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind : Bur.
I know no answer. Thou losest here, a better where to find. Lear. Sir,
Lear, Thou hast her, France : let her be thine; Will you, with those infirmities she owes,
for we Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see power'd with our curse, and stranger'd with That face of hers again-therefore be gone, Take her, or leave her?
Tour oath, Without our grace, our love, our benizon.Bur.
Pardon me, royal sir; Come, noble Burgundy. Election makes not np on such conditions.
(Flourish. Excunt LEAR, BUR, CORN. ALB. Lear. Then leave her, sir: for, by the power
Glo, and Attendants. that made me,
France. Bid farewell to your sisters. I tell you all her wealth.-For, you great king, Cor. The jewels of our father, withwash'd eyes
(To FRANCE. Cordelia leaves you; I know you what you are : I would not from your love make such a stray, And, like a sister, am most loath to call To match you where I hate; therefore beseech Your faults, as they are nam'd. Use well our yon
I would prefer him to a better place.
This is most strange! So farewell to you both. That she, that even but now was your best Gon. Prescribe not us our duties. object,
Let your study The argument of your praise, balm of your age, Be, to content your lord; who hath receiv'd you Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of At fortuno's alms. You have obedience scanied, time
And well are worth the want that yon have Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
[hides; So many folds of favour! Sure, her offence Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning Must be of such unnatural degree,
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides. That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection Well may you prosper! l'all into taint: which to believe of her,
Come, my fair Cordelia, Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
[Exeunt France and CORDELIA. Could never plant in me.
Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say, of Cor.
I yet beseech your majesty what most nearly appertains to us both. I think, (If for I want that glib and oily art, (intend, our father will hence to-night. To speak and purpose not, since what I well Reg. That's most certain, and with you; next Ill do't before I speak), that you make known month with us. It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
Gon. You see how full of changes his age is; No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step, the observation we have made of it hath not That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour: been little: he always loved our sister most; But even for want of that,for which I am richer; and with what poor judgment he hath now cast A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue her off, appears too grossly. That I am glad I have not, though not to have it, Reg.''Tis the infirmity of his age : yet he Hath lost me in your liking.
hath ever but slenderly known himself. Lar.
Better thou Gon. The best and soundest of his time bath
been but rash; then must we look to receive uold sieep til I vaked him, you should enjoy half from his age, not alone the imperfections of his revenue for ever, and live the beloved of your brin long-engrafted condition, but therewithal, the ther, Edgar!-Humph-Conspiracy !--Sleep till unruly waywardness that infirm and cholerick I waked nim-you should enjoy half his revenue, years bring with them.
My son Edgar!-Had he a hand to write this? Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to a heart and brain to breed it in ?- When came have from him, as this of Kent's banishment. this to you? Who brought it?
Gon. There is further compliment of leave- Edm. It was not brought me, my lord, there's taking between France and him. 'Pray you, the cunning of it; 1 found it thrown in at the let us hit together: If our father carry autho- casement of my closet.
[ther's? rity with such dispositions as he bears, this Glo. You know the character to be your brolast surrender of his will but offeud us.
Edm. If the matter were good, my lord, I Reg. We shall further think of it.
durst swear it were his; but, in respect of that, Gon. We must do something, and i'the heat. I would fain think it were not.
(Exeunt. Glo. It is his. SCENE II. A Hall in the Carl of Gloster's Castle.
Elm. It is his hand, my lord; but, I hope,
his heart is not in the contents. Enter EDMUND, with a Letter.
Glo. Hath he never heretofore sounded you Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thylaw in this business ? My services are bound; Wherefore should I Edm. Never, my lord: But I have often heard Stand in the plague of custom; and permit him maintain it to be fit, that, sons at perfect The curiosity of nations to deprive me, (shines age, and fathers declining, the father should be For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon- as ward to the son, and the son manage his reLag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base? venue. When my dimensions are as well compact, Glo. O villain, villain !-His very opinion in My mind as generous, and my shape as true, the letter!-Abhorred villain! Unnatural, deAs honest madam's issue? Why brand they ns tested, brutish villain! worse than brutish IWith base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base? Go, sirrah, seek him; I'll apprehend him :Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take Abominable villain - Where is he? More composition and fierce quality,
Edm. I do not well know, my lord. If it Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed, shall please you to suspend your indignation Go to the creating a whole tribe of tops, against my brother, till you can derive from Got 'tween asleep and wake?–Well then, him better testimony of his intent, you shall Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land: run a certain course; where, if you violently Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund, proceed against him, mistaking his purpose, it As to the legitimate: Fine word, -- legitimate! would make a great gap in your own honour, Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed, and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. And my invention thrive, Edmund the base I dare pawn down my life for him, that he hath Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper :
-writ this to feel my affection to your honour, Now, gods, stand up for bastards!
and to no other pretence of danger. Enter G LOSTER.
Glo. Think you so ? Glo. Kent banish'd thus! And France in cho- Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will ler parted!
(power! place you where you shall hear us confer of this, And the king gone to-night! subscrib'd his and by an auricular assurance have your satisConfind to exhibition! All this done news? faction; and that without any further delay Upon the gad !Edmund! How now? what than this very evening. Edm. So please your lordship, none.
Glo. He cannot be such a monster. [Putting up the Letter. Edm. Nor is not, sure. Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and enthat letter?
tirely loves him.-Heaven and earth - EdEdm. I know no news, my lord.
mund, seek him out; wind me into him, I pray Glo. What paper were you reading ? you: frame the business after your own wisEdm. Nothing, my lord.
dom: I would unstate myself, to be in a due Glo. No? What needed then that terrible resolution. despatch of it into your pocket? the qnality of Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently; convey nothing hath not such need to hide itself. Let's the business as I shall find means, and acquaint see : Come, if it be nothing, I shall not need you withal. spectacles.
Glo. These late eclipses in the sun and moon Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a portend no good to us: Though the wisdom of letter from my brother, that I have not all o'er- nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature read; for so much as I have perused, I find it finds itself scourged by the sequent effects: love not fit for your over-looking.
cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in Glo. Give me the letter, sir.
cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in paEdm. I shall offend, either to detain or give it. laces, treason : and the bond cracked between The contents, as in part I understand them, are son and father. This villain of mine comes Glo. Let's see, let's see.
(to blame. under the prediction; there's son against father: Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, the king falls from bias of nature; there's father hewrote this but as an essay or taste of myvirtue. against child. We have seen the best of our
Glo. [Reads.) This policy, and reverence of age, time: Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and makes the world bitter to the best of our times; all ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to keeps our fortunes from us, till our oldness can- our graves!—Find out this villain, Edmund, it not relish them. I begin to find an idle and fond shall lose thee nothing: do it carefully :-And bondage in the oppression of aged tyranny ; who the noble and true-hearted Kent banislied ! bis sways, not as it hath power, but as it is suffered. Come offence, honesty !--Strange! strange! (E.cit. 10 mue, that of this I may speak more. If our father' Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world! that, when we are sick in fortune (often
SCENE III. the surfeit of our own behaviour), we make
A Room in the Duke of Albany's Palace. guilty of our disasters, the sun, the moon, and
Enter GONEBIL and Steward. the stars : as if we were villains by necessity : fools, by heavenly compulsion; kraves, thieves, Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for and treachers, by spherical predominance; chiding of his fool ? drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced Slew. Ay, madam,
[hour obedience of planetary influence : and all that Gon. By day and night! he wrongs me; every We are evil in, by a divine thrusting on:
An He flashes into one gross crime or other, admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay That sets us all at odds : I'll not endure it:(us his goatish disposition to the charge of a star; His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids My father compounded with my mother under Oneverytrifle:- When he returns from hunting, the dragon's tail; and my nativity was under I will not speak with him: say, I am sick :ursa mujor; so that it follows, I am rough and If you come slack of former services, lecherous.—Tut, I should have been that I am, You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer. had the maidenliest star in the firmament twin- Slew. He's coming, madam; I hear himn. kled on my bastardizing. Edgar
[Horns within Enter EDGAR.
Gon. Put on what weary negligence you and pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the please,
[question : old comedy : My cue is villanous melancholy, You and your fellows; I'd have it come to with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam.-0, these If he dislike it, let him to my sister, eclipses do portend these divisions / fa, sol, la, Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one, mi.
Not to be overrul'd. Idle old man, Edg. How now, brother Edmund ? What se- That still would manage those anthorities, rious contemplation are you in?
That he hath given away!--Now, by my life, Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction Old fools are babes again; and must be us'd I read this other day, what should follow these With checks, as flatteries --when they are eclipses.
Remember what I have said. (seen abus'd. Edg. Do you busy yourself with that?
Very well, madam. Edm. I promise you, the effects he writes of, Gon. And let his knights have colder looks succeed unhappily; as of unnaturalness between among you;
[lows so: the child and the parent; death, dearth, disso-What grows of it, no matter; advise your fellutions of ancient amities; divisions in state, I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall, menaces and maledictions against king and That I may speak :-I'll write straight to my nobles; needless diffidences, banislıment of sister, friends, dissipation of cohorts, nuptial breaches, To hold my very course :-Prepare for dinner. and I know not what. (tronomical?
[Exeunt. Edg. How long have you been a sectary as- SCENE IV. A Hail in the same. Edm. Come, come; when saw you my father
(last? Edg. Why, the night gone by.
Enter Kent, disguised. Edm. Spake you with him?
Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow, Edg. Ay, two hours together.
That can my speech diffuse, my good intent Edm. Parted you in good terms ? Found you May carry through itself to that full issue no displeasure in him, by word or countenance? For which I raz'd my likeness.- Now, banish'd Edg. None at all.
(demn'd, Edm. Bethink yourself, wherein you may
If thou canst serve where thou dost stand conhave offended him: and at my entreaty, for- (So may it come!) thy master, whom thou lov'st, bear his presence, till some little time hath qua- Shall find thee full of labours. lified the heat of his displeasure : which at this Horns within. Enter LEAR, Knights, and instant so rageth in him, that with the mischief
Attendants. of your person it would scarcely allay.
Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner: go, Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong. get it ready: (Exit an Attendant.] How now, Edm. That's my fear. I pray you, have a Kent. A man, sir.
(what art thou continent forbearance, till the speed of his rage Lear. What dost thou profess? What would'st goes slower; and, as I say, retire with me to thou with us? my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you K'ent. I do profess to be no less than I seem; to hear my lord speak : Pray you, go; there's to serve him truly, that will put me in trust; my key ;-If you do stir abroad, go armed, to love him that is honest; to converse with Eilg. Armed, brother?
him that is wise, and says little; to fear judgEdm. Brother, I advise you to the best: go ment; to fight, when I cannot choose : and to armed; I am no honest man, if there be any Lear. What art thou ?
(eat no fish. good meaning towards you : I have told you Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as what I have seen and heard, but faintly; nothing poor as the king, like the image and horror of it: 'Pray you,away. Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject, as he Edg. Shall I hear from you anon?
is for a king, thou art poor enough. What Edm. I do serve you in this business.- Kent. Service.
(woulu'st thou ? (Exit EDGAR. Lear. Who would'st thou serve ? A credulous father, and a brother noble,
Kent. You. Whose nature is so far from doing harms, Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow? That he suspects none; on whose foolish ho- Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your nesty
countenance, which I would fain call master. My practices ride easy!- I see the business.- Lear. What's that? Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit; Kent. Authority. All with me's meet, that I can fashion fit Lear. What services canst thou do?
(Exil. Kent, I can keep honest counsel, ride, rlin,