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Old Man, Tenant to Gloucester. KING OF FRANCE.



An Officer, employed by Edmund. DUKE OF ALBANY,

Gentleman, Attendant on Cordelia. EARL OF KENT.


Servants to Corn roall. EDGAR, Son to Gloucester.

GONERIL, EDMUND, Bastard Son to Gloucester.

REGAN, > Daughters to Lear.
CURAN, a Courtier.

OSWALD, Steward to Goneril.
Knights of Lear's train, Officers, Messengers, Soldiers, and Attendants.




Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you

better, SCENE I.-A Room of State in King LEAR'S Edm. Sir, I shall study deserving. Palace.

Glou. He hath been out nine years, and away

he shall again. The king is coming. Enter KENT, GLOUCESTER, and EDMUND.

Sennet. Kent. I thought the king had more affected


GONERIL, REGAN, CORDELIA, and Attend. the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.

ants. Glou. It did always seem so to us; but now, in the division of the kingdom, it appears not Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burwhich of the dukes he values most; for equali- gundy, Gloucester. ties are so weighed that curiosity in neither can Glou. I shall, my liege. make choice of either's moiety.

Ereuni GLOUCESTER and EDMOND. Kent. Is not this your son, my lord ?

Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker Glou. His breeding, sir, hath been at my purpose. charge : I have so often blushed to acknowledge Give me the map there. Know that we base him, that now I am brazed to it.

divided Kent. I cannot conceive you.

In three our kingdom ; and 'tis our fast intent Glou. Sir, this young fellow's mother could ; To shake all cares and business from our age, a whereupon she grew round-wombed, and had, Conferring them on younger strengths, while we indeed, sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a Unburden'd crawl toward death, Our son of husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault? Cornwall,

kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the And you, our no less loving son of Albany, issue of it being so proper.

We have this hour a constant will to publish Glou. But I have a son, sir, by order of law, Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer May be prevented now. The princes, France in my account: though this knave came some- and Burgundy, thing saucily into the world before he was sent Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, for, yet was his mother fair ; there was good Long in our court' have made their amorous sport at his making, and the whoreson must be sojourn, acknowledged. Do you know this noble gentle. And here are to be answer'd.

Tell me, my man, Edmund ?

daughters, Edm. No, my lord.

Since now we will divest us both of rule, Glou. My Lord of Kent: remember him here. Interest of territory, cares of state, after as my honourable friend.

Which of you shall we say doth love us most ! Edm. My services to your lordship. 30 | That we our largest bounty may extend





Where nature doth with merit challenge. For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,

The mysteries of Hecate and the night,
Our eldest-born, spoak first.

By all the operation of the orbs Gon. Sir, I love you more than words can From whom we do exist and cease to be, wield the matter ;

Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Dearer than eye-sight, space, and liberty ; Propinquity and property of blood,
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare ; And as a stranger to my heart and me
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, Hold thee from this for ever. The barbarous

As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found; Or he that makes his generation messes
A love that makes breath poor and speech To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
unable ;

Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
Beyond all manner of so much I love you. As thou my sometime daughter.
Cor. Aside. What shall Cordelia do ! Love, Kent.

Good my liege,and be silent.

Lear. Peace, Kent! Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line Come not between the dragon and his wrath. to this,

I lov'd her most, and thought to set my rest With shadowy forests and with champains rich'd, On her kind nursery. Hence, and avoid my sight! With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads, So be my grave my peace, as here I give We make thee lady: to thine and Albany's issue Her father's heart from her! Call France. Who Bethis perpetual. What saysoursecond daughter, stirs ? Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak. 70 Call Burgundy. Cornwall and Albany,

Reg. I am made of that self metal as my sister, With my two daughters' dowers digest the third; And prize me at her worth. In my true heart Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her. I find she names my very deed of love;

I do invest you jointly with my power, Only she comes too short : that I profess Pre-eminence, and all the large effects Myself an enemy to all other joys

That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly Which the most precious square of sense possesses,

With reservation of an hundred knights, And find I am alone felicitate

By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode In your dear highness' love.

Make with you by due turn. Only we shall Cor. Aside. Then poor Cordelia !

retain And yet not so ; since I am sure my love's The name and all the addition to a king ; More ponderous than my tongue.

80 | The sway, revenue, execution of the rest, Lear. To thee and thine, hereditary ever, Beloved sons, be yours : which to confirm, Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom, This coronet part betwixt you. No less in space, validity, and pleasure,


Royal Lear, Than that conferr'd on Goneril. Now, our joy, Whom I have ever honour'd as my king, Although our last, not least; to whose young love Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd, The vines of France and milk of Burgundy As my great patron thought on in my prayers,Strive to be interess'd; what can you say to draw Lear. The bow is bent and drawn; make from A third more opulent than your sisters ? Speak. the shaft. Cor. Nothing, my lord.

Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade Lear. Nothing?

90 The region of my heart : be Kent unmannerly, Cor. Nothing

When Lear is mad. What would'st thou do, Lear. Nothing will come of nothing: speak old man ? again.

Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave When power to flattery bows? To plainness My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty honour's bound According to my bond ; no more nor less. When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state; Lear. How, how, Cordelia! mend your speech And, in thy best consideration, check a little,

This hideous rashness: answer my life my Lest you may mar your fortunes.

judgment, Cor.

Good my lord, Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least; You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me: I Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound Return those duties back as are right fit,

Reverbs no hollowness. Obey you, love you, and most honour you.


Kent, on thy life, no more. Why have my sisters husbands, if they say Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn They love you all! Haply, when I shall wed, To wage against thine enemies ; nor fear to That lord whose hand must take my plight shall lose it, carry

Thy safety being the motive, Half my love with him, half my care and duty. Lear.

Out of my sight! Sure I shall never marry like my sisters,

Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain To love my father all.

The true blank of thine eye. Lear. But goes thy heart with this?

Lear. Now, by Apollo, -

Ay, my good lord.

Now, by Apollo, king, Lear. So young, and so untender ?

Thou swear'st thy gods in vain. Cor. So young, my lord, and true.


O, vassal! miscreant ! Lear. Let it be so ; thy truth then be thy

Laying his hand upon his sword. dower:

Alb., Corn. Dear sir, forbear.








Kent. Do ;

The argument of your praise, balm of your age, Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow

The best, the dearest, should in this trice of tine Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift; Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat, So many folds of favour. Sure, her offence I'll tell thee thou dost evil.

Must be of such unnatural degree Lear.

Hear me, recreant! | That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection On thine allegiance, hear me!

Fall'n into taint; which to believe of her, Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow, Must be a faith that reason without miracle Which we durst never yet, and with strain'd pride Should never plant in me. To come betwixt our sentence and our power, Cor.

I yet beseech your majesty, Which nor our nature nor our place can bear, If for I want that glib and oily art Our potency made good, take thy reward. To speak and purpose not ; since what I well Five days we do allot thee for provision

intend, To shield thee from diseases of the world ; I'll do 't before I speak, that you make known And on the sixth to turn thy hated back. It is no vicious blot nor other foulness, Upon our kingdom : if on the tenth day following No uncbaste action, or dishonour'd step, Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions, That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour, The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter, But even for want of that for which I am richer, This shall not be revok'd.

A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue Kent. Fare thee well, king ; sith thus thou That I am glad I have not, though not to have it wilt appear,

Hath lost me in your liking. Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here. Lear.

Better thou To CORDELIA. The gods to their dear shelter Hadst not been born than not to bave pleas'd take thee, maid,

me better. That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said ! France. Is it but this ? a tardiness in nature T. REGAN and GONERIL. And your large Which often leaves the history unspoke speeches may your deeds approve,

That it intends to do? My Lord of Burgundy, That good effects may spring from words of love. What say you to the lady? Love 's not love a Thus Kent, O princes ! bids you all adieu ; When it is mingled with regards that stand He'll shape his old course in a country new. Exit. Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?

She is herself a dowry. Plourish. Re-enter GLOUCESTER, with FRANCE,


Royal Lear,
BURGUNDY, and Attendants.

Give but that portion which yourself propos d, Glou. Here 's France and Burgundy, my noble And here I take Cordelia by the hand, lord.

Duchess of Burgundy. Lear. My Lord of Burgundy,

Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm. We first address toward you, who with this king Bur. I am sorry, then, you have so lost a father Hath rivall’d for our daughter. What, in the That you must lose a husband. least,


Peace be with Burgundy! Will you require in present dower with her, Since that respects of fortune are his love, Or cease your quest of love?

I shall not be his wife. Bur.

Most royal majesty, France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, I crave no more than hath your highness offer'd, being poor ; Nor will you tender less.

Most choice, forsaken ; and most lov’d, despis d ! Lear.

Right noble Burgundy, Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon : When she was dear to us we did hold her so, Be it lawful I take up what's cast away. But now her price is fall'n. Sir, there she stands: Gods, gods! 'tis strange that from their cold'st If aught within that little seeming substance, 201 neglect Or all of it, with our displeasure piec'd,

My love should kindle to inflam'd respect. And nothing more, may fitly like your grace, Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my She's there, and she is yours.

chance, Bur.

I know no answer. Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France : 999 Lear. Will you, with those infirmities she owes, Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,

Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me. Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind : our oath,

Thou losest here, a better where to find. Take her, or leave her?

Lear. Thou hast her, France ; let her be thine, Bur. Pardon me, royal sir ;

for we Election makes not up on such conditions. Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see Lear. Then leave her, sir ; for, by the power That face of hers again ; therefore be gone that made me,

Without our grace, our love, our benison. I tell you all her wealth. To FRANCE. For you, Come, noble Burgundy. great king,

Flourish. E.ceunt LEAR, BURGUNDY, CORNI would not from your love make such a stray

WALL, ALBANY, GLOUCESTER, arul To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you

Attendants. To avert your liking a more worthier way

Prance. Bid farewell to your sisters. Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash u Almost to acknowledge hers.

eyes France.

This is most strange, Cordelia leaves you : I know you what you are ; That she, that even but now was your best object, And like a sister am most loath to call


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Your faults as they are nam’d. Use well our | Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed, father :

And my invention thrive, Edmund the base To your professed bosoms I commit him : Shall to the legitimate-: I grow, I prosper ; But yet, alas! stood I within his grace, Now, gods, stand up for bastards! I would prefer him to a better place. So farewell to you both.

Enter GLOUCESTER. Reg. Prescribe not us our duties.

Glou. Kent banish'd thus! And France in Gon.

Let your study choler parted ! Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you and the king gone to-night! subscrib'd his At fortune's alms; you have obedience scanted, power! And well are worth the want that you have confin'd to exhibition! . All this done wanted.

282 Upon the gad! Edmund, how now! what news! Cor. Time shall unfold what plighted cunning Edm. So please your lordship, none. hides ;

Putting up the letter, Who cover faults, at last shame them derides. Glou. Why so earnestly seek you to put up Well may you prosper!

that letter? France.

Come, my fair Cordelia. Edm. I know no news, my lord.

Eceunt FRANCE and CORDELIA. Glou. What paper were you reading ? Gon. Sister, it is not little I have to say of Edm. Nothing, my lord. what most nearly appertains to us both. I think Glou. No? What needed then that terrible our father will hence to-night.

dispatch of it into your pocket ? the quality of Rey. That 's most certain, and with you; next nothing hath not such need to hide itself. Let's month with us.

see : come; if it be nothing, I shall not need Gon. You see how full of changes his age is ; spectacles. the observation we have made of it hath not Elm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me; it is a' been little: he always loved our sister most ; letter from my brother that I have not all o'erand with what poor judgment he hath now cast read, and for so much as I have perused, I find her off appears too grossly,

it not fit for your o'erlooking: Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age; yet he hath Glou. Give me the letter, sir. ever but slenderly known himself.

Edm. I shall offend, either to detain or give it. Gon. The best and soundest of his time bath The contents, as in part I understand them, are been but rash; then must we look to receive to blame. from his age, not alone the imperfections of Glou. Let's see, let's see. long-engraffed condition, but therewithal the Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he unruly waywardness that infirm and choleric wrote this but as an essay or taste of my virtue. years bring with them. Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to world bitter to the best of our times ; keeps our for

Glou. This policy and reverence of age makes the have from him as this of Kent's banishment.

Gon. There is further compliment of leave. tunes from us till our oldness cannot relish then. taking between

France and him. Pray you, let's 7 begin to find an idle and fond bondage in the hit together : if our father carry authority with oppression of aged tyranny, who sways, not as it


power, but as it is suffered. such disposition as he bears, this last surrender of this I may speak more. "If our father would sleep

that of his will but offend us.

310 till I wake him, you should enjoy half his revenue Reg. We shall further think on 't. Gon. We must do something, and i’ the heat. Jor ever, and live the beloved of your brother,

EDGAR. Exeunt.

Hum! Conspiracy ! 'Sleep till I wake him,-SCENE II.-A Hall in the Earl of GLOUCESTER'S you should enjoy half his revenue.' My son Castle.

Edgar! Had he a hand to write this? a heart

and brain to breed it in ? When came this to Enter EDMUND, with a letter.

you? Who brought it? Edm. Thou, Nature, art my goddess; to thy law Edm. It was not brought me, my lord ; there's My services are bound. Wherefore should I the cunning of it; I found it thrown in at the Stand in the plague of custom, and permit casement of my closet. The curiosity of nations to deprive me,

Glou. You know the character to be your For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon: brother's ? shines

Edm. If the matter were good, my lord, I Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base? durst swear it were his; but, in respect of that, When my dimensions are as well compact,

I would fain think it were not. My mind as generous, and my shape as true, Glou. It is his. As honest madam's issue? Why brand they Edm. It is his hand, my lord ; but I hope his With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base? heart is not in the contents. Who in the lusty stealth of nature take

Glou. Has he never before sounded you in More composition and fierce quality

this business? Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,

Edm. Never, my lord: but I have often heard Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops, him maintain it to be fit that, sons at perfect Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well then, age, and fathers declined, the father should be Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land : as ward to the son, and the son manage his Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund revenue. As to the legitimate. Fine word, 'legitimate'! Glou. O villain, villain! His. very opinion in


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80 270

wouloh.unstate myself to be in a due resolution. Edm. Nereinte




the letter! Abhorred villain! Unnatural, de- , with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam. 0! these tested, brutish villain / worse than brutish! Go, eclipses do portend these divisions. Pa, sol sirrah, seek him ; I 'll apprehend him. Abomin. la, mi. able villain ! Where is he?

Edg. How now, brother Edmund 1 What Edm. I do not well know, my lord. If it serious contemplation are you in! shall please you to suspend your indignation Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction against my brother till you can derive from him I read this other day, what should follow these better testimony of his intent, you shall run a eclipses. certain course ; where, if you violently proceed Edg. Do you busy yourself with that? against him, mistaking his purpose, it would Edm. I promise you the effects he writes of make a great gap in your own honour, and shake succeed unhappily ; as of unnaturalness between in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare the child and the parent; death, dearth, dispawn down my life for him, that he hath writ solutions of ancient amities ; divisions in state: this to feel my affection to your honour, and to menaces and maledictions against king and no other pretence of danger.

nobles; needless diffidences, banishment of Glou. Think you so ?

friends, dissipation of cohorts, nuptial breaches Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will and I know not what, place you where you shall hear us confer of this, Edg. How long have you been a sectary and by an auricular assurance have your satis- astronomical ? faction; and that without any further delay Edn, Come, come; when saw you my father than this very evening.

102 last? Glou. He cannot be such a monster

Edg. The night gone by. Edm. Nor is not, sure.

Edm. Spake you with him ? Glou. —to his father, that so tenderly and Edg. Ay, two hours together. entirely loves him. Heaven and earth! Edmund, Edm. Parted you in good terms ? Found you seek him out; wind me into him, I pray you: no displeasure in him by word nor countenance ! frame the business after your own wisdom. I

Edm. Bethink yourself wherein you may have Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently; convey offended him ; and at my entreaty forbear his the business as I shall find means, and acquaint presence until some little time liath qualitied you withal.

the heat of his displeasure, which at this instant Glou. These late eclipses in the sun and moon so rageth in him that with the mischief of your portend no good to us: though the wisdom of person it would scarcely allay. nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong. finds itself scourged by the sequent effects. Edm. That's my fear. I pray you have a Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide : continent forbearance till the speed of his rage in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in goes slower, and as I say, retire with me to my palaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to son and father. This villain of mine comes hear my lord speak. Pray you, go; there's my under the prediction; there's son against father: key. If you do stir abroad, go armed. the king falls from bias of nature; there's Edg. Armed, brother! father against child. We have seen the best of Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best, go our time : machinations, hollowness, treachery, armed; I am no honest man if there be any and all ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly good meaning towards you ; I have told you to our graves. Find out this villain, Edmund; what I have seen and heard; but faintis, it shall lose thee nothing : do it carefully. And nothing like the image and horror of it ; pray the noble and true-hearted Kent banished! his you, away. offence, honesty! 'Tis strange.

Edg. Shall I hear from you anon! Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the Edm. I do serve you in this business. world, that, when we are sick in fortune, often

Exit EDGAR. the surfeit of our own behaviour, we make A credulous father, and a brother noble, guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and Whose nature is so far from doing harms the stars ; as if we were villains on necessity, That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty fools by heavenly compulsion, knaves thieves and My practices ride easy! I see the business. treachers by spherical predominance, drunkards Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit : liars and adulterers by an enforced obedience All with me's meet that I can fashion fit. Erit. of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish SCENE III.-A Room in the Duke of ALBANY'S disposition to the charge of a star! My father

Palace. compounded with my mother under the dragon's

Enter GONERIL, and OSWALD, her Steward. tail, and my nativity was under ursa major ; so that it follows I am rough and lecherous. Tut! Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for I should have been that I am had the maiden chiding of his fool ? liest star in the firmament twinkled on my Osw. Ay, madam. bastardizing. Edgar

Gon. By day and night he wrongs me; every

hour Enter EDGAR,

He flashes into one gross crime or other, and pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the That sets us all at odds : I'll not endure it: old comedy: my cue is villanous melancholy, 1 His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us

Exit. 129

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