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Deerer then eye-sight, space, and libertie,

Beyond what can be valewed, rich or rare,

No lesse then life, with grace, health, beauty, honor:
As much as Childe ere lov'd, or Father found.

A love that makes breath poore, and speech unable,
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.

Cor. What shall Cordelia speake? Love, and be silent.
Lear. Of all these bounds even from this Line, to this,
With shadowie Forrests, and with Champains rich'd
With plenteous Rivers, and wide-skirted Meades
We make thee Lady. To thine and Albanies issues
Be this perpetuall. What sayes our second Daughter?
Our deerest Regan, wife of Cornwall?

Reg. I am made of that selfe-mettle as my Sister,
And prize me at her worth. In my true heart,

I finde she names my very deede of love :
Onely she comes too short, that I professe
My selfe an enemy to all other joyes,

Which the most precious square of sense professes,
And finde I am alone felicitate


your deere Highnesse love.


Then poore Cordelia,

And yet not so, since I am sure my love's

More ponderous then my tongue.

Lear. To thee, and thine hereditarie ever,
Remaine this ample third of our faire Kingdome,
No lesse in space, validitie, and pleasure
Then that conferr'd on Gonerill. Now our Joy,
Although our last and least: to whose yong love,
The Vines of France, and Milke of Burgundie,
Strive to be interest. What can you say, to draw
A third, more opilent then your Sisters ? speake.
Cor. Nothing my Lord.

Lear. Nothing?

Cor. Nothing.

Lear. Nothing will come of nothing, speake againe.

Cor. Unhappie that I am, I cannot heave

My heart into my mouth: I love your Majesty
According to my bond, no more nor lesse.

Lear. How, how Cordelia? Mend your speech a little, Least you may marre your Fortunes.


Good my Lord,
You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me.
I returne those duties backe as are right fit,
Obey you, Love you, and most Honour you.
Why have my Sisters Husbands, if they say
They love you all? Happily when I shall wed,
That Lord, whose hand must take
my plight, shall
Halfe my love with him, halfe my Care, and Dutie,
Sure I shall never marry like my Sisters.
Lear. But goes thy heart with this?

Lear. So young, and so untender?

Cor. So young my Lord, and true.


I my good Lord.

Lear. Let it be so, thy truth then be thy dowre:

For by the sacred radience of the Sunne,

The miseries of Heccat and the night:

By all the operation of the Orbes,

From whom we do exist, and cease to be,
Heere I disclaime all my Paternall care,
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me,
Hold thee from this for ever.

The barbarous Scythian,

Or he that makes his generation messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosome

Be as well neighbour'd, pittied, and releev'd,
As thou my sometime Daughter.


Lear. Peace Kent,

Good my Liege.

Come not betweene the Dragon and his wrath,

I lov'd her most, and thought to set my rest

On her kind nursery. Hence and avoid my sight :
So be my grave my peace, as here I give

Her Fathers heart from her; call France, who stirres?
Call Burgundy, Cornwall, and Albanie,

With my two Daughters Dowres, digest the third,
Let pride which she cals plainnesse, marry her:
I doe invest you joyntly with my power,
Preheminence, and all the large effects

That troope with Majesty. Our selfe by Monthly course,
With reservation of an hundred Knights,

By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode

Make with you by due turne, onely we shall retaine
The name, and all th'addition to a King: the Sway,
Revennew, Execution of the rest,

Beloved Sonnes be yours, which to confirme,

This Coronet part betweene you.


Royall Lear,

Whom I have ever honor'd as my King,
Lov'd as my Father, as my Master follow'd,
As my great Patron thought on in my praiers.

Le. The bow is bent & drawne, make from the shaft.
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the forke invade
The region of my heart, be Kent unmannerly,
When Lear is mad, what wouldest thou do old man ?
Think'st thou that dutie shall have dread to speake,

When power to flattery bowes?

To plainnesse honour's bound,

When Majesty falls to folly, reserve thy state,

And in thy best consideration checke

This hideous rashnesse, answere my life, my judgement:

Thy yongest Daughter do's not love thee least,

Nor are those empty hearted, whose low sounds
Reverbe no hollownesse.


Kent, on thy life no more.

Kent. My life I never held but as pawne

To wage against thine enemies, nere feare to loose it,
Thy safety being motive.


Out of my sight.

Kent. See better Lear, and let me still remaine

The true blanke of thine eie.

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Kent. Kill thy Physition, and thy fee bestow
Upon the foule disease, revoke thy guift,

Or whil'st I can vent clamour from my throate,
Ile tell thee thou dost evill.

Lea. Heare me recreant, on thine allegeance heare me;
That thou hast sought to make us breake our vowes,
Which we durst never yet; and with strain'd pride,
To come betwixt our sentences, and our power,
Which, not our nature, nor our place can beare;
Our potencie made good, take thy reward.
Five dayes we do allot thee for provision,
To shield thee from disasters of the world,
And on the sixt to turne thy hated backe

Upon our kingdome; if on the tenth day following,
Thy banisht trunke be found in our Dominions,
The moment is thy death, away. By Jupiter,

This shall not be revok'd.

Kent. Fare thee well King, sith thus thou wilt appeare,
Freedome lives hence, and banishment is here;
The Gods to their deere shelter take thee Maid,
That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said:
And your large speeches, may your deeds approve,
That good effects may spring from words of love:
Thus Kent, O Princes, bids you all adew,
Hee'l shape his old course, in a Country new.


Flourish. Enter Gloster with France, and Burgundy, Attendants.

Cor. Heere's France and Burgundy, my Noble Lord.
Lear. My Lord of Burgundie,

We first addresse toward you, who with this King
Hath rivald for our Daughter; what in the least
Will you require in present Dower with her,

Or cease your quest of Love?


Most Royall Majesty,

I crave no more then hath your Highnesse offer'd,

Nor will you tender lesse ?


Right Noble Burgundy,

When she was deare to us, we did hold her so,
But now her price is fallen: Sir, there she stands,
If ought within that little seeming substance,
Or all of it with our displeasure piec'd,

And nothing more may fitly like your Grace,
Shee's there, and she is yours.


I know no answer.

Lear. Will you with those infirmities she owes, Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,

Dow'rd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,

Take her or leave her.


Pardon me Royall Sir,

Election makes not up in such conditions.

Le. Then leave her sir, for by the powre that made me,

I tell you all her wealth. For you great King,

I would not from your love make such a stray,

To match you where I hate, therefore beseech you

T'avert your liking a more worthier way,

Then on a wretch whom Nature is asham'd

Almost t'acknowledge hers.

Fra. This is most strange,

That she whom even but now, was your object,

The argument of your praise, balme of your age,

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