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Lear, King of Britain.
Knights attending on the King, Officers, Messengers,
Soldiers, and Attendants.
SCENE I. A Room of State in King Lear's Palace, Enter Kent, Gloster, and EDMUND,
Kent. I Thought, the king had more affected the duke of Albany, than Cornwall.
Glo. It did always seem so to us : but now, in the division of the kingdom, it appears not which of the dukes he values most; for equalities are so weigh'd, that curiosity' in neither can make choice of either's moiety.*
Kent. Is not this your son, my lord?
Glo. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge: I have so often blush'd to acknowledge him, that now I am brazed to it.
Kent. I cannot conceive you.
Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could: whereupon she grew round-wombed; and had, indeed, sir, a son for her cradle, ere she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault?
Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.3
Glo. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my ac
* Most scrupulous nicety, 2 Part or division.
count: though this knave came somewhat saucily into the world before he was sent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good sport at his making, and the whoreson must be acknowledged.-Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund ?
Edm. No, my lord.
Glo. My lord of Kent: remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.
Edm. My services to your lordship.
he shall again :--The king is coming.
[Trumpets sound within.
Enter LEAR, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GONERIL,
Regan, CORDELIA, and Attendants. Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloster. Glo. I shall, my liege.
[Exeunt Gloster and EDMUND. Lear. Mean-time we shall express our darker*
purpose. Give me the map there.—Know, that we have die
vided, In three, our kingdom: and 'tis our fast intents To shake all cares and business from our age ; Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Unburden'd crawl toward death.-Our son of Corna
And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
4 More secrets
s Determined resolution.
We have this hour a constant will to publish
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, honour : As much as child e'er lov’d, 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“ 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, Qur dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall ? Speak.
Reg. I am made of that self metal as my sister,
• Open plains.