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When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
But now her price is falln: Sir, there she stands;
If aught within that little, seeming a substance,
Or all of it, with our displeasure piec’d,
And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,
She's there, and she is yours.
Bur.

I know no answer.
Lear. Sir,
Will you, with those infirmities she owes,3
Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,
Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her?
Bur.

Pardon me, royal sir ; Election makes not up 4 on such conditions. Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that

made me, I tell you all her wealth.--For you, great king,

[TO FRANCE. I would not from your love make such a stray, To match

you where I hate; therefore beseech you To averts your liking a more worthier way, Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd Almost to acknowledge hers. France.

This is most strange! That she, that even but now was your best object, The argument of your praise, balm of your age, Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle So many folds of favour! Sure, her offence Must be of such unnatural degree,

2 Specious.

3 Owns, is possessed of.

5 Turn.

4 Concludes not.

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That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd 6 affection
Fall into taint:7 which to believe of her,
Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
Could never plant in me.
Cor.

I yet beseech your majesty,
(If for! I want that glib and oily art,
To speak and purpose not; since what I well intend,
I'll do't before I speak,) that you

make known It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness, No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step, That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour : But even for want of that, for which I am richer; A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue That I am glad I have not, though not to have it, Hath lost me in your liking. Lear.

Better thou
Hadst not been born, than not to have pleas'd me

better.
France. Is it but this ? a tardiness in nature,
Which often leaves the history unspoke,
That it intends to do ?-My lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the lady? Love is not love,
When it is mingled with respects, that stand
Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.
Pur.

Royal Lear,
Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Duchess of Burgundy.

Lear. Nothing : I have sworn; I am firm.

6 Former declaration of. 7 Reproach or censure.

8 Because. 9 Who seeks for aught in love but love alone!"

Bur. I am sorry then, you have so lost a father,
That you must lose a husband.
Cor.

Peace be with Burgundy!
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife.
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being

poor ; Most choice, forsaken; and most lov?d, despis'd ! Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon : Be it lawful, I take up what's cast away. Gods, gods! 'tis strange, that from their cold'st neglect My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance, Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France : Not all the dukes of wat'rish Burgundy Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind: Thou losest here, a better where 2 to find.

Lear. Thou hast her, France: let her be thine; for

we

Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of her’s again :-Therefore be gone,
Without our grace, our love, our benizon.-
Come, noble Burgundy.
[Flourish. Excunt LEAR, BURGUNDY, CORN-

WALL, ALBANY, GLOSTER, and Attendants,
France. Bid farewell to your sisters.

Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes Cordelia leaves

you :
I know

you
what

you are ; And, like a sister, am most loath to call Your faults, as they are nam’d. Use well our father:

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To your professed bosoms I commit him :
But yet, alas! stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place.
So farewell to you both.

Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Reg.

Let your study
Be, to content your lord ; who hath receiv'd you
At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have wanted.

Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited + cunning hides; Who cover faults, at last shame them derides. Well may you prosper! France,

Come, my fair Cordelia.

[Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA. Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say, of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think, our father will hence to-night.

Reg. That's most certain, and with you; next month with us. Gon. You see how full of changes. his

age is;

the observation we have made of it hath not been little: he always loved our sister most; and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off, appears too grossly.

Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age: yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.

Gon. The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash; then must we look to receive from his age, not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted condition, but therewithal, the unruly waywardness that infirm and cholerick years bring with them.

4 Folded, doubled.

5 Qualities of mind.

Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him, as this of Kent's banishment.

Gon. There is further compliment of leave-taking between France and him. Pray you, let us hit together: If our father carry authority with such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us.

Reg. We shall further think of it.
Gon. We must do something, and i'the heat.6

[Ereunt.

SCENE II.

A Hall in the Earl of Gloster's Castle.

Enter EDMUND, with a Letter. Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law My services are bound: Wherefore should I Stand in the plague7 of custom; and permit The curiosity of nations to deprive me, For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines Lag of a brother? Why bastard ? wherefore base? When my dimensions are as well con act, My niind as generous, and my shape as true, As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us With base? with baseness? bastardy ? base, base? Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take More composition and fierce quality, Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed, Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops, Got 'tween asleep, and wake?

-Well then,

6 Strike while the iron's bot. 7 'The injustice.

& The nicety of civil institution.

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