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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.
Bur.

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

Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm.
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 to find 0.

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

for we

Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of hers again:- Therefore be gone,
Without our grace, our love, our benizon.-
Come, noble Burgundy.
[Flourish. Exeunt Lear, Burgundy, Cornwall,

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 :
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.
Gov. Prescribe not us our duties.
Reg.

Let your study
Be, to content your lord: who hath receivid you
At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanţed,
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.

[Eveunt 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 judgement 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.

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 '2: 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.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

moon

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 plague of custom; and permit The curiosity 13 of nations to deprive me, For that I am some twelve or fourteen

shines Lag of a brother? Why bastard ? wherefore base? When

my

dimensions are as well compact,
My mind 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,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund,
As to the legitimate: Fine word,-legitimate !
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper :---
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

Enter Gloster.

Glo. Kent banish'd thus! And France in choler

parted! And the king gone to-night! subscrib'd his power! Confin'd to exhibition 4! All this done Upon the gad 15!-Edmund! How now? what news? Edm. So please your lordship, none.

[putting up the letter. Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter?

Edm. I know no news, my lord.
Glo. What paper were you reading ?
Edm. Nothing, my lord.

Glo. No? What needed then that terrible despatch of it into your pocket? the quality of nothing hath not such need to hide itself. Let's see: Come, if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.

Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'er-read; for so much as I have perused, I find it not fit for your over-looking

Glo. Give me the letter, sir.

Edm. I shall offend, either to detain or give it. The contents, as in part I understand them; are to blame.

Glo. Let's see, let's see.

Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as an essay or taste of my virtue.

Glo. [reads.] This policy, and reverence of age,

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