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'King Lear' Act 1, Scene 1 (Part 3)

The Complete Text to 'King Lear' Act 1, Scene 1 (Part 3)

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KING LEAR

Kent, on thy life, no more.


KENT

My life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thy enemies; nor fear to lose it,
Thy safety being the motive.


KING LEAR

Out of my sight!


KENT

See better, Lear; and let me still remain
The true blank of thine eye.


KING LEAR

Now, by Apollo, --


KENT

Now, by Apollo, king,
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.


KING LEAR

O, vassal! miscreant!

[Laying his hand on his sword]


ALBANY, CORNWALL

Dear sir, forbear.


KENT

Do:
Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Upon thy foul disease. Revoke thy doom;
Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee thou dost evil.


KING LEAR

Hear me, recreant!
On thine allegiance, hear me!
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow,
Which we durst never yet, and with strain'd pride
To come between our sentence and our power,
Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
Five days we do allot thee, for provision
To shield thee from diseases of the world;
And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
Upon our kingdom: if, on the tenth day following,
Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death. Away! by Jupiter,
This shall not be revoked.


KENT

Fare thee well, king: sith thus thou wilt appear,
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.

[To CORDELIA]

The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said!

[To REGAN and GONERIL]

And your large speeches may your deeds approve,
That good effects may spring from words of love.
Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu;
He'll shape his old course in a country new.

[Exit]

[Flourish. Re-enter GLOUCESTER, with KING OF FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and Attendants]


GLOUCESTER

Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.


KING LEAR

My lord of Burgundy.
We first address towards you, who with this king
Hath rivall'd for our daughter: what, in the least,
Will you require in present dower with her,
Or cease your quest of love?


BURGUNDY

Most royal majesty,
I crave no more than what your highness offer'd,
Nor will you tender less.


KING LEAR

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


BURGUNDY

I know no answer.


KING LEAR

Will you, with those infirmities she owes,
Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,
Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her?


BURGUNDY

Pardon me, royal sir;
Election makes not up on such conditions.


KING LEAR

Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that made me,
I tell you all her wealth.

[To KING OF FRANCE]

For you, great king,
I would not from your love make such a stray,
To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you
To avert your liking a more worthier way
Than on a wretch whom nature is ashamed
Almost to acknowledge hers.


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


CORDELIA

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 deprived 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
As I am glad I have not, though not to have it
Hath lost me in your liking
.


Continue onto the next part of Scene One here

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