[Enter Kent, Gloucester, and Edmund.]
KENT I thought the King had more affected the Duke
of Albany than Cornwall.
GLOUCESTER 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
weighed that curiosity in neither can make choice
of either’s moiety.
KENT Is not this your son, my lord?
GLOUCESTER His breeding, sir, hath been at my
 charge. I have so often blushed to acknowledge
him that now I am brazed to ’t.
KENT I cannot conceive you.
GLOUCESTER 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.
GLOUCESTER But I have a son, sir, by order of law,
 some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in
my account. Though this knave came something
saucily to 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?
EDMUND No, my lord.
GLOUCESTER My lord of Kent. Remember him hereafter
as my honorable friend.
EDMUND My services to your Lordship.
KENT I must love you and sue to know you better.
EDMUND Sir, I shall study deserving.
GLOUCESTER He hath been out nine years, and away he
shall again. [(Sennet.)] The King is coming.
[Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Goneril, Regan,
Cordelia, and Attendants.]
Attend the lords of France and Burgundy,
GLOUCESTER I shall, my lord. [He exits.]
Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.—
Give me the map there. [He is handed a map.]
Know that we have divided
 In three our kingdom, and ’tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age,
Conferring them on younger strengths, while we
Unburdened crawl toward death. Our son of
 And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughters’ several dowers, that future strife
May be prevented now.
The two great princes, France and Burgundy,
 Great rivals in our youngest daughter’s love,
Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn
And here are to be answered. Tell me, my
Since now we will divest us both of rule,
 Interest of territory, cares of state—
Which of you shall we say doth love us most,
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where nature doth with merit challenge. Goneril,
Our eldest born, speak first.
Sir, I love you more than word can wield the
Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty,
Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare,
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honor;
 As much as child e’er loved, or father found;
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable.
Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
CORDELIA , [aside]
What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.
LEAR , [pointing to the map]
Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
 With shadowy forests and with champains riched,
With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,
We make thee lady. To thine and Albany’s issue
Be this perpetual.—What says our second
 Our dearest Regan, wife of Cornwall? Speak.
I am made of that self mettle as my sister
And prize me at her worth. In my true heart
I find she names my very deed of love;
Only she comes too short, that I profess
 Myself an enemy to all other joys
Which the most precious square of sense
And find I am alone felicitate
In your dear Highness’ love.
CORDELIA , [aside] Then poor Cordelia!
And yet not so, since I am sure my love’s
More ponderous than my tongue.
To thee and thine hereditary ever
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom,
 No less in space, validity, and pleasure
Than that conferred on Goneril.—Now, our joy,
Although our last and least, to whose young love
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interessed, what can you say to draw
 A third more opulent than your sisters’? Speak.
CORDELIA Nothing, my lord.
Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.
Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty
According to my bond, no more nor less.
How, how, Cordelia? Mend your speech a little,
Lest you may mar your fortunes.
CORDELIA Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, loved me.
I return those duties back as are right fit:
Obey you, love you, and most honor you.
Why have my sisters husbands if they say
 They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
That lord whose hand must take my plight shall
Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
Sure I shall never marry like my sisters,
 To love my father all.
LEAR But goes thy heart with this?
CORDELIA Ay, my good lord.
LEAR So young and so untender?
CORDELIA So young, my lord, and true.
Let it be so. Thy truth, then, be thy dower,
For by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate and the night,
By all the operation of the orbs
From whom we do exist and cease to be,
 Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Propinquity, and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee from this forever. The barbarous
 Or he that makes his generation messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbored, pitied, and relieved
As thou my sometime daughter.
KENT Good my liege—
LEAR Peace, Kent.
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I loved her most and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery. [ To Cordelia.] Hence and avoid
 So be my grave my peace as here I give
Her father’s heart from her.—Call France. Who stirs?
Call Burgundy. [ An Attendant exits.] Cornwall and
With my two daughters’ dowers digest the third.
 Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
I do invest you jointly with my power,
Preeminence, and all the large effects
That troop with majesty. Ourself by monthly course,
With reservation of an hundred knights
 By you to be sustained, shall our abode
Make with you by due turn. Only we shall retain
The name and all th’ addition to a king.
The sway, revenue, execution of the rest,
Belovèd sons, be yours, which to confirm,
 This coronet part between you.
KENT Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honored as my king,
Loved as my father, as my master followed,
As my great patron thought on in my prayers—
The bow is bent and drawn. Make from the shaft.
Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
The region of my heart. Be Kent unmannerly
When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man?
Think’st thou that duty shall have dread to speak
 When power to flattery bows? To plainness honor’s
When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state,
And in thy best consideration check
This hideous rashness. Answer my life my
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least,
Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sounds
Reverb no hollowness.
LEAR Kent, on thy life, no more.
My life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thine enemies, nor fear to lose
Thy safety being motive.
LEAR Out of my sight!
See better, Lear, and let me still remain
The true blank of thine eye.
LEAR Now, by Apollo—
KENT Now, by Apollo, king,
Thou swear’st thy gods in vain.
LEAR O vassal! Miscreant!
ALBANY/CORNWALL Dear sir, forbear.
Kill thy physician, and thy fee bestow
Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift,
Or whilst I can vent clamor from my throat,
 I’ll tell thee thou dost evil.
Hear me, recreant; on thine allegiance, hear me!
That thou hast sought to make us break our vows—
Which we durst never yet—and with strained pride
To come betwixt 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 disasters of the world,
And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
 Upon our kingdom. If on the tenth day following
Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter,
This shall not be revoked.
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
That justly think’st and hast most rightly said.
[To Goneril and Regan.] 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.