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King Lear

by William Shakespeare

Act 1, Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

 

 

 

King Lear Act 1, Scene 1



King Lear's Palace

King Lear Act 1 Scene 1 Easiest-to-Read Edition

Enter KENT, GLOUCESTER, and EDMUND

Enter KENT, GLOUCESTER, and EDMUND

KENT

I thought the king had more affected (affection for) the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.

 

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 (more), for equalities are so weighed (carefully made) that curiosity (looking) in neither (either) can make choice of either’s moiety (share).

 

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

(indicating EDMUND) Is not this your son, my lord?


KENT

(indicating EDMUND) 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 it.

 

GLOUCESTER

His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often blushed to acknowledge him that now I am brazed to it.

 

KENT

I cannot conceive you (understand you).

 

KENT

I cannot conceive you.

 

GLOUCESTER

Sir, this young fellow’s mother could (could conceive), 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?

 

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.

 

KENT

I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.

 

GLOUCESTER

But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year older 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?

 

GLOUCESTER

But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year older 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.

 

EDMUND

No, my lord.

 

GLOUCESTER

(to EDMUND) My lord of Kent. Remember him hereafter as my honorable friend.

 

GLOUCESTER

(to EDMUND) My lord of Kent. Remember him hereafter as my honorable friend.

 

EDMUND

My services to your lordship.

 

EDMUND

My services to your lordship.

 

KENT

I must love you and sue to know you better.

 

KENT

I must love you and sue to know you better.

 

EDMUND

Sir, I shall study deserving (study to deserve your knowing me).

 

EDMUND

Sir, I shall study deserving.

 

GLOUCESTER

He hath been out (away) nine years, and away he shall again.

 

GLOUCESTER

He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again.

 

Sennet (trumpets).

Sennet.

The king is coming.

The king is coming.

Enter one bearing a coronet, then King LEAR, then the Dukes of CORNWALL and ALBANY, next GONERIL, REGAN, CORDELIA, and attendants

Enter one bearing a coronet, then King LEAR, then the Dukes of CORNWALL and ALBANY, next GONERIL, REGAN, CORDELIA, and attendants

LEAR

Attend (escort) the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.

 

LEAR

Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.

 

GLOUCESTER

I shall, my lord.

 

GLOUCESTER

I shall, my lord.

 

Exit GLOUCESTER

Exit GLOUCESTER

LEAR

Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.—

Give me the map there.—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 Cornwall,

And you, our no less loving son of Albany,

We have this hour a constant will to publish

publish=make known

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 daughters,

(Since now we will divest us both of rule,

Interest of territory, cares of state)

interest=legal title

Which of you shall we say doth love us most

That we our largest bounty may extend

Where nature doth with merit challenge?—Goneril,

nature=birth

merit=worthiness

challenge=dispute (ignoring the rights of first born)

Our eldest born, speak first.

 

LEAR

Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.—

Give me the map there.—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 Cornwall,

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 daughters,

(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.

 

 

GONERIL

Sir, I do love you more than words can wield the matter,

wield=express

matter=subject matter

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

found=encountered

A love that makes breath poor and speech unable.

breath=self-expression

unable=inadequate

Beyond all manner of so much I love you.

 

GONERIL

Sir, I do love you more than words can wield the matter,

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.

 

CORDELIA

(aside) What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.

 

LEAR

Of all these bounds even from this line to this,

bounds=boundaries

(from this line – on a map)

With shadowy forests and with champaigns riched,

champaigns=level, open country

With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,

meads=meadows

We make thee lady. To thine and Albany’s issue

issue=offspring

Be this perpetual.—What says our second daughter,

Our dearest Regan, wife of Cornwall? Speak.

 

LEAR

Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,

With shadowy forests and with champaigns 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 daughter,

Our dearest Regan, wife of Cornwall? Speak.

 

REGAN

Sir, I am made of that self mettle as my sister,

self mettle=same disposition

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 possesses.

square=carpenter’s square (measurement)

And find I am alone felicitate

alone facilitate=only happy

In your dear highness' love.

 

REGAN

Sir, 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 possesses.

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.

ponderous=profound

 

CORDELIA

(aside)     Then poor Cordelia!

And yet not so, since I am sure my love’s

More ponderous than my tongue.

 

LEAR

To thee and thine hereditary ever

thee=Regan

Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom,

No less in space, validity, and pleasure

Than that conferred on Goneril.—But 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

be intressed=lay claim

A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.

 

LEAR

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.—But 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.

 

CORDELIA

Nothing, my lord.

 

LEAR

Nothing?

CORDELIA

Nothing.

 

LEAR

Nothing?

CORDELIA

Nothing.

 

LEAR

How? Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.

 

LEAR

How? Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.

 

CORDELIA

Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave

My heart into my mouth. I love your majesty

According to my bond, no more nor less.

bond=duty

 

CORDELIA

Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave

My heart into my mouth. I love your majesty

According to my bond, no more nor less.

 

LEAR

How, how, Cordelia? Mend your speech a little,

Lest you may mar your fortunes.

 

LEAR

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

(why do my sisters have husbands . . .)

They love you all? Haply when I shall wed

That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry

plight=pledge

Half my love with him, half my care and duty.

Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters,

To love my father all.

 

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 carry

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?

 

LEAR

But goes thy heart with this?

 

CORDELIA

Ay, good my lord.

 

CORDELIA

Ay, good my lord.

 

LEAR

So young and so untender?

 

LEAR

So young and so untender?

 

CORDELIA

So young, my lord, and true.

 

CORDELIA

So young, my lord, and true.

 

LEAR

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,

Hecate=goddess of the moon

By all the operation of the orbs

orbs=stars

From whom we do exist and cease to be—

Here I disclaim all my paternal care,

Propinquity, and property of blood,

propinquity=blood relationship

And as a stranger to my heart and me

Hold thee from this for ever. The barbarous Scythian,

(Scythians had a reputation for barbarism)

Or he that makes his generation messes

his generation messes=his children into food

To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom

Be as well neighbored, pitied, and relieved

As thou my sometime daughter.

 

LEAR

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 for ever. The barbarous Scythian,

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—

 

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

my rest=the rest of my life

On her kind nursery.—

(to CORDELIA)

    Hence, and avoid my sight!—

So be my grave my peace as here I give

Her father’s heart from her.—Call France. Who stirs?

from her=away from her

Call Burgundy.—

 

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 my sight!—

So be my grave my peace as here I give

Her father’s heart from her.—Call France. Who stirs?

Call Burgundy.—

 

 

Exeunt several attendant

Exeunt several attendant

  Cornwall and Albany,

With my two daughters' dowers digest this third.

Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.

marry her=take charge of marrying her off

I do invest you jointly with my power,

Preeminence, and all the large effects

That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly course,

by monthly course=month by month

With reservation of an hundred knights

with reservation of=except for

By you to be sustained, shall our abode

Make with you by due turns. Only shall we retain

The name, and all th' additions to a king.

additions to=honors belonging to

The sway, revenue, execution of the rest,

Belovèd sons, be yours; which to confirm,

This coronet part between you.

coronet=crown

(gives CORNWALL and ALBANY the coronet)

 

  Cornwall and Albany,

With my two daughters' dowers digest this 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 turns. Only shall we retain

The name, and all th' additions to a king.

The sway, revenue, execution of the rest,

Belovèd sons, be yours; which to confirm,

This coronet part between you.

(gives CORNWALL and ALBANY the coronet)

 

 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—

 

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—

 

LEAR

The bow is bent and drawn. Make from the shaft.

(I am uptight. Separate from the arrow)

 

LEAR

The bow is bent and drawn. Make from the shaft.

 

KENT

Let it fall rather, though the fork invade

fork=barbed arrow head

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 bound

When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state,

state=status

And in thy best consideration check

This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judgment,

answer my life=let my life suffer the consequences

Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least,

Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound

Reverbs no hollowness.

 

KENT

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 bound

When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state,

And in thy best consideration check

This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judgment,

Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least,

Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound

Reverbs no hollowness.

 

LEAR

   Kent, on thy life, no more.

 

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 motive.

 

KENT

My life I never held but as a pawn

To wage against thy enemies, nor fear to lose it,

Thy safety being motive.

 

LEAR

   Out of my sight!

 

LEAR

   Out of my sight!

 

KENT

See better, Lear, and let me still remain

The true blank of thine eye.

blank=white spot (center) of a target

 

KENT

See better, Lear, and let me still remain

The true blank of thine eye.

 

LEAR

   Now, by Apollo—

 

LEAR

   Now, by Apollo—

 

KENT

Now, by Apollo, King,

Thou swear’st thy gods in vain.

 

KENT

Now, by Apollo, King,

Thou swear’st thy gods in vain.

 

LEAR

O vassal! Miscreant!

 

LEAR

O vassal! Miscreant!

 

ALBANY, CORNWALL

   Dear sir, forbear!

 

ALBANY, CORNWALL

   Dear sir, forbear!

 

KENT

Do, kill thy physician, and the fee bestow

Upon thy foul disease. Revoke thy gift,

gift=his crown

Or whilst I can vent clamor from my throat,

I’ll tell thee thou dost evil.

 

KENT

Do, kill thy physician, and the fee bestow

Upon thy foul disease. Revoke thy gift,

Or whilst I can vent clamor from my throat,

I’ll tell thee thou dost evil.

 

LEAR

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

durst=dared

strained=overzealous

To come betwixt our sentence and our power,

sentence=declaration

Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,

place=official position

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 next day following

Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions,

trunk=body

The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter,

This shall not be revoked.

 

LEAR

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 diseases of the world.

And on the sixth to turn thy hated back

Upon our kingdom. If on the next day following

Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions,

The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter,

This shall not be revoked.

 

 

KENT

Why, 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,

approve=substantiate

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.

 

KENT

Why, 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 KENT

Exit KENT

Flourish. Enter GLOUCESTER with the King of FRANCE, the Duke of BURGUNDY, and attendants

Flourish. Enter GLOUCESTER with the King of FRANCE, the Duke of BURGUNDY, and attendants

GLOUCESTER

Here’s France and Burgundy, my noble lord.

 

GLOUCESTER

Here’s France and Burgundy, my noble lord.

 

LEAR

My lord of Burgundy.

We first address towards you, who with this king

king=King of France

Hath rivaled for our daughter. What in the least

Will you require in present dower with her

with her=along with her

Or cease your quest of love?

or=or otherwise

 

LEAR

My lord of Burgundy.

We first address towards you, who with this king

Hath rivaled 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 hath your highness offered.

Nor will you tender less.

 

BURGUNDY

     Most royal majesty,

I crave no more than hath your highness offered.

Nor will you tender less.

 

LEAR

   Right noble Burgundy,

When she was dear to us we did hold her so,

so=highly

But now her price is fallen. Sir, there she stands.

If aught within that little seeming substance,

Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced

pieced=joined (Lear’s displeasure is her only dowry)

And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,

like your grace=please you

She’s there, and she is yours.

 

LEAR

   Right noble Burgundy,

When she was dear to us we did hold her so,

But now her price is fallen. 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.

(I am speechless)

 

BURGUNDY

   I know no answer.

 

LEAR

Sir, will you, with those infirmities she owes—

owes=owns

Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,

Dowered with our curse and strangered with our oath—

Take her or leave her?

 

LEAR

Sir, will you, with those infirmities she owes—

Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,

Dowered with our curse and strangered with our oath—

Take her or leave her?

 

BURGUNDY

   Pardon me, royal sir.

Election makes not up in such conditions.

election makes not up=a decision cannot be made

 

BURGUNDY

   Pardon me, royal sir.

Election makes not up in such conditions.

 

LEAR

Then leave her, sir, for by the power that made me,

I tell you all her wealth.

(to FRANCE)   For you, great King,

I would not from your love make such a stray

make such a stray=depart

To match you where I hate. Therefore beseech you

T' avert your liking a more worthier way

Than on a wretch whom Nature is ashamed

Almost t' acknowledge hers.

 

LEAR

Then leave her, sir, for by the power that made me,

I tell you all her wealth.

(to FRANCE)   For you, great King,

I would not from your love make such a stray

To match you where I hate. Therefore beseech you

T' avert your liking a more worthier way

Than on a wretch whom Nature is ashamed

Almost t' 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,

argument=subject matter

Most best, most dearest—should in this trice of time

trice=moment

Commit a thing so monstrous to dismantle

So many folds of favor. Sure, her offense

Must be of such unnatural degree

That monsters it (or your fore-vouched affection

that monsters it=that makes it monstrous

Fall into taint), which to believe of her

Must be a faith that reason without miracle

Could never plant in me.

 

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 favor. Sure, her offense

Must be of such unnatural degree

That monsters it (or your fore-vouched affection

Fall into taint), which to believe of her

Must be a faith that reason without miracle

Could never plant in me.

 

CORDELIA

(to LEAR) I yet beseech your majesty,

If for I want that glib and oily art

for I want=I am wanting in

To speak and purpose not—since what I well intend,

speak and purpose not=speak and don’t mean it

I’ll do ’t before I speak—that you make known

It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,

No unchaste action or dishonored step

That hath deprived me of your grace and favor,

But even for want of that for which I am richer:

but even=but rather

(what she is lacking follows in the next line)

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.

lost=ruined

 

CORDELIA

(to LEAR) 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 dishonored step

That hath deprived me of your grace and favor,

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.

 

LEAR

     Go to, go to. Better thou

Hadst not been born than not t' have pleased me better.

 

LEAR

     Go to, go to. Better thou

Hadst not been born than not t' have pleased me better.

 

FRANCE

Is it no more 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’s not love

When it is mingled with regards that stand

regards=considerations

Aloof from th' entire point. Will you have her?

She is herself a dowry.

 

FRANCE

Is it no more 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’s not love

When it is mingled with regards that stand

Aloof from th' entire point. Will you have her?

She is herself a dowry.

 

BURGUNDY

(to LEAR)    Royal King,

Give but that portion which yourself proposed,

And here I take Cordelia by the hand,

Duchess of Burgundy.

 

BURGUNDY

(to LEAR)    Royal King,

Give but that portion which yourself proposed,

And here I take Cordelia by the hand,

Duchess of Burgundy.

 

LEAR

Nothing. I have sworn. I am firm.

 

LEAR

Nothing. I have sworn. I am firm.

 

BURGUNDY

(to CORDELIA) I am sorry then. You have so lost a father

That you must lose a husband.

 

BURGUNDY

(to CORDELIA) I am sorry then. You have so lost a father

That you must lose a husband.

 

CORDELIA

Peace be with Burgundy.

Since that respects of fortune are his love,

respects=matters

I shall not be his wife.

 

CORDELIA

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 loved despised!

Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon,

Be it lawful I take up what’s cast away.

be it lawful=since it  is lawful

Gods, gods! 'Tis strange that from their cold’st neglect

My love should kindle to inflamed respect.—

Thy dowerless daughter, King, thrown to my chance,

Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France.

Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy

Can buy this unprized precious maid of me.—

Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind.

Thou losest here, a better where to find.

where=place (noun)

 

FRANCE

Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich being poor,

Most choice forsaken, and most loved despised!

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 inflamed respect.—

Thy dowerless daughter, King, thrown to my chance,

Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France.

Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy

Can buy this unprized precious maid of me.—

Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind.

Thou losest here, a better where to find.

 

LEAR

Thou hast her, France. Let her be thine, for we

Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see

That face of hers again. (to CORDELIA) Therefore be gone

Without our grace, our love, our benison.—

benison=blessing

Come, noble Burgundy.

 

LEAR

Thou hast her, France. Let her be thine, for we

Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see

That face of hers again. (to CORDELIA) Therefore be gone

Without our grace, our love, our benison.—

Come, noble Burgundy.

 

Flourish

Flourish

Exeunt all but FRANCE, GONERIL, REGAN, and CORDELIA

Exeunt all but FRANCE, GONERIL, REGAN, and CORDELIA

FRANCE

Bid farewell to your sisters.

 

FRANCE

Bid farewell to your sisters.

 

CORDELIA

The jewels of our father, with washed eyes

jewels of our father=Regan and Goneril

washed eyes=tearful eyes

Cordelia leaves you. I know you what you are,

And like a sister am most loath to call

Your faults as they are named. Love well our father.

as they are named=without euphemisms

To your professèd bosoms I commit him.

your professed bosoms=your hearts, as you professed

But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,

I would prefer him to a better place.

prefer him=prefer [to direct] him

So farewell to you both.

 

CORDELIA

The jewels of our father, with washed eyes

Cordelia leaves you. I know you what you are,

And like a sister am most loath to call

Your faults as they are named. Love well our father.

To your professèd 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.

 

REGAN

Prescribe not us our duty.

GONERIL

   Let your study

Be to content your lord, who hath received you

At fortune’s alms. You have obedience scanted,

at fortune’s alms=as an act of charity

And well are worth the want that you have wanted.

are worth=deserve

 

REGAN

Prescribe not us our duty.

GONERIL

   Let your study

Be to content your lord, who hath received you

At fortune’s alms. You have obedience scanted,

And well are worth the want that you have wanted.

 

CORDELIA

Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides,

plighted=hidden

Who covers faults at last with shame derides.

who=him or her who

at last=[Time] at last

with shame=with shaming

Well may you prosper.

 

CORDELIA

Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides,

Who covers faults at last with shame derides.

Well may you prosper.

 

FRANCE

Come, my fair Cordelia.

 

FRANCE

Come, my fair Cordelia.

 

Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA

Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA

GONERIL

Sister, it is not a little I have to say of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think our father will hence tonight.

 

GONERIL

Sister, it is not a little I have to say of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think our father will hence tonight.

 

REGAN

That’s most certain, and with you. Next month with us.

 

REGAN

That’s most certain, and with you. Next month with us.

 

GONERIL

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.

 

GONERIL

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.

 

REGAN

'Tis the infirmity of his age. Yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.

 

REGAN

'Tis the infirmity of his age. Yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.

 

GONERIL

The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash. Then must we look from his age to receive (to receive from his age) not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted condition but therewithal (along with them) the unruly waywardness that infirm and choleric years bring with them.

 

GONERIL

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

 

REGAN

Such unconstant starts (outbursts) are we like to have from him as this of Kent’s banishment.

 

REGAN

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

 

GONERIL

There is further compliment of leave-taking between France and him. Pray you, let’s sit together. If our father carry authority with such dispositions as he bears (such disposables as he still carries), this last surrender of his (leave-taking between France and him) will but offend us.

 

GONERIL

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

 

REGAN

We shall further think on ’t.

 

REGAN

We shall further think on ’t.

 

GONERIL

We must do something, and i' th' heat.

in the heat=when the iron is hot

 

GONERIL

We must do something, and i' th' heat.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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