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Duke. He shall do this; or else I do recant
Por. Art thou contented, Jew, what dost thou say?
Clerk, draw a deed of gift. Shy. I pray you give me leave to go from hence: I am not well; send the deed after me,
And I will sign it. - Duke.
Get thee gone, but do it.
Gra. In christening, thou shalt have two godfathers;
Duke. Sir, I entreat you home with me to dinner.
Duke. I am sorry, that your leisure serves not.
[Exeunt DUKE, Magnificoes, and Train.
The interest of the Play ends with the delivery of Antonio, and the punishment of Shylock; the fifth Act is occupied in explanations which naturally follow between the leading characters, growing out of the disguises assumed by Portia and Nerissa.
"The story of King Lear and his three daughters, is found in Holinshed's Chronicle; and was originally told by Geoffry of Monmouth, who says that Lear was the eldest son of Bladud, and nobly governed his country for sixty years.' According to that historian, he died about 800 years before Christ. Shakspeare has taken the hint for the behavior of the steward, and the reply of Cordelia to her father concerning her future marriage, from the Mirror of Magistrates, 1587. According to Steevens, the episode of Gloster and his sons is borrowed from Sidney's Arcadia.”
Macbeth, Othello, Hamlet, and Lear, are placed by general consent as first in the list of Shakspeare's inspired creations, but to the character of Lear, is yielded the pre-eminence. We have enIt is perhaps the most wonderful dramatic conception on record. deavored to incorporate into our selections, the entire development of this extraordinary
LEAR, King of Britain.
DUKE OF BUrgundy.
EARL OF GLOSTER.
EDGAR, son to Gloster.
EDMUND, illegitimate son to Gloster.
CURAN, a courtier.
Old Man, tenant to Gloster.
GONERIL, REGAN, CORDELIA, daughters to Lear.
Knights attending on the King, Officers, Messengers, Soldiers and
SCENE I.—A Room of State in King Lear's Palace. Enter LEAR, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, CORDELIA, and Attendants.
Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloster. Glo. I shall, my liege. [Exit GLOSTER & EDMUND. Lear. Mean-time 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 Unburden'd 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 princes, France and Burgundy,
Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn,
Which of you, shall we say, doth love us most?
Do love you more than words can wield the matter,
No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honor:
A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable;
Cor. What shall Cordelia do? Love, and be silent.
Reg. I am made of that self metal as my sister,
Which the most precious square of sense possesses;
And find, I am alone felicitate
Then poor Cordelia !
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever,
Lear. Nothing can come of nothing: speak again.
My heart into my mouth: I love your majesty
Lear. How, how, Cordelia? mend your speech a little,
Lear. But goes this with thy heart?
Lear. So young, and so untender?
Cor. So young, my lord, and true.
Lear. Let it be so,-Thy truth then be thy dower:
Ay, good my lord.
For, by the sacred radiance of the sun;
From whom we do exist, and cease to be;
Lear. Peace, Kent!
Good my liege,
Come not between the dragon and his wrath:
On her kind nursery.-Hence, and avoid my sight!
That troop with majesty.-Ourself, by monthly course,
By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain
Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from the shaft.
This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgment,
Kent, on thy life, no more.
Out of my sight!
[Giving the crown.
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.
Now, by Apollo, king,
Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
O, vassal! miscreant!