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Enter KENT , GLOUCESTER , and EDMUND
KENT , GLOUCESTER , and EDMUND enter.

KENT

I thought the king had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.

KENT

I thought the king preferred the Duke of Albany to the Duke of 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.

GLOUCESTER

We used to think so too. But the way he’s divided the kingdom recently, nobody can tell which of the dukes he favors more. He’s split the kingdom so evenly that it’s impossible to see any indication of favoritism.

KENT

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

KENT

(pointing to EDMUND) Isn’t 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

Yes, I’ve been responsible for his upbringing. I’ve had to acknowledge that he’s my son so many times that now I can do it without embarrassment.

KENT

I cannot conceive you.

KENT

I can’t conceive of what you mean.

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?

GLOUCESTER

You can’t conceive? Well, this guy’s mother could conceive him all to well. She grew a big belly and had a baby for her crib before she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell something naughty?

KENT

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

KENT

Well, I wouldn’t want to undo the naughtiness, since the boy turned out so well.

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 a legitimate son a few years older than this one, and I don’t love him any more than I love my bastard. Edmund may have snuck into the world a little before his time, but his mother was pretty, we had a fun time making him, and now I have to acknowledge the guy as my son.—Do you know this gentleman, Edmund?

EDMUND

No, my lord.

EDMUND

No, I don’t, my lord.

GLOUCESTER

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

GLOUCESTER

(to EDMUND) This is Lord Kent. Remember him as my friend and an honorable man.

EDMUND

My services to your lordship.

EDMUND

Very pleased to meet you, my lord.

KENT

I must love you and sue to know you better.

KENT

I look forward to getting to know you better.

EDMUND

Sir, I shall study deserving.

EDMUND

I’ll try to make myself worth your knowledge.

GLOUCESTER

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

GLOUCESTER

He’s been gone for nine years and he’s leaving again soon.
Sennet.
Trumpets announce the arrival of King LEAR .
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
A man bearing a crown enters, followed by KING LEAR , the Dukes of CORNWALL and ALBANY , then GONERIL , REGAN , CORDELIA , and attendants.

LEAR

Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.

LEAR

Go escort the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.

GLOUCESTER

I shall, my lord.

GLOUCESTER

Yes, my lord.
Exit GLOUCESTER.
GLOUCESTER exits.

LEAR

Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.—
35 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,
40 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.

LEAR

In the meantime I’ll get down to my real business.—Hand me that map over there.—I hereby announce that I’ve divided my kingdom into three parts, which I’m handing over to the younger generation so I can enjoy a little rest and peace of mind in my old age.—Cornwall and Albany, my loving sons-in-law, I now want to announce publicly what each of my daughters will inherit, to avoid hostilities after I die.
The two great princes, France and Burgundy,
45 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)
50 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.
The two great princes of France and Burgundy, vying for the hand of my youngest Cordelia, have been at my court a long time and will soon have their answers.—My daughters, since I’m about to give up my throne and the worries that go along with it, tell me which one of you loves me most, so that I can give my largest gift to the one who deserves it most.—Goneril, my oldest daughter, you speak first.

GONERIL

Sir, I do love you more than words can wield the matter,
55 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.
60 Beyond all manner of so much I love you.

GONERIL

Sir, I love you more than words can say. I love you more than eyesight, space, and freedom, beyond wealth or anything of value. I love you as much as life itself, and as much as status, health, beauty, or honor. I love you as much as any child has ever loved her father, with a love too deep to be spoken of. I love you more than any answer to the question “How much?”

CORDELIA

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

CORDELIA

(to herself) What will I say? I can only love and be silent.

LEAR

Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
With shadowy forests and with champains riched,
With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,
65 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.

LEAR

I give you all this land, from this line to that one—dense forests, fertile fields, rivers rich with fish, wide meadows. This land will belong to your and Albany’s children forever.—And now what does my second daughter Regan, the wife of Cornwall, have to say? Tell me.

REGAN

Sir, I am made of that self mettle as my sister,
And prize me at her worth. In my true heart,
70 I find she names my very deed of love—
Only she comes too short, that I profess

REGAN

Sir, I’m made of the same stuff as my sister and consider myself just as good as she is. She’s described my feelings of love for you precisely, but her description falls a little short of the truth. I reject completely any
Myself an enemy to all other joys,
Which the most precious square of sense possesses.
And find I am alone felicitate
75 In your dear highness' love.
joy except my love for you, and I find that only your majesty’s love makes me happy.

CORDELIA

(aside)     Then poor Cordelia!
And yet not so, since I am sure my love’s
More ponderous than my tongue.

CORDELIA

(to herself) Poor me, what am I going to say now? But I’m not poor in love—my love is bigger than my words are.

LEAR

To thee and thine hereditary ever
80 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
85 Strive to be interessed. What can you say to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.

LEAR

You and your heirs hereby receive this large third of our lovely kingdom, no smaller in area or value than what I gave Goneril.—Now, you, my youngest daughter, my joy, courted by the rich rulers of France and Burgundy, what can you tell me that will make me give you a bigger part of my kingdom than I gave your sisters? Speak.

CORDELIA

Nothing, my lord.

CORDELIA

Nothing, my lord.

LEAR

Nothing?

LEAR

Nothing?

CORDELIA

Nothing.

CORDELIA

Nothing.

LEAR

90 How? Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.

LEAR

Come on, “nothing” will get you nothing. Try 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.

CORDELIA

I’m unlucky. I don’t have a talent for putting my heart’s feelings into words. I love you as a child should love her father, neither more nor less.

LEAR

How, how, Cordelia? Mend your speech a little,
95 Lest you may mar your fortunes.

LEAR

What are you saying, Cordelia? Revise your statement, or you may damage your inheritance.

CORDELIA

     Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, loved me. I
Return those duties back as are right fit—

CORDELIA

My lord, you brought me up and loved me, and I’m giving back just as I should:
Obey you, love you, and most honor you.
Why have my sisters husbands if they say
100 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.
I obey you, love you, and honor you. How can my sisters speak the truth when they say they love only you? Don’t they love their husbands too? Hopefully when I get married, I’ll give my husband half my love and half my sense of duty. I’m sure I’ll never get married in the way my sisters say they’re married, loving their father only.

LEAR

105 But goes thy heart with this?

LEAR

But do you mean what you’re saying?

CORDELIA

Ay, good my lord.

CORDELIA

Yes, my lord.

LEAR

So young and so untender?

LEAR

So young and so cruel?

CORDELIA

So young, my lord, and true.

CORDELIA

So young, my lord, and honest.

LEAR

Let it be so. Thy truth then be thy dower.
110 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,
115 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
120 Be as well neighbored, pitied, and relieved
As thou my sometime daughter.

LEAR

Then that’s the way it’ll be. The truth will be all the inheritance you get. I swear by the sacred sun, by the mysterious moon, and by all the planets that rule our lives, that I disown you now as my daughter. As of now, there are no family ties between us, and I consider you a stranger to me. Foreign savages who eat their own children for dinner will be as close to my heart as you, ex-daughter of mine.

KENT

     Good my liege—

KENT

But sir—

LEAR

Peace, Kent.
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I loved her most and thought to set my rest
125 On her kind nursery.—

LEAR

Be quiet, Kent. Don’t get in my way when I’m angry. I loved Cordelia most of all and planned to spend my old age with her taking care of me.
(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.—
(to CORDELIA) Go away! Get out of my sight!—I guess if she doesn’t love her father, then I’ll only have peace when I’m dead.—Call the King of France. Why is nobody doing anything? Call the Duke of Burgundy.
Exeunt several attendants
Several attendants exit.
   Cornwall and Albany,
130 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,
135 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,
140 Belovèd sons, be yours; which to confirm,
This coronet part between you.
(gives CORNWALL and ALBANY the coronet)
Cornwall and Albany, you and your wives can divide this last third of my kingdom between you. If she wants to be proud, or “honest,” as she calls it, she can just marry her own pride. I hereby grant to you two my crown and all the privileges that kingship brings. I’ll live one month with one of you, the next month with the other one. All I ask is that you provide me with a hundred knights for my own entourage. I’ll keep only the title of king, but you’ll have everything else: all the authority and income that come with kingship. To confirm all this, take this crown to share between yourselves. (he gives CORNWALL and ALBANY the crown)

KENT

     Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honored as my king,
Loved as my father, as my master followed,
145 As my great patron thought on in my prayers—

KENT

King Lear, I’ve always honored you as king, loved you as my father, obeyed you as my master, and thanked you in my prayers—

LEAR

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

LEAR

I’m furious and ready to snap. Stay away or else I’ll take my anger out on you.

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?
150 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,

KENT

Let your anger fall on me then, even if its sharpness pierces my heart. Kent can speak rudely when Lear goes mad. What are you doing, old man? When powerful kings cave in to flatterers, do you think loyal men will be afraid to speak out against it? When a majestic king starts acting silly, then it’s my duty to be blunt.
And in thy best consideration check
This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judgment,
155 Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least,
Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound
Reverbs no hollowness.
Hold on to your crown and use your better judgment to rethink this rash decision. On my life I swear to you that your youngest daughter doesn’t love you least. A loud mouth often points to an empty heart, and just because she’s quiet doesn’t mean she’s unloving.

LEAR

   Kent, on thy life, no more.

LEAR

Kent, if you want to stay alive, stop talking.

KENT

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

KENT

I never considered my life as anything more than a chess pawn for you to play off against your enemies. I’m not afraid to lose it if it helps protect you.

LEAR

   Out of my sight!

LEAR

Get out of my sight!

KENT

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

KENT

Learn to see better, Lear, and let me stay here where you can look to me for good advice.

LEAR

   Now, by Apollo—

LEAR

Now, I swear by Apollo…

KENT

Now, by Apollo, King,
Thou swear’st thy gods in vain.

KENT

By Apollo, King, you’re taking the names of the gods in vain.

LEAR

165 O vassal! Miscreant!

LEAR

Oh, you lowlife! Scum!

ALBANY, CORNWALL

   Dear sir, forbear!

ALBANY, CORNWALL

Please stop, sir.

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.

KENT

Sure, kill the doctor who’s trying to cure you and pay your disease. Take back your gift to Albany and Cornwall. If you don’t, then as long as I’m able to speak I’ll keep telling you you’ve done a bad, bad thing.

LEAR

170 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,

LEAR

Listen to me, you traitor. You’ll pay the price for trying to make me go back on the vow I made when I bequeathed my kingdom to them. I’ve never broken a vow yet. You tried to make me revise my judgment on my youngest daughter, disrespecting my power as
175 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
180 Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter,
This shall not be revoked.
king—which I can’t put up with either as a ruler or as a person. This is your punishment: I’ll give you five days to gather together what you need to survive, then on the sixth day you’ll leave this kingdom that hates you. If the day after that you’re found in my kingdom, you die. Now get out of here! I swear by Jupiter I’ll never revoke this punishment.

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,
190 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

Farewell, King. If this is how you act, it’s clear that freedom has been banished from this kingdom.(to CORDELIA) I hope the gods will protect you, my dear girl, for thinking fairly and speaking correctly. (to REGAN and GONERIL) And you two, I hope your actions carry out your grand promises of love, so that big words can bring big results. Farewell to all of you. I’ll carry on my old life in a new land.
Exit KENT
KENT exits.
Flourish. Enter GLOUCESTER with the King of FRANCE , the Duke of BURGUNDY , and attendants
Trumpets play. GLOUCESTER enters with the King of FRANCE , the Duke of BURGUNDY , and attendants.

GLOUCESTER

Here’s France and Burgundy, my noble lord.

GLOUCESTER

Here are the rulers of France and Burgundy, my lord.

LEAR

My lord of Burgundy.
195 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?

LEAR

My lord the ruler of Burgundy, I’ll speak to you first. You’ve been competing with this king for my daughter. What’s the least that you will settle for as a

dowry?

A dowry is a payment traditionally made to a husband by his father-in-law at the time of marriage.

dowry?

BURGUNDY

     Most royal majesty,
I crave no more than hath your highness offered.
200 Nor will you tender less.

BURGUNDY

Your highness, I want nothing more than what you’ve already offered. I know you’ll offer nothing less than that.

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
205 And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,
She’s there, and she is yours.

LEAR

Burgundy, I valued her highly when I cared about her. But now her price has fallen. There she is, over there. If there’s anything you like about that worthless little thing, then go for it. She’s all yours. But what you see is what you get—her only dowry is my disapproval. There she is.

BURGUNDY

   I know no answer.

BURGUNDY

I don’t know what to say.

LEAR

Sir, will you, with those infirmities she owes—
Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,
Dowered with our curse and strangered with our oath—
210 Take her or leave her?

LEAR

She’s got big flaws. She has no friends or protectors. I no longer love her. Her only dowry is my curse and banishment. So do you take her or leave her?

BURGUNDY

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

BURGUNDY

I’m sorry, sir, but nobody can make a choice like this in such circumstances.

LEAR

Then leave her, sir, for by the power that made me,
I tell you all her wealth.
(to FRANCE)   For you, great King,
215 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.

LEAR

Then leave her, sir. I swear to God she’s not worth anything more than what I told you. (to FRANCE) And as for you, great King of France, I’d never insult our friendship by encouraging you to marry a girl I hate. So I beg you to look around for a better match than this wretched creature that you can barely call human.

FRANCE

     This is most strange,
220 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

FRANCE

This is very odd. Until very recently she was your favorite, the object of all your praise and the delight of your old age. It’s strange that someone so dear to you could do anything so horrible as to warrant this sudden
Commit a thing so monstrous to dismantle
So many folds of favor. Sure, her offense
225 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.
hatred. Her crime must be extreme and monstrous, or else your earlier love for her wasn’t as true as it seemed. But it’d take a miracle to make me believe she could do anything that horrible.

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,
235 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
240 Hath lost me in your liking.

CORDELIA

(to LEAR) Please, your majesty, I don’t have a glib way with words and I only say what I mean. If I decide to do something, then I do it instead of talking about it. So I beg your majesty to let people know that it wasn’t because I did something atrocious
that I fell from your favor. I didn’t murder or commit any immoral or lustful act. I’m out of favor simply because I’m not a fortune-hunter and I don’t have a smooth way with words—and I’m a better person because of it, even though it has cost me your love.

LEAR

     Go to, go to. Better thou
Hadst not been born than not t' have pleased me better.

LEAR

Enough. It would’ve been better for you not to have been born at all than to displease me as you did.

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,
245 What say you to the lady? Love’s not love
When it is mingled with regards that stands
Aloof from th' entire point. Will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.

FRANCE

You mean this is the whole problem, that she is shy and hasn’t said everything she means to say and do?—My lord of Burgundy, what do you have to say to this lady? Love’s not love when it gets mixed up with irrelevant outside matters. Will you marry her? She herself is as valuable as any dowry could ever be.

BURGUNDY

(to LEAR)    Royal King,
250 Give but that portion which yourself proposed,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Duchess of Burgundy.

BURGUNDY

(to LEAR) King, just give me the dowry you promised me, and I’ll make Cordelia the Duchess of Burgundy right away.

LEAR

Nothing. I have sworn. I am firm.

LEAR

No, I’ll give nothing. I won’t budge on that.

BURGUNDY

(to CORDELIA) I am sorry then. You have so lost a father
255 That you must lose a husband.

BURGUNDY

(to CORDELIA) In that case, I’m sorry you have to lose me as a husband because you lost the king as a father.

CORDELIA

Peace be with Burgundy.
Since that respects and fortunes are his love,
I shall not be his wife.

CORDELIA

Peace to you, my lord of Burgundy. Since you love money and power so much, I won’t be your wife.

FRANCE

Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich being poor,
260 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.—
265 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.
270 Thou losest here, a better where to find.

FRANCE

Beautiful Cordelia, you’re all the richer now that you’re poor. You’re more valuable now that you’re rejected and more loved now that you’re hated.
I’ll take you and your wonderful virtues here and now, if it’s okay that I’m picking up what others have thrown away. It’s so strange that in neglecting you so cruelly, the gods have made me love you so dearly.—King, the daughter you’ve rejected is now mine, as Queen of France. No Duke of spineless Burgundy can take this treasure of a girl from me now.—Say goodbye to them, Cordelia, even though they’ve been unkind to you. You’ll find a much better place in France than what you’re giving up here.

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.—
275 Come, noble Burgundy.

LEAR

She’s yours, King of France. Take her. She’s no longer my daughter, and I’ll never see her face again. (to CORDELIA) So get out of here. Leave without any blessing or love from me.—Come with me, Burgundy.
Flourish
Trumpets play.
Exeunt all but FRANCE , GONERIL , REGAN , and CORDELIA
Everyone exits except FRANCE , GONERIL , REGAN , and CORDELIA .

FRANCE

Bid farewell to your sisters.

FRANCE

Say goodbye to your sisters.

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
280 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.

CORDELIA

Sisters, you whom our father loves so dearly, I leave you now with tears in my eyes. I know you for what you really are, but as your sister I’m reluctant to criticize you. Take good care of our father and show him the love that you have professed. I leave him in your care—but oh, if only I were still in his favor I could arrange for better care for him. Goodbye to you both.

REGAN

285 Prescribe not us our duty.

REGAN

Don’t tell us what our duty is.

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.

GONERIL

You should focus instead on pleasing your husband, who’s taken you in as an act of charity. You’ve failed to obey your father and you deserve to be deprived of everything that’s been taken away from you.

CORDELIA

Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides,
290 Who covers faults at last with shame derides.
Well may you prosper.

CORDELIA

Time will tell what you’ve got up your sleeve. You can be deceitful in the short term, but eventually truth will come out. Have a good life.

FRANCE

Come, my fair Cordelia.

FRANCE

Come with me, my dear Cordelia.
Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA
FRANCE and CORDELIA exit.

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, I have a lot to say about things that concern us both. I think that our father will leave here tonight.

REGAN

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

REGAN

Yes, I’m sure he will—to stay with you. Next month he’ll stay 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

He’s so flighty in his old age, as we keep noticing. He has always loved Cordelia best, and his bad judgment in disowning her now is obvious.

REGAN

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

REGAN

He’s going senile. But then again he’s never really understood his own feelings very well.

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.

GONERIL

Yes, he was hotheaded even in the prime of his life. Now that he’s old, we can expect to have to deal not only with his old character flaws, which have turned into deep-rooted habits, but also with the uncontrollable crabbiness that comes with old age.

REGAN

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

REGAN

We’ll probably witness many more outbursts from him, like banishing Kent.

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.

GONERIL

There’s still the King of France’s farewell ceremony. Let’s put our heads together. If our father continues to use his authority as usual, then his recent abdication of the kingdom will just hurt us.

REGAN

We shall further think on ’t.

REGAN

We’ll have to think about it carefully.

GONERIL

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

GONERIL

We have to strike while the iron’s hot.
Exeunt
They exit.