King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

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Commit a thing so monstrous to dismantle
So many folds of favor. Sure, her offense
225Must 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

230 (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,
235No 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
240Hath 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,
245What 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,
250Give 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.