King Lear

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 11

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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
255That 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,
260Most 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.—
265Thy 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.
270Thou 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.—
275Come, 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.