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Knights attending on Lear, Officers, Messengers, Soldiers, and
SCENE I. A room of state in King LEAR's palace.
Enter KENT, GLOSTER, and EDMUND.
Kent. I thought the king had more affected the Duke of Albany than Cornwall.
Glo. 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. Is not this your son, my lord?
Glo. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge: I have so often blushed to acknowledge him, that now I am brazed to❜t.
Kent. I cannot conceive you.
Glo. 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.
Glo. But I have a son, sir, by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account: though this knave came something saucily into 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?
Edm. No, my lord.
Glo. My Lord of Kent: remember him hereafter as my honourable friend.
Edm. My services to your lordship.
Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you better
Glo. He hath been out nine years, and again. [Sennet within.] — The king is coming.
away he shall
Enter LEAR, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, CORDELIA, and Attendants.
Lear. Attend the Lords of France and Burgundy, Gloster. Glo. I shall, my liege. [Exeunt Gloster and Edmund. Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker purpose. Give me the map there. Know that we've divided
In three our kingdom: and 'tis our fast intent
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, Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,