William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of King Lear

1. Scene I. A Room of State in King Lear's Palace. (continued)

Prescribe not us our duties.

Let your study
Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you
At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have wanted.

Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides:
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
Well may you prosper!

Come, my fair Cordelia.

[Exeunt France and Cordelia.]

Sister, it is not little I have to say of what most nearly
appertains to us both. I think our father will hence to-night.

That's most certain, and with you; next month with us.

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.

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

The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash; then must
we look to receive from his age, not alone the imperfections of
long-ingraffed condition, but therewithal the unruly waywardness
that infirm and choleric years bring with them.

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

There is further compliment of leave-taking between France and
him. Pray you let us hit together: if our father carry authority
with such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of his
will but offend us.

We shall further think of it.

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


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