A line-by-line translation

King Lear

King Lear Translation Act 1, Scene 1

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Enter KENT, GLOUCESTER, and EDMUND

KENT

I thought the king had more affected the Duke of Albanythan Cornwall.

KENT

I thought the king liked the Duke of Albany more than the Duke of Cornwall.

GLOUCESTER

It did always seem so to us. But now in the division ofthe 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

It always seemed like that to me, too. But now that he has divided the kingdom, no one can tell which duke he prefers the most. He's divided the kingdom so evenly that not even the closest scrutiny reveals any favoritism to either one.

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 toit.

GLOUCESTER

Well, his education has certainly been at my expense. I used to be embarrassed to acknowledge him as my son, but I've done it so many times now that I can do it without blushing.

KENT

I cannot conceive you.

KENT

I can't conceive of what you mean by that.

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 afault?

GLOUCESTER

Well, sir, this young fellow's mother certainly could conceive—she conceived him. She got pregnant and had a son for her crib before she had a husband in her bed. Do you perceive a sin in this?

KENT

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

KENT

Well, I can't wish to undo the sin, since its result—your son—turned out so well.

GLOUCESTER

But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year olderthan this, who yet is no dearer in my account. Though this knave came something saucily to the world before hewas 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

I also have a legitimate son, sir, a few years older than this one, though he's not more valuable to me than Edmund. This rascal Edmund may have come into this world somewhat rudely, and before he was meant to, but his mother was beautiful, we had a good time making him, and I must now acknowledge the bastard as my son.[To EDMUND]Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund?

EDMUND

No, my lord.

EDMUND

No, my lord.

GLOUCESTER

My lord of Kent. Remember him hereafter as my honorable friend.

GLOUCESTER

This is Lord Kent. Remember him from now on, as he is my honorable friend.

EDMUND

My services to your lordship.

EDMUND

I'm at your service, my lord.

KENT

I must love you and sue to know you better.

KENT

I sincerely look forward to knowing you better.

EDMUND

Sir, I shall study deserving.

EDMUND

Sir, I'll try to earn your approval.

GLOUCESTER

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

GLOUCESTER

He's been abroad for nine years, and he's soon leaving again.

Sennet.

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

LEAR

Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.

LEAR

Go attend to the rulers of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.

GLOUCESTER

I shall, my lord.

GLOUCESTER

I will, my lord.

Exit GLOUCESTER

LEAR

Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.— 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, 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 two great princes, France and Burgundy, 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) Which of you shall we say doth love us most That we our largest bounty may extend Where nature doth with merit challenge?— G oneril, Our eldest born, speak first.

LEAR

In the meantime I will discuss my more secret plan. Give me that map there. I now declare that I have divided my kingdom into three parts, which will be handed over to my sons-in-law. It's my firm intention to free myself from all worry and business in my old age, so that I can crawl unburdened towards death. To you, my son-in-law Cornwall, and to you, my equally loving son-in-law Albany, at this time I want to publicly announce what each of my daughters will inherit from me, so as to prevent quarreling after I die. The two great rulers of France and Burgundy—who are rivals in pursuing my youngest daughter Cordelia's love—have stayed at my court for a long time. And they will soon have their answer. Now tell me, my daughters, (since I'm about to give up my throne, my lands, and the worries and stress of being a ruler), tell me which one of you loves me the most. Then I can give my greatest gifts to the one who best deserves them. Goneril, my oldest, you speak first.

GONERIL

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

GONERIL

Sir, I love you more than words can express, more dearly than eyesight, space, and liberty, beyond all wealth, no matter how valuable or precious. I love you as much as life itself, and I love you with all my grace, health, beauty, and honor, as much as any daughter ever loved, or any father ever received. My love is so great that it makes my voice weak and my words fail. I love you beyond any comparison I could ever make.

CORDELIA

[Aside] What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.

CORDELIA

[To herself] What will I do when it's my turn to speak? 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, 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

[To GONERIL] I now give you all this land, from this line to that one, containing dark forests, fertile plains, bountiful rivers, and wide meadows. This land will forever belong to you and Albany's descendants. Now what does my second daughter, my dear Regan, Cornwall's wife, have to say? Speak.

REGAN

Sir, I am made of that self mettle as my sister, And prize me at her worth. In my true heart, I find she names my very deed of love— Only she comes too short, that I profess Myself an enemy to all other joys, Which the most precious square of sense possesses. And find I am alone felicitate In your dear highness' love.

REGAN

Sir, I am made of the same materials as my sister, and I consider myself her equal in my love for you. Truly, she has described my feelings for you exactly—but she fell a little short. I reject any joy whatsoever except my love for you, which is everything I need in life, and I find that the only thing that makes me truly happy is your dear Highness's love.

CORDELIA

[Aside] Then poor Cordelia!And yet not so, since I am sure my love’sMore ponderous than my tongue.

CORDELIA

[To herself] And now it's poor Cordelia's turn! And yet I'm not poor at all, since I know my love is weightier and more sincere than my words.

LEAR

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

LEAR

[To REGAN] To you and your heirs I now give this large third of my fair kingdom, which is no less in area, value, or beauty than the land I gave to Goneril. But now for Cordelia, the joy of my life—though the youngest of my daughters—who has been courted so seriously by the rulers of fertile France and Burgundy. What can you tell me that will earn a larger portion of my kingdom than your sisters?

CORDELIA

Nothing, my lord.

CORDELIA

Nothing, my lord.

LEAR

Nothing?

LEAR

Nothing?

CORDELIA

Nothing.

CORDELIA

Nothing.

LEAR

How? Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.

LEAR

What is this? "Nothing" will earn you nothing. Speak again.

CORDELIA

Unhappy that I am, I cannot heaveMy heart into my mouth. I love your majestyAccording to my bond, no more nor less.

CORDELIA

I am unlucky, for I can't put my heart's emotions into words. I love your Majesty as a daughter should love her father, no more and no less.

LEAR

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

LEAR

What is this, Cordelia? Fix your speech a little, or you may damage your future.

CORDELIA

Good my lord, You have begot me, bred me, loved me. I Return those duties back as are right fit— Obey you, love you, and most honor you. Why have my sisters husbands if they say 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.

CORDELIA

My good lord, you fathered me, raised me, and loved me. In return, I am dutiful to you, as I should be. I obey you, love you, and honor you. Why do my sisters have husbands if they claim that they love only you? I hope that when I get married, my husband will take half of my love, and half of my care and sense of duty. Surely I'll never get married like my sisters are married—loving only their father.

LEAR

But goes thy heart with this?

LEAR

But do you really mean this?

CORDELIA

Ay, good my lord.

CORDELIA

Yes, my good lord.

LEAR

So young and so untender?

LEAR

So young and so heartless?

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. 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, 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 Be as well neighbored, pitied, and relieved As thou my sometime daughter.

LEAR

Then this is how it will be: your truth will be your only inheritance. For now I swear by the holy light of the sun, the mysteries of witchcraft and the night, and by all the stars whose movements control our lives—I hereby disown you as my daughter. I give up all my duties as a father and dissolve all family ties between us. From now on you will be a stranger to me. Even a foreign barbarian who eats his own children will be as close to my heart, pitied, and helped during difficult times as you were, my former daughter.

KENT

Good my liege—

KENT

But your Majesty—

LEAR

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

LEAR

Quiet, Kent. Don't come between the dragon and its anger. I loved Cordelia most of all, and had hoped to spend my old age in her loving care. 

[To CORDELIA]
Now go away, and get out of my sight! I'll only have peace when I'm dead, now that I've decided to stop loving her. 

[To his servants]
Call the King of France. Will someone go? Call the Duke of Burgundy.

Exeunt several attendants

Cornwall and Albany, 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, 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, Belovèd sons, be yours; which to confirm, This coronet part between you. [Gives CORNWALL and ALBANY the coronet]

Cornwall and Albany, you divide Cornelia's third of my kingdom between you. Let her marry her pride, which she calls "honesty." I now give the two of you all my power, privileges, and the riches that come with kingship. For myself I will keep an entourage of a hundred knights, and I will live with one of you one month, and the other the next month. I'll keep the title of king and its accompanying honors, but everything else—the power, responsibility, and income—is now yours, my beloved sons-in-law. To confirm this, take this crown and share it between you. [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, As my great patron thought on in my prayers—

KENT

Royal Lear, I've always honored you as my king, loved you as my father, followed you as my master, and thanked you as my benefactor in my prayers—

LEAR

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

LEAR

I've already bent my bow and taken aim. Get out of the way of the arrow.

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? 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, And in thy best consideration check This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judgment, Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least, Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound Reverbs no hollowness.

KENT

Let it strike me, no matter what, even if the arrow strikes my heart. Kent must be rude when Lear is acting madly. What are you doing, old man? Do you think that loyal men will be afraid to speak when a king gives in to flattery? If I consider myself honorable, then I'm obligated to speak bluntly when majesty turns to foolishness. Use your best judgment and rethink this rash, horrible decision. I swear on my life that your youngest daughter doesn't love you the least—just because her words don't echo hollowly, it doesn't mean her heart is unloving.

LEAR

Kent, on thy life, no more.

LEAR

Kent, if you value your life, say nothing more.

KENT

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

KENT

I've never valued my life except as a tool you could use against your enemies. I don't fear to lose my life if it will help preserve your safety.

LEAR

Out of my sight!

LEAR

Get out of my sight!

KENT

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

KENT

Lear, if it will help you see better, let me stay here and always be the target of your angry looks.

LEAR

Now, by Apollo—

LEAR

Now, I swear by Apollo

KENT

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

KENT

You swear by Apollo, King? Now you're taking the names of the gods in vain.

LEAR

O vassal! Miscreant!

LEAR

You peasant! Villain!

ALBANY, CORNWALL

Dear sir, forbear!

ALBANY, CORNWALL

Dear sir, please stop!

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

Go ahead, kill your doctor and pay the medical bill to your foul disease. Take back your gift to Albany and Cornwall, or as long as I can make a fuss, I'll keep telling you that you've done an evil thing.

LEAR

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, 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 Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions, The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter, This shall not be revoked.

LEAR

Listen to me, you traitor! If you still show me allegiance as my subject, hear me. You've tried to make me break my promise to Cornwall and Albany, and I've never broken a promise yet. You tried to overturn my sentence of judgment on Cordelia, and neither my personality nor my role as king can accept such disrespect of power. To prove my authority, here is the reward for your actions: you have five days to gather whatever you need to survive the misfortunes of the world. And on the sixth day you must turn your hated back on my kingdom. If your banished self is found here after that day, you will be immediately killed. Now go away! I swear by Jupiter I'll never take back what I've promised to do.

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, 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

Well, farewell then, King. Since this is how you insist on acting, freedom has left this kingdom and been replaced by banishment. 

[To CORDELIA]
 Lady, may the gods shelter you, for you've thought with justice and spoken correctly.

[To REGAN and GONERIL]
And may your actions live up to your grand words, so that we can see good deeds spring from words of love. And so Kent bids you all farewell, you princes. He'll go be his same old self in a new country.

Exit KENT

Flourish. Enter GLOUCESTER with the King of FRANCE, the Duke of BURGUNDY, and attendants

GLOUCESTER

Here’s France and Burgundy, my noble lord.

GLOUCESTER

The rulers of France and Burgundy are here, my noble lord.

LEAR

My lord of Burgundy. 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 of Burgundy, I'll address you first. You've been a rival to this king in pursuing my daughter. What is the least amount you will accept as her dowry before you give up seeking her love?

BURGUNDY

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

BURGUNDY

Your most royal Majesty, I want nothing more than what your Highness has already offered, and I know you won't offer 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 And nothing more, may fitly like your grace, She’s there, and she is yours.

LEAR

Noble Burgundy, when my love for Cordelia was great, I considered her worth to be great too. But now her price has fallen. There she is, sir. If there's anything your Grace like about that small, worthless creature, who is now inseparable from my anger, then there she is—she's yours.

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— Take her or leave her?

LEAR

Sir, now that you know her flaws—that she is friendless and just now hated by her father, and that her only dowry is my curse—will you take her or leave her?

BURGUNDY

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

BURGUNDY

Forgive me, royal sir. It's impossible to choose in such a situation.

LEAR

Then leave her, sir, for by the power that made me, I tell you all her wealth. [To FRANCE] For you, great King, 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, for I swear to God that I've described to you all the value she has. 

[To FRANCE]
And you, great King: I would never want to alienate you by making you marry someone I hate. So please look elsewhere for a wife and forget this worthless girl, who can barely be called human.

FRANCE

This is most strange, 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 Commit a thing so monstrous to dismantle So many folds of favor. Sure, her offense 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.

FRANCE

This is very strange. How could Cordelia—who until just now was your favorite, the object of all your praise, your comfort in your old age, and your best and dearest—have done something so monstrous that she suddenly stripped away the many layers of your love and favor? Surely she must have committed an atrocious crime to make your formerly strong affection for her turn rotten. But it would take a miracle to make me believe that she could do something like that.

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, 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 Hath lost me in your liking.

CORDELIA

[To LEAR] Please, your Majesty, I lack the glib art of flattery and empty words. When I want to do something, I just do it instead of talking about it. So let it be known that it wasn't because I committed an act of murder, lust, or dishonor that I lost your love and favor. It was because I lack a flattering tongue and a greedy eye. I'm a richer person even without these things. And I'm glad that I don't have them, although lacking them has lost me your love.

LEAR

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

LEAR

Enough, go away. It would've been better for you to have never been born than to have displeased me like 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, 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

Is that all? You're banishing her because she has a quiet nature that makes her act without telling the world about her actions? My lord of Burgundy, what do you have to say to the lady? Love is not love when it mingles with irrelevant matters. Will you marry her? She is a valuable dowry in and of herself.

BURGUNDY

[To LEAR] Royal King, Give but that portion which yourself proposed, And here I take Cordelia by the hand, Duchess of Burgundy.

BURGUNDY

[To LEAR] Royal king, if you'll only give me the dowry that you offered me originally, then I'll marry Cordelia right away and make her the Duchess of Burgundy.

LEAR

Nothing. I have sworn. I am firm.

LEAR

I'll give nothing. I have sworn. I'll stand firm.

BURGUNDY

[To CORDELIA] I am sorry then. You have so lost a fatherThat you must lose a husband.

BURGUNDY

[To CORDELIA] I am sorry then. In losing the king as a father, you've also lost me as a husband.

CORDELIA

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

CORDELIA

Peace be with you, Burgundy. Since your real love is money, I won't be your wife.

FRANCE

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

FRANCE

Fairest Cordelia—in being poor you have become most rich; in being abandoned you are valuable; and in being hated you are loved! I accept you and your virtues right away, if it's legal to pick up and keep something that has been cast away by another man. Gods, gods! It's strange that in treating you so coldly, they've fanned the flames of my love and made me respect you as well. King, your daughter without a dowry, whom you've rejected and thrown to me by chance, will now become the Queen of France and of my heart. No duke of watered-down Burgundy could buy this priceless, precious girl from me. Cordelia, bid them farewell, even though they've been unkind to you. You've lost your life here to find a better life elsewhere.

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.— Come, noble Burgundy.

LEAR

You can take her, King of France. Let her be your wife, for she's no daughter of mine, and I'll never see that face of hers again. 

[To CORDELIA] So go away, and leave without any love or blessing from me. Come, noble Burgundy.

Flourish

Exeunt all but 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 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 jewels of our father's love, I leave you now with tears in my eyes. I know what you really are, but as a sister I am reluctant to criticize your faults and call them by their true names. Love our father and take care of him. I leave him to you who have claimed to love him so dearly. But, oh, I wish I were still in his favor, so I could recommend him to better caretakers. So farewell to you both.

REGAN

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 on pleasing your lord and husband, who has accepted you out of charity. You have failed to be obedient to our father, and you deserve to lose the love that you yourself have lacked.

CORDELIA

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

CORDELIA

Time will reveal what you're hiding under your cunning flattery. Those who cover their faults always end up being shamed by them. May you have prosperous lives.

FRANCE

Come, my fair Cordelia.

FRANCE

Come along, my fair Cordelia.

Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA

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 much to say about things that concern us both. I think our father will leave tonight.

REGAN

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

REGAN

Certainly, and he'll go to stay with you. Next month he'll stay with us.

GONERIL

You see how full of changes his age is. The observationwe 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

I know you see how moody and fickle he's gotten in his old age, as we've both been observing him so closely. He always loved our sister the most, and his poor judgment in banishing her now seems obvious.

REGAN

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

REGAN

It's the sickness of his old age. But even when he was younger, he never understood himself 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

Even in the prime of his life he was impulsive. Now that he's old, we must deal not only with his deeply-rooted bad habits, but also with the unpredictable bad temper that comes with old age and senility.

REGAN

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

REGAN

We're likely to see more unpredictable outbursts from him, like his banishment of 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 is still going to be a farewell ceremony between the King of France and our father. Please, let's sit together and come up with a plan. If our father continues to wield his authority in such a fickle way, then his recent surrender to his passions will only hurt us.

REGAN

We shall further think on ’t.

REGAN

We must think more about it.

GONERIL

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

GONERIL

We have to do something, and should strike while the iron is hot.

Exeunt

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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.