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Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry then, you have so lost a father,
That you must lose a husband.

Cor. Peace be with Burgundy!
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife.

France. Fairest Cordelia, thou 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 negleot
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 wat'rish Burgundy
Shall buy this unprized precious maid of me.--
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind;
Thou losest here, a better where* to find..

Lear. Thou hast her, France: let her be thine; for we:
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see:
That face of hers again : -Therefore be gone.
Without our grace, our love, our benison.t-
Come, noble Burgundy.


ALBANY, GLOSTER, and Attendants.
France. Bid farewell to your sisters.

Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd 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. Use well our father:-
To your professed 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.

Gon. Prescribe dutiesa.

Reg. 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..

Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides;
Who cover faults, at last shame them derides..
Well may you prosper !
France. Come, my fair Cordelia.

[Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIAS Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say, of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think, our father will hence to-night.

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

Gon. 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.

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

Gon. 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-engrafted condition, * but therewithal, the unruly waywardness that infirm and choleric years bring with them.

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

Gon. 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.

Reg. We shall further think of it.
Gon. We must do something, and i' the heat. + [Exeunt.
SCENE II.- A Hall in the Earl of GLOSTER's Castle.

Enter EDMUND, with a Letter..
Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound: Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague I of custom; and permit:
The curiosity $ of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag || of a brother? Why bastard ? wherefore base ?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base ? with baseness? bastardy? base, base ?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality,
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake?— Well then,
Llegitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund,
As to the legitimate: Fine word, -legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper ::
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

Glo. Kent banish'd thus ! And France in choler parted !
And the king gone to-night! subscribed 9 his power!
Confined to exhibition ! ** All this done
Upon the gad!tt- Edmund! How now? what news ?
Edm. So please your lordship, none. [Putting up the letter.
Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter?
Edm. I know no news, my lord.
Glo. What paper were you reading ?
Edm. Nothing, my lord.
* Qualities of mind.

+ Strike while the iron's hot.
Submit to the injustice.

$ The niceties. Behind.
** Allowance.

++ Sudden.

Glo. No? What needed then that terrible despatch of it into your pocket? The quality of nothing hath not such need to hide itself. Let's see: Come, if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.

Edm. I beseech you, Sir, pardon me: it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'er-read: for so much as I have perused, I find it not fit for your over-looking.

Glo. Give me the letter, Sir.

Edm. I shall offend, either to detain or give it. The contents, as in part I understand them, are to blame.

Glo. Let's see, let's see.

Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as an assay or taste of my virtue.

Glo. {reads). This policy, and reverence of age, makes the world bitter to the best of our times, keeps our fortunes from us, till our oldness cannot relish them. I begin to find an idle and fond * bondage in the oppression of aged tyranny ; who sways, not as it hath

power, but as it is suffered. Come to me, that of this I may speak more. If our father would sleep till I waked him, you should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live the beloved of your brother, Edgar.-Humph-Conspiracy !-Sleep till I waked him-you should enjoy half his revenue, -My son Edgar! Had he a hand to write this? a heart and brain to breed it in ?-When came this to you? Who brought it?

Edm. It was not brought me, my lord, there's the cunning of it; I found it thrown in at the casement of my closet. Glo. You know the character to be

your brother's ? Edm. If the matter were good, my lord, I durst swear it were his; but, in respect of that, I would fain think it were not.

Glo. It is his.

Edm. It is his hand, my lord; but, I hope, his heart is not in the contents.

Glo. Hath he never heretofore sounded you in this business?

Edm. Never, my lord: But I have often heard him maintain it to be fit, that, sons at perfect age, and fathers declining, the father should be as ward to the son, and the son manage his revenue.

Glo. O villain, villain !-His very opinion in the letter ! Abhorred villain! Unnatural, detested, brutish villain! worse than brutish !-Go, sirrah, seek him; I'll apprehend him :Abominable villain - Where is he?

Edm. I do not well know, my lord. If it shall please you to suspend your indignation against my brother, till you can derive from him better testimony of his intent, you shall run a certain course; where, + if you violently proceed against him, mistaking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your own honour, and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life for him, that he hath writ this to feel my affection to your honour, and to no other pretence I of danger.

Glo. Think you so ?

Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall hear us confer of this, and by an auricular assurance * Weak and foolish,

+ Whereas,

# Design.

have your satisfaction; and that without any further delay than this very evening.

Glo. He cannot be such a monster.
Edm. Nor is not, sure.

Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him.Heaven and earth !--Edmund, seek him out; wind me into him, I pray you: frame the business after your own wisdom: I would unstate myself, to be in a due resolution. *

Edm. I will seek him, Sir, presently; convey † the business as I shall find means, and acquaint you withal.

Glo. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us: Though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects : love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies ; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond cracked between son and father. This villain of mine comes under the prediction; there's son against father: the king falls from bias of nature; there's father against child. We have seen the best of our time : Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to our graves !- Find out this villain, Edmund, it shall lose thee nothing; do it carefully :-And the noble and true-hearted Kent banish'd! his offence, honesty !Strange! strange!

[Exit. Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world! that, when we are sick in fortune (often the surfeit of our own behaviour), we make guilty of our disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars : as if we were villians by necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, I by spherical predominance drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the dragon's tail; and my nativity was under ursa major ; so that it follows, I am rough and lecherous.-Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. Edgar

Enter EDGAR. and pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy; My cue is villanous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o’Bedlam.-0, these eclipses do portend these divisions ! Fa, sol, la, mi. S

Edg. How now, brother Edmund ? What serious contemplation are you in

Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day, what should follow these eclipses.

Edg. Do you busy yourself with that?

Edm. I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed unhappily; as of unnaturalness between the child and the parent; death, dearth, dissolutions of ancient amities; divisions in state, menaces

* Give up rank and fortune, to be certain of the truth. + Manage.

# Traitors. ♡ Edmund sings these notes as being unnatural and offensive in music, and therefore apt for portents.

and maledictions against king and nobles ; needless diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of courts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what.

Edg. How long have you been a sectary astronomical ? Edm. Come, come; when saw you my father last? Edg. Why, the night gone by. Edm. Spake you with him ? Edg. Ay, two hours together. Edm. Parted you in good terms? found you no displeasure in him, by word or countenance ?

Edg. None at all.

Edm. Bethink yourself, wherein you may have offended him: and at my entreaty, forbear his presence, till some little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure; which at this instant so rageth in him, that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay.

Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong.

Edm. That's my fear. I pray you, have a continent* forbearance, till the speed of his rage goes slower; and, as I say, retire with me to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my lord speak : Pray you, go; there's my key :-If you do stir abroad, go armed.

Edg. Armed, brother ? Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best: go armed; I am no honest man, if there be any good meaning towards you: I have told you what I have seen and heard, but faintly; nothing like the image and horror of it: Pray you, away.

Edg. Shall I hear from you anon? Edm. I'do serve you in this business. ..[Exit EDGAR. A credulous father, and a brother noble, Whose nature is so far from doing harms, That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty My practices ride easy !-I see the business.Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit: All with me's meet, that I can fashion fit.

[Ewit. SCENE III.-A Room in the Duke of ALBANY's Palace.

Enter GONERIL and STEWARD. Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his

Stew. Ay, madam.

Gon. By day and night! he wrongs me; every hour
He flashes into one gross crime or other,
That sets us all at odds : l'll not endure it.
His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us
On every tritle : When he returns from hunting,
I will not speak with him ; say, I am sick :-
If you come slack of former services,
You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer.

Stew. He's coming, madam ; I hear him. [Horns within.
Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please,

* Temperate.

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