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Enter CORDELIA and Aranthe.
Aran. Dear madam, rest you here, our search is
vain; Look here's a shed ; 'beseech you, enter here.
Cord. Pr'ythee, go in thyself, seek thy own ease; Where the mind's free, the body's delicate; This tempest but diverts me from the thought Of what would hurt me more.
Enter Two Ruffians. 1 Ruff. We've dogg'd them far enough; this place is private; I'll keep them prisoners here within this hovel, whilst you return, and bring Lord Edmund hither: but help me first to house them.—Now, despatch. [They seize Cordelia mid Aranthe. Cord. Help ! -murder !—help.—Gods, some kind
Enter Edgar, from the Hotel.
[Drives them off with his Quarter-staff.
Cord. First, say, what art thou?
Edg. O, my tumultuous blood !
'Tis she herself !--My senses, sure, conform To my wild garb, and I am mad indeed.
Cord. Whate'er thou art, befriend a wretched virgin, And, if thou canst, direct our weary search.
Edg. Who relieves poor Tom, that sleeps on the nettle, with the hedgehog for his pillow?
Whilst Smug ply'd the bellows,
The freckle-fac'd Mab
Was a blouze and a drab,
Aran. Alack, madam! a poor wand'ring lunatic.
man, who through this heath hath stray'd The tedious night.—Speak, saw'st thou such a one?
Edg. The king, her father, whom she's come to seek
Cord. Blessings on them!
Edg. The poor remains of Edgar, what Your scorn has left him.
Cord. Do we wake, Aranthe?
Edg. My father seeks my life: which I preserv'd, In hope of some blest minute to oblige Distrest Cordelia, and the gods have given it; That thought alone prevaiļd with me to take This frantic dress, to make the earth my bed, With these bare limbs all change of seasons 'bide, Noon's scorching heat, and midnight's piercing cold, To feed on offals, and to drink with herds, To combat with the winds, and be the sport Of clowns, or what's more wretched yet, their pity.
Cord. Was ever tale so full of misery!
Edg. But such a fall as this, I grant, was due
Cord, You had your pardon, nor can you challenge
Edg. What do I challenge more? Such vanity agrees not with these rags : When in my prosp'rous state, rich Gloster's heir, You silenc'd my pretences, and enjoin'd me To trouble you upon that theme no more ; Then what reception must love's language find From these' bare limbs, and beggar's humble weeds ? Cord. Such as a voice of pardon to a wretch con
demn'd; Such as the shouts Of succouring forces to a town besieg'd.
Edg. Ah! what new method now of cruelty?
Cord. Come to my arms, thou dearest, best of men, And take the kindest vows, that e'er were spoke By a protesting maid.
Edg. Is't possible!
Cord. By the dear vital stream, that bathes my
Edg. Generous, charming maid!
Cord. Cold and weary,
Edg. Look, I have flint and steel, the implements,
thee: Then, fierce and wakeful as th' Hesperian dragon, I'll watch beside thee to protect thy sleep : Meanwhile the stars shall dart their kindest beams, And angels visit my Cordelia's dreams. [Exeunt.
ACT THE FOURTH.
An Apartment in the Earl of Gloster's Castle.
Enter the Duke of Cornwall, Regan, Edmund,
Edward, and Servants. Corn. I will have my revenge ere I depart his
Regan, see here, a plot upon our state;
Corn. Our eagle, quick to spy, and fierce to seize, Our trusty Edmund.
Reg. 'Twas a noble service:
Edm. Think, sir, how hard a fortune I sustain,
Corn. Edmund, thou shalt find
Reg. The grotto, sir, within the lower grove
Edm. And there I may expect a comforterHa, madam?
Reg. What may happen, sir, I know not; But 'twas a friend's advice.
[Exit EDMUND Corn. Bring in the traitor.
Enter Gloster, brought in by Two Servants. Bind fast his arms,
Glost. What mean your graces ?