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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


To strike me dead!

Aran. Help! help!—

Enter Edgar, from the Hotel.

Edg. What cry was that?—Ha! women seiz'd by


Is this a time and place for villany?

Avaunt, ye bloodhounds!

[Drives them off with his Quarter-staff.

O, speak, what are ye, that appear to be

O'th' tender sex, and yet unguarded wander

Through the dead mazes of this dreadful night,

Where, though at full, the clouded moon scarce darts Imperfect glimmerings?

Cord. First, say, what art thou?

Our guardian angel, that were pleas'd to assume
That horrid shape to flight the ravishers?

We'll kneel to thee.

Edg. O, my tumultuous blood!

By all my trembling veins, Cordelia's voice!

"Tis she herself!—My senses, sure, conform

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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,
She truck'd with her fellows;
The freckle-fac'd Mab

Was a blouze and a drab,

Yet Swithin made Oberon jealous.—O, torture!

Aran. Alack, madam! a poor wand'ring lunatic. Cord. And yet his language seem'd but now, well temper'd.

Speak, friend, to one more wretched than thyself;
And if thou hast one interval of sense,

Inform us, if thou canst, where we may find

A poor old 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
Through all the terrors of this night: O gods!
That such amazing piety, such tenderness,
Should yet to me be cruel!-

Yes, fair one, such a one was lately here,
And is convey'd by some that came to seek him
To a neighbouring cottage; but distinctly where
I know not.

Cord. Blessings on them!

Let's find him out, Aranthe; for thou seest

We are in Heaven's protection.

Edg. O, Cordelia !

[Going off.

Cord. Ha!- -Thou know'st my name. you did once know Edgar's.

Edg. As

Cord. Edgar!

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 prevail'd 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
To my aspiring love; for 'twas presumptuous,
Though not presumptuously pusu'd;

For, well you know, I wore my flame conceal'd,
And silent, as the lamps that burn in tombs;
Till you perceiv'd my grief, with modest grace
Drew forth the secret, and then seal'd my pardon.
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-

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


These hallow'd rags of thine, and naked virtue,
These abject tassels, these fantastic shreds,
To me are dearer than the richest pomp
Of purpled monarchs.

Edg. Generous, charming maid!

The gods alone, that made, can rate thy worth!
This most amazing excellence shall be
Fame's triumph in succeeding ages, when
Thy bright example shall adorn the scene,
And teach the world perfection.

Cord. Cold and weary,

We'll rest a while, Aranthe, on that straw,
Then forward to find out the poor old king.

Edg. Look, I have flint and steel, the implements, Of wand'ring lunatics; I'll strike a light,

And make a fire beneath this shed, to dry

Thy storm-drench'd garments, ere thou lie to rest


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.




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;
'Tis Gloster's character, that has betray'd
His double trust, of subject and of host.

Reg. Then double be our vengeance; this con


Th' intelligence that we but now receiv'd,

That he has been this night to seek the king.
But who, sir, was the kind discoverer ?

Corn. Our eagle, quick to spy, and fierce to seize, Our trusty Edmund.

Reg. "Twas a noble service:

o Cornwall, take him to thy deepest trust,
And wear him as a jewel at thy heart.

Edm. Think, sir, how hard a fortune I sustain,
That makes me thus repent of serving you.
O, that this treason had not been, or I
Not the discoverer!

Corn. Edmund, thou shalt find

A father in our love, and from this minute
We call thee Earl of Gloster; but there yet
Remains another justice to be done,
And that's to punish this discarded traitor;
But lest thy tender nature should relent
At his just sufferings, nor brook the sight,
We wish thee to withdraw.

Reg. The grotto, sir, within the lower grove
Has privacy, to suit a mourner's thought.

Edm. And there I may expect a comforter— Ha, madam?

Reg. What may happen, sir, I know not;

But 'twas a friend's advice.

Corn. Bring in the traitor.


Enter Gloster, brought in by Two Servants.

Bind fast his arms,

Glost. What mean your graces ?

You are my guests; pray, do me no foul play.
Corn. Bind him, I say, hard, harder yet.

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