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rical predominance ; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an inforc'd 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 on the change 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. I should have been what I am, had the maidenlieft ftar in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.

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To him, Enter Edgar. Pat! - he comes like the Catastrophe of the old comedy; my cue is villainous Melancholy, with a figh like Tom o' Bedlam —- 0, these eclipfes portend these divisions ! fa, sol, la, me

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. When saw you my father last ?

Edg. The night gone by.
Edm. Spake you with him ?
Edg. Ay, two hours together.

Edn. Parted you in good terms, found you no displeasure in him, by word or countenance ?

Edg. None at all.

Edm. Bethink yourself, wherein you have offended him: and at my intreaty, forbear his presence, until fome 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 flower: and, as I say, retire with me to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my lord fpcak; pray you, go, there's my key: if you do ftir abroad, go arm'd.

Edg. Arm'd, brother!

Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best; I am no honeft man, if there be any good meaning toward 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 ? (Exit.

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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 bufiness.
Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit;
All with me's meet, that I can fashion fit. (Exit.


The Duke of Albany's Palace.

Enter Gonerill and Steward.
ID my father strike my gentleman for chid-

Gon. Ding of his fool?

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 ; I'll not endure it :
His Knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us
On ev'ry trifle. 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.

Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please, You and your fellows: I'd have it come to question. If he distaste it, let him to my sister, Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one, Not to be over-rul'd : Idle old Man, That still would manage those Authorities, That he hath giv'n away! - Now, by my Life, Old Folks are Babes again ; and must be used With Checks, not Flatt'ries when they're seen abus'd. Remember, what I have said.

Stew. Very well, Madam.

Gon. And let his Knights have colder looks among you : what grows of it, no matter; advise


fel. lows fo: I'll write strait to my sister to hold my course: prepare for dinner.


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Changes to an open Place before the Palace.

Enter Kent disguis’d.
F but as well I other accents borrow,


I'And can my speech difüle, my good intent

May carry thro’ itself to that full issue,
For which I raz'd my likeness. Now, banih'd Kent,
If thou canst ferve where thou doft stand condemn'd,
So may it come, thy master, whom thou lov'st,
Shall find thee full of labours.

Horns within. Enter Lear, Knights and. Attendants. Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner, go, get it

ready: How now, what art thou ?

[To Kent. Kent, A man, Sir.


Lear. What dost thou profess? what would'st thou with us?

Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem ; to serve him truly, that will put me in trust; to love him that is honeft; to converse with him that is wise; to say little; to fear judgment; to fight when I cannot chuse, * and to eat no fish.

Lear. What art thou?

Kent. A very honeft-hearted fellow, and as poor as the King.

Lear. If thou beest as poor for a subject, as he is for a King, thou art poor enough. What would'st thou?

Kent. Service.
Lear. Whom would'st thou serve ?
Kent. You.
Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow ?

Kent. No, Sir, but you have that in your counte. nance, which I would fain call Master.

Lear. What's that?
Kent. Authority.
Lear. What services canst thou do?

Kent. I can keep honest counsels, ride, run, mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualify'd in: and the best of me is diligence.

Lear. How old art thou ?

Kent. Not so young, Sir, to love a woman for finging; nor so old, to doat on her for any thing. I have years on my back forty eight.

Lear. Follow me, thou shalt serve me; if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet. Dinner, ho, dinner-where's

my fool ? go you, and call my fool hither. You, you, firrah, where's my daughter ?

* In Queen Elizabeth's Time the Papists were esteemed, and with good Reason, Enemies to the Government.

Hence the proverbial Phrase of, He's an honest Man, and eats no Fish, to signify he's a Friend to the Government, and a Protestaat. Warb.


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knave? my

Enter Steward.
Stew. So please you

[Exit. Lear. What says the fellow there? call the clotpole back : where's my fool, ho? I think the world's asleep: how now? where's that mungrel ?

Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.

Lear. Why came not the slave back to me when I call'd him !

Knight. Sir, he answer'd me in the roundest manner, he would not.

Lear. He would not?

Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is; but, to my judgment, your Highness is not entertain'd with that ceremonious affection as you were wont ; there's a great abatement of kindness appears as well in the general dependants, as in the Duke himself also, and your daughter.

Lear. Ha ! fay'ft thou so?

Knight. I beseech you pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken; for my duty cannot be filent, when I think your Highness is wrong'd.

Lear. Thou but remember'ft me of my own conception. I have perceiv'd a most faint neglect of late, which I have rather blamed as my own jealous curiosity, than as a very pretence and purpose of unkindness; I will look further into't; but where's my

fool ? I have not seen him these two days. Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, Sir, the fool hath much pined away.

Lear. No more of that, I have noted it well; go you and tell my daughter, I would speak with her. Go you, call hither my fool. O, you, Sir, come you hither, Sir; who am I, Sir ?

Enter Steward.
Stew. My lady's father.

Lear. My lady's father? my lord's knave ! - you whoreson dog, you slave, you cur.


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