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Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork in- | If aught within tha, ittle seeming substance,
The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly,
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least;
Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more.
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn
On thine allegiance hear me !~
Thy safety being the motive.
Lear. Out of my sight!
To avert your liking a more worthier way,
France. This is most strange !
Kent. Now, by Apollo, king,
That she, that even but now was your best object,
[Laying his Hand upon his Sword.
Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Lear. Hear me, recreant!
Thy banish trunk be found in our dominions,
Kent. Fare thee well, king: since thus thou
[To REGAN and GONERIL.
That good effects may spring from words of
Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu;
Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble
Will you, with those infirmities she owes, +
Take her, or leave her?
Bur. Pardon me, royal Sir ;
Election makes not up on such conditions. Lear. Then leave her, Sir; for, by the power that made me,
Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
We first address towards you, who with this
I tell you all her wealth.-For you, great king,
I would not from your love make such a stray,
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd || affection
Cor. I yet beseech your majesty,
(If for ** I want that glib and oily art, [intend,
A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
Lear. Better thou
Cor. Peace be with Burgundy!
I shall not be his wife.
France. Fairest Cordelia, thou art most rich, being poor;
Will you require in present dower with her,
Most choice, forsaken; and most lov'd, despis'd:
Bur. Most royal majesty,
My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.
Nor will you tender less.
I crave no more than hath your highness offer'd, Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my
Lear. Right noble Burgundy,
Is queen of us, of our's, and our fair France:
When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
Hadst not been born, than not to have pleas'd
France. Is it but this? a tardiness in nature,
Bur. Royal Lear,
Lear. Nothing: I have sworn: I am firm. Bur. I am sorry, then, you have so lost a That you must lose a husband.
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind :
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
(Flourish. Exeunt LEAR, BURGUNDY,
WALL, ALBANY, GLOSTER, and Attendants.
us both. I
[Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA. Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say, of what most nearly appertains to 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.
Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age: yet he hath eyer but slenderly known himself.
Glo. Kent banish'd thus! Aud France in
And the king gone to-night! subscrib'd * his
Glo. Let's see, let's see.
Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as an essay or taste of my
Glo. [Reads.] This policy and reverence of age makes the world bitter to the best of our times, keeps our fortunes from us till Gon. The best and soundest of his time hath our oldness cannot relish them. I begin to been but rash; then must we look to receive find an idle and fond bondage in the op. from his age, not alone the imperfections of pression of aged tyranny; who stays, not as long-engrafted condition, but, therewithal, the it hath power, but as it is suffered. Come to If our unruly waywardness that infirm and choleric me, that of this I may speak more. father would sleep till I waked kim, you years bring with them.
Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live the beloved of your brother, Edgar.have from him, as this of Kent's banishment. Gon. There is further compliment of leave-Humph-Conspiracy-Sleep till I waked him taking between France and him. Pray yon, let you should enjoy half his revenue,—My son us hit together: If our father carry authority Edgar! Had he a hand to write this? a heart and with such dispositions as he bears, this last sur- brain to breed it in ?-When came this to you! Who brought it? render of his will but offend us.
Reg. We shall further think of it.
Edm. It was not brought me, my lord, there's Gon. We must do something, and i'the heat. the cunning of it; I found it thrown in at the [Exeunt. casement of my closet. SCENE II.-A Hall in the Earl of GLOSTER's Castle.
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.
Enter EDMUND, with a Letter.
Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
base? Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take More composition and fierce quality,
• Place. mind. The injustice.
My services are bound: Wherefore should I
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.
↑ Folded. Strike while the iron's hot. The nicety of civil institution.
Edm. So please your lordship, none.
[Putting up the Letter. Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that
Edm. I beseech you, Sir, pardon me: it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'erread; for so much as I have perused, 1 find it not fit for your over-looking.
Glo. Give me the letter, Sir.
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base ?
Edm. I know no news, my lord.
Glo. What paper were you reading?
Edm. I shall offend, either to detain or give it. The contents, as in part ! understand them,
are to blame.
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 apprebend him :-Abominable villain !-Where is he?
Edm. I do not well know, my lord. If it
shall please you to suspend your indignation [tions of ancient amities; divisions in statej
Edg. How long have you been a sectary as
Edm. Come, come, when saw you my father
Edg. Why, the night gone by.
Edm. Bethink yourself, wherein you may have
Edm. Nor is not, sure.
Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and en-beat of his displeasure; which at this instant so
to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring
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 have your satisfaction; and that without any further delay than this very evening.
Glo. He cannot be such a monster.
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 Edg. Shall I hear from you anon? father against child. We have seen the best of Edm. I do serve you in this business.our time: Machinations, hollowness, treachery, [Exit EDGAR. and all ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to A credulous father, and a brother noble, our graves!-Find out this villain, Edmund, it Whose nature is so far from doing harms, shall lose thee nothing; do it carefully:-And That he suspects none on whose foolish honthe noble and true hearted Kent banished! bis
offence, honesty I-Strange! strange ! [Erit. My practices ride easy !-I see the business.Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit: world! that, when we are sick in fortune, All with me's meet, that I can fashion fit. (often the surfeit of our own behaviour,) we make guilty of our disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains by necessity: fools, by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence: aud all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting en: 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;tt so that it follows, I am rough and lecherous. Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star the firmament twinkled Edgaron my bastardizing.
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. Do you busy yourself with that? Fdm. I promise you, the effects he writes of sncceed unhappily; as of unnaturalness between the child and the parent; death, dearth, dissolu
7 The usual address to a lord. ↑ Design. Descend from my dignity by privately listening, to
e sure of the truth. I Manage.
Following. **Traitors. + The constellation so named. 1: These sounds are unnatural and offensive in music.
[Exit. SCENE III-A Room in the Duke of ALBANY'S Palace.
and pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the
Edg. How now, brother Edmund? What se-Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one,
That he hath given away!-Now, by my life,
With checks, as flatteries, when they are seen
What grows of it, no matter; advise your fel
For cohorts some editors read courts. † Temperate.
Enter GONERIL and STEWARD.
Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for
Stew. Ay, madam.
Gon. By day and night! he wrongs me;
kindness appears, as well in the general depen dants, as in the duke himself also, and you daughter.
Lear. Ha! say'st thou so?
Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken; for my duty cannot be silent, when I think your highness is wrong'd.
Lear. What's that?
Lear. Who wouldst thou serve?
Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow ? Kent. No, Sir; but you have that in your countenance, which I would fain call master.
Lear. Thou but reinember'st me of mine own conception; I have perceived a most faint neglect of late; which I have rather blamed as mine 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.
Lear. What services canst thou do?
Kent. I can keep honest counsel, 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.
O you Sir, you Sir, come you hither: Who am
Stew. My lady's father.
Lear. My lady's father? my lord's knave: you whoresom dog! you slave! you cur!
Stew. I am none of this, my lord; I beseech you, pardon me.
Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal? [Striking him.
Lear. How old art thou?
Kent. Not so young, Sir, to love a woman for singing; nor so old, to dote on her for any thing: I have years on my back forty-eight.
Lear. Follow me: thou shalt serve me; if like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet.-Dinner, ho, dinner!-Where's my kuave? my fool? Go you, and call my fool hither:
Stew. I'll not be struck, my lord. Kent. Nor tripped neither; you base football player. [Tripping up his Heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow; thou servest me, and I'll love thee.
Yon, you, Sirrah, where's my daughter?
Lear. What says the fellow there? Call the clotpoll back. Where's my fool, ho!-I think the world's asleep.-How now? where's that mongrel ?
Kent. Come, Sir, arise, away; I'll teach you differences; away, away: If you will measure : but away: go your lubber's length again, tarry: to; Have you wisdom? so. [Pushes the STEWARD out. Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee: there's earnest of thy service. [Giving KENT Money.
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
Have more than thou showest,
Punctilious jealousy. + Design. ¡Estate or property. Bitch hound. Ownest, possessest. ¶ Believest.
ing.-Yes, forsooth, I will hold my tongue; so
And thou shalt have more Than two tens to a score, Lear. This is nothing, fool. Fool. Then 'tis like the breath of an unfee'd lawyer; you gave me nothing for't: Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle?
Lear. Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out of nothing.
Fool. Pr'ythee, tell him, so much the rent of bis land comes to; he will not believe a fool. [To KENT.
Lear. A bitter fool!
Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy,
Or do thou for him stand:
Will presently appear;
The other found out there.
[Pointing to LEAR. Gon. Not only, Sir, this your all-licens'd fool,
But other of your insolent retinue
Do hourly carp and quarrel; breaking forth
To have found a safe redress; but now grow
By what yourself too late have spoke and done,
Would not 'scape censure, nor the redresses
Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal, ‡
Fool. For you trow, nuncle,
Kent. This is not altogether fool, my lord. Fool. No, 'faith, lords and great men will not let me; if I had a monopoly out, they Mould have part on't: and ladies too, they will not let me have all fool to myself; they'll be snatching. Give me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee two crowns.
The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
Lear. What two crowns shall they be? Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i'the middle, and eat up the meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou clovest thy crown i'the middle, and gavest away both parts, thou borest thine ass on thy back over the dirt: Thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gavest thy golden one away. If I speak like myself in this, let him be whipp'd that first finds it so.
Fools had ne'er less grace• in a year;
Lear. Are you our daughter? Gon. Come, Sir, I would you would make use of that good wisdom whereof I know you are fraught; and put away these dispositions, which of late transform you from what you rightly are.
Fool. May not an ass know when the cart draws the horse ?-Whoop, Jug! I love thee.
Lear. Does any here know me ?-Why this is not Lear: does Lear walk thus ? speak thus ? Where are his eyes? Either his notion weakens, or his discernings are lethargied.-Sleeping or waking ?-Ha! sure, 'tis not so.-Who is it that can tell me who I am ?-Lear's shadow? I would learn that; for by the marks of sove. reignty, knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded I had daughters.
Fool. Which they will make an obedient fa
Lear. Your name, fair gentlewoman?
This admiration is much o'the favour ¶
Lear. When were you wont to be so full of
Fool. I have used it, nuncle, ever since thou madest thy daughters thy mother: for when thou gavest them the rod, and put'st down thine own breeches,
Then they for sudden joy did weep, [Singing.
And go the fools among.
Pr'ythee, nuncle, keep a schoolmaster that can
As you are old and reverend, you should be wise :
Here do you keep a hundred knights and
Men so disordered, so debauch'd, and bold,
Lear. Darkness and devils !-
Gon. You strike my people; and your dis-
Lear. How now, daughter! what makes that frontlet + on 1 Methinks, you are too much of late i'the frown.
Fool. Thou wast a pretty fellow, when thou hadst no need to care for her frowning; now thou art an Ot without a figure: I am better thas thou art now; I am a fool, thou art noth
Lear. Woe, that too late repents,-O Sir, are
• A mere husk which contains nothing. Well-governed state. ↑ Approbation. Complexion. Stored. Continue in service.