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wilt appear,

Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
Five days we do allot thee, for provision
To shield thee from diseases of the world ;
And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
Upon our kingdom : if, on the tenth day fol.

179 Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions, The moment is thy death. Away! by Jupiter, This shall not be revoked.

Kent. Fare thee well, king: sith thus thou Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here. [To Corellin] The gods to their dear shelter

take thee, maid, That justly think'st, and hast most rightly

said! [To Regan and Goneril]. And your large

speeches may your deeds approve, That good effects may spring from words of

love. Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu ; He'll shape his old course in a country new.

[Exit. Flourish. Re-enter GLOUCESTER, with

FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and Attendants. Glou. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord,

191 Lear. My lord of Burgundy. We first address towards you, who with this

king Hath rivall'd for our daughter : what, in the

least, Will you require in present dower with lier, Or cease your quest of love ? Bur.

Most royal majesty, I crave no more than what your highness

offer'd, Nor will you tender less. Lear.

Right noble Burgundy, When she was dear to us, we did hold her so; But now her price is fall’n. Sir, there she stands :

200 If aught within that little seeming substance, Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced, And nothing more, may fitly like your grace, She's there, and she is yours. Bur'.

I know no answer. Lear. Will you, with those infirmities she

owes, Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate, Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with

our oath, 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,

210 I tell you all her wealth.' (To France] For

jou, great king, I would not from your love make such a stray, io match you where I hate ; therefore beseech

you To avert your liking a more worthier way Than on a wretch whom nature is ashamed

Almost to acknowledge hers.

This is most strange, That she, that even but now was your best

object, The argument of your praise, balm of your

age, Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time

219 Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle So many folds of favor. Sure, her offence Must be of such unnatural degree, That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affec

tion Fall'n into taint : which to believe of her, Must be a faith that reason without miracle Could never plant in me. Cor.

I yet beseech your majesty, If for I want that glib and oily art, To speak and purpose not ; since what I well

; intend, I'll do't before I speak,—that you make known It is no vicious blot, murder, or fouiness, 230 No unchaste action, or dishonor'd step, That hath deprived me of your grace and

favor; But even for want of that for which I am

richer, A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue As I am glad I have not, though not to have it Hath lost me in your liking. Lear.

Better thon Hadst not been born than not to have pleased

me better. France. Is it but this,-a tardiness in na

ture Which often leaves the history unspoke 239 That it intends to do? My lord of Burgundy, What say you to the lady ? Love's not love When it is mingled with regards that stand Aloof from the entire point. Will you have

her ? She is herself a dowry. Bur.

Royal Lear, Give but that portion which yourself pro

posed, And here I take Cordelia by the hand, Duchess of Burgundy:

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 ! 250 Since that respects of fortune are his love, I shall not be his wife. France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most

rich, being poor ; Most choice, forsaken ; and most loved, de

spised! 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

neglect My love shonld 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 waterish Burgundy 261
Can buy this unprized precious maid of me
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkiud:
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.
Come, noble Burgundy.

[Flourish. Exeunt all but France,

Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. France. Bid farewell to your sisters. 270 Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd

eyes Cordeliă 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.

Reg. Prescribe not us our duties.

Let your study Be to content your lord, who hath received you

280 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 Cordelia. Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say of what inost 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.

290 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 ever 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-engraffed 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 banisdiment.

Gon. There is further compliment of leavetaking between France and him. Pray you, let's hit together : if our father carry authority with such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us. 310

Reg. We shall further think on't. Gon. We must do something, and i' the beat.


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SCENE II. The Earl of Gloucester's castle.

Enter EDMUND, with a letter.
Edm. Thon, nature, art my goddess; to thy

My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive ine,
For that I am soine twelve or fourteen moon

shines 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 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,
Legitimate 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 20
Shall top the legitimate. I grow ; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

Glou. Kent banish'd thus ! and France in

choler parted ! And the king gone to-night! subscribed his

power ! Confined to exhibition ! All this done Upon the gad! Edmund, how now! what

news ? Edm. So please your lordship, none.

[Putting up the letter. Glou. Why so earnestly seek you to put

up that letter ? Eum." I know no news, my lord. Glou. What paper were you reading ? 30 Edm. Nothing, my lord.

Glou. No? What needed, then, that terrible dispatch 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 ; and for so much as I have perused, I find it not fit for your o'er-looking. 40

Glou. 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.

Glou. 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 virtue.

Glou. [Reads] 'This policy and rererence 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,' Hum-conspiracy !--- Sleep till I waked him, -you should enjoy half his revenue,'-— My son Edgar ! Had he a hand to write this ? à heart and brain to breed it in ?-When came this to you? who brought it ?

Eim. It was not brought me, my lord ; there's the cunning of it ; I found it thrown in at the casement of my closet.

Glou. 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. 70

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

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

Edm. Never, my lord : but I have heard him oft 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.

Glou. O villain, villain ! His very opinion in the letter! Abhorred villain ! Umatural, detested, brutish villain ! worse than brutishi ! 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 honor, and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life for him, that he hath wrote this to feel my affection to your honor, and to no further pretence of danger.

Gloit. Think you so ? Elm. If your honor 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.

101 Glou. He cannot be such a monsterEilm. Nor is not sure,

Glou. 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 ustate myself, to be in a due resolution.

Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently : con, vey the business as I shall find means, and acquaint you withal.

111 Glou. These late eclipses in the sun and poon portend no good to us : though the wis

dom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects : love cools, friendship falls off, broth. ers divide : in cities, mutinies ; in conntries, discord ; in palaces, treason ; and the bond cracked 'twixt 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 notlıing ; do it carefully. And the noble and truehearted Kent banished ! his ofience, honesty ! 'Tis strange.

[Erit. Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behavior,- 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 plauetary 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 cne is villanous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam. O, these eclipses do portend these divisions ! fa, sol, la,

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

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

Edg. Do you busy yourself about 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 and maledictions against king and nobles ; needless diffidences, banish. ment of friends, dissipation of cohorts, 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.

170 Edm. Parted you in good terms ? Found you no displeasure in him by word or countenance ?



Edg. None at all.

Gon. And let his knights have colder looks Edm. Bethink yourself wherein you may

among you ; have offended him : and at my entreaty for- What grows of it, no matter ; advise your felbear his presence till some little time hath

lows so: qualified the heat of his displeasure ; which at I would breed from hence occasions, and I this instant so rageth him, that with the shall, mischief of your person it would scarcely That I may speak : I'll write straight to my allay.

sister, Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong. To hold my very course. Prepare for dinner. Edm. That's my fear. I pray you, have a

[Exeunt. continent forbearance till the speed of his rage

SCENE IV. A hall in the same. goes slower ; and, as I say, retire with me to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you

Enter KENT, disguised. to hear my lord speak : pray ye, go ; there's

Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow, my key : if you do stir abroad, go armed. Edg. Armed, brother !

That can my speech defuse, my good intent Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best ;

May carry through itself to that full issue

For which I razed my likeness. Now, bango armed : I am no honest man if there be any

ish'd Kent, good meaning towards you : I have told you

If thou canst serve where thou dost what I have seen and heard ; but faintly, nothing like the image and horror of it : pray


So may it come, thy master, whom thou lovest, you, away.

Shall find thee full of labors.
Edy. Shall I hear from you anon?
Edm. I do serve you in this business.

Horns within. Enter LEAR, Knights, [Exit Edgar.

and Attendants. A credulous father ! and a brother noble,

Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner ; go Whose nature is so far from doing harms, get it ready. (Exit an Attendant.] How now! That he suspects none : on whose foolish hon- what art thou ?

10 esty

Kent. A man, sir. My practices ride easy ! I see the business.

Lear. What dost thou profess? what Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit: 199

wouldst thou with us ? All with me's meet that I can fashion fit.

Kent. I do profess to be no less than I

(Exit. seem ; to serve him truly that will put me in SCENE III. The Duke of Albany's palace.

trust: to love him that is honest ; to converse

with him that is wise, and says little ; to fear Enter GONERIL, and OSWALD, her stevard. judgment; to fight when I cannot choose ; Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman and to eat no fish. for chiding of his fool ?

Lear. What art thou ? Osw. Yes, madam.

Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as Gon. By day and night he wrongs me;

poor as the king.


Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject as he He flashes into one gross crime or other, is for a king, thou art poor enough. What That sets us all at odds : l'll not endure it : wouldst thou ? His knights grow riotous, and himself up- Kent. Service. braids us

Lear. Who wouldst thou serve ? On every trifle. When he returns from hunt- Kent. You. ing,

Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow ? I will not speak with him ; say I am sick : Kent. No, sir ; but you have that in your If you come slack of former services,

countenance which I would fain call master. You shall do well ; the fault of it I'll answer. Lear. What's that?

31 Osw. He's coming, madam ; I hear him. Kent. Authority.

[Horns within. Lear. What services canst thou do ? Gon. Put on what weary negligence you Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, please,

mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver à You and your fellows ; I'll have it come to plain message bluntly : that which ordinary question :

men are fit for, I am qualified in ; and the best If he dislike it, let him to our sister,

of me is diligence. Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one, Lear. How old art thou ?

39 Not to be over-ruled. Idle old man,

Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman That still would manage those authorities for singing, nor so old to dote on her for any That he hath given away! Now, by my life, thing: I have years on my back forty eight. Old fools are babes again ; and must be used Lear. Follow ; thou shalt serve me : if With checks as flatteries, when they are seen I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not abused.

20 part from thee yet. Dinner, ho, dinner ! Remember what I tell you.

Where's my knave? my fool ? Go you, and Osw.

Well, madam.

call my fool hither (Exit an Atteridant

every hour

You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter ?
Osu. So please you, -

[Exit. Lear. What says the fellow there? Call the clotpoll back. [Ecit a knight.) Where's my fool, ho? I think the world's asleep.

Re-enter Knight. How now ! where's that mongrel ?

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

Lear. Why came not the slave back to me when I called him.

Knight. Sir, he answered me in the roundest manner, he would not. Lear. He would not !

60 Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is ; but, to my judgment, your highness is not entertained 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 ! sayest thou so ? Knight. I beseech yon, pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken ; for my duty cannot be silent when I think your highness wronged. 71

Lear. Thou but rememberest 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 this two days.

Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, sir, the fool hath much pined away.

Lear. No more of that ; have noted it well. Go you, and tell my daughter I would speak with her. [Exit an Attendant.] Go you, call hither my fool. [Exit an Attendant.

Re-enter OSWALD, O, you sir, you, come you hither, sir : who am I, sir?

Osw. My lady's father.

Lear. 'My lady's father'! my lord's knave: your whoreson dog! you slave! you cur !

Osw. I am none of these, my lord ; I beseech your pardon.

Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal ?

[Strikiny him. Oso. 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.

Kent. Come, sir, arise, away! I'll teach you differences : away, away! If you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry : but away! go to ; have you wisdom? so,

[Pushes Oswald out. Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee: there's earnest of thy service.

[Giving Kent money.

Enter Fool, Fool. Let me hire him too : here's my colcomb.

[Offering Kent his cap. Lear. How now, my pretty knave ! how dost thou ?

Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb. Kent. Why, fool ?

110 Fool. Why, for taking one's part that's out of favor: nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits, thou'lt catch cold shortly : there, take my coxcomb: why, this fellow has banished two on's daughters, and did the third a blessing against his will ; if thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb. How now, nuncle ! Would I had two coxcombs and two daughters ! Lear. Why, my boy?

119 Fool. If I gave them all my living, I'ld keep my coxcombs myself. There's mine : beg another of thy daughters.

Lear. Take heed, sirrah ; the whip.

Fool. Truth's a dog must to kennel ; he must be whipped out, when Lady the brach may stand by the fire and stink.

Lear. A pestilent gall to me!
Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech.
Lear. Do.
Fool Mark it, nuncle :

Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest,
Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou trowest,
Set less than thon throwest ;
Leave thy drink and thy whore,
And keep in-a-door,
And thou shalt have more
Than two tens to 3 score.

140 Kent. 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. [To Kent] Prithee, tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to : he will not believe a fool. Lear. A bitter fool !

150 Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy, between a bitter fool and a sweet fool ?

Lear. No, lad ; teach me.
Fool. That lord that counsell’d thee

To give away thy land,
Come place him here by me,

Do thou for him stand:
The sweet and bitter fool

Will presently appear ;
The one in motley here,

The other found out there.
Lear. Dost thou call me fool, boy ?

Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given away ; that thou wast born with.

Kent. This is not altogether fool, my lord.

Fool. No, faith, lords and great men wii. not let me ; if I had a monopoly out, they


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