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for we

Not all the dukes of wat'rish Burgundy
Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.-
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though ankind :
Thou losest here, a better where to find.

Lear. Thou hast her, France: let her be thine;
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of hers again:-Therefore be gone,
Without our grace, our love, our benizon.---
Come, noble Burgundy.
(Flourish. Exeunt Lear, Burgundy, Cornwall,

Albany, Gloster, and Attendants. France. Bid farewell to your sisters.

Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are;
And, like a sister, am most loath to call
Your faults, as they are nam'd. 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.

Gon. Prescribe not us our duties.
Reg.

Let your siudy
Be, to content your lord; who hath receiv'd you
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 und Cordelia. Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say, of what most nearly appertains to us both. I think, our father will hence to-night. Reg. That's most certain, and with you; next month

Gon. You see how full of changes bis 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.

with us.

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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 bat rash; then must we look to receive from his age, not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted 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 banishment.

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

Reg: We shall further think of it.
Gon. We must do something, and i'the heat.

[Exeunt.
SCENE II.
A Hall in the EARL of GLOSTĘr's Castle.

Enter EDMUND, with a Letter.
Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound: Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom; and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some 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 us
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
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:-
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

Enter GLOSTER.
Glo. Kent banish'd thus! And France in choler parted!
And the king gone to-night! subscrib'd his power!
Confin'd to exhibition! All this done
Upon the gad!- Edmund! How now? what news?
Edm. So please your lordship, none.

[Putting up the Letter. Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter? Edm. I know no news, my

lord. Glo. What paper were you reading? Edm. Nothing, my lord.

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.

Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'er-read; for so much as I have perused, I find it not fit for your overlooking

Glo. 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.

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 virtue.

Glo. [Reads] This policy, and reverence of age, makes the world bitter to the best of our times; keeps our for, tunes from us, till our oldness cannot relish them. 1 begin to find an idle and fond bondage in the oppression of aged tyranny; who sways, not as it hath power, but us it is suffered. Come to me, that of this I may speak mure. If our father would sleep till 1 waked him, you should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live the beloved of your brother, Edgar.-Humph-Conspiracy! -Sleep till I waked him,—you should enjoy half his revenue,-My son Edgar ! 'Had he a hand to write this?

a heart and brain to breed it in? When came this to you? Who brought it?

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

my closet.

Glo. You know the character to be your brother's?

Edm. If the inatter were good, my lord, I durst swear it were his; but, in respect of that, I would fain think it were not.

Glo. It is his.

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

Glo. Halh he never heretofore sounded you in this business?

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 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 honour, and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life for him, that he hath writ this to feel my affection to your honour, and to no other pretence of danger.

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.
Edm. Nor is not, sure.
Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves

him.--Heaven and earth!-Edinund, seek him out; wind me into him, I pray you: frame the business after your own wisdom: I would unstatę myself, to be in a due resolution.

Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently; convey the business as I shall find means, and acquaint you withal.

Glo. These late eclipses in the sun and inoon portend no good to us: Though the wisdom of nature can reason il 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 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 nothing; do it carefully And the noble and true-hearted Kent banished ! his offence, honesty!-Strange, strange! [Exit.

Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world! that, when we are sick in fortune (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; 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 not 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 eomedy: My cue iš villanous melancholy, with a sigh

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