Puslapio vaizdai


reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds it felf fcourg'd by the fequent effects. Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide. In cities, mutinies; in countries, difcord in palaces, treason; and the bond crack'd 'twixt fon and father. This villain of mine comes under the prediction, there's fon against father; the King falls from biafs of nature, there's father against child. We have seen the best of our time, Machinations, hollownefs, treachery, and all ruinous diforders, follow us difquietly to our graves. Find out this villain, Edmund; it fhall lofe thee nothing, do it carefully. and the noble and truehearted Kent banifh'd! his offence, Honefty. 'Tis ftrange. [Exit.



Baft. This is the excellent foppery of the world; that when we are fick in fortune, (often the furfeits of our own behaviour) we make guilty of our difafters, the fun, the moon and stars; as if we were villains on neceffity, fools by heavenly compulfion, knaves, thieves, and treacherous by fpherical 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 evafion of whore-mafter Man, to lay his goatifh difpofition on the charge of a ftar! my father compounded with my mother under the Dragon's tail, and my nativity was under Urfa major, fo that it follows I am rough and lecherous. I fhould have been what I am, had the maidenlieft ftar in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.

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Baft. Pat! he comes like the catastrophe of the old comedy; my cue is villainous Melancholy, with a figh like Tom o' Bedlam O, thefe eclipfes portend these divifions! fa, fol, la, me,



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

Baft. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day, what fhould follow thefe eclipfes.

Edg. Do you bufie your self with that?

Baft. I promise you, the effects he writes of fucceed unhappily. When faw you my father laft?

Edg. The night gone by.

Baft. Spake you with him?

Edg. Ay, two hours together.

Baft. Parted you in good terms, found you no difpleafure in him, by word or countenance?

Edg. None at all.

Baft. Bethink your felf wherein you have offended him: and at my intreaty forbear his prefence, until fome little time hath qualified the heat of his difpleafure; which at this inftant fo rageth in him, that 'without the mischief of your perfon it would scarcely allay.

Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong.

Baft. That's my fear; I pray you, have a continent forbearance 'till the fpeed 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 fpeak: pray you go, there's my key: if you do ftir abroad, go arm'd.

Edg. Arm'd, brother!

Baft. Brother, I advife you to the beft; I am no honest man if there be any good meaning toward you: I have told you what I have feen and heard, but faintly; nothing like the image and horror of it; pray you, away. Edg. Shall I hear from you anon?


Baft. I ferve you in this business:
A credulous father, and a brother noble,
Whose nature is fo far from doing harms,
That he fufpects none; on whofe foolish honefty

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My practices ride eafie: I see the business:
Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit;
All with me's meet, that I can fashion fit.



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The Duke of Albany's Palace.

Enter Gonerill, and Steward.

Gon. DID my father ftrike my gentleman for chiding

of his fool?

Stew. Ay, Madam.

Gon. By day and night he wrongs me; every hour He flashes into one grofs crime or other,

That fets 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, fay I am fick.


you come flack of former services,

You fhall 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 queftion:
If he diftafte it, let him to my fifter,

Whofe mind and mine I know in that are one.
Remember what I have faid.

Stew. Very well, Madam.

Gon. And let his Knights have colder looks among you: What grows of it no matter, and advise`

Your fellows fo: I'll write ftrait to my fifter

To hold my course. 5 'Go and prepare for dinner.

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An open place near the Palace.
Enter Kent difguis'd.

Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow
And can my speech diffufe, my good intent
May carry thro' it felf to that full iffue

For which I raz'd my likeness. Banifh'd Kent,
If thou canst serve where thou doft ftand condemn'd,
So may it come, thy mafter 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?

Kent. A man, Sir..

Lear. What doft thou profefs? what would't thou with us?

Kent. I do profefs to be no less than I feem; to ferve him truly that will put me in truft, to love him that is honeft, to converfe with him that is wife, 'to fay little, to fear judgment, to fight when I cannot chufe, and to eat no fifh.

Lear. What art thou?

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

Lear. If thou beeft as poor for a fubject, as he's for a King, thou art poor enough. What would'ft thou?

Kent. Service.

Lear. Whom would't thou ferve?

Kent. You.

Lear. Doft thou know me, fellow?

Kent. No, Sir, but you have that in your countenance, which I would fain call mafter.

Lear. What's that?

Kent. Authority.

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(a) To diffufe here fignifies to diforder, to put out of a regular courfe. It is used in the fame fenfe in other places in this Author; diffused attire, diffused founds.

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Lear. What fervices canft thou do?

Kent. I can keep honeft counfels, ride, run, marr a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain meffage 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 fo young, Sir, to love a woman for finging, nor fo old to doat on her for any thing. I have years on my back forty eight.

Lear. Follow me, thou fhalt ferve me; if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part 7'from thee. Yet no dinner ho? dinner-where's my knave? my fool? go you and call my fool hither. You, you, Sirrah, where's my daughter?

Enter Steward.

Stew. So please you

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

Knight. He fays, my Lord, your daughter is not well. Lear. Why came not the flave back to me when I call'd him?

Knight. Sir, he answer'd 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 kindnefs appears as well in the general dependants, as in the Duke himself also, and your daughter.

Lear. Ha! fay't thou fo?

Knight. I befeech 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 concep


7 from thee yet. Dinner,

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