Puslapio vaizdai

the letter; if your diligence be not speedy, I fhall be

there afore you.

Kent. I will not fleep, my lord, 'till I have delivered your letter.

[Exit. Fool. If a man's brain were in his heels, wer't not in danger of kibes ?

Lear. Ay, boy.

Fool. Then, I pr'ythee, be merry, thy wit fhall not go flip-fhod.

Lear. Ha, ha, ha.

Fool. Shalt fee, thy other daughter will ufe thee kindly; for though the's as like this as a crab's like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.

Lear. What can't tell, boy?

Fool. She will tafte as like this, as a crab does to a crab. Can't thou tell,why one's nofe ftands i' th' middle of one's face?

Lear. No.

Fool. Why, to keep one's eyes of either fide one's note; that what a man cannot fmell out, he may spy into.

Lear. I did her wrong

Fool. Can't tell how an oyfter makes his fhell?
Lear. No.

Fool. Nor I neither; but I can tell, why a fnail has a houfe.

Lear. Why?

Fool. Why, to put's head in, not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns without a cafe.

Lear. I will forget my nature: so kind a father! be my horfes ready?

Fool. Thy affes are gone about 'em; the reason, why the feven ftars are no more than seven, is a pretty reafon.

Lear. Because they are not eight.

Fool. Yes, indeed; thou wouldst make a good fool. Lear. To take't again perforce!-monfler ingratitude!

Fool. If you were my fool, nuncle, I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time.


Lear. How's that?

Fool. Thou fhould't not have been old, 'till thou hadft been wife.

Lear. O, let me not be mad, not mad, fweet heav'n! Keep me in temper, I would not be mad.

Enter Gentleman.

How now, are the horses ready?

Gent. Ready, my lord.

Lear. Come, boy.


Fool. She that's a maid now, and laughs at my depar

Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut fhorter.


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SCENE, A Castle belonging to the Earl of Glo'fler.

Enter Edmund and Curan, feverally.


AVE thee, Curan.

Cur. And you, Sir. I have been with your father, and given him notice that the Duke of Cornwall, and Regan his Dutchefs, will be here with him this night. Edm. How comes that?

Cur. Nay, I know not; you have heard of the news abroad; I mean, the whifper'd ones; for they are yet but ear-kiffing arguments.

Edm. Not I; pray you, what are they?

Cur. Have you heard of no likely wars toward, 'twixt the Dukes of Cornwall and Albany?

Edm. Not a word.

Cur. You may do then in time. Fare you well, Sir.

[Exit. Edm. The Duke be here to-night! the better! beft! This weaves itfelf perforce into my business;

B B 5


My father hath fet guard to take my brother,
And I have one thing of a queazy question
Which I must act: briefnefs, and fortune work!
Brother, a word; defcend; Brother, I fay ;-
To him, Enter Edgar.

My father watches; O Sir, fly this place,
Intelligence is giv'n where you are hid;
You've now the good advantage of the night-
Have you not fpoken 'gainst the Duke of Cornwall?
He's coming hither, now i' th' night, i' th' hafte,
And Regan with him; have you nothing faid
Upon his Party 'gainst the Duke of Albany?
Advise yourself.

Edg. I'm fure on't, not a word.

Edm. I hear my father coming. Pardon me. In cunning, I muft draw my fword upon youDraw, feem to defend yourself.

Now quit you well

Yield come before my father-light hoa, here!
Fly, brother-Torches!-fo farewel- [Ex. Edg.
Some blood, drawn on me, would beget opinion.
[Wounds his arm,
Of my more fierce endeavour. I've feen drunkards
Do more than this in fport. Father! father!
Stop, top, no help?

To him, Enter Glo'fter, and fervants with torches.
Go. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?

Edm. Here ftood he in the dark, his fharp fword out,
Mumbling of wicked charms, conj'ring the moon
To ftand 's aufpicious miftrefs.

Glo. But where is he?

Edm. Look, Sir, I bleed.

Glo. Where is the villain, Edmund?

Edm. Fled this way, Sir, when by no means he could-Glo. Purfue him, ho! go after. By no means, whatEdm. Perfuade me to the murder of your lordship; But that, I told him, the revenging Gods 'Gainft Parricides did all the thunder bend,


Spoke with how manifold and ftrong a bond
The child was bound to th' father.-Sir, in fine,
Seeing how lothly oppofite I ftood

To his unnat'ral purpose, in fell motion
With his prepared fword he charges home
My unprovided body, lanc'd my arm;
And when he faw my beft alarmed fpirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to th' encounter,
Or whether gafted by the noise I made,
Full fuddenly he fled.

Glo. Let him fly far;

Not in this land fhall he remain uncaught

And found; difpatch-the noble Duke my mafter,
My worthy and arch-patron, comes to-night; (13)
By his authority I will proclaim it,

That he, which finds him, fhall deferve our thanks,
Bringing the murd'rous coward to the stake:
He that conceals him, death.

Edm. When I diffuaded him from his intent,
And found him pight to do it, with curft fpeech
I threaten'd to difcover him; he replied,
Thou unpoffeffing Baftard! do'st thou think,
If I would ftand againft thee, would the repofal
Of any truft, virtue, or worth in thee

Make thy words faith'd? no; what I fhould deny,-
(As this I would, although thou did't produce
My very character) I'd turn it all

To thy fuggeftion, plot, and damned practice;
And thou must make a dullard of the world,
If they not thought the profits of my death
Were very pregnant and potential spurs
To make thee feek it.

[Trumpets within.

Glo. O ftrange, faften'd, villain !
Would he deny his letter?- I never got him.

(13) My worthy arch and fatron ] I can meet with no authority of this word ufed in this manner, to fignify, my prince, my chief; but always as an epitatic particle prefix'd and annex'd to another noun: and therefore I have ventur'd to fuppofe a tranfpofition of the copulative, and that we ought to read, arch-patron, as arch-duke, arch-angel, arch-bishop, &c.


Hark, the Duke's trumpets! I know not why he comes
All Ports I'll bar; the villain fhall not 'fcape;
The Duke muft grant me that; befides, his picture
I will fend far and near, that all the Kingdom
May have due note of him; and of my land,
(Loyal and natural Boy !) I'll work the means
To make thee capable.

Enter Cornwall, Regan, and Attendants.

Corn. How now, my noble friend? fince I came hither, Which I can call but now, I have heard ftrange news, Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short, Which can purfue th' offender; how does my lord? Glo. O Madam, my old heart is crack'd, it's crack'd. Reg. What, did my father's godfon feek your life? He whom my father nam'd, your Edgar?

Glo. O lady, lady, Shame would have it hid.

Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous Knights, That tend upon my father?

Glo. I know not, Madam: 'tis too bad, too bad. Edm. Yes, Madam, he was of that confort.

Reg. No marvel then, though he were ill affected; "Tis they have put him on the old man's death, To have th' expence and waste of his revenues. I have this prefent evening from my fifter

Been well inform'd of them; and with fuch cautions, That if they come to fojourn at my

I'll not be there.

Corn. Nor I, affure thee, Regan;


Edmund, I hear, that you have fhewn your father
A child-like office.

Edm. 'Twas my duty, Sir.

Glo. He did bewray his practice, and receiv'd This hurt you fee, ftriving to apprehend him. Corn. Is he pursued?

Go. Ay, my good lord.

Corn. If he be taken, he fhall never more

Be fear'd of doing harm: make your own purpose,

How in my frength you pleafe. As for you, Edmund, Whofe virtue and obedience doth this inftant

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