Puslapio vaizdai

Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion,
With his prepared sword, he charges home
My unprovided body, lanc'd mine, arm:
But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to the encounter,
Or whether gasted by the noise I made,

Full suddenly he fled.


Let him fly far:

Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;

And found-Despatch. The noble duke my master, My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night:

By his authority I will proclaim it,

That he, which finds him, shall deserve our thanks,
Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;
He, that conceals him, death.

Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
And found him pight to do it, with curst speech
I threaten'd to discover him: He replied,
Thou unpossessing bastard! dost thou think,
If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
Of any trust, virtue, or worth, in thee
Make thy words faith'd? No: what I should deny,
(As this I would; ay, though thou didst produce
My very character,) I'd turn it all

To thy suggestion, 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 seek it.


Strong and fasten'd villain! Would he deny his letter?-I never got him.



gasted] Frighted.

[Trumpets within.

arch] i. e. chief; a word now used only in composition', as arch-angel, arch-duke.

8 And found him pight to do it, with curst speech -] Pight is pitched, fixed, settled. Curst is severe, harsh, vehemently angry. 9 My very character,-] i. e. my very handwriting.

Hark, the duke's trumpets! I know not why he comes:
All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape;
The duke must grant me that: besides, his picture
I will send 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? since I came hither,

(Which I can call but now,) I have heard strange news. Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short, Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my lord? Glo. O, madam, my old heart is crack'd, is crack'd! Reg. What, did my father's godson seek 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?


It is too bad, too bad.


I know not, madam:

Yes, madam, he was.

Reg. No marvel then, though he were ill affected; 'Tis they have put him on the old man's death, To have the waste and spoil of his revenues.

I have this present evening from my sister

Been well inform'd of them; and with such cautions, That, if they come to sojourn at my house,

I'll not be there.


Nor I, assure thee, Regan.

Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father

A child-like office.



- of my land,

'Twas my duty, sir.

To make thee capable.] i. e. capable of succeeding to my land.

Glo. He did bewray his practice2; and receiv'd This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him. Corn. Is he pursued?


Ay, my good lord, he is.

Corn. If he be taken, he shall never more

Be fear'd of doing harm: make your own purpose,
How in my strength you please. For you, Edmund,
Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
So much commend itself, you shall be ours;
Natures of such deep trust we shall much need;
You we first seize on.


Truly, however else.


I shall serve you, sir,

For him I thank your grace.

Corn. You know not why we came to visit you,

Reg. Thus out of season; threading dark-ey'd night. Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poize, 3

Wherein we must have use of your advice:
Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,

Of differences, which I best thought it fit

To answer from our home1; the several messengers
From hence attend despatch. Our good old friend,
Lay comforts to your bosom; and bestow

Your needful counsel to our business,

Which craves the instant use.


I serve you, madam :

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2 He did bewray his practice;] i. e. Discover, betray. Practice is

always used by Shakspeare for insidious mischief.

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of some poize,] i. e. of some weight or moment. · from our home ;] Not at home, elsewhere.


Before Gloster's Castle.

Enter KENT and Steward, severally.

Stew. Good dawning to thee, friend: Art of the house?

Kent. Ay.

Stew. Where may we set our horses?

Kent. I'the mire.

Stew. Pr'ythee, if thou love me, tell me.

Kent. I love thee not.

Stew. Why, then I care not for thee.

Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee care for me.

Stew. Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not. Kent. Fellow, I know thee.

Stew. What dost thou know me for?

Kent. A knave; a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundredpound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver'd, action-taking knave; a whorson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that would'st be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deny'st the least syllable of thy addition."


Stew. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus

action-taking knave;] i. e. a fellow, who, if you beat him, would bring an action for the assault.

6 addition.] i. e. titles. These titles were probably familiar in Shakspeare's time among the lower classes, although their meaning be now lost. The conjectures of the annotators have been but idly employed on them.

to rail on one, that is neither known of thee, nor knows thee?

Kent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou know'st me? Is it two days ago, since I tripp'd up thy heels, and beat thee, before the king? Draw, you rogue: for, though it be night, the moon shines; I'll make a sop o'the moonshine of you: Draw, you whorson cullionly barber-monger, draw. [Drawing his Sword. Stew. Away; I have nothing to do with thee.

Kent. Draw, you rascal: you come with letters against the king; and take vanity the puppet's part', against the royalty of her father: Draw, you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your shanks:-draw, you rascal: come your


Stew. Help, ho! murder! help!

Kent. Strike, you slave; stand, rogue, stand; you neat slave, strike.

Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder !

[Beating him.


Edm. How now? What's the matter? Part.
Kent. With you, goodman boy, if you please; come,

I'll flesh you; come on, young master.

Glo. Weapons! arms! What's the matter here?
Corn. Keep peace, upon your lives;

He dies, that strikes again: What is the matter?
Reg. The messengers from our sister and the king.
Corn. What is your difference? speak.

Stew. I am scarce in breath, my lord.

Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirr❜d your valour. You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee; a tailor made thee.


vanity the puppet's part,] Alluding to the old moralities, in which vanity, iniquity, and other vices, were personified.

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