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"I may speak more, If our father would sleep " till I wak'd him, you should enjoy half his revenue for
and live the beloved of your " brother,
EDGAR." Sleep till I wake 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 case. ment of my closet, .
Gloc. You know the character to be your brother's ?
Edm. If the matter were good, my lord, I durft swear it were his; but, in respect of that, I would fain think it were note
Gloc. It is his.
Edm. It is his hand, my-lord; I hope, his heart is not in the contents.
Gloc. Has he never before founded you in this business?
341 Edm. Never, my lord. But I have heard him oft maintain it to be fit, that fons at perfect age, and fathers declining, the father should be as a ward to the son, and the son manage his revenue. Gloc. Oh, villain, villain! his very opinion in
Y the letter. Abhorred villain! Go, seek him, I'll apprehend him. Abominable villain! where is he?
Edm. I do not well know, my lord. 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.
Gloc. 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.
Gloc. He cannot be such a monster, Edm. Nor is not, süre. Gļoc. To his father, that fo 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 unstate 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.
Gloc. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us; tho' the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourg'd by the frequent effects. Love cools,
friendship falls off, brothers divide.
In cities, mutinies ; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond crack'd 'twixt son and father. We have seen the best of our time. Find out this villain, Edmund; and it shall lose thee nothing ; do it carefully—and the noble and true-hearted Kent banished ! his offence, honesty, 'Tis ftrange.
[Exit, Manet Edmund. Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are fick in fortune, (often the surfeits of our own behaviour) we make guilty of our disasters, the sun, the moon and stars; as if we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulfion; knäves, thieves, and treacherous, by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars and adulterers, by an enforc'd obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whore. master man, to lay his goatish disposition on the charge of a star! I should have been what I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.
To him enter Edgar. Pat-he: comes, like the catastrophe of the old
comedy, my cue is villainous melancholy, with a figh like Tom o'Bedlam-O, these eclipfes portend these divisions !
Edgar. How now, brother Edmund ? what serious contemplation are you in?
Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day, what should follow these eclipses.
Edgar. Do you busy yourself with that?
Edm. I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed unhappily. When saw you my father last?
Edgar. The night gone by.
Edm. Parted you in good terms ? found you no difpleasure in him, by word or countenance ?
Edgar. None at all.
Edm. Bethink yourself, wherein you have offended him : and, at my entreaty, forbear his prefence, until some little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure; which at this instant so rageth in him, that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay.
Edgar. Some villain hath done me wrong.
Edm. That's my fear; I pray you, retire with me to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring
you to hear my lord speak : pray you, go; if you do ftir abroad, go armed. .
Edgar. Armed, brother!
Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best; I am no honest man, if there be any good meaning to
. wards you ; I have told you what I have seen and heard, but faintly; nothing like the image and hory ror of it ; pray you, away
! Edgar. Shall I hear from you anon? Edm. I do serve you in this business:
[Exit Edgar. A credulous father, and a brother noble, Whose nature is so far from doing harms, That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty My practices ride easy ! I see the business. Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit ! All with me's meet, that I can fashion fit. [Exit.
Scene, the Duke of Albany's Palace.
Enter Gonerill and Steward. Gon. My father strike my gentleman? Stew, Ay, madam. Gon. By day and night, he wrongs me; I'll not
endure it: His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us