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The moment is thy death. Away! by Jupiter,
Kent. Fare thee well, king. [To CORDELIA.] The gods to their dear shelter take
thee, maid ![TO REGAN and GONERIL.] And your large speeches
may your deeds approve. Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu ; He'll shape his old course in a country new.
[Exit. Flourish. Re-enter GLOSTER and EDMUND, with
FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and Attendants. Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
Lear. My Lord of Burgundy, We first address towards you, who, with this king Hath rivali'd for our daughter : what, in the least, Will you require in present dow'r with her, Or cease your quest of love ? Bur.
Most royal majesty, I crave no more than hath your highness offer'd, Nor will you tender less. Lear.
Right noble Burgundy, When she was dear to us, we did hold her so; But now her price is fall’n. Sir, there she stands : Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath, Take her, or leave her ? Bur.
Pardon me, royal sir ; Election makes not up on such conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the pow'r that
I tell you all her wealth.-[T. FRANCE.) For you,
great king, I would not from your love make such a stray, To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you T'avert your liking a more worthier way Than on a wretch whom rature is asham'd Almost t' acknowledge hers.
This is most strange!
I have sworn; I am firm.
Peace be with Burgundy.
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
(Flourish. Exeunt LEAR, BURGUNDY,
CORNWALL, ALBANY, GLOSTER,
France. Bid farewell to your sisters.
Cor. Ye jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Reg. Prescribe not us our duties.
Let your study
Come, my fair Cordelia.
Gon. I think our father will hence to-night.
month with us.
Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have
Gon. Pray you, let us hit together: we must do something, and i' the heat.
HOU, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
I grow ; I prosper !
Glo. Kent banish'd thus! and France in choler
[Hiding the letter.
Glo. No? What needed, then, that terrible dispatch of it into your pocket ? Let's see.
Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'er-read; and for so much as I have perus’d, I find it not fit for your o'er-looking.
Glo. Give me the letter, sir.
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 fortunes from us till our oldness cannot relish them. Come to me, that of this I may speak inore. If our father would sleep till I wak’d him, you should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live the belov'd of your brother,
Edgar." “Sleep till I wak’d him,-you should enjoy half his revènue,”—My son Edgar! 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. O villain, villain ! Abhorréd villain ! Go, sirrah, seek him ; I'll apprehend him:-abominable villain !
Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall hear us confer of this, and that without any further delay than this very eyening.
Glo. He cannot be such a monster-
Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him.--Heaven and earth!-Edmund seek him out. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us. Find out this villain, Edmund; it shall lose thee nothing.
[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. Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my birth.Edgar !-pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy.