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Most choice, forsaken, and most lov'd, despis'd, SCENE II.-A Hall in the Earl of Gloster's
Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance, Stand 4 on the plague of custom, and permit Ls queen of us, of ours, and our fair France :
The curiosity of nations to u deprive me, Not all the dukes of waterish Burgundy
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines Shall buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.
Lag of a brother? Why bastard ? wherefore base, Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind :
When my dimensions are as well compact, Thou losest here, a better where to a find. Lear. Thou hast her, France : let her be thine, As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
With base ? with baseness ? bastardy? base, base ? Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
Who in the lusty stealth of nature take That face of hers again :- Therefore, be gone
More composition and fierce quality, Without our grace, our love, our b benison.
Than doth within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Got 'tween asleep and wake?-Well then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund,
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
my invention thrive, Edmund the base To your professed bosoms I commit him ;
Now, gods, stand up for bastards! But yet, ala ! stood I within his grace,
5 [Reads the Letter. I would prefer him to a better place. So, farewell to you both.
Glo. Kent banish'd thus! And France in choler
Let your study
parted ! Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you
And the king gone to-night! isubscrib'd his power! 2 As fortune's alms: you have obedience scanted,
Confin'd to kexbibition ! All this done And well are worth the want that you have a wanted. Upon the 'gad !-Edmund. How now! what news ? Cor. Time shall unfold what pliglited cunning Edm. So please your lordship, none. hides;
[Hiding the Letter. Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that Well may you prosper !
Edm. I know no news, my lord.
Glo. What paper were you reading ?
Edm. Nothing, my
lord. most nearly appertains to us both. I think, our father
Glo. No! What needed, then, that terrible dewill hence to-night.
spatch of it into your pocket? the quality of nothing Reg. That's most certain, and with you; next hath not such need to hide itself. Let's see: come; month with us.
if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles. Gon. You see how full of changes his age is; the
Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a letter observation we have made of it hath not been little : from my brother, that I have not all o'er-read; and he always loved our sister most, and with what for so much as I have perused, I find it not fit for poor judgment he hath now cast her off appears
your o’erlooking: too grossly.
Glo. Give me the letter, sir.
The contents, as in part I understand them, but rash ; then, must we look to receive from his Glo. Let's see, let's see. age, not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted * Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he e condition, but, therewithal, the unruly waywardness wrote this but as an messay or taste of my virtue. that infirm and choleric years bring with them. Glo. [Reads.] “This policy, and reverence of
Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have age, makes the world bitter to the best of our times; from him, as this of Kent's banishment.
keeps our fortunes from us, till our oldness cannot Gon. There is farther compliment of leave-taking relish them. I begin to find an idle and "fond bond between France and him. Pray you, let us hit to- age in the oppression of aged tyranny, who sways, gether: if our father carry authority with such dis not as it hath power, but as it is suffered. Come to positions as he bears, this last surrender of his will
me, that of this I may speak more. If our father but offend us.
would sleep till I waked him, you should enjoy Reg. We shall farther think of it.
half his revenue for ever, and live the beloved of Gon. We must do something, and i' the fheat.
your brother, EDGAR.”—Humph !-Conspiracy! [Exeunt.
Sleep till I waked him, you should enjoy half
* That is “Thou losest preferment here, to find a better 8" The curiosity of nations," i. e., the nicety, the stridness elsehere'— Benison is blessing.- Professed for professing. of civil institutions. To deprive, here, is to disinherit.- That is, 'And well deserve the loss of the dower that i " Subscribed," i. e.. yielded ; surrendered. --Exhibition is you have failed to obtain.'—- Long-engrafted condition," an allowance, a stipend.-" " Upon the gad," i. e., upon the 1. e., qualities of mind confirmed by long habit. -"l' the spur ; in haste. -m*** As an essay," i. e., as a trial. — Fond," heat," i. e., . While the iron is hot.'
i. e., weak; foolish.
his revenue.”—My son Edgar! Had he a hand to asters, the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we write this ? a heart and brain to breed it in - When were villains by necessity; fools, by heavenly cocame this to you? Who brought it?
pulsion; knaves, thieves, and bireachers, by spherie Edm. It was not brought me, my lord ; there's cal predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, the cunning of it: I found it thrown in at the case by an enforced obedience of planetary influence, and ment of my closet.
all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. Glo. You know the character to be your brother's ? An admirable evasion of whore-master man, to lay his
Edm. If the matter were good, my lord, I durst goatish disposition to the charge of 'stars! My swear it were his; but, in respect of that, I would father compounded with my mother under the drafain think it were not.
gon's tail, and my nativity was under ursa mojor; Glo. It is his.
so that, it follows, I am rough and lecherous.- Tut! Edm. It is his hand, my lord; but, I hope, his I should have been that I am, had the maidersiest heart is not in the contents.
star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. Glo. Hath he never heretofore sounded you in Edgarthis business?
Enter EDGAR. Edm. Never, my lord; but I have often heard him maintain it to be fit, that sons at perfect age, and and pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the old fathers declined, the father should be as ward to the comedy: my cue is villainous melancholy, with a son, and the son manage his revenue.
sigh like Tom o'Bedlam.-0! these eclipses do Glo. O villain, villain !-His very opinion in the portend these divisions. Fa, sol, la, mi. letter! - Abhorred villain ! Unnatural, detested, Edg. How now, brother Edmund! What serious brutish villain! worse than brutish !-Go, sirrah, seek contemplation are you in ? him; I'll apprehend him. Abominable villain - Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction II Where is he?
read this other day, what should follow these Edm. I do not well know, my lord. If it shall eclipses. please you to suspend your indignation against my Edg. Do you busy yourself with that? brother, till you can derive from him better testimony Edm. I promise you, the effects he writes of spe. of bis intent, you shall run a certain course ; " where, ceed unhappily; as of unnaturalness between tbe if you violently proceed against him, mistaking his child and the parent; death, dearth, dissolution of purpose, it would make a great gap in your own
ancient amities; divisions in state; menaces and honor, and shake in pieces the heart of his obedi. maledictions against king and nobles; need.rss
I dare pawn down my life for him, that he diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of co hath writ this to feel my affection to your honor, and horts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what. to no other pretence of danger.
Edg. How long have you been a sectary astro Glo. Think you so ?
nomical ? Edm. If your honor judge it meet, I will place Edm. Come, come ; when saw you my father last 1 you where you shall hear us confer of this, and by Edg. The night gone hy. an auricular assurance have your satisfaction; and Edm. Spake you with him? that without any farther delay than this very evening. Edg. Ay, two hours together. Glo. He cannot be such a monster.
Edm. Parted you in good terms ? Found you so Edm. Nor is not, sure.
displeasure in him, by word, or countenance ? Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely Edg. None at all. loves him.-Heaven and earth !-Edmund, seek him Edm. Bethink yourself, wherein you may bare out; wind me into him, I pray you: frame the busi-offended him: and at my entreaty forbear bis pres ness after your own wisdom. I would unstate my- ence, till some liule time hath qualified the beat self to be in a due resolution.
his displeasure, which at this instant so rageth in Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently, dconvey the him, that with the mischief of your person it muud business as I shall find means, and acquaint you scarcely allay. withal.
Edg: Some villain hath done me wrong. Glo. These late eclipses in the sun and moon por
Edm. That's my fear. I pray you, have a bone tend no good to us: though the wisdom of nature tinent forbearance, till the speed of his rage goes can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself slower; and, as I say, retire with me to my lodging, scourged by the 'sequent effects. Love cools, friend from whence I will fitly bring you to hear me und ship fulls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies; speak. Pray you, go: there's my key. If you do in countries, discord; in palaces, treason, and the stir abroad, go armed. bond cracked between son and father. This villain Edg. Armed, brother? of mine comes under the prediction; there's son Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best; I am ne against father: the king falls from bias of nature ; honest man, if there be any good meaning towards there's father against child. We have seen the best you: I have told you what I have seen and beard, of our time: machinations, hollowness, treachery, but faintly; nothing like the image and hortur of it and all ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to our Pray you, away. graves !-Find out this villain, Edmund; it shall lose Edg. Sball I hear from you anon? thee nothing: do it carefully.—And the noble and Edm. I do serve you in this business.true-hearted Kent banished his offence, honesty.
[Exit EDGAR 'Tis strange.
[Éxit. A credulous father, and a brother noble, Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world, whose nature is so far from doing harms, that, when we are sick in fortune, (often the surfeit That he suspects none, on whose foolish honesty of our own behavior) we make guilty of our dis- My practices ride easy. I see the business.
Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit: • Where for whereas. "Pretence," i. e., design; purpose.
All with me's meet, that I can fashion fit. - That is. 'I would give all I am possessed of to be satis. fied of the truth.'—Convey," i. e., conduct; manage:** The wisdom of nature, " i. e., natural philosophy. “ The sequent effects," i e., the consequences.
8 " Treachers," i. e., traitors.--" Continent," L e, to perate,
SCENE III.-A Room in the Duke of ALBANY'S
Lear. What services canst thou do?
Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar
a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain mes. Enter GONERIL, and OSWALD her Steward.
sage bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for I am qualified in; and the best of me is diligence. chiding of his fool?
Lear. How old art thou ? Osw. Ay, madam.
Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman for Gon. By day and night he wrongs me: every hour singing; nor so old, to dote on her for any thing: I He flashes into one gross crime or other,
have years on my back forty-eight. That sets us all at odds : I'll not endure it.
Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me: if I like His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee On every trifle.-When he returns from hunting, yet.—Dinner, ho! dinner !—Where's
my I will not speak with him ; say, I am sick:
fool ? Go you, and call my fool hither.
[Exit. Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please, Lear. What says the fellow there ? Call the clodYou and your fellows; I'd have it come to question: pole back. '[Erit Knight. ]-Where's my fool, ho? If he distaste it, let him to my sister,
-I think the world's asleep.-- [Re-enter Knight. ] Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one, How now, where's that mongrel ? Not to be over-rul'd. Idle old man,
Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is not That still would manage those authorities,
well. That he hath given away !-Now, by my life,
Lear. Why came not the slave back to me, when Old fouls are babes again; and must be us'd I called him ? With checks; as flatteries, when they are seen, abus'd. Knight. Sir, he answered me in the roundest manRemember what I have said.
ner, he would not. Osw.
Well, madam. [you. Lear. He would pot! Gon. And let his knights have colder looks among Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is ; What grows of it, no matter ; advise your fellows so: but, to my judgment, your highness is not enterI would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,
tained with that ceremonious affection as you were That I may speak.-I'll write straight to my sister, wont: there's a great abatement of kindness apTo hold my course.-Prepare for dinner. (E.ceunt. pears, as well in the general dependants, as in the
duke himself also, and your daughter. SCENE IV.-A Hall in the Same.
Lear. Ha! sayest thou so ?
Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if I Enter Kent, disguised.
be mistaken; for my duty cannot be silent, when I Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow, think your highness wronged. That can my speech a diffuse, my good intent
Lear. Thou but rememberest me of mine own May carry through itself to that full issue
conception. I have perceived a most faint neglect For which I braz'd my likeness.- Now, banish'd Kent, of late; which I have rather blamed as mine own If thou canst serve where thou dost stand condemn’d, jealous curiosity, than as a very pretence and (So may it come !) thy master, whom thou lov'st, purpose of unkindness: I will look farther into't.Shall find thee full of labors.
But where's my fool? I have not seen him this
two days. Horns within. Enter LEAR, Knights, and Attend
Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, ants.
sir, the fool hath much pined away. Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner: go, get it
Lear. No more of that; I have noted it well.ready. [Exit an Attendant.] How now! what art Go you, and tell my daughter I would speak with thou?
you, call hither my fool. — Kent. A man, sir. Lear. What dost thou profess? What would'st
Re-enter OSWALD. thou with us? Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem; to
0! you sir, you sir, come you hither. Who am I,
sir ? serve him truly that will put me in trust; to love him that is honest; to converse with him that is
Osu. My lady's father. wise, and says little; to fear judgment; to fight whoreson dog! you slave! you cur!
Lear. My lady's father? my lord's knave : you when I cannot choose, and to eat no fish. Lear. What art thou ?
Osu. I am none of these, my lord; I beseech your Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor
pardon. as the king.
Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal? Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject, as he is for
Osw. I'll not be 3 stricken, my lord. a king, thou art poor enough. What would'st thou ?
Kent. Nor tripped neither, you base foot-ball Kent. Service. Lear. Whom would'st thou serve ?
[ Tripping up his heels.
Lear. I thank thee, fellow; thou servest me, and Kont. You.
I'll love thee. Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow ? Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your counferences: away, away! If you will measure your
Kent. Come, sir, arise ; away! I'll teach you diftenance which I would fain call master. Lear. What's that?
lubber's length again, tarry; but away! Go to: Kent. Authority.
have you wisdom ? so. [Pushes Oswald out.
. "Diffuse," 1 e., disguise.-6“ Raz'd," i. e., effaced.-“To converse," i. e., to keep company.
“ Jealous curiosity," i. e., punctilious jealousy.--"A very pretence," i. e., an absolute design.
Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee: Lear. What two crowns shall they be? there's earnest of thy service.
Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i' the middle,
When thou clovest thy crown i' the middle, and
gavest away both parts, thou borest thine ass on the Fool. Let me hire him too :-here's my coxcomb. back o'er the dirt: thou hadst little wit in the bald
[Giving Kent his Cap. crown, when thou gavest thy golden one away. If
Fools had ne'er less 6 grace in a year; [Singing.
For wise men are groin foppish; favor.--Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits, thou'lt catch cold a shortly: there, take my cox
And well may fear their uits to tear,
Their manners are so apish. comb. Why, this fellow has banished two on's daughters, and did the third a blessing against his Lear. When were you wont to be so full of songs, will : if thou follow him, thou must needs wear my sirrah? coxcomb.-How now, bnuncle ! Would I had two Fool. I have used it, nuncle, ever since thos coxcombs, and two daughters !
madest thy daughters thy mothers : for, when the Lear. Why, my boy?
gavest them the rod and putt'st down thine on Fool. If I gave them all my Cliving, I'd keep my breeches, I coxcomb myself. There's mine ; beg another of
Then they for sudden joy did weep, [Singing thy daughters.
And I for sorrow sung, Lear. Take heed, sirrah ; the whip.
That such a king should play bo-peep, Fool. Truth's a dog must to kennel : he must be
And go the fools among. whipped out, when the lady d brach may stand by the fire and stink.
Pr’ythee, nuncle, keep a school-master that can teach Lear. A pestilent gall to me.
thy fool to lie: I would fain learn to lie. Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech.
Lear. An you lie, sirrah, we'll have you whipped. Lear. D.
Fool. I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters Fool. Mark it, nuncle.
are: they'll have me whipped for speaking tre, Have more than thou showest,
thou'lt have me whipped for lying; and sometimes
I am whipped for holding my peace. I had rather
be any kind o' thing than a fool; and yet I *rnd
not be thee, nuncle: thou hast pared thy wit o' bath Learn more than thou 'trowest,
sides, and left nothing i' the middle. Here comes Set less than thou throwest;
one o' the parings.
Lear. How now, daughter! what makes that front-
let on ?
Methinks, you are too much of late i' the frosn. Lear. This is nothing, fool.
Fool. Thou wast a pretty fellow, when thoa laws Fool. Then, 'tis like the breath of an unfee'd law- no need to care for lier frowning; now thou art u yer: you gave me nothing for't. Can you make noi without a figure. I am better than thou art por: use of nothing, nuncle ?
I am a fool; thou art nothing.-Yes, forsooth, 1 1 Lear. Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out of hold my tongue! so your face [ To Gon.) bids me, nothing.
though you say nothing. Mum, mum: Fool. Pr’ythee, tell him, so much the rent of his
He that keeps nor crust nor crum, *[Singing. land comes to: he will not believe a fool. Lear. A bitter fool!
Weary of all, shall want some. Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy, be- That's a shealed " peascod. tween a bitter fool and a sweet one ?
Gon. Not only, sir, this your all-licens'd fool, Lear. No, lad; teach me.
But other of your insolent retinue
Do hourly carp and quarrel; breaking forth
In rank, and not to be endured, riots. Sir,
I had thought, by making this well known unto Town
To have found a safe redress, but now grow feartal,
By what yourself too late have spoke and done,
That you protect this course, and put it lon,
By your "allowance; which is you should, the fact
Would not 'scape censure, nor the redresses sleep,
Which, in the tender of a wholesome I weal, Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given away, Might in their working do you that offence, that thou wast born with.
Which else were shame, that then necessity Kent. This is not altogether fool, my lord. Will call discreet proceeding.
Fool. No, 'faith ; lords and great men will not let Fool. For you know, nuncle, me: if I had a monopoly out, they would have part
The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long, on't, and loads too: they will not let me have all
That it had its head bit off by its young. fool to myself; they'll be snatching.-Give me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee iwo crowns.
& Grace is favor. A frontle, or forehead cloth, was worn
by ladies of old to prevent wrinkles, or frouns. - * An 0 :"Catch cold shortly," i. e., be turned out of doors.- without a figure," i. e., a cipher.--"A shealed presed." • Nuncle, a familiar contraction of mine uncle. -- " Living," | 1. e., a shelled penpod : a mere empty husk.-1" Put it 03, i. e., estato; property.— A brach is a bitch-hound. Own- i. e., promote it; instigate it.- Allowance for approdam est. -- " Trowest," i, e., believest,
_B"A wholesome weal," i. e., a well-governed state.
So, out went the candle, and we were left a darkling. | Dry up in her the organs of increase ;
[wisdom, And from her B derogate body never spring
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth ; Fool. May not an ass know when the cart draws With kcadent tears fret channels in her cheeks; the horse ?-Whoop, Jug! I love thee.
Turn all her mother's pains, and 'benefits, Lear. Does any here know me?-Why this is not To laughter and contempt; that she may feel Lear: does Lear walk thus ? speak thus ? Where How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is are his eyes ? Either his notion weakens, or his To have a thankless child !-Away! away! [Exit. discernings are lethargied.-Sleeping or waking ?- Alb. Now, gods that we adore, whereof comes this? Ha! sure 'tis not 80.- Who is it that can tell me Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause ; who I am ?-Lear's shadow? I would learn that; But let his disposition have that scopo for by the marks of sovereignty, knowledge, and That dotage gives it. reason, I should be false persuaded I had daughters.
Re-enter LEAR. Fool. Which they will make an obedient father.
Lear. What! fifty of my followers, at a clap, Lear. Your name, fair gentlewoman?
Within a fortnight? Gon. This admiration, sir, is much o' the favor
What's the matter, sir ?
Lear. I'll tell thee.-Life and death! [To Gon,
ERIL.] I am asham'd,
That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus :
That these hot tears, which break from me perforce, Men so disorder'd, so debauch'd and bold,
Should make thee worth them. Blasts and fogs That this our court, infected with their manners,
upon thee! Shows like a riotous inn: epicurism and lust
Th' muntented woundings of a father's curse
every sense about thee !--Old fond eyes, For instant remedy: be, then, desir'd
And cast you, with the waters that you lose,
To temper clay.—Ha !
Let it be so :-I have another daughter,
Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable :
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
She'll flay thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find, Lear.
Darkness and devils ! Saddle my horses; call my train together.
That I'll resume the shape, which thou dost think
I have cast off for ever,
[Exeunt LEAR ? in fury, Kent, and Attendants,
Gon. Do you mark that, my lord ? Gon. You strike my people; and your disorder'd
Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril, rabble
To the great love I bear you, Make servants of their betters.
Gon. Pray you, content.-What, Oswald, ho! Enter ALBANY.
You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master. Lear. Woe, that too late repents,–0, sir! [To
[To the Fool. ALB.] are you come ?
Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear! tarry, and take Is it your will? Speak, sir.—Prepare my horses !- the fool with thee. Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
A fox, when one has caught her, More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child,
And such a daughter,
Should sure to the slaughter,
If my cap would buy a halter;
So the fool follows after.
[Exit. My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
Gon. This man hath had good counsel.-A hun. That all particulars of duty know,
dred knights ! And in the most exact regard support
'Tis politic, and safe, to let him keep [dream, The 'worship of their name.-0, most small fault ! At point a hundred knights : yes, that on every How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show,
Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike, Which, like an "engine, wrench'd my frame of nature He may enguard bis dotage with their powers, From the fix'd place, drew from my heart all love, And hold our lives in mercy.-Oswald, I say?And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear!
Alb. Well, you may fear too far. Beat at this gate, that let thy folly in,
Safer than trust too far. (Striking his head. Let me still take away the harms I fear, And thy dear judgment out!-Go, go, my people.
Not fear still to be taken: I know his heart. Alb. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
What he hath utter'd I have writ my sister : Of what hath mov'd you.
If she sustain him and his hundred knights, Lear.
It may be so, my lord. When I have show'd th' unfitness, - how now, Hear, nature, hear! dear goddess, hear!
What, have you writ that letter to my sister ? * “ Darkling," i. e., in the dark. — " Fraught," i. e., stored. &" Derogate," i, e., degenerate.--" Thwart," i. e.. per.
Favor is completion.-d“Depend," i. e., continue in ser. verre.-- " Disnatar'd," i, e., uvnatural. -" Cadent," í e., vice. The sea monster is the hippopotamus, the hieroglyphi falling. Benefus are good offices..“Untented," i. e., runk. cal symbol of impiety and ivgratitude." An engine," i, e., ling; never-healing." At point," i. e., completely armed, the rack.
Enguard," i. e., guard; protect