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Baft. It was not brought me, my Lord; there's the cunning of it. I found it thrown in at the Cafement of my Closet.
Glo. You know the Chara&ter to be your Brother's?
Rajt. If the matter were good, my Lord, I durft swear it were his; but in respect of that, I would fain think it were not.
Glo. It is his.
Baft. It is his Hand, my Lord; I hope his Heart is not in the Contents.
Glo. Has he never before founded you in this Business? Baft. Never, my Lord. But I have heard him oft maintain it to be fit, that Sons at perfect Age, and Father's declin'd, the Father should be as Ward to the Son, and the Son manage his Revenue.
Glo. O Villain, Villain! bis very Opinion in the Lerter. Abhorred Villain! upnatural, detefled, bruitish Villain! worse than bruitish! Go, firrah, fock him; I'll apprehend him. Abominable Villain! where is ha?
Baft. I do not well know, my Lord; if it will please you to suspend your Indignation against my Brother, 'till you can derive from him better Testimony of his Intent, you fhould run a certain Course ; where, if you violently proceed against him, millaking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your Honour; and make in pieces the Heart of his Obedience. 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. Glo. Think you so ?
your Honour judae it meet, I will place you where you shall hear us conier his, and by an Auricular Assurance have your Sarisfa&ti n, and that without any further delay, than this very Evening.
Glo. He cannot be such a Monter Edmund, foek him out; wind me into him, I pay you; frame the B finess after your own Wildom. I would unftate my fik, to be in a due resolution.
Baft. I will feck him, Sir, prefently; convey the Business as I shall find means, and acquaine you withal,
Glo. These lare Eclipses in the Sun and Moon portend no good to us; though the Windom of Nature can reason it
thus, and thus, yet Nature finds it felf.scourg'd by the fequent Effe&s. 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. This Villain of mine cenes under the Prediction; there's Son against Father, the King falls from biass of Nature, there's Father against Child. We have seen the best of our time. Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous Disorders follow us disquietly to our Graves. Find out this Villain, Edmund; it shall lose thee. nothing, do it carefully and the Noble and true-hearted Kent banith'd! his offence, honesty. 'Tis strange.
[Exit. Balt. This is the excellent foppery of the World, that when we are fick in Fortune, ofren the Surfeits of our own Behaviour, we make guicy of our Disasters, the Sun, the Moon, and Stars; as if we were Villains on necellity, Fools by Heav'nly Compulsion, Knaves, Tbiev s, and Treachers by Spherical Predominanc,. Drunkards, Lyars, and Adulterers by an inforca. Obedience of Planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting
An admirable Evasion of Whore-master-Man, to lay his Goatish disposition on the charge of a Star; My Father compounded with my Mother under the Dragon's Tal, and my Nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows, I am rough and lecherous. I should have been that I am, had the Maidenlieft Star in the Firmament twinkled on my Bastardizing
Enter Edgar. Pat!
che comes like the Catastrophe of the old Comedy; 'my Cue is villainous Melancholy, with a sigh like Tomo'Bedlam - these Eclipses do portend thefe Dirisions!, Fa, So!, La, Me
Edg. How now, Brother Edmund, what serious Contemplation are you in?
Baft. I am thinking, Brother, of a Predi&tion I read this other Day, what should follow these Eclipses.
Edg. Do you bufie your self with that?
Belt. I promise you the Eff.&s he writes of, succeed unhappily. When saw you my Father last? Edg. The Night gone by.
Baft. Spake you with him?
Bast. Parted you in good Terms, found you no displeasure in him, by Word, nor Countenance?
Edg. None at all.
Bast. Bethink your self wherein you have offended him: And at my entreaty forbear his presence, until fome little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure ; which at this inftant so rageth in him, that with the Miscihef of your Perfon, it would scarcely allay
Edg. Some Villain harh done me wrong.
Baft. That's my fear; I pray you have a continent for bearance 'till the speed of his Rage goes slower: And as I say, retire with me to my Lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my Lord speak : Pray you go, there's my Key: If you do fir abroad, go arm’d.
Edg. Armd, Brother!
Bast. Brother, I advise you to the best, I am no honest Man, if there be any good meaning toward you : I have told you what I have seen and heard; but faintly; nothing like the Image and Horror of it; pray you away. Edg. Shall I hear from you anon?
[Exit. Baft. I do serve you in this Business : A credulous Father, and a Brother noble, Whose Nature is so far from doing harms, That he fufpe&ts none; on whose foolith Honesty My Practices ride easie: I see the Busines Let me, if not by Birth, have Lands by Wit, All with me's meer, that I can fashion fit.
[Exir. SCENE II. The Duke of Albany's Palace.
Enter Goreril, and Steward. Gon. Did my Father strike my Gentleman' for chiding of his Fool?
Stew. Ay, Madam.
Gon. By Day and Night, he wrongs me; every Hour He flashes into one gross Crime, or other, That sets us all at odds; I'll not endure ir; His Knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us
On every Trifle. When he returns from hunting,
Stew. He's coming, Madam, I hear him.
Gon. Put on what weary Negligence you please,
Stew. Well, Madam.
Gon. And let his Knights have colder Looks among you: What grows of it no matter, advise your Fellows so, I'll write straight to my Sister to hold my course: Prepare for Dinner.
[Exeunt. Enter Kent disguis’d. Kent. If but as well I other Accents borrow, Ard can my Speech distife, my good intent May carry thro' it self to that full Issue For which I raz’d my likeness. Now, banisht Kent, If thou canst ferve where thou doft ftand condema'd, So may it come, thy Mafter whom thou lov'ft, Shall find thee full of Labours.
Horns within. Enter Lear, Knights and Attendants. Lear. Let me not stay a jot for Dinner, go get it ready: How now, what art thou?
Kent. A Man, Sir.
Lear. What dost thou profess? What wouldst thou with us?
Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem ; to serve him truly that will put me in trust, to love him that is haneft, to converse with him that is wise, and says little, to fear Judgment, to fight when I cannot chufe, and to eat no Filh.
Lear. What art thou?
Kent. A very honeft-hearted Fellow, and as poor as the King.
Lear. If thou beest as poor for a Subjed, as he's for a King, thou art poor cough. What would thou?
Kent. No, Sir, but you have that in your Countenance, which I would fain call Master.
Lear. What's that?
Kent. I can keep honest Counfels, ride, run, marr a curious Tale in telling it, and deliver a plain Message blunily: That which ordinary Men are fit for, I am qualified in, and the best of me, is diligence.
Lear. How old art thou?
Kent. Not so young, Sir, to love a Woman for singing, nor lo old to doat on her for any thing. I have Years on my Back forty eight.
Lear. Follow me, thou shalt serve me; if I like thee no worse after Dinner, I will not part from thee yet. Dinner ho, Dinner----where's my Knave? my Fool? go you and call my Fool hither. You, you, Sirrah, where's my Daughter?
[Exit, Lear. What says the Fellow there ? Cali the Coltpole back; Where's my Fool? Ho?... I think the World's alleep, how now? Where's that Mungrel?
Knight. He says, my Lord, your Daughter is not well.
Lear. Why came not the Slave back to me when I cali'd him?
Knight. Sir, he answered in the roundeft manner, he would not.
Lear. He would not?
Knight. My Lord, I know not what the matter is; but to my Judgment, your Highness is not entertain'd with that Ceremonious Affe&tion as you were wont; there's a great abatement of kindness appears as well in the general Dependants, as in the Duke himself also, and your Daughter.
Lear. Ha ! faist thou fo ?