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power, but as it is suffered, come to mee, that of this I may speake mure; it our father would fee pe till I wakt him, you should enioy halfe h's reuenew for euer, and liue the beloued of your brother Edgar.

Hum, conspiracy, Nept till I wikt him, you should enioy halfe his reuenew: my sonne Edgar, had he a hand to write this, a hart and braine to breed it in ? when came this to you, who brought it?

Baft. It was not brought me my lord, there's the cunning of it, I found it throwne in at the casement of my closet. Glut. You know the carracter to be your

brothers ? Bejt. If the matter were good, my lord, I durft sweare it were his, but in respect of that, I would faine thinke it were not.

Glot. Is it his ?

Baft. It is his hand my lord, but I hope his heart is not in the contents.

Gloft. Hath he neuer heeretofore founded you in this businelle ?

Baft. Neuer my lord, but I haue often heard him maintaine it to be fit, that fonnes at perfit age, and fathers declining, his father should be as ward to the fonne, and the sonne mannage the reuenew.

Gloft. O villaine, villaine, his very opinion in the letter, abhorrid villaine, vnnaturall detested bruitish villaine, worse then bruitish, go fir seeke him; I, apprehend him, abhominable villaine, where is he?

Baft. I do not well know my lord, if it shall please you to suspend your indignation against my brother, till you can deriue from him better testimony of this intent, you shal runne a certaine course, where if you violently proceed against him, mistaking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your owne honour, and shake in peeces the heart of his obedience,

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I dare pawne downe my life for him, hee hath wrote this to feele my affection to your honour, and to no further pretence of danger.

Gloft. Thinke you so ?

Bast. If your honour iudge it meete, I will place you where you shall heare vs conferre of this, and by an aurigular assurance haue your satisfaction, and that without any further delay then this very euening.

Gloft. He cannot be such a monster.
Bat. Nor is not sure.

Glet. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loues him: heauen and earth! Edmund seeke him out, winde me into him, I pray you frame your busines after your owne wisedome, I wold vnstate myselfe to be in a due resolution.

Bat. I shall seeke him sir presently, conuey the businesse as I shall see meanes, and acquaint you withall.

Ch. These late eclipses in the sunne and moone, portend no good to vs, though the wisedome of nature can reason thus and thus, yet nature findes itselfe scourg'd by the sequent effects, loue cooles, friendship fals off, brothers diuide, in cities mutinies, in countries discords, pallaces treason, the bond crackt betweene fonne and father; finde out this villaine, Edmund it shall lose thee nothing, do it carefully; and the noble and true hearted Kent banisht, his offence honest; strange, strange!

Baft. This is the excellent foppery of the world, that when we are ficke in fortune, often the surfet of our owne behauiour, we make guilty of our disasters, the funne, the moone, and the stars, as if we were villaines by neceflity, fooles by heauenly compulsion, knaues, theeues, and trecherers by spirituall predominance, drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'st obedience of planitary influence, and all that we are euill in, by a diuine thrusting on, an ad


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mirable euasion of whore-master man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of stars : my father compounded with my mother vnder the Dragons taile, and my natiuity was vnder Vrfa maior, so that it followes I am rough and lecherous ; fut, I should haue beene that I am, had the maidenlest starre of the firmament twiuckled on my bastardy ; Edgar,

Enter Edgar. and out he comes like the catastrophe of the old comedy, mine is villanous melancholy, with a sigh like them of Bedlam; O these ecclipfes do portend these diuisions.

Edgar. How now brother Edmund, what serious contemplation are you in ?

Bast. I am thinking brother of a prediction I read this other day, what should follow these ccclipses.

Edg. Doe you busie your selfe about that?

Baft. I promise you the effects he writ of, succeed vnhap: pily, as of vnnaturalnesse betweene the childe and the parent, death, dearth, dissolutions of ancient armies, diuisions in state, menaces and maledictions against king and nobles, needlesse diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of cohorts, nuptiall breaches, and I know not what.

Edg. How long haue you bin in a fectary astronomicall?
Bast. Come, come, when saw you my father last?
Edg. Why the night gone by.
Baft. Spake you with him ?
Edg. Two houres together.

Baft. Parted you in good tearmes? found you no displea: sure in him by word or countenance ?

Edg. None at all.

Bast. Bethinke yourselfe wherein you may haue offended him, and at my entreaty, forbeare his presence, till some little time hath qualified the heate of his displeasure, which


at this instant fo rageth in him, that with the mischiefe of your person it would scarse allay.

Edg. Some villaine hath done me wrong.

Baft. That's my feare brother, I aduise you to the best, goe arm’d, I am no honest man if there be any good meaning towards you, I haue told you what I haue feen and heard, but faintly, nothing like the image and horror of it; pray you away. Edg. Shall I heare from you anon?

Exit Edgar. Baft. I do ferue you in this businesse : A credulous father, and a brother noble, Whose nature is so farre from doing harmes, That he suspects none, on whose foolish honesty My practises ride easie, I see the businesse, Let me if not by birth, haue lands by wit, All with me's meete, that I can fashion fit.


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Enter Gonorill and a Gentleman.

Gin. Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his foole?

Gent. Yes madam.

Gon. By day and night he wrongs me,
Euery houre he Aashes into one grosse crime or other,
That sets vs all at ods. Ile not endure it ;
His knights grow riotous, and himselfe vpbraids vs
On euery trifle when he returnes from hunting,
I will not speake with him, say I am ficke.
If you come Nacke of former feruices,
You shall do well, the fault of it Ile answer.

Gent. Hee's comming madam, I heare him.

Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please, you and your fellow-feruants, Ide haue it come in question, if he diflike it, let him to our sister, whose minde and mine I know in H4



that are one, not to be ouer-rulde ; idle olde man that still would manage those authorities that he hath giuen away, now by my life olde fooles are babes againe, and must be vsed with checkes as Aatteries, when they are seene abus'd, remember what I tell you.

Gent. Very well, madam.

Gon. And let his knights haue colder lookes among you, what growes of it no matter, aduise your fellowes so, I would .breed from hence occasions, and I shall, that I may speake, Ile write straight to my sister to hold my very course; goe .


prepare for dinner..

Enter Kent.

Ken. If but as well I other accents borrow, that can my speech defuse, my good intent may carry through it selfe to that ful issue for which I raiz'd my likenesse; now banisht Kent, if thou canst ferue where thou dost stand condemn’d, thy master whom thou louest, shall finde the full of labour.

Enter Lear. Lear. Let me not stay a iot for dinner, goe get it ready: how now, what art thou ?

Kent. A man sir.
Lear. What dost thou professe ? what wouldst thou with

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Kent. I doe profeffe to bee no lesse then I seeme, to ferue him truely that wil put me in trust, to loue him that is ho. nest, to conuerse with him that is wise and saies little, to feare iudgement, to fight when I cannot chuse, and to eate

no fish.

Lear. What art thou ?

Kent. A very honest hearted fellow, and as poore as the


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