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To know our enemies minds wee'd rip their hearts,
Their papers is more lawfull.
A Letter. Let your reciprocall vowes be remembred, You hare many opportunities to cut him off. If your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully offered. There is nothing done : if he returne the conqueror, Then am I the prisoner, and his bed my inyle, From the loath'd warmth whereof deliuer me, And supply the place for your labour. Your wife (so I would say) and your affectionate seruant,
Edg. O vndistinguisht space of womans wit,
A plot vpon her vertuous husbands life,
And the exchange my brother : heere in the sands
Thee Ile rake vp, the post vnfanctified
Of murtherous letchers, and in the mature time
With this vngracious paper strike the fight
Of the death practisd duke, for him tis well,
That of his death and businesle I can tell.
Glo. The king is mad, how ftiffe is my vilde sense,
That I stand vp, and haue ingenious feeling
Of my huge sorrowes, better I were distract,
So shouid my thoughts be fenced from my greefes,
And woes by wrong imaginations, lose
The knowledge of themselues.
A drumme afarre off
Edg. Giue me your hand :
Farre off methinkes I heare the beaten drum.
Come father Ile bestow you with a friend.
Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Doctor.
Cor. O thou good Kent,
How shall I live and worke to match thy goodnesle,
My life will be too short, and euery measure faile me.
Kent. To be acknowledg'd madam is ore-paid,
All my reports go with the modelt truth,
Nor more, nor clipt, but so.
Cor. Be better suited,
These weeds are memories of those worser houres,
I prethee put them off.
Kent. Pardon me deere madam,
Yet to be knowne shortens my made intent,
My boone I make it that you know me not,
Till time and I thinke meet.
Cor. Then be it fo: my lord how does the king.
Doct. Madam sleepes still.
Cor. O you kinde gods,
Cure this great breach in his abused nature,
The vntun'd and hurrying senses, O winde vp,
of this childe-changed father.
Doet. So please your maiesty we may wake the king
He hath Nept iong.
Cor. Be gouern’d by your knowledge, and proceede Ith sway of your owne will : is he array'd ?
Doet. I madam, in the hequinesse of his sleepe, We put fresa garments on him.
Kent, 'Good madam be by when we do awake him,
I doubt not of his temperance.
Cor. Very well.
Dost. Please you draw neere : louder the musicke there.
Cor. O my deere father,
Restoration hang thy medicine op my lippes,
And let this kifle repaire those violent harmes
That my two sisters haue in thy reuerence made.
Kent. Kinde and deere princesse.
Cor. Had you not bin their father, these white flakes
Had challeng’d pitty of them. Was this a face
To be expofd against the warring windes,
To stand against the deepe dread bolted thunder,
In the most terrible and nimble stroke
Of quicke crosse lightning, to watch poore Per du,
With this thin helme ? mine iniurious dogge,
Though he had bit me, should haue stood that night
Against my fire, and wast thou faine (poore father)
To houill thee with swine and rogues forlorne,
In short and musty straw? Alack, alacke,
Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once,
Had not concluded all.' He wakes, speake to him.
Doct. Madam do you, tis fittest.
C. How does my royal lord ? how fares your majesty
Lear. You do me wrong to take me out a'th graue,
Thou art a foule in blise, but I am bound
Vpon a wheele of fire, that mine owne teares
Do scald like molten lead.
Cor. Sir, know ye me?
Lear. Y'are a spirit I know, when did you dye?
Cor. Still, still, farre wide.
Dot. He's scarse awake, let him alone awhile.
Lear. Where haue I bin ? where am I ? faire day light!
I am mightily abusd; I should ene dye with pity
To see another thus. I know not what to say :
I will not sweare these are my hands, let's see,
I feele this pin pricke, would I were assur’d of my condition.
Cor. O looke vpon me sir,
And hold your hands in benediction ore me,
No sir, you must not kneele.
Lear. Pray do not mocke me:
I am a very foolish fond olde man,
Fourescore and vpward, and to deale plainly,
I feare I am not perfect in my minde.
Me thinkes I should know you, and know this man,
Yet I am doubtfull: for I am mainly ignorant
What place this is, and all the skill I haue
Remembers not these garments : nor I know not
Where I did lodge last night. Do no laugh at me,
For (as I am a man) I thinke this lady
To be my childe Cordelia.
Cor. And so I am.
Lear. Be your teares wet? yes faith : I pray weepe not,
you haue poison for me I will drinke it :
I know you do not loue me, for your sisters
Haue (as I do remember) done me wrong,
You haue fome cause, they haue not.
Cor. No cause, no cause.
Lear. Am I in France ?
Kent. In your owne kingdome sir.
Lear. Do not abuse me.
Dot. Be comforted good madame, the great rage you see is cured in him, and yet it is danger to make him euen ore the time hee has loft ; desire him to goe in, trouble him no more till further setling.
Cor. Wilt please your highnesse walke?
Lear. You must beare with me :
Pray now forget and forgiue,
I am olde and foolish.
Manet Kent and Gentleman.
Gen. Holds it true fir that the duke of Cornwall was so
Kent. Most certaine fir.
Gent. Who is conductor of his people ?
Kent. As tis faid, the bastard fonne of Glofter.
Gent. They say Edgar his banisht fonne, is with the earle
of Kent in Germany,
Kent. Report is changeable, tis time to looke about,
The powers of the kingdome approch apace.
. Gent. The arbitrement is like to be bloody, fare you well
fir. Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrought, Or well, or ill, as this dayes battels fought.
Enter Edmund, Regan, and their powers.
Baft. Know of the duke if his last purpose holde,
Or whether since he is aduisd by ought
To change the course, he is full of alteration
And selfe-reprouing, bring his constant pleasure.
Reg. Our sisters man is certainly miscarried.
Baft. Tis to be doubted madam.
Reg. Now sweet lord,
You know the goodnelle I intend vpon you :
Tell me truly, but then speake the truth,
Do you not loue my sister ?
Baft. I honor'd loue.
Reg. But haue you neuer found my brothers way, To the forefended place?
Baft. That thought abuses you.
Reg. I am doubtfull that you haue beene coniunct And bolom'd with her, as farre as we call hers.
Baft. No by mine honor madam.
Reg. I neuer shall endure her,
Deere my lord be not familiar with her.
Baf. Feare me not, she and the duke her hulband.