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ACT II.

SCENE I.-A Court within the Castle of the EARL OP

GLOSTER.
Enter EDMUND and CURAN, meeting.
Edm. Save thee, Curan.

Cur. And you, sir. I have been with your father, and given him notice that the Duke of Cornwall and Regan his duchess will be here with him this night.

Edm. How comes that?

Cur. Nay, I know not. - You have heard of the news abroad; I mean, the whispered ones, for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments?

Edm. Not I: pray you, what are they?

Cur. Have you heard of no likely wars toward, 'twixt the Dukes of Cornwall and Albany?

Edm. Not a word.
Cur. You may, then, in time. Fare you well, sir. [Exit.
Edm. The duke be here to-night? The better! best!
This weaves itself perforce into my business.
My father bath set guard to take my brother;
And I have one thing, of a queasy question,
Which I must act:--briefness and fortune, work!-
Brother, a word ;-descend :-brother, I say!

Enter EDGAR.
My father watches :-0 sir, fly this place;
Intelligence is given where you are hid;
You have now the good advantage of the night.
Have you not spoken 'gainst the Duke of Cornwall?
He's coming hither; now, i' the night, i' the haste,
And Regan with him: have you nothing said
Upon his party 'gainst the Duke of Albany?
Advise yourself.
Edy.

I am sure on't, not a word.
Edm. I hear my father coming :-pardon me;
In cunning I must draw my sword upon you :-
Draw: seem to defend yourself: now quit you well. ---
Yield :—come before my father.—Light, ho, here!-
Fly, brother.—Torches, torches!-So, farewell.

[Exit EDGAR. Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion

'[Wounds his arm.

Of my more fierce endeavour: I have seen drunkards
Do more than this in sport.-Father, father!
Stop, stop! No help?

Enter GLOSTER, and Servants with torches.
Glo. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?

Edm. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out,
Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
To stand auspicious mistress, -
Glo.

But where is he?
Edm. Look, sir, I bleed.
Glo.

Where is the villain, Edmund ? Edm. Fled this way, sir. When by no means he could, -Glo. Pursue him, ho!-Go after. [Exeunt Servants. ]

By no means what?
Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your lordship;
But that I told him the revenging gods
'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend;
Spoke with how manifold and strong a bond
The child was bound to the father ;-sir, in fine,
Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
To his unnatural purpose, in feil motion,
With his prepared sword, he charges home
My unprovided body, lanc'd mine arm:
But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to the encounter,
Or whether gasted by the noise I made,
Full suddenly he fled.
Glo.

Let him fly far:
Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;
And found, despatch’d.-The noble duke my master,
My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night:
By his authority I will proclaim it,
That he which finds him shall deserve our thanks,
Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;
He that conceals him, death.

Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
And found him pight to do it, with curst speech
I threaten'd to discover him: he replied,
Thou un possessing bastard ! dost thou think,
If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
Of any trust, virtue, or worth, in thee
Make thy words faith'd? No: what I should deny,
As this I would ; ay, though thou didst produce
My very character, -I'd turn it all
To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice:

And thou inust make a dullard of the world,
If they not thought the profits of my death
Were very pregnant and potential spurs
To make thee seek it.
Glo.

O strong and fasten'd villain!
Would he deny his letter?- I never got him.

[Trumpets within Hark, the duke's trumpets! I know not why he comes. All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not scape; The duke must grant me that: besides, his picture I will send far and near, that all the kingdom May have due note of him; and of my land, Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means To make thee capable.

Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, and Attendants. Corn. How now, my noble friend! since I came hitber,-Which I can call but now,-I have heard strange news.

Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my lord?

Glo. O, madam, my old heart is crack’d, --it's crack'd!

Reg. What, did my father's godson seek your life? He whom my father nam’d? your Edgar?

Glo. O lady, lady, shame would have it hid!

Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous knights That tend upon my father? Glo.

I know not, madam:It is too bad, too bad.

Edm. Yes, madam, he was of that consort.

Reg. No marvel, then, though he were ill affected:
'Tis they have put him on the old man's death,
To have the expense and waste of his revenues.
I have this present evening from my sister
Been well inform’d of them; and with such cautions,
That if they come to sojourn at my house,
I'll not be there.

Corn. Nor I, assure thee, Regan. -
Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
A child-like office.
Eum.

'Twas my duty, sir.
Glo. He did bewray his practice; and receiv'd
This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.

Corn. Is he pursu'd?
Glo.

Ay, my good lord.
Corn. If he be taken he shall never more
Be fear'd of doing harm : make your own purpose,

How in my strength you please. -For you, Edmund,
Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
So much commend itself, you shall be ours :
Natures of such deep trust we shall much need;
You we first seize on.
Edm.

I shall serve you, sir,
Truly, however else.
Glo.

For him I thank your grace.
Corn. You know not why we came to visit you,

Reg. Thus out of season, threading dark-ey'd night:
Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poise,
Wherein we must have use of your advice :-
Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
Of differences, which I best thought it fit
To answer from our home; the several messengers
From hence attend despatch. Our good old friend,
Lay comforts to your bosom; and bestow
Your needful counsel to our businesses,
Which crave the instant use.

I serve you, madam:
Your graces are right welcome.

[Exeunt.

Glo.

SCENE II.—Before Gloster's Castle.

Enter Kent and OSWALD severally. Osw. Good dawning to thee, friend : art of this house? Kent. Ay. Osw. Where may we set our horses ? Kent. I' the mire. Osw. Pr’ythee, if thou lovest me, tell me. Kent. I love thee not. Osw. Why, then, I care not for thee.

Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold I would make thee care for me.

Osw. Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.
Kent. Fellow, I know thee.
Osw. What dost thou know me for ? :

Kent. A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beygarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; onetrunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou denyest the least syllable of thy addition.

Osw. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail on one that is neither known of thee nor knows thee?

Kent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou knowest me! Is it two days since I tripped up thy heels and beat thee before the king? Draw, you rogue: for, though it be night, yet the moon shines ; l'll make a sop o'the moonshine of you: draw, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger, draw.

[Drawing his sword. Osw. Away! I have nothing to do with thee.

Kent. Draw, you rascal: you come with letters against the king; and take vanity the puppet's part against the royalty of her father : draw, you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your shanks :--draw, you rascal ; come your ways.

Osw. Help, ho! murder! help.

Kent. Strike, you slave; stand, rogue, stand; you neat slave, strike.

[Beating him. Osw. Help, ho! murder! murder! Enter EDMUND, CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and Servants.

Edm. How now! What's the matter?

Kent. With you, goodman boy, if you please: come, I'll flesh you; come on, young master.

Glo. Weapons! arms! What's the matter here?

Corn. Keep peace, upon your lives;
He dies that strikes again. What is the matter?

Reg. The messengers from our sister and the king.
Corn. What is your difference? speak.
Osw. I am scarce in breath, my lord.

Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirr'd your valour. You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee: a tailor made thee.

Corn. Thou art a strange fellow: a tailor make a man?

Kent. Ay, a tailor, sir: a stone-cutter or a painter could not have made him so ill, though they had been but two hours at the trade.

Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?

Osw. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have spared at suit of his gray beard,

Kent. Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary letter!-My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him. -Spare my gray beard, you wagtail?

Corn. Peace, sirrah!
You beastly knave, know you no reverence?

Kent. Yes, sir; but anger hath a privilege.

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