Imatges de pÓgina
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T'avert your liking a more worthier way,
Than on a wretch whom Nature is afham'd
Almost to acknowledge hers.

Fra. This is most strange !
That she, who even but now, was your best Object
The Argument of your Praise, balm of your Age,
The best, the dearest, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
So many folds of Favour ; fure her Offence
Must be of such unnatural Degree,
As Monstrous is; or your fore-voucht affe&ion
Could not fall into Taint; which to believe of her
Must be a Faith, that reason without miracle
Should never plant in me.
Cor. I
yet beseech
your Majesty,

,
If for I want chat glib and oily Art,
To speak and purpose not, fince what I will intend,
I'll do't before I speak, that you make known
It is no vicious blot, murther, or foulness,
No unchaste A&ion, or dishonour'd step,
That hath depriv'd me of your Grace and Favour,
But even for want of that, for which I am richer,
A still solliciting Eye, and such a Tongue,
That I am glad I have not, though not to have it,
Hath lost me in your liking.

Lear. Better thou hadft
Not been born, than not t'have pleas'd me better.

Fra. Is it but this? A tardiness in Nature,
Which often leaves the History unspoke
That it intends to do; my Lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the Lady ? Love's not Love
When it is mingled with regards, that stands
Aloof from th’intire Point, will you have her ?
She is her self a Dowry.

Bur. Royal King
Give but that Portion which your self propos’d,
And here I take Cordelia by the Hand,
Dutchess of Burgundy.
Lear. Nothing

I have Sworn, I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry then you have so lost a Fathers
That
you
must lose a Husband.

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Cor.

Cor. Peace be with Burgundy,
Since that refped and fortunes are his Love,
I shall not be his Wife.

Fra. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich being poor,
Most choice forsaken, and most lov'd defpis'd,
Thee and thy Virtues here I seize upon,
Be it lawful I take up what's cast away.
Gods, Gods ! 'Tis ftrange, that from their cold'st negle&.
My love should kindle to enflam'd respe&.
Thy dowreless Daughter, King, thrown to my chance,
Is Queen of us, of ours, and our fair France :
Not all the Dukes of watrish Burgundy,
Can buy this unpriz'd precious Maid of me.
Bid them farewel, Cordelia, though unkind,
Thou losest here, a better where to find.

Laer. Thou hast her France, let her be thine, for we Have no such Daughter, nor shall ever see That face of hers again, therefore be gone, Without our Grace, our Love, our Benizon : Come Noble Burgundy. [Flouris. [Exeunt.

Fra. Bid farewel to your Sisters.

Cor. The Jewels of our Father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you, I know you what you are,
And like a Sifter am most loath to call
Your faults as they are named. Love well our Father :
To your professed Bosoms I commit him,
But yet alas, stood I within his Grace,
I would prefer him to a better place,
So farewel to you both.

Reg. Prescribe not us our Duty.

Gon. Let your Study
Be to content your Lord, who hath receiv'd you
At Fortunes Alms; you have Obedience fcanted,
And well are worth the want that you have wanted.

Cor. Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides,
Who covers Faults, at last with shame derides.
Well may you prosper.

Fra. Come, my fair Cordelia. [Exeunt France and Cor.

Gon. Sister, it is not little I have to say, Of what most nearly appertains to us both, I think our Father will go hence to Night.

Reg. with us.

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Reg. That's most certain, and with you ; next Month

Gon. You see how full of Changes his Age is, the observation we have made of it hath been little ; he always lov'd our Sister most, and with what poor Judgment he hath now cast her off, appears too too grosly.

Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his Age ; yet he hath ever but Nenderly known himself.

Gon. The best and soundeft of his time hath been but rash ; then must we look from his Age, to receive not alone the Imperfections of long engraffed Condition, but therewithal the unruly waywardness, that infirm and cholerick Years bring with them.

Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him, as this of Kent's Banishment.

Gon. There is further Complement of leave taking, between France and him; pray you let us fit together, if our Father carry Authority with such Disposition as he bears, this last surrender of his Will but offend us.

Reg. We shall further think of it.
Gon. We must do something, and i'th' Heat. [Exeunt

Enter Bastard with a Letter.
Baft. Thou Nature art my Goddess, to thy Law
My Services are bound ; wherefore should I
Stand in the Plague of Custom, and permit
The curiosity of Nations to deprive me,
For that I am fome twelve, or fourteen Moonshines,
Lag of a Brother? Why Bastard ?? wherefore base?
When my Dimensions are as well compact,
My Mind as generous, and my Shape as true
As honest Madam's Issue? why brand they us
With Base? with Baleness ? Bastardy? Bale, Base?
Who in the lusty stealth of Nature, take
More Composition, and fierce quality,
Than doth, within a dull stale tired Bed,
Go to th’ creating a whole Tribe of Fops
Got 'tween a sleep, and wake? Well then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your Land,
Our Father's Love is to the Bastard Edmund,
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As

!

As to th’legitimate ; fine Word - legitimate
Well, my Legitimate, if this Letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall to th'legitimate - I

grow,

I prosper ; Now Gods, stand

up

for Bastards,

Enter Glofter. Glo. Kent banish'd thus ! and France in Choler parted ! And the King gone to Night! Prescribid his Power, Confin'd to Exhibition ! All this

gone Upon the Gad! Edmund, how now? what News Baft

. So please your Lordship, none. [Putting up the Letter. Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up thac Letter? ? Baft.. I know no News, my Lord. Glo. What Paper were you reading? Baft. Nothing, my Lord.

Glo. No! what needed then that terrible Dispatch of it into your Pocket ? the quality of nothing, hath not such need to hide it felf. Let's see ; come, if it be nothing, I shall not need Spe&acles.

Baft. I beseech you, Sir, pardon me; it is a letter from my Brother, that I have not all o'er-read; and for so much as I have perus'd, I find it not fit for your o'er-looking,

Glou. Give me the Letter, Sir.
Baft. I hall offend, either to detain, or give it ;
The Contents, as in part I understand them,
Are to blame.

Glo. Let's see, let's see.

Baft. I hope for my Brother's Justification, he wrote this but as an Ellay, or taste of my Virtue.

Glo. reads.] This Policy, and Reverence of Age, makes the World bitter to the best of our times; keeps ours Fortunes from is, 'till our oldness cannot relish them. I begin to find an idle and fond Bondage, in the oppression of aged Tyranny, which Sways, not as it hath Power, but as it is suffered. Come to me, that of this I may speak more. If our Father would seep 'till I wak'd him, you should enjoy half his Revenue for ever, and live the beloved of your Brother. Edgar. Hum! ---Conspiracy! Sleep 'till I wake him enjoy half his Revenue my Son Edgar ! had he a Hand to write this! A Heart and a Brain to breed it in ! When came this to you ? who brought it?

Baft.

1

you should

Baft. It was not brought me, my Lord; there's the cunning of it. I found it thrown in at the Casement of my Closet.

Glo. You know the Character to be your Brother's ?

Baft. If the matter were good, my Lord, I durst swear it were his; but in respect of that, I would fain think it were not.

Glo. It is his.

Bast. It is his Hand, my Lord; I hope this 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 perfe& 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 ! his very Opinion in the Letter. Abhorred Villain! unnatural, detested, bruitish Villain ! worse than bruitish ! Go, firrah, seek him ; I'll apprehend him. Abominable Villain ! where is he?

Baft. I do not well know, my Lord ; if it shall please you to fufpend your Indignation against my Brother, 'till you can derive from him better Testimony of his Intent, you should run a certain Course ; where, if you violently proceed against him, mistaking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your Honour, and shake 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 ?

Bal. If your Honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall hear us confer this, and by an Auricular Assurance have your Satisfa&ion, and that without any further delay, than this very Evening.

Glo. He cannot be such a Monster. Edmund, seek him out ; wind me into him, I pray you ; frame the Business after your own Wisdom. I would unstate my self, to be in a due resolution.

Baft. I will seek him, Sir, presently ; convey the Business as I shall find means, and acquaint you withal.

Glo. These late Eclipses in the Sun and Moon portend no good to us ; though the Wisdom of Nature can reason it

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