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Enter the Gentleman pursued by Kent.

Gloft. Now, what's the Matter?

Duke. Keep Peace upon your Lives; he dies that Whence, and what are ye?


Att. Sir, they are Meffengers, the one from you Sifter, the other from the King.

Duke. Your Difference, speak.
Gent. I'm fcarce in Breath, my Lord.
Kent. No Marvel, you have fo beftir'd
your Valour.
Nature disclaims the Daftard; a Taylor made him.
Duke. Speak yet, how grew your Quarrel?

Gent. Sir, this old Ruffian here, whofe Life I fpared, In Pity to his Beard-

Kent. Thou Effence Bottle !

In Pity to my Beard--Your Leave, my Lord,
And I will tread the Mufk-cat into Mortar.

Duke. Know'ft thou our Prefence ?

Kent. Yes, Sir, but Anger has a Privilege.
Duke. Why art thou

angry ?

Kent. That fuch a Slave as this fhould wear a Sword, And have no Courage; Office, and no Honesty: Not Froft and Fire hold more Antipathy

'Than I and fuch a Knave.

Gloft. Why doft thou call him Knave?

Kent. His Countenance likes me not.

Duke. No more perhaps does mine, nor his, or hers. Kent. Plain Dealing is my Trade; and to be plain, Sir, I have feen better Faces in my Time, Than ftand on any Shoulders now before me.

Reg. This is fome Fellow, that having once been prais'd For Bluntnefs, fince affects a faucy Rudeness; But I have known one of these furly Knaves, That in his Plainnefs harbour'd more Defign Than twenty cringing complimenting Minions. Duke. What's the Offence you gave him ? Gent. Never any, Sir;

It pleas'd the King, his Mafter, lately
To strike me on a flender Misconstruction,
Whilft watching his Advantage, this old Lurcher
Tript me behind, for which the King extoll'd him;
And, flusht with the Honour of this bold Exploit,
Drew on me here again.


Duke. Bring forth the Stocks, we'll teach you.
Kent. Sir, I'm too old to learn;

Call not the Stocks for me, I ferve the King;
On whofe Employment I was fent to you:
You'll fhew too fmall Respect, and too bold Malice
Against the Perfon of my Royal Mafter,
Stocking his Messenger

Duke. Bring forth the Stocks, as I have Life and Ho-
There fhall he fit till Noon.
Reg. Till Noon, my Lord! Till Night, and all Night


Kent. Why Madam, If I were your Father's Dog You would not use me fo.

Reg. Sir, being his Knave, I will.

Gloft. Let me befeech your Graces to forbear him;
His Fault is much, and the good King his Master
Will check him for't, but needs muft take it ill
To be thus flighted in his Meffenger.

Duke. We'll answer that;

Our Sifter may receive it worse, to have

Her Gentleman affaulted: To our Bufinefs lead.


Gloft. I am forry for thee, Friend, 'tis the Duke's PleaWhofe Difpofition will not be controul'd; But I'll entreat for thee


Kent. Pray do not, Sir

I have watch'd and travel'd hard,

Some Time I fhall fleep out, the reft I'll whistle :
Farewell t'ye, Sir.

[Exit Gloft.

All weary, and o'erwatcht,
I feel the drowzy Guest steal on me; take
Advantage heavy Eyes on this kind Slumber,
Not to behold this vile and fhameful Lodging.
Enter Edgar.
Edg. I heard myfelf proclaim'd,
And by the friendly Hollow of a Tree
Escape the Hunt, no Port is free, no Place
Where Guards and moft unusual Vigilance
Do not attend to take me.-How eafy now
"Twere to defeat the Malice of my Trale,
And leave the Griefs on my Sword's reeking Point;
But Love detains me from Death's peaceful Call,,



Still whispering me, Cordelia's in Distress;
Unkind as he is, I cannot fee her wretched,
But must be near to wait upon her Fortune.
Who knows but the white Minute yet may come,
When Edgar may do Service to Cordelia.
That charming Hope ftill ties me to the Oar
Of painful Life, and makes me to fubmit
To th' humbleft Shifts to keep that Life a-foot;
My Face I will befmear, and knit my Locks,
The Country gives me Proof and Precedent
Of Bedlam Beggars, who, with roaring Voices,
Strike in their numb'd and mortify'd bare Arms
Pins, Iron-fpikes, Thorns, Sprigs of Rosemary,
And thus from Sheep-coats, Fillages, and Mills,
Sometimes with Prayers, fometimes with Lunatick Bans,
Enforce their Charity; poor Tyrligod, poor Tom,
That's fomething yet. Edgar I am no more.
Kent in Stocks ftill; Enter Lear attended.
Lear. "Tis ftrange that they should fo depart from
And not send back our Meflenger.



Kent. Hail, noble Master.

Lear. How! mak'ft thou this Shame thy Pastime?

What's he that has fo much mistook thy Place,

To fet thee here?

Kent. It is both He and She, Sir, your Son and Daugh


Lear. No.

Kent. Yes.

Lear. No, I fay,

Kent. I fay, yea.

Lear. By Jupiter I fwear no.

Kent. By Juno I swear, I swear ay.

Lear. They durft not do't;

They could not, would not do't; 'tis worse than Murder,
To do upon Refpect fuch violent Outrage.
Resolve me with all modest Hafte, which Way
Thou mayit deferve, or they impofe this Ufage?
Kent. My Lord, when at their Home

I did commend your Highnefs Letters to them,
'Ere I was rifen arriv'd another Post,
Steer'd in his Hafte, breathlefs and panting forth


From Goneril, his Miftrefs, Salutations,
Whofe Meffage being deliver'd, they took Horse,
Commanding me to follow, and attend
The Leisure of their Anfwer; which I did ;
But meeting that other Meffenger,
Whose Welcome I perceiv'd had poifon'd mine,
Being the very Fellow that of late
Had fhewn fuch Rudeness to your Highness, I
Having more Man than Wit about me, drew;
On which he rais'd the House with Coward's Cries:
This was the Trespass which your Son and Daughter
Thought worth the Shame you fee it fuffer here.

Lear. Oh! how this Spleen fwells upward to my Heart,
And heaves for Paffage-Down, climbing Rage;
Thy Element's below; where is this Daughter ?
Kent. Within, Sir, at a Masque.

Enter Glofter.
Lear. Now Glofter ?——Ha !
Deny to speak with me; th'are fick, th'are weary,
They have travel'd hard to-night ;-mere Fetches;
Bring me a better Answer.

Gloft. My dear Lord,

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You know the fiery Quality of the Duke.-
Lear. Vengeance, Death, Plague, Confufion,
Fiery! what Quality-Why Glofter, Glofter,
I'd fpeak with the Duke of Cornwal, and his Wife.
Gloft. I have inform'd 'em fo.

Lear. Inform'd 'em! doft thou understand me, Man? I tell thee, Glofter,

Gloft. Ay, my good Lord.


Lear. The King would fpeak with Cornwal, the dear Fa-
Would with his Daughter fpeak, commands her Service.
Are they inform'd of this? My Breath and Blood!
Fiery! the fiery Duke! tell the hot Duke--
No, but not yet, may be he is not well,
Infirmity does ftill neglect all Office;

I beg his Pardon, and I'll chide my Rafhnefs
That took the indifpos'd and fickly Fit
For the found Man: But wherefore fits he there?
Death on my State, this A&t convinces me
That this Retirednefs of the Duke and her

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Is plain Contempt; give me my Servant forth;
Go tell the Duke and his Wife I'd fpeak with 'em :
Now inftantly bid 'em come forth and hear me;
Or at their Chamber Door I'll beat the Drum,
"Till it cry fleep to Death.-

Enter Cornwal and Regan.

Oh are you come ?

Duke. Health to the King.

Reg. I am glad to fee your Highness.

Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what Caufe I have to think fo. Shou'd'ft thou not be glad

I wou'd divorce me from thy Mother's Tomb?
Beloved Regan, thou wilt fhake to hear
What I fhall utter: Thou cou'd'it n'er h' thought it.
Thy Sifter's naught: O Regan, fhe has ty'd

Kent here fet at liberty.

Ingratitude like a keen Vulture here ;
I fcarce can speak to thee.

Reg. I pray you, Sir, take Patience; I have Hope
That you know lefs to value her Defert,
Than fhe to flack her Duty.

Lear. Ha! How's that?

Reg. I cannot think my Sifter in the leaft
Would fail in her Respects; but if perchance
She has reftrain'd the Riots of your Followers,
'Tis on fuch Grounds, and to fuch wholefome Ends,
As clear her from all Blame.

Lear. My Curfes on her.

Reg. O Sir, you 're old,

And thou'd content you to be rul'd and led
By fome Difcretion that difcerns your State
Better than yourself; therefore, Sir,
Return to our Sifter, and fay you've wrong'd her.
Lear. Ha! Afk her Forgiveness?

No, no, 'twas my Miftake, thou didst not mean fo;
Dear Daughter, I confefs that I am old :

Age is unneceffary; but thou art good,
And wilt difpenfe with my Infirmity.

Reg. Good Sir, no more of thefe unfightly Paffions

Return back to our Sifter.




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