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Edg. How long have you been a sectary astronomical?

Edm. Come, come; when saw you my father last?

Edg. Why, the night gone by.
Edm. Spake you with him ?
Edg. Ay, two hours together,

Edm. Parted you in good terms? Found you no displeasure in him, by word or countenance ?

Edg. None at all,

Edm. Bethink yourself, wherein you may have offended him: and at my entreaty, forbear his presence, till some little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure ; which at this instant so rageth in him, that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay.

Edg: Some villain hath done me wrong.

Edm. That's my fear, I pray you, have a continent? forbearance, till the speed of his rage goes slower; and, as I say, 1etire with me to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my lord speak : Pray you, go; there's my key :- If you do stir abroad, go armed.

Edg. Armed, brother ?

Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best : go armed; I am no honest man, if there be any good meaning towards

I have told


what I have seen and heard, but faintly; nothing like the image and horror of it: Pray you, away.

Edg. Shall I hear from you anon?
Edm. I do serve you in this business.

[Exit EDGAR.
A credulous father, and a brother noble,
Whose nature is so far from doing harms,
That he suspects none ; on whose foolish honesty
My practices, ride easy ! - I see the business.

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2 Temperate.

Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit :
All with me 's meet, that I can fashion fit. (Exit.


A Room in the Duke of Albany's Palace.

Enter GONERIL and Steward.

Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for

chiding of his fool ? Stew. Ay, madam. Gon. By day and night ! he wrongs me; every

hour He flashes into one gross crime or other, That sets us all at odds : I'll not endure it: His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us On every trifle :

When he returns from hunting, I will not speak with him; say, I am sick:If you come slack of former services, You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer. Stew. He's coming, madam ; I hear him.

[Horns within. Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please, You and your fellows; I'd have it come to question : If he dislike it, let him to my sister, Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one, Not to be over-rul'd. Idle old man, That still would manage those authorities, That he hath given away! - Now, by my life, Old fools are babes again; and must be us’d With checks, as flatteries, - when they are seen

abus'd. Remember what I have said. Ster.

Very well, madam. Gon. And let his knights have colder looks among


What grows
of it, no matter ;


I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,
That I may speak. — I'll write straight to my sister,
To hold my very course : - Prepare for dinner.



A Hall in the same.

Enter Kent, disguised.

Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow, That can my speech diffuse 3, my good intent May carry through itself to that full issue For which I raz'd 4 my likeness. — Now, banish'd

Kent, If thou canst serve where thou dost stand con

demn'd, may it come !) thy master, whom thou lov'st, Shall find thee full of labours.


Horns within. Enter LEAR, Knights, and At


Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner : go, get it ready. [Exit an Attendant.] How now, what art thou ?

Kent. A man, sir.

Lear. What dost thou profess? What would'st thou with us ?

Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem ; to serve him truly, that will put me in trust; to love him that is honest; to converse with him that is

3 Disorder, disguise.

4 Effaced.

wise, and says little ; to fear judgment; to fight, when I cannot choose ; and to eat no fish,

Lear. What art thou ?
Kent. A


honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king.

Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject, as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What would'st thou ?

Kent. Service.
Lear. Who would'st thou serve ?
Kent. You.
Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow ?

Kent. No, sir ; but you have that in your countenance, which I would fain call master.

Lear. What's that?
Kent. Authority.
Lear. What services canst thou do?

Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in ; and the best of me is diligence.

Lear. How old art thou?

Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing ; nor so old, to dote on her for any thing: I have years on my back forty-eight.

Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me; if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet. - Dinner, ho; dinner ! — Where's my knave ? my fool ? Go you, and call my fool hither:

Enter Steward.

You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?
Stew. So please you,

[Exit. Lear. What says the fellow there ? Call the clotpoll back. -- Where's my fool, ho? — I think the world 's asleep. -How now? Where's that mongrel ?

Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.



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Lear. Why came not the slave back to me, when I call'd him?

Knight. Sir, he answer'd me in the roundest manner, he would not.

Lear. He would not!

Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is, but, to my judgment, your highness is not entertain'd with that ceremonious affection as you were wont;

there's a great abatement of kindness appears, as well in the general dependants, as in the duke himself also, and your daughter,

Lear. Ha! say'st thou so ? Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken ; for my duty cannot be silent, when I think your highness is wrong'd.

Lear. Thou but remember'st me of mine own conception; I have perceived a most faint neglect of late ; which I have rather blamed as mine own jealous curiosity, than as a very pretence and purpose

of unkindness : I will look further into 't.But where's my fool ? I have not seen him this two days.

Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, sir, the fool hath much pin'd away.

Lear. No more of that; I have noted it well. Go you, and tell my daughter I would speak with her.

call hither




Re-enter Steward. O, you sir, you sir, come you hither: Who am I,

sir ? Stew. My lady's father.

Lear. My lady's father ! my lord's knave : you slave! you cur !

Stew. I am none of this, my lord; I beseech you, pardon me.

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s Punctilious jealousy.

6 Design.

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