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Lear. Now, by the gods— Rent. Now, by the gods, rash king, thou swear'st in Wain. Lear. Ha! traitor : Rent. Do, kill thy physician, Lear; Strike through my throat; yet, with my latest breath, I’ll thunder in thine ear my just complaint, And tell thee to thy face, that thou dost ill. Jear. Hear me, rash man; on thine allegiance hear me; Since thou hast striven to make us break our vow, And press'd between our sentence and our power; Which nor our nature, nor our place, can bear, We banish thee for ever from our sight And kingdom; if, when three days are expired, Thy hated trunk be found in our dominions, That moment is thy death.-Away. Kent. Why, fare thee well, king; since thou art resolved, I take thee at thy word; I will not stay To see thy fall. The gods protect thee, maid, That truly think'st, and has most justly said. Thus to old climates my old truth I bear; Friendship lives hence, and banishment is here. [erit Kent Lear. Now, Burgundy, you see her price is fall'n ; Yet, if the fondness of your passion still Affect her as she stands, dowerless, and lost In our esteem, she's yours; take her, or leave her. Burg. Pardon me, royal Lear, I but demand The dower yourself proposed, and here I take Cordelia by the hand, dutchess of Burgundy. Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by a father’s rage, I tell you all her wealth. (Cordelia throws herself at Lear's feet) Away! away! away ! (flourish of trumpets, &c.) [exeunt all but Cordelia.

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Or is it the raving of a sickly thought? Could Burgundy forego so rich a prize, #. leave her to despairing Edgar's arms? ave I thy hand, Cordelia? do I clasp it? The hand that was this minute to have join'd . 2.... " My hated rival's 2 do I kneel before thee, And offer at thy feet my panting heart 2 Smile, princess, and convince me; for, as yes, I doubt, and dare not trust the dazzling joy. Cord. Some comfort yet, that twas no vicious blot That has deprived me of a father's grace; But merely want of that, flat makes me rich In wanting it; a smooth professing tongue. O sisters I am loatk to call your fault As it deserves; but use our father well, And wrong'd Cordelia never shall repine. Edg... O heavenly maid! that art thyself thy dow'r, Richer in Airtue than the stars in light; If Edgar's humble fortunes may be graced With thy acceptance, at thy feet he lays them. Ha! my Cordelia, dost thou turn away? What have I done to offend thee P ) Cord. Talk'd of love. Edg. Then l’ve offended oft; Cordelia too Has oft permitted me so to offend. Cord. When, Edgar, I permitted your addresses, I was the darling daughter of a king; Nor can I now forget my royal birth, And live dependent on my lover's fortune; I cannot to so low a fate submit; And therefore study to forget your passion, And trouble me upon this theme no more. Edg. Thus majesty takes most state in distress. How are we tost on fortune's fickle flood! The wave, that with surprising kindness, brought The dear wreck to my arms, has snatch'd it back, And left me mourning on the barren shore. Cord. This baseness of the ignoble Burgundy Draws just suspicion on the race of men; His love was ** so may Edgar's be,

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And he but with more compliment dissemble; If so, I shall oblige him by denying ; But, if his love be fix’d, such constant flame As warms my breast, if such I find his passion, - My heart as grateful to his truth shall be, `-And cold Cordelia prove as kind as he. * [exit Cordelia

~. exper EDM UND, hastily.
Edm. Brother, I’ve found you in a lucky minute:
Fly, and be safe; tome villain has incensed
Our father against your life.
Edg. Distress'd Corde; to--but oh, more cruel !
Edm. Hear me, sir; your fe, your life’s in danger.
Elg. And yet, perhaps, twas out pretended coldness,
To try how far my passion would bursue.
Edm. He hears me not ; 'wake, 'wake, sir.
Edg. Say you, brother?— **
No tears, good Edmund; if thou bring'st he tidings
To strike me dead, for charity delay not; t
That present will befit so kind a hand. w
Edm. Your danger, sir, comes on so fast,
That I want time t” inform you ; but retire,
Whilst I take care to turn the pressing stream.
O gods for heaven's sake, sir,
Edg. Pardon me, sir, a serious thought
Had seized me; but I think you talk'd of danger,
...And wish'd me to retire.—Must all our vows
End thus P-friend, I obey you.-O Cordelial
[erit Edgar
Edm. Ha! has fond man! such credulous honesty
Lessens the glory of my artifice;
His nature is so far from doing wrongs,
That he suspects none: if this letter speed,
And pass for Edgar's, as himself would own
The counterfeit, but for the foul contents,
Then my designs are perfect. Here comes Gloster.

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Glost. Stay. Edmund, turn; what paper were you
reading 2 l

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Edm. A trifle. sir. Glost, What need then that terrible despatch of it Into your pocket P come, produce it, sir. Edm. A letter from my brother, sir: I had Just broke the seal, but knew not the contents; Yet, fearing they might prove to blame, . Endeavor'd to conceal it from your sight. Glost. This is Edgar's character.

(reads). This policy of fathers is intolerable, that keeps our fortunes from us till age will not suffer us to enjoy them; I am weary of the tyranny. Come to me, that of this I may speak more. If our father would sleep till I wake him, you should enjoy half his pessessions, and live beioved of your brother.

Sleep till I waked him, you should enjoy
Half his possessions —Edgar to write this
'Gainst his indulgent father death and hell!
Fly, Edmund, seek him out; wind me into him,
That I may bite the traitor's heart, and fold
His bleeding entrails on my vengeful arm.
Edm. Perhaps twas writ, my lord, to prove my vir-
tue.
Glost. These late eclipses of the sun and moon
Can bode no less; love cools, and friendship fails;
In cities mutiny, in countries discord;
The bond of nature crack'd 'twixt son and father.—
Find out the villain, do it carefully,
And it shall lose thee nothing. [exit Gloster
Edm. So, now my project's firm ; but, to make
Sure,
I’ll throw in one proof more, and that a bold one;
I’ll place old Gloster where he shall o'erhear us
Confer of this design; whilst, to his thinking,
Deluded Edgar shall accuse himself.
Be honesty my interest, and I can
Be honest too ; and what saint so divine
That will successful villany decline P [exit Edmund

scene 111—the court before the duke of Albany's Apalace.

enter KENT, disguised. Åent. Now, banish’d Kent, if thou can'st pay thy

uty, In this disguise, where thou dost stand condemn’d, Thy master Lear shall find thee full of labors.

enter king LEAR, attended by his knights.

Ilear. In there, and tell our daughter we are here. [erit first knight Now, what art thou? Rent. A man, sir. Lear. What dost thou profess, or would'st with us? Aent. I do profess to be no less than I seem, to serve him truly that puts me in trust, to love him that’s honest, to converse with him that’s wise and speaks little, to fight when I can't choose, and to eat no fish. Ilear. I say, what art thou ? Kent. A very 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—Dost thou know me, fellow P Rent. No, sir; but you have that in your countemance, which I would fain call master. Jear. What’s that ? Fent. Authority. Zear. What service can'st thou do? A'ent. I can keep honest counsel, mara curious tale in the telling, deliver a plain message bluntly; that, which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in ; and the best of me is diligence. Elear. 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. Kear. Thy name?

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