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ness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our graves !—Find out this villain, Edmund ! it shall lose thee nothing : do it carefully.-And the noble and true-hearted Kent banished ! his offence, honesty !-Strange! strange !
[Exit. Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world! that, when we are sick in fortune, (often the surfeit of our own behavior) we make guilty of our disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars ; as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers 1 by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the dragon's tail, and my nativity was under ursa major ; so that it follows, I am rough and lecherous. Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. Edgar
and pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy. My cue is villanous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam. O, these eclipses do portend these divisions ! fa, sol, la, mi.?
Edg. How now, brother Edmund ? What serious contemplation are you in?
Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day, what should follow these eclipses.
Edg. Do you busy yourself with that?
Edm. I promise you, the effects he writes of, succeed unhappily; as of unnaturalness between the child and the parent; death, dearth, dissolutions of ancient amities; divisions in state, menaces and maledictions against king and nobles; needless diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of cohorts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what.
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. 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.
1 These sounds are deemed unnatural and offensive in music.
Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong.
Edm. That's my fear. I pray you, have a continent i forbearance, till the speed of his rage goes slower; and, as I say, retire 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 you : I have told you 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?
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.
[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-ruled. 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 used With checks, as flatteries,—when they are seen
Remember what I have said.
Very well, madam.
I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,
A hall in the same.
Enter KENT, disguised.
Horns within. Enter LEAR, Knights, and Attendants.
Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner; go, get it ready. [Exit an Attendant.) How now? what art thou ?
1 Disorder, disguise.