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nose; that what a man cannot smell out, he
may spy into.

Lear. I did her wrong:-
Fool. Can'st tell how au oyster makes his shell?
Lear. No.

Fool. Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail
has a house,
Lear. Why?

Fool. Why, to put his head in; not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns without a case.

Lear. I will forget my nature.-So kind a father!-Be my horses ready?

Fool. Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven, is a pretty reason.

Lear. Because they are not eight?

Fool. Yes, indeed: Thou wouldest make a good fool.

Lear. To take it again perforce !-Monster, ingratitude!

Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time.

Lear, How's that?

Fool. Thou should'st not have been old, before thou hadst been wise. Lear. O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet

heaven! Keep me in temper; I would not be mad !

Enter Gentleman.
How now! Are the horses ready?

Gent. Ready, my lord.
Lear. Come, boy.
Fool. She that is maid now, and laughs at my

Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut


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scene I. A Court within the Castle of the

Earl of Gloster.
Enter EDMUND and CURAN, meeting.
Edm. Save thee, Curan.

Cur. And you, sir. I have been with your father; and given him notice, that the Duke of Cornwall, and Regan his duchess, will be here with him to-night.

Edm. How comes that?

Cur. Nay, I know not: You have heard of the news abroad; I mean, the whispered ones, for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments?

Edm. Not I ; 'Pray yon, what are they?

Cur. Have you heard of no likely, wars toward,'twixt the Dukes of Cornwalland Albany?

Edm. Not a word. Cur. You may then, in time. Fare you well, sir.

[Erit. Edm. The duke be bere to-night? The better!

Best! This weaves itself perforce into my business! My father hath set guard to take my brother; And I bave one thing, of a queasy question, Which I must act :-Briefness, and fortune,

work! Brother, a word; descend :-Brother, I say;

Enter EDGAR. My father watches :-0 sir, fly this place; Intelligence is given where you are hid; You have now the good advantage of the night Have you not spoken 'gainst the duke of Cornwall?

[haste, He's coming hither; now, i'the night, i' the And Regan with him; Have you nothing said Upon his party 'gainst the duke of Albany? Advise yourself. Edg.

I am sure on't, not a word. Edm. I hear my father coming,-Pardon

me : In cunning, I must draw my sword upon yon :Draw: Seem to defend yourself: Now quit you


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Yield :-come before my father ;-Light, ho,

here! Fly, brother ;-Torches ! torches !-So, fare. well.

[Erit ÉDGAR. Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion

(Wounds his Arm. Of my more fierce endeavour: I have seen

Do more than this in sport.-Father! Father!
Stop, stop! No help?

Enter GLOSTER, and Servants with Torches.
Glo. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?
Edm. Here stood he in the dark, bis sharp

sword out,
Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the
To stand bis auspicious mistress :

But where is he?
Edm. Look, sir, I bleed.

Where is the villain, Edmund ?
Edm. Fled this way, sir. When by no means

he could
Glo. Pursue him, ho!-Go after.-[Exit Serv.]

By no means,—what?
Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your

But that I told him, the revenging gods
'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend;
Spoke, with how manifold and strong a bond
The child was bound to the father ;-Sir, in fine,
Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion,
With his prepared sword, he charg home
My unprovided body, lanc'd mine arm :
But when be saw my best alarum'd spirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to the encoun-

Or whether gasted by the noise I made,
Full suddenly he fled.

Let him fly far:
Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;
And found-Despatch.—The noble duke my

My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night:
By his authority I will proclaim it,

That be, which finds him, shall deserve our

thanks, Bringing the murderous coward to the stake; He, that conceals bim, death,

Édm. When I dissuaded him from bis intent, And found him pight to do it, with curst speech; I threaten'd to discover bim: He replied, Thou unpossessing bastard! dost thou think If I would stand against thee, would the reposal Of any trust, virtue, or worth, in thee Make thy words faith'd! No: what I should deny, (As this I would ; ay, though thou didst produce My very character), 1'd turn it all To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice : And thou must make a dullard of the world, If they not thought the profits of my death Were very pregnant and potential spurs To make thee seek it. Glo.

Strong and fasten'd villain; Would be deny his letter?-1 never got him.

[Trumpets within. Hark, the duke's trumpets! I know not why

he comes All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not ’scape; The duke must grant me that: besides, his pic

tore I will send far and near, that all the kingdom May have due note of him; and of my land, Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means To make thee capable.

Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, and Attendants. Corn. How now, my noble friend? since I

came hither (Which I can call but now), I have heard strange

news. Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too

short, Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my

lord ? Glo. 0, madam, my old heart is crack'd, is

crack'd! Reg. What, did my father's godson seek your

life? He whom my father nam’d? your Edgar?

Gló. O lady, lady, shame would have it bid !

Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous

kuights That tend upon my father? Glo.

I know not, madam: It is too bad, too bad.-Edm.

Yes, madam, he was. Reg. No marvel then, though he were ill af

fected ; 'Tis they have put him on the old man's death, To have the waste and spoil of his revenues. I have this present evening from my sister Been well inform'd of them; and with such

That, if they come to sojourn at my house,
I'll not be there.

Nor I, assure thee, Regan.-
Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
A child-like office.

'Twas my duty, sir. Glo. He did bewray his practice, and receiv'd This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.

Corn. Is he pursued ?

Ay, my good lord, he is.
Corn. If he be taken, he shall never more
Be fear'd of doing harm: make your own pur-

(mund, How in my strength you please.—For you, Ed. Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant So much commend itself, you shall be ours; Natures of such deep trust we shall much need; You we first seize on. Edm.

I shall serve you, sir,
Truly, however else.

Glo. For him I thank your grace.
Corn. You know not why we came to visit

you,Reg: Thus out of season; threading dark-ey'd

night. Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poize, Wherein we must have use of your advice :Our father he bath writ, so hath our sister, Of differences, which I best thought it fit To answer from our home; the several messen

gers From hence attend despatch. Our good old


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