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No unchafte action, or dishonour'd flep,
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour:
But ev’n for want of that, for which I'm richer,
A still folliciting eye, and such a tongue,
That I am glad I've not; though, not to have it,
Hath loft me in your liking.

Lear. Better thou
Hadit not been born, than not have pleas'd me better.

France. Is it but this! a tardiness in nature,
Which often leaves the history upspoke,
That it intends to do? my Lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the lady? love's not love,
When it'is mingled with regards, that stand
Aloof from th' intire point. Say, will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.

Bur. Royal King,
Give but that portion which yourself propos’d,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Dutchess of Burgundy.
Eear. Nothing I've sworn.

:
Bur. I'm sorry then, you have to loft a father,
That you must lose a huiband.

Cor: Peace be with Burgundy,
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife,

France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being poor,
Mont choice, forfaken; and most lov'd, despis'd!
Thee and thy virtues here I fcize upon :
Be't lawful, I take

what's cait away: Gods, Gods ! 'tis strange, that from their cold'ít neglect My love should kindle to endam'd respect. Thy dow'rless daughter, King, thrown to my chance, Is Queen of us, of ours, and our fair France : Not all the Dukes of wat’rish Burgundy Can buy this unpriz’d, precious, maid of me. Bid them farewel, Cordelia, tho' unkind; Thou loseft here, a better where to find.

Lear. Thou haft her, France; let her be thine, for we Have no such daughter; nor shall ever fee That face of hers again; therefore be gone.

Without

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Without our grace, our love, our benizon :
Come, noble Burgundy.

[Flourish. [Exeunt Lear and Burguady. France. Bid farewel to your fifters.

Cor. Ye jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes Cordelia leaves you : I know what you are, And, like a fitter, am moft loth to call Your faults, as they are nam’d. Love well our father : To your profefling bofoms I commit him; But yet, alas ! ftood I within his grace, I would prefer him to a better place. So farewel to

you

both. Reg. Prescribe not us our duty.

Gon. Let your study Be to content your Lord, who hath recciv'd you At fortune's alms; you have obedience scanted, And well are worth the want that you have wanted. (2)

Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides, Who covers faults, at last with shame derides.. Well may you profper! France. Come, my fair Cordelia.

[Exeunt France and Cor.. Gon. Sister, it is not little I've to say, Of what most nearly appertains to us both; I think, our father will go hence to-night.

Reg. That's certain, and with you; next month with us.

Gon. You see how full of changes his age is, the obfervation we have made of it hath not been little; he always lov'd our fifter most, and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off, appears too grossly.

Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age; yet he hath ever but fenderly known himself.

Gon. The best and foundest of his time hath been but

(2) And well are worth the Want that you have wanted.] This is a very obscure Expression, and mus be pieced out with an implied Sense to be understood. This I take to be the Poet's Meaning, Atripe of the Jingle which makes it dark : “ You well deserve to “ meet with that Wane of Love from your Husband, which you have. « professed to want for our Father."

rash

rash; then must we look, from his age, to receive not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted condition, but therewithal the unruly waywardness, that infirm and cholerick years bring with them.

Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from. him, as this of Kent's banishment.

Gon. There is further compliment of leave-taking between France and him ; pray you, let us hit together: if our father carry authority with such difpofition as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us.

Reg. We shall further think of it.
Gon. We must do something, and i'th' heat. [Exeunt.

SCENE changes to a Castle belonging to the

Earl of Glo'ster.

Enter EDMUND, with a Letter.

.

Edm. I

Hou, Nature, art my Goddess; to thy law

a

Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curtesy of nations to deprive me, (3)
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-thines
Lag of a brother? why baftard? wherefore baje?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as gen'rous, and my fhape as true,
As honest Madam’s issue? why brand they us
With base? with baseness ? bastardy? base, base ?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality;
Than doth, within a dull, ftale, tired bed,
Go to creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween a-sleep and wake? well then,

(3) The Nicety of Nations] This is Mr. Pope's Reading, ex Catbedra; for it has the Sanction of none of the copies, that I have met with. They all, indeed, give it us, ly a foolih Corruption,

the Curiosity of Nations; but I some time ago proved, that our Author's Word was, Curtefy. Nor must we forget that Tenure in our Laws, whereby some Lands are held by the Curtesy of England.

Legitimate

Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land;
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund,
As to th' legitimate ; fine word - legitimate-
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall be th' legitimate.--I grow, I prosper;
Now, Gods, stand up for bastards!

To him, Enter Glo'fter.
Glo. Kent banish'd thus! and France in choler parted!
And the King gone to-night! subscrib'd his pow'r !
Confin'd to exhibition ! all is gone
Upon the gad!

-Edmund, how now? what news ? Edm. So please your lordship, none.

[Putting up the letter. Glo. Why fo earnestly seek you to put up that letter? Edm. I know no news, my

Lord.
Gle. What paper were you reading ?
Edm. Nothing, my Lord.

Glo. No! what needed then that terrible dispatch of it into your pocket ? the quality of nothing hath not such need to hide itself. Let's see; come, if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.

Edm. I beseech you, Sir, pardon me, it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'er read ; and for so much as I have perus’d, I find it not fit for your overlooking

Glo. Give me the letter, Sir.

Edm. I Mall offend, either to detain, or give it; the contents, as in part I understand them, are to blame.

Glo. Let's see, let's see.

Edm. I hope, for my brother's juftification, he wrote this but as an essay, or taste of my

virtue, Glo. reads.] This policy and reverence of ages makes the world bitter to the best of our times ; keeps our fortunes from us, till our oldness cannot relih them. I begin to find an idle and fond bondage in the oppreffion of aged tyranny'; which fways, not as it hath power, but as it is suffered. Come to me, that of this I may Speak more. If our father would sleep, till I wak'd him, you should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live the beloved of your brother Edgar-Hum-Conspiracy!

enjoy

-leep, till I wake him-you should enjoy half his revenue *My son Edgar! had he a hand to write this! a heart and brain to breed it in! when came this to you? who brought it?

Edm. It was not brought me my Lord; there's the cunning of it. I found it thrown in at the casement of

my closet.

revenue.

Glo. You know the character to be

your brother's ? Edm. If the matter were good, my Lord, I durit swear it were his; but in respect of that, I would fain think, it were not.

Glo. It is his.

Edm. It is his hand, my Lord; I hope, his heart is not in the contents.

Glo. Has he never before founded you in this business?

Edm. Never, my Lord. But I have heard him oft maintain it to be fit, that fons at perfect age, and fathers declining, the father should be as a ward to the fon, and the son manage

his Glo. O villain, villain ! his very opinion in the letter. Abhorred villain! unnatural, detefted, brutish villain ! worse than brutish ! Go, firrah, feck him ; I'll

apprehend him. 'Abominable villain! where is he?

Edm. I do not well know, my Lord; if it shall please you to suspend your indignation against my brother,'till you can derive from him better testimony of his intent you should run a certain course; where, if you viclently proceed against him, miftaking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your own honour, and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn

down my life for him, that he has writ this to feel my affećtion to your Honour, and to no other pretence of danger Glo. Think

you

fo? Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall hear us confer of this, and by an auricular assurance have your satisfaction : and that, without any further delay than this very evening.

Glo

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