Imagens das páginas

Fool. Canst tell how an 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


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 wouldst 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 shouldst not have been old before thou hadst been wise. Lear. O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet

Keep me in temper: I would not be mad!


How now? Are the horses ready?

Gen. Ready, my lord.

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

departure, Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut shorter,




A court within the castle of the Earl of Gloster.

Enter EDMUND and CURAN, meeting. Edm. Save thee, Curan.

Curan. 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?

Curan. 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 you, what are they?
Curan. Have

you heard of no likely wars toward 'twixt the dukes of Cornwall and Albany?

Edm. Not a word.

Curan. You may then, in time. Fare you well, sir.

[Exit. Edm. The duke be here to-night?

The better! Best!




This weaves itself perforce into my

business! My father hath set guard to take my brother; And I have one thing, of a queasy 1

question, Which I must act.-Briefness and fortune, work ! Brother, a word ;-descend :-brother, I say !

Enter EDGAR.

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

I am sure on 't, not a word.
Edm. I hear my father coming.–Pardon me:
In cunning, I must draw my sword upon you.
Draw: seem to defend yourself: now quit you well.
Yield :-come before my father :-light, ho, here ! -
Fly, brother !—torches ! torches !-so, farewell.

[Exit Edgar. Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion

[wounds his arm. Of my more fierce endeavor : I have seen drunkards Do more than this in sport.-Father ! father! Stop, stop! No help?

i Delicate.

? Consider, recollect yourself.

Enter GLOSTER, and Servants with torches.
Glos. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?
Edm. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword

Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
To stand his 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

couldGlos. Pursue him, ho!-Go after. [Exit Ser

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

ship; 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 charges home My unprovided body; lanced mine arm : But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits, Bold in the quarrel's right, roused to the encounter, Or whether gasted 1 by the noise I made, Full suddenly he fled.

i Frighted.


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

master, My worthy arch 1 and patron, comes to-night: By his authority I will proclaim it, That he, which finds him, shall deserve our thanks, Bringing the murderous coward to the stake; He, that conceals him, death.

Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent, And found him pight? to do it, with curst 3 speech I threaten'd to discover him : 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 4) I'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.' Glos.

Strong and fasten'd villain! Would he deny his letter?-I never got him.

(trumpets within. Hark, the duke's trumpets ! I know not why he


i Chief.
3 Severe, angry.

? Pight for pitched, resolved.
4 Hand-writing.

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