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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. He cannot be such a monster.
Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him.-Heaven and earth !-Edmund, seek him out; wind me into him, I pray you : frame the business after your own wisdom: I would unstate myself, to be in a due resolution.
Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently; convey the business as I shall find means, and acquaint you withal.
Glo. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us : Though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects : love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide : in cities, mutinies ; in countries, discord; in palaces, treason ; and the bond cracked between son and father. This villain of mine comes under the prediction; there's son against father : the king falls from bias of nature; there's father against child. We have seen the best of our time: Machinations, hollowness, 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!
[Erit. Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world! that, when we are sick in fortune, (often the surfeit of our own behaviour,) 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, 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 whore-master 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
Enter EDGAR. and pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy: My cue is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o’Bedlam.—0, 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?
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 offend. ed him: and at my entreaty, forbear his presence, till some little time hath qualified the heart of his displeasure; which at this instant so rageth in him, that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay.
Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong.
Edm. That's my fear. I pray you, have a continent 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?
Edm. I do serve you in this business.- [Exit EDGAR. A credulous father, and a brother noble, Whose nature is so far from doing harms, That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty My practices ride easy!—I see the business.Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit: All with me's meet, that I can fashion fit. [Exit, SCENE III.- 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.
Gon. By day and night! he wrongs me; every hour He flashes into one gross crime or other, That set us all at odds : I'll not endure it: His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us On every trifle :-When he returns from hunting, I will not speak with him; say, I am sick :If you come slack of former services, . You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer. : Stew. He's coming, madam; I hear him.
[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-ruld. 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 us’d With checks, as flatteries,—when they are seen abus'd. Remember what I have said.
Stew. Very well, madam.
Gon. And let his knights have colder looks among you; What grows of it, no matter; advise your fellows so: I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,
That I may speak :-—I'll write straight to my sister,
SCENE IV.-A Hall in the same.
Enter Kent, disguised. Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow, That can my speech diffuse, my good intent May carry through itself to that full issue For which I raz’d my likeness.—Now, banish'd Kent, If thou can’st serve where thou dost stand condemn'd, (So may it come!) thy master, whom thou lov'st, Shall find thee full of labours.
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 ?
Kent. A man, sir.
Lear. What dost thou profess? What wouldest thou with us?
Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem ; to serve him truly, that will put me in trust; to love him that is honest; to converse with him that is wise, ard says little; to fear judgment; to fight, when I cannot choose; and to eat no fish.
Lear. 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. What wouldest thou?