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Excellent sybil! O my glowing blood !
I am already sick of expectatation,
And pant for the possession.Here Gloster comes,
With business on his brow; be bush'd, my joys,

Enter GLOSTER. Glost. I come to seek thee, Edmund, to impart a business of importance. I know thy loyal heart is touched to see the cruelty of these ungrateful daughters against our royal master.

Edm. Most savage and unnatural!
Glost. This change in the state sits uneasy.

The commons repine aloud at their female tyrants; already they cry out for the re-instalment of their good old king, whose injuries, I fear, will inflame them into mutiny.

Edm, 'Tis to be hop'd, not fear'd.

Glost. Thou hast it, boy; tis to be hop'd indeed. On me they cast their eyes, and hourly court me To lead them on; and, whilst this head is mine, I'm theirs. A little covert craft, my boy, And then for open action; 'twill be employment Worthy such honest daring souls as thine. Thou, Edmund, art my trusty emissary. Haste on the spur, at the first break of day, With these dispatches to the duke of Cambray.

[Gives him Letters. You know what mortal feuds have always flam'd Between this Duke of Cornwall's family, and his; Full twenty thousand mountaineers Th' inveterate prince will send to our assistance. Despatch; commend us to his grace, and prosper.

[Exit GLOSTER. Edm. Yes, credulous old man, I will commend you to his grace, His grace the Duke of Cornwall instantly, I'll show him these contents in thy own character, And seald with thy own signet; then forthwith

The cholric duke gives sentence on thy life;
And to my hand thy vast revenues fall,
To glut my pleasures, that till now have starv'd.

(Retires. GLOSTER returns, followed by CORDELIA and ARAN.

The, poorly dressed ;- EDMUND observing at a distance. Cord. Turn, Gloster, turn; by all the sacred

pow'rs, I do conjure you give my griefs a hearing: [Kneels. You must, you shall, nay, I am sure you will; For you were always styld the just and good. Glost. What wouldst thou, princess ? Rise, and

speak thy griefs.
Cord. Nay, you shall promise to redress them too,
Or here I'll kneel for ever. I entreat
Thy succour for a father, and a king,
An injur'd father, and an injur'd king.
Edm. O charming sorrow! How her tears adorn

her !
Glost. Consider, princess,

[Raises her. For whom thou begg'st, 'tis for the king that wrong'

thee. Cord. O name not that; he did not, could not,

wrong me. Nay, muse not, Gloster; for it is too likely This injur'd king ere this is past your aid, And gone distracted with his savage wrongs. Edm. I'll gaze no more ;---and yet my eyes are

charm'd. Cord. Or, what if it be worse -Can there be

worse? Ab, 'tis too probable, this furious night Has pierc'd his tender body; the bleak winds And cold rain chill’d, or lightning struck, him dead ; If it be so, your promise is discharg'd, And I have only one poor boun to beg;

Glost. I have inform’d them so.
Lear. Inform'd them! dost thou understand me,



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I tell thee Gloster,

Glost. Ay, my good lord.
Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall; the

dear father
Would with his daughter speak, commands her ser-

Are they inform'd of this ? My breath and blood !
Fiery? The fiery duke? Tell the hot duke,-
No, but not yet; may be, he is not well;
Infirmity doth still neglect all office;
I beg his pardon, and I'll chide my rashness,
That took the indispos’d and sickly fit
For the sound man.-But wherefore sits he there?
Death on my state! this act convinces me,
That this retiredness of the duke and her
Is plain contempt.--Give me my servant forth.-
Go, tell the duke and's wife I'd speak with 'em,
Now, instantly.——Bid 'em come forth and hear me;
Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum,
Till it cry, sleep to death.

and ATTENDANTS from the Castle. Oh! are you come ?

Corn. Health to the king !
Reg. I am glad to see your highness.

Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what cause
I have to think so, Shouldst thou not be glad,
I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb,
Sepulch'ring an adultress.-
Beloved Regan, thou wilt shake to hear
What I shall utter;—thou coud’st ne'er ha’ thought

Thy sister's naught: O Regan, she has ty'd
Ingratitude like a keen vulture here;

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I scarce can speak to thee.

[Kent is set at liberty by the ATTENDANTS. Reg. I pray you, sir, take pacience; I have hope That know less to value her desert, Than she to slack her duty.

Lear. Ha! How's that?

Reg. I cannot think my sister in the least Would fail in her respects; but if, perchance, She has restrain'd the riots of

your followers, "Tis on such grounds, and to such wholesome ends, As clear her from all blame.

Lear. My curses on her !

Reg. O, sir, you're old, And should content you to be ruld and led By some discretion that discerns your state Better than you yourself; therefore, good sir, Return to our sister, and say you have wrongd her.

Lear. Ha! ask her forgiveness !

but mark how this becomes the house:
Dear daughter, I confess that I am old;
Age is unnecessary; on my knees I beg,
That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.

Reg. Good sir, no more of these unsightly passions ; Return back to our sister.

Lear. Never, Regan;
She hath abated me of half

my train,
Look'd black upon me, stabb’d me with her tongue:
All the stor’d vengeances of Heav'n fall
On her ingrateful head! Strike her young bones,
Ye taking airs, with lameness !

Reg. O the blest gods! thus will you wish on me, When the rash moodLear. No, Regan, thou shalt never have

my curse ; Thy tender nature cannot give thee o'er To such impiety; thou better know'st The offices of nature, bond of childhood, And dues of gratitude; thou bear'st in mind The half o'th' kingdom, which our love conferr'd On thee and thine.

Reg. Good sir, to th' purpose.
Lear. Who put my man i'th' stocks?

[Trumpet sounds.
Corn. What trumpet's that ?
Rey. I know't, my sister's; this confirms her letters.

Enter OswALD.
Sir, is your lady come !

Lear. More torture still !
Out, varlet, from my sight! [Strikes OSWALD.

Corn. What means your grace!
Lear. Who stock'd my servant? Regan, I have

Thou didst not know it.

[Trumpet sounds.


Who comes here? Oh, Heav'ns !
If you do love old men; if your sweet sway
Allow obedience ; if yourselves are old,
Make it your cause; send down, and take my part!
Why, Gorgon, dost thou come to haunt me here?
Art not asham'd to look upon this beard?
Darkness upon my eyes, they play me false !
O, Regan, wilt thou take her by the hand ?
Gon. Why not by th' hand, sir? How have I of-

fended ?
All's not offence that indiscretion finds,
And dotage terms so.

Lear. Heart, thou art too tough!

Reg. I pray you, sir, being old, confess you are so.
If, till the expiration of your month,
You will return, and sojourn with our sister,
Dismissing half your train, come then to me;
I'm now from home, and out of that provision
That shall be needful for

your entertainment.
Lear. Return with her, and fifty knights dismiss'd ?
No, rather I'll abjure all roofs, and chuse
'To be companion to the midnight wolf,

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