Glou. Now let thy friendly hand Put strength enough too't

Stew. Wherefore, bold Pezant, Dar'st thou support a publish'd Traitor? Hence, Least that th' infection of his fortune take Like hold on thee. Let go his arme

Edg. Chill not let go Zir, Without vurther 'casion

Stew. Let go Slaue, or thou dy'st

Edg. Good Gentleman goe your gate, and let poore volke passe: and 'chud ha' bin zwaggerd out of my life, 'twould not ha' bin zo long as 'tis, by a vortnight. Nay, come not neere th' old man: keepe out che vor' ye, or Ile try whither your Costard, or my Ballow be the harder; chill be plaine with you

Stew. Out Dunghill

Edg. Chill picke your teeth Zir: come, no matter vor your foynes

Stew. Slaue thou hast slaine me: Villain, take my purse; If euer thou wilt thriue, bury my bodie, And giue the Letters which thou find'st about me, To Edmund Earle of Glouster: seeke him out Vpon the English party. Oh vntimely death, death

Edg. I know thee well. A seruiceable Villaine, As duteous to the vices of thy Mistris, As badnesse would desire

Glou. What, is he dead? Edg. Sit you downe Father: rest you. Let's see these Pockets; the Letters that he speakes of May be my Friends: hee's dead; I am onely sorry He had no other Deathsman. Let vs see: Leaue gentle waxe, and manners: blame vs not To know our enemies mindes, we rip their hearts, Their Papers is more lawfull.

Reads the Letter.

Let our reciprocall vowes be remembred. You haue manie opportunities to cut him off: if your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully offer'd. There is nothing done. If hee returne the Conqueror, then am I the Prisoner, and his bed, my Gaole, from the loathed warmth whereof, deliuer me, and supply the place for your Labour. Your (Wife, so I would say) affectionate Seruant. Gonerill. Oh indistinguish'd space of Womans will, A plot vpon her vertuous Husbands life, And the exchange my Brother: heere, in the sands Thee Ile rake vp, the poste vnsanctified Of murtherous Letchers: and in the mature time, With this vngracious paper strike the sight Of the death-practis'd Duke: for him 'tis well, That of thy death, and businesse, I can tell

Glou. The King is mad: How stiffe is my vilde sense That I stand vp, and haue ingenious feeling Of my huge Sorrowes? Better I were distract, So should my thoughts be seuer'd from my greefes,

Drum afarre off.

And woes, by wrong imaginations loose The knowledge of themselues

Edg. Giue me your hand: Farre off methinkes I heare the beaten Drumme. Come Father, Ile bestow you with a Friend.


Scaena Septima.

Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Gentleman.

Cor. O thou good Kent, How shall I liue and worke To match thy goodnesse? My life will be too short, And euery measure faile me

Kent. To be acknowledg'd Madam is ore-pai'd, All my reports go with the modest truth, Nor more, nor clipt, but so

Cor. Be better suited, These weedes are memories of those worser houres: I prythee put them off

Kent. Pardon deere Madam, Yet to be knowne shortens my made intent, My boone I make it, that you know me not, Till time, and I, thinke meet

Cor. Then be't so my good Lord: How do's the King? Gent. Madam sleepes still

Cor. O you kind Gods! Cure this great breach in his abused Nature, Th' vntun'd and iarring senses, O winde vp, Of this childe-changed Father

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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