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Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
Cor. I yet beseech your Majesty,
me of your grace and favour :
Lear. Better thou
France. Is it but this ? a tardiness in nature,
Bur. Royal King,
Lear. Nothing: -I've fworn.
must lose a husband.
poor, Most choice, forsaken ; and most lov'd, despis'd ! Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon : Be't lawful, I take up what's cast away: Gods, Gods! 'tis ftrange, that from their cold'ft neglect My love should kindle to enflam'd respect. Thy dow'rless daughter, King, thrown to my chance,
Is Queen of us, of ours, and our fair France :
Lear. Thou haft her, France; let her be thine, for wa
(Flourish. Exeunt Lear and Burgundy. France. Bid farewel to your sisters.
Cor. Ye jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes Cordelia leaves you: I know what you are, And, like a sister, am most loth to call Your faults, as they are nam’d. Love well our father : To your profeffing bosoms 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 receiv'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 prosper ! France. Come, my fair Cordelia.
[Exeunt France and Cor. Gon. Sifter, it is not little I've to fay, Of what most nearly appertains to us both ; I think, our father will go hence to night.
(2) And well are worth the Want that you have wanted. This is a very obscure Expression, and must be piec'd out with an implied Sense, to be understood. This I take to be the Poet's Meaning, stript of the Jingle which makes it dark: « You well deserve to meet with that Want of Love from
your Husband, which you have profess'd to want for our Father."
Reg. That's certain, and with you; next month with us.
Gon. You see how full of changes his age is, the observation we have made of it hath not been little ; he always lov'd our sister 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 Nenderly known himself.
Gon. The best and foundest of his time hath been but 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 complement of leave-taking between France and him; pray you, let us hit together : father
carry authority with fuch disposition as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us.
Reg. We shall further think of it.
SCENE changes to a Castle belonging to the
Earl of Glo'iter.
Enter EDMUND, with a Letter.
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
(3) The Nicety of Nations] This is Mr. Pope's Reading, ex Cathedrâ ; for it has the Sanction of none of the Copies, that I have met with. They all, indeed, give it Us, by a foolish Corruption, the Curiosity of Nations; but I fome time ago prov'd, that our Author's Word was, Curtefie. Nor muft we forget that Tenure in our Laws, whereby some Lands are held by the Curtefie of England,
Lag of a brother ? Why baflard? wherefore base?
To bim, Enter Glo'fter.
[Putting up the letter.
Glo. No! what needed then that terrible dispatch of it into your pocket ? the quality of nothing hath not such need to hide it self. 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 fo much as I have perus’d, I find it not fit for your overlooking
Gl. Give me the letter, Sir.
Edm. I shall offend, either to detain, or give it; the contents, as in part I understand them, are to blame.
Glo. Let's see, let's fee.
Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, 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 relish them. I begin to find an idle and fond bondage in the oppression 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 be'loved of your brother Edgar. — Hum Conspiracy!
sleep, 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?
Edw. It was not brought me, my lord ; there's the cunning of it. I found it thrown in at the casement of Glo. You know the character to be
brother's ? Edm. If the matter were good, my lord, I durft 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 sons at perfect age, and fathers declining, the father should be as a ward to the son, and the son manage his revenue.
Glo. O villain, villain! his very opinion in the letter. Abhorred villain! unnatural, detefted, brutish villain ! worse than brutish! Go, firrah, seek 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
violently proceed against him, miftaking his purpose, it would