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My worthy arch 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 speech, 2
I threatened to discover him. He replied,
Thou unpossessing bastard! dost thou think,
If I would stand against thee, would the reposal 3
Of any trust, virtue, or worth, in thee
Make ihy words faithed ? 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 5
To make thee seek it.

Strong and fastened villain ; Would he deny his letter?-I never got him.

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

comes.All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape; The duke must grant me that. Besides, his picture I will send far and near, that all the kingdom May have due note of him; and of my land, Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means To make thee capable.

1 i. e. chief ; now only used in composition.

2 “ And found him pight to do it, with curst speech.” Pight is pitched, fired, settled; curst is vehemently angry, bitter.

3 i. e. would any opinion that men have reposed in thy trust, virtue, &c. The old quarto reads, “could the reposure."

4 i. e, my hand-writing, my signature.

5 The folio reads, “ potential spirits." And in the next line but one, “O strange and fastened villain.”-Strong is determined, resolute. Our ancestors often used it in an ill sense; as strong thief, strong whore, &c.

6 i. e. capable of succeeding to my land, notwithstanding the legal bar of thy illegitimacy.

Enter Cornwall, Regan, and Attendants. Corn. How now, my noble friend ? since I came

bither (Which I can call but now) I have heard strange news.

Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short, Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my lord ?

Glo. O madam, my old heart is cracked, is cracked !

Reg. What, did my father's godson seek your life? He whom my father named ? your Edgar ?

Glo. O lady, lady, shame would have it hid !

Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous knights
That tend upon my father ?

I know not, madam;
It is too bad, too bad. -

Yes, madam, he was.
Reg. No marvel, then, though he were ill-affected ;
'Tis they have put him on the old man's death,
To have the waste and spoil of his revenues.
I have this present evening from my sister
Been well informed of them; and with such cautions,
That, if they come to sojourn at my house,
I'll not be there.

Corn. Nor I, assure thee, Regan.-
Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
A child-like office.

'Twas my duty, sir.
Glo. He did bewray his practice, and received
This hurt you sce, striving to apprehend him.

Corn. Is he pursued ?

Ay, my good lord, he is.
Corn. If he be taken, he shall never more
Be feared of doing harm : make your own purpose,
How in iny strength you please. -For you, Edmund,
Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
So much commend itself, you shall be ours;
Natures of such deep trust we shall much need ;
You we first seize on.

16 Bewray his practice." That is, he did betray or reveal his treacherous devices. The quartos read betray.

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I shall serve you, sir, Truly, however else. | Glo.

For him I thank your grace. Corn. You know not why we came to visit you,

Reg. Thus out of season ; threading dark-eyed night. Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poize,' Wherein we must have use of your advice :Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister, Of differences, which I best thought it fit To answer from our home ; 2 the several messengers From hence attend despatch. Our good old friend, Lay comforts to your bosom ; and bestow Your needful counsel to our business, Which craves the instant use. Glo.

I serve you, madam; Your graces are right welcome.


SCENE II. Before Gloster's Castle.

Enter Kent and Steward, severally. Stew. Good dawning 3 to thee, friend. Art of the house?

Kent. Ay.
Stew. Where may we set our horses ?
Kent. I'the mire.
Stew. 'Prythee, if thou love me, tell me.
Kent. I love thee not.
Stew. Why, then I care not for thee.

Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold," I would make thee care for me.

Stew. Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.

Kent. Fellow, I know thee.

1 i. e. of some weight, or moment. The folio and quarto B. read prize. 2 That is, not at home, but at some other place."

3 The quartos read “ good zven.” It is clear, from various passages in this scene, that the morning is just beginning to dawn.

4 i. e. Lipsbury pound." Lipsbury pinfoldmay, perhaps, like Lob's pound, be a coined name; but with what allusion does not appear.

Stew. What dost thou know me for ?

Kent. A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundredpound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave ; one that wouldst be a bawd, in way of good-service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch ; one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition."

Stew. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail on one that is neither known of thee, nor knows thee!

Kent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou knowest me! Is it two days ago, since I tripped up thy heels, and beat thee, before the king ? Draw, you rogue; for, though it be night, the moon shines ; I'll make a sop o' the moonshine 2 of you. Draw, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger,draw. .

[Drawing his sword. Stew. Away; I have nothing to do with thee.

Kent. Draw, you rascal! you come with letters against the king; and take Vanity 4 the puppet's part, against the royalty of her father. Draw, you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your shanks.-Draw, you rascal; come your ways.

Stew. Help, ho! murder! help!

Kent. Strike, you slave; stand, rogue, stand; you neat slave, strike.

[Beating him. Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder!

1 i. e. thy titles.
2 Probably alluding to some dish so called.
3 Barber-monger may inean dealer with the lower tradesmen.

4 Alluding to the moralities or allegorical shows, in which Vanity, Iniquity, and other vices, were personified.

6 You finical rascal, you assemblage of foppery and poverty.

Enter Edmund, Cornwall, Regan, GLOSTER, and

Edm. How now? what's the matter? Part.

Kent. With you goodman boy, if you please ; come, I'll flesh you ; come on, young master.

Glo. Weapons! arms! What's the matter here?

Corn. Keep peace, upon your lives;
He dies, that strikes again. What is the matter?

Reg. The messengers from our sister and the king.
Corn. What is your difference ? speak.
Stew. I am scarce in breath, my lord.

Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirred your valor. You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee; a tailor made thee.

Corn. Thou art a strange fellow; a tailor make a


Kent. Ay, a tailor, sir; a stone-cutter, or a painter, could not have made him so ill, though they had been but two hours at the trade.

Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel ?
Stew. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have

At suit of his gray beard,-

Kent. Thou whoreson zed !? thou unnecessary letter !-My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted 3 villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him.—Spare my gray beard, you wagtail ?

Corn. Peace, sirrah!
You beastly knave, know you no reverence ?

Kent. Yes, sir ; but anger has a privilege.
Corn. Why art thou angry?

1 To disclaim in, for to disclaim simply, was the phraseology of the Poet's age. See Gifford's Ben Jonson, vol. iii. p. 264.

2 Zed is here used as a term of contempt, because it is the last letter in the English alphabet. Baret omits it in his Alvearie, affirming it to be rather a syllable than a letter. And Mulcaster says, “ Z is much harder amongst us, and seldom seen. S is become its lieutenant-general."

3 Coarse villain. Unbolted mortar is mortar made of unsifted lime; and therefore to break the lumps, it is necessary to tread it by men in wooden shoes.

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