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Eilm. So please your lordship, none. [Putting up the letter.
Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter?
Edin. I know no news, my lord.
Gl. What paper were you reading ?
Edm. Nothing, my lord.

Glo. No! what z needed then that terrible dispatch of it into your pocket? the quality of nothing b hath not such need to hide itself. Let's see; come: if it be nothing, I Thall not need spectacles.

Edm. I beseech you, fir, pardon me, it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'er-read; d and for so much as I have perus’d, I find it not fit for your overlooking.

Glo. 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 see.

Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as an essay, or f taste of my virtue. Glo. reads.] This policy & and reverence of h age makes the

world

2 The qu's read needs.
* The rit q. reads terribe.
b St. reads bad for bath.
c R. reads hid.

The qu’s omit and.
e The qu’s read liking for over-looking,
17. proposes test for taste.
& The qu's omit and reverence.

ḥ So the qu’s, fo's, R. P.'sq. H. and J.; P.'s duodecimo (by mistake of the press, I fuppose) reads ages; followed by T. and W. and the last gives the following note.

Ages signifies former times. So that the sense of the words is this, what between the policy of fome, and the superstitious reverence of others to old

cuftoms,

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world bitter to i 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 opprefron of aged tyrannys k who
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 peep till
I wak’d him, you should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and
live the beloved of your brother EDGAR.
Hum-Conspiracy ! Neep till I * wak'd 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?

Edm. It was not brought me, my lord; there's the cunning of it. I found it thrown in at the casement of my closet.

Glo. You know the character to be your 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; but I hope his heart is not in the contents.

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customs, it is now become an established rule, that fathers shall keep all they have till they dic, W.

By this W. seems to think ages an emendation of P.'s, or not to have consulted the editions before.

į The three last fo's omit the.
k So all before R. who alters it to which; followed by all after.
1 The qu's read sept.
• So the qu’s; the rest wake.
mf. P.'s q. and H. before brain insert a.

The ist and 2d fo's read when came you to this?
• So the qu's, and ift f. all the relt omit but,

Glo.

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Glo. P Hath he never heretofore sounded you in this business?

Edm. Never, my lord. But I have. 9 often heard himn maintain it to be fit, that sons at perfect age, and fathers

declining, * the father should be as s ward to the son, and the fon manage his revenue.

Glo. O villain, villain ! his very opinion in the letter. Abhorred villain! unnatural, detested, brutish villain! worfe 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 fufpend your indignation against my brother, till you can derive from him better testimony of * his intent, you should run a certain course; where, if you violently proceed against him, mistaking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your own honour, and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life for him, that he hath writ this to feel my affection to your honour, and to no other pretence of danger.

Glo. 'Think you so ?

Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall hear us confer of this, and by an auricular assurance

P So the qu's; all the rest has he never before founded, &c.
9 So the qu’s ; the rest heard him oft maintain it, &c.
I The fo's and R. read declin'd.
• The qu's read his father, &c.
· P. and all after, in sert a before ward.

The qu's read the revenue.
u The qu's read for for firrah.
* The qu's read I apprehend, &c.
* The qu's read this for his.
1 The 2d, 3d, and 4th fo's, R. P. and H. omit own.

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have your satisfaction, and that without any further delay than
this yery evening.
Glo. He cannot be such a monster.

Edm. Nor is not, sure.
Glo. To bis father, that

so tenderly and entirely loves him— Heav'n and earth! Edmund, feek 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, fir, presently, convey the business as I fall b see 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 scourg'd by the sequent effects. Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide. In cities, mutinies; in countries, e difcords; fin palaces, treafon; and the bond crack'd & 'twixt son and father. h This villain of mine comes under the prediction, there's son against father; the king falls from biass of nature, there's father against child. We have seen the best of our time. Machina. tions, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our graves! — Find out this villain, Edmund; ; it hall lose thee nothing, do it carefully-and the noble and

? What is in italic, viz. from the word nor to earth inclusively, are
omitted in the fo's, R. P. and H.
• The qu's read your for the.

So the qu’s; the rest read find for fee.
+ The qu's omit it.
& T.'s octavo reads frequent for sequent.
< So the qu's; all the rest discord.
I The qu's omit in.
6 The qa's read between for 'twist.

What is in italis is not in the qu's.

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true-hearted Kent banish'd! i his offence, honesty. 'Tis Strange.

[Exit.

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Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are fick in fortune (often the k surfeit of our own behaviour) we make guilty of our disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if we were villains m by necessity; fools, by heavenly compulsion ; knaves, thieves, and n treachers, by o spherical predominance; drunkards, lyars, and adulterers, by an inforced obedience of planetary influence ; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admira. ble evasion of whore-master man, to lay his goatish disposition P to the 9 charge of stars! 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 leacherous. s Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenlieft ftar in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.

i The qu's read his offence bonet, ftrange ftrange!
* So the qu's; all the rest forfeits.
I All but the qu's omit the.
* So the qu's; all the rest on for by.

The qu's read treacherers; P. and all after, treacherous. Chaucer has, the falje treacher, Rom, of the Rose, 7168, p. 265. Ur.

• The qu’s read spiritual for splerical.
p So the qu's; all the rest on for to.
aw. reads change for charge.
r so the qu's; the rest of a fiar.

s The qu's read fut, the t being changed into an f; all the rest omit it. Tut is an expression of contempt. Jul. Caef. act s. Ant. Tut! I am ir their hofoms.

alters that to what; followed by the rest. u The qu's read bafiardy.

SCENE

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