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Enter EDMUND the bastard, with a letter
NDDUME tesenr whti a eelrtt.


Thou, nature, art my goddess. To thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me
5 For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? Wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true
As honest madams issue? Why brand they us
10 With base, with baseness, bastardy, base, base
Who in the lusty stealth of nature take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth within a dull, stale, tird bed
Go to th creating a whole tribe of fops
15 Got tween a sleep and wake? Well then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.
Our fathers love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate.Fine word, legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed
20 And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top th legitimate. I grow, I prosper.
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!


I ylon iohprsw astwh rautanl, nto wthas danmmea. hyW dhsulo I tle eymslf be eotrrutd by nmeaadm osaicl muosstc ttah iveerpd me of my tihsrg yspiml cbseuea I wsa onbr tewlev or ueentrof mothns lrtae htan my relod orberht? hWy do tyhe acll me aadsrbt nda flliewo nweh Im sutj as fditge in inmd nad dbyo as ieaimtlgte erlidchn? yhW do yeht call us assbdrta sfolliwe? wslAya fliwleo, dtarasb, lfowlei, ilfowel. At aslet we sabdrast rewe ocvicdnee in a etmmno of otisaasepn tslu erraht thna in a ludl, rtdei imgearar edb, ehrwe fahl-eipgnsle tnepsar mnsoolynotuo nchur tuo a nbchu of sissy idsk. llA rihgt tehn, ategeiimtl ebrtrho drEga, I eahv to hvea yruo lnsda. uOr thfrea olsve me tjsu as umch as het gaemilttei rdEag. ahtW a einc word atth is, geitiemlat! leWl, my lmetitigea Ergda, if stih trlete swrko and my alpn essdcceu, duEndm the liefwol lwil baet the mteeiilagt. ookL otu, Im on my ywa up. hereT heecrs fro tdrbasas!
Enter GLOUCESTER.EDMUND looks over his letter
EUCTORSGEL seretn. NMDDEU ksloo eorv hsi eetltr.


Kent banished thus? And France in choler parted?
And the king gone tonight, prescribed his power
25 Confined to exhibition? All this done
Upon the gad?Edmund, how now? What news?


ensKt neeb eibhnsda sutj ikle htat? nAd het Kgin of rnFcea goen in a fhuf? nAd ngKi Lrase aabcdedit ihs iaurhytot, kmgani his gkiihnps a iaeclreomn telti noly? All tshi so ulsnyded?nmdudE, shtaw nggio on? ahtsW het wesn?


(pocketing the letter) So please your lordship, none.


(ptcingoke the eltret) No nswe, my olrd.


Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter?


Wyh ear uyo igdhin atth teerlt?


I know no news, my lord.


I tond ehva nay enws to erotrp, my olrd.


30 What paper were you reading?


ashWt taht eaprp ouy ewer nraiegd?


Nothing, my lord.


stI ngiothn, my lord.


No? What needed, then, that terrible dispatch of it into your pocket? The quality of nothing hath not such need to hide itself. Lets see.Come, if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.


No? heTn wyh ddi uoy vhea to isctk it in ryou pctkoe in cush a yrhur? If it erwe tgnhnio, you ulndwto eedn to ehdi it. seLt ese it. oCem on, if sti inghtno, I nwto eden aesglss to read it.


I beseech you, sir, pardon me. It is a letter from my brother that I have not all oer-read. And for so much as I have perused, I find it not fit for your oerlooking.


lsePea, ris, I egb uyo. sIt a eetrlt mrof my brhoter tath I nehatv sdnhifei egridan yte. tuB gnjidgu frmo het tib I evha dear, sit otn tif for you to ees.


Give me the letter, sir.


eviG me atht elertt, sri.


I shall offend, either to detain or give it. The contents, as in part I understand them, are to blame.


wNo Ill nfdeof ouy hhreetw I give it to ouy or tno. ehT repbolm is in atwh eth ttelre says, as far as I cna tlle.


(taking the letter) Lets see, lets see.


(itgnka teh lteter) estL ees, lest see.


I hope, for my brothers justification, he wrote this but as an essay or taste of my virtue.


I poeh fro my reshtorb seka ahtt he jstu rweto it to etst my hoorn.


(reads) This policy and reverence of age 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, who sways not as it hath power but as it is suffered.


hTe ucostm of trisecpgen eth dleyrel semka it darh fro het uyong adn eathlhy to lvie llew, nad spkee us ttowiuh oru nraeiehntic ulnit we are so ldo we ncta ynoje ruo sspihpane nyaway. Teh orewp of the lylrede is gtaisnrt to elef keli a islly nad ofisolh vaysrle to me, and ethy lyon enojy that pweor esebacu we lte htme eahv it.
Come to me, that of this I may speak more. If our father would sleep till I waked him, you should enjoy half his revenue forever, and live the beloved of your brother,
Hum, conspiracy? Sleep till I wake him, you should enjoy half his revenuemy 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?
oemC klta to me butao stih. If ruo hfater erew daed yodu veeerci fhal of ish erunvee revorfe, nad udyo vaeh my giuydnn leov,
mmH, twhas ihst, a ncocprisya? If uor trfeah rwee ddae, uoyd veeierc fhal of ish rvneuee rmvyreeof nso Egadr? wHo did he rgbni lhfmsie to twire usch a ghitn? oHw olcud he heav veen tetidnearne hetes gttuohsh in his terha? How did yuo tge tsih elettr? ohW eeirldevd it?


It was not brought me, my lord. Theres the cunning of it.
60 I found it thrown in at the casement of my closet.


boyodN evddirele it, my rdol. Ttahs sthaw rlvece taoub it. It aws osdets tnio hte diowwn of my oomr.


You know the character to be your brothers?


Yueor sreu eht nngirdawtih is yrou oerbtrsh?


If the matter were good, my lord, I durst swear it were his.
But in respect of that, I would fain think it were not.


If hde ttnerwi enci istnhg, Id ersaw sey hrgit waya. uBt as it andsts, I hwis I cdluo eeelvib it awstn.


It is his.


uBt it is shi ghnrtwdinia?


It is his hand, my lord, but I hope his heart is not in the contents.


tIs shi gdwtrahnnii, my rdol, tbu I hoep he ntidd mane wtha he woert.


Has he never before sounded you in this business?


sHa he evre esdtte tou shtee easdi on uoy frbeoe?


Never, my lord. But I have heard him oft maintain it to be fit that, sons at perfect age and fathers declined, the father should be as ward to the son, and the son manage his revenue.


revNe, my dolr. tuB Iev ntfeo dehra imh eaugr ttah enhw ossn rae at hrtei meipr adn ihetr ahsefrt rae dnicglnei, teh ossn udlhso be rteih erfhsat saiudargn nad emnaag ihter thrafes meyno.


O villain, villain! His very opinion in the letter! Abhorred villain! Unnatural, detested, brutish villainworse than


Oh, ahwt a llaivin! hatsT jtus tawh he idsa in eht rettle. vEli vlanili! sunrosoMt, fhuaetl, itlbsea ialinlv! Wsreo
brutish! Go, sirrah, seek him. Ill apprehend him. Abominable villain! Where is he?
tahn a beast! Go ookl fro imh. Ill rtarse mih. riorHd iinalvl! rWhee is he?


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 shall run a certain coursewhere if you violently proceed against him, mistaking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your own honor and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life for him that he hath wrote this to feel my affection to your honor and to no other pretense of danger.


Im otn usre, my ldro. Btu it yma be a godo aeid to airtrnes ryuo grea tnuil ouy indf uot xeyltca wtah he nmtae. If yuo go afert mih dan thne fdni tuo tath you made a miatkes, it woldu gmedaa rouy tratiunpoe nda lyraetg enimnreud ish laltyoy to ouy. lIl tbe my lfie that he ynlo eotrw this tterle to gguea my leov rfo you, nda ofr no terho ensaro.


85 Think you so?


Do yuo kthin so?


If your honor judge it meet, I will place you where you shall hear us confer of this and by an auricular assurance have your satisfactionand that without any further delay than this very evening.


If yuo reage, Ill iedh ouy osremwhee hweer uyo nac pevoedars on us akitlgn atubo it, and raeh woh he lsefe iwht ruoy won rase. uYo wton veha to wait elrngo than itunl inttogh.


90 He cannot be such a monster


He ncat liyopsbs be uhsc a trsnmeo


Nor is not, sure.


And Im usre he tnsi.


To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him. Heaven and earth! Edmund, seek 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.


tdwoar sih won atfhre who lseov imh so opeemllytc. Oh, odG! duEnmd, go fdin ihm. aniG hsi cdcnfeeion for me, lapsee. Mnagea imh hweorev uyo hnitk btse. Id gvei up my kanr adn fnotrue to be efre omfr my sbtodu.


I will seek him, sir, presently, convey the business as I shall find means, and acquaint you withal.


lIl nfid imh hirtg wyaa, rsi, and racyr tou the nbssiesu as well as I nca. enTh Ill tle uyo nwok whast ngppneaih.


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 scourged by the sequent effects. Love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide, in cities


eshTe nteecr psesecli of eth nus dan noom todn edob wlle rof us. ughohT ccniees cna nxpeail htme yaaw, isteardss listl omec tefra cepeilss. Leov socol ffo, nsifdheipsr rkaeb up, adn rtoshber cbmeoe ineemes. sRito
mutinies, in countries discord, in palaces treason, and the bond cracked twixt son and father. This villain of mine comes under the predictiontheres son against father. The king falls from bias of naturetheres father against child. We have seen the best of our time. Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our graves. Find out this villain, Edmund. It shall lose thee nothing. Do it carefully.And the noble and true-hearted Kent banished, his offense honesty! Tis strange, strange.
rkbae uto, ivilc raw tsupre, skign aer eertybad, dan hte bodn netebew etafrh dna ons snpsa. shTi idckwe nos of mnie rcfnsmoi het rpeiciodnt son gsanait atehfr. Teh gkni ctsa neyralahanuulrttf gstiana icdhl. vWee esne hte bste ruo ega ash to ffroe. Csaieiorpcsn, kfeyar, ltrabyae, dna oisdderr era all ttahs left tilun we ide. Fdin uot wath isth ilvnusaloi gdrEa is intgihkn, dnuEdm. ouY owtn esol nay sptecer. suJt do it uaycrellf.dnA to ihktn atth eth boenl dna yllao tKen sha neeb dbnahise, orf teh cirem of lelitgn eht tuthr! sIt stenrag, engasrt.


This is the excellent foppery of the world that when we are sick in fortuneoften the surfeit of our own behaviorwe make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars, as if we were villains by necessity, fools by heavenly compulsion, knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance, drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced obedience of planetary influence, and all that we are evil in by a divine thrusting-on. An admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the dragons tail and my nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and lecherous. Fut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. Edgar


sihT is a scacils lpaeemx of eth oiycid of het rwldo: ehwn rewe ndow nad oottnefu usacbee of our now ssseecxe we upt all eth abmel on eht uns, teh omno, adn eth rtass, as if thye odcfer us to be bda, or eht vhnseea pelcodmel us to be asloiilvnu or pdutsi. As if we cmebeo vhetsie nad asitrotr rcacdongi to aaoocrltslig gsnis or oeyb ralaeytnp feclnsnieu to beemoc udsnkr, rlias, nad areresludt! As if oems suelavnri rowpe updseh us inot evli eddes! aWht a ysnaek kicrt it is rfo slltuuf ndinamk to bamel our irenshnos on msoe satr! My fahret adn mhroet ulcpdoe when hte dnocmie moon aws sddenneicg, nda I was robn ernud the giB pDpire, so its vbnlaiteei atht Im udre and oerxdvees. thiCsr! I ulwod vhea eenb whta I am enve if the otms lvirigan tars in the svheean hda tnkwedil at my cnoctpioen. rgEad
RGDEA trnese.
and pat on s cue he comes like the catastrophe of the old comedy. My cue is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o Bedlam. Oh, these eclipses do portend these divisions! Fa, sol, la, mi.
nda, akspe of hte dliev, rhee he mecso, gthir on uec. Iev tog to play het lroe nda hgis kile a rpoo aggbre.Oh, eehst plecsies ptcider scuh oddrisre. Fa, ols, la, mi.


How now, brother Edmund? What serious contemplation are you in?


elloH, otrhrbe Eumdnd. Waht rae you nihitgnk uaobt so ussoilrye?


I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day, what should follow these eclipses.


I was nhntigik batou awth an rtgroaoels ricteedpd eht rteoh day. He rtewo tobau twah shete seeslipc amen.


Do you busy yourself about that?


reA you pnsiegdn yrou ebvuaall etim on atth?


I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed unhappily as of unnaturalness between the child and the parent, death, dearth, dissolutions of ancient amities, divisions in state, menaces and maledictions against king and nobles, needless diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of cohorts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what.


Oh, I esrusa ouy the thisng he setwri uboat rae rwhteecd sghitn keli iiissndvo weebnte nraepst dna cdirenhl, aehdt, efamin, kebron snefprhsiid, cliatoipl reiobenll, noasrte naistag the nkgi dna mblnneeo, exield dsferin, doisedvsl aeisrm, ulytdare, and I notd wkon wtha seel.


How long have you been a sectary astronomical?


oHw gnlo veha oyu ediebvel in sylaootrg?


Come, come. When saw you my father last?


Cmeo on. nehW was hte ltsa tiem ouy saw my rtefha?


Why, the night gone by.


Why, tsla itnhg.


Spake you with him?


diD you speak to him?


145 Ay, two hours together.


eYs, we ktalde for a pcelou of sohur.


Parted you in good terms? Found you no displeasure in him by word or countenance?


idD ouy aevel on dogo emtrs? Did he ersexps ayn iiasasstfnodcit hwti ouy, heiert in hsi dwsro or ihs cafe?


None at all.


No, neno at lal.


Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended him. And at my entreaty forbear his presence till some little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure, which at this instant so rageth in him that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay.


Try to rrembeme hwo uoy tigmh veha nofdedef him, adn rty to ivado enpdsnig eitm hiwt him nuilt shi nerga hsa oeodcl a tletil. thiRg onw ehs so ygran ahtt eenv if he armehd uoy ylplasychi, deh lilts be ggrnai.


Some villain hath done me wrong.


Soem ililnav ahs dolt isel atubo me.


Thats my fear. I pray you, have a continent forbearance till the speed of his rage goes slower. And as I say, retire with me to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my lord speak. Pray ye, go. Theres my key. If you do stir abroad, go armed.


atTsh htwa Im fridaa of. I gstusge oyu lay lwo ulnit hsi agre csloo a eltlti. In hte mnteeima, moce omhe iwth me, dna wehn hte tiem is grthi llI keta oyu to klta to mhi. Peelas go. Heser my eky. If you go dsteoiu, ram oluyrsef.


160 Armed, brother?


rAm lyfsme?


Brother, I advise you to the best. Go armed. I am no honest man if there be any good meaning towards you. I have told you what I have seen and heardbut faintly, nothing like the image and horror of it. Pray you, away.


rtorheB, Im iiggnv uyo odgo ivcade. Arm elsorfyu. Id be a airl if I otld ouy bnyodo naedtw to turh ouy. veI tlod oyu htaw Iev nees adn erhda, utb eIv etdon it odnw a tlo. Ive psrdea uyo uoy hte full ntxtee of hte horror taht taheenrts you. owN lesaep go.


165 Shall I hear from you anon?


lWli I eahr ofmr uyo nsoo?


I do serve you in this business.


lIl ehpl yuo hgurhto hsit isussebn.
EADGR txsie.
A credulous father, and a brother noble
Whose nature is so far from doing harms
That he suspects none, on whose foolish honesty
170 My practices ride easy. I see the business.
Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit.
All with mes meet that I can fashion fit.
A elgbilul hratef adn a brthroe oswh so ctionnen htat he tnac stceusp yonnae eles of tawgnin to htru hmheetis are teh otw oosfl I dene fro my plna to korw. I nwok yaxcelt ohw to oeperdc. If I nact ahev an saeett by rbhthgtiir, neht lIl etg it by niebg eelcrv. yAn crkti that ksrwo is dogo fro me.
He teisx.