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Enter EDGAR.

Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd [worst, Than still contemn'd and flatter'd. + To be The lowest and most dejected thing of fortune, Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear : The lamentable change is from the best; The worst returns to laughter. Welcome then, Thou unsubstantial air, that I embrace! The wretch, that thou hast blown unto the worst, [here ?Owes nothing to thy blasts. But who comes

Enter GLOSTER, led by an OLD MAN.

My father, poorly led ?-World, world, O world! But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee,

Life would not yield to age.

Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold-I cannot daub it



Glo. Come hither, fellow.
Edg. [Aside.] And yet I must.-Bless thy

sweet eyes, they bleed.

Glo. Know'st thou the way to Dover? Edg. Both stile and gate, horse-way and footpath. Poor Tom hain been scared out of his good wits: Bless the good man from the foul fiend! [Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once; of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididance, prince of dumbness; Mahu, of stealing; Modo of mur. der; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mow ing; who since possesses chamber-maids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master!]

Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven's plagues Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched, Makes thee the happier :-Heavens, deal so still!

Let the superfluous, and lust-dieted man,
That slaves your ordinance, † that will not see
Because he doth not feel, feel your power


Old Man. O my good lord, I have been your tenant, and your father's tenant, these four-So distribution should undo excess, score years. And each man have enough.-Dost thou know Edg. Ay, master.

Glo. Away, get thee away; good friend, beThy comforts can do me no good at all, [gone: Thee they may hurt.

Old Man. Alack, Sir, you cannot see your


Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no


I stumbled when I saw: Full oft 'tis seen,
Our mean secures us; and our mere defects
Prove our commodities.-Ah! dear son Edgar,
The food of thy abused father's wrath!
Might I but live to see thee in my touch,

I'd say, I had eyes again!

Old Man. How now? Who's there?

Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bend. ing head

Looks fearfully in the confined deep :
Bring me but to the very brim of it,
And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear,
With something rich above me: from that place
I shall no leading need.

Edg. Give me thy arm;
Poor Tom shall lead thee.


SCENE II.-Before the Duke of ALBANY'S

Edg. [Aside. O gods! Who is't can say, I Enter GONERIL and EDMUND; STEWARD

am at the worst?

I am worse than e'er I was.

Old Man. 'Tis poor mad Tom.

Edg. [Aside.] And worse I may be yet: The

worst is not,

So long as we can say, This is the worst.
Old Man. Fellow, where goest?

Glo. Is it a beggar-man?

Old Man. Madman and beggar too.

Glo. He has some reason, else he could not beg.

I'the last night's storm I such a fellow saw;
Which made me think a man a worm: My son
Came then into my mind; and yet my mind
Was then scarce friends with him: I have
heard more since :

As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.

Edg. How should this be?

Bad is the trade must play the fool to sorrow, Ang'ring itself and others.

thee, master!

[Aside.] Bless

Glo. Is that the naked fellow?

Old Man. Ay, my lord.

Glo. Then, pr'ythee, get thee gone: If, for my sake,

Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain,
I'the way to Dover, do it for ancient love;
And bring some covering for this naked soul,

• Madman.

+ I. e. It is better to be thus contemned and know it, than to be flattered by those who secretly contemn us. In hope. Changes.

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Alb. O Goneril !

Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword
To his great master, who, thereat enrag'd,
Flew on him, and amongst them fell'd him
dead :

But not without that harmful stroke, which

Hath pluck'd him after.

Alb. This shows you are above,

You justicers, that these our nether crimes
So speedily can venge !-But, O poor Gloster i
Lost he his other eye?

Mess. Both, both, my lord.

This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer;
'Tis from your sister.

Gon. [Aside.] One way I like this well;
But being widow, and my Gloster with her,
May all the building in my fancy pluck
Upon my hateful life: Another way,

You are not worth the dust which the rude The news is not so tart.-I'll read and answer.


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Alb. What news?


Alb. Where was his son, when they did take

his eyes?

Mess. Come with my lady hither.

Alb. He is not here.

Mess. No, my good lord; I met him back

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And quit the house on purpose, that their pun-

Might have the freer course.
Alb. Gloster, I live

To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the

And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither,
Tell me what more thou knowest.


SCENE III.-The French Camp near Dover.
Kent. Why the king of France is so suddenly
gone back know you the reason?

Gent. Something he left imperfect in the state, Which since his coming forth is thought of; which

Imports to the kingdom so much fear and

That his personal return was most requir'd,
And necessary.

Kent. Who hath he left behind him general?
Gent. The Mareschal of France, Monsieur
le Fer.
Kent. Did your letters pierce the queen to any
demonstration of grief?

Gent. Ay, Sir; she took them, read them in

my presence;

And now and then an ample tear trill'd down
Her delicate cheek: it seem'd, she was a queen
Over her passion; who, most rebel-like
Sought to be king o'er her.

Kent. Oh! then it mov'd her.

Gent. Not to a rage: patience and sorrow


[seen Who should express her goodliest. You have Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and


Were like a better day: Those happy smiles,
That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
What guests were in her eyes; which parted

As pearls from diamonds dropp'd.-In brief,


Would be a rarity most belov'd, if all

Mess. O my good lord, the Duke of Corn. Could so become it.

wall's dead;

Slain by his servant, going to put out

The other eye of Gloster.

Alb. Gloster's eyes!

Gent. Made she no verbal question ?*
Kent. 'Faith, once, or twice, she heav'd the
name of father

Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart;

Mess. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with Cried, Sisters! sisters!-Shame of ladies!

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Gent. Why, good Sir?

Kent. A sovereign shame so elbows him his own unkindness,

That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her

To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights

To his dog-hearted daughters,-these things sting

His mind so venomously, that burning shame
Detains him from Cordelia.

Gent. Alack, poor gentleman!

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It was great ignorance, Gloster's eyes being

To let him live; where he arrives, he moves
All hearts against us: Edmund, I think, is

In pity of his misery, to despatch

His nighted life; + moreover, to descry

Kent. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers The strength o'the enemy.

you heard not?

Gent. 'Tis so; they are afoot.

Kent. Well, Sir, I'll bring you to our master Lear,

And leave you to attend him : some dear cause Will in concealment wrap me up awhile; When I am known aright, you shall not grieve Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go Along with me.


SCENE IV.-The same.-A Tent. Enter CORDELIA, PHYSICIAN, and SOLDIERS. Cor. Alack, 'tis he; why, he was met even


As mad as the vex'd sea: singing aloud;
Crown'd, with rank fumiter, and furrow weeds,
With harlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo.

Daruel, and all the idle weeds that grow
In our sustaining corn.-A century send forth;
Search every acre in the high grown field,
And bring him to our eye.

[Exit an OFFICER.
What can man's wisdom do,
In the restoring his bereaved sense?
He, that helps him, take all my outward worth.
Phy. There is means, madam :
Our foster-nurse of nature is repose,
The which he lacks; that to provoke in him,
Are many simples operative, whose power
Will close the eye of anguish.

Cor. All bless'd secrets,

All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
Spring with my tears! be aidant, and remediate,
n the good man's distress 1-Seek, seek for
him ;

Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
That wants the means to lead it. **


Mess. Madam, news;

Stew. I must needs after him, madam, with

my letter.

Reg. Our troops set forth to-morrow; stay with us;

The ways are dangerous.

Stew. I may not, madam;

My lady charg'd my duty in this business.
Reg. Why should she write to Edmund ↑
Might not you

Transport her purposes by word? Belike,
Something I know not what :-I'll love thee
Let me unseal the letter.

Stew. Madam, I had rather

Reg. I know your lady does not love her hus band;

I am sure of that: and, at her late being here, She gave strange œiliads, and most speaking looks

To noble Edmund: I know you are of her bo

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Glo. When shall we come to the top of that same hill?

Edg. You do climb up it now: look, how we

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Edg. Why, then your other senses grow im- | Look up a-height;-the shrill-gorg'd


By your eyes' anguish.

Glo. So may it be, indeed: Methinks thy voice is


alter'd; and thou

In better phrase, and matter, than thou didst.
Edg. You are much deceiv'd; 'in nothing am
I chang'd,

But in my garments.

Glo. Methinks, you are better spoken.

Edg. Come on, Sir; here's the place :-stand
still.-How fearful

And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low!
The crows, and choughs, that wing the mid-
way air,

Show scarce so gross as beetles: Half way

Hangs one that gathers samphire; + dreadful

Methinks he seems no bigger than his head :
The fishermen that walk upon the beach,
Appear like mice: and yon' tall anchoring

Diminish'd to her cock! her cock, a buoy
Almost too small for sight: The murmuring

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Edg. Why I do trifle thus with his despair, Is done to cure it.

Glo. O you mighty gods!

This world I do renounce; and, in your sights,
Shake patiently my great affliction off:
If I could bear it longer, and not fall

To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
My snuff, and loathed part of nature, should
Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O bleɛs him !—
Now, fellow, fare thee well.

[He leaps and falls along.

Edg. Gone, Sir? farewell.-
And yet I know not how conceit may rob
The treasury of life, when life itself
Yields to the theft: Had he been where



By this, had thought been past.-Alive, or


Ho, you Sir! friend!-Hear you, Sir ?-speak!
Thus might be pass indeed: -Yet he revives :
What are you, Sir?

Glo. Away, and let me die.

Edg. Hadst thou been aught but gossomer,
feathers, air,

So many fathom down precipitating,
Thou hadst shiver'd like an egg: but thou dost

Hast heavy substance: bleed'st not; speak'st;

art sound.

Ten masts at each make not the altitude,
Which thou hast perpendicularly fell;
Thy life's a miracle: Speak yet again.
Glo. But have I fallen, or no?


lark so

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Glo. Too well, too well.

Edg. This is above all strangeness.
Upon the crown o'the cliff, what thing was that
Which parted from you?

Glo. A poor unfortunate beggar.

Edg. As I stood here below, methought, his eyes Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses, Horns whelk'd and wav'd like the enridged sea;

It was some fiend: Therefore, thou happy father,

Think that the clearest gods, who make them bonours

Of men's impossibilities, have preserv'd thee.
Glo. I do remember now: henceforth I'll

Affliction, till it do cry out itself,
Enough, enough, and, die. That thing you
speak of,

I took it for a man; often 'twould say,
The fiend, the fiend: he led me to that place.
Edg. Bear free and patient thoughts.-But
who comes here ?

Enter LEAR, fantastically dressed up with

The safer sense will ne'er accommodate
His master thus.

Lear. No, they cannot touch me for coining;
I am the king himself.

Edg. O thou side-piercing sight!

Lear. Nature's above art in that respect.There's your press-money. That fellow haudles his bow like a crow-keeper: draw me a clothier's yard. --Look, look, a mouse! Peace, peace-this piece of toasted cheese will do't.

-There's my gauntlet; I'll prove it on a giant. -Bring up the brown bills. -0, well flown, bird -i'the clout, i'the clout: Thewgh!-Give the word...

Edg. Sweet marjoram.
Lear. Pass.

Glo. I know that voice.

Lear. Ha! Goneril!-with a white beard !They flatter'd me like a dog; and told me I had white hairs in my beard, ere the black ones were there. To say aye and no to every that I said aye and no to, was no good divinity. When the rain came to wet me once, and the wind to make me chatter; when the thunder would not peace at my bidding; there I found them, there I smelt them out. Go to, they are not men o'their words: they told me I was every thing; 'tis a lie: I am not ague-proof.

Glo. The trick of that voice I do well remember:

Is't not the king?

Lear. Ay, every inch a king:
When I do stare, see, how the subject quakes.
I pardon that man's life: what was thy cause ?—

Thou shalt not die: Die for adultery! No:
The wren goes to't, and the small gilded fly
Does lecher in my sight.

Let copulation thrive, for Gloster's bastard son
Was kinder to his father, than my daughters

Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky Got 'tween the lawful sheets.

• Daws.

bourn : ¶

A vegetable gathered for pickling.
1 Her cock-boat."

Thus might he die in reality.
I. e. This chalky boundary of England.

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To't, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.-
Behold yon' simpering dame,

Whose face between her forks presageth snow;
That minces virtue, and does shake the head
To hear of pleasure's name;

The fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to't
With a more riotous appetite.

Down from the waist they are centaurs,
Though women all above:

But to the girale do the gods inherit, +
Beneath is all the fiends'; there's hell, there's

There is the sulphurous pit, burning, scalding, stench, consumption;-Fie, fie, fie! pah; pah! Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination: there's money for thee.

Glo. O, let me kiss that hand!

Leur. Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality.

Glo. O ruin'd piece of nature! This great world [me? Shall so wear out to nought.-Dost thou know Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me? No, do thy worst, blind Cupid; Pll not love.-Read thou this challenge; mark but the penning of it.

Glo. Were all the letters suns, I could not see

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Take that of me, my friend, who have the power To seal the accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes; And, like a scurvy politician, seem

To see the things thou dost not.-Now, now, now, now:

Pull off my boots :-harder, harder; so.

Edg. O, matter and impertinency mix'd! Reason in madness!

Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes take my eyes.

I know thee well enough; thy name is Gloster: Thou must be patient; we came crying hither. Thou know'st, the first time that we smell the air,

[me. We wawl, and cry:-1 will preach to thee; inark Gle. Alack, alack the day!

Lear. When we are born, we cry, that we

are coine

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It were a delicate stratagem to shoe

A troop of horse with felt: I'll put it in proof; And when I have stolen upon these sons-in-law, Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill.

Enter a GENTLEMAN, with Attendants. Gent. O here he is, lay hand upon him,-Sir Your most dear daughter

Lear. No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am


The natural fool of fortune.-Use me well;
You shall have ransom.
Let me have a surgeon,
I am cut to the brains.
Gent. You shall have any thing.
Lear. No seconds? all myself?
Why, this would make a man, a man of salt,⚫
To use his eyes for garden water-pots,
Ay, and for laying autumn's dust.

Gent. Good Sir,

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Gent. Sir, speed you: What's your will? Edg. Do you hear aught, Sir, of a battle to ward?

Gent. Most sure, and vulgar: every one hears that,

Which can distinguish sound.

Edg. But, by your favour, How near's the other army?

Gent. Near, and on speedy foot; the main descry

Stands on the hourly thought. +

Edg. I thank you, Sir: that's all. Gent. Though that the queen on special cause is here,

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⚫ 1. e. A rian of tears.

The main body is expected to be descried every Lour.
Evil genius.
Renard, recompence.
Quickly recollect the offences of thy life.

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