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My father, poorly led?—World, world, O world!
But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee,
Life would not yield to age.
Old Man. O my good lord! I have been your
tenant, and your father's tenant, these fourscore
years.
Glo. Away, get thee away; good friend, be gone:
Thy comforts can do me no good at all ;
Thee they may hurt.
Old Man. Alack, sir! you cannot see your way.
Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes:
I stumbled when I saw. Full oft 'tis seen,
Our means secure 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 !
Edg. [Aside.] O gods!
am at the worst 1”
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?

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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. [Aside.] How should this be?— Bad is the trade that must play fool to sorrow, Angering itself and others. [To him.] Bless thee,

master! Glo. Is that the naked fellow 1 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 toward Dover, do it for ancient love; And bring some covering for this naked soul, Whom I'll entreat to lead me. Old Man. Alack, sir! he is mad. Glo. 'Tis the times' plague, when madmen lead the blind. Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure; Above the rest, be gone. Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parel that I have, Come on't what will. Glo. Sirrah ; naked fellow. Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold.— [Aside.] I cannot daub it further. Glo. Come hither, fellow. Edg: [Aside.] And yet I must. — [To him.] 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 hath been scared out of his good wits: bless thee, good man's son, from the foul fiend Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once : of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididance, prince of dumb

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ness; Mahu, of stealing; Modo, of murder; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing, 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 quickly; So distribution should undo excess, And each man have enough.--Dost thou know Dover ?

Edg. Ay, master.

Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending 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 about me: from that place I shall no leading need.

Edg. Give me thy arm: Poor Tom shall lead thee. [Ereunt.

Scene II.-Before the Duke of ALBANy's Castle.

Enter GoneRIL and EDMUND ; Oswald meeting them.

Gon. Welcome, my lord: I marvel, our mild husband Not met us on the way.—Now, where's your master 1 Osw. Madam, within ; but never man so chang'd. I told him of the army that was landed; He smil'd at it: I told him, you were coming; His answer was, “The worse :” of Gloster's treachery, And of the loyal service of his son, When I inform'd him, then he call'd me sot, And told me I had turn'd the wrong side out. What most he should dislike, seems pleasant to him; What like, offensive. Gon. Then, shall you go no further. [To EDMUND. It is the cowish terror of his spirit, That dares not undertake : he'll not feel wrongs, Which tie him to an answer. Our wishes on the way May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother; Hasten his musters, and conduct his powers: I must change arms at home, and give the distaff Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant Shall pass between us: ere long you are like to hear, If you dare venture in your own behalf, A mistress's command. Wear this: spare speech; [Giring a favour. Decline your head: this kiss, if it durst speak, Would stretch thy spirits up into the air.— Conceive, and fare thee well. 2dm. Yours in the ranks of death. Gon. My most dear Gloster! [Erit EDMUNn. O, the difference of man, and man : To thee a woman's services are due : My fool usurps my body. Osw. Madam, here comes my lord. [Erit Oswald.

Enter ALBANY.

Gon. I have been worth the whistle. Alb.

You are not worth the dust which the rude wind
Blows in your face.—I fear your disposition:
That nature, which contemns its origin,
Cannot be border'd certain in itself;
She that herself will sliver and disbranch
From her material sap, perforce must wither,
And come to deadly use.
Gon. No more : the text is foolish.
Alb. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile;
Filths savour but themselves. What have you
done?
Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd?
A father, and a gracious aged man,
Whose reverence the head-lugg’d bear would lick,
Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you madded.
Could my good brother suffer you to do it?
A man, a prince, by him so benefited 2
If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
Send quickly down to tame these vile offences,
It will come,
Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Like monsters of the deep.
Gon. Milk-liver'd man!
That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs;
Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
Thine honour from thy suffering; that not know'st,
Fools do those villains pity, who are punish'd
Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy
drum ?
France spreads his banners in our noiseless land;
With plumed helm thy slayer begins threats;
Whilst thou, a moral fool, sitt'st still, and criest,
“Alack why does he so?”
Alb. See thyself, devil!
Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
So horrid, as in woman.
Gon. O vain fool!
Alb. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for
shame,
Be-monster not thy feature. Were it my fitness
To let these hands obey my blood,
They are apt enough to dislocate and tear
Thy flesh and bones: howe'er thou art a fiend,
A woman's shape doth shield thee.
Gon. Marry, your manhood now!—

Enter a Messenger.

Alb. What news?
Mess. O, my good lord! the duke of Cornwall's
dead;

Slain by his servant, going to put out
The other eye of Gloster.

Alb. Gloster's eyes!

Mess. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with re

morse,

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 since
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!
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 O Goneril!" Upon my hateful life. Another way,

The news is not so tart. [To him.] I'll read, and
answer. [Erit.
Alb. Where was his son, when they did take his
eyes 1
Mess. Come with my lady hither.
A/b. He is not here.
Mess. No, my good lord; I met him back again.
Alb. Knows he the wickedness 1
Mess. Ay, my good lord; ’twas he inform'd
against him,
And quit the house on purpose that their punish-
inent
Might have the freer course.
Alb. Gloster, l live
To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the king,
And to revenge thine eyes.—Corne hither, friend :
Tell me what more thou knowest. [Ereunt.

Scex E III.-The French Camp, near Dover.

Enter KENT, and a Gentleman.

Kent. Why the king of France is so suddenly gone back, know you the reason 1 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 danger, that his personal return was most required, and necessary. Kent. Whom 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. O! then it mov’d her. Gent. Not to a rage : patience and sorrow strove Who should express her goodliest. You have seen Sunshine and rain at once; her smiles and tears Were like a better way: those happy smilets, That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence, As pearls from diamonds dropp'd.—In brief, sorrow Would be a rarity most belov'd, if all Could so become it. Kent. Made she no verbal question ? Gent. "Faith, once, or twice, she heav'd the name of “father” Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart; Cried, “Sisters' sisters!—Shame of ladies' sisters! Kent' father! sisters! What? i' the storm 1 i' the night ! Let pity not be believed"—There she shook The holy water from her heavenly eyes, And clamour moisten'd : then, away she started To deal with grief alone. Kent. It is the stars, The stars above us, govern our conditions: Else one self mate and mate could not beget Such different issues. You spoke not with her since 1 Gent. No. Kent. Was this before the king return'd? Gent. No, since. Kent. Well, sir, the poor distress'd Lear's i' the town, Who sometime, in his better tune, remembers

What we are come about, and by no means
Will yield to see his daughter.
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. A lack, poor gentleman'
Kent. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers 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. [Ereunt.

Scen E IV.- The Same. A Tent.

Enter Cordella, Physician, and Soldiers.

Cor. Alack ' 'tis he why, he was met even now As mad as the vex'd sea: singing aloud : Crown'd with rank fumiter, and surrow weeds, With hoar-docks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers, Darnel, 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. [Erit an Officer.]—

What can man's wisdom,

In the restoring his bereaved sense 2
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,
In the good man's distress!—Seek, seek for him:
Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
That wants the means to lead it.

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Reg. What might import my sister's letter to him Osw. I know not, lady. Reg. 'Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter. It was great ignorance, Gloster's eyes being out, To let him live: where he arrives he moves All hearts against us. Edmund, I think, is gone, In pity of his misery, to despatch His nighted life; moreover, to descry The strength o' the enemy. Osw. I must needs after him, madam, with my letter. Reg. Our troops set forth to morrow: stay with us; The ways are dangerous. Osw. 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 much; Let me unseal the letter.

Osw. Madam, I had rather— Reg. I know your lady does not love her husband. I am sure of that; and, at her late being here, She gave strange opiliads, and most speaking looks To noble Edmund. I know, you are of her bosomOsw. I, madam? Reg. I speak in understanding: y’are, I know it; Therefore, I do advise you, take this note: My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd, And more convenient is he for my hand, Than for your lady's.-You may gather more. If you do find him, pray you, give him this; And when your mistress hears thus much from

Ou, I pray, desire her call her wisdom to her: So, fare you well. If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor, Preferment falls on him that cuts him off. Osw. Would I could meet him, madam: I would

show What party I do follow. Reg. Fare thee well. [Ereunt

(Dover Cliff.)

Scene V1.—The Country near Dorer.

Enter GlostER, and EDGAR dressed like a Peasant.

Glo. When shall I come to the top of that same hill 1 Edg. You do climb up it now: look, how we labour. Glo. Methinks, the ground is even. Edg. Horrible steep : Hark! do you hear the sea 7 Glo. No, truly. Edg. Why, then your other senses grow imperfect By your eyes' anguish. Glo. So may it be, indeed. Methinks, thy voice is alter'd ; and thou speak'st In better phrase, and matter, than thou didst. Edg. Y' are much deceiv'd : in nothing am I chang'd, But in my garments.

Glo. Methinks, y' 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 midway air, Show scarce so gross as beetles: half way down Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade! Methinks, he seems no bigger than his head. The fishermen, that walk upon the beach, Appear like mice; and yond' tall anchoring bark, Diminish'd to her cock: her cock, a buoy Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge, That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chases, Cannot be heard so high.-I’ll look no more; Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight Topple down headlong. Glo. Set me where you stand. Edg. Give me your hand; you are now within a foot

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Of th' extreme verge: for all beneath the moon
Would I not leap upright.
Glo. Let go my hand.
Here, friend, is another purse ; in it, a jewel
Well worth a poor man's taking: fairies, and gods,
Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off;
Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.
Edg. Now fare you well, good sir.
Glo. With all my heart.
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, bless 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 he thought,
By this had thought been past.—Alive, or dead?
Ho, you sir! friend!—Hear you, sir?—speak!
Thus might he pass, indeed;—yet he revives.
What are you, sir?
- Away, and let me die.
Edg. Hadst thou been aught but gossamer,
feathers, air,
So many fathom down precipitating,
Thou'dst shiver'd like an egg: but thou dost
breathe :
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 2
Edg: From the dread summit of this chalky
bourn.
Look up a height; the shrill-gorg’d lark so far
Cannot be seen or heard : do but look up.
Glo. Alack! I have no eyes.—
Is wretchedness depriv'd that benefit,
To end itself by death ! 'Twas yet some comfort,
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,
And frustrate his proud will.

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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 honours Of men's impossibilities, have preserv'd thee. Glo. I do remember now : henceforth I'll bear Affliction, till it do cry out itself “Enough, enough!” and die. speak of, I took it for a man; often 'twould say, “The fiend, the fiend:” he led me to that place.

That thing you

Edg. Bear free and patient thoughts.-But who comes here !

Enter LEAR, fantastically dressed with wild flowers.

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 handles 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.—O, well flown, bird!—i' the clout, i' the clout: hewgh !—Give the word. Edg. Sweet marjoram. Lear. Pass. Glo. I know that voice. Lear. Ha! Goneril 1 — with a white beard 1– 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 “ay,” and “no,” to every thing I said —“Ay” and “no” too 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 'em, there I smelt 'em 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 !— Adultery.— Thou shalt not die: die for adultery 7 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 Got 'tween the lawful sheets. To't, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.Behold yond' 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 girdle do the gods inherit, Beneath is all the fiends: there's hell, there's darkness, 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 ' Lear. Let me wipe it first ; it smells of mortality. Glo. O ruin'd piece of nature . This great world Shall so wear out to nought.—Dost thou know me? Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me ! No, do thy worst, blind Cupid : I’ll not love.—Read thou this challenge: mark but the penning of it. Glo. Were all the letters suns, I could not see one. Edg. I would not take this from report; it is, And my heart breaks at it. Lear. Read. Glo. What! with the case of eyes?

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