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My father, poorly led?—World, world, O world!
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
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;
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
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.
Gon. I have been worth the whistle. Alb.
You are not worth the dust which the rude wind
Enter a Messenger.
Alb. What news?
Slain by his servant, going to put out
Alb. Gloster's eyes!
Mess. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with re
Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword
Alb. This shows you are above,
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
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
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
Phy. There is means, madam :
Cor. All bless'd secrets,
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
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
Of th' extreme verge: for all beneath the moon
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?