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All hearts against us: Edmund, I think, is gone,
Osw. No, madam, he's return'd on speedy summons Back to your sister.
Gon. Ah! I like not that; Such speed must have the wings of love. Where's Albany?
Osw. Madam, within; but never man so chang'd; I told him of the uproar of the peasants, He smil'd at it; when I inform'd him Of Gloster's treason
Gon. Trouble him no farther; It is his coward spirit. Back to our sister, Hasten ber musters, and let her know, I have given the distaff into my husband's hands; That done, with special care deliver these despatches In private to young Gloster.
Enter Captain of the Guard.
Cap. O, madam, most unseasonable news! The Duke of Cornwall's dead of his late wound, Whose loss your sister has in part supply'd, Making brave Edmund general of her forces.
Gon. One way, I like this well; But, being a widow, and my Gloster with her, T may blast the promis'd harvest of our love.— A word more, sir; (To Oswald.] add speed to your
journey; And if you chance to meet with that blind traitor, Preferment falls on him that cuts him off. [Exeunt.
Another Part of the Country.
Enter Edgab, as a Peasant, and Gloster.
Glost. When shall we come to th' top of that same hill!
Edg. We climb it now; mark, how we labour.
Glost. Methinks, the ground is even.
Edg. Horribly steep. Hark, do you hear the sea ?
Glost. No, truly.
Edg. Why, then your other senses grow imperfect By your eyes' anguish.
Glost. So may it be indeed.
Edg. You are much deceiv'd; in nothing am I alter'd, But my garments.
Glost. Methinks, you're better spoken.
Edg. Come on, sir, here's the place. How fearful And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low! The crows and choughs, that wing the midway air, Show scarce so big as beetles; half way down Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade! The fishermen, that walk upon the beach, Appear like mice; and yon tall anch'ring bark Seems lessen'd to her cock; her cock, a buoy, Almost too small for sight; the murm'ring surge Cannot be heard so high. I'll look no more; Lest my brain turn, and the disorder make me Tumble down headlong.
Glost. Set me where you stand.
Edg. You are now within a foot of th' extreme verge: For all beneath the moon I would not now Leap forward.
Glost. Let go my hand. Here is another purse, in it a jewel Well worth a poor man's taking. Get thee farther, Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going..
Edg. Fare you well, sir. That I do trifle thus
With his despair, is with design to cure it.
Glost. [Kneels.] Thus, mighty gods, this world I do renounce, And in your sight shake my afflictions off; If I could bear them longer, and not fall To quarrel with your great opposeless wills, My snuff and feebler part of nature should Burn itself out. If Edgar live, oh, bless him! Now, fellow, fare thee well.
Edg. Hold—who comes here ?
Enter King Lear, a Coronet of Flowers on his Head, Wreaths and Garlands about him.
Lear. No, no; they cannot touch me for coining; I am the king himself.
Edg. O 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. A mouse, a mouse! Peace, hoa ! There's my gauntlet; I'll prove it on a giant Bring up the brown bills. O, well flown,
barb! i'th' white, i'th' white. Hewgh!—Give the
Edg. Sweet Majoram.
Glost. 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 on my chin, before the black ones were there. To say ay and no to every thing that I said,—Ay, and no too, was no good divinity. When the rain came once to wet me, and the winds 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 of their words; they told me I was every thing; 'tis a lie; I am not ague-proof.
Glost. That voice I 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 the cause?
Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery? No.—
Glost. Let me kiss that hand.
Lear. Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality.
Glost. Speak, sir, do you know me?
Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough. Nay,
do thy worst, blind Cupid, I'll not love. Read me
this challenge; mark but the penning of it.
Glost. Were all the letters suns, I could not see.
Lear. Read, read, read.
Glost. What! with this case of eyes?
Lear. O ho! are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? Yet you see how this world goes.
Glost. I see it feelingly.
Lear. What! art mad? A man may see how this
world goes, with no eyes. Look with thy ears: see
how yon justice rails on yon simple thief.—Hark, in
thine ear; shake them together, and the first that drops, be it thief or justice, is a villain.—Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar?
Glost. Ay, sir.
Lear. And the man run from the cur; there thou might'st behold the great image of authority; a dog's obeyed in office. Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand! Why dost thou lash that strumpet ? Thou hotly lust'st to enjoy her in that kind for which thou whipp'sther; do, do; the judge, that sentenced her, has been before hand with thee.
Glost. How stiff is my vile sense, that yields not yet!
Lear. I tell thee, the usurer hangs the coz'ner.— Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear; Robes and fur-gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold, And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks; Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it.— Why, there 'tis for thee, my friend; make much of it; It has 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.—Pull, pull off my boots; hard, harder; so, so.
Glost. 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 taste the air, We wail and cry. I'll preach to thee; mark me.
Edg. Break, lab'ring heart!
Lear. When we are born, we cry, that we are come To this great stage of fools,
Enter Two Knights.
1 Knight. O! here he is; lay hand upon him.— Sir, Your dearest daughter sends
Lear. No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even the natural fool of fortune. Use me well, you shall have