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Kent. How fares your grace?

Enter GLOSTER, with a torch.

Lear. What's he?

Kent. Who's there? What is 't you seek?
Glos. What are you there? Your names?

Edg. Poor Tom; that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the tadpole, the wall-newt, and the water; 1 that in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cow-dung for sallets; swallows the old rat, and the ditch-dog; drinks the green mantle of the standing pool; who is whipped from tithing? to tithing, and stocked, punished, and imprisoned; who hath had three suits to his back, six shirts to his body, horse to ride, and weapon to wear ;—

'But mice, and rats, and such small deer,
Have been Tom's food for seven long year.'


my follower :-peace, Smolkin; 3 peace, thou fiend!

Glos. What, hath your grace no better company?

Edg. The prince of darkness is a gentleman;

Modo he's call'd, and Mahu.4

Glos. Our flesh and blood, my lord is grown so vile,

1 i. e. the water-newt.

2 A tithing is a division of a county.

Name of a spirit.

4 The chief devil.

That it doth hate what gets it.

Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold.

Glos. Go in with me; my duty cannot suffer To obey in all your daughters' hard commands: Though their injunction be to bar my doors, And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you; Yet have I ventured to come seek you out, And bring you where both fire and food is ready. Lear. First let me talk with this philosopher.What is the cause of thunder?

Kent. Good my lord, take his offer ;

Go into the house.

Lear. I'll talk a word with this same learned Theban.

What is your study?

Edg. How to prevent the fiend, and to kill vermin.

Lear. Let me ask you one word in private.

Kent. Importune him once more to go, my lord; His wits begin to unsettle.


Canst thou blame him?

His daughters seek his death.-Ah, that good


He said it would be thus :-poor banish'd man !— Thou say'st, the king grows mad: I'll tell thee, friend,

I am almost mad myself: I had a son,

Now outlaw'd from my blood; he sought my life,
But lately, very late; I loved him, friend,—
No father his son dearer: true to tell thee,

[storm continues.

The grief hath crazed my wits. What a night's


I do beseech your grace,


O, cry you mercy ;

Noble philosopher, your company.

Edg. Tom's a-cold.

Glos. In, fellow, there, to the hovel: keep thee

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I will keep still with my philosopher.

Kent. Good my lord, soothe him; let him take

the fellow.

Glos. Take him you on.

Kent. Sirrah, come on; go along with us.

Lear. Come, good Athenian.



No words, no words

Edg. Child Rowland to the dark tower came; His word was still,-Fie, foh, and fum ;

I smell the blood of a British man.'


1 Child is an old term for knight.


A room in Gloster's castle.

Enter CORNWALL and Edmund.

Corn. I will have my revenge ere I depart his house.

Edm. How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature thus gives way to loyalty, something fears me to think of.

Corn. I now perceive, it was not altogether your brother's evil disposition made him seek his death; but a provoking merit, set a-work by a reproveable badness in himself.

Edm. How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to be just! This is the letter he spoke of, which approves him an intelligent party to the advantages of France. O heavens! that this treason were not, or not I the detector!

Corn. Go with me to the duchess.

Edm. If the matter of this paper be certain, you have mighty business in hand.

Corn. True or false, it hath made thee earl of Gloster. Seek out where thy father is, that he may be ready for our apprehension.

Edm. [aside.] If I find him comforting the king, it will stuff his suspicion more fully.-I will persevere in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore between that and my blood.

Corn. I will lay trust upon thee; and thou shalt find a dearer father in my love. [Exeunt.

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