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Come o'er the bourn, Bessy, to me :— Fool. Her boat hath a leak,

And she must not speak

Why she dares not come over to thee.

Kent. How do you, sir? Stand you not so amaz'd: Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions?

Lear. I'll see their trial first:-Bring in the evidence.

Thou robed man of justice, take thy place ;

And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity,

Bench by his side :-You are of the commission,
Sit you too.

Edg. Let us deal justly.

Sleepest or wakest thou, jolly shepherd?

Thy sheep be in the corn;

And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,
Thy sheep shall take no harm.

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[To the Fool.


here take my oath before

this honorable assembly, she kicked the poor king her father. Fool. Come hither, mistress; Is your name Goneril?

Lear. She cannot deny it.

Fool. Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint stool.

Lear. And here's another, whose warp'd looks proclaim
What store her heart is made of.-Stop her there!

Arms, arms, sword, fire !-Corruption in the place!
False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?

Edg. Bless thy five wits!

Kent. O pity!-Sir, where is the patience now,

That you so oft have boasted to retain ?

Edg. My tears begin to take his part so much,

They'll mar my counterfeiting.

Lear. The little dogs and all,

Tray, Blanch, and Sweet-heart, see, they bark at me.


Edg. Tom will throw his head at them :-Avaunt, you curs!

Be thy mouth or black or white,

Tooth that poisons if it bite;
Mastiff, greyhound, mongrel grim,
Hound, or spaniel, brach, or lym;
Or bobtail tike, or trundle-tail;
Tom will make them weep and wail:
For, with throwing thus my head:
Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled.

Do de, de de. Sessa. Come, march to wakes and fairs, and market towns:-Poor Tom, thy horn is dry.

Lear. Then let them anatomize Regan, see what breeds about her heart: Is there any cause in nature, that makes these hard hearts ? ---You, sir, I entertain you for one of my hundred; only, I do not

like the fashion of your garments: you will say, they are Persian attire; but let them be changed.

Kent. Now, good my lord, lie here, and rest awhile.


Lear. Make no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains: So, so, so: We'll go to supper i' the morning: So, so, so.

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Fool. And I'll go to bed at noon.

Re-enter GLOster.

Glo. Come hither, friend: Where is the king my master?
Kent. Here, sir; but trouble him not, his wits are gone.
Glo. Good friend, I pr'ythee take him in thy arms;
I have o'erheard a plot of death upon him :

There is a litter ready; lay him in't,

And drive towards Dover, friend, where thou shalt meet
Both welcome and protection. Take up thy master;
If thou should'st dally half an hour, his life,
With thine, and all that offer to defend him,
Stand in assured loss: Take up, take up;
And follow me, that will to some provision
Give thee quick conduct.


Oppress'd nature sleeps:

This rest might yet have balm'd thy broken senses,
Which, if convenience will not allow,

Stand in hard cure.-Come, help to bear thy master;
Thou must not stay behind.


Come, come, away.

[To the Fool.

[Exeunt KENT, GLOSTER, and the Fool, bearing off the KING.

Edg. When we our betters see bearing our woes,

We scarcely think our miseries our foes.

Who alone suffers, suffers most i' the mind;

Leaving free things, and happy shows, behind:

But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip.
When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.
How light and portable my pain seems now,

When that, which makes me bend, makes the king bow;
He childed, as I father'd!-Tom, away:

Mark the high noises: and thyself bewray,

When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee,
In thy just proof, repeals, and reconciles thee.

What will hap more to-night, save 'scape the king!
Lurk, lurk.



Regan and Cornwall issue orders to Edmund to seek out his Father, and bring him back to the Castle. Gloster is overtaken, and is punished for his commiseration towards the King, by the loss of his eyes. In this state he is carried back to the Heath, and is there encountered by his Son Edgar.

SCENE I.-The Heath.

Enter EDGAR.

Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd,
Than still contemn'd and flatter'd. To be worst,
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,
Owes nothing to thy blasts.-But who comes here ?—

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.

Old Man. Omy good lord, I have been your tenant, and you 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 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?

Edg. [Aside.] O gods! who is't can say, I 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?


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.
Bad is the trade must play the fool to sorrow,

How should this be?

Ang'ring itself and others.-[Aside.]-Bless thee, master!

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,
Whom I'll entreat to lead me.

Old Man.

Alack, sir, he's 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.—I cannot daub it further.


Glo. Come hither, fellow.

Edg. [Aside.] And yet I must.-Bless thy sweet eyes, they


Glo. Know'st thou the way to Dover ?

Edg. Both stile and gate, horse-way, and foot-path. Poor Tom hath been scared out of his good wits: Bless the good man from the foul fiend!

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, 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.


Poor Tom shall lead thee.

Give me thy arm ;


Edgar, still unknown to his father, leads him to a spot which he beautifully describes as being Dover Cliffs.

The whole scene is exquisitely wrought up.

SCENE VI.-The Country near Dover.

Re-enter GLOSTER, and EDGAR dressed like a peasant.
Glo. When shall we come to the top of that same hill?
Edg. You do climb up it now: look how we labor.
Glo. Methinks, the ground is even.


Hark, do you hear the sea?


Horrible steep:

No, trulv.

Elg. Why, then your other senses grow imperfect By your eyes' anguish.


So may it be, indeed: Methinks, thy voice is alter'd: and thou speak'st

In better phrase, and matter, than thou didst.

Edg. You are much deceiv'd: in nothing am I chang'd, But in my garments.


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 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 yon tall anchoring bark
Diminish'd to her boat; her boat a buoy

Almost too small for sight: The murmuring surge,
That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high :-I'll look no more,
Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight
Topple down headlong.


Set me where you stand.

Edg. Give me your hand : You are now within a foot Of the extreme verge: for all beneath the moon

Would I not leap upright.

Let go my hand.
Here, friend, is another purse; in it, a jewel

[Seems to go.

Well worth a poor man's taking: Go thou further off;
Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.
Edg. Now fare you well, good sir.
With all my heart.
Edg. Why I do trifle thus with his despair,
Is done to cure it.

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 lives, O, bless him !—
Now, fellow, fare thee well.


[He leaps, and falls along.

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!

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