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But misery; I know, 'tis from Cordelia;
SCENE III.-A Part of the Heath.
Enter EDGAR. Edg. I heard myself proclaim'd; And, by the happy hollow of a tree, Escap'd the hunt. No port is free; no place, That guard, and most unusual vigilance, Does not attend my taking. While I may 'scape, I will preserve myself; and am bethought To take the basest and most poorest shape, That ever penury, in contempt of man, Brought near to beast: my face I'll grime with filth; Blanket my loins; elf all my hair in knots ; And with presented nakedness out-face The winds, and persecutions of the sky. The country gives me proof and precedent Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices, Strike in their numb’d and mortified bare arms Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary; And with this horrible object, from low farms, Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes and mills,
Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers, Enforce their charity.-Poor Turlygood! poor Tom ! That's something yet;-Edgar I nothing am. [Exit.
SCENE IV.—Before Gloster's Castle.
Enter LEAR, Fool, and Gentleman. Lear. 'Tis strange, that they should so depart from
Gent. As I learn’d,
Kent. Hail to thee, noble master!
Kent. No, my lord.
Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters! Horses are tied by the heads; dogs, and bears, by the neck; monkies by the loins, and men by the legs : when a man is over lusty at legs, then he wears wooden netherstocks.
Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place mistook, to set thee here?
Kent. It is both he and she,
Lear. No, no; they would not.
Lear. They durst not do't;
Kent. My lord, when at their home I did commend your highness' letters to them, Ere I was risen from the place that show'd My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post, Stew'd in his haste, half breathless, panting forth From Goneril his mistress, salutations ; Deliver'd letters, spite of intermission, Which presently they read: on whose contents, They summon’d up their meiny, straight took horse ; Commanded me to follow, and attend The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks : And meeting here the other messenger, Whose welcome, I perceiv’d, had poison’d mine, (Being the very fellow that of late Display'd so saucily against your highness,) Having more man than wit about me, drew; He rais'd the house with loud and coward cries : Your son and daughter found this trespass worth The shame which here it suffers. Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese fly that Fathers, that wear rags,
Do make their children blind;
Shall see their children kind.
But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours, for thy daughters, as thou can'st tell in a year.
Lear. O, how this mother swells up toward my heart ! Hysterica pussio! down, thou climbing sorrow, Thy element’s below!—Where is this daughter?
Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.
Lear. Follow me not; Stay here.
[Exit. Gent. Made you no more offence than what you
speak of? Kent. None. How chance the king comes with so small a train ?
Fool. An thou hadst been set i'the stocks for that question, thou hadst well deserved it.
Kent. Why, fool?
Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no labouring in the winter. All that follow their noses are led by their eyes, but blind men; and there's not a nose among twenty, but can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy hold, when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again : I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.
That, sir, which serves and seeks for gain,
And follows but for form,
And leave thee in the storm.
And let the wise man fly:
The fool no knave, perdy.
Re-enter Lear, with GLOSTER.
Glo. My dear lord,
Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confusion !
Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform’d them so.