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Some five or six and thirty of his knights,
Hot questrists after him, met him at gate;
Who, with some other of the lord's dependants,
Are gone with him towards Dover; where they boast
To have well-armed friends.

Get horses for your mistress. Gon. Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.

[Exeunt Goneril and Edmund. Corn. Edmund, farewell.—Go,seek the traitor Gloster, Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us.

[Exeunt other Servants.
Though well we may not pass upon his life
Without the form of justice; yet our power
Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men
May blame, but not control. Who's there? The traitor?

Re-enter Servants, with Gloster.
Reg. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.
Corn. Bind fast bis corky arms.

(sider Glo. What mean your graces?--Good, my friends, conYou are my guests: do me no foul play, friends.

Corn. Bind him, I say. Servants bind him. Reg.

Hard, hard :-O filthy traitor! Glo. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none. Corn. To this.chair bind him :--Villain, thou shalt find

[Regan plucks his Beard. Glo. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done To pluck me by the beard.

Reg. So white, and such a traitor!

Naughty lady,
These bairs, which thou dost ravish from my chin,
Will quickén, and accuse thee: I am yoar host;
With robbers' hands, my bospitable favours
You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?

Corn. Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?
Reg. Be simple-answer'd, for we know the truth.

Corn. And what confederacy have you with the trai. Late footed in the kingdom?

[tors Reg. To whose hands have you sent the lunatic king? Speak.

Glo. I have a letter guessingly set down,
Which came from one that's of a neutral heart,
And not from one oppos’d.


And false.
Corn. Where hast thou sent the king?

To Dover.

Wherefore To Dover? Wast thou not charg'd at thy peril

Corn. Wherefore to Dover? Let him first answer that. Glo. I am tied to the stake, and I must stand the course. Reg. Wherefore to Dover? Glo. Because I would not see thy cruel nails Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs. The sea, with such a storm as his bare head In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd up, And quench'd the stelled fires: yet, poor old heart, He holp the heavens to rain. If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time, Thou shouldst have said, Good porter, turn the key; All cruels else subscrib'd :-But I shall see The winged vengeance overtake such children.

Corn. See it shalt thou never:-Fellows, hold the chair: Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.

[Gloster is held down in his Chair, while Corn

wall plucks out one of his Eyes, and sets his

Foot on it.
Glo. He, that will think to live till be be old,
Give me some help :-0 cruel! O ye gods!

Reg. One side will mock another; the other too.
Corn. If you see vengeance,

Hold your hand, my lord :
I liave serv'd you ever since I was a child;
But better service have I never done you,
Than now to bid you hold.

Reg. How now, you dog?

Serv. If you did wear a beard upon your chin, I'd shake it on this quarrel : What do you

mean? Corn. My villain! [Draws and Runs at him,

Serv. Nay, then come on, and take the chance of anger.

[Draws. They fight. Cornwall is wounded. Reg. Give me thy sword.—[To another Servant] A

peasant stand up thus!

[Snatches a Sword, comes behind, and stabs him. Serv. O, I am slain!-My lord, you have one eye left To see some mischief on him :-0!

Dies. Corn. Lest it see more, prevent it:-Out, vile jelly! Where is thy lustre now? [Tears out Gloster's other Eye, and throws it on

the Ground.
Glo. All dark and comfortless.- Where's my son Ed-
Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature, (mund ?
To quit this horrid act.

Out, treacherous villain!
Thou call'st on him that hates thee: it was he
That made the overture of thy treasons to us;
Who is too good to pity thee.

O my follies!
Then Edgar was abus’d.-
Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!

Reg. Go, thrust him out at gates, and let him smell His way to Dover.-How is't, my lord? How look you?

Corn. I bave receiv'd a hurt :-Follow me, lady.Turn out that eyeless villain ;-throw this slave Upon the dunghill.—Regan, I bleed apace: Untimely comes this hurt: Give me your arm. [Exit Cornwall, led by Regan.-Servants unbind

Gloster, and lead him out. 1 Serv. I'll never care what wickedness I do, If this man comes to good. 2 Serv.

If she live long, And, in the end, meet the old course of death, Women will all turn monsters.

1 Serv. Let's follow the old earl, and get the Bedlam To lead him where he would; his roguish madness Allows itself to any thing.

[eggs, 2 Serv. Go thou; I'll fetch some flax, and whites of To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help him!

[Exeunt severally,


[graphic][merged small]

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 M. O my good lord, I have been your tenant, and your 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 M. 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 M.

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 M.

'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 M. Fellow, where goest?

Is it a beggar-man? Old M. Madman and beggar loo.

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 inore

As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods ;
They kill us for their sport.

How should this be?
Bad is the trade must play the fool to sorrow,
Aog'ring itself and others. [Aside]--Bless thee, master!

Glo. Is that the naked fellow?
Old M.

Ay, my lord.
Glo. Then, prythee, get thee gone: If, for my sake,
Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain,
l'the way to Dover, do it for ancient love;
Aud bring some covering for this naked soul,
Whom I'll entreat to lead me.

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