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Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd,
Than still contemn'd and flatter'd. To be 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. 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,
Old Man. Alack, sir, you cannot see your way.
Glo. Is it a beggar-man?
Old Man. Madman and beggar too.
Glo. He has some reason, else he could not
I'the last night's storm I such a fellow saw;
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;
Edg. How should this be?
Bad is the trade must play the fool to sorrow, Ang'ring itself and others. [Aside.] Bless thee, master!
Glo. Is that the naked fellow?
Glo. Then, pr'ythee, get thee gone: If, for my
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;
Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parel that
Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no Come on't what will.
Old Man. How now? Who's there?
Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow.
Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold.-I cannot daub it
Glo. Come hither, fellow.
Edg. [Aside. And yet I must.-Bless thy
sweet eyes, they bleed.
Glo. Know'st thou the way to Dover?
Edg. [Aside. O gods! Who is't can say, I foot-path. Poor Tom hath been scared out of
am at the worst!
I am worse than e'er I was.
Old Man. 'Tis poor mad Tom.
his good wits: Bless the good man from the foul fiend! Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once; of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididance,
Edg. [Aside.] And worse I may be yet: The prince of dumbness; Mahu, of stealing; Modo,
worst is not,
So long as we can say, This is the worst.
Old Man. Fellow, where goest?
of murder; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing; who since possesses chamber-maids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master!
Gon. I have been worth the whistle.
You are not worth the dust, which the rude wind
Blows in your face.-I fear your disposition:
Gon. No more; the text is foolish.
Alb. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile:
Filths savour but themselves. What have you
Enter GONERIL and EDMUND; Steward meeting A father, and a gracious aged man,
Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd?
May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother;
Hasten his musters, and conduct his powers: I must change arms at home, and give the distaff
Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant Shall pass between us: ere long you are like to hear,
If you dare venture in your own behalf, A mistress's command. Wear this; spare speech; [Giving a favour. Decline your head this kiss, if it durst speak, Would stretch thy spirits up into the air ;Conceive, and fare thee well.
Edm. Yours in the ranks of death.
Whose reverence the head-lugg'd bear would
Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you madded.
Could my good brother suffer you to do it?
Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Gon. Milk-liver'd man!
That bear'st a check for blows, a head for wrongs; Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning Thine honour from thy suffering; that not know'st,
Fools do those villains pity, who are punish'd Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy drum?
France spreads his banners in our noiseless land;
Alb. See thyself, devil!
Gon. O vain fool!
Alb. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for shame,
Be-monster not thy feature. Were it my fitness
Gon. Marry, your manhood now!
Alb. What news?
Mess. O, my good lord, the duke of Corn- | Her delicate check: it seem'd she was a queen
Hath pluck'd him after.
Alb. This shows you are above,
You justicers, that these our nether crimes
Mess. Both, both, my lord.—
This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer; 'Tis from your sister.
Gon. Aside. One way I like this well; But being widow, and my Gloster with her, May all the building in my fancy pluck Upon my hateful life: Another way,
The news is not so tart.-I'll read and answer.
Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,
Kent. O, then it mov'd her.
Gent. Not to a rage: patience and sorrow
Mess. No, my good lord; I met him back The stars above us, govern our conditions; again.
Alb. Knows he the wickedness?
Mess. Ay, my good lord; 'twas he informed against him;
And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment
Might have the freer course.
Alb. Gloster, I live
To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the king,
And to revenge thine eyes.-Come hither, friend; Tell me what more thou knowest. [Exeunt.
SCENE III.-The French camp near Dover.
Enter KENT, and a Gentleman.
Kent. Why the king of France is so suddenly gone back know the reason? you
Gent. Something he left imperfect in the state, Which, since his coming forth, is thought of; which
Imports to the kingdom so much fear and danger, That his personal return was most requir'd, And necessary.
Kent. Who hath he left behind him general? Gent. The Mareschal of France, Monsieur le Fer.
Kent. Did your letters pierce the queen to any demonstration of grief?
Gent Ay, sir; she took them, read them in my presence;
And now and then an ample tear trill'd down
Else one self mate and mate could not beget Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?
SCENE IV.-The same. A tent.
In the restoring his bereaved sense?
Cor. All bless'd secrets,
Reg. Our troops set forth to-morrow; stay with us;
The ways are dangerous.
Stew. I may not, madam;
My lady charg'd my duty in this business. Reg. Why should she write to Edmund; Might not you
Transport her purposes by word? Belike, Something I know not what :-I'll love thee much,
Let me unseal the letter.
Stew. Madem, I had rather
keg. I know, your lady does not love her husband;
I am sure of that: and, at her late being here, She gave strange ciliads, and most speaking looks
To noble Edmund: I know, you are of her bo
Glo. Methinks, the ground is even.
Hark, do you hear the sea?
Edg. Why, then your other senses grow im perfect
By your eyes' anguish.
Glo. So may it be, indeed:
Methinks, thy voice is alter'd; and thou speak'st
Glo. 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!
Show scarce so gross as beetles: half way down,
Edg. Why I do trifle thus with his despair, Is done to cure it.
Glo. O you mighty gods!
This world I do renounce; and, in your sights,
To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
[He leaps and falls along.
Edg. 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! Thus might he pass indeed :-Yet he revives: What are you, sir?
Glo. Away, and let me die.
Edg. Had'st thou been aught but gossomer, feathers, air,
So many fathom down precipitating, Thou had'st shiver'd like an egg: but thou dost breathe;
Hast heavy substance; bleed'st not; speak'st; art sound.
Ten masts at each make not the altitude,
Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky bourn;
Look up a-height ;-the shrill-gorg'd lark so far
Is wretchedness deprived that benefit,
Edg. Give me your arm.
Up: So;-How is't? Feel you your legs? You stand.
Glo. Too well, too well.
Edg. This is above all strangeness.
Upon the crown o'the cliff, what thing was that Which parted from you?
Glo. A poor unfortunate beggar.
Edg. As I stood here below, methought, his
Lear. No, they cannot touch me for coining; I am the king himself.
Edg. O thou side-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.-Look, look, a mouse! Peace, peace;— this piece of toasted cheese will do't.-There's my gauntlet; I'll prove it on a giant. Bring up the brown bills.-O, well flown, bird!-i'the clout, i'the clout: hewgh!-Give the word, Edg. Sweet marjoram.
Glo. 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 in my beard, ere the black ones were there. To say, ay, and no, to every thing I said!-Ay and no, too, was no good divinity. When the rain came to wet me once, and the wind 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 o' their words; they told me I was every thing; 'tis a lie; I am not ague-proof.