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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

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,
Thee they may hurt.

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;
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
more since:

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

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?
Old Man. Ay, my lord.

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;
Above the rest, be gone.

Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parel that
I have,

Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no Come on't what will.

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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. Both stile and gate, horse-way, and

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!

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Gon. I have been worth the whistle.
Alb. O Goneril!

You are not worth the dust, which the rude wind

Blows in your face.-I fear your disposition:
That nature, which contemns its origin,
Cannot be border'd certain in itself;
She, that herself will sliver and disbranch
From her material sap, perforce must wither,
And come to deadly use.

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?


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the way,

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?
A man, a prince, by him so benefited?
If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
Send quickly down to tame these vile offences,
'Twill come,

Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Like monsters of the deep.

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;
With plumed helm thy slayer begins threats;
Whilst thou, a moral fool, sit'st still, and cry'st,
Alack! why does he so?

Alb. See thyself, devil!
Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
So horrid, as in woman.

Gon. O vain fool!

Alb. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for shame,

Be-monster not thy feature. Were it my fitness
To let these hands obey my blood,
They are apt enough to dislocate and tear
Thy flesh and bones;-Howe'er thou art a fiend,
A woman's shape doth shield thee.

Gon. Marry, your manhood now!
Enter a Messenger.

Alb. What news?

Mess. O, my good lord, the duke of Corn- | Her delicate check: it seem'd she was a queen

wall's dead;

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Hath pluck'd him after.

Alb. This shows you are above,

You justicers, that these our nether crimes
So speedily can venge!-But, O poor Gloster!
Lost he his other eye?

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.

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Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,
Sought to be king o'er her.

Kent. O, then it mov'd her.

Gent. Not to a rage: patience and sorrow

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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?

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SCENE IV.-The same. A tent.
Enter CORDELIA, Physician, and Soldiers.
Cor. Alack, 'tis he; why, he was met even now
As mad as the vex'd sea: singing aloud;
Crown'd with rank fumiter, and furrow weeds,
With harlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,
Darnel, and all the idle weeds, that grow
In our sustaining corn. A century send forth;
Search every acre in the high-grown field,
And bring him to our eye. [Eait an Officer.]
What can man's wisdom do,

In the restoring his bereaved sense?
He, that helps him, take all my outward worth.
Phy. There is means, madam:
Our foster-nurse of nature is repose,
The which he lacks; that to provoke in him,
Are many simples operative, whose power
Will close the eye of anguish.

Cor. All bless'd secrets,

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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

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Glo. Methinks, the ground is even.
Edg. Horrible steep:

Hark, do you hear the sea?
Glo. No, truly.

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
In better phrase, and matter, than thou didst.
Edg. You are much deceiv'd; in nothing am
I chang'd,
But in my garments.

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!
The crows, and choughs, that wing the midway

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 cock; her cock a buoy
Almost too small for sight: The murmuring

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

[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,
Which thou hast perpendicularly fell;
Thy life's a miracle: Speak yet again.
Glo. But have I fallen, or no?

Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky bourn;

Look up a-height ;-the shrill-gorg'd lark so far
Cannot be seen or heard: do but look up.
Glo. Alack, I have no eyes.-

Is wretchedness deprived that benefit,
To end itself by death? 'Twas yet some coinfort,
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,
And frustrate his proud will.

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

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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.

Lear. Pass.

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.

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