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SCENE I. The Heath.
EDG. Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd,
Enter GLOUCESTER, led by an Old Man.
O, my good Lord, your father's tenant,
I have been your tenant, and
I am worse than e'er I was.
1 i.e. make us careless.
"Tis poor mad Tom.
EDG. [aside.] And worse I may be yet: the worst is not
OLD MAN. Fellow, where goest?
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.
GLOU. Sirrah, naked Fellow
EDG. Poor Tom's a-cold. [aside.] I cannot daub it
GLOU. Come hither, Fellow.
EDG. [aside.] And yet I must.-Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.
GLOU. Know'st thou the way to Dover?
EDG. Both stile and gate, horse-way and foot-path. Poor
good man's Son, from the foul Fiend! Five Fiends have been in poor Tom at once; of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididance, Prince of dumbness; Mahu, of stealing; Modo, of murder; Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing, who since possesses chambermaids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, Master!
GLOU. Here, take this purse, thou whom the Heavens'
Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched
That slaves your ordinance,1 that will not see
And each man have enough. Dost thou know Dover?
GLOU. There is a cliff, whose high and bending head
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
Give me thy arm:
Poor Tom shall lead thee.
SCENE II. Before the DUKE OF ALBANY'S Palace.
GON. Welcome, my Lord: I marvel our mild husband
Now, where's your master?
His answer was The worse: of Gloucester's treachery,
And of the loyal service of his son,
When I inform'd him, then he call'd me sot,
1 i.e. casts contempt on your law.
And told me I had turn'd the wrong side out.
GON. [to EDMUND.]
Then shall you go no further.
That dares not undertake: he'll not feel wrongs
I must change arms at home, and give the distaff
Decline your head this kiss, if it durst speak,
EDM. Your's in the ranks of death.
My most dear Gloucester!
O, the difference of man and man! To thee
Madam, here comes my Lord. [exit.
GON. I have been worth the whistle.
You are not worth the dust which the rude wind
Cannot be border'd certain in itself;
She that herself will sliver and disbranch
From her material sap, perforce must wither,
GON. No more; the text is foolish.
ALB. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile:
A father, and a gracious aged man,
Whose reverence even the head-lugg'd bear would lick,
If that the Heavens do not their visible Spirits
Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Thine honour from thy suffering; that not know'st
O vain Fool!
Thy flesh and bones: howe'er thou art a Fiend,
A woman's shape doth shield thee.
Enter a Messenger.
2 protected by thy outward appearance.
ALB. What news?
MESS. O, my good Lord, the Duke of Cornwall's dead;
Slain by his servant, going to put out
The other eye of Gloucester.