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To his great master; who, thereat enrag'd,
Flew on him, and amongst them fell'd him dead;
But not without that harmful stroke which since
Hath pluck'd him after.

This shews you are above,
You Justicers, that these our nether crimes

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But being widow, and my Gloucester 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.


ALB. Where was his son when they did take his eyes?
MESS. Come with my Lady hither.


He is not here.


MESS. No, my good Lord; I met him back again.

ALB. Knows he the wickedness?

MESS. Ay, my good Lord; 'twas he inform'd against


And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment
Might have the freer course.


Gloucester, I live

To thank thee for the love thou shew'dst the King,
And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, Friend:

Tell me what more thou know'st.


SCENE III. The French Camp near Dover.

Enter KENT and a Gentleman.

KENT. Why the King of France is so suddenly gone back know you the reason?

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.


Sc. II


ACT IV KENT. Who hath he left behind him general?
Sc. III GENT. The Marshal of France, Monsieur La Far.
KENT. Did your letters pierce the Queen to any demon-
stration of grief?

GENT. Ay, Sir; she took them, read them in my

And now and then an ample tear trill'd down
Her delicate cheek: it seem'd she was a Queen
Over her passion, who, most rebel-like,

Sought to be King o'er her.

O, then it mov'd her.

GENT. Not to a rage; Patience and Sorrow strove
Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
Sunshine and rain at once; her smiles and tears
Were like a better way: those happy smilets
That play'd on her ripe lip seem'd not to know
What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence
As pearls from diamonds dropp'd. In brief, sorrow
Would be a rarity most belov'd, if all

Could so become it.


Made she no verbal question?


GENT. 'Faith, once or twice she heav'd the name of Father

Pantingly forth, as if it
Cried Sisters! Sisters!

press'd her heart;

Shame of Ladies! Sisters!

Kent! Father! Sisters!

What i the storm? i the night?
There she shook

Let pity not be believed!

The holy water from her heavenly eyes,

And clamour moisten'd: then away she started
To deal with grief alone.

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The Stars above us, govern our conditions;

Else one self mate and mate could not beget

Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?





Why, good Sir?

KENT. A sovereign shame so elbows him: his own un


That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her

To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights

To his dog-hearted daughters-these things sting
His mind so venomously, that burning shame
Detains him from Cordelia.


Alack, poor gentleman!

KENT. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you heard not?
GENT. 'Tis so, they are a-foot.

KENT. Well, Sir, I'll bring you to our master Lear,
And leave you to attend him: some dear cause
Will in concealment wrap me up awhile;

When I am known aright, you shall not grieve
Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go
Along with me.





SCENE IV. The Same. A Tent.

Enter, with Drum and Colours, CORDELIA, a Doctor,
and Soldiers.

CORD. 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 burdocks, 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. [Exit an Officer.] What

can man's wisdom

In the restoring his bereaved sense?

He that helps him take all my outward worth.

DocT. 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.

All blest Secrets,



Sc. IV

All you unpublish'd Virtues of the Earth,
Spring with my tears! be aidant and remediate
In the good man's distress! Seek, seek for him;
Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life

That wants the means to lead it.


Enter a Messenger.

The British powers are marching hitherward.

CORD. 'Tis known before; our preparation stands
In expectation of them. O dear Father,
It is thy business that I go about;
Therefore great France

My mourning and importun'd tears hath pitied.
No blown ambition doth our arms incite,

But love, dear love, and our ag'd father's right:
Soon may I hear and see him!


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Your sister is the better soldier.

REG. Lord Edmund spake not with your Lord at


Osw. No, Madam.

REG. What might import my sister's letter to him?

Osw. I know not, Lady.

REG. 'Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.

It was great ignorance, Gloucester's eyes being out,
To let him live: where he arrives he moves

All hearts against us. Edmund, I think, is gone,
In pity of his misery, to dispatch

His nighted life; moreover, to descry

The strength o' the enemy.


Osw. I must needs after him, Madam, with my letter.


REG. Our troops set forth to-morrow: stay with us;

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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.


Madam, I had rather-

REG. I know your Lady does not love her husband;
I am sure of that: and at her late being here
She gave strange ceillades and most speaking looks
To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom.
Osw. I, Madam?

REG. I speak in understanding; you are, I know 't:
Therefore I do advise you, take this note:

My Lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd;
And more convenient is he for my hand
Than for your Lady's: you may gather more.

If you do find him, pray you, give him this;

And, when your mistress hears thus much from you,
I pray, desire her call her wisdom to her.

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Osw. Would I could meet him, Madam! I should shew

What party I do follow.



Sc. V

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GLOU. When shall I come to the top of that same hill?

EDG. You do climb up it now: look, how we labour.

GLOU. Methinks the ground is even.


Hark, do you hear the Sea?



Horrible steep.

No, truly.


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