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these are my

Lear. You' do me wrong, to take me out o'the

Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead.

Sir, do you know me? Lear. You are a spirit, I know: When did you Cor. Still, still, far wide!

[die? Phys. He's scarce awake ; let him alone awhile. Lear. Where have I been?_Where am I?

Fair day-light?I am mightily abus'd.— I should even die with pity, To see another thus.—I know not what to say.I will not swear,

hands: let's see; I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assur'd Of my condition. Cor.

O, look upon me, sir, And hold

your hands in benediction o'er me:No, sir, you must not kneel. Lear.

Pray, do not mock me: I am a very foolish fond old man, Fourscore and upward; and, to deal plainly, I fear, I am not in my perfect mind. Methinks I should know you, and know this man: Yet I am doubtful: for I am mainly ignorant What place this is; and all the skill I have Remembers not these garments; nor I know not Where I did lodge last night: Do not laugh at me; For, as I am a man, I think this lady To be


child Cordelia. Cor.

And so I am,

Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, 'faith. I pray,

weep not: If

you have poison for me, I will drink it. I know, you do not love




Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:
You have some cause, they have not.

No cause, no cause.
Lear. Am I in France?

In your own kingdom, sir. Lear. Do not abuse me.

Phys. Be comforted, good madam: thegreat rage,
You see, is cur'd in him: and yet it is danger
To make him even* o'er the time he has lost.
Desire him to go in; trouble him no more,
Till further settling.

Cor. Will't please your highness walk?

You must bear with me: Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old, and foolish.

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No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison: We two alone will sing like birds i’ the cage: When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down, And ask of thee forgiveness: So we'll live, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too, Who loses, and who wins; who's in, who's out;And take upon us the mystery of things, As if we were God's spies: And we'll wear out, In a wall’d prison, packs and sects of great ones, That ebb and flow by the moon. Edm.

Take them away. Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia, The gods themselves throw incense.

* To reconcile it to his apprehension.


The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices Make instruments to scourge us.



List* a brief tale;And, when 'tis told, O, that my heart would burst! The bloody proclamation to escape, That follow'd me so near, (O our lives' sweetness! That with the pain of death we'd hourly die, Rather than die at once!) taught me to shift Into a madman's rags; to assume a semblance That very dogs disdain'd: and in this habit Met I my father with his bleeding rings, Their precious stones new lost; became his guide, Led him, begg'd for him, sav'd him from despair ; Never (O fault!) reveal'd myself unto him, Until some half hour past, when I was arm’d, Not sure, though hoping, of this good success, I ask'd his blessing, and from first to last Told him my pilgrimage: But his flaw'd heart, (Alack, too weak the conflict to support!) "Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief, Burst smilingly

Edm. This speech of yours hath mov'd me, And shall, perchance, do good; but speak you on; You look as you had something nore to say

Alb. If there be more, more woful, hold it in; For I am almost ready to dissolve, Hearing of this.

Edg. This would have seem'd a period To such as love not sorrow; but another,

* Hear.

To amplify too much, would make much more,
And top extremity.
Whilst. I was big in clamour, came there a man,
Who having seen me in my worst estate,
Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding
Who 'twas that so endur'd, with his strong arms
He fasten'd on my neck, and bellow'd out
As he'd burst heaven; threw him on my father;
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him,
That ever ear receiv'd: which in recounting
His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack: Twice then the trumpet sounded,
And there I left him tranc'd.



Howl, howl, howl, howl ;-0, you are men of

stones ; Had I your tongues and

them so eyes,

I'd That heaven's vault should crack:-0, she is gone

for ever!-
I know when one is dead; and when one lives;
She's dead as earth:—Lend me a looking-glass ;
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Why, then she lives.

This feather stirs; she lives! if it be so,
It is a chance that does redeem all sorrows
That ever I have felt.

O my good master! [Kneeling. Lear. Pr’ythee, away.

A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all!
I might have sav'd her; now she's gone

for ever:
Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha!
What is't thou say'st?—Her voice was ever sem
Gentle, and low.


And my poor fool* is hang'd! No, no, no life: Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, And thou no breath at all? O, thou wilt come no Never, never, never, never, never! [more,




WHAT are these,
So wither'd, and so wild in their attire ;
That look not like the inhabitants o' the earth,
And yet are on't? Live you? or are you aught
That man may question? You seem to understand
By each at once her choppy finger laying [me,
Upon her skinny lips:—You should be women,
And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
That you are so.

Yet do I fear thy nature;
It is too full o'the milk of human kindness,
To catch the nearest way: Thou wouldst be great;
Art not without ambition; but without
The illness should attend it. What thou wouldst

highly, That wouldst thou holily; wouldst not play false, And yet wouldst wrongly win.

* Poor fool, in the time of Shakspeare, was an expression of endearment.

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