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Lear. To take it again perforce!-Monster in-Stop, stop! No help? gratitude!
Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time.
Lear. How's that?
Have you not spoken 'gainst the duke of Cornwall?
He's coming hither; now, i'the night, i'the haste,
And Regan with him; Have you nothing said
Upon his party 'gainst the duke of Albany?
I am sure on't, not a word.
Edm. I hear my father coming,-Pardon me:-
In cunning, I must draw my sword upon you:-
Draw: Seem to defend yourself: Now quit you well.
Yield:-come before my father;-Light ho, here!-
Fly, brother;-Torches! torches!-So, farewell.-
Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion
[Wounds his arm:
Of my more fierce endeavour: I have seen drunk-
Do more than this in sport.-Father! father!
(1) Delicate. (2) Consider, recollect yourself.
(3) Frighted.(4) Chief. (5) Pitched, fixed.
Enter Gloster, and Servants with torches.
Glo. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?
Edm. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword
Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
To stand his auspicious mistress :-
But where is he?
Edm. Look, sir, I bleed.
Where is the villain, Edmund?
Edm. Fled this way, sir. When by no means
Glo. Pursue him, ho!-Go after.-[Exit Serv.]
By no means,-what?
Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your lord-
But that I told him, the revenging gods
'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend;
Spoke, with how manifold and strong a bond
The child was bound to the father;-Sir, in fine,
Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion,
My unprovided body, lanc'd mine arm:
With his prepared sword, he charges home
But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to the encounter,
Or whether gasted3 by the noise I made,
Full suddenly he fled.
Not in this land shall he
Let him fly far:
My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night :
By his authority I will proclaim it,
That he, which finds him, shall deserve our thanks,
Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;
He, that conceals him, death.
Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
And found him pight5 to do it, with curst speech
I threaten'd to discover him: He replied,
Thou unpossessing bastard! dost thou think,
If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
Of any trust, virtue, or worth, in thee
Make thy words faith'd? No: what I should deny
As this I would; ay, though thou didst produce
My very character,7) I'd turn it all
To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice:
And thou must make a dullard of the world,
If they not thought the profits of my death
Were very pregnant and potential spurs
To make thee seek it.
Strong and fasten'd villain?
Would he deny his letter?-I never got him.
(6) Severe, harsh.
Hark, the duke's trumpets! I know not why he
All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape;
The duke must grant me that: besides, his picture
I will send far and near, that all the kingdom
May have due note of him: and of my land,
Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means
To make thee capable.!
Enter Cornwall, Regan, and Attendants. Corn. How now, my noble friend? since I came hither,
(Which I can call but now,) I have heard strange
Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short, Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my lord? || Glo. O, madam, my old heart is crack'd, is crack'd!
Reg. What, did my father's godson seek your life?
He whom my father nam'd? your Edgar?
Glo. O, lady, lady, shame would have it hid!
Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous
That tend upon my father?
It is too bad, too bad.-
Yes, madam, he was.
Reg. No marvel then, though he were ill affected;
'Tis they have put him on the old man's death,
To have the waste and spoil of his revenues.
I have this present evening from my sister
Been well inform'd of them; and with such cautions,
That, if they come to sojourn at my house,
I'll not be there.
Nor I, assure thee, Regan.-
Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
A child-like office.
Fellow, I know thee.
Stew. What dost thou know me for?
Kent. A knave; a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, threesuited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver'd, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldest be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deny'st the least syllable of thy addition.5
Stew. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, I know not, madam : || thus to rail on one, that is neither known of thee, nor knows thee!
'Twas my duty, sir.
Glo. He did bewray2 his practice 3 and receiv'd
This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.
Corn. Is he pursued?
Ay, my good lord, he is.
Corn. If he be taken, he shall never more
Be fear'd of doing harm: make your own purpose,
How in my strength you please.-For you, Edmund,
Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
So much commend itself, you shall be ours;
Natures of such deep trust we shall much need;
You we first seize on.
I shall serve you, sir,
Truly, however else.
Glo. For him I thank your grace.
Corn. You know not why we came to visit you,
Reg. Thus out of season; threading dark-ey'd
Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poize,4
Wherein we must have use of your advice :-
Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
Of differences, which I best thought it fit
To answer from our home; the several messengers
From hence attend despatch. Our good old friend,
Lay comforts to your bosom; and bestow
Your needful counsel to our business,
Which craves the instant use.
I serve you, madam :
Your graces are right welcome. [Exeunt.
SCENE 11.-Before Gloster's castle. Enter
Kent and Steward, severally.
Stew. Good dawning to thee, friend: Art of the
Stew. Where may we set our horses?
Kent. I'the mire.
(1) i. e. Capable of succeeding to my land.
(2) Betray. (3) Wicked purpose. (4) Weight.
Stew. Pr'ythee, if thou love me, tell me.
Kent. I love thee not.
Stew. Why, then I care not for thee. Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee care for me.
Stew. Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee
Kent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou know'st me! Is it two days ago, since I tripped up thy heels, and beat thee before the king? Draw, you rogue: for, though it be night, the moon shines; I'll make a sop o'the moonshine of you: Draw, you whoreson cullionly barbermonger, draw. [Drawing his sword. Stew. Away; I have nothing to do with thee. Kent. Draw, you rascal: you come with letters against the king; and take Vanity the puppet's part, against the royalty of her father: Draw, you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your shanks :-draw, you rascal; come your ways.
Stew. Help, ho! murder! help!
Kent. Strike, you slave; stand, rogue, stand; you neat slave, strike. [Beating him.
Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder!
the wall of a jakes! with him.-Spare my grey || Drew on me here. beard, you wagtail?
Corn. Peace, sirrah!
Kent. None of these rogues, and cowards,
But Ajax is their fool.8
You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
Kent. Yes, sir; but anger has a privilege.
Corn. Why art thou angry?
Fetch forth the stocks, ho!
You stubborn ancient knave, you reverend brag-
Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a
We'll teach you-
Sir, I am too old to learn:
Call not your stocks for me: I serve the king,
On whose employment I was sent to you:
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain,
You shall do small respect, show too bold malice
Which are too intrinse2 t'unloose: smooth every Against the grace and person of my master,
Stocking his messenger.
Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as these,
Fetch forth the stocks:
As I've life and honour, there shall he sit till noon.
Reg. Till noon! till night, my lord; and all night
That in the natures of their lords rebels;
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege,3 affirm, and turn their halcyon4 beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters,
As knowing nought, like dogs, but following.-
A plague upon your epileptic visage !
Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool?
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
I'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot.5
Corn. What, art thou mad, old fellow?
How fell you out?
Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy,
Than I and such a knave.
Corn. Why dost thou call him knave? What's
Kent. His countenance likes me not.6
Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, or his, or Should have him thus restrain'd.
Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain;
I have seen better faces in my time,
Than stands on any shoulder that I see
Before me at this instant.
This is some fellow,
Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect
A saucy roughness; and constrains the garb,
Quite from his nature: He cannot flatter, he !-
An honest mind and plain,-he must speak truth:
An they will take it, so; if not, he's plain.
These kind of knaves I know, which in this plain-
Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty silly7 ducking observants,
That stretch their duties nicely.
Kent. Sir, in good sooth, in sincere verity,
Under the allowance of your grand aspéct,
Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire
On flickering Phoebus' front,-
Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's dog, You should not use me so.
Sir, being his knave, I will.
[Stocks brought out.
Corn. This is a fellow of the self-same colour
Our sister speaks of:-Come, bring away the stocks.
Glo. Let me beseech your grace not to do so:
His fault is much, and the good king his master
Will check him for't: your purpos'd low correction
Is such, as basest and contemned'st wretches,
For pilferings, and most common trespasses,
Are punish'd with the king must take it ill,
That he's so slightly valued in his messenger,
(1) Privy. (2) Perplexed. (4) The bird called the king-fisher, which, when dried and hung up by a thread, is supposed to turn his bill to the point from whence the wind blows.
(5) In Somersetshire, where are bred great ruantities of geese,
I'll answer that.
Reg. My sister may receive it much more worse,
To have her gentleman abus'd, assaulted,
For following her affairs.-Put in his legs.-
[Kent is put in the stocks.
Come, my good lord; away.
[Exeunt Regan and Cornwall.
Glo. I am sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's
Whose disposition, all the world well knows,
Will not be rubb'd, nor stopp'd: I'll entreat for
Kent. Pray do not, sir: I have watch'd, and travell'd hard;
What mean'st by this?
Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you dis-Thou out of heaven's benediction com'st
commend so much. I know, sir, I am no flatterer:To the warm sun!
he that beguiled you, in a plain accent, was a plain
knave; which, for my part, I will not be, though
should win your displeasure to entreat me to it.
Corn. What was the offence you gave him?
It pleas'd the king his master, very late,
To strike at me, upon his misconstruction;
When he, conjunct, and flattering his displeasure,
Tripp'd me behind; being down, insulted, rail'd,
And put upon him such a deal of man,
That worthy'd him, got praises of the king
For him attempting who was self-subdu'd;
And, in the fleshment of this dread exploit,
Some time I shall sleep out, the rest I'll whistle.
A good man's fortune may grow out at heels:
Give you good morrow!
Glo. The duke's to blame in this; 'twill be ill
Kent. Good king, that must approve the common
Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
That by thy comfortable beams I may
Peruse this letter!-Nothing almost sees miracles,
But misery;-I know 'tis from Cordelia;
Who hath most fortunately been inform'd
Of my obscured course; and shall find time
From this enormous state,-seeking to give
Losses their remedies :-All weary and o'erwatch'd,
Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
This shameful lodging.
Fortune, good night; smile once more; turn thy
|SCENE III-A part of the heath. Enter
Edg. I heard myself proclaim'd;
(6) i. e. Pleases me not. (7) Simple or rustic, (8) i. e. Ajax is a fool to them.
(9) Saying or proverb.
And, by the happy hollow of a tree,
Escap'd the hunt. No port is free; no place,
That guard, and most unusual vigilance,
Does not attend my taking. While I may 'scape,
I will preserve myself: and am bethought
To take the basest and most poorest shape,
That ever penury, in contempt of man,
Brought near to beast: my face I'll grime with filth;
Blanket my loins; elf all my hair in knots;
And with presented nakedness outface
The winds, and persecutions of the sky.
The country gives me proof and precedent
Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare arms
Pins, wooden pricks,2 nails, sprigs of rosemary;
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes and mills,
Sometime with lunatic bans,3 sometime with pray-
Enforce their charity.-Poor Turlygood! poor Tom!
That's something yet ;-Edgar I nothing am. [Ex.
SCENE IV-Before Gloster's castle. Enter
Lear, Fool, and Gentleman.
Lear. 'Tis strange, that they should so depart
And not send back my messenger.
Gent. As I learn'd, The night before there was no purpose in them Of this remove.
Hail to thee, noble master!
Mak'st thou this shame thy pastime?
No, my lord. Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters! Horses are tied by the heads; dogs, and bears, by the neck; monkeys by the loins, and men by the legs: when a man is over-lusty at legs, then he wears wooden nether-stocks.5
Commanded me to follow, and attend
The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks:
And meeting here the other messenger,
Whose welcome, I perceiv'd, had poison'd mine,
(Being the very fellow that of late
Display'd so saucily against your highness,)
Having more man than wit about me, drew;
He rais'd the house with loud and coward cries:
Your son and daughter found this trespass worth
The shame which here it suffers.
Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese fly that way.
Fathers, that wear rags,
Do make their children blind;
But fathers, that bear bags,
Shall see their children kind. Fortune, that arrant whore, Ne'er turns the key to the poor.But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours? for thy daughters, as thou canst tell in a year. Lear. O, how this mother swells up toward my heart!
Hysterica passio! down, thou climbing sorrow,
Thy element's below!-Where is this daughter?
Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.
Follow me not;
Gent. Made you no more offence than what you
How chance the king comes with so small a train?
Fool. An thou hadst been set i'the stocks for
that question, thou hadst well deserved it.
Kent. Why, fool?
Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no labouring in the winter. All that follow their noses are led by their eyes, but blind men; and there's not a nose among twenty, but can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy hold, when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again: I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.
That, sir, which serves and seeks for gain,
And follows but for form,
Will pack, when it begins to rain, And leave thee in the storm.
Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform'd them so. Lear. Inform'd them! Dost thou understand me,
Glo. Ay, my good lord.
Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall; the dear father
Would with his daughter speak, commands her service:
Are they inform'd of this?-My breath and blood!-
Fiery? the fiery duke?-Tell the hot duke, that-
No, but not yet:-may be, he is not well :
Infirmity doth still neglect all office,
Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourselves,
When nature, being oppress'd, commands the mind
To suffer with the body: I'll forbear;
And am fallen out with my more headier will,
To take the indispos'd and sickly fit
For the sound man.-Death on my state! wherefore
[Looking on Kent.
Should he sit here? This act persuades me,
That this remotion of the duke and her
Is practice2 only. Give me my servant forth :
Go, tell the duke and his wife, I'd speak with them,
Now, presently: bid them come forth and hear me,
Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum,
Till it cry-Sleep to death.
Glo. I'd have all well betwixt you. Lear. O me, my heart, my rising heart!-but, down.
Lear. My curses on her! Reg. O, sir, you are old; Nature in you stands on the very verge Of her confine: you should be rul'd, and led By some discretion, that discerns your state Better than you yourself: Therefore, I pray you, That to our sister you do make return; Say, you have wrong'd her, sir. Lear.
Do you but mark how this becomes the house :5
Dear daughter, I confess that I am old;
Age is unnecessary: on my knees I beg,
(1) Removing from their own house. (2) Artifice. (4) Be wanting in.
(3) Crust of a pye.
[Kneeling. That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food. Reg. Good sir, no more; these are unsightly tricks :
Return you to my sister.
Never, Regan: She hath abated me of half my train; Look'd black upon me; struck me with her tongue, Most serpent-like, upon the very heart :All the stor'd vengeances of heaven fall On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones, You taking airs, with lameness!
Fie, fie, fie!
Lear. You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding
Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the powerful suni,
To fall and blast her pride!
O the blest gods! So will you wish on me, when the rash mood's on Lear. No, Regan, thou shalt never have my
Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give
Thee o'er to harshness; her eyes are fierce, but thine
Do comfort, and not burn: "Tis not in thee
To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train,
To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes,
And, in conclusion, to oppose the bolt
Against my coming in: thou better know'st
The offices of nature, bond of childhood,
Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude;
Thy half o'the kingdom hast thou not forgot,
Wherein I thee endow'd.
Good sir, to the purpose.
Lear. Who put my man i'the stocks?
What trumpet's that?
If you do love old men, if your sweet sway
Allow? obedience, if yourselves are old,
Make it your cause; send down, and take my
Art not asham'd to look upon this beard?—
O, Regan, wilt thou take her by the hand?
Gon. Why not by the hand, sir? How have I
All's not offence, that indiscretion finds,
And dotage terms so.
Lear. O, sides, you are too tough! Will you yet hold?-How came my man i'the stocks? Corn. I set him there, sir: but his own disorders Ask her forgiveness?|| Deserv'd much less advancement. Lear.
You! did you?