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Alb. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for
Be-monster not thy feature. Were it my fitness
Gon. Marry, your manhood now!
Enter a Messenger.
Alb. What news?
Mess. O, my good lord, the duke of Cornwall's dead;
Slain by his servant, going to put out
of Gloster. eye
Sought to be king o'er her.
Made she no verbal question?? Gent. 'Faith, once, or twice, she heav'd the name of father
Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart;
Mess. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with re- || Kent! father! sisters! What? the storm? i'the
Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword
Gon. [Aside.] One way I like this well;
The news is not so tart.-I'll read, and answer.
Alb. Where was his son, when they did take his
Mess. Come with my lady hither.
Mess. No, my good lord; I met him back again.
Let pity not be believed!3-There she shook
The stars above us, govern our conditions :4
Kent. Was this before the king return'd?
That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her
Mess. Ay, my good lord; 'twas he inform'd against him;
And quit the house on purpose, that their punish
To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the king,
Kent. Why the king of France is so suddenly. gone back know you the reason?
Gent. Something he left imperfect in the state,
Kent. Who hath he left behind him general?
Gent. 'Tis so; they are afoot.
Kent. Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master Lear,
SCENE IV.-The same. A tent. Enter Cor-
Cor. Alack, 'tis he; why, he was met even now
He, that helps him, take all my outward worth,
(6) Important business. (7) Fumitory.
My mourning, and important? tears, hath pitied.
[Exeunt. SCENE V-A room in Gloster's castle. Enter Regan and Steward.
Reg. But are my brother's powers set forth?
Madam, with much ado: Your sister is the better soldier.
Reg. Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?
Stew. No, madam.
Reg. What might import my sister's letter to him? Stew. I know not, lady.
Reg. 'Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter. It was great ignorance, Gloster'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 despatch His nighted life; moreover, to descry The strength o'the enemy.
Stew. I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.
Reg. Our troops set forth to-morrow; stay with us;
The ways are dangerous.
Transport her purposes by word? Belike,
Madam, I had ratherReg. I know your lady does not love her husband;
I am sure of that: and at her late being here,
Reg. I speak in understanding; you are, I know it:
Therefore, I do advise you, take this note :6
(1) i. e. The reason which should guide it. (2) Importunate. (3) Inflated, swelling. (4) 1. e. His life made dark as night.
(5) A cast, or significant glance of the eye.
Edg. Why, then your other senses grow imper
fect 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.
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!
Of the extreme verge: for all beneath the moon
Glo. Let go my hand. Here, friend, another purse; in it, a jewel Well worth a poor man's taking: Fairies, and gods, Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off; Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going. Edg. Now fare you well, good sir. [Seems to go. Glo. With all my heart. Edg. Why I do trifle thus with his despair, Is done to cure it. Glo. you mighty gods! This world I do renounce; and, your 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?
(6) Observe what I am saying. (7) Infer more. (8) Daws. (9) A vegetable gathered for pickling. (10) Her cock-boat. (11) Tumble.
Io, you sir friend! Hear you, sir?-speak!
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
Edg. Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, fea- them out. Go to, they are not men o'their words:
So many fathom down precipitating,
Hast heavy substance; bleed'st not; speak'st; art sound.
Ten masts at each make not the altitude,
Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky bourn:2
Look up a-height;-the shrill-gorg'd3 lark so far Cannot be seen or heard: do but look up.
Glo Alack, I have no eyes.
Is wretchedness depriv'd that benefit,
Give me your arm: Up-So-How is't? Feel you your legs? You
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 eyes Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses, Horns whelk'd,4 and wav'd, like the enridged sea; It was some fiend: Therefore, thou happy father, Think that the clearest gods, who make them honours
Of men's impossibilities, have preserv'd thee.
Glo. I do remember now: henceforth I'll bear Affliction, till it do cry out itself,
Enough, enough, and, die. That thing you speak of, took it for a man; often 'twould say, The fiend, the fiend: he led me to that place.
Edg. Bear free and patient thoughts.—But who comes here?
Enter Lear, fantastically dressed up with flowers.
they told me I was every thing; 'Tis a lie; I am not ague-proof.
Glo. The trick 10 of that voice I do well remember: Is't not the king?
Ay, every inch a king: When I do stare, see, how the subject quakes.I pardon that man's life: what was thy cause? Adultery.
Thou shalt not die: Die for adultery! No:
Let copulation thrive, for Gloster's bastard son
To't, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.-
Whose face between her forks presageth snow;
The fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to't
Down from the waist they are centaurs,
But to the girdle do the gods inherit,12
There is the sulphurous pit, burning, scalding, stench, consumption;-Fie, fie, fie! pah; pah! Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination: there's money for thee. Glo. O, let me kiss that hand!
Lear. Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality. Glo. O ruin'd piece of nature! This great world Shall so wear out to nought.-Dost thou know me?
Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny13 at me? No, do thy worst, blind Cupid; I'll not love.—Read thou this challenge; mark but the penning of it.
Glo. Were all the letters suns, I could not see one. Edg. I would not take this from report;—it is, And my heart breaks at it.
Glo. What, with the case of eyes?
Lear. O, ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? Your
Lear. No, they cannot touch me for coining; I eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light: Yet 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.6 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 :8 hewgh!-Give the word.9
Edg. Sweet marjoram. Lear. Pass.
Glo. I know that voice.
you see how this world Glo. I see it feelingly.
Lear. What, art mad? A man may see how this world goes, with no eyes. Look with thine ears. see how yon' justice rails upon yon' simple thief. Hark, in thine ear: Change places; and, handydandy, which is the justice, which is the thief?Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar? Glo. Ay, sir.
Lear. And the creature run from the cur? There thou might'st behold the great image of authority: a dog's obeyed in office.
Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand:
Thou hotly lust'st to use her in that kind
Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear; Robes, and furr'd gowns, hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks : Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it. None does offend, none, I say, none; I'll able 'em Take that of me, my friend, who have the power To seal the accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes; And, like a scurvy politician, seem
To see the things thou dost not.-Now, now, now,
Pull off my boots :-harder, harder; so.
Edg. O, matter and impertinency mix'd! Reason in madness!
Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my
I know thee well enough; thy name is Gloster: Thou must be patient; we came crying hither. Thou know'st, the first time that we smell the air, We wawl, and cry:-I will preach to thee; mark
Glo. Alack, alack the day!
Lear. When we are born, we cry, that we are
To this great stage of fools;―This a good block?
Enter a Gentleman, with Attendants. Gent. O, here he is, lay hand upon him.-Sir, Your most dear daughter
Lear. No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even The natural fool of fortune.-Use me well; You shall have ransom. Let me have a surgeon, I am cut to the brains. Gent.
You shall have any thing. Lear. No seconds? All myself? Why, this would make a man, a man of salt,2 To use his eyes for garden water-pots, Ay, and for laying autumn's dust.
Lear. I will die bravely, like a bridegroom:
A proclaim'd prize! most happy! That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh To raise my fortunes.-Thou old unhappy traitor, Briefly7 thyself remember :-The sword is out That must destroy thee. Glo.
Now let thy friendly hand [Edgar opposes. Wherefore, bold peasant,
Put strength enough to it.
Dar'st thou support a publish'd traitor? Hence;
Edg. Ch'ill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion. Stew. Let go, slave, or thou diest. Edg. Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor volk pass. And ch'ud ha' been zwagger'd out of my life, 'twould not ha' been zo long as 'tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near the old man; keep out, che vor'ye, or ise try whether costard9 or your my bato be the harder: Ch'ill be plain with you. Stew. Out, dunghill!
Edg. Ch'ill pick your teeth, zir: Come; no matter vor your foins.11
[They fight: and Edgar knocks him down. Stew. Slave, thou hast slain me :-Villain, take my purse;
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body;
Upon the British party :- -O, untimely death!
[Dies. Edg. I know thee well: A serviceable villain; As duteous to the vices of thy mistress, As badness would desire. Glo.
What, is he dead? Edg. Sit you down, father; rest you.Let's see his pockets: these letters, that he speaks of, May be my friends.-He's dead; I am only sorry He had no other death's-man.-Let us see: Leave, gentle wax; and, manners, blame us not : To know our enemies' minds, we'd rip their hearts; Their papers, is more lawful.12
[Reads.] Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You have many opportunities to cut him off: if your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully offered. There is nothing done, if he return the conqueror: Then am I the prisoner, and his bed my gaol; from the loathed warmth
(4) Evil genius. (5) Blessing. (6) Reward. (7) Quickly recollect the offences of thy life. (8) Go your way.
(9) Head. (10) Club. (11) Thrusts. (12) To rip their papers is more lawful.
whereof deliver me, and supply the place for your
Your wife (so I would say,) and your
O undistinguish'd space of woman's will!-
Cor. Had you not been their father, these white
Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face
Of quick, cross lightning? to watch (poor perdu !5)
And the exchange, my brother!-Here, in the With this thin helm ?6 Mine enemy's dog,
Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified
Of murderous lechers: and, in the mature time,
[Exit Edgar, dragging out the body.
SCENE VII-A tent in the French camp. Lear
To match thy goodness? My life will be too short,
Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o'er-paid.||
Be better-suited :2
These weeds are memories of those worser hours;
Cor. Then be it so, my good lord.-How does
Phys. Madam, sleeps still.
Cor. O you kind gods,
Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
So please your majesty,
I'the sway of your own will. Is he array'd?
Gent. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his sleep, We put fresh garments on him.
Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him;
I doubt not of his temperance.
Cor. O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Kind and dear princess!
(1) I'll cover thee (the dead steward) in the sands. (2) Dressed. (3) Memorials. (4) Intent formed. (5) French, enfans perdus.
Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
Cor. How does my royal lord? How fares your
Lear. You do me wrong, to take me out o'the
Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
Cor. Still, still, far wide!
Phys. He's scarce awake; let him alone awhile.
I am mightily abus'd.--I should even die with pity,
Pray, do not mock me:
you have poison for me, I will drink it.
Lear. Am I in France?
No cause, no cause.