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and halters in his pew; set ratsbane by his porridge; [ wild field were like an old lecher's heart: a small made him proud of heart, to ride on a bay trotting-spark, all the rest of his body cold.-Look, here horse over four-inched bridges, to course his own comes a walking fire. shadow for a traitor:-Bless thy five wits! Tom's a-cold.-O, do de, do de, do de.-Bless thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting, and taking! Do poor Tom some charity, whom the foul fiend vexes: There could I have him now,-and there,-and there, and there again, and there. [Storm continues.

Lear. What, have his daughters brought him to this pass?—

Could'st thou save nothing? Didst thou give them all?

Fool. Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had been all shamed.

Lear. Now, all the plagues that in the pendulous air

Hang fated o'er men's faults, light on thy daughters! Kent. He hath no daughters, sir.

Lear. Death, traitor! nothing could have sub-
du'd nature

To such a lowness, but his unkind daughters.-
Is it the fashion, that discarded fathers
Should have thus little mercy on their flesh?
Judicious punishment! 'twas this flesh begot
Those pelican daughters.

Edg Pillicock sat on pillicock's-hill ;—
Halloo, halloo, loo, loo!

Fool. This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.

Edg. Take heed of the foul fiend: Obey thy parents; keep thy word justly; swear not; commit not with man's sworn spouse; set not thy sweet heart on proud array: Tom's a-cold.

Lear. What hast thou been?

Edg. A serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curled my hair; wore gloves in my cap,2 served the lust of my mistress's heart, and did the act of darkness with her; swore as many oaths as I spake words, and broke them in the sweet face of heaven: one, that slept in the contriving of lust, and waked to do it: Wine loved I deeply; dice dearly; and in woman, out-paramoured the Turk: False of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand: Hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey. Let not the creaking of shoes, nor the rustling of silks, betray thy poor heart to women: Keep thy foot out of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy pen from lenders' books, and defy the foul fiend. -Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind Says suum, mun, ha no nonny, dolphin, my boy, my boy, sessa; let him trot by.

[Storm still continues. Lear. Why, thou were better in thy grave, than to answer with thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies.-Is man no more than this? Consider him well: Thou owest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume: Ha! here's three of us are sophisticated!-Thou art the thing itself: unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art-Off, off, you lendings:-Come; unbutton here.3 [Tearing off his clothes. Fool. Pr'ythee, nuncle, be contented; this is a naughty night to swim in.-Now a little fire in a

(1) To take is to blast, or strike with malignant influence.

(2) It was the custom to wear gloves in the hat, as the favour of a mistress.

(3) The words unbutton here, are probably only a marginal direction crept into the matter. (4) Diseases of the eye.

Edg. This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet: he begins at curfew, and walks till the first cock; he gives the web and the pin,4 squints the eye, and makes the hare-lip; mildews the white wheat, and hurts the poor creature of earth.

Saint Witholds footed thrice the wold,
He met the night-mare, and her nine-fold;
Bid her alight,

And her troth plight,

And, aroint' thee, witch, aroint thee! Kent. How fares your grace?

Enter Gloster, with a torch.

Lear. What's he?

Kent. Who's there? What is't you seek? Glo. What are you there? Your names? Edg. Poor Tom; that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the tadpole, the wall-newt, and the water;8 that in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cow-dung for sallets; swallows the old rat, and the ditch-dog; drinks the green mantle of the standing pool; who is whipped from tything to tything,9 and stocked, punished, and imprisoned; who hath had three suits to his back, six shirts to his body, horse to ride, and weapon to wear,

But mice, and rats, and such small deer, Have been Tom's food for seven long year. Beware my follower:-Peace, Smolkin ;10 peace, thou fiend!

Glo. What, hath your grace no better company ? Edg. The prince of darkness is a gentleman; Modo he's called, and Mahu.11

Glo. Our flesh and blood, my lord, is grown so vile,

That it doth hate what gets it.

Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold.

Glo. Go in with me; my duty cannot suffer To obey in all your daughters' hard commands: Though their injunction be to bar my doors, And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you; Yet have I ventur'd to come seek you out, And bring you where both fire and food is ready. Lear. First let me talk with this philosopher: What is the cause of thunder?

Kent. Good my lord, take his offer; Go into the house.

Lear. I'll talk a word with this same learned Theban :

What is your study?

Edg. How to prevent the fiend, and to kill vermin. Lear. Let me ask you one word in private. Kent. Importune him once more to go, my lord, His wits begin to unsettle.

Glo. Canst thou blame him? His daughters seek his death:-Ah, that good Kent!

He said it would be thus:-Poor banish'd man!— Thou say'st, the king grows mad; I'll tell thee, friend,

I am almost mad myself: I had a son,
Now outlaw'd from my blood; he sought my life,

(5) A saint said to protect his devotees from the disease called the night-mare.

(6) Wild downs, so called in various parts of England.

(7) Avaunt. (8) i. e. The water-newt. (9) A tything is a division of a county. (10) Name of a spirit. (11) The chief devil.

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No words, no words :

Edg. Child' Rowland to the dark tower came,
His word was still,-Fie, foh, and fum,
I smell the blood of a British man.

[Exeunt. SCENE V-A room in Gloster's castle. Enter Cornwall and Edmund.

Corn. I will have my revenge, ere I depart his house.

Edm. How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature thus gives way to loyalty, something fears me to think of.

Corn. I now perceive, it was not altogether your brother's evil disposition made him seek his death; but a provoking merit, set a-work by a reproveable badness in himself.

Edm. How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to be just! This is the letter he spoke of, which approves him an intelligent party to the advantages of France. O heavens! that this treason were not, or not I the detector!

Corn. Go with me to the duchess.

Edm. If the matter of this paper be certain, you have mighty business in hand.

Corn. True, or false, it hath made thee earl of Gloster. Seek out where thy father is, that he may be ready for our apprehension.

Edm. [Aside.] If I find him comforting the king, it will stuff his suspicion more fully.-I will persevere in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore between that and my blood.

Corn. I will lay trust upon thee; and thou shalt find a dearer father in my love. [Exeunt. SCENE VI-A chamber in a farm-house, adjoining the castle. Enter Gloster, Lear, Kent, Fool, and Edgar.

Glo. Here is better than the open air; take it thankfully: I will piece out the comfort with what addition I can: I will not be long from you. Kent. All the power of his wits has given way to his impatience:-The gods reward



kind[Exit Gloster. Edg. Frateretto calls me; and tells me, Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent,2 and beware the foul fiend.

Fool. Pr'ythee, nuncle, tell me, whether a mad

man be a gentleman, or a yeoman?

Lear. A king, a king!

(1) Child is an old term for knight.

Lear. It shall be done, I will arraign them straight: :

Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer ;

[To Edgar. Thou, sapient sir, sit here. [To the Fool.]-Now, you she foxes!—

Edg. Look, where he stands and glares !3—
Wantest thou eyes at trial, madam?

Come o'er the bourn,4 Bessy, to me :→
Fool. Her boat hath a leak,

And she must not speak

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Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions?
Lear. I'll see their trial first :-Bring in the evi-

Thou robed man of justice, take thy place;
[To Edgar,
And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity, [To the Fool,
Bench by his side:-You are of the commission,
Sit you too.
[To Kent,

Edg. Let us deal justly.

Sleepest, or wakest thou, jolly shepherd?

Thy sheep be in the corn;

And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,
Thy sheep shall take no harm.
Pur! the cat is grey.

Lear. Arraign her first; 'tis Goneril. I here take my oath before this honourable assembly, she kicked the poor king her father.

Fool. Come hither, mistress; Is your name Goneril?

Lear. She cannot deny it.

Fool. Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.
Lear. And here's another, whose warp'd looks


What store her heart is made of.-—Stop her there!
Arms, arms, sword, fire!-Corruption in the place!
False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?
Edg. Bless thy five wits!


Kent. O pity!-Sir, where is the patience now,
you so oft have boasted to retain ?
Edg. My tears begin to take his part so much,
They'll mar my counterfeiting.
Lear. The little dogs and all,
Tray, Blanch, and Sweet-heart, see, they bark at me.
Edg. Tom will throw his head at them :-
Avaunt, you curs!

Be thy mouth or black or white,
Tooth that poisons if it bite;
Mastiff, grey-hound, mongrel grim,
Hound, or spaniel, brach, or lym;5
Or bobtail tike, or trundle-tail;

Tom will make them weep and wail:

(3) Edgar is speaking in the character of a mad

(2) Addressed to the fool, who was anciently man, who thinks he sees the fiend.

called an innocent.

(4) Brook or rivulet. (5) A blood-hound.

For, with throwing thus my head, Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled. Do de, de de. Sessa. Come, march to wakes and fairs, and market-towns:-Poor Tom, thy horn is dry.

Lear. Then let them anatomize Regan; see what breeds about her heart: Is there any cause in nature, that makes these hard hearts?-You, sir, I entertain you for one of my hundred; only, I do not like the fashion of your garments: you will say, they are Persian attire; but let them be changed. {To Edgar. Kent. Now, good my lord, lie here, and rest a while.

keep you our sister company; the revenges we are bound to take upon your traitorous father, are not fit for your beholding. Advise the duke, where you are going, to a most festinate preparation; we are bound to the like. Our posts shall be swift and intelligent betwixt us. Farewell, dear sister;—farewell, my lord of Gloster.3

Enter Steward.

How now? Where's the king?

Stew. My lord of Gloster hath convey'd him hence :

Some five or six and thirty of his knights,
Hot questrists4 after him, met him at gate;
Who, with some other of the lord's dependants,

Lear. Make no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains: So, so, so: We'll go to supper i'the morn-Are gone with him towards Dover; where they ing: So, so, so.

Fool. And I'll go to bed at noon.

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Oppress'd nature sleeps: This rest might yet have balm'd try broken senses, Which, if convenience will not albw, Stand in hard cure.-Come, help tabear thy master; Thou must not stay behind. [To the Fool. Come, come, away. [Exeunt Kent, Gloster, and the Fool, bearing off the King.


Edg. When we our betters see bearing our woes,
We scarcely think our miseries our foes.
Who alone suffers, suffers most i'the mind;
Leaving free things, and happy shows, behind:
But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip,
When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.
How light and portable my pain seems now,
When that, which makes me bend, makes the king

He childed, as I father'd!-Tom away:
Mark the high noises; and thyself bewray,2
When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles


In thy just proof, repeals, and reconciles thee. What will hap more to-night, safe 'scape the king! Lurk, lurk.


To have well-armed friends.

Get horses for your mistress.
Gon. Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.
[Exeunt Goneril and Edmund.
Corn. Edmund, farewell.-Go, seek the traitor

Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us.

[Exeunt other Servants.

Though well we may not pass upon his life
Without the form of justice; yet our power
Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men
May blame, but not control. Who's there? The

Re-enter Servants, with Gloster.

Reg. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.
Corn. Bind fast his corky6 arms.

Glo. What mean your graces?-Good my friends, consider

You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends.
Corn. Bind him, I say. [Servants bind him.
Hard, hard :-O filthy traitor!
Glo. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none.
Corn. To this chair bind him:-Villain, thou
shalt find- [Regan plucks his beard.
Glo. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done
To pluck me by the beard.

Naughty lady,

Reg. So white, and such a traitor! Glo. These hairs, which thou dost ravish from my chin, Will quicken,7 and accuse thee: I am your host; With robbers' hands, my hospitable favours8 You should not ruffle thus. What will you do? Corn. Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?

Reg. Be simple-answer'd, for we know the truth. Corn. And what confederacy have you with the traitors

Late footed in the kingdom?

Reg. To whose hands have you sent the lunatic king?



Glo. I have a letter guessingly set down, SCENE VII-A room in Gloster's castle. En-Which came from one that's of a neutral heart, ter Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, Edmund, and Ser- And not from one oppos'd.


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And false.

Corn. Where hast thou sent the king? Glo.


To Dover. Reg. Wherefore To Dover? Wast thou not charg'd at thy peril

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Corn. Wherefore to Dover? Let him first answer that.

Glo. I am tied to the stake, and I must stand the


Reg. Wherefore to Dover?

Gio. Because I would not see thy cruel nails
Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister
In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.
The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd up,
And quench'd the stelled fires: yet, poor old heart,
He holp the heavens to rain.

If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time,
Thou should'st have said, Good porter, turn the key;
All cruels else subscrib'd:2-But I shall see
The winged vengeance overtake such children.
Corn. See it shalt thou never:-Fellows, hold
the chair:

Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.
[Gloster is held down in the chair, while Corn-
wall plucks out one of his eyes, and sets
his foot on it.

Glo. He, that will think to live till he be old, Give me some help :-O cruel! O ye gods! Reg. One side will mock another; the other too. Corn. If you see vengeance,— Serv.

Hold your hand, my lord. I have serv'd you ever since I was a child; But better service have I never done you, Than now to bid hold. Reg. How now, you dog?


Serv. If you did wear a beard upon your chin, I'd shake it on this quarrel: What do you mean? Corn. My villain! [Draws, and runs at him. Serv. Nay, then come on, and take the chance of anger.

[Draws. They fight. Cornwall is wounded. Reg. Give me thy sword.-[To another Servant.] A peasant stand up thus!

[Snatches a sword, comes behind, and stabs him. Serv. O, I am slain !-My lord, you have one eye left

To see some mischief on him :-0!


Corn. Lest it see more, prevent it:-Out, vile jelly!

Where is thy lustre now?

[Tears out Gloster's other eye, and throws it on the ground.

Glo. All dark and comfortless.-Where's my son Edmund?

Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature,
To quit this horrid act.


Out, treacherous villain! Thou call'st on him that hates thee: it was he That made the overture4 of thy treasons to us; Who is too good to pity thee.


Then Edgar was abus'd.—

O my follies!

Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!
Reg. Go, thrust him out at gates, and let him smell
His way to Dover.-How is't, my lord? How look

Corn. I have receiv'd a hurt:-Follow me, lady.

Turn out that eyeless villain;-throw this slave Upon the dunghill.-Regan, I bleed apace : Untimely comes this hurt: Give me your arm. [Exit Cornwall, led by Regan;-Servants unbind Gloster, and lead him out.

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1 Sery. I'll never care what wickedness I do, If this man comes to good. If she live long,

2 Serv. And, in the end, meet the old course of death, Women will all turn monsters.

1 Serv. Let's follow the old earl, and get the Bedlams

To lead him where he would; his roguish madness Allows itself to any thing.

2 Serv. Go thou; I'll fetch some flax, and whites of eggs,

To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help him! [Exeunt severally.


SCENE I-The heath. Enter Edgar.

Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be contemm'd,

Than still contemn'd and flatter'd.6 To be worst,
The lowest, and most dejected thing of fortune,
Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear:
The lamentable change is from the best;
The worst returns to laughter. Welcome then,
Thou unsubstantial air, that I embrace!
The wretch, that thou hast blown unto the worst,
Owes nothing to tay blasts.-But who comes

Enter Gloster, led by an Old Man.
My father, poorly led?-World, world, O world!
But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee,
Life would not yield to age.

Old Man. O my good lord, I have been your tenant, and your father's tenant, these fourscore


Glo. Away, getthee away; good friend, be gone Thy comforts can do me no good at all, Thee they may hurt.

Old Man. Alack, sir, you cannot see your way. Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes; I stumbled when I saw : Full oft 'tis seen, Our mean secures us; and our mere defects Prove our commodities.-Ah, dear son Edgar, The food of thy abused father's wrath! Might I but live to see thee in my touch, I'd say, I had eyes again! Old Man. How now? Who's there? Edg. [Aside.] 0 gods! Who is't can say, I am

at the worst?

am worse than e'er I was.

Old Man.

'Tis poor mad Tom. Edg. [Aside.] And worse I may be yet: The

worst is not,

So long as we can say, This is the worst.
Old Man. Fellow, where goest?
Is it a beggar-man?
Old Man. Madman and beggar too.
Glo. He has some reason, else he could not beg.
I'the last night's storm I such a fellow saw;
Which made me think a man a worm: My son
Came then into my mind; and yet my mind
Was then scarce friends with him: I have heard
more since :

As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.

(6) i. e. It is better to be thus contemned and know it, than to be flattered by those who secretly

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How should this be?-||When I inform'd him, then he call'd me sot; Bad is the trade must play the fool to sorrow, And told me, I had turn'd the wrong side out :Ang'ring itself and others. [Aside.]-Bless thee,|| What most he should dislike, seems pleasant to him; What like, offensive. Gon.


Glo. Is that the naked fellow?

Ay, my lord.

Then shall you go no further. Old Man. [To Edmund. Glo. Then, pr'ythee, get thee gone: If, for myIt is the cowish terror of his spirit, That dares not undertake: he'll not feel wrongs, Which tie him to an answer: Our wishes, on the


Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain,
I'the way to Dover, do it for ancient love;
And bring some covering for this naked soul,
Whom I'll entreat to lead me.

Old Man.
Alack, sir, he's mad.
Glo. 'Tis the time's plague, when madmen lead

the blind.

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Glo. Come hither, fellow. Edg. [Aside.] And yet I must.-Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.

Glo. Know'st thou the way to Dover? Edg. Both stile and gate, horse-way, and footpath. Poor Tom hath been scared out of his good wits: Bless the good man 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; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing; who since possesses chamber-maids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master!

Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven's plagues

Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched,
Makes thee the happier :-Heavens, deal so still!
Let the superfluous, and lust-dieted man,
That slaves your ordinance,2 that will not see
Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly;
So distribution should undo excess,

And each man have enough.-Dost thou know

Edg. Ay, master.

Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending head

Looks fearfully in the confined deep:
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
I shall no leading need.
Poor Tom shall lead thee.

Give me thy arm;



May prove effects.3 Back, Edmund, to my brother;
Hasten his musters, and conduct his powers:
I must change arms at home, and give the distaff
Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant
Shall pass between us: ere long you are like to hear,
If you dare venture in your own behalf,
A mistress's command. Wear this; spare speech;
[Giving a favour.
Decline your head: this kiss, if it durst speak,
Would stretch thy spirits up into the air ;--
Conceive, and fare thee well.

Edm. Yours in the ranks of death.

My most dear Gloster!
[Exit Edmund.
O, the difference of man, and man! To thee
A woman's services are due; my fool
Usurps my bed.

Madam, here comes my lord.
[Exit Steward.

Enter Albany.

Gon. I have been worth the whistle.4

O Goneril!
You are not worth the dust which the rude wind
Blows in your face.-I fear your disposition :
That nature, which contemns its origin,
Cannot be border'd certain in itself;
She that herself will slivers and disbranch
From her material sap, perforce must wither,
And come to deadly use.

Gon. No more; the text is foolish.

Alb. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile. Filths savour but themselves. What have you done? Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd? A father, and a gracious aged man,

Whose reverence the head-lugg'd bear would lick, Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you madded.

Could my good brother suffer you to do it?
A man, a prince, by him so benefited ?
If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
Send quickly down to tame these vile offences,
'Twill come,

Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
Like monsters of the deep.

Gon. Milk-liver'd man! That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs; SCENE II.-Before the Duke of Albany's pal-Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning ace. Enter Goneril and Edmund; Steward meeting them.

Gon. Welcome, my lord: I marvel, our mild husband

Not met us on the way :-Now, where's your master?

Stew. Madam, within; but never man so chang'd: I told him of the army that was landed; He smil'd at it: I told him, you were coming; His answer was, The worse: of Gloster's treachery, And of the loyal service of his son,

(1) Disguise.

Thine honour from thy suffering; that not know'st,
Fools do those villains pity, who are punish'd
Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy

France spreads his banners in our noiseless land:
With plumed helm thy slayer begins threats;
Whilst thou, a moral fool, sit'st still, and cri'st,
Alack! why does he so?

See thyself, devil!
Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
So horrid, as in woman.

O vain fool!

(3) . e. Our wishes on the road may be com(5) Tear off,

(2) i. e. To make it subject to us, instead of pleted. acting in obedience to it.


(4) Worth calling for.

3 P

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