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Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses, Horns whelk'd, and wav'd like the enridged sea; It was some fiend: Therefore, thou happy father, Think, that the clearest gods, who make them


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,
I 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. The safer sense will ne'er accommodate His master thus.

Lear. No, they cannot touch me for coining; I 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. 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: hewgh! Give the word.

Edg. Sweet marjoram.
Lear. Pass.

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Glo. I know that voice.

Lear. Ha! Goneril-with a white beard! They flatter'd me like a dog; and told me I had white hairs in my beard, ere the black ones were there. To say, ay, and no, to every thing I said!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 them out. Go to, they are not men o'their words; they told me I was every thing; 'tis a lie; I am not ague-proof.

Glo. The trick 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:
The wren goes to't, and the small gilded fly
Does lecher in my sight.

Let copulation thrive, for Gloster's bastard son
Was kinder to his father, than my daughters
Got 'tween the lawful sheets.

To't, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.-
Behold yon' simpering dame,

Whose face between her forks presageth snow;
That minces virtue, and does shake the head
To hear of pleasure's name;

The fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to't
With a more riotous appetite.

Down from the waist they are centaurs,
Though women all above:

But to the girdle do the gods inherit,
Beneath is all the fiends'; there's bell, there's dark-
ness, there is the sulphurous pit, burning, scalding,
stench, consumption;-Fy, fy, fy! 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 squiny 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.

Lear. Read.

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 eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light: Yet you see how this world goes. 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 car? There thou might'st behold the great image of anthority: a dog's obeyed in office.Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand: Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back;

Thou hotly lust'st to use her in that kind,
For which thou whipp'st her. The usurer hangs

the cozener.

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, DOW,
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 eyes. 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 ory:-I will preach to thee; mark

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Enter Steward.

Stew. A proclaim'd prize! Most happy! That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh To raise my fortunes. Thou old unhappy traitor, Briefly thyself remember :-The sword is out That must destroy thee. Glo.

Now let thy friendly hand Put strength enough to it. (Edgar opposes.) Stew. Wherefore, bold peasant, Dar'st thou support a publish'd traitor? Hence; Lest that the infection of his fortune take Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.

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'ad 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 your costard or my bat be the harder: Ch'ill be plain with you. Stew. Out, dunghill!

Edg. Ch'ill pick your teeth, zir: Come; no matter for your foins.

(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;
And give the letters, which thou find'st about me,
To Edmund earl of Gloster; seek him out
Upon the British party:-O untimely death!


Edg. I know thee well: A serviceable villain; As duteous to the vices of thy mistress, As badness would desire.


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.

(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 whereof deliver me, and supply the place for your labour.

Your wife, (so I would say,) and your affectionate servant, GONERIL.

O undistinguish'd space of woman's will! A plot upon her virtuous husband's life;


And the exchange, my brother!-Here, in the sands,
Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified
Of murderous lechers: and, in the mature time,
With this ungracious paper strike the sight
Of the death-practis'd duke: For him 'tis well,
That of thy death and business I can tell.
[Exit Edgar, dragging out the body.
Glo. The king is mad: How stiff is my vile sense,
That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling
Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract:
So should my thoughts be sever'd from my griefs,
And woes, by wrong imaginations, lose
The knowledge of themselves.

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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
I doubt not of his temperance.


Very well.

Phys. Please you, draw near.-Louder the music there.

Cor. O my dear father! Restoration, hang Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss Repair those violent harms, that my two sisters Have in thy reverence made!

Kind and dear princess!
Cor. Had you not been their father, these white

Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face
To be expos'd against the warring winds?
To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?
In the most terrible and nimble stroke
Of quick, cross-lightning? to watch (poor perdu !)
With this thin helm? Mine enemy's dog,
Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
Against my fire: And wast thou fain, poor father,
To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn,
In short and musty straw? Alack, alack!
'Tis wonder, that thy life and wits at once
Had not concluded all.-He wakes; speak to him.
Phys. Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.
Cor. How does my royal lord? How fares your
Lear. You do me wrong, to take me out o'the

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

O, look upon me, sir,
And hold your hands in benediction o'er me:-
No, sir, you must not kneel.


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 my child Cordelia.


And so I am, 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 me; for your sisters
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:
You have some cause, they have not.


Lear. Am I in France? Kent. In your own kingdom, sir. Lear. Do not abuse me. Phys. Be comforted, good madam: the great 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? Lear. You must bear with me: Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish. [Exeunt Lear, Cordelia, Physician, and Attendants.

Gent. Holds it true, sir,


That the duke of Cornwall was so slain?
Most certain, sir.
Gent. Who is conductor of his people?
As 'tis said,

No cause, no cause.

The bastard son of Gloster.
They say, Edgar,
His banish'd son, is with the earl of Kent
In Germany.


Report is changeable.

"Tis time to look about; the powers o'the kingdom Approach apace.

Gent. The arbitrement is like to be a bloody. Fare you well, sir.


Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrought, Or well, or ill, as this day's battle's fought. [Exit.

ACT V. SCENE I.-The Camp of the British Forces, near Dover.

Enter, with drum and colours, EDMUND, REGAN, Officers, Soldiers, and others.

Reg. Our sister's man is certainly miscarried. Edm. 'Tis to be doubted, madam. Reg. Now, sweet lord, You know the goodness I intend upon you: Tell me.-but truly,-but then speak the truth, Do you not love my sister?

Edm. In honour'd love. Reg. But have you never found my brother's way To the forfended place?


Edm. Know of the duke, if his last purpose hold; Or, whether since he is advis'd by aught To change the course: He's full of alteration, And self-reproving:-bring his constant pleasure. (To an Officer, who goes out.)

That thought abuses you. Reg. I am doubtful, that you have been conjunct And bosom'd with her, as far as we call hers. Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.

Reg. I never shall endure her: Dear my lord, Be not familiar with her.

Fear me not:
She, and the duke her husband,-

Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, and Soldiers.

Gon. I had rather lose the battle, than that sister Should loosen him and me. (Aside.)

Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met.— Sir, this I hear, The king is come to his daughter, With others, whom the rigour of our state Forc'd to cry ont. Where I could not be bonest, I never yet was valiant: for this business, It touches us as France invades our land, Not bolds the king; with others, whom, I fear, Most just and heavy causes make oppose. Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.

Reg. Why is this reason'd? Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy: For these domestic and particular broils Are not to question here.

Alb. Let us then determine With the ancient of war on our proceedings. Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent. Reg. Sister, you'll go with us? Gon. No,

Reg. 'Tis most convenient; pray you, go with us. Gon. O, ho, I know the riddle: (Aside.)-I will go.

As they are going out, enter EDGAR, disguised. Edg. If e'er your grace had speech with man so Hear me one word. [poor, Alb. I'll overtake you.-Speak. [Exeunt Edmund, Regan, Goneril, "Officers, Soldiers, and Attendants.

Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter. If you have victory, let the trumpet sound For him that brought it: wretched though I seem, I can produce a champion, that will prove What is avouched there: If you miscarry, Your business of the world hath so an end, And machination ceases. Fortune love you! Alb. Stay till I have read the letter. Edg. I was forbid it. When time shall serve, let but the herald cry, And I'll appear again. [Exil. Alb. Why, fare thee well; I will o'erlook thy


Re-enter EDMUND.

Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers,

Here is the guess of their true strength and forces
By diligent discovery ;-but your haste
Is now urg'd on you.


We will greet the time. [Erit.
Edm. To both these sisters have I sworn my love;
Each jealous of the other, as the stung
Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take?
If both remain alive: To take the widow,
Both? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy'd,
Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril;
And hardly shall I carry out my side,

Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use
His countenance for the battle; which being done,
Let her, who would be rid of him, devise
His speedy taking off. As for the mercy

Which he intends to Lear, and to Cordelia,The battle done, and they within our power, Shall never see his pardon for my state Stands on me to defend, not to debate.



SCENE II-A Field betweeen the two Camps. Alarum within. Enter, with drum and colours, Lear, Cordelia, and their Forces; and exeunt. Enter EDGAR and GLOSTER.

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Their going hence, even as their coming hither:
Ripeness is all: Come on.
And that's true too.
SCENE III.-The British Camp near Dover.
Enter, in conquest, with drum and colours, EDMUND;
LEAR, and CORDELIA, as prisoners; Officers,
Soldiers, &c.

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Edm. Some officers take them away: good guard; Until their greater pleasures first be known, That are to censure them.

Cor. We are not the first, Who, with best meaning, have incurr'd the worst. For thee, oppressed king, am I cast down; Myself could else out-frown false fortune's frown.— Shall we not see these daughters, and these sisters? Lear. 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.


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


He that parts us, shall bring a brand from heaven,
And fire us hence, like foxes. Wipe thine eyes;
The goujeers shall devour them, flesh and fell,
Ere they shall make us weep: we'll see them starve


Come. [Exeunt Lear and Cordelia, guarded.
Edm. Come hither, captain; hark.
Take thou this note; (giving a paper.) go, follow
them to prison:

One step I have advanc'd thee; if thou dost
As this instructs thee, thou dost make thy way
To noble fortunes: Know thou this,-that men
Are as the time is; to be tender-minded
Does not become a sword:-Thy great employment
Will not bear question; either say, thou'lt do't,
Or thrive by other means.


I'll do't, my lord. Edm. About it, and write happy, when thou hast done.

Mark, I say, instantly; and carry it so, As I have set it down.

Off. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats; If it be man's work, I will do it. [Exit Officer. Flourish. Enter ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, Officers, and Attendants.

Alb. Sir, you have shewn to-day your valiant And fortune led you well: You have the captives, strain, Who were the opposites of this day's strife: We do require them of yon; so to use them, As we shall find their merits and our safety May equally determine.


Sir, I thought it fit
To send the old and miserable king
To some retention, and appointed guard;
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,
To pluck the common bosom on his side,
And turn our impress'd lances in our eyes
Which do command them. With him I sent the

My reason all the same; and they are ready
To-morrow, or at farther space, to appear
Where you shall hold your session. At this time,
We sweat, and bleed: the friend hath lost his friend;
And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs'd
By those that feel their sharpness:-
The question of Cordelia, and her father,
Requires a fitter place.


Sir, by your patience, I hold you but a subject of this war, Not as a brother.

Methinks our pleasure might have been demanded,
That's as we list to grace him.
Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers;
Bore the commission of my place and person;
The which immediacy may well stand up,
And call itself your brother.

Gon. Not so hot: In his own grace he doth exalt himself, More than in your advancement.

In my rights,

Reg. By me invested, he compeers the best. [you. Gon. That were the most, if he should husband Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets. Gon. Holla, holla! That eye, that told you so, look'd but a-squint. Reg. Lady, I am not well; else I should answer From a full-flowing stomach.-General, Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony; Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine: Witness the world, that I create thee here My lord and master.

Gon. Mean you to enjoy him? Alb. The let-alone lies not in your good will. Edm. Nor in thine, lord. Alb. Half-blooded fellow, yes. Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine. (To Edmund.) Alb. Stay yet; hear reason:-Edmund, I arrest thee

On capital treason; and, in thy arrest, This gilded serpent: (Pointing to Gon.)—for your claim, fair sister,

I bar it in the interest of my wife:
"Tis she is sub-contracted to this lord,
And I, her husband, contradict your bans.
If you will marry, make your love to me,
My lady is bespoke.


An interlude!

Alb. Thou art arm'd, Gloster :-Let the trumpet sound:

If none appear to prove upon thy person,
Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
There is my pledge: (Throwing down a glove.) I'll
prove it on thy heart,

Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less Than I have here proclaim'd thee.


Gon. If not, I'll ne'er trust poison.

Sick, O, sick! (Aside.)

Edm. There's my exchange: (Throwing down a glove) what in the world he is, That names me traitor, villain-like he lies: Call by thy trumpet: he, that dares approach, On him, on you, (who not?) I will maintain My truth and honour firmly.

Alb. A herald, ho! Edm. A herald, ho, a herald! Alb. Trust to thy single virtue; for thy soldiers, All levied in my name, have in my name Took their discharge. Reg.

This sickness grows upon me. Enter a Herald.

Alb. She is not well; convey her to my tent.
[Exit Regan, led.
Come hither, herald,-Let the trumpet sound,-
And read out this.

Of. Sound, trumpet.
Herald reads.

If any man of quality, or degree, within the lists of the army, will maintain upon Edmund, supposed earl of Gloster, that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear at the third sound of the trumpet: He is bold in his defence. Edm. Sound, Her. Again. Her. Again.

(A trumpet sounds.)

(1 Trumpet.) (2 Trumpet. (3 Trumpet.) (Trumpet answers within.)

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Edm. Himself;-what say'st thou to him?
Draw thy sword;

That, if my speech offend a noble heart,
Thy arm may do thee justice: here is mine.
Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,
My oath, and my profession: I protest,-
Maugre thy strength, youth, place, and eminence,
Despite thy victor sword, and fire-new fortune,
Thy valour, and thy heart,-thou art a traitor:
False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father;
Conspirant gainst this high illustrious prince;
And, from the extremest upward of thy head,
To the descent and dust beneath thy feet,
A most toad-spotted traitor. Say thou, No,
This sword, this arm, and my best spirits, are bent
To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak,
Thou liest.

Edm. In wisdom, I should ask thy name; But, since thy outside looks so fair and warlike, And that thy tongue some 'say of breeding breathes, What safe and nicely I might well delay By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn: Back do I toss these treasons to thy head; With the hell-hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart; Which, (for they yet glance by, and scarcely bruise,) This sword of mine shall give them instant way, Where they shall rest for ever.-Trumpets, speak. (Alarums. They fight. Edmund falls.) Alb. O save him, save him! Gon. This is mere practice, Gloster: By the law of arms, thou wast not bound to answer An unknown opposite; thou art not vanquish'd, But cozen'd and beguil'd.

No tearing, lady; I perceive, you know it.
(Gives the letter to Edmund)
Gon. Say, if I do; the laws are mine, not thine:
Who shall arraign me for't?

Most monstrous!

Know'st thou this paper?

Ask me not what I know. [Erit.
Alb. Go after her: she's desperate; govern ber.
(To an Officer, who goes out.)
Edm. What you have charg'd me with, that have
I done;


Shut your mouth, dame, Or with this paper shall I stop it :-Hold, sir:Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil:

And more, much more; the time will bring it out;
'Tis past, and so am I: But what art thoa,
That hast this fortune on me? If thou art noble,
I do forgive thee.

Let's exchange charity. I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund; If more, the more thou hast wrong'd me. My name is Edgar, and thy father's son. The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices Make instruments to scourge us: The dark and vicious place where thee he got, Cost him his eyes.


Thou hast spoken right, 'tis true; The wheel is come full circle; I am here. Alb. Methought thy very gait did prophesy A royal nobleness :-I must embrace thee; Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I Did hate thee, or thy father!

Worthy prince,

Edg. I know it well. Alb. Where have you hid yourself? How have you known the miseries of your father! Edg. By nursing them, my lord. 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
Iuto 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 en; You look as you had something more to say.

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


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

Alb. But who was this? Edg. Kent, sir, the banish'd Kent; who, in disguise Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service Improper for a slave.

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