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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 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, 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 ;** peace, thou fiend!
Glo. What, hath your grace no better company?
Edg. The prince of darkness is a gentleman; Modo he's call'd, and Mahu.tt
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 daughter's hard commands: Though their injunction be to bar my doors, And let this tyrannous night take hold upon
Edg. Child Rowland to the dark tower came,
[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
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 your kindness! [Exit GLOSTEP
Edg. Frateretto calls me; and tells me, Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.
Fool. Pr'ythee, nuncle, tell me, whether a madman be a gentleman, or a yeoman? Lear. A king, a king!
Fool. No; he's a yeoman, that has a gentle
* Child is an old term for knight. + Addressed to the Fool, who were anciently called
man to his son: for he's a mad yeoman, that
Edg. The foul fiend bites my back.
Lear. It shall be done, I will arraign them
Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer;-
Edg. Look, where he stands and glares!*-
Come o'er the bourn,+ Bessy, to me: Fool. Her boat hath a leak,
And she must not speak
Why she dares not come over to thee. Edg. The foul fiend haunts poor Tom in the voice of a nightingale. Hopdance cries in Tom's belly for two white herrings. Croak not, black angel; I have no food for thee.
Kent. How do you, Sir? Stand you not so amaz'd:
Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions? Lear. I'll see their trial first:-Bring in the evidence.
Thou robbed man of justice, take thy place;
Edg. Let us deal justly.
And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,
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
Lear. And here's another, whose warp'd looks proclaim 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 That you so oft have boasted to retain? [now, Edg. My tears begin to take his part so much,
They'll mar my countorfeiting.
Edg. Tom will throw his head at them:Avaunt, you curs!
Be thy mouth or black or white,
| Do de, de de. Sessa. Come, march to wakes 863 horn is dry. and fairs, and market towns:-Poor Tom, thy
Edgar is speaking in the character of a madman, who thinks he sees the fiend. + Brook or rivulet. 1 A blood hound.
Lear. Then let them anatomize Regan; see in nature, that makes these hard hearts?— what breeds about her heart: Is there any cause You, Sir, I entertain you for one of my hungarments: you will say, they are Persian dred; only, I do not like the fashion of your attire; but let them be changed. [To EDGAR. Kent. Now, good my lord, lie here, and rest awhile.
Lear. Make no noise, make no noise; draw i'the morning: So, so, so. the curtains: So, so, so: We'll go to supper
Fool. And I'll go to bed at noon.
Glo. Come hither, friend: Where is the king my master?
Kent. Here, Sir; but trouble him not, his wits are gone.
Glo. Good friend, I pr'ythee take him in thy
I have o'er-heard a plot of death upon him:
Kent. Oppress'd nature sleeps:- [senses, This rest might yet have balm'd thy broken Which, if convenience will not allow,
Stand in hard cure.-Come, help to bear thy master;
Thou must not stay behind.
Glo. Come, come, away.
[To the FOOL.
[Exeunt KENT, GLOSTER, and the FOOL, bearing off the King.
Edg. When we our betters see bearing our
We scarcely think our miseries our foes.
the king bow;
He childed, as I father'd!-Tom, away:
In thy just proof, repeals, and reconciles thee.
SCENE VII.-A Room in GLOSTER'S Custle.
Corn. Post speedily to my lord your husband; show him this letter:-the army of France is landed:-Seek out the villain Gloster. [Exeunt some of the Servants. Reg. Hang him instantly.
Gon. Pluck out his eyes.
Corn. Leave him to my displeasure.-Edmund, keep you our sister company; the re
* The great events that are approaching.
+ Betray, discover.
venges 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.*
How now? Where's the king?
Stew. My lord of Gloster hath convey'd him
Some five or six and thirty of his knights,
To have well-armed friends.
Corn. Get horses for your mistress.
[Exeunt GONERIL and EDMUND.
Re-enter SERVANTS, with GLOster.
Reg. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.
You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends.
shalt find- [REGAN plucks his Beard. Glo. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly To pluck me by the beard.
Reg. So white, and such a traitor!
chin, Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your With robbers' hands, my hospitable favours¶ 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
Late footed in the kingdom?
Reg. Wherefore to Dover?
Glo. Because I would not see thy cruel nails
And quench'd the stelled tires: yet, poor old
All cruels else subscrib'd:t-But I shall see
Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.
CORNWALL plucks out one of his Eyes, and
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
Corn. If you see vengeance,-
I have serv'd you ever since I was a child;
Reg. How now, you dog?
Serv. If you did wear a beard upon your chin, [mean? I'd shake it on this quarrel: What do you 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 Sert.] A peasant stand up thus!
[Snatches a Sword, comes behind, and stabs
Serv. O, I am slain!-My lord, you have one eye left
[Dies. To see some mischief on him:-O! Corn. Lest it see more, prevent it:-Out, vile jelly!
Where is thy lustre now!
[Tears out GLOSTER's other eye, and throws
Glo. All dark and comfortless.-Where's
Reg. Out, treacherous villain!
Reg. To whose hands have you sent the lu- Then Edgar was abus'd.—
Glo. I have a letter guessingly set down,
Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him! Reg. Go, thrust him out at gates, and let him smell
Which came from one that's of a neutral heart, | His way to Dover.--How is't, my lord? How
And not from one oppos'd.
Reg. And false.
Corn. Where hast thou sent the king?
Glo. To Dover.
To Dover? Wast thou not charg'd at thy
And, in the end, meet the old course of death, | Ang'ring itself and others. [Aside.]—Bless Women will all turn monsters.
1 Serv. Let's follow the old earl, and get the Bedlam*
To lead him where he would; his roguish madAllows itself to any thing. [ness 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.
Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be con
Than still contemn'd and flatter'd.
To be worst, [tune, The lowest, and most dejected thing of forStands 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,
Glo. Is that the naked fellow?
Glo. Then, pr'ythee, get thee gone: If, for my sake,
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.
Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure; Above the rest be gone.
Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parel that I have, Come on't what will.
Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow. Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold-I cannot daub it further. [Aside.
Glo. Come hither, fellow.
Edg. [Aside.] And yet I must.-Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.
Glo. Know'st thou the way to Dover?
Owes nothing to thy blasts.-But who comes foot-path. Poor Tom hath been scared out of here?
Enter GLOSTER, led by an OLD MAN. My father, poorly led?-World, world, O world!
But that thy strange mutations make us hate Life would not yield to age. [thee, Old Man. O my good lord, I have been your tenant, and your father's tenant, these fourscore years.
Glo. Away, get thee away; good friend, be Thy comforts can do me no good at all, [gone: Thee they may hurt.
Old Man. Álack, Sir, you cannot see your way.
Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no
I stumbled when I saw: Full oft 'tis seen,
Old Man. How now? Who's there?
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 chambermaids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master!]
Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven's plagues [ed, Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretchMakes thee the happier :-Heavens, deal so still!
Let the superfluous, and lust-dieted man,
So distribution should undo excess,
Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending head
Looks fearfully in the confined deep:
Edg. [Aside.] O gods! Who is't can say, 1 And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear,
am at the worst?
I am worse than e'er I was.
Old Man. Tis poor mad Tom.
The worst is not,
With something rich above me: from that place I shall no leading need.
Edg. Give me thy arm;
I may be yet:
Poor Tom shall lead thee.
So long as we can say, This is the worst.
Glo. 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.
Edg. How should this be?-
Bad is the trade must play the fool to sorrow,
+1. e. It is better to be thus contemned and know it, than to be flattered by those who secretly contemn us. I in hope. ♦ Changes.
Gon. I have been worth the whistle.t Alb. O Goneril! [wind You are not worth the dust which the rude 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 sliver; 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: [done? Filths savour but themselves. What have you Tigers, not daughters, what have you per
Fools do those villains pity, who are punish'd Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy drum? [land;
France spreads his banners in our noiseless With plumed helm thy slayer begins threats; Whilst thou, a moral fool, sits't still, and cry'st, Alack! why does he so?
Alb. See thyself, devil!
Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
So horrid, as in woman.
1. e. Our wishes on the road may be completed.
Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword To his great master; who, thereat enrag'd, Flew on him, and amongst them fell'd him dead: (since
But not without that harmful stroke, which Hath pluck'd him after.
Alb. This shows you are above, You justicers, that these our nether crimes So speedily can venge!-But, O poor Gloster! Lost he his other eye!
Mess. Both, both, my lord.
This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer; 'Tis from your sister.
Gon. [Aside.] One way I like this well; But being widow, and my Gloster with her, May all the building in my fancy pluck Upon my hateful life: Another way, The news is not so tart.-I'll read and answer. [Exit.
Alb. Where was his son, when they did take his eyes?
Mess. Come with my lady hither.
Mess. No, my good lord; I met him back
Alb. Knows he the wickedness?
[ishment And quit the house on purpose, that their punMight have the freer course. Alb. Gloster, I live [king, To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the And to revenge thine eyes.-Come hither, friend;
Tell me what more thou knowest.
SCENE III.-The French Camp near Dover.
Enter KENT, and a GENTLEMAN. Kent. Why the king of France is so suddenly gone back know you the reason?
Gent. Something he left imperfect in the
state, [which Which since his coming forth is thought of; Imports to the kingdom so much fear and danThat his personal return was most requir'd,
Kent. Who hath he left behind him general! Gent. The Mareschal of France, Monsieur le Fer.
Kent. Did your letters pierce the queen to any demonstration of grief?
Gent. Ay, Sir; she took them, read them in
And now and then an ample tear trill'd down