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What can man's wisdom do,


Her delicate cheek: it seem'd, she was a queen | And bring him to our eye. [Exit an OFFICER.
Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,
Sought to be king o'er her.

Kent. O, then it mov'd her.


Gent. Not to a rage: patience and sorrow [seen Who should express her goodliest. You have Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and


Were like a better day: Those happy smiles,
That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
What guests were in her eyes; which parted
As pearls from diamonds dropp'd.-In brief,
Would be a rarity most belov'd, "if all
Could so become it.

Kent. 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;
Cried, Sisters! sisters? Shame of ladies!
Kent! father! sister's! What? i'the storm? i'the
Let pity not be believed!t-There she shook
The holy water from her heavenly eyes,
And clamour moisten'd: then away she started
To deal with grief alone.

Kent. It is the stars,

The stars above us, govern our conditions ; Else one self mate and mate could not beget Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?

Gent. No.

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His mind so venomously, that burning shame Detains him from Cordelia.

Gent. Alack, poor gentleman!

In the restoring his bereaved sense?
He, that helps him, take all my outward worth.
Phy. There is means, madam:
Our foster-nurse of nature is repose,
The which he lacks; that to provoke in him,
Are many simples operative, whose power
Will close the eye of anguish.

Cor. All bless'd secrets,


All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
Spring with my tears! be aidant, and remedi-
In the good man's distress!-Seek, seek for
Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
That wants the means to lead it.*


Mess. Madam, news;

The British powers are marching hitherward. Cor. "Tis known before; our preparation stands

In expectation of them.-O dear father,
It is thy business that I go about;
My mourning, and important tears, hath
Therefore great France
No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
But love, dear love, and our ag'd father's right:
Soon may I hear, and see him. [Exeunt.

SCENE V.-A Room in GLOSTER'S Castle.


Reg. But are my brother's powers set forth? Stew. Ay, madam.

Reg. Himself

In person there?

Stew. 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



It was great ignorance, Gloster's eyes being
To let him live; where he arrives, he moves
All hearts against us: Edmund, I think, is

Kent. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers In pity of his misery, to despatch

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Stew. I, madam?

Reg. I speak in understanding; you are, I
know it:

Therefore, I do advise you, take this note:*
My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd;
And more convenient is he for my hand,
Than for your lady's:-You may gather more.
If you do find him, pray you, give him this;
And when your mistress hears thus much from
I pray, desire her call her wisdom to her. [you,
So, fare you well.

If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.
Stew. 'Would I could meet him, madam!
would show

What party I do follow.

Reg. Fare thee well.

This world I do renounce; and, in your sights,
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 clong.

Edg. Gone, Sir? farewell.-
And yet I know not how conceit may rob
The treasury of life, when life itself [thought,
Yields to the theft: Had he been where he
By this, had thought been past.-Alive, or
Ho, you Sir! friend!-Hear you, Sir?-
Thus might he pass indeed:*-Yet he revives:
What are you, Sir?


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Glo. Away, and let me die.

Edg. Hadst thou been aught but gossomer,
feathers, air,

So many fathom down precipitating,
Thou hadst shiver'd like an egg: but thou
dost breathe;

Hast heavy substance; bleed'st not; speak'st;
art sound.

Ten masts at each make not the altitude,
Which thou hast perpendicularly fell;
Thy life's a miracle: Speak yet again.
Glo. But have I fallen, or no?

Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky
bourn :+
Look up a-height;-the shrill-gorg'd; lark so
Cannot be seen or heard: do but look up.
Glo. Alack, I have no eyes.-

Is wretchedness depriv'd that benefit, [fort,
To end itself by death? "Twas yet some com-
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,
And frustrate his proud will.

Edg. Give me your arm:

Up :-So-How is't? Feel you your legs?

You stand.

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Edg. This is above all strangeness.
Upon the crown o'the cliff, what thing was
Which parted from you?

Glo. A poor unfortunate beggar.

Edg. As I stood here below, methought, his

[noses, eyes Were two full moons; he had a thousand Horns whelk'd,§ and wav'd like the enridged [father,


It was some fiend: Therefore, thou happy
Think that the clearest gods, who make them

Of men's impossibilities, have preserv'd thee.
Glo. I do remember now: henceforth I'll
Affliction, till it do cry out itself, [bear
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.

Leur. 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

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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 reIs't not the king? [member:

Lear. 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 hell, there's


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 [me? Shall so wear out to nought.-Dost thou know Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squinytt 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

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thine ears: see how yon' justice rails upon yon' simple thief. Hark, in thine ear: Change places; and, handy-dandy, 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: 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
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,

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To this great stage of fools;-This a good block?*

It were a delicate stratagem, to shoe
A troop of horse with felt: I'll put it in proof;
And when I have stolen upon these sons-in-
Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kıll. [law,

Enter a GENTLEMAN, with Attendunts.
Gent. O, here he is, lay hand upon him,-
Your most dear daughter-

Lear. No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am


The natural fool of fortune.-Use me well; You shall have ransom. Let me have a sur[geon,

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, To use his eyes for garden water-pots, Ay, and for laying autumn's dust. Gent. Good Sir,

Lear. I will die bravely, like a bridegroom: What?

will be jovial; come, come; I am a king, My masters, know you that?

Gent. You are a royal one, and we obey

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Who redeems nature from the general curse Which twain have brought her to.

Past speaking of in a king!-Thou hast one | Edg. Sit you down, father; rest you.daughter, Let's see his pockets: these letters, that he speaks of, [sorry May be my friends.-He's dead; I am only He had no other death's-man.-Let us see:Leave, gentle wax; and, manners, blame us (hearts; To know our enemies' minds, we'd rip their Their papers, is more lawful.*

Edg. Hail, gentle Sir.

Gent. Sir, speed you: What's your will? Edg. Do you hear aught, Sir, of a battle toward?

Gent. Most sure, and vulgar: every one hears that,

Which can distinguish sound.
Edg. But, by your favour,
How near's the other army?

Gent. Near, and on speedy foot; the main Stands on the hourly thought."


Edg. I thank you, Sir: that's all. Gent. Though that the queen on special cause is here,

Her army is mov'd on.

Edg. I thank you, Sir.

[Exit GENT.

Glo. You ever-gentle gods, take my breath from me;

Let not my worser spirit+ tempt me again
To die before you please!

Edg. Well pray you, father.

Glo. Now, good Sir, what are you?

Edg. A most poor man, made tame by fortune's blows;

Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your
I'll lead you to some biding.

Glo. Hearty thanks:

The bounty and the benison of heaven To boot, and boot!§

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To raise my fortunes.-Thou old unhappy 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'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 your costard** or my battt 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.‡‡

[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; [me, And give the letters, which thou find'st about To Edmund earl of Gloster; seek him out Upon the British party :- -O, untimely death! [Dies. Edg. I know thee well: A serviceable vilAs duteous to the vices of thy mistress, [lain; As badness would desire.

Glo. What, is he dead?

The main body is expected to be descried every hour. + Evil genius. ↑ Blessing. Reward, recompense. # Quickly recollect the offences of thy life. Go your way. ** Head. ti Club. # Thrusts.


[Reads.] Let our reciprocal rows be remem bered. 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 jail; 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,t 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

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Re-enter EDGAR.

Edg. Give me your hand:

Far off, methinks I hear the beaten drum.
Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend.
SCENE VII-A Tent in the French Camp.-
LEAR on a Bed, asleep: PHYSICIAN, GENTLE-
MAN, and others, attending.

Enter CORDELIA and KENT, Cor. O thou good Kent, how shall I live, and work, To match thy goodness? My life will be too [short, And every measure fail me.

Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o'erpaid.

Nor more, nor clipp'd, but so.
All my reports go with the modest truth;

Cor. Be better-suited:‡


These weeds are memories of those worser I pr'ythee, put them off.

Kent. Pardon me, dear madam; Yet to be known, shortens my made intent: My boon I make it, that you know me not, Till time and I think meet.

Cor. Then be it so, my good lord.-How does the king? [To the PHYSICIAN. Phys. Madam, sleeps still. Cor. O you kind gods, The untun'd and jarring senses, O, wind up Cure this great breach in his abused nature! Of this child-changed father!

Phys. So please your majesty, [long. That we may wake the king? he hath slept

To rip their papers is more lawful.

↑ I'll cover thee (the dead steward) in the sands ✰ Dressed. {Memorials. Intent formed.

Cor. Be govern'd by your knowledge, and

I'the sway of your own will. Is he array'd?
Gent. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his
We put fresh garments on him. [sleep,
Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do
awake him;

I doubt not of his temperance.
Cor. 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!

Kent. Kind and dear princess!

Cor. Had you not been their father, these
white flakes

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 thun-
In the most terrible and nimble stroke [der?
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

Against my fire; And wast thou fain, poor

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

Phys. Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.

Cor. How does my royal lord? How fares your majesty?

Lear. You do me wrong, to take me out o'the


Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead.

Cor. Sir, do you know me?

Lear. You are a spirit, I know; When did
you die?

Cor. Still, still, far wide!
Phys. He's scarce awake; let him alone


Lear. Where have I been?-Where am I? Fair day-light?[pity, I am mightily abus'd.-I should even die with To see another thus.-I know not what to say.[see; I will not swear, these are my hands:-let's I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assur'd Of my condition.

Cor. O look upon me, Sir,

And hold your hands in benediction o'er me:-
No, Sir, you must not kneel."

Lear. 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. [man:
Methinks, I should know you, and know this
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


Where I did lodge last night: Do not laugh at
For, as I am a man, I think this lady

To be my child Cordelia.

Cor. 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.

The allusion is to the forlorn-hope in an army, called in French enfans perdus. + Thin covering of hair.

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.
Cor. No cause, no cause.
Lear. Am I in France?

Kent. In your own kingdom, Sir.
Lear. Do not abuse me.

Phys. Be comforted, good madam: the great


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: [foolish. Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old, and [Exeunt LEAR, CORDELIA, PHYSICIAN, and Attendants.

Gent. Holds it true, Sir,

That the duke of Cornwall was so slain?
Kent. Most certain, Sir.

Gent. Who is conductor of his people?
Kent. As 'tis said,

The bastard son of Gloster.

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

Kent. Report is changeable.

[kingdom Approach apace. 'Tis time to look about; the powerst o'the

Gent. The arbitrement is like to be a bloody. Fare you well, Sir. [Exit. Kent. My point and period will be thoroughly wrought,

Or well, or ill, as this day's battle's fought.



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Enter, with Drums, and Colours, EDMUND,
REGAN, Officers, Soldiers, and Others.
Edm. Know of the duke, if his last purpose

Or, whether since he is advis'd by aught
To change the course: He's full of alteration,
And self-reproving:-bring his constant plea-
sure.§ [To an Officer, who goes out.
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 To the forefended|| place?


Edm. That thought abuses¶ you.
Reg. I am doubtful that you have been con-


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.

Edm. 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.


Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met.

To reconcile it to his
✰ Decision.
|| Forbidden.



His settled resolution. Imposes on you.

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