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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


[Draws. They fight. CORNWALL is wounded. Reg. Give me thy sword.—[To another Serv.] 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!

[Dies. 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 overture 2 of thy treasons to us;
Who is too good to pity thee.

O my follies!
Then Edgar was abus'd.-
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

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Corn. I have receiv'da 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. 1 Serv. I'll never care what wickedness I do, If this man comes to good. 2 Seru.

If she live long, And, in the end, meet the old course of death, Women will all turn monsters. i Serv. Let's follow the old ear), and get the Bed

lam 3 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 1. The Heath.

Enter EDGAR.

Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd, Than still contemn'd and flatter'd:4 To be worst, The lowest, and most dejected thing of fortune,

3 Madman. 41. p. It is better to be thus contemn’d and know it, than to be flatter'd by those who secretly contemn us.

Stands still in esperance, 5 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 thy blasts.-But who comes here?

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 years.

Glo. Away, get thee 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.] O gods! Who is't can say, I am at

the worst? I am worse than e'er I was. Old Mun.

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

worst is not,

5 In hope.

6 Changes.

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. l' the last night's storm I such a fellow saw; Which made me think a man a worm : My son Game 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.

How should this be? Bad is the trade must play the fool to sorrow, Ang’ring itself and others. [Aside.]-Bless thee,

Glo. Is that the naked fellow ?
Old Man.

Ay, my lord.
Glo. Then, pr'ythee, get thee gone: If, for my sake,
Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain,
l' 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.

[Exit. Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow.

Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold—I cannot daub7 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?

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; Muhu, 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 Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched, Makes thee the happier:—Heavens, deal so still! Leť the superfluous, and lust-dieted man, That slaves your ordinance,8 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 Dover?

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


7 Disguise. 8 i.e. To make it subject to us, instead of acting in obedience

to it.

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