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Came 'er the bourn, Bessy, to me :— Fool. Her beat hath a leak,
And she must not speak
Why she dares not come over to 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.—
Edg. Let us deal justly.
Sleepest or wakest thou, jolly shepherd?
And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,
[TO EDGAR. [To the Fool. [TO KENT.
Pur! the cat is gray.
Lear. Arraign her first: 'tis Goneril. I here take my oath before this honorable assembly, she kicked the poor king her father.
Fool. Come hither, mistress; Is your name Goneril?
Fool. Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint stool.
Edg. Bless thy five wits!
Kent. O pity!-Sir, where is the patience now, That 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.
Be thy mouth or black or white,
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.
Kent. Now, good my lord, lie here, and rest awhile. Lear. Make no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains: So, so, so: We'll go to supper i' the morning: So, so, so. Fool. And I'll go to bed at noon.
Glo. Come hither, friend: Where is the king my master?
And drive towards Dover, friend, where thou shalt meet
Oppress'd nature sleeps:-
Stand in hard cure.-Come, help to bear thy master;
[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 bow; He childed, as I father'd!-Tom, away:
Mark the high noises: and thyself bewray,
When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee,
Regan and Cornwall issue orders to Edmund to seek out his Father, and bring him back to the Castle. Gloster is overtaken, and is punished for his commiseration towards the King, by the loss of his eyes. In this state he is carried back to the Heath, and is there encountered by his Son Edgar.
SCENE I.-The Heath.
Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd,
My father, poorly led? World, world, O world!
Old Man. Omy good lord, I have been your tenant, and you father's tenant, these fourscore years.
Glo. Away, get thee away; good friend, be gone:
Old Man. Alack, sir, you cannot see your way.
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.
'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?
How should this be?
Ay, my lord.
Glo. Then, pr'ythee, get thee gone: If, for my sake,
Alack, sir, he's mad.
Glo. 'Tis the times' plague when madmen lead the blind.
Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parel that I have,
Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow.
Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold.-I cannot daub it further.
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 foot-path. Poor Tom hath been scared out of his good wits: Bless the good man from the foul fiend!
Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven's plagues
And each man have enough.-Dost thou know Dover?
Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending head
And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear,
With something rich about me: from that place
Give me thy arm;
I shall no leading need.
Poor Tom shall lead thee.
Edgar, still unknown to his father, leads him to a spot which he beant fully describes as being Dover Cliffs.
The whole scene is exquisitely wrought up.
SCENE VI.—The Country near Dover.
Re-enter GLOSTER, and EDGAR dressed like a peasant.
Glo. When shall we come to the top of that same hill?
Ellg. Why, then your other senses grow imperfect
Edg. You are much deceiv'd: in nothing am I chang'd,
But in my garments.
Methinks, you are better spoken.
Edg. Come on, sir: here's the place ;-stand still-How fearful And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low !
The crows, and choughs, that wing the midway air,
Set me where you stand.
Edg. Now fare you well, good sir.
O you mighty gods!
[Seems to go.
[He leaps, and falls along.