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well, dear sister; farewell, my Lord of Glou- | Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister

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Re-enter Servants, with GLOUCESTER.

Reg. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.
Corn. Bind fast his corky arms.
Glou. What mean your graces?
friends, consider


In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.
The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd

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Good my

You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends.
Corn. Bind him, I say. Servants bind him.
Hard, hard. O filthy traitor!
Glou. Unmerciful lady as you are, I'm none.
Corn. To this chair bind him. Villain, thou
shalt find-
REGAN plucks his beard.
Glou. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done
To pluck me by the beard.

Reg. So white, and such a traitor!

Naughty lady, These hairs, which thou dost ravish from my chin, Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your host: With robbers' hands my hospitable favours 42 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 the traitors

Late footed in the kingdom?

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Reg. To whose hands have you sent the His way to Dover. Exit one with GLOUCESTER lunatic king?


Glou. I have a letter guessingly set down,
Which came from one that 's of a neutral heart,
And not from one oppos'd.




And false. Corn. Where hast thou sent the king? Glou.

To Dover.

Reg. Wherefore to Dover? Wast thou not charg'd at peril

How is 't, my lord? How look you! Corn. I have receiv'd a 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. Second Serv. I'll never care what wickedness I do If this man come to good.

Third Serv.

If she live long, And in the end meet the old course of death,

Corn. Wherefore to Dover? Let him answer Women will all turn monsters. that.

Glou. I am tied to the stake, and I must stand

the course.

Reg. Wherefore to Dover?

Second Serv. Let's follow the old earl, and get the Bedlam

To lead him where he would: his roguish madness

Glou. Because I would not see thy cruel nails Allows itself to any thing.

Third Serv. Go thou; I'll fetch some flax and | Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain,
whites of eggs
I' the way toward Dover, do it for ancient love;
And bring some covering for this naked soul,
Who I'll entreat to lead me.
Old Man.

To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven
help him!
Exeunt severally.


SCENE I.-The Heath.

Enter EDGAR.

Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd,

Than still contemn'd and flatter'd. To be worst,
The lowest and most dejected thing of fortune,
Stands 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 Owes nothing to thy blasts. But who comes here?

Enter GLOUCESTER, 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.

Glou. Away, get thee away; good friend, be gone:

Thy comforts can do me no good at all;
Thee they may hurt.

Old Man.

You cannot see your way.

Glou. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes;

I stumbled when I saw. Full oft 'tis seen,
Our means secure 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.

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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.
Glou. He has some reason, else he could not
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. Aside.

How should this be? Bad is the trade that must play fool to sorrow, Angering itself and others. Bless thee, master! Glou. Is that the naked fellow? Old Man, Ay, my lord. Glou. Then, prithee, get thee gone. If, for my sake,


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Edg. Aside. And yet I must. Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.

Glou. 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 thee, good man's son, 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; Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing; who since possesses chambermaids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master!

Glou. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heavens' plagues

Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched
Makes thee the happier: heavens, deal so still!
Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man,
That slaves your ordinance, that will not see
Because he doth not feel, feel your power

So distribution should undo excess,
And each man have enough.


Edg. Ay, master.


Dost thou know

Glou. 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
I shall no leading need.

Poor Tom shall lead thee.

Give me thy arm:

Exeunt. 80

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Gon. To EDMUND. Then shall you go no | Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
So horrid as in woman.

It is the cowish terror of his spirit
That dares not undertake; he 'll not feel wrongs
Which tie him to an answer. Our wishes on
the way

May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother;
Hasten his musters and conduct his powers:
I must change arms at home, and give the distaff
Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant
Shall pass between us; ere long you are like to

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O vain fool!


Alb. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for

Be-monster not thy feature. Were't my fitness
To let these hands obey my blood,
They are apt enough to dislocate and tear
Thy flesh and bones; howe'er thou art a fiend,
A woman's shape doth shield thee.
Gon. Marry, your manhood now-
Enter a Messenger.

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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;
But not without that harmful stroke, which since
Hath pluck'd him after.

This shows you are above,
You justicers, that these our nether crimes
So speedily can venge! But, O poor Gloucester!
Lost he his other eye?

Both, both, my lord. s
This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer;
'Tis from your sister.
Gon. A side.
One way I like this well;
But being widow, and my Gloucester 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.

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Gent. Ay, sir; she took them, read them in | With burdocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoomy presence;

And now and then an ample tear trill'd down
Her delicate cheek; it seem'd she was a queen
Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,
Sought to be king o'er her.

O! then it mov'd her.
Gent. Not to a rage; patience and sorrow

Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
Sunshine and rain at once; her smiles and tears
Were like a better way; those happy smilets 20
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,
Sorrow would be a rarity most belov'd,
If all could so become it.

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! sisters!
Kent! father! sisters! What! i' the storm? i'
the night?

Let pity not be believed!' There she shook 30
The holy water from her heavenly eyes,
And clamour-moisten'd, then away she started
To deal with grief alone.

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Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
In our sustaining corn. A century send forth;
Search every acre in the high-grown field,
And bring him to our eye. Exit an Officer.


What can man's wisdom
In the restoring his bereaved sense?
He that helps him take all my outward worth.
Doct. 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.
All bless'd secrets,

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


News, madam;

The British powers are marching hitherward. 21
Cor. 'Tis known before; our preparation stands
In expectation of them. O dear father!
It is thy business that I go about;
Therefore great France

My mourning and important tears hath pitied.
No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
But love, dear love, and our aged father's right.
Soon may I hear and see him!

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Madam, I had rather

Reg. I know your lady does not love her

I am sure of that: and at her late being here
She gave strange œilliades and most speaking

To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom.
Osw. I, madam!

Therefore I do advise you, take this note:

Let go my hand.
Here, friend, 's another purse; in it a jewel
Well worth a poor man's taking: fairies and gods
Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off; »
Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.
Edg. Now fare you well, good sir.
With all my heart.

Edg. Why I do trifle thus with his despair

Reg. I speak in understanding; you are, I Is done to cure it.
know 't:
O you mighty gods!
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.

My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd, 30
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



desire her call her wisdom to her :

So, fare you well.

If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.

Gone, sir: farewell a
He falls forward.
And yet I know not how conceit may rob
The treasury of life when life itself

Osw. Would I could meet him, madam: I Yields to the theft; had he been where he would show

What party I do follow.



By this had thought been past. Alive or dead! Fare thee well. Exeunt. Ho, you sir! friend! Hear you, sir? speak! Thus might he pass indeed; yet he revives. What are you, sir?

SCENE VI.-The Country near Dover. Enter GLOUCESTER, and EDGAR dressed like a


Glou. When shall we come to the top of that same hill?

Edg. You do climb up it now; look how we

Glou. Methinks the ground is even.

Hark! do you hear the sea?


Away and let me die.
Edg. Hadst thou been aught but gossamer,
feathers, air,

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

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

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

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Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky

Look up a-height; the shrill-gorg'd lark so far
Cannot be seen or heard: do but look up.
Glou. Alack! I have no eyes.

Is wretchedness depriv'd that benefit
To end itself by death? 'Twas yet some comfort,
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,
And frustrate his proud will.
Give me your arm:
Up: so; how is 't? Feel you your legs! You

Glou, Too well, too well.

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


A poor unfortunate beggar. Edg. As I stood here below methought his


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.
Glou. 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,

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