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Edg. Bear free and patient thoughts. But who comes here? 80
Enter LEAR, fantastically dressed with wild
The safer sense will ne'er accommodate
His master thus.
Lear. 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 clothier's yard. Look, look! a mouse. Peace, peace! this piece of toasted cheese will do 't. There's my gauntlet; I'll prove it on a giant. Bring up the brown bills. O! well flown, bird; i' the clout, i' the clout: hewgh! Give the word. 93 Edg. Sweet marjoram. Lear. Pass.
Glou. I know that voice.
Lear. Ha! Goneril, with a white beard! They flattered 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 'em, there I smelt 'em 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.
Glou. The trick of that voice I do well remember:
I will be jovial: come, come; I am a king,
Gent. You are a royal one, and we obey you. Lear. Then there's life in 't. Nay, an you get it, you shall get it by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa. Exit; Attendants follow. Gent. A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch,
Past speaking of in a king! Thou hast one daughter,
Who redeems nature from the general curse
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.
But, by your favour,
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. Glou. You ever-gentle gods,
Exit Gentleman. take my breath
Edg. Sit you down, father; rest you. Let's see these pockets: the letters that he speaks of
May be my friends. He's dead; I am only sorry
He had no other death's-man. Let us see: Leave, gentle wax; and, manners, blame us not:
To know our enemies' minds, we'd rip their hearts;
Their papers is more lawful.
Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. 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 gaol; from the loathed warmth whereof deliver me, and supply the place for your labour.
Your-wife, so I would say -
O undistinguish'd space of woman's will!
Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified
Of murderous lechers; and in the mature time
That of thy death and business I can tell.
Glou. The king is mad: how stiff is my vile
That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling
And woes by wrong imaginations lose
SCENE VII.-A Tent in the French Camp. Enter CORDELLA, KENT, Doctor, and Gentleman. 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'er- I am mightily abus'd. I should e'en die with paid.
All my reports go with the modest truth,
Nor more nor clipp'd, but so.
Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
I' the sway of your own will. Is he array'd? 20
Enter LEAR in a chair carried by Servants. Doct. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of sleep We put fresh garments on him.
Kent. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him;
I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
For, as I am a man, I think this lady
If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
Lear. Am I in France?
No cause, no cause.
In your own kingdom, sir.
Lear. Do not abuse me.
You see, is kill'd in him; and yet it is danger
Cor. Will 't please your highness walk?
Gent. Holds it true, Cornwall was so slain ? Kent. Most certain, sir. Gent. Who is conductor of his people? Kent. As 'tis said, the bastard son of Gloucester.
Gent. They say Edgar, his banished son, is with the Earl of Kent in Germany.
Kent. Report is changeable. 'Tis time to look about; the powers of the kingdom approach
Gent. The arbitrement is like to be bloody. Fare you well, sir. Exit.
Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrought,
Or well or ill, as this day's battle 's fought. Exit.
SCENE I.-The British Camp near Dover.
Enter, with drum and colours, EDMUND, REGAN, Officers, Soldiers, and Others.
Edm. Know of the duke if his last purpose hold,
Or whether since he is advis'd by aught
In honour'd love.
Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.
If you have victory, let the trumpet sound
What is avouched there. If you miscarry,
Alb. Why, fare thee well: I will o'erlook thy
Edm. The enemy's in view; draw up your
Here is the guess of their true strength and forces By diligent discovery; but your haste
Reg. But have you never found my brother's Is now urg'd on you.
To the forfended place? Edm.
That thought abuses you. Reg. I am doubtful that you have been conjunct
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.
We will greet the time.
Alb. Edm. To both these sisters have I sworn my love;
Each jealous of the other, as the stung
Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take?
Enter, with drum and colours, ALBANY, GONERIL, His countenance for the battle; which being
Let her who would be rid of him devise
Gon. Aside. I had rather lose the battle than His speedy taking off. As for the mercy
Should loosen him and me.
Alb. Our very loving sister, well be-met. Sir, this I heard; the king is come to his daughter,
With others whom the rigour of our state
SCENE III.-The British Camp near Dover.
Enter, in conquest, with drum and colours, EDMUND; LEAR and CORDELIA, prisoners; Officers, Soldiers, etc.
Edm. Some officers take them away: good guard,
Until their greater pleasures first be known
Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison;
We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out; In his own grace he doth exalt himself
He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven,
Come. Exeunt LEAR and CORDELIA, guarded.
Giving a paper.
I'll do 't, my lord.
Edm. About it; and write happy when thou hast done.
Mark.-I say, instantly, and carry it so
Off. I cannot draw a cart nor eat dried oats; If it be man's work I'll do it.
In my rights,
Half-blooded fellow, yes. Reg. To EDMUND. Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine.
Alb. Stay yet; hear reason. arrest thee
Alb. Thou art arm'd, Gloucester; let the trumpet sound:
If none appear to prove upon thy person
Sick! O, sick! Gon. Aside. If not, I'll ne'er trust medicine. Edm. There's my exchange:
Throws down a glove. What in the world he is