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Enter LEAR, fantastically dressed up with Flowers.
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. 0, well flown, bird -i' the clout, i the clout: hewgh !–Give the word.

Edy. Sweet marjoram.
Lear. Pass.
Glo. I know that voice.

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 saidAy 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:

? That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper:) In several counties, to this day, they call a stuffed figure, representing a man, and armed with a bow and arrow, set up to fright the crows from the fruit and corn, a crow-keeper, as well as a scare-crow.

the brown-bills.] A bill was a kind of battle-axe, affixed to a long staff.

9 0, well-flown, bird !~i' the clout, &c.] Lear is here raving of archery, and shooting at buts, as is plain by the words i' the clout, that is, the white mark they set up and aim at; hence the phrase, to hit the white.

they told me I was every thing; 'tis a lie; I am not ague-pron.

Glo. The trick of that voice? I do well remember: Is't not the king? 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 i
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 isallthe fiends'; there's hell, there's darkness,
there is the sulphurous pit, burning, scalding, stench,
consumption; -Fye, fye, fye! 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 world Shall so wear out to nought.--Dost thou know me?

The trick of that voice ---} Trick is a word frequently used for the air, or that peculiarity in a face, voice, or gesture, which distinguishes it from others.

* But to the girdle, &c.] But is here used for only

Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny 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 see one.

Edg. I would not take this from report ;—it is, And my heart breaks at it.

Lear. Read.
Glo. What, with the case of


? Lear. O, ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light: Yet you see how this world goes.

Glo. I see it feelingly.

Lear. What, art mad? A man may see how this world goes, with no eyes. Look with thine ears : see how yon' justice rails upon yon' simple thief. Hark, in thine ear: Change places; and, handydandy, which is the justice, which is the thief Thou hast scen 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,

3 Dost thou squiny at mc?] To squiny is to look asquint,

None does offend, none, I say, none; I'll able em :-
Take that of me, my friend, who have the power
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, now,


Pull off my boots :-harder, harder; so.

Edg. O, matter and impertinency mix’d! Reason in madness! Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my

I know thee well enough; thy name is Gloster :
Thou must be patient; we came crying hither.
Thou know'st, the first time that we smell the air,
We wawl, and cry I will preach to thee; mark me.

Glo. Alack, alack the day!
Lear. When we are born, we cry, that we are


To this great stage of fools ;- This is a good

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-law,
Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill.

Enter a Gentleman, with Attendants. Gent. O, here he is; lay hand upon

him.—Sir, Your most dear daughter

Lear. No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even The natural fool of fortune.-Use me well; You shall have ransome.

Let me have a surgeon, I am cut to the brains. Gent.

You shall have any thing. Lear. No seconds? All myself?

I'll able 'em :] An old phrase signifying to qualify, or uphold them.

it, you

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.

Good sir,
Lear. I will die bravely, like a bridegroom ;

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

Gent. You are a royal one, and we obey you. Lear. Then there's life in it. Nay, an you get shall

get it by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa.

[Erit running ; Attendants follow. Gent. A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch; Past speaking of in a king !—Thou hast one daugh

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

Edg. Hail, gentle sir.

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, hy your favour, How near's the other army?

Gent. Near, and on speedy foot; the main descry Stands on the hourly thought.? Edg.

I thank


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.


a man of salt,] A man of salt is a man of tears. 6 Then there's life in it.] The case is not yet desperate.

the main descry, Stands on the hourly thought.]. The main body is expected to be descry'd every hour. The expression is harsh.

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