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Enter LEAR, fantastically dressed up with Flowers.
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 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 :
Glo. O, let me kiss that hand!
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. 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 :-
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
Glo. Alack, alack the day!
To this great stage of fools ;- This is a good
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.
Why, this would make a man, a man of salt,
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
Edg. Hail, gentle sir.
Sir, speed you: What's your will?
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.
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.