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Re-enter Servants, with GLOSTER. Reg. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he. Corn. Bind fast his corky arms.s Glo. What mean your graces Good my

friends, consider You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends. Corn. Bind him, I say.

Servants bind him Reg.

Hard, hard :-O filthy traitor! Glo. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none. Corn. To this chair bind him :-Villain, thou

shalt find [REGAN plucks his Beard. Glo. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done To pluck me by the beard.

Reg. So white, and such a traitor!
Glo.

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?
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? Reg. To whose hands have you sent the lunatick

king? Speak.

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

corky arms.) Dry, withered, husky arms. Will quicken,] i. e. quicken into life.

my hospitable favours-] Favours means the same as features, i.e. the different parts of which a face is composed.

Corn.

Cunning.
Reg.

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

To Dover.
Reg.

Wherefore To Dover? Wast thou not charg’d at thy perilCorn. Wherefore to Dover? Let him first answer

that. Glo. I am tied to the stake, and I must stand the

course." Reg. Wherefore to Dover?

Glo. Because I would not see thy cruel nails Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister 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 up, And quench'd the stelled fires: yet, poor old heart, He holp the heavens to rain. If wolves had at thy gate howld that stern time, Thou should'st have said, Good porter, turn the key; All cruels else subscrib'd:2-But I shall see The winged vengeance overtake such children. Corn. See it shalt thou never:-Fellows, hold the

chair : Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.

[Gloster is held down in his Chair, while

CORNWALL plucks out one of his Eyes, and

sets his Foot on it. Glo. He, that will think to live till he be old, Give me some help:- cruel! O ye gods!

Reg. One side will mock another; the other too. Corn. If you see vengeance,

Hold your hand, my lord: I have serv'd you ever since I was a child;

Serv.

the course.] The running of the dogs upon me. subscribd: Yielded, submitted to the necessity of the

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occasion,

But better service have I never done you,
Than now to bid

you

hold. Reg.

How now, you dog? Serv. If you

did wear a beard upon your chin, I'd shake it on this quarrel: What do you mean?

Corn. My villain! [Draws, and runs at him. Serv. Nay, then come on, and take the chance

of anger.

[Draws. They fight. CORNWALL is wounded. Reg. Give me thy sword.—[To another Servant.]

A peasant stand up thus! [Snatches a Sword, comes behind, and stabs him. Serv. O, I am slain !—My lord, you have one

eye left

To see some mischief on him:-0! [Dies. Corn. Lest it see more, prevent it :-Out, vile

jelly! Where is thy lustre now? [Tears out GLOSTER's other Eye, and throws it

on the ground. Glo. All dark and comfortless.- Where's my son

Edmund ?
Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature,
To quit this horrid act.
Reg.

Out, treacherous villain !
Thou call'st on him that hates thee: it was he
That made the overture of thy treasons to us;
Who is too good to pity thee.
Glo.

O
my

follies !
Then Edgar was abus'd.-
Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!
Reg. Go, thrust him out at gates, and let him

smell

the overture of thy treasons-) Overture is here used for an opening or discovery. It was be who first laid thy treasons open to us.

His way to Dover.-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.

[Éxit CORNWALL, led by REGAN ;-Servants

unbind GLOSTER, and lead him out. 1 Serv. I'll never care what wickedness I do, If this man comes to good. 2 Serv.

If she live long, And, in the end, meet the old course of death," Women will all turn monsters. 1 Serv. Let's follow the old earl, and get the

Bedlam To lead him where he would; his roguish madness Allows itself to any thing.

2 Serv. Go thou; I'll fetch some flax, and whites

of eggs,

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

[Exeunt severally.

[blocks in formation]

Enter EDGAR.
Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be con-

temn'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 old course of death,] That is, die a natural death,

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 Gloster, 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.

Glo. Away, get thee away; good friend, be gone: Thy comforts can do me no good at all, Thee they may hurt.

Old Man. Alack, sir, you cannot see your way.

Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes; I stumbled when I saw: Full oft 'tis seen, Our mean secures us;o 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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World, world, O world ! But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee,] O world! if reverses of fortune and changes such as I now see and feel, from ease and affluence to poverty and misery, did not show us the little value of life, we should never submit with any kind of resignation to the weight of years, and its necessary consequence, infirmity and death. MALONE.

Our mean secures us;] Mean is here a substantive, and signifies a middle state.

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