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Old Man.

'Tis
poor

mad Tom. Edg. [Aside.] And worse I may be yet: The

worst is not,
So long as we can say, This is the worst.

Old Man. Fellow, where goest ?
Glo.

Is it a beggar-man? Old Man. Madman and beggar too.

Glo. He has some reason, else he could not beg.
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.

How should this be Bad is the trade must play the fool to sorrow, Ang‘ring itself and others. [Aside.]—Bless thee,

master! Glo. Is that the naked fellow ? Old Man.

Ay, my lord. Glo. Then, pr’ythee, get thee gone: If, for my

sake, Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain, l' the way to Dover, do it for ancient love; And bring some covering for this naked soul, Whom I'll entreat to lead me. Old Man.

Alack, sir, he's mad. Glo. 'Tis the times' plague, when madmen lead

the blind. Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure; Above the rest, be gone. Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parrel that I

have, Come on't what will.

[Exit. Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow.

Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold. I cannot daub? it further.

[Aside. Glo. Come hither, fellow. Edg. [Aside.] And yet I must.-Bless thy sweet

eyes, they bleed. Glo. 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 the good man from the foul fiend! Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once; of lust, as Obidicut; Hobhididance, prince of dumbness; Mahu, of stealing; Modo, of murder; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing; who since possesses chamber-maids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master! Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the hea

ven's 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 quickly; So distribution should undo excess, And each man have enough.-Dost thou know

Dover? Edg. Ay, master. Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending

head Looks fearfully in the confined deep: Bring me but to the very brim of it,

I cannot daub it-) i. e. Disguise. 6 That slaves your ordinance, &c.] The language of Shakspeare is very licentious, and his words have often meanings remote from the proper and original use. To slave or beslave another is to treat him with terms of indignity: in a kindred sense, to slate the ordinance, may be, to slight or ridicule it. Johnson.

To slave an ordinance, is to treat it as a slave, to make it subject to us, instead of acting in obedience to it.

And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear,
With something rich about me: from that place
I shall no leading need.
Edg.

Give me thy arm;
Poor Tom shall lead thee.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Before the Duke of Albany's Palace.

Enter GONERIL and EDMUND; Steward meeting

them. Gon. Welcome, my lord: I marvel, our mild

husband Not met us on the way :-Now, where's your mas

ter? Stew. Madam, within; but never man so chang'd: I told him of the arıny that was landed; He smil'd at it: I told him, you were coming ; His answer was, The worse : of Gloster's treachery, And of the loyal service of his son, When I inform'd him, then he callid me sot; And told me, I had turn'd the wrong side out:What most he should dislike, seems pleasant to him; What like, offensive. Gon.

Then shall you go no further.

[To EDMUND. 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;

9

Our wishes, on the way, May prove effects.] What we wish, before our march is at an end, may be brought to happen, i.e. the murder or despatch of her husband,

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 hear, If you

dare venture in your own behalf, A mistresses command. Wear this; spare speech;

[Giving a Favour. Decline

your

head:' this kiss, if it durst speak, Would stretch thy spirits up into the air;Conceive, and fare thee well.

Edm. Yours in the ranks of death.
Gon.

My most dear Gloster!

[Exit EDMUND. O, the difference of man, and man! To thee A woman's services are due; my fool Usurps my bed. Stew. Madam, here comes my lord.

[Exit Steward. Enter ALBANY. Gon. I have been worth the whistle.? Alb.

O Goneril! You are not worth the dust which the rude wind Blows in

your
face.--I fear

your disposition:
That nature, which contemns its origin,
Cannot be border'd certain in itself;
She that herself will sliver and disbranch
From her material sap, perforce must wither,
And come to deadly use.

' Decline your head : &c.] She bids him decline his head, that she might give him a kiss (the Steward being present) and that it might appear only to him as a whisper.

· Ï have been worth the whistle.] Goneril's meaning seems to be -There was a time when you would have thought me worth the calling to you ; reproaching him for not having summoned her to consult with on the present critical occasion.

She that herself will sliver and disbranch
From her material sap,] She who breaks the bonds of filial

Gon. No more; the text is foolish.

Alb. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile: Filths savour but themselves. What have you done? Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd? A father, and a gracious aged man, Whose reverence the head-lugg'd bear would lick, Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you madded. Could my good brother suffer you to do it? A man, a prince, by him so benefited? If that the heavens do not their visible spirits Send quickly down to tame these vile offences, "Twill come, Humanity must perforce prey on itself, Like monsters of the deep. Gon.

Milk-liver'd man! That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs; Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning Thine honour from thy suffering; that not know'st, Fools do those villains pity, who are punish'd Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy

drum?
France spreads his banners in our noiseless land;
With plumed helm thy slayer begins threats;
Whilst thou, a moral fool, sit'st still, and cry'st,
Alack! why does he so?
Alb.

See thyself, devil!
Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
So horrid, as in woman.
Gon.

O vain fool!
Alb. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for

shame, Be-monster not thy feature. Were it my

fitness To let these hands obey my blood,

duty, and becomes wholly alienated from her father, must wither and perish, like a branch separated from that sap which supplies it with nourishment, and gives life to the matter of which it is composed.

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