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May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother;
Edm. Yours in the ranks of death.
My most dear Gloster!
Gon. I have been worth the whistle. Alb.
Madam, here comes my lord. [Exit Steward.
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 silver and disbranch
Humanity must perforce prey on itself, Like monsters of the deep.
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,
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
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?
See thyself, devil!
Slain by his servant, going to put out The other eye of Gloster.
Mess. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with re
Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword
Alb. This shows you are above, You justicers, that these our nether crimes So speedily can venge! But, O, poor Gloster! Lost he his other eye! Mess. Both, both, my lord. This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer; 'Tis from your sister.
Gon. [Aside.] One way I like this well; But being widow, and my Gloster with her, May all the building in my fancy pluck Upon my hateful life: Another way, The news is not so tart. I'll read, and answer. [Exit. Alb. Where was his son, when they did take his eyes?
Mess. Come with my lady hither.
Mess. Ay, my good lord; 'twas he inform'd against him;
And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment Might have the freer course.
Gloster, I live To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the king, And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, friend; Tell me what more thou knowest.
Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart;
Let pity not be believ'd!— There she shook
Kent. Was this before the king return'd?
No, since. Kent. Well, sir; The poor distress'd Lear is i'the
SCENE IV. The same.
Enter CORDELIA, Physician, and Soldiers. Cor. Alack, 'tis he; why, he was met even now As mad as the vex'd sea: singing aloud; Crown'd with rank fumiter, and furrow weeds, With harlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers, Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow In our sustaining corn. - A century send forth; Search every acre in the high-grown field, And bring him to our eye. [Erit an Officer.] What can man's wisdom do, In the restoring his bereaved sense?
He, that helps him, take all my outward worth.
In person there?
Reg. Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?
Reg. I speak in understanding; you are, I know it; Therefore, I do advise you, take this note: My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd; And more convenient is he for my hand, You may gather more. Than for your lady's: If you do find him, pray you, give him this; And when your mistress hears thus much from you, I
pray, desire her call her wisdom to her
But in my garments.
Methinks, you are better spoken. Edg. Come on, sir; here's the place;-stand still. How fearful
And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low !
The crows, and choughs, that wing the midway air,
Set me where you stand. Edg. Give me your hand: You are now within a foot Of the extreme verge: for all beneath the moon Would I not leap upright.
Glo. Let go my hand. Here, friend, is another purse; in it, a jewel Well worth a poor man's taking: Fairies, and gods, Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off; Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.
Edg. Now fare you well, good sir. [Seems to go. Glo. With all my heart. Edg. Why I do trifle thus with his despair, Is done to cure it.
To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
Ho, you sir friend: Hear you, sir? — speak! Thus might he pass indeed: - Yet he revives: What are you, sir?
Away, and let me die. Edg. Had'st thou been aught but gossomer, feathers, air,
So many fathom down precipitating,
Thou had'st shiver'd like an egg: but thou dost breathe;
Hast heavy substance; bleed'st not; speak'st; art
Ten masts at each make not the altitude,
Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky
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. Edg. 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 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 them, there I smelt them 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.
Glo. The trick of that voice I do well remember: Is't not the king?
Thou shalt not die: Die for adultery! No:
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? 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.
Glo. What, with the case of eyes?
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 seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar? Glo. Ay, sir.
Lear. And the creature run from the cur?
Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back;
Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear; Robes, and furr'd gowns, hide all. Plate sin with
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!
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks : Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it.
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 it. Nay, an you get it, you shall get it by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa. [Exit running; 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 Which twain have brought her to.
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,
How near's the other army?
Gent. Near, and on speedy foot; the main descry Stands on the hourly thought.
Let not my worser spirit tempt me again To die before you please!
Glo. The king is mad: How stiff is my vile
That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling
SCENE VII. A Tent in the French Camp LEAR on a Bed, asleep; Physician, Gentlemen, and others, attending.
Enter CORDELIA and KENT.
Cor. O thou good Kent, how shall I live, and work,
To match thy goodness? My life will be too short.
Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is 'er-paid.
Cor. Then be it so, my good lord. How does
Phys. Madam, sleeps still.
I'the sway of your own will.
Is he array'd?
Gent. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his sleep, We put fresh garments on him.
Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him;
I doubt not of his temperance.
Very well. Phys. Please you, draw near. — -Louder the musick there.
Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss
O undistinguish'd space of woman's will!
[Exit EDGAR, dragging out the body. In short and musty straw?
Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face
Of quick, cross-lightning? to watch (poor perdu!)