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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,
But to the girdle do the gods inherit,5
Beneath is all the fiends'; there's hell, there's dark
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?
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.
6 Look asquint.
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, handy-dandy, 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? 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
Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear;
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 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 come To this great stage of fools;--This a good block 27 It were a delicate stratagem, to shoe
A troop of horse with felt: I'll put it in proof;
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.
You shall have any thing.
Lear. No seconds? All myself?
Why, this would make a man, a man of salt,3
eyes for garden water-pots, Ay, and for laying autumn's dust.
Lear. I will die bravely, like a bridegroom: What? 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 it,
you shall get it by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa.
[Exit, running; Attendants follow.
8 Block anciently signified the bead part of a hat.
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.
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.
How near's the other army?
But, by your favour,
Gent. Near, and on speedy foot; the main descry Stands on the hourly thought."
I thank you, sir that's all.
Gent. Though that the queen on special cause is
Her army is mov'd on.
I thank you, sir. [Exit Gent.
Glo. You ever-gentle gods, take my breath from
Let not my worser spirit' tempt me again
To die before you please!
Well pray you,
Glo. Now, good sir, what are you?
Edg. A most poor man, made tame by fortune's
Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
9 The main body is expected to be descried every hour.
I Evil genius.
The bounty and the benizon of heaven
To boot, and boot!3
A proclaim'd prize! Most happy! That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh To raise my fortunes.-Thou old unhappy traitor, Briefly 4 thyself remember:-The sword.is out That must destroy thee.
Put strength enough to it.
Now let thy friendly hand
Wherefore, bold peasant,
Dar'st thou support a publish'd traitor? Hence;
Edg. Chill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion.
Edg. Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor volk pass. And ch'ud ha' been zwagger'd out of my life, 'twould not ha' been zo long as 'tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near the old man; keep out, che vor'ye, or ise try whether your costard or my bat? be the harder: Ch'ill be plain with you.
Stew. Out, dunghill!
Edg. Ch'ill pick your teeth, zir: Come; no matter vor your foins.8
[They fight; and EDGAR knocks him down. Stew. Slave, thou hast slain me:-Villain, take my
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body;
2 Blessing. 3 Reward, recompence.
• Quickly recollect the offences of thy life.
• Head. 7 Club. 8 Thrusts.
› Go your way.