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Kent. Now, good my lord, lie here, and rest when you are going, to a most festinate preparaa while.
[curtains : tion; we are bound to the like. Our posts shall Lear. Make no noise, niake no noise; draw the be swift, and intelligent betwixt us. Farewell, So, so; so: We'll go to supper i'the morning : dear sister ;-fareweil, my lord of Gloster. So, so, so.
How now? Where's the king?
Stew. My lord of Gloster hath convey'd hiin Glo. Come hither, friend: Where is the
hence: king my master?
Some five or six and thirty of his knights, Kent. Here, sir; but trouble him not, his wits 10 Hot questrists 2 after bim, met him at gate; Glo. Good friend, I prythee take him in thy Who, with some other of the lord's dependents, I have o'erheard a plot of death upon him :(arms;
Are gone with him towards Dover; where they There is a litter ready ; lay him in 't, (meet
boast And drive toward Dover, friend, where thou shall I'o have well-armed friends. Both welcome and protection. Take up thy 15 Corn. Get horses for your mistress. master;
Gon. Farewell, sweet lord, and sister. If thou should'st dally half an hour, his life,
[Exeunt Goneril, und Edmund. With thine, and all that offer to defend him, Corn. Edmund, Farewell. Go, seek the traiStand in assured loss : Take up, take up;
tor Gloster, And follow ine, that will to some provision
20 Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us :Give thee quick conduct.
Though well we may not pass upon his life Kent. Oppressed nature sleeps :- [senses,
Without the form of justice; yet our power
Reg. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.
Glo. What mean your graces ?-Good my
Corn. Bind him, I say.
[They vind him. Leaving free things', and happy shows behind : Rg. Hard, hard :-O filthy traitor! But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip,
Glo. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none. When griet hath mates, and bearing fellowship. Corn. To this chair bind him :-Villain, thou How light and portable my pain seems now,
shalt find [Regan plucks his beard. When that, which makes me bend, makes the Glo. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done king bow;
Topluck me by the beard.
40 Glo. Naughty lady, When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles
These hairs which thou dost ravish from my chin, thee,
Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your host; In thy just proof, repeals and reconciles thee. With robbers' hands, my hospitable favours 5 What will hap more to-night, safe’scape the king!
You should not rutile thus. What will
you do? Lurk, lurk.
Corn. Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?
[truth. SCENE VII.
Reg. Be simple-answer'd', for we know the Gloster's Castle.
Corn. And what confederacy have you with Enter Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, Edmund, and
[king ? Corn. Post speedily to my lord your husband; Rig. To whose hands have you sent the lunatic shew him this letter :-the army of France is Speak. landed : Seek out the traitor Gloster.
Glo. I have a letter guessingly set down,
[Exeunt servants. Which came from one that's of a neutral heart, Reg. Hang him instantly.
155 And not from one oppos’d. Gon. Pluck out his eyes.
Corn. Cunning. Corn. Leave him to my displeasure.—Edmund, Reg. And false. keep you our sister company; the revenges we Corn. Where hast thou sent the king? are bound to take upon your traiterous father, are Glo. To Dover. not fit for your beholding. Advise the duke, oul Reg. Wherefore to Dover ?
'i. e. States clear from distress. * A questrist is one who goes in search or quest of another. *To do a courtesy is to gratify, to comply with.—To pass, is to pass a judicial sentence.
*i. e. dry, wither'd, husky arms. 5 Favours here means the same as features, i. e, the different parts of which a face is composed. Simple nieans plain. 3 P4
Wast thou not charg'd at peril
Serv. 0, 1 am slain :--My lord, yet you have Corn. Wherefore to Dover ? Let him first an
one eye left swer that.
(the course To see some mischief on him:-0! [Dies. Glo. I'm ty'd to the stake, and I must stand Corn. Lest it see more, prevent it:-Out, vile Reg. Wherefore to Dover?
Thou call'st on him that hates thee: it was he
follies! The winged vengeance overtake such children. Then Edgar was abus'd. Corn. See it shalt thou never :-Fellows, hold Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him! the chair:
Reg. Go,thrust him out at gates, and let himsmell Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot. His
way to Dover.-—How is't, my lord? How [Gloster is held down, while Cornwall treads 20
look you? out one of his eyes.
Corn. I have receiv'da hurt:--Follow me, lady... Glo. He, that will think to live’till he be old, Turn out that eyeless villain;-throw this slave Give me some help:-O cruel! O ye gods ! Upon the dunghill -Regan, I bleed apace:
Reg. One side will mock another; the other too. Untimely comes this hurt: Give me your arm.
25 [Exit Cornwall, led by Regan,
--Servants lead Sero, Hold your hand, my lord:
Gloster out. I have serv'd you ever since I was a child;
1st Serv. I'll never care what wickedness I do, But better service have I never done you, If this man come to good. Than now to bid you hold.
2d Sero. If she live long, Reg. How now, you dog?
130 And, in the end, meet the old course of death, Sero. If you did wear a beard upon your chin, Women will all turn monsters.
(Bedlam I'd shakeit on this quarrel: What do you mean? 1st Serv. Let's follow the old earl, and get the
Corn. My villain'! [Draws, and runs at him. To lead him where he would; his roguish madness Sero. Nay, then come on, and take the chance Allows itself to any thing.
of anger. [Fight; Cornwall is wounded. 35 2d Serv. Go thou; I'll fetch some fax, and Reg-[Toanother servant.]Give me thy sword.—
whites of eggs, A peasant stand up thus!
To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help [Comes behind, and kills him.
The lamentable clange is from the best ;
The worst returns to laughter. Welcome then,
Thou unsubstantial air, that I embrace !
The wretch, that thou hast blown unto the worst, Idg. YET better thus, and known to be con- 50 Owes nothing tothyblasts. ---But who coines here? temn'd,
Enter Gloster, led by an old man.
*i. e. the running of the dogs upon me. ?i. e, yielded, submitted to the necessity of the occasion. Villain is here perhaps used in its original sense of one in servitude.
- Thé sense of this obscure passage is, O world! so much are human minds captivated with thy pleasures, that were it not for those successive miseries, each worse than the other, which overload the scenes of life, we should never be willing to submit to death, though the infirmities of old age would teach us to choose it as a proper asylun. Besides, by uninterrupted prosperity, which leaves the mind at ease, the body would gruerally preserve such a state of vigour as to bear up long against the decays of time. These are the two reason, it is supposed, why he said, “Life would not yield to age.” And how much the pleasures of the boc': prrvert the mind's judgement, and the perturbations of the mind disorder the body's fiame, is known'to all.
Old Man. O my good lord, I have been your te- Old Man. Alack, sir, he is mad. nant,andyour father'stenant,these fourscore years. Glo. 'Tis the times' plague, when madmen lead Glo. Away, get thee away; good friend, be gone:
the blind: Thy comforts can do me no good at all, Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure; Thee they may hurt.
5 Above the rest, be gone.
[have, Old Man. Alack, sir, you cannot see your way. Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parrel that I Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes;
Come on't what will.
[Exit. I stumbled when I saw : Full oft 'tis geen,
Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow. Our mean'secures us; and our nieer defects Edg. Poor Tom 's a-cold.—I cannot daub? it Prove our commodities.—0, dear son Edgar, 101
[Aside. The food of thy abused father's wrath!
Glo. Come hither, fellow. Might I but live to see thee in my touch,
Edg: [ Aside. ] And yet I must. I'd say, I had eyes again!
-Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed. Old Man. How now? Who's there?
Glo. Know'st thou the way to Dover? Edg. (Aside.] O Gods! Who is't can say, I am 15 Edg. Both stile and gate, horse-way and footat the worst?
path. ---Poor Tom hath been scar'd out of his good I am worse than e'er I was.
wits: Bless thee, good man's son, from the foul Old Man. 'Tis poor mad Tom.
friend! Five fiends have been in poor Tom at Edg. (Aside.) And worse I may be yet: The ponce ;-of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididance, prince worst is not,
120 of dumbness: Mahu, of stealing; Modo, of murSo long as we can say, This is the worst. der'; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowOld Man. Fellow, where goest?
ing; who since possesses chamber-maids and waitGlo. Is it a beggar-man?
ing-women'. So, bless thee, master! Old Man, Madman and beggar too.
Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaGlo. He has some reason, else he could not beg:|25
ten's plagnes I’ the last night's storm I such a fellow saw; Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched, Which made me think a man a worm: My son Makes thee the happier:—Heavens, deal so stilli Came then into my mind; and yet my mind
Let the superfluous* and lust-dicted man, Was scarce then friends with him: I have heard That slaves your ordinance', that will not see more since:
30 Because he doth not feel, fecl your power quickly; As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods; So distribution should undo excess, They kill us for their sport.
And each man have enough.-Dost thou know Edg. How should this be?
Dover? Bad is the trade, that must play the fool to sorrow, Edg. Ay, master. Angʻring itself and others. [ Aside.] -Bless thee, 35 Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending master!
head Gto. Is that the naked fellow?
Looks fearfully on the confined deep: Old Man. Ay, my lord.
[sake, Bring me but to the very brim of it, Glo. Then, pr’ythee, get thee gone: If, for my And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear, Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain, 140 With something rich about me: from that place P'the way to Dover, do it for ancient love; I shall no leading need. And bring some covering for this naked soul, Edg. Give me thy arm; Whom l'il intreat to lead me.
Poor Tom shall lead thee.
[Ereunt. 'i.e. moderate, mediocre condition. ? i.e. disguise. Shakspeare has made Edgar, in his feigned distraction, frequently allude to a vile imposture of some English jesuits, at that time much the subject of conversation; the history of it having been just then composed with great art and vigour of style and composition by Dr. $. Harsenet, afterwards archbishop of York, by order of the privy-council, in a work intitled, A Declaration of egregious Popish Impostures to withdraw her Majesty's Subjects from their Allegiance, &c. practised by Edmunds, alias Weston, a Jesuit, and divers Romish priests his wicked Associates : printed 1603.—The imposture was in substance this: While the Spaniards were preparing their armado against England, the jesuits were here busy at work to promote it, by making converts : one method they employed was to dispossess pretended demoniacs; by which artifice they made several hundred converts amongst the common people. The principal scene of this farce was laid in the family of one Mr. Edmund Peckham, a Roman-catholic, where Marwood, a servant of Anthony Babington's (who was afterwards executed for treason), Trayford, an attendant upon Mr. Peckham, and Sarah and Friswood Williams, and Anne Smith, three chamber-maids in that family, came into the priest's hands for cure. But the discipline of the patients was so long and severe, and the priests so elate and careless with their success, that the plot was discovered on the confession of the parties concerned, and the contrivers of it deservedly punished.—The five devils here mentioned, are the names of five of those who were made to act in this farce upon the chamber-maids and waiting-women; and they were generally so ridiculously nick-named, that Harsenet has one chapter on the strange names of iheir derils; test, says he, meeting them otherwise by chance, you mistake them for the names of tapsters or jugglers. Superfluous is here used for one living in abundance. *To slace an ordinance, is to treat it as a slave, to make it subject to us, instead of acting in obedience to it.
Whose reverence the head-luggʻd bear would lick, The Duke of Albany's Palace.
Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you mad
Could my good brother suffer you to do it? (ded. Enter Goneril, and Edmund.
A man, a prince, by him so benefited: Gon. Welcome, my lord i I marvel, our mild 5 in that the heavens do not their visible spirits husband'
[master? Send quickly down to tame these vile offences, Not met us on the way :-Now, where's your Twill come, humanity must perforce prey on Enter Steward.
Itself, like monsters of the deep '. Stew. Madam; within; but never man so Gon. Milk-liver'd man! chang'd:
10 That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs; I told him of the army that was landed;
Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning He smild at it: I told him you were coming; Chine honour from thy suffering; that not know'st, Hisanswer was, The zuorse: of Gloster's treachery, Fools do those villains pity, who are punish'd And of the loyal service of his son,
Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy When I infori'd him, then he callid me sot; 15
drum? And told me, I had turn'd the wrong side out :- France spreads his banners in our noiseless land; What most he should dislike, seems pleasant to With pl. med helm thy slayer' begins threats; What like, offensive.
[him; Whilst thou, a moral fool, sitt'st still and cry'st, Gon. Then shall you go no further. [To Edmund. Alack ! why does he so? It is the cowish terror of his spirit,
20 Alb. See thyself, devil ! That dares not undertake; he'll not feel wrongs, Proper deformity seems not in the fiend Which tie him to an answer: Our wishes on the So horrid as in woman'. way, [ther; Gon. () vain fool !
[shame, May prove effects. Back, Edınund, to my bro- Alb. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing', for Hasten his musters, and conduct his powers; 25 Be-monster not thy feature. Were it my fitness I must change arms at home, and give the distaff To let these hands obey my blood, Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant They are apt enough to dislocate and tear Shall pass between us: ere long you are like to Thy flesh and bones : Howe'er thou art a fiend, If you dare venture in your own behalf, [hear, A woman's shape doth shield thee. A inistress's coinmand. Wear this; spare speech; 30 Gon. Marry, your manhood now! [Giving a favour.
Enter Messenger. Decline your head: this kiss, if it durst speak, Alb. What news?
[dead; Would stretch thy spirits up into the air:
Nies. O, my good lord, the duke of Cornwall's Conceive, and fare thee well.
Slain by his servant, going to put out Edm. Yours in the ranks of death.
1351 he other eye of Gloster. Gon. My most dear Gloster! [Exit Edmund. Alb. Gloster's eyes?
(morse, 0, the dinterence of man, and man!
Mes. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with seTo thee a woman's services are due;
Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword My fool usurps my body.
To his great master; who, thereat enrag'd, Stew. Madam, here comes my lord.
40 Flew on him, and amongst them fell’d him dead: Enter Albany.
But not without that harmful stroke, which since Gon. I have been worth the whistle ?
Hath pluck'd him after. Alb. () Goneril!
Alb. This shews you are above, You are not worth the dust which the rude wind You justicers, that these our nether crimes Blows in your face.--I fear your disposition : 45.50 speedily can venge!-But, O poor Gloster! That nature, which contemns its origin,
Lost he his other eye? Cannot be border'd certain ' in itself;
Mes. Both, both, my lord. She that herself will sliver and disbranch This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer; From her maternai sap, perforce must wither, 'Tis from your sister. And come to deadly use *.
Gon. [Aside.] One way I like this well; Gon. No more; the text is foolish.
But being widow, and my Gloster with her, Alh. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile: May all the building in my fancy pluck Filths savour but themselves. What haveyou done? Upon my hateful life: Another way, Tygers, not daughters, what have you perform’d? The news is not so tart.--I'll read, and answer. A father, and a gracious aged man,
[Erit. * It must be remembered that Albany, the husband of Goneril, disliked, in the end of the first act, the scheme of oppression and ingratitude. ? This expression is a proverbial one. Certain, for within the bounds that nature prescribes. * Alluding to the use that witches and enchanters are said to make ot wither'd brunches in their charms: A fine insinuation in the speaker, that she was ready for the most unnatural inischief; and a preparative of the poet to her plotting with the bastard against her husband's life. • Fishes are the only animals that are known to prey upon their own species. • i.e. Diabolic qualities appear not so horrid in the devil to whom they belong, as in woman who unnaturally assumes them. By self-cover'd, our author probably means, Thou that hast disguised pature by wickedness; thou that hast hid the woman under the fiend.
Alb. Where was his son, when they did take Else one self máte and mate* could not beget his eyes?
Such different issues. You spoke not with her Mes. Come with my lady hither.
[since? Alb. He is not here.
Kent. Was this before the king return'd? Mes. No, my good lord; I met him back again. 5 Gent. No, since.
[town: Alb. Knows he the wickedness?
Kent. Well, sir; the poor distressed Lear is i' the Mes. Ay; iny good lord; 'twas he inform’d Who sometimes, in bis better tune, remembers against him;
[ment What we are come about, and by no means And quit the house on purpose, that their punish- Will yield to see his daughter. Might have the freer course.
10 Gent. Why, good sir? [own unkindness, Alb. Gloster, I live
Kent. A sovereign slame so elbows him: his To thank thee for the love thou shew'dst the king, That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her. - And to revenge thine eyes.—Come hither, triend; To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights Tell me what more thou knowest:
[Exeunt. To his dog-hearted daughters,—these things sting
15 His mind so venomously, that burning shame, SCENE 111.
Detains him from Cordelia.
Gent. Alack, poor gentleman !
Kent. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you Kent. Why the king of France is so suddenly
Kent. Well, sir, l’ll bring you to our inastef
Along with me.
[Excunt. Kent. Who hath he left behind him general? Gent. The mareschal of France, Monsieur le Fer.
SCENE IV. Kent. Did your letters pierce the queen
A Tent in the Camp at Dover.
Gent. Ay; sir; she took them, read them in Enter Cordelia, Physician, and Soldiers.
Crown'd with rank fumiter, and furrow weeds, Sought to be king o'er her.
35 With harlocks, hemlocks, nettles, cuckoo-flowers, Kent. O, then it mov'd her.
Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow Gent. Not to a rage: patience and sorrow strove In our sustaining corn.—A century send forth; Whoshould express her goodliest. You have seen Search every acre in the high-grown field, Sunshine and rain at once : her smiles and tears And bring him to our eye.
-What can man's Were like a better day!: Those happy smiles, 40
wisdom do, That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know In the restoring his bereaved sense? What guestswere in her eyes: which parted thence, He, that helps him, take all my outward worth. As péarls from diamonds dropt. In brief, sorrow Phy. There is means, madam: Would be a rarity most belov’d, if all
Our foster nurse of nature is repose, Could so become it.
45 The which he lacks; that to provoke in him, Kent. Made she no verbal question?
Are many simples operative, whose power Gent. Yes; once, or twice, she heav'd the Will close the eye of anguish. name of father
Cor. All blest secrets, Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart;
All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth, Cry'd, Sisters! sisters! Shame of ladies ! sisters ! 50 Spring with my tears ! be aidant, and remediate, • Kent! father! sisters! What! i' the storin: In the good man's distress !—Seek, seek for him; i'the night?
Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
Enter a Messenger.
The British powers are marching hitherward. Kent. It is the stars,
Cor. 'Tis known before; our preparation stands The stars above us, govern our conditions; In expectation of them.- dear father,
"A better day is the best day, and the best day is a day most favourable to the productions of the earth.-Such are the days in which there is a due mixture of rain and sunshine. ? i. e. Let not such a thing as pity be supposed to exist! 3 i.e. her outcries were accompanied with tears. * The same husband and the same wife. 5 The metaphor is here preserved with great knowledge of nature; the venom of poisonous animals being a high caustic salt, that has all the effect of fire upon the part. : i. e, the reason which should guide it.