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(Which I can call but now) I have heard strange


Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short, Which can pursue the offender. How does my lord? Glo. O, madam, my old heart is crack'd, is 5 crack'd! [life?

Reg. What, did my father's godson seek your
He whom my father nam'd? your Edgar?

Glo. O, lady, lady, shame would have it hid!
Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous 10
That tend upon my father?

Gio. I know not, madam:

It is too bad, too bad.

Edm. Yes, madam, he was of that confort.

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Kent. Fellow, I know thee.

Stew. What doft thou know me for?

Reg. No marvel then, though he were ill affected; 15 thee not.
'Tis they have put him on the old man's death,
To have the expence and waste of his revenues.
I have this prefent evening from my fifter
Been well inform'd of them; and with fuch cautions,
That, if they come to fojourn at my house,
I'll not be there.

Corn. Nor I, affure thee, Regan.-
Edmund, I hear that you have shewn your father
A child-like office.

Edm. 'Twas my duty, fir.

Glo. He did bewray his practice; and receiv'd This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.

Corn. Is he pursu'd?

Glo. Ay, my good lord.

Corn. If he be taken, he fhall never more
Be fear'd of doing harm: make your own purpose,
How in my ftrength you please.-For you, Edmund,
Whofe virtue and obedience doth this inftant
So much commend itself, you shall be ours;
Natures of fuch deep truft we shall much need;
You we first feize on.

Edm. I fhall ferve you, fir,

Truly, however elfe.

Glo. For him I thank your grace.

Kent. A knave, a rafcal, an eater of broken meats; a bafe, proud, fhallow, beggarly, three20 fuited 5, hundred-pound", filthy worsted-stocking? knave; a lily-liver'd3, action-taking knave; a whorefon, glafs-gazing, super-serviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting flave; one that would't be a bawd, in way of good service, and 25 art nothing but the compofition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the fon and heir of a mungrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamourous whining, if thou deny'st the least syllable of thy addition".


Stew. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail en one, that is neither known of thee, or knows thee?

Kent. What a brazen-fac'd varlet art thou, to deny thou know'ft me? Is it two days ago, fince 35 tript up thy heels, and beat thee, before the king? Draw, you rogue: for though it be night, yet the moon fhines; I'll make a sop o' the moonhine of you 10: Draw, you whorefon cullionly barber-monger 11, draw. [Drawing bis fword. Ster. Away; I have nothing to do with thee. Kent. Draw, you rafcal: you come with letters against the king; and take vanity the puppet's part, against the royalty of her father: Draw, you rogue, or I'll fo carbonado your thanks :-draw, 45 you rafcal; come your ways.

Corn. You know not why we came to vifit you, 40
Reg. Thus out of feafon; threading dark-ey'd

Occafions, noble Glofter, of some prize 2,
Wherein we must have use of your advice:-
Our father he hath writ, fo hath our fifter,
Of differences, which I beft thought it fit
To answer from our home 3; the feveral meffengers
From hence attend dispatch. Our good old friend,]
Lay comforts to your bosom; and bestow
Your needful counsel to our bufineffes,
Which crave the inftant use.

Glo. I ferve you, madam:


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2 Prize, or

I i. e. difcover, betray. Practice is always used by Shakspeare for infiduous mischief. price, for value. 3 i.e. not at home, but at fome other place. 4 Lipfbury pinfold may be a cant expreffion importing the fame as Lob's Pound. 5 Three-fuited knave might mean, in an age of oftentatious finery like that of Shakspeare, one who had no greater change of raiment than three faits would furnish him with. 6 A bundred pound gentleman is a term of reproach. 7 A worsted flocking knave is another term of reproach. The ftockings in England, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, were remarkably expensive, and scarce any other kind than filk were worn, even by thofe who had not above forty fhillings a year wages. Lily-liver'd is cowardly; white-blooded and white-liver'd are still in vulgar ufe. 9 i. e. titles. 10 This is equivalent to our modern phrase of making the sun shine throug any one. 11 Barber-monger may mean dealer in the lower tradesmen: a flur upon the steward, as taking fees for a recommendation to the business of the family. 12 You neat flave, means no more than yo finical rafcal, you who are an assemblage of foppery and poverty.



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Kent. His countenance likes 7 me not. [or hers.
Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, or his,
Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain;

I have feen better faces in my time

Than ftand on any shoulder that I fee

Before me at this inftant.

Corn. This is fome fellow,

Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect
A faucy roughness; and constrains the garb,

Kent. No marvel, you have so beftirr'd your 10 Quite from his nature 8: He cannot flatter, he! You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee;

A tailor made thee.

Corn. Thou art a strange fellow :

A tailor make a man?

Kent. Ay, a tailor, fir: a stone-cutter, or a painter 15 could not have made him fo ill, though they had been but two hours at the trade.

Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?
Stew. This ancient ruffian, fir, whofe life I
have spar'd

At fuit of his grey beard,

An honeft mind and plain,—he muft fpeak truth:
An they will take it, fo; if not, he's plain. [ness
These kind of knaves I know, which in this plain-
Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty filly 9 ducking obfervants,
That stretch their duties nicely "0.

Kent. Sir, in good footh, or in fincere verity,
Under the allowance of your grand aspect,
Whofe influence, like the wreath of radiant fire
20 On flickering Phœbus' front,-

Kent. Thou whorefon zed! thou unnecessary letter! My lord, if you will give me leave, 1| will tread this unbolted 2 villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him.-Spare my 25 grey beard, you wagtail?

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Who wears no honefty. Such fmiling rogues as
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords 3 in twain
Too intrinficate t' unloofe: footh ev'ry paffion
That in the nature of their lords rebels;
Bring oil to fire, fnow to their colder moods;
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon 4 beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters;
Knowing nought, like dogs, but following.-
A plague upon your epileptic 5 vifage!
Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool?
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
I'd drive you cackling home to Camelot 6.
Corn. What art thou mad, old fellow?
Glo. How fell you out? fay that.
Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy
Than I and fuch a knave.

Corn. Why doft thou call him knave? What's
his offence?

Cern. What mean'ft thou by this?

Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you difcommend fo much. I know, fir, I am no flatterer: he that beguil'd you, in a plain accent, was a plain knave; which, for my part, I will not be, though I should win your displeasure to entreat me to it.

Corn. What was the offence you gave him?
Stew. I never gave him any :

30 It pleas'd the king his master, very late,
To ftrike at me, upon his mifconstruction;
When he, conjunct, and flattering his displeasure,
Tript me behind; being down, infulted, rail'd,
And put upon him fuch a deal of man, that
35 That worthy'd him, got praises of the king
For him attempting who was felf-subdu'd;
And, in the fleshment of this dread exploit,
Drew on me here again.

Kent. None of these rogues, and cowards,

40 But Ajax is their fool 12.


Carn. Fetch forth the ftocks, ho!
You ftubborn ancient knave, you reverend brag-
We'll teach you-

Kent. Sir, I am too old to learn:

45 Call not your stocks for me: I ferve the king;
On whose employment I was fent to you:
You fhall do fmall refpect, fhew too bold malice
Against the grace and perfon of my master,
Stocking his messenger.

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Corn. Fetch forth the stocks :

by S. and the Roman alphabet 2 Unbolted mortar, according to

' Mr. Steevens obferves, that Zed is here probably used as a term of contempt, because it is the laft letter in the English alphabet, and as its place may be supplied has it not, neither is it read in any word originally Teutonic. Mr. Tollett, is mortar made of unfifted lime, and therefore to break the lumps it is neceffary to tread it by men in wooden fhoes. This unbolted villain is, therefore, this coarse rascal. 3 By these boly cords the poet means the natural union between parents and children. The metaphor is taken from the cords of the fanctuary; and the fomenters of family differences are compared to these facrilegious rats. The balcyon is the bird otherwife called the king-fiber. The vulgar opinion was, that this bird, if hung up, would vary with the wind, and by that means fhew from what point it blew. 5 The frighted countenance of a man ready to fall in a fit. 6 Camelot was the place where the romances fay king Arthur kept his court in the Weft; fo this alludes to fome proverbial speech in those romances. In Somersetshire, adds Hanmer, near Camelot, are many large moors, where are bred great quantities of geefe, so that many other places are from hence supplied with quills and feathers. 7 i. e. pleases 8 i. e. forces his outside or his appearance to something totally different from his natural dispo Silly here means only fimple, or ruftic. 10 j.e. foolishly. 11 Dr. Johnson in his Dictionary fays, this word means to flutter. 12 Their fool means here, their batt, their laughing-fuck.

me not. fition.

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Corn. This is a fellow of the felf-fame colour
Our fifter speaks of:-Come, bring away the 10

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A Part of the Heath.
Enter Edgar.

Edg. I heard myself proclaim'd;
And, by the happy hollow of a tree,
Efcap'd the hunt. No port is free; no place,
That guard, and most unusual vigilance,

Does not attend my taking. While I may 'scape,
I will preserve myself: and am bethought
To take the bafest and most poorest shape,
That ever penury, in contempt of man,
Brought near to beaft: my face I'll grime with filth;
Blanket my loins; elf all my hair in knots 2;
20 And with presented nakedness out-face
The winds, and perfecutions of the sky.
The country gives me proof and precedent
Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Strike in their numb'd and mortify'd bare arms
Pins, wooden pricks 3, nails, sprigs of rosemary :
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting 4 villages, fheep-cotes, and mills,
Sometime with lunatic bans 5, fometime with

[Kent is put in the frocks. 25

Come, my good lord; away.

[Exeunt Regan, and Cornwall. Glo. I am forry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's pleasure,

Whofe difpofition, all the world well knows, [thee, 30
Will not be rubb'd, nor ftopp'd: I'll entreat for

Kent. Pray, do not, fir: I have watch'd, and

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Earl of Glofter's Caftle.

Enter Lear, Fool, and Gentleman.

Lear. "Tis ftrange, that they should so depart from home,

And not fend back my messenger.

Gent. As I learn'd,

The night before there was no purpose in them
Of this remove.

Kent. Hail to thee, noble master!

Lear. How ! mak'ft thou this shame thy paftime?
Kent. No, my lord.

Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel 6 garters!
Horfes are ty'd by the heads; dogs and bears by
the neck; monkies by the loins, and men by the
legs: when a man is over-lufty at legs, then he
50 wears wooden nether-ftocks 8.
Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place
To fet thee here?

That art now to exemplify the common proverb, that out of, &c. That changest better for worse. Hanmer obferves, that it is a proverbial saying, applied to those who are turned out of house and home to the open weather. It was perhaps first used of men dismissed from an hospital, or house of charity, such as was erected formerly in many places for travellers. Thofe houfes had names properly enough alluded to by beaven's benediction. The faw alluded to, is in Heywood's Dialogues on Proverbs, book ii. chap. 5.

"In your running from him to me, ye runne
"Out of God's bleffing into the warm funne.”

2 Hair knotted, was vulgarly fuppofed to be the work of clves and fairies in the night. 3 i. e. fkewers. 4 i. e. paltry. 5 To ban, is to curfe. 6 Mr. Steevens believes that a quibble was here intended. Crewel fignifies quorfted, of which stockings, garters, night-caps, &c. are made. this place has a double fignification. Luftinefs anciently meant fauciness. word for fuckings. Breeches were at that time called "men's over-flocks."

7 Over-lufty in 3 Netber-ftecks is the old

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Fool. We'll fet thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no labouring in the winter. All that follow their nofes are led by their eyes, but blind men; and there's not a nofe among twenty but 5 can fmell him that's ftinking. Let go thy hold, when a great wheel runs down a hill, left it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wife man gives thee better counfel, give me mine ro again: I would have none but knaves follow it, fince a fool gives it.

They could not, would not do't; 'tis worse than
To do upon respect such violent outrage':
Refolve me, with all modest hafte which way
Thou might'st deserve, or they impose, this usage, 15
Coming from us.

Kent. My lord, when at their home


I did commend your highness' letters to them,
Ere I was risen from the place that shew'd
My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post,
Stewed in his haste, half breathlefs, panting forth
From Goneril his miftrefs, falutations;
Deliver'd letters, fpight of intermission 2,
Which prefently they read: on whose contents,
They fummon'd up their meiny3,ftraight took horfe, 25
Commanded me to follow, and attend

The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks:
And meeting here the other messenger,
Whose welcome, I perceiv'd, had poison'd mine,
(Being the very fellow which of late
Display'd fo faucily against your highness)
Having more man than wit about me, I drew;
He rais'd the house with loud and coward cries:
Your fon and daughter found this trespass worth
The shame which here it fuffers.

Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geefe
fly that way 4.

Fathers, that wear rags,

Do make their children blind;

But fathers, that bear bags,

Shall fee their children kind.

Fortune, that arrant whore,

That, fir, which serves and feeks for gain,
And follows but for form,

Will pack, when it begins to rain,

And leave thee in the storm.
But I will tarry: the fool will stay,

And let the wise man fly:

The knave turns fool, that runs away:

The fool no knave perdy.

Kent. Where learn'd you this, fool?
Fool. Not i' the stocks, fool.

Re-enter Lear, with Glofter.

Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are fick
they are weary?

They have travell'd hard to night? Mere fetches;
The images of revolt and flying off!
Fetch me a better answer.

Glo. My dear lord,

30 You know the fiery quality of the Duke;
How unremoveable and fixt he is
In his own course.

Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confufion!
Fiery? what quality? Why, Glofter, Glofter,
35 I'd fpeak with the duke of Cornwall, and his wife.
Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform'd them
Lear. Inform'd them! Doft thou understand me,
Glo. Ay, my good lord.


Ne'er turns the key to the poor.---But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours 5 from thy dear daughters, as thou can't tell in a 45


Lear. O, how this mother fwells toward my

Hyfterica paffio! down, thou climbing forrow,
Thy element's below!-Where is this daughter? 50
Kent. With the earl, fir, here within.
Lear. Follow me not; stay here.


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Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall;
the dear father
Would with his daughter fpeak; commands her
Are they inform'd of this ?-My breath and blood!
Fiery? the fiery duke? Tell the hot duke, that-
No, but not yet:may be he is not well:
Infirmity doth still neglect all office,

Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourselves
When nature, being opprefs'd, commands the mind
To fuffer with the body: I'll forbear;
And am fallen out with my more headier will,
To take the indifpos'd and fickly fit
For the found man.-Death on my state! where-
[Looking on Kent.
Should he fit here? This act perfuades me,
55 That this remotion of the duke and her
Is practice only. Give me my fervant forth:
Go, tell the duke and his wife, I'd fpeak with
Now, prefently; bid them come forth and hear

2 Spight of 4 The meaning

That is, to violate the public and venerable character of a messenger from the king. intermiffion means without paufe, without fuffering time to intervene. 3 i. e. people. is, If this be their behaviour, the king's troubles are not yet at an end. 5 A quibble is here intended between dolours and dollars. 6 The word twenty refers to the noses of the blind men, and not to the men in general. 7 Practice is here used in an ill fenfe for unlawful artifice.


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Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum, "Till it cry, Sleep to death.

Glo. I would have all well betwixt you.

[Exit. Lear. O me, my heart, my rifing heart!-but 5 down.

All the ftor'd vengeances of heaven fall
On her ungrateful top! Strike her young bones,
You taking airs, with lameness!

Corn. Fie, fir, fie!


Lear. You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding
Into her fcornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
You fen-fuck'd fogs, drawn by the powerful fun,
To fall and blast her pride!

Reg. O the bleft Gods!

Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels, when the put them i' the paste alive; fhe rapt 'em o' the coxcombs with a stick, and cry'd, Down, wantons, down :' Twas her brother, 10 So will you wish on me, when the rash mood is on. that, in pure kindness to his horfe, butter'd his Lear. No, Regan, thou shalt never have my hay. curfe ;

Enter Cornwall, Regan, Glofter, and Servants.
Lear. Good-morrow to you both.
Corn. Hail to your grace! [Kent is fet at liberty.
Reg. I am glad to see your highness.

Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what

I have to think fo: if thou should'st not be glad,
I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb,
Sepulch'ring an adultress.O, are you free?
[To Kent.

Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give [thine
Thee o'er to harfhnefs; her eyes are fierce, but
15 Do comfort, and not burn: 'Tis not in thee
To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train,
To bandy hafty words, to scant my fizes?,
And, in conclufion, to oppose the bolt
Against my coming in: thou better know'st
20 The offices of nature, bond of childhood,
Effects of courtesey, dues of gratitude;
Thy half o' the kingdom thou haft not forgot,
Wherein I thee endow'd.

Some other time for that.-Beloved Regan,
Thy fifter's naught; O Regan, she hath tied
Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here 2, 25
[Points to bis beart.

I can scarce speak to thee; thou'lt not believe,
Of how deprav'd a quality-O Regan!

Reg. I pray you, fir, take patience; I have hope,
You lefs know how to value her desert,

Than fhe to fcant her duty.

Lear. Say? how is that?

Reg. I cannot think, my fifter in the leaft
Would fail her obligation; If, fir, perchance,
She have restrain'd the riots of your followers,
"Tis on fuch ground, and to such wholesome end,
As clears her from all blame.

Lear. My curfes on her!

Reg. O, fir, you are old;

Nature in you stands on the very verge

Of her confine; you should be rul'd, and led
By fome difcretion, that difcerns your state
Better than you yourself: Therefore, I pray you,
That to our fifter you do make return;
Say, you have wrong'd her, fir.

Lear. Ask her forgiveness?

Do you but mark how this becomes the house 3?
Dear daughter, I confess that I am old:
Age is unneceffary 4: on my knees I beg,

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30 That he would foon be here.-Is your lady come?
Lear. This is a flave, whose easy borrow'd pride
Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows:
Out, varlet, from my fight!


Corn. What means your grace?

Lear. Who stock'd my fervant? Regan, I have

good hope

Thou didst not know on't.Who comes here?
O heavens,

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[Kneeling. 50 That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food." Reg. Good fir, no more; thefe are unfightly

All's not offence, that indiscretion finds,
And dotage terms fo.

Lear. O fides, you are too tough!

Will you yet hold?How came my man is the


Corn. I fet him there, fir: but his own disorders Deferv'd much lefs advancement 10.

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Lear. You did you?

Look'd black upon me; ftruck me with her tongue

Moft ferpent-like, upon the very heart :-


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i. e. probably a cook or fcullion. 2 Alluding to the fable of Prometheus. the order of families, duties of relation. 4 This may mean, old people are useless. 5 i. e. to bumbie to pull down. Hefted, Mr. Steevens fays, feems to mean the fame as beaved. Tender-befted, i. e. whose bosom is agitated by tender paffions. 7 i. e. to contract my allowances or proportions fettled. Sizes are certain portions of bread, beer, or other victuals, which in colleges are fet down to the account of particular persons. 8 i. e. approve. 9 To find means little more than to think. advancement is meant, a ftill wc. fe or more difgraceful fituation; a fituation not fo reputable.

10 By ids


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