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Is wretchedness depriv'd that benefit,
Give me your arm:
This is above all strangeness. Upon the crown o’the cliff, what thing was that Which parted from you? Glo.
A poor unfortunate beggar. Edg. As I stood here below, methought, his eyes Were too full moons; he had a thousand noses, Horns welk'd, and wav'd like the enridged sea; It was some fiend: Therefore, thou happy father, Think that the clearest gods, who make them honours Of men's impossibilities, have preserv'd thee.
Glo. I do remember now: henceforth I'll bear Affliction, till it do cry out itself, Enough, enough, and die. That thing you speak of, I took it for a man ; often 'twould say, The fiend, the fiend: he led me to that place. Edg. Bear free and patient thoughts.—But who comes
here? Enter LEAR, fantastically dressed up with Flowers. The safer sense will ne'er accommodate His master thus.
Lear. No, they cannot touch me for coiping; 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 nouse! 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.—0, well flown, bird ! i'the clout, i'the clout: hewgh ! Give the word.
Edg. Sweet inarjoram,
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 chalter; 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
Glo. The trick of that voice I do well remember: Is't not the king? Lear.
Ay, every inch a king : When I do stare, see,
how the subject quakes. I pardon that man's life: What was thy cause?Adultery.Thou shalt not die: Die for adultery! No: The wren goes to't, and the small gilded fly Does lecher in my sight. Let copulation thrive, for Gloster's bastard son Was kinder to his father, than my daughters Got 'tween the lawful sheets. To't, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.Behold yon’ simpering dame, Whose face between her forks prcsageth snow; Thai 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, Though women all above : But to the girdle do the gods inherit, Beneath is all the fiends', there's hell, there's darkness, there is the sulphurous pit, burning, scalding, stench, consumption ;-Fie, fie, fie; pah, pah! Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination: there's money for thee.
Glo. 0, 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; l'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,
Lear. O, hó, 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 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 anthority: a dog's obey'd in office. Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand : Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back; Thou hotly lusťst to use her in that kind For which thou whipp'st her. The usurer hangs the Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear; Robes, and furr'd gowns, hide all. Plate sin with gold, And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks: Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it. None does offend, none, I say, none; l'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 thon 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 eyes I know thee well enough; thy name is Gloster: Thou must be patient; we came crying hither. 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 boru, we cry, that we are come To this great stage of fools; -This a good block ?It were a delicate stratagem, to shoe A troop of horse with felt: I'll put it in proof; And when I have stolen upon these sons-in-law, Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill.
Enter a Gentleman, with Attendants.
Lear. No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even
You shall have any thing.
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: Pasl speaking of in a king!—Thou hast one daughter,
Who redeems nature from the general curse
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. Edg.
But, by your favour, How near's the other army?
Gent. Near, and on speedy foot; the main descry
I thank you, sir: that's all.
I thank you, sir. [Exit Gent. Glo. You ever-gentle gods, take my breath from me; Let not my worser spirit tempt me again, To die before you please! Edg.
Well, pray you, father. Glo. Now, good sir, what are you?
Edg: A most poor man, made tame by fortune's blows:
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 thyself remember :-The sword is out That must destroy thee. Glo.
Now let thy friendly hand Put strength enough to it.
[Edgar opposes. Stew.
Wherefore, bold peasant, Dar'st thou support a publish'd traitor? Hence; Lest that the infection of his fortune take Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.