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Old Man. O my good lord, I have been your te-
mant,and your father's tenant, these fourscore years.
Glo. Away,get thee away; good friend, be gone?
Thy comforts can do me no good at all,
Thee they may hurt.

Old Man. Alack, sir, you cannot see your way.
Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes;
I stumbled when I saw : Full oft 'tis seen,
Our mean' secures us; and our meer defects
Prove our commodities.O, dear son Edgar,
The food of thy abused father's wrath!
Might I but live to see thee in my touch,
I'd say, I had eyes again!

Old Man. How now? Who's there?

Old Man. 'Tis poor mad Tom.

Edg. [Aside.] And worse I may be yet: The worst is not,

Old Man. Alack, sir, he is mad.

Glo. 'Tis the times' plague, when maduren lead

the blind:


Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure;
Above the rest, be gone.


Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parrel that I Come on 't what will.



Glo. Come hither, fellow.

Edg. [Aside] And yet I must.

-Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.
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?

I am worse than e'er I was.

path.-Poor Tom hath been scar'd out of his good wits: Bless thee, good man's son, from the foul iend! Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once ;-of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididance, prince 20 of dumbness: Mahu, of stealing; Modo, of murder; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowng; who since possesses chamber-maids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master!

Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the hea-
ven's plagues

Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched,
Makes thee the happier:-Heavens, deal so still?
Let the superfluous * and lust-dieted man,
That slaves your ordinance", that will not see
30 Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly;
So distribution should undo excess,

So long as we can say, This is the worst.

Old Man. Fellow, where goest?
Glo. Is it a beggar-man?

Old Man. Madman and beggar too.
Glo. He has some reason, else he could not beg.25
the last night's storm I such a fellow saw;
Which made me think a man a worm: My son
Came then into my mind; and yet my mind
Was scarce then friends with him: I have heard
more since:

Glo. Is that the naked fellow?

Old Man. Ay, my lord.


Glo. Then, pr'ythee, get thee gone: If, for my
Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain,
I'the way to Dover, do it for ancient love;
And bring some covering for this naked soul,
Whom I'll intreat to lead me.

As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;
They kill us for their sport.

Edg. How should this be?—

Bad is the trade,that must play the fool to sorrow,
Ang'ring itselfand others. [Aside.]-Bless thee, 35


Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow.

Edg. Poor Tom 's a-cold.-I cannot daub2 it further.


And each man have enough-Dost thou know

Edg. Ay, master.

Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending

Looks fearfully on the confined deep:
Bring me but to the very brim of it,
And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear,
40 With something rich about me: from that place
I shall no leading need.

Edg. Give me thy arm;
Poor Tom shall lead thee.


2 i. e. disguise.

1i.e. moderate, mediocre condition. 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. S. 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, aliàs Weston, a Jesuit, and divers Romish priests his wicked Associates: printed 1693.-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 their devils; lest, 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 slave an ordinance, is to treat it as a slave, to make it subject to us, instead of acting in obedience to it.




The Duke of Albany's Palace.
Enter Goneril, and Edmund.



Gon. Welcome, my lord: I marvel, our mild 5
met,us on the way:-
:-Now, where's your
Enter Steward.

Stew. Madam, within; but never man so

I told him of the army that was landed;
He smil'd at it: I told him you were coming;
His answer was, The worse: of Gloster's treachery,
And of the loyal service of his son,
When I inform'd him, then he call'd me sot;
And told me, I had turn'd the wrong side out:-
What most he should dislike, seems pleasant to
What like, offensive.

Gon. Then shall you gono further. [To Edmund.
It is the cowish terror of his spirit,
That dares not undertake; he'll not feel wrongs,
Which tie him to an answer: Our wishes on the
May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my bro-
Hasten his musters, and conduct his powers;
I must change arms at home, and give the distaff
into my husband's hands. This trusty servant
Shall pass between us: ere long you are like to
If you dare venture in your own behalf, [hear,
A mistress's command. Wear this; spare speech; 30
[Gizing a favour.
Decline your head: this kiss, if it durst speak,
Would stretch thy spirits up into the air :-
Conceive, and fare thee well.

Edm. Yours in the ranks of death.

Gon. My most dear Gloster! [Exit Edmund.
*O, the difference of man, and man!
To thee a woman's services are due;
My fool usurps my body.

Stew. Madam, here comes my lord.
Enter Albany.

Gon. I have been worth the whistle 2.
Alb: O Goneril!

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Whose reverence the head-lugg'd bear would lick,
Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you mad
Could my good brother suffer you to do it? [ded.
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, humanity must perforce prey on
Itself, like monsters of the deep.

Gon. Milk-liver'd man!

10 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, sitt'st still and cry'st,
Alack! why does he so?


Alb. See thyself, devil!

Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
So horrid as in woman".

Gon. O vain fool!



Alb. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for
Be-monster not thy feature. Were it my fitness
To let these hands obey my blood,
They are apt enough to dislocate and tear
Thy flesh and bones:-Howe'er thou art a fiend,
A woman's shape doth shield thee.
Gon. Marry, your manhood now!
Enter Messenger.


Alb. What news?

[dead; Mes. O, my good lord, the duke of Cornwall's Slain by his servant, going to put out

The other eye of Gloster.

Alb. Gloster's eyes?

[morse, Mes. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with reOppos'd against the act, bending his sword To his great master; who, thereat enrag'd, 40 Flew on him, and amongst them fell'd him dead: But not without that harmful stroke, which since Hath pluck'd him after.

Alb. This shews you are above,

You justicers, that these our nether crimes 4550 speedily can venge!-But, O poor Gloster! Lost he his other eye?

Mes. 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.


husband of Goneril, disliked, in the end of the first


'It must be remembered that Albany, the act, the scheme of oppression and ingratitude. 2 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 of wither'd branches in their charms: A fine insinuation in the speaker, that she was ready for the most unnatural mischief; 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 nature by wickedness; thou that hast hid the woman under the fiend.



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Kent. Was this before the king return'd?
Gent. No, since.


Kent. Who hath he left behind him general?
Gent. The mareschal of France, Monsieur le Fer.
letters pierce the queen
Kent. Did your
demonstration of grief?



[my presence; 30|
Gent. Ay, sir; she took them, read them in
And now and then an ample tear trill'd down
Her delicate cheek: it seem'd, she was a queen
Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,
Sought to be king o'er her.

Kent. O, then it mov'd her.

Gent. Not to a rage: patience and sorrow strove
Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
Sunshine and rain at once; her smiles and tears
Were like a better day. Those happy smiles,
That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
What guestswere in her eyes: which parted thence,
As pearls from diamonds dropt. In brief, sorrow
Would be a rarity most belov'd, if all
Could so become it.

Gent. Alack, poor gentleman!

Kent. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you heard not?

Gent. "Tis so; they are afoot.


Kent. Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master
And leave you to attend him: some dear cause
Will in concealment wrap me up awhile;
When I am known aright, you shall not grieve
Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go
Along with me.



A Tent in the Camp at Dover.

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,
35 With harlocks, hemlocks, 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,
-What can man's
And bring him to our eye.-


wisdom do,
In the restoring his bereaved sense?
He, that helps him, take all my outward worth.
Phy. There is means, madain :
Our foster nurse of nature is repose,

45 The which he lacks; that to provoke in him,
Are many simples operative, whose power
Will close the eye of anguish.

Cor. All blest secrets,

All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
Spring with my tears! be aidant, and remediate,
In the good man's distress!-Seek, seek for him;
Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
That wants the means to lead it".
Enter a Messenger.

Mes. News, madam;

The British powers are marching hitherward.
Cor. 'Tis known before; our preparation stands
In expectation of them.-O dear father,

Kent. Made she no verbal question?

Gent. Yes; once, or twice, she heav'd the
name of father'

Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart;
Cry'd, Sisters! sisters!-Shame of ladies! sisters! 50
Kent! father! sisters! What! i'the storm?
i' the night?

Let pity not be believed!'-There she shook
The holy water from her heavenly eyes, [started
And clamour moisten'd' her: then away she 55
To deal with grief alone.

Kent. It is the stars,

The stars above us, govern our conditions;

2 i. e. Let not 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. her outcries were accompanied with tears. such a thing as pity be supposed to exist! The metaphor is here preserved with great know* The same husband and the same wife. ledge of nature; the venom of poisonous animals being a high caustic salt, that has all the effect of fire i. e. the reason which should guide it. upon the part.


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Regan's Palace.

Enter Regan, and Steward.
Reg. But are my brother's powers set forth?
Stew. Ay, madam.

Reg. Himself in person there?
Stew. Madam, with much ado :
Your sister is the better soldier.

Stew. I may not, madam;

My lady charg'd my duty in this business.
Reg. Why should she write to Edmund ? Might|
not you
Transport her purposes by word? Belike,
Something--I know not what--I'll love thee much,
Let me unseal the letter.


[at home? 15
Reg. Lord Edmund spake not with your lady
Stew. No, madam.
Reg. What might import my sister's letter to
Stew. I know not, lady.
Reg.'Faith, he is posted hence on serious mat-20
It was great ignorance, Gloster's eyes being out,
To let him live; where he arrives, he moves
All hearts against us: Edmund, I think, is gone,
In pity of his misery, to dispatch
His nighted life; moreover, to descry
The strength o' the enemy.

Stew. I must needs after him, madam, with my

Reg. Our troops set forth to-morrow; stay with
The ways are dangerous.

Stew. Madam, I had rather


Reg. I know your lady does not love her husI am sure of that: and, at her late being here, She gave strange ciliads, and most speaking looks To noble Edmund: I know, you are of her bosom. Stew. I, madam?


Reg. I speak in understanding; you are, I know
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,
Than for your lady's:-You may gather more".
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.
So, fare you well.

If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.

Stew. 'Would I could meet him, madam!
would shew

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Glo. Methinks, you are better spoken.

Edg. Come on, sir: here's the place :-stand still.-How fearful

25 And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low! [air,
The crows, and choughs, that wing the midway
Shew scarce so gross as beetles: Half way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire'; dreadful trade!
Methinks, he seems no bigger than his head :
30 The fishermen, that walk upon the beach,
Appear like mice; and yon' tall anchoring bark,
Dininish'd to her cock; her cock, a buoy,
Almost too small for sight: The murmuring surge,
That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high:-I'll look no more;
Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight
Topple down headlong.



Glo. Set me where you stand.

[a foot


Edg. Give me your hand: You are now within Of the extreme verge: for all beneath the moon Would I not leap upright 1o.

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 ye well, good sir. [Seems to go.
Glo. With all my heart.


Edg. Why do I trifle thus with his despair?→→ 'Tis done to cure it.

Glo. O you mighty gods!

This world I do renounce; and, in your sights,
Shake patiently my great affliction off:
If I could bear it longer, and not fall
155 To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
My snuff, and loathed part of nature, should

1 Important for importunate. 2 i. e. no inflated, no swelling pride.

3i. e. his life made (Eillade, Fr. a cast, or significant glance of the

dark as night by the extinction of his eyes. eye. Note means in this place not a letter, but a remark. i. e. You may infer more than I have directly told you. "Samphire grows in great plenty on most of the sea-cliffs in this country: it is terrible to see how people gather it, hanging by a rope several fathom from the top of the impending rocks as it were in the air:" Smith's History of Waterford. i. e. her cock-boat, To topple is to tumble. 19 Upright has the same sense as the Latin supinus.




Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him!
Now, fellow, fare thee well.

[He leaps, and falls along.
Edg. Gone, sir? far well,
And yet I know not how conceit may rob
The treasury of life, when life itself
Yields to the theft :Had he been wherchethought,
By this, had thought been past,-Alive, or dead?
Ho, you, sir! friend!-Hear you, sir?-speak!
Thus might he pass, indeed: Yet he revives. 10
What are you, sir?

Glo. Away, and let me die. [feathers, air,
Edg. Hadst thou been aught but Gossomer',
So many fathom down precipitating, [breathe;
Thou hadst shiver'd like an egg: but thou dost 15
Hast heavy substance; bleed'st not; speak'st; art

Ten masts at each make not the altitude,
Which thou hast perpendicularly fallen;
Thy life's a miracle; Speak yet again.


Glo. But have I fallen, or no?

[bourn ':
Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky
Look up a-height;-the shrill-gorg'd lark so far
Cannot be seen or heard: do but look up.

Glo. Alack, I have no eyes.-
Is wretchedness depriv'd that benefit,
To end itself by death? "Twas yet some comfort,
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,
And frustrate his proud will.

Edg. Give me your arm;

Up: So:-How is 't? Feel you your legs?
Glo. Too well, too well.

Edg. This is above all strangeness.
Upon the crown o' the cliff, what thing was that
Which parted from you?

Glo. A poor unfortunate beggar.

The fiend, the fiend: he led me to that place. Edg. Bear free and patient thoughts.who comes here?


Enter Lear, fantastically drest up with flowers, 5 The safer sense will ne'er accommodate Hs master thus.

Of men's impossibilities, have preserv'd thee.

Glo. I do remember now: henceforth I'll bear
Afliction, 'till it do cry out itself,
Enough, enough, and die. That thing you speak of,
I took it for a man, often 'twould


Edg.As I stood here below, methought, his eyes
Were two 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, 40
Think that the clearest gods, who make them

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!— 25 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 [stand. 30 words: they told me I was every thing; 'tis a Youie; I am not ague-proof, [ber: Glo. The trick' of that voice I do well rememIs 't not the king?

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.

Lear. Ay, every inch a king:

35 When I do stare, see, how the subject quakes.
I pardon that man's life: What was the cause?→→

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 lawfu: sheets.

To't, luxury 10, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.45 Behold yon' simpering dame,

Whose face between her forks" presageth snow;
That minces virtue, and does shake the head

1i. e. when life is willing to be destroyed. Thus he might die in reality. We still use the word passing-bell. 'Gossomore, the white and cobweb-like exha.ations that fly about in hot sunny weather. Skinner says, it signifies the down of the sow-thistle, which is driven to and fro by the wind. In Mr. Rowe's edition it is, Ten masts at least. Dr. Johnson says, "Bourn seems here to signify a hill. Its common signification is a brook.-Milton, in Comus, uses bosky bourn, in the same sense perhaps with Shakspeare: But in both authors it may mean only a boundary. 'i.e. the purest, the most free from evil. ' In several counties, to this day, they call a stuffed figure representing a man, and armed with a bow and arrows, set up to fright the crows from the fruit and corn, a crow-keeper, as well as a scare-crow. Lear supposes himself in a garrison, and, before he lets Edgar pass, requires the watch-word. 'Trick (says Sir Thomas Hanmer) is a word frequently used for the air, or that peculiarity in a face, voice, or gesture, which distinguishes it from others. We still say, "he has a trick of winking with his eyes, of speaking loud," &c. Luxury was the ancient appropriate term for incontinence. "That is, according to Dr. Warburton, her hand held before her face in sign of modesty, with the fingers spread out, forky.-Dr. Johnson believes, that the forks were two prominences of the ruff rising on each side of the face.



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