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SCENE, Regan's Palace.
Enter Regan, and Steward.
Stew. With much ado.
Reg. Lord Edmund spake not with your Lady at home?
Reg. Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.
Stew. I muft needs after him, madam, with my letters
may not, madam; My Lady charg'd my duty in this budiness.
Reg. Why should the write to Edmund ? might not you Transport her purposes by word? belike, Something I know not what I'll love thee muchLet me unseal the letter.
Stew. Madam, I had ratherReg, I know, your Lady does not love her husband I'm sure of that; and, at her late being here, She
gave strange ceiliads, and most speaking looks To noble Edmund. I know, you're of her bosom.
Stew. I, madam? Reg. I speak in understanding: you are; I know't Therefore, I do advise you, take this note. My Lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd, And more convenient is bę for my hand,
Than for your Lady's: yoa may gather more :
pray, desire her call her wisdom to her. So farewel. 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, I should thew What party I do follow. Reg. Fare thee well.
SCEN E, the Country, near Dover.
Enter Glo'ster, and Edgar, as a Peasant.
'Edg. You do climb up it now. Look, how Glo. Methinks, the ground is even.
(we labour, Edg: Horrible steep: Hark; do
hear the fea? Glo. No, truly.
Edg. Why then your other senses grow imperfect By your eyes anguish.
Glo. So may it be, indeed.
Edg. You're much deceiv'd: in nothing am I chang'd,
[fearful ** Edg. Come on, Sir, here's the place--stand still. How And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low! The crows and choughs, that wing the midway air, Shew scarce fo gross as beetles. Half way down Hangs one, that gathers samphire; dreadful trade! Methinks, he seems no bigger than his head. The fisher-men, that walk upon the beach, Appear like mice; and yond tall anchoring bark, Diminish'd to her cock; her cock, a buoy Almost too small for fight. The murmuring surge, That on th' unnumbred idle pebbles chafes, Cannot be heard fo high. I'll look no more,
Gle. Let go my
Left my brain turn, and the deficient fight
Glo. Set me, where you stand.
Edg. Give me your hand: you're now within a foot Of th' extream veilge: for all below the moon i Would I not leap upright. ! : brak hand :
1 Here, friend,'s 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 farewel, and let me hear thee going.
Edg. Now fare ye well, good Sir: 3: Seems to go Glo. With all my heart. Tulu Edg. Why do I trifle thus with his despairs 'Tis done to cure it.
Glo. O you mighty gods!. This world I do renounce; and in your sights Shake patiently my great ami&tion off: If I could bear it longer, and not fall To quarrel with your great oppofelefs wills, My snuff and loathed part of nature should Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O'blefs him!.si Now, fellow, fate thee well. (He leaps and falls along."
Edg. Good Sir, farewel. And yet I know not how conceit may rob The treasury of life, when life itself" } Yields to the theft. Had he been where he thought, By this, had thought been paft.-Alive or dead Hoa, you, hear you, friend! Sir! Şir! speak ! Thus might he pass, indeed yet he revives. What are you, Sir ?
Glo. Away, and let me die.
Edg. Had'st thou been aught but goss'mer, feathers, air, So many fathom down precipitating, Thou’d'ft shiver'd like an egg: but thou dost breathe, Haft heavy substance, bleedi not; speak, art found Ten matts at each make not the altitude, (47)
Which (47) Ten mafis attach'd] This is Mr. Pope's reading; but I kaow not from what authority. Mr. Rswe gave it us, ten masts at
Which thou haft perpendicularly fall’n.
Glo. But have I fall'n, or no?
Gle. Alack, I have no eyes.
Edg. This is above all strangenefs.
Glo. A poor unfortunate beggar.
Edg. As I stood here below, methought, his eyes Were two full moons; he had a thousand nofes, Horns welk'd, and wav'd like the enridged sea: It was some ti nd. Therefore, thou happy father, Think, that the clearest gods,who make them honours(48) Of men's impoflibilities, have preservd thee.
Glo. I do remember now : henceforth I'll bear Afiction, '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 thaughts.
Enter Lear, drejt madly with Flowers. But who comes here?
leaft---a poor, dragging expreffion. All the old copies read, as I have restor'd in the text, ten masts at each.
'Tis certain, 'tis a bold phrase, but I dare warrant, it was our author's; and means, ten masts placed at the extremity of each other."
(48) Tbink, that the deareft gods---] This too is Mr. Pope's reading. All the authentick copies have it, clearest gods; i. c. open,
and righteous, in their dealings. So, pur author again, in his Timon; Roots, ye clear beav'ns!
The safer fenfe will ne'er accommodate
Lear. No, they cannot touch me for coining: I am the King himself.
Edg. O thou fide piercing light!
Lear. Nature's above art in that respect. There's your press-money. (49) 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, Barb! (50) i'th' clout, i’ th'clout: hewgh..Give the word,
Edg. Sweet marjoram,
(49) That fellow bandles his bow like a cow-keeper.] Thus Mr. Pope in his last edition; but I am afraid, I betray'd him into the error by an absurd conjecture of my own, in my. SHAKESPEARE refored. 'Tis certain we must read crow-keeper here; as likewise in this passage of Romeo and Juliet ;
We'll have no Cupid hooded with a scarf,
Scaring the Ladies like a crow-keeper. And, it seems, in several counties to this day, they call a stuff'd fi gure, representing a man, and arm'd with a bow and arrow, (set up to fright the crows, and other birds of prey, from the fruit and com; a crow-keeper ; as well as a scare-crow. To fome such figure our au. thor again alludes in Measure for Measure.
We must not make a scare-erow of the law,
Their percb, and not their terror; But Beaumont and Fletcher in their Bonduca have a passage which will excellently well explain our author's reading,
Can these fight? They look
Like men of clouts, set to keep crows from orchards ; (50) O well fown bird,] Lear is here raving of archery, and shoote ing at buts, as is plain by the words i'rb' clout, that is, the white mark they set up and aim at: hence the phrase, to bit the white. So that we must certainly read, O well-fwn, barb! i, e. the barbed, 'or bearded arrow,