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Is wretchedness depriv'd that benefit,
To end itself by death? "Twas yet some comfort,
Give me your arm:
Up-So-How is't? Feel you your legs? You stand. Glo. Too well, too well.
This is above all strangeness.
Upon the crown o'the cliff, what thing was that
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
Enough, enough, and die. That thing you speak of,
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 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.
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!—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 words: they told me I was every thing; 'tis a lie; I am not ague-proof.
Glo. The trick of that voice I do well remember: Is't not the king?
Ay, every inch a king:
Thou shalt not die: Die for adultery! No:
Let copulation thrive, for Gloster's bastard son
To't, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.—
Whose face between her forks presageth snow;
The fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to't
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. O, 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; I'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, And my heart breaks at it.
Glo. What, with the case of eyes?
Lear. O, ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? a heavy case, your purse in a light: this world goes.
Glo. I see it feelingly.
Your eyes are in
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 authority: 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 lust'st to use her in that kind
For which thou whipp'st her. The usurer hangs the
Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear;
To see the things thon dost not.-Now, now, now,
Pull off my boots :-harder, harder; so.
Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes
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;
Enter a Gentleman, with Attendants.
Lear. No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even
You shall have any thing.
Why, this would make a man, a man of salt,
Lear. I will die bravely, like a bridegroom: What? I will be jovial; come, come; I am a king,
My masters, know you that?
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: Past speaking of in a king!-Thou hast one daughter,
Who redeems nature from the general curse
Edg. Hail, gentle sir.
Gent. 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.
How near's the other army?
But, by your favour,
Gent. Near, and on speedy foot; the main descry Stands on the hourly thought.
I thank you, sir: that's all.
Gent. Though that the queen on special cause is here, Her army is mov'd on.
Edg. 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!
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
Now let thy friendly hand
Put strength enough to it.
Wherefore, bold peasant,