Imatges de pÓgina
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pew; set ratsbane by his porridge; made him proud of heart, to ride on a bay trotting-horse over four-inch'd bridges, to course his own shadow for a traitor :- Bless thy five wits! Tom's a-cold.-0, do de, do de, do de.Bless thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting, and taking! Do poor Tom some charity, whom the foul fiend vexes : There could I have him now,--and there,-and there, and there again, and there.

[Storm continues. Lear. What, have his daughters brought him to this

pass? Could'st thou save nothing ? Did'ft thou give them all ?

Fool. Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had been all shamed.

Lear. Now, all the plagues that in the pendulous air Hang fated o’er men's faults, light on thy daughters !

Kent. He hath no daughters, fir.

Lear. Death, traitor! nothing could have fubdu'd nature To such a lowness, but his unkind daughters. Is it the fashion, that discarded fathers Should have thus little mercy on their flesh? Judicious punishment ! 'twas this flesh begot Those pelican daughters.

Edg. Pillicock fat on pillicock's-hill ; Halloo, halloo, loo, loo!

Fool. This cold night will turn us all to fools and mad

men.

Edg. Take heed o' the foul fiend : Obey thy parents ; keep thy word justly; swear not; commit not with man's sworn spouse ; set not thy sweet heart on proud array: Tom's a-cold.

Lear. What hast thou been ?

Edg. A serving man, proud in heart and mind; that curl'd my hair; wore gloves in my cap, served the lust of my mistress's heart, and did the act of darkness with

her; sessa ;

her; swore as many oaths as I spake words, and broke them in the sweet face of heaven: one, that ilept in the contriving of luft, and waked to do it: Wine loved I deeply; dice dearly; and in woman, out-paramour'd the Turk: False of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand; Hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey. Let not the creaking of fhoes, nor the rustling of silks, betray thy poor heart to women : Keep thy foot out of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy pen from lenders' books, and defy the foul fiend.Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind : Says fuum, mun, ha no nonny, dolphin my boy, my boy, let him trot by.

[Storm continues. Lear. Why, thou were better in thy grave, than to answer with thy uncover d body this extremity of the skies.- Is man no more than this ? Consider him well : Thou owest the worm no filk, the beast no hide, the theep no wool, the cat no perfume :-Ha! here's three of us are sophisticated !--Thou art the thing itself: unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art.-Off, off, you lendings Come ; unbutton here.

(tearing of his clothes. Fool. Prythee, nuncle, be contented; this is a naughty night to swim in.--Now a little fire in a wild field were like an old lecher's heart; a small spark, all the rest of his body cold.—Look, here comes a walking fire.

Edg. This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet: he begins at curfew, and walks till the first cock; he gives the web and the pin, squints the eye, and makes the hare-lip; mildews the white wheat, and hurts the poor creature of earth.

Saint Withold footed thrice the wold;
He met the night mare, and her nine fold;

Bid

Bid her alight,

And her trotb plight,
And, aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!
Kent. How fares your grace ?

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Enter GLOSTER, with a torch.
Lear. What's he?
Kent. Who's there? What is't you seek?
Glo. What are you there? Your names ?

Edg. Poor Tom ; that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the tadpole, the wall-newt, and the water; that in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cowdung for fallets; swallows the old rat, and the ditch-dog ; drinks the green mantle of the standing pool ; who is whipp'd from tything to tything, and stock d, punish'd, and imprison'd; who hath had three suits to his back, fix shirts to his body, horse to ride, and weapon to wear,—

But mice, and rats, and such small deer,

Have been Tom's food for seven long year.
Beware my follower :-Peace, Smolkin; peace, thou fiend!

Glo. What, hath your grace no better company?

Edg. The prince of darkness is a gentleman ; Modo he's callid, and Mahu.

Glo. Our fleth and blood, my lord, is grown fo vile, That it doth hate what gets it.

Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold.

Glo. Go in with me; my duty cannot suffer
To obey in all your daughters' hard commands :
Though their injunction be to bar my doors,
And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you;
Yet have I ventur'd to come seek you out,
And bring you where both fire and food is ready.

Lear. First let me talk with this philosopher :-
What is the cause of thunder?

Kent.

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Kent. Good my lord, take his offer; Go into the house.

Lear. I'll talk a word with this fame learned Theban :-
What is your study?
Edg. How to prevent the fiend, and to kill vermin.
Lear. Let me ask you one word in private.

Kent. Importune him once more to go, my lord,
His wits begin to unsettle.
Glo.

Can'st thou blame him ?
His daughters seek his death :-Ah, that good Kent!-
He said it would be thus :-Poor banish'd man!
Thou say'st, the king grows mad; I'll tell thee, friend,
I am almost mad myself: I had a son,
Now outlaw'd from my blood; he fought my life,
But lately, very late; I lov'd him, friend,
No father his son dearer : true to tell thee,

[Storm continues. The grief hath craz'd my wits. What a night's this ! I do beseech your grace, Lear.

O, cry you mercy,
Noble philosopher, your company.

Edg. Tom's a-cold.
Glo. In, fellow, there, to the hovel : keep thee warm.
Lear. Come, let's in all.
Kent.

This way, my lord.
Lear.

With him;
I will keep still with my philosopher.

Kent. Good, my lord, footh him; let him take the fellow.
Glo. Take him you on.
Kent. Sirrah, come on; go along with us.
Lear. Come, good Athenian.
Glo.

No words, no words:
Hush,

F

Edg.

Edg. Child Rowland to the dark tower came,
His word was fill,-Fie, fob, and fum,

I smell the blood of a British man.

[Exeunt.

SCENE V.

A Room in GLOSTER's Castle.

Enter CornwALL and EDMUND.

Corn. I will have my revenge, ere I depart his house.

Edm. How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature thus gives way to loyalty, something fears me to think of.

Corn. I now perceive, it was not altogether your brother's evil disposition made him seek his death ; but a provoking merit, set a-work by a reproveable badness in himself.

Edm. How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to be just! This is the letter he spoke of, which approves him an intelligent party to the advantages of France. O heavens! that this treason were not, or not I the de. tector!

Corn. Go with me to the duchess.

Edm. If the matter of this paper be certain, you have mighty business in hand.

Corn. True, or false, it hath made thee earl of Glofter. Seek out where thy father is, that he may be ready for our apprehension.

Edm. [ Afide.] If I find him comforting the king, it will stuff his suspicion more fully. I will perfevere in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be fore between that and my blood.

Corn. I will lay trust upon thee; and thou shalt find a dearer father in my love.

[Exeunt. 9

SCENE

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