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SCENE II. A Part of the Heath.
Enter EDGAR. Edg. I heard myself proclaim'd; And, by the happy hollow of a tree, Escap'd the hunt. No port is free; no place, That guard, and most unusual vigilance, Does not attend my taking. While I may
scape, I will preserve myself: and am bethought To take the basest and most poorest shape, That ever penury, in contempt of man, Brought near to beast: my face I'll grime with Blanket my loins; elf all my bair in knots; And with presented nakedness outface The winds, and persecutions of the sky. The country gives me proof and precedent Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices, Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare arms Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary; And with this horrible object, from low farms, Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes aud mills, Sometime with lunatick bans, sometime with
prayers, Enforce their charity.-Poor Turlygood! poor
[Erit. scene IV. Before Gloster's Castle.
Enter LEAR, Fool, and Gentleman. Lear. 'Tis strange, that they should so depart
from home, And not send back my messenger. Gent.
As I learn'd, The night before there was no purpose in them Of this remove. Kent.
Hail to thee, noble master! Lear. How ! Mak’st thou this shame thy pastime? Kent.
No, my lord. Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters! Horses are tied by the heads; dogs, and bears, by the neck; monkeys by the loins, and men by the legs: when a man is over-lasty at legs, then he wears wooden nether-stocks. Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place
mistook To set thee here? Kent.
It is both he and she, Your son and daughter.
Lear. No. Kent. Yes. Lear. No, I say. Kent. I say, yea. Lear. No, no; they would not. Kent. Yes, they have. Lear. By Jupiter, I swear, no. Kent. By Juno, I swear, ay. Lear. They durst not do't; They could not, would not do't; 'tis worse than
murder, To do, upon respect, sach violent outrage: Resolve me, with all modest haste, wbich way Thou might'st deserve, or they impose, this
usage, Coming from us. Kent.
My lord, when at their home I did commend your highness' letters to them, Ere I was risen from the place that show'd My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post, Stew'd' in his baste, half breathless, panting
forth, From Goneril his mistress, salutations : Deliver'd letters, spite of intermission, Which presently they read; on whose contents, They summond up their meiny, straight took
horse ; Commanded me to follow, and attend The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks: And meeting here the other messenger, Whose welcome, I perceiv'd, had poison'd mine (Being the very fellow that of late Display'd so saucily against your bighness), Having more man than wit about me, drew; He rais'd the house with loud and coward cries: Your son and daughter found this trespass worth The shame which here it suffers. Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese
fy that way.
Fathers, that wear rags,
Do make their children blind;
Shall see their children kind.
Ne'er turns the key to the poor.-,
heart! Hysterica passio! down, thou climbing sorrow, Thy element's below!- Where is this daughter?
Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.
Follow me not; Stay here.
[Erit. Gent. Made you no more offence than what
you speak of? Kent. None. How chance the king comes with so small a
train? Fool. An thou hadst been set i'the stocks for that question, thou hadst well deserved it.
Kent. Why, fool?
Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no labouring in the winter. All that follow their noses are led by their eyes, but blind men; and there's not a nose among twenty, but can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy hold, when a great wheel rups down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again: I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it. That, sir, which serves and seeks for gain,
And follows but for form,
And leave thee in the storm,
And let the wise man fly:
The fool no knave, perdy.
Re-enter LEAR, with GLOSTER.
they are weary?
My dear lord,
Lear. Vengeance! plague!death! confusion !
wife. Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform’d them
so. Lear. Inform'd them! Dost thou understand
me, man? Glo. Ay, my good lord. Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall;
the dear father Would with his daughter speak, commands her
service: Are they inform’d of this ? -My breath and
(Looking on KENT.
me, VOL. VIII.
Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum,
Glo. I'd have all well betwixt you. [Erit.
down. Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels, when she put them i’the paste alive; she rapp'd 'em o'the coxcombs with a stick, and cry'd, Down, wantons, down : "I'was her brother, that in pure kindness to his horse, butter'd his bay. Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and Servants.
Lear. Good morrow to you both.
Hail to your grace!
[KENT is set at liberty. Reg. I am glad to see your highness.
Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what I have to think so: if thou should'st not be glad, I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb, Sepulchring an adultress.-0, are you free?
[TO KENT. Some other time for that.-Beloved Regan, Thy sister's naught: 0 Regan, she hath tied Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture here,
[Points to his heart.
Say, how is that? Reg: I cannot think, my sister in the least Would fail her obligation: If, sir, perchance, She have restrain'd the riots of your followers, 'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome As clears her from all blame.
[end, Lear. My curses on her! Reg.
0, sir, you are old; Nature in you stands on the very verge of her confine: you should be rul'd, and led By some discretion, that discerns your state Better than you yourself : Therefore, I pray