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I will preserve my self: and am bethought
To take the baseft and the poorest shape,
That ever Penury in contempt of man
Brought near to beaft: my face I'll grime with filth ;
Blanket my loins ; elfe all my hair in knots ;
And with presented nakedness out-face
The winds, and persecutions of the sky.
The country gives me proof and president
Of bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Strike in their numb'd and mortify'd bare arms
Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary ;
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting villages, sheep-coats and mills,
Sometimes with lunatick bans, sometimes with pray’rs,
Inforce their charity ; poor Turlygood! poor Tom!
That's something yet: Edgar 1 nothing am. [Exit.

SCENE changes, again, to the Earl of

Glo ster's Castle.

T

Enter Lear, Fool, and Gentleman, Lear. T IS ftrange, that they should so depart from

home,
And not Tend 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. Ha! mak'st thou thy shame thy pastime?
Kent. No, my lord.

Fool. Ha, ha, he wears cruel garters ; horses are ty'd by the heads, dogs and bears by th' neck, monkeys by th’ loins, and men by th’ legs ; when a man is over-lusty 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.

Kent. Yes.
Lear. No, I say.
Kent. I say, yea.
Lear. By Jupiter, I swear, no.
Kent. By funo, I swear, ay.

Lear. They durst not do't.
They could not, would not do't; ’tis worse than murther,
To do upon respect such violent outrage :
Resolve me with all modest halte, which way
Thou might'it 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 shew'd My duty kneeling, came a reeking Post, Stew'd in his haste, half breathless, panting forth From Gonerill his mistress, falutation ; Deliver'd letters spight of intermiffion, Which presently they read : on whose contents They fummon'd up their meiny, ftrait took horse ; Commanded me to follow, and attend The leisure of their answer ; gave me cold looks ; And meeting here the other meslenger, Whose welcome, I perceiv'd, had poison'd mine ; (Being the very fellow, which of late Display'd so faucily against your Highness) Having more man than wit about me, I 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 Ay that

way. Fathers, that wear rags, Do make their children blind ; But fathers, that bear bags, Shall see their children kind. Fortune, that arrant whore, Ne'er turns the key to th' poor. But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours from Thy dear daughters, as thou canst tell in a year.

Lear.

Lear. Oh, how this mother swells up tow'rd my heart!
Hysterica pasio, down, thou climbing forrow,
Thy element's below; where is this daughter?

Kent. With the Earl, Sir, here within.
Lear. Follow me not; stay here.

[Exit. Gen. Made you no more offence, But what you speak of ?

Kent. None.. How chance the King comes with so small a number?

Fool. An thou hadiť been set i'th' stocks for that queftion, thou'dft well deserved it.

Kent. Why, fool ?

Fool. We'll set thee to school to an Ant, to teach thee there's no lab'ring i' th' winter. All, that follow their noses are led by their eyes, buc 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 runs down a hill, left it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes upward, 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 foo) gives it. That Sir, which serves for gain, And follows but for form, Will pack, when it begins to rain, And leave thee in the storm : But I will tarry, the fool will stay, And let the wise man fly : The knave turns fool, that runs away ; The fool no knave, perdy.

Kent. Where learn'd you this, fool ?
Fool. Not i' th’ Stocks, fool.

Enter Lear and Glo'fter.
Lear. Deny to speak with me? they're fick, they're

weary,
They have travelld all the night? mere fetches,
The images of revolt and flying off.
Bring me a better answer
Glo. My dear lord,

Yon

You know the fiery quality of the Duke :
How unremovable, and fixt he is
In his own course.

Lear. Vengeance! plague! death ! confusion !
Fiery? what fiery quality ? why, Glofter,
I'd speak with th' Duke of Cornwall, and his 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
Wou'd with his daughter speak; commands her service:
Are they inform’d of this? my breath and blood !
Fiery ? the fiery duke ? tell the hot Duke, that
No, but not yet ; may be, he is not well ;)
Infirmity doth still neglect all office,
Whereto our health is bound ; we're not our selves,
When Nature, being opprest, commands the mind
To suffer with the body. I'll forbear ;
And am fall’n out with my more headier will,
To take the indispos'd and fickly fit
For the sound man. Death on my state! but wherefore
Should he fit here? this Act persuades me,
That this remotion of the Duke and her
Is practice only. Give me my servant forth ;
Go, tell the Duke and's wife, I'd speak with them :
Now, presently, bid them come forth and hear me,
Or at their chamber-door I'll beat the drum,
'Till it cry, sleep to death.

Glo. I would have all well betwixt you. [Exit. Lear. Oh me, my heart! my rising heart! but down. Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the Eels, when she put them i' th' Pafty alive ; she rapt 'em o'th' coxcombs with a stick, and cry'd, down wantons, down ; 'Twas her brother, that in pure kindness to his horse butter'd his hay.

Enter Cornwall, Regan, Glo'fter, and Servants.
Lear. Good morrow to you both.
Corn. Hail to your

Grace! [Kent is set at liberty.

Reg. Reg. I am glad to see your Highness.

Lear. Regan, I think, you are; I know, what reason I have to think fo ; if thou wert not glad, I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb, Sepulchring an adult'ress. O, are you free? [To Kent. Some other time for that. Beloved Regan, Thy fifter's naught : oh Regan, she hath tied Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture here ;

[Points to his beart. I can scárce speak to thee; thou’lt not believe, With how deprav'd a quality - oh Regan!

Reg. I pray you, Sir, take patience ; I have Hope, You less know how to value her desert, Than she to scant her duty.

Lear. Say? How is that ?

Reg. I cannot think, my sister in the least
Would fail her obligation. If, perchance,
She have restrain’d the riots of your followers ;
'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesom end,
As clears her from all blame.

Lear. My curses on her!

Reg. O Sir, you are old,
Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of her confine ; you should be ruld and led
By some discretion, that discerns your state
Better than you your Self: therefore, I pray you,
That to our fifter you do make return;
Say, you have wrong'd her, Sir.

Lear. Ask her forgiveness?
Do you but mark, how this becomes the Use? (9)

(9) Do you but mark how this becomes the House ?j This Phrase to me is unintelligible, and seems to say nothing to the purpose: Neither can it mean, as I conceive, how this becomes the Order of Families. Lear would certainly intend to reply, how does asking my Daughters Forgiveness become me as a Father, and agree with common Fashion, the eftablifh'd Rule and Custom of Nature? It seems, therefore, no Doubt to me, but the Poet wrote, as I have alter’d the Text. And that ShakeSpeare employs Vse in this signification, is too obvious to want a Proof.

Dear

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