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Thus might he pass indeed :-Yet he revives :
What are you, sir ?
Away, and let me die.
Edg. Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, feathers, air,
So many fathom down precipitating,
Thou hadst shiver'd like an egg : but thou dost breathe ;
Hast heavy substance; bleedst not ; speak’st; art sound.
Ten masts at each make not the altitude,
Which thou hast perpendicularly fell;
Thy life's a miracle: Speak yet again.
Glo. But have I fallen, or no ?
Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky bourn:
Look up a-height;—the shrill-gorg'd lark so far
Cannot be seen or heard : do but look
Glo. Alack, I have no eyes.-
Is wretchedness depriv’d that benefit,
To end itself by death? 'Twas yet some comfort,
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,
And frustrate his proud will.
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
Which parted from you?
A poor unfortunate beggar.
Edg. As I stood here below, methought, his eyes
Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses,
Horns whelk’d, and wav'd like the enridged sea ;
It was some fiend : Therefore, thou happy father,
Think that the clearest gods, who make them honors
Of men's impossibilities, have preserv’d thee.
Glo. I do remember now: henceforth I'll bear
Affliction, 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 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.-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 :
When I do stare, see how the subject quakes.
I pardon that man's life.
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.—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. Lear. Read. 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 ? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light. Yet you see how this world goes.
Glo. I see it feelingly.
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, handydandy, 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
obeyed in office.-
Through tatter'd clothes small vices do
Robes, and furr'd gowns, hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks :
Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it.
None does offend, none.
I say, none; I'll able 'em :
Take that of me, my friend, who have the power
To seal the accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes ;
And, like a scurvy politician, seem
To see the things thou dost not.—Now, now, now, now;
Pull off my boots :—harder, harder; so.
Edg. O, matter and impertinency mix'd !
Reason in madness!
Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes.
I know thee well enough; thy name is Gloster :
Thou must be patient; we came crying hither.
Thou know'st, the first time that we smell the air,
We wawl, and cry :- I will preach to thee; mark me.
Glo. Alack, alack, the day!
Lear. When we are born, 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 horses with felt : I'll put it in proof;
Aud when I have stolen upon these sons-in-law,
Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill.
Enter a Gentleman, with Attendants.
Gent. O, here he is; lay hand upon
him.-Sir, Your most dear daughter
Lear. No rescue ? What, a prisoner? I am even
The natural fool of fortune.—Use me well;
You shall have ransom. Let me have a surgeon,
I am cut to the brains.
You shall have any thing.
Lear. No seconds ? all myself?
Why, this would make a man, a man of salt,
To use his eyes for garden water-pots,
Ay, and for laying autumn's dust.
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.
Cordelia learns the unnatural treatment her Father has received from Regan and Gon. eril, and proceeds with her husband, the King of France, and a numerous army, to rescue Lear, and punish her sisters. She finds the wretched old King, in great misery, and entirely bereft of reason. He is conveyed to the French camp. SCENE.-A Tent in the French Camp.-LEAR on a Bed, asleep;
Physicians, Gentlemen, and others attending.
Enter CORDELIA, and Kent.
Cor. O thou good Kent, how shall I live, and work,
To match ihy goodness ? My life will be too short,
And every measure fail me.
Kent. To be acknowledg’d, madam, is o’erpaid.
All my reports go with the modest truth;
Nor more, nor clipp’d, but so.
Be better suited :
These weeds are memories of those worser hours;
I pr’ythee, put them off.
Pardon me, dear madam;
Yet to be known, shortens my made intent:
My boon I make it, that you know me not,
Till time and I think meet.
Cor. Then be it so, my good lord.—How does the king ?
[To the Physician. Phys. Madam, sleeps still.
Cor. O you kind gods,
Cure this great breach in his abused nature !
The untun'd and jarring senses, 0, wind up,
Of this child-changed father!
So please your majesty,
That we may wake the king ? he hath slept long.
Cor. Be govern’d by your knowledge, and proceed l'the sway of your own will. Is he array'd ?
Gent. Ay, madam ; in the heaviness of his sleep: We put fresh garments on him.
Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him ;
I doubt not of his temperance.
Cor. Very well.
Phys. Please you, draw near.
Cor. O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss
Repair those violent harms, that my two sisters
Have in thy reverence made !
Kind and dear princess !
Cor. Had you not been their father, these white flakes
Had challengd pity of them. Was this a face
To be expos'd against the warring winds ?
To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?
In the most terrible and nimble stroke
Of quick, cross-lightning ? to watch (poor perdu :)
With this thin helm ? Mine enemy's dog,
Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
Against my fire; And wast thou fain, poor father,
To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn,
In shorty and musty straw ? Alack, alack !
'Tis wonder, that thy life and wits at once
Had not concluded all.—He wakes ; speak to him.
Phys. Madam, do you ; 'tis fittest.
Cor. How does my royal lord ? How fares your majesty?
Lear. You do me wong, to take me out o’the grave :-
Thou art a soul in bliss ; but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead.
Sir, do you know me?
Lear. You are a spirit, I know; When did you die ?
Cor. Still, still, far wide !
Phys. He's scarce awake; let him alone awhile.
Lear. Where have I been ? Where am I ?-Fair daylight?-
I am mightily abys'd.- I should even die with pity,
To see another thus.- I know not what to say.-
I will not swear, these are my hands :-let's see
I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assur'd
Of my condition.
0, look upon me, sir,
And hold your hands in benediction o'er me ;-
No, sir, you must not kneel.
Pray, do not mock me:
I am a very foolish fond old
Fourscore and upward; and, to deal plainly,
I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.
Methinks, I should know you, and know this man;
Yet I am doubtful; for I am mainly ignorant
What place this is : and all the skill have
Remembers not these garments ; nor I know not
Where I did lodge last night : Do not laugh at me.
For, as I am a man, I think this lady
To be my child Cordelia.
And so I am, I am.
Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, 'faith. I pray, weep not:
If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
I know, you do not love me; for your sisters
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:
You have some cause, they have not.
No cause, no cause.
Lear. Am I in France !
In your own kingdom, sir.
Lear. Do not abuse me.
Phys. Be comforted, good madam ; the great rage,
You see, is cur'd in him : and yet it is danger
To make him even o'er the time he has lost.
Desire him to go in; trouble him no more,
Till further settling.
Cor. Will't please your highness walk ?
You must beal with me :
Pray now, forget and forgive : I am old, and foolish.
[Exeunt LEAR, CORDELIA, Physician, and Attend.
Lear is restored to reason, and aided by the forces of France, makes war against the
Dukes of Cornwall and Albany, whose armies are led on by Edmund, created by them
Earl of Gloster. The King, and Cordelia are defeated, and made prisoners.
SCENE.—The British Camp near Dover.
Enter, in conquest, with drum and colors, EDMUND; LEAR, and COR-
DELIA, as prisoners; Officers, Soldiers, fc.
Edm. Some officers take them away : good guard ;
Until their greater pleasures first be known
That are to censure them.