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To temper clay-Ha! is it come to this?
Let it be so:-Yet I have left a daughter,
Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable;
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
She'll flay thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find, 5
That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think
I have cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant thee.
[Exeunt Lear, Kent, and Attendants.
Gon. Do you mark that, my lord?
Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril,
To the great love I bear you.

Gon. Pray you, content.-What, Oswald, ho!
You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master.
[To the Fool.
Fool. Nuncle Lear,nuncle Lear, tarry, and take 15

the fool with thee.

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fters: acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you know than comes from her demand out of the letter: If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there before you.

Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, 'till I have deliver'd your letter.

Fool. If a man's brains were in his heels,were't not in danger of kibes? Lear. Ay, boy.


Fool. Then I pr'ythee be merry; thy wit shall not go slip-shod.

Lear. Ha, ha, ha!

Fool. Shalt see, thy other daughter will use thee kindly; for though she's as like this as a crab is like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell. Lear. Why, what canst thou tell, boy? Fool. She will taste as like this, as a crab does to a crab. Thou canst tell why one's nose stands i' the middle of one's face? Lear. No.


hundred knights!

"Tis politic, and safe, to let him keep [dream,
At point', a hundred knights. Yes, that on every 25
Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
He may enguard his dotage with their powers,
And hold our lives at mercy.-Oswald, I say !—
Alb. Well, you may fear too far.
Gon. Safer than trust too far:

Fool. Why, to keep one's eyes on either side one's nose; that what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into.

Lear. I did her wrong * :

Fool. Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?
Lear. No.

Lear. Why?


Fool. Why, to put his head in; not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns with

out a case.

Enter Steward.

What, have you writ that letter to my sister?
Stew. Ay, madam.


Gon. Take you some company, and away to 40
Inform her full of my particular fear:
And thereto add such reasons of your own,
As may compact it more. Get you gone;
And hasten your return. No, no, my lord,

Fool. Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail has a house.

Let me still take away the harms I fear,
Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart:
What he hath utter'd, I have writ my sister;
If she sustain him and his hundred knights,
When I have shew'd the unfitness,---How now, 35 Fool. Thy asses are gone about 'em. The rea-

Lear. I will forget my nature. So kind a father!Be my horses ready?


son why the seven stars are no more than seven, is a pretty reason.

Lear. Because they are not eight.

Fool. Yes, indeed: "Thou would'st make a good fool.

Lear. To take it again perforce'!-Monster! ingratitude!



A Court-yard before the Duke of Albany's Palace. 55
Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool.

Lear. Go you before to Gloster with these let

Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time.

[Exit Steward. 45 Lear. How's that?

This milky gentleness, and course of yours,
Though I condemn it not, yet, under pardon,
You are much more at task for want of wisdom,
Than prais'd for harmful mildness. [tell;

Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot 50 mad!-
Striving to better, oft' we mar what's well.
Gon. Nay, then-

Alb. Well, well; the event.


Fool. Thou should'st not have been old before thou hadst been wise.

Lear. O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven! Keep me in temper; I would not be

Enter a Gentleman.
How now? are the horses ready?
Gent. Ready, my lord.
Lear. Come, boy.

Fool. She that's a maid now, and laughs at my
Shall not be a maid long unless things be cut

At point, probably means completely armed, and consequently ready at appointment or command on the slightest notice. That is, Unite one circumstance with another, so as to make a consistent account. To be at task, is to be liable to reprehension and correction. musing on Cordelia. He is meditating on his daughter's having in so violent a manner deprived him of those privileges which before she had agreed to grant him.

• He is



Glo. But where is he?
Edm. Look, sir, 1 bleed.
Glo. Where is the villain,


Edm. Fled this way, sir. When by no means he could[means, what Glo. Pursue him, ho!-Go after.--By no Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your lordBut that I told him, the revenging gods [ship 'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend; 10 Spoke, with how manifold and strong a bond The child was bound to the father;-Sir, in fine, Seeing how lothly opposite I stood


A Castle belonging to the Earl of Gloster. Enter Edmund and Curan, meeting. Edm. SAVE thee, Curan.


Cur. And you, sir. I have been with your father; and given him notice, that the duke of Cornwall, and Regan his dutchess, will be here with him to-night.

Edm. How comes that?

Cur. Nay, I know not: You have heard of the news abroad; I mean the whisper'd ones, for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments 1?

Edm. Not 1; Pray you, what are they?

To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion,
With his prepared sword, he charges home

Cur. Have you heard of no likely wars toward, 15 My unprovided body, lanc'd mine arm: 'twixt the dukes of Cornwall and Albany?

Edm. Not a word.

But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to the encounter,
Or whether-gasted' by the noise I made,
Full suddenly he fled.

Glo. Let him fly far:

Not in this land shall he remain uncaught; [ter,
And found--Dispatch.-The noble duke my mas-
My worthy arch and patron comes to-night:
By his authority I will proclaim t,

That he, which finds him, shall deserve our thanks,
Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;`
He that conceals him, death.

Cur. You may then, in time. Fare you well, [Exit.


Edm. The duke be here to-night? The better! 20


This weaves itself perforce into my business!
My father hath set guard to take my brother;
And I have one thing, of a queazy question,
Which I must act :--Briefness, and fortune, work!--25
Brother, a word;-descend:-Brother, I say;
Enter Edgar.

My father watches:-O, sir, fly this place;
Intelligence is given where you are hid;
You have now the good advantage of the night:-30I
Have you not spoken 'gainst the duke of Cornwall?
He's coming hither, now, i' the night, i' the haste,
And Regan with him; Have you nothing said
Upon his party 'gainst the duke of Albany?
Advise yourself.

Edg. I am sure on 't, not a word.

Edm. I hear my father coming,-Pardon me :-
In cunning, I must draw my sword upon you:-
Draw: Seem to defend yourself: Now quit you
Yield:-Come before my father;-Light, ho,
Fly,brother;-Torches! torches!-So, farewell.-
[Exit Edgar.
Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion
[Wounds his arm. 45
Ofmymorefierce endeavour: I haveseendrunkards
Do more than this in sport.-Father! father!
Stop, stop! No help?

Enter Gloster, and Servants with torches.
Glo. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?
Edm. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp

Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent, And found him pight' to do it, with curst speech threaten'd to discover him: He replied, "Thou unpossessing bastard! dost thou think,

If I would stand against thee, would the reposal "Of any trust, virtue, or worth, in thee [deny, "Make thy words faith'd? No: what I should 35" (As this I would; ay, though thou didst


proMy very character) I'd turn it all [duce "To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice: "And thou must make a dullard of the world, "If they not thought the profits of my death Were very pregnant and potential spurs "To make thee seek it." [Trumpets within. Glo. O strange, fasten'd villain! [him Would he deny his letter, said he?—I never got Hark, the duke's trumpets! I know not why he


All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape;
The duke must grant me that: besides, his picture
I will send far and near, that all the kingdom
May have due note of him: and of my land,
50 Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means
To make thee capable'.

sword out,

Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
To stand his auspicious mistress :-

Enter Cornwall, Regan, and Attendants. Corn. How now, my noble friend? since I came hither,





1 Ear-kissing arguments means, that they are yet in reality only whisper'd ones. means delicate; what requires to be handled nicely. i. e. frighted. i. e. chief; a word now used only in composition, as arch-angel, arch-duke. is severe, harsh, vehemently angry, legal bar of thy illegitimacy.

Pight is pitch'd, fixed, settled. • Curst 7i. e. capable of succeeding to my land, notwithstanding the


(Which I can call but now) I have heard strange Your graces are right welcome.


Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short,
Which can pursue the offender. How does my lord?
Glo. O, madam, my old heart is crack'd, is 5
Reg. What, did my father's godson seek your
He whom my father nam'd? your Edgar?
Glo. O, lady, lady, shame would have it hid!
Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous 10
That tend upon my father?


Glo. I know not, madam:
It is too bad, too bad.-

Edm. Yes, madam, he was of that consort.
Reg.No marvel then, though he were ill affected; 15
'Tis they have put him on the old man's death,
To have the expence and waste of his revenues.
I have this present evening from my sister [tions,
Been well inform'd of them; and with such cau-
That, if they come to sojourn at my house,
I'll not be there.


Corn. Nor I, assure thee, Regan.-
Edmund, I hear that you have shewn your father
A child-like office.


Edm. I shall serve you, sir,

Truly, however else."

Glo. For him I thank your grace.

Corn. You know not why we came to visit you. 40
Reg. Thus out of season; threading dark-ey'd


Occasions, noble Gloster, of some prize,
Wherein we must have use of your advice:
Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
Of differences, which I best thought it fit [gers
To answer from our home '; the several messen-
From hence attend dispatch. Our good old friend,
Lay comforts to your bosom; and bestow
Your needful counsel to our businesses,
Which crave the instant use.

Glo. I serve you, madam:

Enter Kent and Steward severally.
Stew. Good even to thee, friend: Art of this
Kent. Av.

Stew. Where may we set our horses?
Kent. I' th' mire.

Stew. Pr'ythee, if thou love me, tell me.
Kent. I love thee not.

Stew. Why then I care not for thee. Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury' pinfold, I would make thee care for me.

Stew. Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.

Kent. Fellow, I know thee.

Stew. What dost thou know me for?

Kent. A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, threesuited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking' knave; a lily-liver'd, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that would'st be a bawd, in way of good service, and 25 art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mungrel bitch; one whom I will beat into cla mourous whining, if thou deny'st the least syllable of thy addition.


Edm. 'Twas my duty, sir.

Glo. He did bewray his practice'; and receiv'd This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him, Corn. Is he pursu'd?

Glo. Ay, my good lord.

Stew. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail on one, that is neither known thee, or knows thee?

Corn. If he be taken, he shall never more Be fear'd of doing harm: make your own purpose, Howinmystrengthyou please.--For you, Edmund, Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant So much commend itself, you shall be ours; Natures of such deep trust we shall much need; 35 tript up thy heels, and beat thee, before the You we first seize on.

Kent. What a brazen-fac'd varlet art thou, to deny thou know'st me? Is it two days ago, since

king? Draw, you rogue: for though it be night, yet the moon shines; I'll make a sop o' the moonshine of you 10: Draw, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger", draw. [Drawing his sword.

Stew. Away; I have nothing to do with thee. Kent. Draw, you rascal: you come with letters against the king; and take vanity the puppet's part, against the royalty of her father: Draw, you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your shanks:-draw, 45 you rascal; come your ways.

Stew. Help, ho! murder! help!

Kent. Strike, you slave; stand, rogue, stand; you neat slave 12, strike. [Beating him.

Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder! 50 Enter Edmund, Cornwall, Regan, Gloster, and Sercants.

Edm. How now? What's the matter? Part.

? Prize,

Shakspeare for insidious mischief.

1i. c. discover, betray.—Practice is always used by or price, for value. i. e. not at home, but at some other place. * Lipsbury pinfold may be a cant expression importing the same as Lob's Pound. 5 Three-suited knave might mean, in an age of ostentatious finery like that of Shakspeare, one who had no greater change of raiment than three suits would furnish him with. A hundred-pound gentleman is a term of reproach. A worstedstocking knare is another term of reproach.-The stockings in England, in the reign of queen Eliza, beth, were remarkably expensive, and scarcely any other kind than silk were worn, even by those who had not above forty shillings a year wages. Lily-liver'd is cowardly; white-blooded and white-liver'd are still in vulgar use. " i. e. titles. 10 This is equivalent to our modern phrase of making the sun shine through any one. "Barber-monger may mean deuler in the lower tradesmen: a slur upon the steward, as taking fees for a recommendation to the business of the family. acut slave, incans no more than you finical rascal, you who are an assemblage of foppery and poverty,


12 You


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Kent. His countenance likes me not. [or hers
Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, or his,
Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain;
I have seen better faces in my time
Than stand on any shoulder that I see
Before me at this instant.


Kent. Ay, a tailor, sir: a stone-cutter, or a paint-15 er could not have made him so ill, though they had been but two hours at the trade.

You beastly knave, you know no reverence?
Kent. Yes, sir; but anger hath a privilege.
Corn. Why art thou angry?

Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a
Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords' in twain
Too intrinsicate t' unloose: sooth ev'ry passion
That in the nature of their lords rebels;
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege, affirin, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters;
Knowing nought, like dogs, but following.→
A plague upon your epileptic' visage!
Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool?
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
I'd drive you cackling home to Camelot'.
Corn. What art thou mad, old fellow?
Glo. How fell you out? say that.
Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy
Than I and such a knave.

Corn. This is some fellow,

Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth
A saucy roughness; and constrains the garb,
Quite from his nature: He cannot flatter, he!
An honest mind, and plain,—he must speak truth:
An they will take it, so; if not, he's plain. [ness
These kind of knaves I know, which in this plain-
Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty silly' ducking observants,
That stretch their duties nicely 1.

Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel? Stew. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have spar'd

Kent. Sir, in good sooth, or in sincere verity, Under the allowance of your grand aspect, Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire On flickering " Phoebus' front,


At suit of his grey beard,—

Kent. Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary letter!--My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him.-Spare my 25 grey beard, you wagtail?

Corn. Peace, sirrah!

Corn. What mean'st thou by this?

Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you discommend so much. I know, sir, I am no flatterer: he that beguil'd you, in a plain accent, was a plain knave; which, for my part, I will not be, though I should win your displeasure to

entreat me to it.

Corn. What was the offence you gave him?
Stew. I never gave him any:

30 It pleas'd the king his master, very late,
To strike at me, upon his misconstruction;
When he, conjunct, and flattering his displeasure,
Tript me behind; being down, insulted, rail'd,
And put upon him such a deal of man, that
35 That worthy'd him, got praises of the king,
For him attempting who was self-subdu'd;
And, in the fleshment of this dread exploit,
Drew on me here again.

Kent. None of these rogues, and cowards, 40 But Ajax is their fool 12.

Corn. Fetch forth the stocks, ho! [gart, You stubborn ancient knave, you reverend bragWe'll teach you

Kent. Sir, I am too old to learn:

45 Call not your stocks for me: I serve the king;
On whose employment I was sent to you:
You shall do sinall respect, shew too bold malice
Against the grace and person of my master,
Stocking his messenger.

Corn. Fetch forth the stocks:

Corn. Why dost thou call him knave? What's

his offence?



1 Mr. Steevens observes, that Zed is here probably used as a term of contempt, because it is the last Letter in the English alphabet, and as its place may be supplied by S, and the Roman alphabet has it not, neither is it read in any word originally Teutonic. Unbolted mortar, according to Mr. Tollett, is mortar made of unsifted lime; and therefore, to break the lumps, it is necessary to tread it by men in wooden shoes.-This unbolted villain is, therefore, this course rascal. By these holy cords, the poet means the natural union between parents and children.-The metaphor is taken from the cords of the sanctuary; and the fomenters of family-differences are compared to these sacrilegious rats. The halcyon is the bird otherwise called the king-fisher.-The vulgar opinion was, that this bird, if hung up, would vary with the wind, and by that means shew from what point it blew. "The frighted countenance of a man ready to fall in a fit. Camelot was the place where, the romances say, king Arthur kept his court in the West: so this alludes to some proverbial speech in those romances.-In Somersetshire, adds Hanmer, near Camelot, are many large moors, where are bred great quantities of geese, so that many other places are from hence supplied with quills and feathers. i. e. pleases me not. i..e. forces his outside or his appearance to something totally different from his natural disposition. Silly here means only simple, or rustic. 10 i. e. foolishly. "Dr. Johnson, in his Dictionary, says; this word means to flutter. Their fool means here, their butt, their laughing-stock.

As I have life and honour, there shall he sit 'till


Regan. 'Till noon! 'till night, my lord; and all night too.

Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's dog, 5 You should not use me so.


Glo. Let me beseech your grace not to do so: His fault is much, and the good king his master Will check him for 't: your purpos'd low cor


[Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
This shameful lodging.

Fortune, good night; smile once more; turn thy
[He sleeps.

Regan. Sir, being his knave, I will.

[Stocks brought out. Corn. This is a fellow of the self-same colour Our sister speaks of :-Come, bring away the 10

Is such, as basest and the meanest wretches,
For pilferings and most common trespasses,
Are punish'd with: the king must take it ill,
That he, so slightly valu'd in his messenger,
Should have him thus restrain'd.

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,
will preserve myself; and am bethought
To take the basest and most poorest shape,
That ever penury, in contempt of man, [filth;
Brought near to beast: my face I'll grime with
Blanket my loins; elf all my hair in knots2;
20 And with presented nakedness out-face
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 mortify'd bare arms
Pins, wooden pricks', nails, sprigs of rosemary:
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes, and mills,
Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with
Inforce their charity.-Poor Turlygood; poor
That's something yet;-Edgar I nothing am.


Corn. I'll answer that.

Regan. My sister may receive it much more
To have her gentleman abus'd, assaulted,
For following her affairs.-Put in his legs.
[Kent is put in the stocks. 25

Come, my good lord; away.
[Exeunt Regan, and Cornwall.
Glo. I am sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's
Whose disposition, all the world well knows, [thee, 30
Will not be rubb'd, nor stopp'd: I'll entreat for
Kent. Pray, do not, sir: I have watch'd, and
travell'd hard;

Some time I shall sleep out, the rest I'll whistle.
A good man's fortune may grow out at heels; 35
Give you good morrow!

Glo. The duke's to blame in this; 'twill be ill
Kent. Good king, that must approve the com-

mon saw !

Thou out of heaven's benediction com'st
To the warm sun1!


Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
[Looking up to the moon.
That by thy comfortable beams I may
Peruse this letter:-Nothing almost sees miracles,
But misery;-I know, 'tis from Cordelia;
[Reading the letter.
Who hath most fortunately been inform'd
Of my obscur'd course ;—and shall find time
From this enormous state,seeking to give
Losses their remedies;--All wearyand o'er-watch'd,

Earl of 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!

[time? Lear. How! mak'st thou this shame thy pas Kent. No, my lord.

Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters! Horses are ty'd by the heads; dogs and bears by the neck; monkies by the loins, and men by the legs: when a man is over-lusty' at legs, then he 50 wears wooden nether-stocks".

[mistook Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place To set thee here?

That art now to exemplify the common proverb, that out of, &c.; that changest better for worse. Hanmer observes, that it is a proverbial saying, applied to those who are turned out of house and home to the open weather. It was perhaps first used of men dismissed from an hospital, or house of charity, such as was erected formerly in many places for travellers. Those houses had names properly enough alluded to by heaven's benediction.—The sur alluded to, is in Heywood's Dialogues on Proverbs, book ii. chap. 5.

"In your running from him to me, ye runne
"Out of God's blessing into the warm sunne."

? Hair knotted, was vulgarly supposed to be the work of elves and fairies in the night.

3i. e. skewers.

i. e. paltry. To ban, is to curse. Mr. Steevens believes that a quibble was here intended. Crewel signifies worsted, of which stockings, garters, night-caps, &c. are made. ' Over-lusty in this place has a double signification.-Lustiness anciently meant sauciness. old word for stockings.—Breeches were at that time called "men's over-stocks.”

• Nether-stocks is the


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