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Our sister speaks of. Come, bring away the
[Stocks brought out.
Glou. 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 purposed low correction
Is such as basest and contemned'st wretches
For pilferings and most common trespasses
Are punish'd with: the king must take it ill,
That he, so slightly valued in his messenger,
Should have him thus restrain'd.


I'll answer that.

Reg. My sister may receive it much more worse, To have her gentleman abused, assaulted,

For following her affairs.

Put in his legs.
[Kent is put in the stocks.

Come, my good lord, away.

[Exeunt all but Gloucester and Kent.

Glou. I am sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's pleasure,

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Whose disposition, all the world well knows,

Will not be rubb'd nor stopp'd: I'll entreat for thee.

Kent. Pray, do not, sir: I have watched 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:
Give you good morrow!

Glou. The duke's to blame in this; 'twill be ill


Kent. Good king, that must approve the common

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tion, etc.; proverbial, for a change from better to worse.

Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
That by thy comfortable beams I may

Peruse this letter! Nothing almost sees miracles
But misery: I know 'tis from Cordelia,
Who hath most fortunately been inform'd
Of my obscured course; and shall find time
From this enormous state, seeking to give

Losses their remedies. All weary and o'erwatch'd,
Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
This shameful lodging.

Fortune, good night: smile once more; turn thy


[Sleeps. 180

SCENE III. A wood.

Enter EDGAR.

Edg. I heard myself proclaim'd;
And by the happy hollow of a tree
Escaped the hunt. No port is free; no place,
That guard, and most unusual vigilance,
Does not attend my taking. Whiles 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 hair in knots;
And with presented nakedness out-face
The winds and persecutions of the sky.

The country gives me proof and precedent

175. shall find time, etc. The most probable solution of the obscurity of this sentence is that Kent weary and o'erwatch'd' fails to complete it (from this enormous state to

deliver us or the like).


176. enormous, abnormal,


10. elf. To mat or tangle the hair was a common form of fairy vengeance or malice.

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, and mills,
Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers,
Enforce their charity. Poor Turlygod! poor Tom! 20
That's something yet: Edgar I nothing am.


SCENE IV. Before Gloucester's castle. Kent
in the stocks.

Enter LEAR, Fool, and Gentleman.

Lear. 'Tis strange that they should so depart

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Makest thou this shame thy pastime ?

Kent. No, my lord. Fool. Ha, ha! 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

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a man's over-lusty at legs, then he wears wooden nether-stocks.

Lear. What's he that hath so much thy place mistook

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They could not, would not do 't; 'tis worse than


To do upon respect such violent outrage:

Resolve me with all modest haste which way
Thou mightst deserve, or they impose, this usage,
Coming from us.

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 haste, half breathless, panting forth
From Goneril his mistress salutations;
Deliver❜d letters, spite of intermission,

Which presently they read: on whose contents,
They summon'd up their meiny, straight took

Commanded me to follow, and attend

24. upon respect, deliberately. 28. commend, deliver.

33. spite of intermission, not



withstanding that they thus put
off their audience of Kent.
35. meiny, household.

The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks:
And meeting here the other messenger,

Whose welcome, I perceived, had poison'd mine,-
Being the very fellow that of late

Display'd so saucily against your highness,-
Having more man than wit about me, drew:
He raised 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 fly 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 the poor.

But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours for thy daughters as thou canst tell in a year.

Lear. O, how this mother swells up toward my

Hysterica passio, down, thou climbing sorrow,
Thy element's below! Where is this daughter?
Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.

Lear. Stay here.

Follow me not;



[Exit. 60

Gent. Made you no more offence but 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

56. this mother; 'the Mother' was a popular, 'hysterica passio'

a learned, name for the disease now known as hysteria.

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