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naughty night to swim in.-Now a little fire in a wild field were like an old lecher's heart; a small spark, all the rest of his body cold.—Look, here comes a walking fire.
Edg. This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet: he begins at curfew, and walks till the first cock; he gives the web and the pin,' squints the eye, and makes the hare-lip; mildews the white wheat, and hurts the poor creature of earth.
Saint Withold” footed thrice the wold;
Bid her alight,
And her troth plight, And, aroint thee, witch, aroint thee! · Kent. How fares your grace?
Enter Gloster, with a Torch.
Kent. Who's there? What is't you seek?
Edg. Poor Tom; that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the tadpole, the wall-newt, and the water;that in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cow-dung for sallets; swallows the
old rat, and the ditch-dog; drinks the green mantle · of the standing pool; who is whipped from tything
to tything, and stocked, punished, and imprisoned;
Lear. Who's there there? Yone swimminge wa
i web and the pin,] Diseases of the eye.
* Saint Withold, &c.] i. e. Saint Withold traversing the wold or downs, met the night-mare; he obliged her to alight from those persons whom she rides, and plight her troth to do no more mischief. This is taken from a story of him in his legend. Ninefold means her nine familiars.
the wall-newt, and the water;] i. e. the water-newt. * — whipped from tything to tything,] A tything is a division of a place, a district; the same in the country, as a ward in the city. In the Saxon times every hundred was divided into tythings.
who hath had three suits to his back, six shirts to his body, horse to ride, and weapon to wear,
But mice, and rats, and such small deer,
Beware my follower:—Peace, Smolkin; peace, thou
fiend! Glo. What, hath your grace no better company?
Edg. The prince of darkness is a gentleman; Modo he's callid, and Mahu.5 Glo. Our flesh and blood, my lord, is grown so
vile, That it doth hate what gets it.
Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold.
Glo. Go in with me; my duty cannot suffer To obey in all your daughters' hard commands: Though their injunction be to bar my doors, And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you; Yet have I ventur'd to come seek you out, And bring you where both fire and food is ready.
Lear. First let me talk with this philosopher:What is the cause of thunder? :: Kent. Good my lord, take his offer; Go into the house. Lear. I'll talk a word with this same learned
Edg. How to prevent the fiend, and to kill vermin.
Kent. Impórtune him once more to go, my lord, His wits begin to unsettle.
Can'st thou blame him? His daughters seek his death:- Ah, that good
s Modo he's calld, and Mahu.] The names of pretended spirits.
He said it would be thus:-Poor banish'd man!-
[Storm continues. The grief hath craz'd my wits. What a night's
this! I do beseech your grace,Lear.
O, cry you mercy,
Edg. Tom's a-cold.
. This way, my lord. ' Lear.
No words, no words: Hush.
Edg. Child Rowland to the dark tower came,
I smell the blood of a British man. [Exeunt.
o Child Rowland-] The word child (however it came to have this sense) is often applied to Knights, &c. in old historical songs and roniances.
Enter CORNWALL and EDMUND.
house. Edm. How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature thus gives way to loyalty, something fears me to think of.
Corn. I now perceive, it was not altogether your brother's evil disposition made him seek his death; but a provoking merit, set a-work by a reproveable badness in himself.
Edm. How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to be just! This is the letter he spoke of, which approves him an intelligent party to the advantages of France. O heavens! that this treason were not, or not I the detector!
Corn. Go with me to the duchess.
Edm. If the matter of this paper be certain, you have mighty business in hand.
Corn. True, or false, it hath made thee earl of Gloster. Seek out where thy father is, that he may
Edm. for our apprehensiby father is, tha
Edm. [ Aside.) If I find him comforting the king, it will stuff his suspicion more fully.--I will persevere in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore between that and my blood.
Corn. I will lay trust upon thee; and thou shalt find a dearer father in my love.
SCENE VI. A Chamber in a Farm-House, adjoining the Castle.
Enter GlosTER, LEAR, KENT, Fool, and EDGAR.
Glo. Here is better than the open air ; take it thankfully: I will piece out the comfort with what addition I can: I will not be long from you.
Kent. All the power of his wits has given way to his impatience:– The gods reward your kindness!
[Exit GLOSTER. Edg. Frateretto calls me; and tells me, Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.
Fool. Pr’ythee, nuncle, tell me, whether a madman be a gentleman, or a yeoman?
Lear. A king, a king!
Fool. No; he's a yeoman, that has a gentleman to his son: for he's a mad yeoman, that sees his son a gentleman before him.
Leur. To have a thousand with red burning spits Come hizzing in upon them:
Edg. The foul fiend bites my back.
Fool. He's mad, that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath. Lear. It shall be done, I will arraign them
straight:Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer;
[TO EDGAR. Thou, sapient sir, sit here. [To the Fool.]-Now,
you she foxes !
- Pray, innocent,] Perhaps he is here addressing the Fool. Fools were anciently called Innocents.