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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.—There's your press-money. That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper:: draw me a clothier's yard. Look, look, a mouse! Peace, peace; this piece of toasted cheese will do't.-There's my gauntlet; I'll prove it on a giant.-Bring up the brown bills. 8 – O, well flown, bird!-;' the clout, i' the clout: hewgh!-Give the word.
Edg. Sweet marjorain.
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:
? That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper:] In several counties, to this day, they call a stuffed figure, representing a man, and armed with a bow and arrow, set up to fright the crows from the fruit and corn, a crow-keeper, as well as a scare-crow.
8 — the brown bills.] A bill was a kind of battle-axe, affixed to a long staff.
90, well-flown, bird !-i' the clout, &c.] Lear is here raving of archery, and shooting at buts, as is plain by the words i’ the clout, that is, the white mark they set up and aim at: hence the phrase, to hit the white.
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? Lear.
Ay, every inch a king: When I do stare, see, how the subject quakes. I pardon that man's life: What was thy cause? Adultery.Thou shalt not die: Die for adultery! No: The wren goes to't, and the small gilded fly Does lecher in my sight. Let copulation thrive, for Gloster's bastard son Was kinder to his father, than my daughters Got 'tween the lawful sheets. To't, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.Behold yon' simpering dame, Whose face between her forks presageth snow; That minces virtue, and does shake the head To hear of pleasure's name; The fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to't With a more riotous appetite. Down from the waist they are centaurs, Though women all above: But to the girdledo the gods inherit, Beneath is all the fiends'; there's hell, there's darkness, there is the sulphurous pit, burning, scalding, stench, consumption ;-Fye, fye, fye! pah; pah! Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination: there's money for thee. 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?
Beliold face be stue, at
1 The trick of that voice-] Trick is a word frequently used for the air, or that peculiarity in a face, voice, or gesture, which distinguishes it from others.
? But to the girdle, &c,] But is here used for only.
Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me? No, do thy worst, blind Cupid; I'll not love.-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.
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. Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand: Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own
back; Thou holly lust'st to use her in that kind For which thou whipp’st her. The usurer hangs
the cozener. Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear; 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.
Dost thou squiny at me?] To squiny is to look asquint.
None does offend, none, I say, none; I'll able 'em:*
Edg. O, matter and impertinency mix'd! Reason in madness! Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my
Glo. Alack, alack the day!
come To this great stage of fools;- This a good
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.-Úse me well; You shall have ransome. Let me have a surgeon, I am cut to the brains. Gent.
You shall have any thing Lear. No seconds ? All myself?
* — I'll able 'em:] An old phrase signifying to qualify, or uphold them.'.
Why, this would make a man, a man of salt,
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. Gent. A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch; Past speaking of in a king!—Thou hast one daugh
Edg. Hail, gentle sir.
Gent. Most sure, and vulgar: every one hears that,
But, by your favour, How near's the other army?
Gent. Near, and on speedy foot; the main descry Stands on the hourly thought.? Edg.
I thank you, sir: that's all. Gent. Though that the queen on special cause is
here, Her army is mov'd on. Edg.
I thank you, sir. [Exit Gent.
- a man of salt,] A man of salt is a man of tears. 6 Then there's life in it.] The case is not yet desperate. 1- the main descry,
Stands on the hourly thought.] The main body is expected to be descry'd every hour. The expression is harsh.