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SCENE V.

A Room in Gloster's Castle.

person there?

Enter REGAN and Steward.
Reg. But are my brother's powers set forth?
Stew.

Ay, madam. Reg.

Himself In Stew.

Madam, with much ado : Your sister is the better soldier. Reg. Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at

home? Stew. No, madam. Reg. What might import my sister's letter to

him?
Stew. I know not, lady.

Reg. 'Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.
It was great ignorance, Gloster's eyes being out,
To let him live; where he arrives, he moves
All hearts against us: Edmund, I think, is gone,
In pity of his misery, to despatch
His nighted life ; moreover, to descry
The strength o' the enemy.
Stew. I must needs after him, madam, with my

letter. Reg. Our troops set forth to-morrow; stay with

us ; The ways are dangerous. Stew.

I

may not, madam ; My lady charg'd my duty in this business.

Reg. Why should she write to Edmund ? Might Transport her purposes by word? Belike, Something - I know not what :- I'll love thee

much, Let me unseal the letter.

not you

Stero.

Madam, I had ratherReg. I know, your lady does not love her

husband;
I am sure of that: and, at her late being here,
She gave strange ciliads ', and most speaking looks
To noble Edmund : I know, you are of her bosom.

Stew. I, madam ?
Reg. I speak in understanding; you are, I know

it:
Therefore, I do advise you, take this note':
My lord is dead ; Edmund and I have talk'd;
And more convenient is he for my hand,
Than for your lady's: – You may gather more.
If you do find him, pray you, give him this;
And when your mistress hears thus much from you,
I pray, desire her call her wisdom to her.
So, fare you well.
If
you

do chance to hear of that blind traitor, Preferment falls on him that cuts him off. Stew. 'Would I could meet him, madam; I would.

show What party I do follow. Reg.

Fare thee well. [Exeunt.

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SCENE VI.

The Country near Dover.

Enter GLOSTER, and EDGAR dressed like a Peasant. Glo. When shall we come to the top of that same

hill ?
Edg. You do climb up it now: look, how we

labour..
Glo. Methinks, the ground is even. .

9 A cast, or significant glance of the eye.

· Obserye what I am saying.

Edg

Horrible steep : Hark,

do
you

hear the sea ?
Glo.

No, truly.
Edg. Why, then your other senses grow imper-

fect
By your eyes' anguish.
Glo.

So may it be, indeed : Methinks, thy voice is alter'd; and thou speak'st In better phrase, and matter, than thou didst. Edg. You are much deceiv'd ; in nothing am I

chang'd, But in my garments. Glo.

Methinks, you are better spoken. Edg. Come on, sir; here's the place : - stand

still. How fearful And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low ! The crows, and choughs, that wing the midway

air, Show scarce so gross as beetles : Half

way

down Hangs one that gathers samphire ?; dreadful trade! Methinks, he seems no bigger than his head: The fishermen, that walk upon the beach, Appear like mice; and yon tall anchoring bark, Diminish'd to her cock 3; her cock, a buoy Almost too small for sight: The murmuring surge, That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes, Cannot be heard so high : -I 'll look no more ; Lest

my brain turn, and the deficient sight Topple + down headlong. Glo.

Set me where

you

stand. Edg. Give me your hand : You are now within a

foot Of the extreme verge: for all beneath the moon Would I not leap upright. Glo.

hand. Here, friend, is another purse ; in it a jewel

Let go my

? A vegetable gathered for pickling. 3 Her cock-boat.

4 Tumble.

Well worth a poor man's taking: Fairies, and gods,
Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off;
Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.

Edg. Now fare you well, good sir. (Seems to go.
Glo.

With all

my

heart.
Edg. Why I do trifle thus with his despair,
Is done to cure it.
Glo.

O you mighty gods !
This world I do renounce; and, in your sights,
Shake patiently my great affliction off:
If I could bear it longer, and not fall
To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
My snuff, and loathed part of nature, should
Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him!
Now fellow, fare thee well.

[He leaps, and

falls along. Edg.

Gone, sir? farewell. And yet I know not how conceit may

rob The treasury of life, when life itself Yields to the theft: Had he been where he thought, By this, had thought been past. — Alive, or dead ? Ho, you sir ! friend !-Hear you, sir ? ---speak ! Thus might he pass

indeeds: Yet he revives : What are you, sir ? Glo.

Away, and let me die. Edg. Had'st thou been aught but gossamer, fea

thers, air, So many fathom down precipitating, Thou had'st shiver'd like an egg : but thou dost

breathe; Hast heavy substance; bleed'st 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:

5 Thus might he die in reality.

Look up a-height; — the shrill-gorg'd lark so far Cannot be seen or heard: do but look up.

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. Edg.

Give me your arm: Up:-So; - How is 't? Feel you your legs? You

-stand. Glo. Too well, too well. Edg.

This is above all strangeness. Upon the crown o' the cliff

, what thing was that Which parted from you? Glo.

A poor unfortunate beggar. Edg. As I stood here below, methought, his

eyes Were too 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 honours 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 't would 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!

6 Shrill-throated. ? Twisted, convolved.

& The purest.

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