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Think that the clearest gods, who make them ho
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 'twould say, The fiend, the fiend: he led me to that place. Edy. Bear free and patient thoughts.—But who
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.-O, well flown, bird!-i' the clout, i’ the clout: hewgh!–Give the word.
Edg. Sweet marjoram.
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: 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 Glo'ster'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 girdle do the gods inherit, Beneath is all the fiends; there's hell, there's dark
ness, there is the sulphurous pit, burning, scalding, stench, consumption;— Fie, fie, fie! 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?
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. Lear. Read. 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 obey'd in office.
Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand:
back; Thou hotly 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, bide all. Plate sin with
gold, And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks: Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it. None does offend, none, I say, none; I'll able 'em: Take that of me, my friend, who have the power To seal the accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes; And, like a scurvy politician, seem To see the things thou dost not.-Now, now, now,
Pull off my boots :-harder, harder; so.
Edg. O, matter and impertinency mix'd ! Reason in madness! Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my
eyes. I know thee well enough; thy name is Glo'ster: Thou must be patient; we came crying hither. Thou know'st, the first time that we smell the air, We wawl, and cry:-1 will preach to thee; mark
Glo. Alack, alack the day!
To this great stage of fools;--This a good
It were a delicate stratagem, to shoe
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.-Use me well; You shall have ransom.
Let me have a surgeon,
You shall have any thing.
Good sir,Lear. I will die bravely, like a bridegroom :
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
Who redeems nature from the general curse
Edg. Hail, gentle sir.