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You justicers, that these our nether crimes
So speedily can venge!-But, O poor Glo'ster!
Lost he his other eye!

Both, both, my lord.—
This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer;
'Tis from your sister.

Gon. [Aside.] One way I like this well;
But being widow, and my Glo'ster with her,
May all the building in my fancy pluck
Upon my hateful life: Another way,
The news is not so tart.-I'll read, and answer.

[Exit. Alb. Where was his son, when they did take his eyes?

Mes. Come with my lady hither.


He is not here. Mes. No, my good lord; I met him back again. Alb. Knows he the wickedness?

Mes. Ay, my good lord; 'twas he inform'd against him;

And quit the house on purpose, that their punish


Might have the freer course.

Glo'ster, I live

Alb. To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the king, And to revenge thine eyes.-Come hither, friend; Tell me what more thou knowest.




Enter Kent, and a Gentleman. Kent. Why the king of France is so suddenly gone back know you the reason?

Gent. Something he left imperfect in the state, Which since his coming forth is thought of; which Imports to the kingdom so much fear and danger, That his personal return was most requir’d, And necessary.

Kent. Who hath he left behind him general? Gent. The Mareschal of France, Monsieur le

Kent. Did your letters pierce the queen to any
demonstration of grief?
Gent. Ay, sir; she took them, read them in my

And now and then an ample tear trillid down
Her delicate cheek: it seem'd, she was a queen
Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,
Sought to be king o'er her.

O, then it mov'd her.
Gent. Not to a rage: patience and sorrow strove
Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and tears
Were like a better day: Those happy smiles,
That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,

As pearls from diamonds dropp'd.—In brief, sor


Would be a rarity most belov'd, if all

Could so become it.


Made she no verbal question? Gent. 'Faith, once, or twice, she heav'd the name of father

Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart;
Cry'd, Sisters! sisters!-Shame of ladies! sisters!
Kent! father! sisters! What? i' the storm? i' the

Let pity not be believed!—There she shook

The holy water from her heavenly eyes,
And clamour moisten'd: then away she started
To deal with grief alone.

It is the stars,

Kent. The stars above us, govern our conditions; Else one self mate and mate could not beget Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?

Gent. No.

Kent. Was this before the king return'd?

No, since.
Kent. Well, sir; The poor distress'd Lear is i'the'


Who sometime, in his better tune, remembers
What we are come about, and by no means
Will yield to see his daughter.

Why, good sir?
Kent. A sovereign shame so elbows him: his own

That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her
To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights

To his dog-hearted daughters,--these things sting
His mind so venomously, that burning shame
Detains him from Cordelia.

Alack, poor gentleman! Kent. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you

heard not? Gent. 'Tis so; they are afoot. Kent. Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master


And leave you to attend him: some dear cause
Will in concealment wrap me up a-while;
When I am known aright, you shall not grieve
Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go
Along with me.


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Enter Cordelia, Physician, and Soldiers. Cor. Alack, 'tis he; why, he was met even now As mad as the vex'd sea: singing aloud; Crown’d with rank fumiter, and furrow weeds, With harlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers, Darnel, and all the idle weeds that

grow In our sustaining corn.—A century send forth; Search every acre in the high-grown field, And bring him to our eye. [Exit an Officer.]-What

can man's wisdom do, In the restoring his bereaved sense? He, that helps him, take all my outward worth.

Phy. There is means, madam:
Our foster-nurse of nature is repose,
The which he lacks; that to provoke in him,
Are many simples operative, whose power
Will close the eye of anguish.

All bless'd secrets,

Cor. All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth, Spring with my tears! be aidant, and remediate, In the good man's distress!-Seek, seek for him; Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life That wants the means to lead it.

Enter a Messenger.

Mes. Madam, news; The British powers are marching hitherward. Cor. "Tis known before; our preparation stands In expectation of them.-O dear father,

It is thy business that I go about;

Therefore great France

My mourning, and important tears, hath pitied.
No blown ambition doth our arms incite,

But love, dear love, and our ag'd father's right: Soon may I hear, and see him!




Enter Regan and Steward.

Reg. But are my brother's powers set forth?
Ay, madam.

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