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Gloster. O my follies! Then Edgar was abus'd. — Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper1 him!
Regan. Go, thrust him out at gates, and let him smell His way to Dover. — How is 't, my lord? How look you?
Cornwall. I have receiv'd a hurt. — Follow me, lady.
[Exit Cornwall, led by Eegan; — Servants unbind
2 Serv. I 'll never care what wickedness I do, If this man comes to good.
3 Serv. If she live long, And in the end meet the old course of death,2 Women will all turn monsters.
2 Serv. Let's follow the old earl, and get the Bedlam To lead him where he would:* his roguish madness Allows itself to any thing.
3 Serv. Go thou: I 'll fetch some flax, and whites of eggs,4 To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help him!
Edgar. Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd
1. To prosper is not now commonly used as a verb active.
2. i. e. the usual manner of death, die a natural death.
3. i. e. and get the Bedlam beggar to lead him to where ever he wishes to go.
4. It is common to say whites or yokes of eggs, when the white or yoke of more eggs than one is meant.
5. Still, ever, continually.
6. He who has experienced the worst blows of fortune, who has' become the lowest and most dejected thing upon the face of the earth, may always hope for an improvement in his condition, has nothing to fear: the depressing change is from the best to the worst; the change back again from the worst to better, is to return to the enjoyment of life.
The wretch, that thou hast blown unto the worst,
Owes nothing to thy blasts. — But who comes here? —
Enter GLOSTER, led by an old Man.
My father, poorly led? — World, world, 0 world!
Old Man. 0 my good lord! I have been your tenant, and your father's tenant, these fourscore years.
Glos. Away, get thee away; good friend, be gone: Thy comforts can do me no good at all; Thee they may hurt.
Old Man. Alack, Sir! you cannot see your way.
Glos. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes:
Old Man. How now! Who 'a there?
Edgar. [Aside.] O gods! Who is't can say, "I am at the
I am worse than e'er I was.
Old Man. 'T is poor mad Tom.
Edg. \Aside^\ And worse I may be yet: the worst is not So long as we can say, "This is the worst."
Old Man. Fellow, where goest?
Glos. Is it a beggar-man?
Old Man. Madman, and beggar too.
Glos. He has some reason, else he could not beg. I' the last night's storm I such a fellow saw, Which made me think a man a worm: my son Came then into my mind; and yet my mind Was then scarce friends with him: I have heard more since.
1. 0 world! if reverses of fortune and changes sucb as I now see and feel, from ease and affluence to poverty and misery, did not show us the little value of life, we should never submit with any kind of resignation to the weight of years, and its necessary consequence, infirmity and death.
2. I fell into error when I had eyes to sec my way clear.
3. Very often it is seen that our means, i. e. the faculties with which we are gifted, make us over-confident; and our deficiencies prove to our advantage.
4. To abuse, to deceive, to impose upon.
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;
Edgar. [Aside.] How should this be ? —
Gloster. Is that the naked fellow?
Old Man. Ay, my lord.
Glos. Then, pr'ythee, get thee gone. If, for my sake, Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain,1 P the way toward Dover, do it for ancient love; And bring some covering for this naked soul, Whom I 'll entreat to lead me.
Old Man. Alack, Sir! he is mad.
Glos. 'T is the times' plague, when madmen lead the
Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure;
Old Man. I 'll bring him the best 'parel2 that I have, Come on 't3 what will! [Exit.
Glos. Sirrah; naked fellow.
Edg. Poor Tom 's a-cold. — [^4sz<ie.] I cannot daub it
Glos. Come hither, fellow.
Edg. [Aside.] And yet I must. — [To him.] Bless thy
sweet eyes, they bleed.
Glos. Know'st thou the way to Dover?
Edg. Both stile and gate,8 horse-way and foot-path. Poor Tom hath been scared out of his good wits: bless thee, good man's son, from the foul fiend! Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once; of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididance,
5>rince of dumbness; Mahu, of stealing; Modo, of murder; and Tlibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing,6 who since pos
1. Twain, two. Now but seldom used.
2. i. e. apparel, clothing.
3. Come on 't, for come of it.
4 To daub signifies literally, to smear; the idea here is in this sense, as a thing smeared over with any substance is disguised: I cannot farther keep up the disguise, or support the
different fields are separated by hedges; where a foot-path conducts over several fields, styles are placed in the gaps of the hedges where these are crossed by the path, and over the styles, which are convenient for the purpose, the footpassenger climbs; where carts are intended to pass to and from the fields gates are placed.
false character which I have adopted. ] 6. Mopping and mowing, making 5. In the country in England the ; grimaces.
sesses chamber-maids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master!
Glos. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven's
Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched,
And each man have enough. — Dost thou know Dover?
Glos. There is a cliff, whose high and bending head Looks fearfully in the confined deep: Bring me but to the very brim of it, And I 'll repair the misery thou dost bear, With something rich about me: from that place I shall no leading need.
Edg. Give me thy arm:
Poor Tom shall lead thee. [Exeunt.
Goneril. Welcome, my lord: I marvel, our mild husband Not met us on the way. — Now, where 's your master?
Oswald. Madam, within; but never man so chang'd. I told him of the army that was landed; He smil'd at it: I told him, you were coming; His answer was, "The worse:" of Gloster's treachery, And of the loyal service of his son, When I inform'd him, then he call'd me sot, And told me I had turn'd the wrong side out. What most he should dislike, seems pleasant to him; What like,3 offensive.
Gon. Then, shall you go no farther.
1. Still, ever, always.
2. i. e. Let the man who lives in superfluity and according to his own lusts, who makes your ordinance sub
ject to him (instead of acting in obedience to it), etc.
3. »', e. What most he should like. It is the cowish1 terror of his spirit,
That dares not undertake: he 'll not feel wrongs,
Which tie him to an answer. 2 Our wishes on the way
May prove effects.3 Back, Edmund, to my brother;
Hasten his musters, and conduct his powers:
I must change arms at home, and give the distaff
Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant
Shall pass between us: ere long you are like to hear, i
If you dare venture in your own behalf,
A mistress's command. Wear this; spare speech;
[Giving a favour. Decline your head:4 this kiss, if it durst speak, Would stretch thy spirits up into the air. — Conceive,5 and fare thee well,
Edmund. Yours in the ranks of death.
Goneril. My most dear GlosterJ
O, the difference of man, and man!
Osw. Madam, here comes my lord.
Goneril. I have been worth the whistle.1
Albany. 0 Goneril!
Tou are not worth the dust which the rude wind
Blows in your face. — I fear your disposition:
That nature, which contemns its origin,
Cannot be border'd certain in itself;8
She that herself will sliver and disbranch
1. Cowish, timorous, cowardly. The verb only is now in use: to coui, to oppress with fear.
2. He affects not to feel wrongs which would force him to active opposition.
3. What we wish, before our march is at an end, may be brought to happen: i. e. the murder of her husband.
4. She bids him decline his head, that she might give him a kiss (the steward being present), and that it might appear to him only as a whisper.
5. t. e. imagine what I dare not speak.
6. By my fool she alludes to her husband Albany, who in her eyes is a weak fool.
7. There was a time when you thought ine worth the calling to you, or whistling for: reproaching him for not having summoned her to consult with on the present critical occasion.
8. A child who treats her father with contempt, must be utterly without character.