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Enter CoRDELIA and ARANTHE.
Aran. Dear madam, rest you here, our search is vain; Look here's a shed: 'beseech you, enter here. Cord. Pr'ythee, go in thyself, seek thy own ease; Where the mind's free, the body’s delicate; This tempest but diverts me from the thought Of what would hurt me more.
Enter Two RUFFIANs.
1 Ruff. We've dogg'd them far enough; this place is private; I'll keep them prisoners here within this hovel, whilst you return, and bring Lord Edmund hither: but help me first to house them.—Now, dis
patch. [They seize CoRDELIA and ARANTHE. Cord. Help!—murder!—help!—Gods, some kind thunderbolt -
To strike me dead
Enter EDGAR, from the Hovel.
Edg. What cry was that?—Ha! women seiz'd by ruffians ! Is this a time and place for villainy Avaunt, ye bloodhounds! * - [Drives them off with his Quarter-staff.
O, speak, what are ye, that appear to be -
Cord. First, say, what art thou? .
Edg. O, my tumultuous blood!
A.8 KING LEAR. UAct III.
'Tis she herself!—My senses, sure, conform
Whilst Smug ply'd the bellows,
She truck'd with her fellows;
Yet Swithin made Oberon jealous.-O, torture :
Aran, Alack, madam a poor wand'ring lunatic. Cord. And yet his language seem'd but now, well temper’d.
Speak, friend, to one more wretched than thyself;
Edg. The king, her father, whom she's come to seek
Cord. Blessings on them!
We are in Heaven's protection. [Going off.
Edg. As you did once know Edgar's.
Cord. Edgar !
Edg. The poor remains of Edgar, what Your scorn has left him.
Cord. Do we wake, Aranthe 2
Edg. My father seeks my life: which I preserved, In hope of some blest minute to oblige Distrest Cordelia, and the gods have given it; That thought alone prevail'd with me to take This frantic dress, to make the earth my bed, With these bare limbs all change of seasons 'bide, Noon’s scorching heat, and midnight's piercing cold, To feed on offals, and to drink with herds, To combat with the winds, and be the sport Of clowns, or what's more wretched yet, their pity.
Cord. Was ever tale so full of misery :
Edg, But such a fall as this, I grant, was due
Cord. You had your pardon, nor can you challenge
Edg. What do I challenge more ? Such vanity agrees not with these rags: When in my prosp’rous state, rich Gloster's heir, You silenced my pretences, and enjoin'd me To trouble you upon that theme no more; Then what reception must love's language find From these bare limbs, and beggar's humble weeds 2 Cord. Such as a voice of pardon to a wretch con
Such as the shouts
Edg. Ah! what new method now of cruelty?
Cord. Come to my arms, thou dearest, best of men And take the kindest vows that e'er were spoke By a protesting maid.
Edg. Is’t possible
Cord. By the dear vital stream that bathes my heart, These hallow'd rags of thine, and naked virtue, These abject tassels, these fantastic shreds, To me are dearer than the richest pomp Of purpled monarchs. Edg. Generous, charming maid! The gods alone, that made, can rate thy worth ! This most amazing excellence shall be Fame's triumph in succeeding ages, when Thy bright example shall adorn the scene, And teach the world perfection. Cord. Cold and weary, We’ll rest awhile, Aranthe, on that straw, Then forward to find out the poor old king. Edg. Look, I have flint and steel, the implements Of wand'ring lunatics; I'll strike a light, And make a fire beneath this shed, to dry Thy storm-drench'd garnents, ere thou lie to rest thee: Then, fierce and wakeful as th’ Hesperian dragon, I'll watch beside thee, to protect thy sleep: Meanwhile the stars shall dart their kindest beams, And angels visit my Cordelia's dreams. | Ereunit,
ACT THE FOURTH.
An Apartment in the EARL of Gloster's Castle.
Enter the Duke of CoRNw ALL, REGAN, EDMUND, EdwańD, and SERVANTs.
Corn. I will have my revenge ere I depart his
Regan, see here, a plot upon our state;
Enter GlostER, brought in by Two SERVANTs.
Bind fast his arms.
You are my F. pray, do me no foul play.