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Gloc. Alack, alack the day!
Lear. When we are born, we cry, that we are


To this great stage of fools.

Enter a Gentleman, with attendants. Gent. Oh, 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 surgeons ; I am cut to th' brain.

Gent. You shall have any thing.

Lear. No seconds? all myself? I will die bravely, Like a smug bridegroom. What? I will be jovial. Come, come, I am a king, my masters; know

you that?

Gent. You are a royal one, and we obey you. Lear. Then there's life in't.

It were an excellent stratagem to shoe a troop of horse with felt: I'll put it in proof-no noise ! no noise ! now will we steal upon these fons-in-law; and then-kill, kill, kill, kill! [Exit with Gent.

Gloc. The king is mad. How stiff is my vile sense That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling Of my huge forrows ! Better I were distract,


And woe, by wrong imaginations, lose
The knowledge of itself.-Ye gentle gods,
Take my breath from me! let not misery
Tempt me again to die before you please.

Edgar. Well pray you, father.
Gloc. Now, good Sir, what are you?
Edgar. A most poor man, made tame to for-

tune's blows,
Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand,
I'll lead you to fome biding.

Gloc. Hearty thanks!

Enter Steward.

Stew. A proclaim'd prize! most happy!
That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh,
To raise my fortunes. Old, unhappy traitor,
The sword is out, that must destroy thee.
Gloc. Let thy friendly hand put strength enough

Stew. Wherefore, bold peasant,
Dar'st thou support a publish'd traitor! hence,
Left I destroy thee too. Let go

Edgar. Chill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion. Steut. Let go, lave, or thou diest.


his arm.

Edgar. Good gentleman, go your gate, and let poor volk pass: And 'chud ha' been zwagger'd out of my life, 'twould not ha' been zo long as ʼtis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near th' old man; keep out, or i’se try whether your costard or my bat be the harder.

[Fight. Stew. Out, dunghill! [Edgar knocks him down. Slave, thou hast flain me; oh, untimely death!

[Dies. Edgar. I know thee well, a serviceable villain ; As duteous to the vices of thy mistress, As badness would defire.

Gloc. What, is he dead?

Edgar. Sit you down, Sir.
This is a letter-carrier, and may have
Some papers of intelligence-what's here?

“ To Edmund, earl of Glo'fter. [Reading “ Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You < have many opportunities to cut him off; if he “ return the conqueror, then am I the prisoner, “ and his bed my gaol; from the loathed warmth “ whereof deliver me, and supply the place for

your labour.

Your (wife, so I would say)
« affectionate servant,


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Oh, undistinguish'd space of woman's will !
A plot upon her virtuous husband's life,
And the exchange my brother. Here, i'th'sands
Thee I'll rake up, the post unfanctified
Of murd'rous lechers : and in the mature time,
With this ungracious paper strike the sight
Of the death-practis’d duke. Give me your hand:
Come, Sir, I will bestow you with a friend. [Exe.

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Lear asleep on a couch, Cordelia, and attendants.

H, ye kind gods!

Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
Th’untun'd and jarring senses, oh, wind up
Of this child-changed father!

Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do awake

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him ;

I doubt not of his temperance.
Cord. Oh, my dear father! Restauration, hang


Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss Repair those violent harms, that my two fifters Have in thy reverence made !

Phys. Kind and dearest princess !

Cord. Oh, Regan ! Gonerill, inhuman fifters !
Had he not been your father, these white flakes
Did challenge pity of you. Was this a face
To be expos'd against the warring winds ?'
To stand against the deep, dread-bolted thunder ?
In the most terrible and nimble stroke
Of quick, cross lightning ? --My very enemy's dog,
Tho' he had bit me, should have stood that night
Against my fire: and wast thou fain, poor father,
To hovel thee
In short and musty straw? Alack, alack !
Tis wonder, that thy life and wits, at once,
Had not concluded all.—He wakes; speak to him.

Phys. Madam, do you ; 'tis fittest.
Cord. How does my royal lord ? How fares.your

majesty ?
Lear. You do me wrong, to take me out o'th'graves
Ha ! is this too a world of cruelty ?
I know my privilege; think not that I will
Be treated like a wretched mortal! No.
No more of that!
Cord. Speak to me, Sir; who am I?


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