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And, in the end, meet the old course of death,
2 Serv. Go thou; I'll fetch some flax, and whites
To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help him!
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be contemnd, Than still contemn'd and flatter'd. To be worst, The lowest, and most dejected thing of fortune, Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear: The lamentable change is from the best; The worst returns to laughter. Welcome then, Thou unsubstantial air, that I embrace ! 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.
Old Man. O my good lord, I have been your tenant, and your
father's tenant, these fourscore years. Glo. 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.
Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes; I stumbled when I saw : Full oft ’tis seen, Our mean secures us 7); and our mere defects Prove our commodities.—Ah, dear son Edgar,
The food of thy abused father's wrath !
How now? Who's there? Edg. [aside.] O gods! Who is’t can say, I am at
the worst? I am worse than e'er I was. Old Man.
'Tis poor mad Tom. Edg. [aside.] And worse I may be yet: The worst
Old Man. Fellow, where goest?
Is it a beggar-man? Old Man. Madman and beggar too.
Glo. He has some reason, else he could not beg.
How should this bei Bad is the trade must play the fool to sorrow, Ang’ring itself and others. [Aside.]-Bless thee,
master! Glo. Is that the naked fellow? Old Man.
Ay, my lord. Glo. Then, prythee, get thee gone: If, for my
Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain,
Alack, sir, he's mad.
blind: Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure ; Above the rest, be gone.
Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parrel that I have, Come on't what will.
[Exit. Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow. Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold. I cannot daub it further72.
eyes, they bleed.
Edg. Both stile and gate, horse-way, and foot-path. Poor Tom hath been scared out of his good wits : Bless the good man from the foul fiend! [Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once; of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididance, prince of dumbness: Mahu, of stealing; Modo, of murder; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing; who since possesses chamber-maids and waiting-women 73. So, bless thee, master!] Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven's
plagues Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched, Makes thee the happier:–Heavens, deal so still!
Let the superfluous, and lust-dieted man,
Glo. 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. Edy.
Give me thy arm; Poor Tom shall lead thee.
Before the Duke of Albany's Palace.
Enter GONERIL and EDMUND; Steward meeting
Gon. Welcome, my lord: 74 I marvel, our mild
husband Not met us on the way :-Now, where's
your master ? Stew. Madam, within; but never man so chang'd: I told him of the
that was landed; He smil'd at it: I told him, you were coming; His answer was, The worse: of Gloster's treachery,