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Reg. Hang him instantly.
Gon. Pluck out his eyes.

Corn. Leave him to my displeasure.-Edmund, keep you our sister company; the revenges we are bound to take upon your traitorous father, are not fit for your beholding. Advise the duke, where you are going, to a most festinate preparation; we are bound to the like. Our post shall be swift, and intelligent betwixt us. Farewell, dear sister;-farewell, my lord of Gloster.1

Enter Steward.

How now? Where's the king?

Stew. My lord of Gloster hath conveyed him hence. Some five or six and thirty of his knights,

Hot questrists after him, met him at gate;
Who, with some other of the lord's dependants,

Are gone with him towards Dover; where they boast
To have well-armed friends.


Get horses for your mistress.

Gon. Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.


Corn. Edmund, farewell.-Go, seek the traitor


Pinion him like a thief; bring him before us.


[Exeunt other Servants.

Though well we may not pass upon his life
Without the form of justice, yet our power
Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men
May blame, but not control. Who's there? the trai-
tor ?

Re-enter Servants, with GLOster.

Reg. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.

Corn. Bind fast his corky arms.

1 Meaning Edmund, invested with his father's titles.

2 A questrist is one who goes in quest or search of another.

3" Do a courtesy to our wrath," simply means bend to our wrath, as a courtesy is made by bending the body.

4 i. e. dry, withered, husky arms. This epithet was, perhaps, borrowed from Harsnet:-"It would pose all the cunning exorcists that are this

Glo. What mean your graces?-Good my friends,


You are my guests; do me no foul play, friends.
Corn. Bind him, I say.

[Servants bind him. Hard, hard.-O filthy traitor! Glo. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none.


Corn. To this chair bind him.-Villain, thou shalt


[REGAN plucks his beard. Glo. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done,

To pluck me by the beard.

Reg. So white, and such a traitor!

Glo. Naughty lady, These hairs, which thou dost ravish from my chin, Will quicken, and accuse thee. I am your host; With robbers' hands, my hospitable favors1 You should not ruffle thus. What will

What will you do?

Corn. Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?

Reg. Be simple answered, for we know the truth. Corn. And what confederacy have you with the traitors

Late footed in the kingdom?

Reg. To whose hands have you sent the lunatic king? Speak.

Glo. I have a letter guessingly set down,

Which came from one that's of a neutral heart,

And not from one opposed.




Corn. Where hast thou sent the king?



And false.

To Dover.


To Dover? Wast thou not charged at peril-
Corn. Wherefore to Dover? Let him first answer


Glo. I am tied to the stake, and I must stand the


day to be found, to teach an old corkie woman to writhe, tumble, curvet, and fetch her morice gambols as Martha Bressier did."

1 Favors mean the same as features.

Reg. Wherefore to Dover?

Glo. Because I would not see thy cruel nails Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.1

The sea, with such a storm as his bare head


In hell-black night endured, would have buoyed up,
And quenched the stelled fires; yet, poor old heart,
He holp the heavens to rain.

If wolves had at thy gate howled that stern3 time,
Thou shouldst have said, Good porter, turn the key;
All cruels else subscribed. But I shall see
The winged vengeance overtake such children.

Corn. See it shalt thou never.-Fellows, hold the chair;

Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.

[GLOSTER is held down in his chair, while CORNWALL plucks out one of his eyes, and sets his foot on it.

Glo. He that will think to live till he be old, Give me some help.-O cruel! O ye gods! Reg. One side will mock another; the other too. Corn. If you see vengeance,


Hold your hand, my lord.

I have served you ever since I was a child;
But better service have I never done you,
Than now to bid you hold.

Reg. How now, you dog?

Serv. If you did wear a beard upon your chin, I'd shake it on this quarrel; what do you mean? Corn. My villain! 5

[Draws, and runs at him.

1 The quarto reads, “rash, boarish fangs." To rash is the old hunting term for the stroke made by a wild-boar with his fangs.

2 Starred.

3 Thus the folio. The quartos read, "that dearn time." Dearn is dreary. The reading in the text is countenanced by Chapman's version of the 24th Iliad :

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4 i. e. yielded, submitted to the necessity of the occasion.

5 Villain is perhaps here used in its original sense, of one in servitude.

Serv. Nay, then, come on, and take the chance of


[Draws. They fight. CORN. is wounded.

Reg. Give me thy sword.-[To another Serv.] A peasant stand thus!


[Snatches a sword, comes behind him, and stabs him.

Serv. O, I am slain!-My lord, you have one eye


To see some mischief on him.—O!

[Dies. Corn. Lest it see more, prevent it.—Out, vile jelly! Where is thy lustre now?

[Tears out GLOSTER's other eye, and throws it on the ground.

Glo. All dark and comfortless.-Where's my son

Edmund ?

Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature,

To quit this horrid act.


Out, treacherous villain!

Thou call'st on him that hates thee.

It was he

That made the overture of thy treason to us;

Who is too good to pity thee.


Then Edgar was abused.

O my follies!

Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!

Reg. Go, thrust him out at gates, and let him smell His way to Dover.-How is't, my lord? How look you?

Corn. I have received a hurt.-Follow me, lady. Turn out that eyeless villain ;-throw this slave Upon the dunghill.-Regan, I bleed apace; Untimely comes this hurt. Give me your arm. [Exit CORNWALL, led by REGAN ;-Servants unbind GLOSTER, and lead him out.2

1 Serv. I'll never care what wickedness I do, If this man comes to good.

2 Serv.

If she live long,

1 Requite.

2 The residue of this act is not contained in the folio of 1623.

And, in the end, meet the old course of death,
Women will all turn monsters.

1 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.

2 Serv. Go thou; I'll fetch some flax, and whites

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Edg. Yet better thus, and know to be contemned, Than still contemned and flattered.' 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,2 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.

My father, poorly led ?-World, world, O world!
But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee,
Life would not yield to age.3

1 "It is better to be thus openly contemned, than to be flattered and secretly despised."

2 The next two lines and a half are not in the quartos.

3 We should never submit with resignation to death, the necessary consequence of old age.



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