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ACT IV.

THE JUSTICE OF PROVIDENCE.

THAT I am wretched,

Makes thee the happier:-Heavens, deal so still!
Let the superfluous, and lust-dieted man,
That slaves your ordinance*, that will not see
Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly;
So distribution should undo excess,

And each man have enough.

PATIENCE AND SORROW.

Patience and sorrow strove

Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and tears
Were like a better day: Those happy smiles,
That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,
As pearls from diamonds dropp'd.—In brief, sorrow
Would be a rarity most belov'd, if all

Could so become it.

LEAR'S DISTRACTION DESCRIBED.

Alack, 'tis he; why, he was met even now As mad as the vex'd sea: singing aloud;

Crown'd with rank fumitert, and furrow weeds, With harlocks ‡, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers, Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow

In our sustaining corn.

GLOSTER'S FAREWELL TO THE WORLD.

O you mighty gods!
This world I do renounce; and, in your sights,
Shake patiently my great affliction off:
If I could bear it longer, and not fall
To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
My snuff, and loathed part of nature, should
Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him!

* i. e. To make it subject to us, instead of acting in obedience + Charlocks.

to it.

+ Fumitory.

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Come on, sir; here's the place:-stand still.-How And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low! [fearful The crows, and choughs*, that wing the midway air, Show scarce so gross as beetles: Half way down Hangs one that gathers samphiret; dreadful trade! Methinks he seems no bigger than his head: The fishermen, that walk upon the beach, Appear like mice; and yon' tall anchoring bark, Diminish'd to her cock; her cock, a buoy Almost too small for sight: The murmuring surge, That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes, Cannot be heard so high:-I'll look no more; Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight Topple§ down headlong.

LEAR ON HIS FLATTERERS.

They flatter'd me like a dog; and told me, I had white hairs in my beard, ere the black ones were there. To say ay, and no, to every thing I said!— Ay and no too was no good divinity. When the rain came to wet me once, and the wind to make me

* Daws.

Her cock-boat.

† A vegetable gathered for pickling. § Tumble.

chatter; when the thunder would not peace at my bidding; there I found them, there I smelt them out. Go to, they are not men o' their words: they told me I was every thing: 'tis a lie; I am not agueproof.

ON THE ABUSE OF POWER.

Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand: Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back; Thou hotly lust'st to use her in that kind [cozener. For which thou whipp'st her. The usurer hangs the Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear; Robes, and furr'd gowns, hide all. Plate sin with gold, And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks : Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it. None does offend, none, I say, none; I'll able 'em: Take that of me, my friend, who have the power To seal the accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes; And, like a scurvy politician, seem To see the things thou dost not.

CORDELIA ON THE INGRATITUDE OF HER SISTERS.

O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss
Repair those violent harms, that my two sisters
Have in thy reverence made!

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Had you not been their father, these white flakes
Had challeng'd pity of them. 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?

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And wast thou fain, poor father,

*

To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn,
In short and musty straw? Alack, alack!
'Tis wonder, that thy life and wits at once
Had not concluded all.

SCENE BETWEEN LEAR AND CORDELIA.

Cor. How does my royal lord! How fares your

majesty?

Lear. You do me wrong to take me out o' the grave: Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound

Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead.

Cor.

Sir, do you know mc,

Lear. You are a spirit, I know: When did you die? Cor. Still, still, far wide!

Phys. He's scarce awake; let him alone awhile. Lear. Where have I been?-Where am I?-Fair day-light?

I am mightily abus'd. I should even die with pity,
To see another thus.-I know not what to say.-
I will not swear, these are my hands: let's see;
I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assur'd

Of my condition.

Cor.

O, look upon me, sir,

And hold your hands in benediction o'er me:—
No, sir, you must not kneel.

Lear.

Pray, do not mock me:

I am a very foolish fond old man,

Fourscore and upward; and, to deal plainly,

I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.

Methinks, I should know you, and know this man : Yet I am doubtful: for I am mainly ignorant What place this is; and all the skill I have Remembers not these garments; nor I know not Where I did lodge last night: Do not laugh at me; For, as I am a man, I think this lady

To be my child Cordelia.

Cor.
And so I am, I am. [not:
Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, 'faith. I pray, weep
If you have poison for me, I will drink it.

I know, you do not love me; for your sisters
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:

You have some cause, they have not.

Cor.

No cause, no cause.

In your own kingdom, sir.

Lear. Am I in France?

Kent.

Lear. Do not abuse me.

Phys. Be comforted, good madam: the great rage, You see, is cur'd in him and yet it is danger To make him even* o'er the time he has lost. Desire him to go in: trouble him no more,

Till further settling.

Cor. Will't please your highness walk?
Lear.

You must bear with me:

Pray now, forget and forgive: I am old, and foolish.

ACT V.

LEAR TO CORDELIA WHEN TAKEN PRISONERS.

No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison:
We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage:
When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: So we'll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues

Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too,--
Who loses, and who wins; who's in, who's out ;-
And take upon us the mystery of things,

As if we were God's spies: And we'll wear out,
In a wall'd prison, pacts and sects of great ones,
That ebb and flow by the moon.

Edm.

Take them away. Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,

The gods themselves throw incense.

EDGAR'S ACCOUNT OF HIS DISCOVERING HIMSELF TO HIS

List† a brief tale ;

FATHER.

And, when 'tis told, O'that my heart would burst !-The bloody proclamation to escape,

That follow'd me so near, (O) our lives' sweetness!

* To reconcile it to his apprehension.

+ Hear.

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