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Phy. There is means, madam :
Our foster-nurse of nature is repose,
The which he lacks; that to provoke in him,
Are many simples operative, whose power
Will close the eye of anguish.

All bless'd secrets,
All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
Spring with my tears! be aidant, and remediate,
In the good man's distress ? !—Seek, seek for him;
Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
That wants the means to lead it.

Enter a Messenger.

News, madam :
The British powers are marching hitherward.

Cor. 'Tis known before; our preparation stands
In expectation of them.-0 dear father!
It is thy business that I go about,
Therefore great France
My mourning, and important tears“, hath pitied.
No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
But love, dear love, and our ag'd father's right.
Soon may I hear, and see him !


01. Tis known are marching hiths, madam:

A Room in GLOSTER's Castle.

Reg. But are my brother's powers set forth?
Osw. Ay, madam.
Reg. Himself in person there?

3 In the good man's distrESS!] The folio has “ the good man's desires."

4 My mourning, and IMPORTANT tears,] So all the quartos : the folio, " importun'd tears," which may be right; but we have had frequent instances in Shakespeare, in which “ important” is used for importunate. See Vol. ii. pp. 169. 203. 348 ; Vol. iii. pp. 273. 419. 533.


Madam, with much ado:
Your sister is the better soldier.
Reg. Lord Edmund spake not with your lords at

Osw. No, madam.
Reg. What might import my sister's letter to him?
Osw. I know not, lady.

Reg. 'Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.
It was great ignorance, Gloster's eyes being out,
To let him live: where he arrives he moves
All hearts against us. Edmund, I think, is gone,
In pity of his misery, to despatch
His nighted life; moreover, to descry
The strength o' the enemy.

Osw. I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.

Reg. Our troops set forth to-morrow: stay with us; The ways are dangerous. Osw.

I may not, madam; My lady charg'd my duty in this business. Reg. Why should she write to Edmund ? Might not

you Transport her purposes by word ? Belike, Something—I know not what.-—I'll love thee much ; Let me unseal the letter. Osw.

Madam, I had rather-
Reg. I know your lady does not love her husband,
I am sure of that; and, at her late being here,
She gave strange ciliads’, and most speaking looks
To noble Edmund. I know, you are of her bosom.

Osw. I, madam?
Reg. I speak in understanding: y'are, I know it;

5 — with your LORD-) So the folio, and rightly : the quartos misprint it, “ with your lady.

6 Edmund, I think, is gone,] The quartos read, corruptly, “and now, I think, is gone.”

7 She gave strange EILJADS,] An anglicised French word, wiliade, of rare occurrence. It is however met with, as Steevens pointed out, in R. Greene's “ Disputation between a He and a She Coney-catcher," 1592.

Therefore, I do advise you, take this notes:
My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk’d,
And more convenient is he for my hand,
Than for your lady's.—You may gather more.
If you do find him, pray you, give him this”;
And when your mistress hears thus much from you,
I pray, desire her call her wisdom to her :
So, fare you well.
If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.
Osw. Would I could meet him, madam: I would

What party I do follow.

Fare thee well. [Exeunt.


The Country near Dover.

Enter GLOSTER, and EDGAR dressed like a Peasant. Glo. When shall I come to the top of that same

bill 'o? Edg. You do climb up it now: look, how we labour. Glo. Methinks, the ground is even. Edg.

Horrible steep: Hark! do you hear the sea ? Glo.

No, truly. Edg. Why, then your other senses grow imperfect By your eyes' anguish. Glo.

So may it be, indeed.

8 -- take this NOTE:] i.e. Take this knowledge, or information. We have before in this play (p. 417) had the word “ note" employed in the same sense.

9 — give him this;] Malone supposed that Regan here delivered a ring or some other favour to the Steward, to be conveyed to Edmund.

10 When shall I come to the top of that same hill ?] So the folio, which it is not only needless, but injudicious, to alter to “ When shall ue come,” &c., as has been done by all modern editors.

Methinks, thy voice is alter'd; and thou speak'st . In better phrase, and matter, than thou didst.

Edg. Y’ are much deceiv'd : in nothing am I chang’d, But in my garments.. Glo.

Methinks, y'are better spoken. Edg. Come on, sir; here's the place : stand still.

How fearful,
And dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low!
The crows, and choughs, that wing the midway air,
Show scarce so gross as beetles: half way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade!
Methinks, he seems no bigger than his head.
The fishermen, that walk upon the beach,
Appear like mice; and yond' tall anchoring bark,
Diminish'd to her cock'; her cock, a buoy
Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge,
That on th’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.

Set me where you stand.
Edg. Give me your hand; you are now within a foot
Of th' extreme verge: for all beneath the moon
Would I not leap.upright.

Let go my hand.
Here, friend, is another purse; in it, a jewel
Well worth a poor inan's taking : fairies, and gods,
Prosper it with thee! Go thou farther off;
Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.

Edg. Now fare you well, good sir.

With all my heart.
Edg. Why I do trifle thus with his despair,
Is done to cure it.

O, you mighty gods?! 1 Diminish'd to her cock ;] i. e. Her cock-boat, often called merely “cock” in old writers.

2 0, you mighty gods !) In the quartos we have the words He kneels as a stage direction opposite this line.



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
Now, fellow, fare thee well. [He leaps, and falls along.

Gone, sir : farewell.-
And yet I know not how conceit may rob
The treasury of life, when life itself
Yields to the theft: had he been where he thougbt,
By this had thought been past.-Alive, or dead?
IIo, you sir! friend !-Hear you, sir?—speak!
Thus might he pass indeed ;—yet he revives.
What are you, sir?

Away, and let me die.
Edg. Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, feathers,

So many fathom down precipitating,
Thou’dst shiver'd like an egg : but thou dost breathe;
Hast heavy substance; bleed'st not; speak’st; art

Ten masts at each make not the altitude,
Which thou hast perpendicularly fell:
Thy life's a miracle. Speak yet again.

Glo. But have I fallen, or no?

Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.
Look up a height; the shrill-gorg’d lark so far
Cannot be seen or heard : do but look up.

Glo. Alack! I have no eyes.-
Is wretchedness depriv'd that benefit,
To end itself by death? 'Twas yet some comfort,
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,
And frustrate his proud will.

3 From the dread summit] The quartos read summons, and the folio soinnel. Farther on, the folio has “enraged sea” for “enridged sea ” of the quartos. There can be no doubt as to the fitness of adopting the most ancient, and, in all probability, authentic reading.

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