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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.
0. Man. O my good lord, I have been your tenant, and your father's tenant, these fourscore years. Glos. Away, get thee away; good friend, be
gone : Thy comforts can do me no good at all; Thee they may hurt.
0. Man. Alack, sir, you cannot see your way. Glos. I have no way, and therefore want no
Full oft 'tis seen,
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. 0. Man.
'Tis poor mad Tom. Edg. [aside.] And worse I may be yet: the worst So long as we can say, 'This is the worst.'
1 Our mediocrity of condition becomes our security.
0. Man. Fellow, where goest ? Glos.
Is it a beggar-man? 0. Man. Madman and beggar too.
Glos. He has some reason, else he could not beg.
How should this be?
master! Glos. Is that the naked fellow ? 0. Man.
Ay, my lord. Glos. Then, pr’ythee, get thee gone. If, for my
sake, Thou wilt o'ertake us, hence a mile or twain, l' the way to Dover, do it for ancient love ; And bring some covering for this naked soul, Whom I 'll entreat to lead me. 0. Man.
Alack, sir, he's mad. Glos. 'Tis the times' plague, when madmen lead
the blind : Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure ; Above the rest, be gone. 0. Man. I'll bring him the best 'parel that I
Come on 't what will.
[Exit. Glos. Sirrah, naked fellow! Edg. Poor Tom 's a-cold.—I cannot daub 1 it farther.
[aside. Glos. Come hither, fellow. Edg. [aside.] And yet I must.-Bless thy sweet
eyes, they bleed. Glos. Knowest thou the way to Dover ?
Edg. Both stile and gate, horseway and footpath. 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 chambermaids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master! Glos. 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, That slaves your ordinance,3 that will not see Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly; So distribution should undo excess, And each man have enough.-Dost thou know
? Of making wry mouths. 3 i. e. who makes your ordinance subject to him, instead of acting in obedience to it.
Edg. Ay, master.
Give me thy arm;
Before the Duke of Albany's palace. Enter GONERIL and EDMUND ; STEWARD meeting
them. Gon. Welcome, my lord : I marvel, our mild
husband Not met on the way.-Now, where's
your master? Stew. Madam, within; but never man so changed. I told him of the army that was landed ; He smiled at it: I told him, you were coming ; His answer was, “The worse :' of Gloster's treachery, And of the loyal service of his son, When I inform’d him, then he call'd me sot; And told me, I had turn’d the wrong side out. What most he should dislike, seems pleasant to
What like, offensive.
way, May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother ; Hasten his musters, and conduct his powers : I must change arms at home, and give the distaff Into my
husband's hands. This trusty servant Shall pass between us : ere long you are like to
you dare venture in your own behalf, A mistress's command. Wear this; spare speech ;
[giving a favor. Decline
head : this kiss, if it durst speak, Would stretch thy spirits up into the air. Conceive, and fare thee well.
Edm. Yours in the ranks of death.
My most dear Gloster!
[Exit Edmund. 0, the difference of man and man! To thee a woman's services are due; My fool usurps my bed. Stew.
Madam, here comes my lord.
Ti. e. the wishes we have expressed on our journey may be carried into effect.