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If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time, Thou should'st have said, Good porter, turn the key; All cruels else subscrib'd:-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.

[Glos'ter 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,

Serv. Hold your hand, my lord: I have serv'd you ever since I was a child; But better service have I never done you, Than now to bid you hold.


How now, you dog?

Serv. If you did wear a beard upon your chin,

I'd shake it on this quarrel: What do

Corn. My villain!

you mean? [draws, and runs at him.

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

of anger.

[draws. They fight. Cornwall is wounded.

Reg. Give me thy sword.-[to another Sero.] A peasant stand up thus!

[snatches a sword, comes behind, and stabs him. Sero. O, I am slain!-My lord, you have one eye


To see some mischief on him:-O!


Corn. Lest it see more, prevent it:-Out, vile


Where is thy lustre now?

[Tears out Glo'ster'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 treasons to us;

Who is too good to pity thee.


Then Edgar was abus'd.

O my follies!

Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!

Reg. Go, thrust him out at gates, and let him


His way to Dover.-How is't, my lord? How look


Corn. I have receiv'd a hurt :-Follow me,


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
Glo'ster, and lead him out.

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

2 Serv.

If she live long,

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

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

of eggs,

To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help


[Exeunt severally.



Enter Edgar.

Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd,

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 Glo'ster, 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.

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; and our mere defects
Prove our commodities.-Ah, dear son Edgar,
The food of thy abused father's wrath!
Might I but live to see thee in my touch,

I'd say, I had eyes again!

Old Man.

Edg. [aside.] O gods!

at the worst?

How now? Who's there?

I am worse than e'er I was.

Old Man.

Who is't can say, I am

"Tis poor mad Tom.

Edg. [Aside.] And worse I may be yet: The

worst is not,

So long as we can say, This is 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


I' the last night's storm I such a fellow saw;
Which made me think a man a worm: My son

Came then into my mind; and
and yet my mind
Was then scarce friends with him: I have heard
more since:

As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods;

They kill us for their sport.


How should this be?

Bad is the trade must play the fool to sorrow,

Ang'ring itself and others. [Aside.]-Bless thee,


Glo. Is that the naked fellow?

Old Man.

Ay, my lord.

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