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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
[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, 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
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
1 Serv. I'll never care what wickedness I do, If this man come to good.
If she live long,
And, in the end, meet the old course of death,
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
To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd,
Than still contemn'd and flatter'd. To be worst,
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
I'd say, I had eyes again!
Edg. [aside.] O gods!
at the worst?
How now? Who's there?
I am worse than e'er I was.
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;
Came then into my mind; and
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?
Ay, my lord.