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Lear. Thou wert better in thy grave, than to answer with thy uncover'd body this extremity of the skies. Is man no more than this? consider him well. Thou, ow'st the worm no filk, the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume. Aha! here's two of us are fophisticated. Thou art the thing itself; unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art. Off, off, you lendings ! come, unbutton here.
[Tearing off his cloaths. Kent. Defend his wits, good Heaven! Lear. One point I had forgot; what is your name?
Edgar. Poor Tom, that eats the swimming frog, the wall-newt and the water-newt; that in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cowdung for sallads, swallows the old rat, and the ditch-dog; that drinks the green mantle of the standing pool; that's whipt from tything to tything; that has three suits to his back; fix shirts to his body,
Horse to ride, and weapon to wear;
Have been Tom's food for seven long year.
have a thousand with red-hot spits come hissing
Edgar. My tears begin to take his part so much, They mar my counterfeiting.
[Afide. Lear. The little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and Sweet-heart, fee, they bark at me!
Edgar. Tom will throw his head at 'em : avaunt, ye curs.
Be thy mouth, or black, or white,
Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled.
-Poor Tom, thy horn is dry. Lear. You, Sir, I entertain you for one of my hundred, only I do not like the fashion of your garments; you'll say they are Persian; but no matter, let 'em be changed.
Edgar. This is the foul Flibbertigibbeţ; he bea gins at curfew, and walks till the first cock; he gives the web, and the pin ; knits the elflock; íquints the eye, and makes the hair-lip; mildews the
white wheat, and hurts the poor creatures of the
Swithin footed thrice the wold *.
'Twas there he did appoint her;
Edgar. The prince of darkness is a gentleman;
Gloc. Go with me, Sir; hard by I have a tenant.
* Swithin footed thrice the WOLD.] I was surprised to see in the Appendix to the last edition of Shakespeare, that my reading of this passage was “ Swithin footed thrice the WORLD." I have ever been averse to capricious variations of the old text; and in the present instance the rhime, as well as the sense, would have induced me to abide by it. WORLD was a mere error of the press. Wold is a word still in use in the North of England; fignifying a kind of Down near the sea. A large tract of country in the East-Riding of Yorkshire is called the WOULD S.
Kent. Good my lord, take this offer.
Lear. First let me talk with this philosopher ; What is the cause of thunder?
Gloc. Beseech you, Sir, to go into the house.
Lear. I'll talk a word with this same learned Theban. What is your study?
Edgar. How to prevent the fiend, and to kill vermin,
Lear. Let me ask you a word in private.
Kent. His wits are quite unsettled ; good Sir, let's force him hence.
Gloc. Canft blame him? his daughters seek his death; this bedlam but disturbs him the more. Fellow, be gone.
Edgar. Child Rowland to the dark tower came, His word was still fie, foh, and fum, I smell the blood of a British man
[Exit. Gloc. Now, prithee, friend, let us take him in our arms, and carry him where he shall find both welcome and protection. Good Sir, along with us!
Lear. You say right. Let them anatomize Regan! See what breeds about her heart! Is there any cause in nature for these hard hearts ?
Kent. I do beseech your grace.
Lear. Hift!-make no noise! make no noise ! manfo, fo! we'll to supper in the morning. [Exeunt.
Scene changes to Glocefter's Palace. Enter Cornwall, Regan, Gonerill, Edmund, and
Attendants. Cornw. I'll have revenge ere I depart this house. Regan, fee here ! a plot upon our state; "Tis Glo'ster's character; he has betray'd His double trust, of subject and of hoft.
Regan. Then double be our vengeance !
Edm. Oh, that this treason had not been, or I Not the discoverer!
Cornw. Edmund, thou fhalt find
Edm. I am much bounden to your grace, and will persevere in my loyalty, tho' the conflict be fore between that and my blood.
Cornw. Our dear fifter Gonerill, do you post speedily to my lord your husband; shew him this letter : The army of France is landed; seek out the traitor Glo'ster.
Regan. Hang him instantly.
Cornw. Leave him to my displeasure. Edmund, keep you our fifter company; the revenges we are bound to take upon your father, are not fit for your beholding. Advise the duke, where you are