Actus Quartus. Scena Prima.

Enter Edgar.

Edg. Yet better thus, and knowne to be contemn'd, Then still contemn'd and flatter'd, to be worst: The lowest, and most deiected thing of Fortune, Stands still in esperance, liues not in feare: The lamentable change is from the best, The worst returnes to laughter. Welcome then, Thou vnsubstantiall ayre that I embrace: The Wretch that thou hast blowne vnto the worst, Owes nothing to thy blasts. Enter Glouster, and an Oldman.

But who comes heere? My Father poorely led? World, World, O world! But that thy strange mutations make vs hate thee, Life would not yeelde to age

Oldm. O my good Lord, I haue bene your Tenant, And your Fathers Tenant, these fourescore yeares

Glou. Away, get thee away: good Friend be gone, Thy comforts can do me no good at all, Thee, they may hurt

Oldm. You cannot see your way

Glou. I haue no way, and therefore want no eyes: I stumbled when I saw. Full oft 'tis seene, Our meanes secure vs, and our meere defects Proue our Commodities. Oh deere Sonne Edgar, The food of thy abused Fathers wrath: Might I but liue to see thee in my touch, I'ld say I had eyes againe

Oldm. How now? who's there? Edg. O Gods! Who is't can say I am at the worst? I am worse then ere I was

Old. 'Tis poore mad Tom

Edg. And worse I may be yet: the worst is not, So long as we can say this is the worst

Oldm. Fellow, where goest? Glou. Is it a Beggar-man? Oldm. Madman, and beggar too

Glou. He has some reason, else he could not beg. I'th' last nights storme, I such a fellow saw; Which made me thinke a Man, a Worme. My Sonne Came then into my minde, and yet my minde Was then scarse Friends with him. I haue heard more since: As Flies to wanton Boyes, are we to th' Gods, They kill vs for their sport

Edg. How should this be? Bad is the Trade that must play Foole to sorrow, Ang'ring it selfe, and others. Blesse thee Master

Glou. Is that the naked Fellow? Oldm. I, my Lord

Glou. Get thee away: If for my sake Thou wilt ore-take vs hence a mile or twaine I'th' way toward Douer, do it for ancient loue, And bring some couering for this naked Soule, Which Ile intreate to leade me

Old. Alacke sir, he is mad

Glou. 'Tis the times plague, When Madmen leade the blinde: Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure: Aboue the rest, be gone

Oldm. Ile bring him the best Parrell that I haue Come on't what will.


Glou. Sirrah, naked fellow

Edg. Poore Tom's a cold. I cannot daub it further

Glou. Come hither fellow

Edg. And yet I must: Blesse thy sweete eyes, they bleede

Glou. Know'st thou the way to Douer? Edg. Both style, and gate; Horseway, and foot-path: poore Tom hath bin scarr'd out of his good wits. Blesse thee good mans sonne, from the foule Fiend

Glou. Here take this purse, y whom the heau'ns plagues Haue humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched Makes thee the happier: Heauens deale so still: Let the superfluous, and Lust-dieted man, That slaues your ordinance, that will not see Because he do's not feele, feele your powre quickly: So distribution should vndoo excesse, And each man haue enough. Dost thou know Douer? Edg. I Master

Glou. There is a Cliffe, whose high and bending head Lookes fearfully in the confined Deepe: Bring me but to the very brimme of it, And Ile repayre the misery thou do'st beare With something rich about me: from that place, I shall no leading neede

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book