William Shakespeare: The Tragedy of King Lear

7. Scene VII. A Room in Gloster's Castle. (continued)

Because I would not see thy cruel nails
Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister
In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.
The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd up,
And quench'd the stelled fires; yet, poor old heart,
He holp the heavens to rain.
If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time,
Thou shouldst have said, 'Good porter, turn the key.'
All cruels else subscrib'd:--but I shall see
The winged vengeance overtake such children.

See't shalt thou never.--Fellows, hold the chair.
Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.

[Gloster is held down in his chair, while Cornwall plucks out one
of his eyes and sets his foot on it.]

He that will think to live till he be old,
Give me some help!--O cruel!--O ye gods!

One side will mock another; the other too!

If you see vengeance,--

First 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!

First Serv.
If you did wear a beard upon your chin,
I'd shake it on this quarrel. What do you mean?

My villain!

[Draws, and runs at him.]

First Serv.
Nay, then, come on, and take the chance of anger.

[Draws. They fight. Cornwall is wounded.]

Give me thy sword [to another servant.]--A peasant stand up thus?

[Snatches a sword, comes behind, and stabs him.]

First Serv.
O, I am slain!--My lord, you have one eye left
To see some mischief on thim. O!


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