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25

I stumbled when I saw. Full oft ’tis seen,
Our means secure us and our mere defects
Prove our commodities. O dear son Edgar,
The food of thy abusèd father’s wrath,
Might I but live to see thee in my touch,
I’d say I had eyes again!
mistakes, I stumbled and fell. It’s often the case that having something makes us spoiled, while not having it turns out to be advantageous. So may it be with my eyesight. Oh, my dear son Edgar,
how enraged I was at you when I was deceived. If I live long enough to touch you again, that would be as good as having my eyesight back.

OLD MAN
   How now? Who’s there?
OLD MAN
Who’s that? Who’s there?


EDGAR
(aside) O gods! Who is ’t can say “I am at the worst”?
I am worse than e'er I was.
EDGAR
(to himself) Oh, gods! Who can ever say, “This is as bad as it can get”? I’m worse off now than ever before.

30
OLD MAN
(to GLOUCESTER)
     'Tis poor mad Tom.
OLD MAN
(to GLOUCESTER) It’s poor crazy Tom.


EDGAR
(aside) And worse I may be yet. The worst is not
So long as we can say “This is the worst.”
EDGAR
(to himself) And my life could still be worse. If you have the presence of mind to say, “This is the worst,” then it’s not the worst yet.

OLD MAN
(to EDGAR) Fellow, where goest?
OLD MAN
(to EDGAR) Where are you going, man?

GLOUCESTER
Is it a beggarman?
GLOUCESTER
Is it a beggar?

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OLD MAN
Madman and beggar too.
OLD MAN
Yes, he’s both crazy and a beggar.





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GLOUCESTER
He has some reason, else he could not beg.
I' th' 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 yet my mind
Was then scarce friends with him. I have heard more since.
As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods.
They kill us for their sport.
GLOUCESTER
Well, he can’t be completely crazy, or he wouldn’t be able to beg. Last night during the storm I saw a man who was both poor and crazy. He made me think that men are as weak and insignificant as worms. I was reminded of my son, even though I despised my son at that time. Now I know better. The gods play around with us as cruelly as schoolboys who pull the wings off flies.

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