Edgar, tracked throughout the kingdom, decides to disguise himself as a mad, filthy beggar in hopes of escaping. (21 lines)
I heard myself proclaim’d,
And by the happy hollow of a tree
Escap’d the hunt. No port is free, no place
That guard and most unusual vigilance
Does not attend my taking. Whiles I may scape
I will preserve myself, and am bethought
To take the basest and most poorest shape
That ever penury, in contempt of man,
Brought near to beast. My face I’ll grime with filth,
Blanket my loins, elf all my hairs in knots,
And with presented nakedness outface
The winds and persecutions of the sky.
The country gives me proof and president
Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Strike in their numb’d and mortified arms
Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary;
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes, and mills,
Sometimes with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers,
Enforce their charity. Poor Turlygod! Poor Tom!
That’s something yet: Edgar I nothing am.