Sivut kuvina

Lear. This is a slave, whose easy-borrow'd Speak 'gainst so great a number? How, in one pride


Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows:----
Out, varlet, from my sight!

Corn. What means your grace?

Lear. Who stock'd my servant? Regan, I have good hope [heavens, Thou didst not know of't. Who comes here? O Enter Goneril.

If you do love old men, if your sweet sway Allow obedience, if yourselves are old, [part!Make it your cause; send down, and take my Art not asham'd to look upon this beard?

[to Gon.

O, Regan, wilt thou take her by the hand? Gon. Why not by the hand, sir? how have I offended?

All's not offence, that indiscretion finds,
And dotage terms so.

Lear. O, sides, you are too tough! [stocks? Will you yet hold?-How came my man i'the Corn. I set him there, sir: but his own disDeserved much less advancement. [orders

Lear. You! did you?

Reg. I pray you, father, being weak, seem so. If, till the expiration of your month, You will return and sojourn with my sister, Dismissing half your train, come then to me; I am now from home, and out of that provision, Which shall be needful for your entertainment. Lear. Return to her, and fifty men dismiss'd? No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose To wage against the enmity o'the air; To be a comrade with the wolf and owl,—— Necessity's sharp pinch!-Return with her? Why, the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took Our youngest born, I could as well be brought To knee his throne, and, squire-like, pension beg To keep base life a-foot :-) -Return with her? Persuade me rather to be slave and sumpter To this detested groom. [looking on the Steward. Gon. At your choice, sir. [mad!

Lear. I pr'ythee, daughter, do not make me I will not trouble thee, my child; farewell: We'll no more meet, no more see one another :But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter; Or, rather, a disease that's in my flesh, Which I must needs call mine: thou art a boil, A plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle, In my corrupted blood. But I'll not chide thee; Let shame come when it will, I do not call it : I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot, Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove: Mend, when thou canst; be better, at thy leisure: I can be patient; I can stay with Regan, I, and my hundred knights.

Reg. Not altogether so, sir;

I look'd not for you yet, nor am provided
For your fit welcome: Give ear, sir, to my sister;
For those that mingle reason with your passion,
Must be content to think you old, and so-
But she knows what she does.

Lear. Is this well spoken now? [lowers? Reg. I dare avouch it, sir: What, fifty folIs it not well? What should you need of more? Yea, or so many? sith that both charge and danger

Should many people, under two commands,
Hold amity? 'Tis hard; almost impossible.
Gon. Why might you not, my lord, receive

From those that she calls servants, or from mine? Reg. Why not, my lord? If then they chanc'd to slack you,

We could control them: If you will come to me,
(For now I spy a danger,) I entreat you
To bring but five-and-twenty; to ne more
Will I give place, or notice.
Lear. I gave you all-

Reg. And in good time you gave it.

Lear. Made you my guardians, my depositaries; But kept a reservation to be follow'd With such a number: What, must I come to you With five-and-twenty, Regan? said you so? Reg. And speak it again, my lord; no more with me. [favour'd, Lear. Those wicked creatures yet do look wellWhen others are more wicked; not being the worst, Stands in some rank of praise:-I go with thee; [to Goneril Thy fifty yet doth double five-and-twenty, And thou art twice her love.

Gon. Hear me, my lord;

What need you five-and-twenty, ten, or five,
To follow in a house, where twice so many
Have a command to tend you?

Reg. What need one?

Lear. O, reason not the need: our basest beg-
Are in the poorest thing superduous: [gars
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is cheap as beast's: thou art a lady;
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st,
Which scarcely keeps thee warm.-But, for true
You heavens, give me that patience, patience I
You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,
As full of grief as age; wretched in both!
If it be you that stir these daughters' hearts
Against their father, fool me not so much
To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger!
O, let not women's weapons, water-drops,
Stain my man's cheeks!-No, you unnatural
I will have such revenges on you both, [hags,
That all the world shall—I will do such things,
What they are, yet I know not; but they shall be
The terrors of the earth. You think, I'll weep› ·
No, I'll not weep ;-

I have full cause of weeping; but this heart
Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws,
Or ere I'll weep:-O, fool, I shall go mad!

[excunt Lear, Gloster, Kent, and Fool.
Corn. Let us withdraw, 'twill be a storm.
[storm heard at a distance.

Reg. This house

Is little; the old man and his people cannot Be well bestow'd.

Gon. 'Tis his own blame; he hath put Himself from rest, and must needs taste his folly. Reg. For his particular, I'll receive him gladly, But not one follower.

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Corn. Follow'd the old man forth:-he is re-
Glo. The king is in high rage.
Corn. Whither is he going?
Glo. He calls to horse; but will I know not


Enter Kent and a Gentleman, meeting.
Kent. Who's here, beside foul weather?
Gent. One minded like the weather, most un-
Kent. I know you; where's the king? [quietly.

Gent. Contending with the fretful element:
Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea,
Or swell the curved waters 'bove the main, [hair:
That things might change, or cease: tears his white
Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,
Catch in their fury, and make nothing of:
Strives, in his little world of man, to out-scorn
The to-and-fro conflicting wind and rain.
This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would
The lion and the belly-pinched welf [couch,
Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs,
And bids what will take all.

Kent. But who is with him?

Gent. None but the fool; who labours to out


His heart-struck injuries.


Corn. 'Tis best to give him way; he leads
Gon. My lord, entreat him by no means to stay.
Glo. Alack the night comes on, and the bleak My Regan counsels well: come out o'the storm.



Kent. Sir, I do know you;

Do sorely ruffle; for many miles about
There's scarce a bush.


SCENE I. A HEATH. A STORM IS HEARD, WITH THUN- |(As fear not but you shall,) show her this ring,
And she will tell you who your fellow is,
That yet you do not know.

Fie on this storm!
I will go seek the king.
[to say?
Gent. Give me your hand; have you no more
Kent. Few words, but, to effect, more than all
[your pain
That, when we have found the king (in which
That way; I'll this;) he, that first lights on him,
Holla the other.
[exeunt severally.

And dare, upon the warrant of my art,
Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,
Although as yet the face of it be cover'd [wall;
With mutual cunning, 'twixt Albany and Corn-
Who have (as who have not, that their great stars
Thron'd and set high?) servants, who seem no less;
Which are to France the spies and speculations
Intelligent of our state; what hath been seen,
Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes;
Or the hard rein which both of them have borne
Against the old kind king; or something deeper,
Whereof, perchance, these are but furnishings;-
But, true it is, from France there comes a power
Into this scatter'd kingdom; who already,
Wise in our negligence, have secret feet
In some of our best ports, and are at point
To show their open banner.-Now to you:
If on my credit you dare build so far
To make your speed to Dover, you shall find
Some that will thank you, making just report
Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
The king hath cause to plain.

I am a gentleman of blood and breeding;
And, from some knowledge and assurance, offer
This office to you.

Gent. I will talk further with you.
Kent. No, do not.

For confirmation that I am much more
Than my out-wall, open this purse, and take
What it contains: if you shall see Cordelia,

Reg. O, sir, to wilful men,

The injuries, that they themselves procure,
Must be their schoolmasters: Shut up your doors:
He is attended with a desperate train;
And what they may incense him to, being apt
To have his ear abus'd, wisdom bids fear.

Corn. Shut up your doors, my lord; 'tis a wild


Storm continues. Enter Lear and Fool. Lear. Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!

You cataracts, and hurricanoes, spout [cocks!
Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunder-bolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking


Strike flat the thick rotundity o'the world!
Crack nature's moulds, all germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!

Fool. O nuncle, court holy-water in a dry house is better than this rain-water out o'door.Good nunale, in, and ask thy daughter's blessing: here's a night pities neither wise men nor fools. Lear. Rumble thy belly-full! Spit, fire! spout, rain!

Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters:
I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness,
I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children,
You owe me no subscription; why then, let fall
Your horrible pleasure; here I stand, your slave,
A poor, infirm, weak, and despis'd old man :
But yet I call you servile ministers,
That have with two pernicious daughters join'd
Your high engender'd battles, 'gainst a head
So old and white as this. O! O! 'tis foul!
Fool. He that has a house to put his head in
has a good head-piece.

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Kent. Who's there?

Fool. Marry, here's grace, and a cod-piece;
that's a wise man, and a fool.

Kent. Alas, sir, are you here? things that love
Love not such nights as these; the wrathful skies
Gallow the very wanderers of the dark,
And make them keep their caves: since I was


Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,
Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never
Remember to have heard: man's nature cannot
The affliction, nor the fear.

Glo. Go to; say you nothing: there is division between the dukes; and a worse matter than that. I have received a letter this night;-'tis dangerous to be spoken; I have locked the letter in my closet: these injuries the king now bears will be revenged home; there is part of a power already footed: we must incline to the king. I will seek him, and privily relieve him: go you, and maintain talk with the duke, that my charity be not of him perceived: if he ask for me, I am ill, and gone to bed. If I die for it, as no less is threat

Lear. Let the great gods,

That keep this dreadful pother o'er our heads,
Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou
That hast within thee undivulged crimes, [wretch,ened me, the king, my old master, must be relieved.
Unwhipp'd of justice: hide thee, thou bloody

There is some strange thing toward Edmund;
pray you be careful.

Thou perjur'd, and thou simular man of virtue,
That art incestuous: Caitiff, to pieces shake,
That under covert and convenient seeming
Hast practis'd on man's life!-Close pent-up guilts,
Rive your concealing continents, and cry
These dreadful summoners grace.-I am a man,
More sinn'd against, than sinning.

Edm. This courtesy, forbid thee, shall the duke
Instantly know; and of that letter too :-
This seems a fair deserving, and must draw me
That which my father loses: no less than all:
The younger rises, when the old doth fall. [erit.

Kent. Alack, bare-headed!

Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel; [pest;
Some friendship will it lend you 'gainst the tem-
Repose you there: while I to this hard house
{More hard than is the stone whereof 'tis rais'd;
Which even but now, demanding after you,
Denied me to come in), return, and force
Their scanted courtesy.

Lear. My wits begin to turn.—

Come on, my boy: how dost, my boy? Art cold?
I am cold myself.-Where is this straw, my fel-
The art of our necessities is strange, [low?
That can make vile things precious. Come, your

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When priests are more in word than matter;
When brewers mar their malt with water;
When nobles are their tailors' tutors:
No heretics burn'd, but wenches' suitors:
When every case in law is right;
No squire in debt, nor no poor knight;
When slanders do not live in tongues;
Nor outpurses come not to throngs:
When usurers tell their gold i'the field;
And bawds and whores do churches build ;-
Then shall the realm of Albion
Come to great confusion.

Then comes the time, who lives to see't,
That going shall be us'd with feet.

This prophecy Merlin shall make; for I live before
his time.


Enter Gloster and Edmund.

mine own house; charged me, on pain of their
perpetual displeasure, neither to speak of him, en-
treat for him, nor any way sustain him.
Edm. Most savage, and unnatural!

Glo. Alack, alack, Edmund. I like not this annatural dealing: when I desired their leave that I might pity him, they took from me the use of


Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool.

Kent. Here is the place, my lord; good, my
lord, enter:

The tyranny of the open night's too rough
For nature to endure.

[storm still

Lear. Let me alone.

Kent. Good my lord, enter here.

Lear. Wilt break my heart? [lord, enter.
Kent. I'd rather break mine own: good my
Lear. Thou think'st 'tis much, that this conten-
tious storm

Invades us to the skin: so 'tis to thee;
But where the greater malady is fix'd,
The lesser is scarce felt.
Thou'dst shun a bear:
But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
Thou'dst meet the bear i'the mouth. When the
mind's free,

The body's delicate: the tempest in my mind
Doth from my senses take all feeling else,
Save what beats there.-Filial ingratitude!
Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand,
For lifting food to't?-But I will punish home :-
No, I will weep no more.-In such a night
To shut me out!-Pour on; I will endure:
In such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril!—
Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all. —
O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
No more of that,-

Kent. Good my lord, enter here.

Lear. Pr'ythee,go in thyself: seek thine own ease;
This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
On things would hurt me more.- -But I'll go in:
In, boy; go first.[to the Fool] You houseless poverty;
Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep.
[Fool goes it
Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en
Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp.
Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel;

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That thou may'st shake the superflux to them,
And show the heavens more just.

Edg. [within] Fathom and half, fathom and half!
Poor Tom!
[the Fool runs out from the hovel.
Fool. Come not in here, nuncle, here's a spirit.
Help me, help me!

Kent. Give me thy hand. Who's there?
Fool. A spirit; a spirit; he says his name's
poor Tom.

Kent. What art thou that dost grumble there
Come forth.
[i'the straw?
Enter Edgar, disguised as a madman.
Edg. Away! the foul fiend follows me!—
Through the sharp hawthornblows the cold wind.-
Humph! go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.

Lear. Hast thou given all to thy two daughters?
And art thou come to this?

Edg. Who gives any thing to poor Tom? whom the foul fiend hath led through fire and through flame, through ford and whirlpool, over bog and quagmire; that hath laid knives under his pillow, and halters in his pew; set ratsbane by his porridge; made him proud of heart, to ride on a bay trotting-horse over four-inched bridges, to course his own shadow for a traitor:-Bless thy five wits! Tom's a-cold.-O do de, do de, do de.Bless thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting, and taking! Do poor Tom some charity, whom the foul fiend vexes: there could I have him now,and there, and there, and there again, and there. [storm still. Lear. What, have his daughters brought him to this pass?[all? Could'st thou save nothing? Didst thou give them Fool. Nay, he reserved a blanket, else had we all been shamed. [lous air Lear. Now, all the plagues, that in the penduHang fated o'er men's faults, light on thy daughKent. He hath no daughters, sir. [ters? Lear. Death, traitor! nothing could have sub-rages, eats cow-dung for sallets; swallows the old rat, and the ditch dog; drinks the green mantle of the standing pool; who is whipped from

Enter Gloster, with a torch. Lear. What's he Kent. Who's there? What is't you seek? Glo. What are you there? Your names? the toad, the tadpole, the wall-newt, and the water; Edg. Poor Tom; that eats the swimming frog, that, in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend

du'd nature

To such a lowness, but his unkind daughters.tything to tything, and stocked, punished, and im

Is it the fashion that discarded fathers

prisoned; who hath had three suits to his back six shirts to his body, horse to ride, and weapon

to wear,

Should have thus little mercy on their flesh?
Judicious punishment! 'twas this flesh begot
Those pelican daughters.

Edg. Pillicock sat on pillicock's-hill ;
Halloo, halloo, loo, loo!

Fool. This cold night will turn us all to fools
and madmen.

Edg. Take heed o'the foul fiend: obey thy parents; keep thy word justly; swear not; commit not with man's sworn spouse; set not thy sweet heart on proud array: Tom's a-cold.

Lear. What hast thou been?

madness, lion in prey. Let not the creaking of
shoes, nor the rustling of silks, betray thy poor
heart to women: keep thy foot out of brothels,
thy hand out of plackets, thy pen from lenders'
books, and defy the foul fiend. Still through the
hawthorn blows the cold wind; says suuin, mun,
ha no nonny, dolphin my boy, my boy, sessa; let
him trot by.
[storm still continues.
Lear. Why, thou were better in thy grave, than
to answer with thy uncovered body this extremity
of the skies. Is man no more than this? Con-
sider him well: thou owest the worm no silk,
the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no
perfume: ha! here's three of us are sophisticated!
-Thou art the king itself: unaccommodated man
is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal
as thou art. Off, off, you lendings: come; un-
button here.—
[tearing off his clothes.
Fool. Pr'ythee, nuncle, be contented; this is a
naughty night to swim in.-Now a little fire in
a wild field were like an old lecher's heart: a
small spark, all the rest of his body cold. Look,
here comes a walking fire.

Edg. This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet; he begins at curfew, and walks till the first cock; he gives the web and the pin, squints the eye, and makes the hare-lip; mildews the white wheat,. and hurts the poor creature of earth.

Saint Withold footed thrice the wold;
He met the night-mare and her nine-fold;
Bid her alight,

And her troth plight,

And, aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!
Kent. How fares your grace?

Edg. A serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curled my hair, wore gloves in my cap, served the lust of my mistress' heart, and did the act of darkness with her; swore as many oaths as I spake words, and broke them in the sweet face of heaven one, that slept in the contriving of lust, and waked to do it; wine loved I deeply; dice dearly; and in woman, outparamoured the Turk; false of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand; hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in greediness, dog in

But mice, and rats, and such small deer,
Have been Tom's food for seven long year.
Beware my follower:-Peace, Smolkin; peace,

thou fiend!

Glo. What, hath your grace no better company. Edg. The prince of darkness is a gentleman; Modo he's called, and Mahu.

Glo. Our flesh and blood, my lord, is grown so That it doth hate what gets it.


Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold.


Glo. Go in with me; my duty cannot suffer
To obey in all your daughters' hard commands
Though their injunction be to bar my doors,
And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you;
Yet have I ventur'd to come seek you out,
And bring you where both fire and food is ready.
Lear. First let me talk with this philosopher :-
What is the cause of thunder?

Kent. Good my lord, take his offer;
Go into the house.

Lear. I'll talk a word with this same learned
What is your study?
[Theban :
Edg. How to prevent the fiend, and to kill


Lear. Let me ask you one word in private. Kent. Impórtune him once more to go, my lord, His wits begin to unsettle.

Glo. Canst thou blame him?

He said it would be thus:-poor banish'd man!Thou say'st the king grows mad; I'll tell thee, friend,

His daughters seek his death.-Ah, that goodness!

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Edm. How, my lord, I may be censared, that nature thus gives way to loyalty, something fears me to think of...

Corn. I now perceive, it was not altogether your brother's evil disposition made him seek his death; but a provoking merit, set a-work by a reproveable badness in himself.

Edm. How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to be just! This is the letter he spoke of, which approves him an intelligent party to the advantages of France. O heavens! that this treason were not, or not I the detector!

Corn. Go with me to the duchess.


Enter Gloster, Lear, Kent, Fool, and Edgar. Glo. Here is better than the open air; take thankfully: I will piece out the comfort with what addition I can: I will not be long from you.

Kent. All the power of his wits has given way to his impatience. The gods reward your kind [exit Gloster. Edg. Frateretto calls me; and tells me, Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.

Corn. I will lay trust upon thee; and thou ebalt find a dearer father in my love. [exeunt.

Fool. Pr'ythee, nuncle, tell me, whether a madman be a gentleman, or a yeoman?

Lear. A king, a king!

Fool. No; he's a yeoman, that has a gentleman to his son: for he's a mad yeoman that sees his son a gentleman before him.

Lear. To have a thousand with red burning Come hizzing in upon them :[spits

Edg. The foul fiend bites my back.

Fool. He's mad, that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath. [straight: Lear. It shall be done, I will arraign them Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer; [to Edgar. Thou, sapient sir, sit here. [to the Fool.]-Now, you she foxes ;—

Edg. Look, where he stands and glares!— Wantest thou eyes at trial, madam?

Come o'er the bourn, Bessy, to me:

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Pur! the cat is grey.

Lear. Arraign her first; 'tis Goneril. I here take my oath before this honourable assembly,

Edm. If the matter of this paper be certain, she kicked the poor king, her father. you have mighty business in hand.

Corn. True, or false, it hath made thee earl of Gloster. Seek out where thy father is, that he may be ready for our apprehension.

Edm. [aside] If I find him comforting the king, it will stuff his suspicion more fully.-I will persevere in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore between that and my blood,

Fool. Come hither, mistress; is your nams Goneril?

Lear. She cannot deny it:

Fool. Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-
Lear. And here's another, whose warp'd looks
What store her heart is made of.-Stop her there!
Arms, arms,sword, fire!-Corruption in the place!
False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?
Edg. Bless thy five wits!

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