Download King Lear
Last updated: Thu, Apr 21, 2016
- PDF Download as PDF
- DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) without line numbers
- DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers Download as DOC (for MS Word, Apple Pages, Open Office, etc.) with line numbers
- HTML Download as HTML
- TXT Download as TXT
- XML Download as XML
- TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis) Download as TEISimple XML (annotated with MorphAdorner for part-of-speech analysis)
Navigate this workKing Lear
King Lear dramatizes the story of an aged king of ancient Britain, whose plan to divide his kingdom among his three daughters ends tragically. When he tests each by asking how much she loves him, the older daughters, Goneril and Regan, flatter him. The youngest, Cordelia, does not, and Lear disowns and banishes her. She marries the king of France. Goneril and Regan turn on Lear, leaving him to wander madly in a furious storm.
Meanwhile, the Earl of Gloucester’s illegitimate son Edmund turns Gloucester against his legitimate son, Edgar. Gloucester, appalled at the daughters’ treatment of Lear, gets news that a French army is coming to help Lear. Edmund betrays Gloucester to Regan and her husband, Cornwall, who puts out Gloucester’s eyes and makes Edmund the Earl of Gloucester.
Cordelia and the French army save Lear, but the army is defeated. Edmund imprisons Cordelia and Lear. Edgar then mortally wounds Edmund in a trial by combat. Dying, Edmund confesses that he has ordered the deaths of Cordelia and Lear. Before they can be rescued, Lear brings in Cordelia’s body and then he himself dies.
KENT 0001 I thought the King had more affected the Duke
0002 of Albany than Cornwall.
GLOUCESTER 0003 It did always seem so to us, but now in
0004 the division of the kingdom, it appears not which
0005 5 of the dukes he values most, for ⟨equalities⟩ are so
0006 weighed that curiosity in neither can make choice
0007 of either’s moiety.
KENT 0008 Is not this your son, my lord?
GLOUCESTER 0009 His breeding, sir, hath been at my
0010 10 charge. I have so often blushed to acknowledge
0011 him that now I am brazed to ’t.
KENT 0012 I cannot conceive you.
GLOUCESTER 0013 Sir, this young fellow’s mother could,
0014 whereupon she grew round-wombed and had indeed,
0015 15 sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a husband
0016 for her bed. Do you smell a fault?
KENT 0017 I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it
0018 being so proper.
GLOUCESTER 0019 But I have a son, sir, by order of law,
0020 20 some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in
0021 my account. Though this knave came something
0022 saucily to the world before he was sent for, yet was
0023 his mother fair, there was good sport at his making,
0025 25 know this noble gentleman, Edmund?
EDMUND 0026 No, my lord.
GLOUCESTER 0027 My lord of Kent. Remember him hereafter
0028 as my honorable friend.
EDMUND 0029 My services to your Lordship.
KENT 0030 30I must love you and sue to know you better.
EDMUND 0031 Sir, I shall study deserving.
GLOUCESTER 0032 He hath been out nine years, and away he
0033 shall again. (Sennet.) The King is coming.
Enter King Lear, Cornwall, Albany, Goneril, Regan,
Cordelia, and Attendants.
0034 Attend the lords of France and Burgundy,
0035 35 Gloucester.
GLOUCESTER 0036 I shall, my lord.He exits.
0037 Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.—
0038 Give me the map there.⌜He is handed a map.⌝
0039 Know that we have divided
0040 40 In three our kingdom, and ’tis our fast intent
0041 To shake all cares and business from our age,
0042 Conferring them on younger strengths, [while we
0043 Unburdened crawl toward death. Our son of
0045 45 And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
0046 We have this hour a constant will to publish
0047 Our daughters’ several dowers, that future strife
0048 May be prevented now.]
0049 The ⟨two great⟩ princes, France and Burgundy,
0050 50 Great rivals in our youngest daughter’s love,
0051 Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn
0052 And here are to be answered. Tell me, my
0054 [Since now we will divest us both of rule,
0056 Which of you shall we say doth love us most,
0057 That we our largest bounty may extend
0058 Where nature doth with merit challenge. Goneril,
0059 Our eldest born, speak first.
0060 60 Sir, I love you more than word can wield the
0062 Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty,
0063 Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare,
0064 No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honor;
0065 65 As much as child e’er loved, or father found;
0066 A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable.
0067 Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
0068 What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.
LEAR, ⌜pointing to the map⌝
0069 Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
0070 70 With shadowy forests [and with champains riched,
0071 With plenteous rivers] and wide-skirted meads,
0072 We make thee lady. To thine and Albany’s ⟨issue⟩
0073 Be this perpetual.—What says our second
0075 75 Our dearest Regan, wife of Cornwall? ⟨Speak.⟩
0076 I am made of that self mettle as my sister
0077 And prize me at her worth. In my true heart
0078 I find she names my very deed of love;
0079 Only she comes too short, that I profess
0080 80 Myself an enemy to all other joys
0081 Which the most precious square of sense
0083 And find I am alone felicitate
0084 In your dear Highness’ love.
CORDELIA, ⌜aside⌝ 0085 85 Then poor Cordelia!
0086 And yet not so, since I am sure my love’s
0087 More ponderous than my tongue.
0088 To thee and thine hereditary ever
0089 Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom,
0090 90 No less in space, validity, and pleasure
0091 Than that conferred on Goneril.—Now, our joy,
0092 Although our last and least, to whose young love
0093 [The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
0094 Strive to be interessed,] what can you say to draw
0095 95 A third more opulent than your sisters’? Speak.
CORDELIA 0096 Nothing, my lord.
[LEAR 0097 Nothing?
CORDELIA 0098 Nothing.]
0099 Nothing will come of nothing. Speak again.
0100 100 Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
0101 My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty
0102 According to my bond, no more nor less.
0103 How, how, Cordelia? Mend your speech a little,
0104 Lest you may mar your fortunes.
CORDELIA 0105 105 Good my lord,
0106 You have begot me, bred me, loved me.
0107 I return those duties back as are right fit:
0108 Obey you, love you, and most honor you.
0109 Why have my sisters husbands if they say
0110 110 They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
0111 That lord whose hand must take my plight shall
0113 Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
0114 Sure I shall never marry like my sisters,
0115 115 ⟨To love my father all.⟩
LEAR 0116 But goes thy heart with this?
CORDELIA 0117 Ay, my good lord.
LEAR 0118 So young and so untender?
CORDELIA 0119 So young, my lord, and true.
0120 120 Let it be so. Thy truth, then, be thy dower,
0121 For by the sacred radiance of the sun,
0122 The ⌜mysteries⌝ of Hecate and the night,
0123 By all the operation of the orbs
0124 From whom we do exist and cease to be,
0125 125 Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
0126 Propinquity, and property of blood,
0127 And as a stranger to my heart and me
0128 Hold thee from this forever. The barbarous
0130 130 Or he that makes his generation messes
0131 To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
0132 Be as well neighbored, pitied, and relieved
0133 As thou my sometime daughter.
KENT 0134 Good my liege—
LEAR 0135 135Peace, Kent.
0136 Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
0137 I loved her most and thought to set my rest
0138 On her kind nursery. ⌜To Cordelia.⌝ Hence and avoid
0139 my sight!—
0140 140 So be my grave my peace as here I give
0141 Her father’s heart from her.—Call France. Who stirs?
0142 Call Burgundy. ⌜An Attendant exits.⌝ Cornwall and
0144 With my two daughters’ dowers digest the third.
0145 145 Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
0146 I do invest you jointly with my power,
0147 Preeminence, and all the large effects
0148 That troop with majesty. Ourself by monthly course,
0149 With reservation of an hundred knights
0150 150 By you to be sustained, shall our abode
0151 Make with you by due turn. Only we shall retain
0152 The name and all th’ addition to a king.
0153 The sway, revenue, execution of the rest,
0155 155 This coronet part between you.
KENT 0156 Royal Lear,
0157 Whom I have ever honored as my king,
0158 Loved as my father, as my master followed,
0159 As my great patron thought on in my prayers—
0160 160 The bow is bent and drawn. Make from the shaft.
0161 Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
0162 The region of my heart. Be Kent unmannerly
0163 When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man?
0164 Think’st thou that duty shall have dread to speak
0165 165 When power to flattery bows? To plainness honor’s
0167 When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state,
0168 And in thy best consideration check
0169 This hideous rashness. Answer my life my
0170 170 judgment,
0171 Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least,
0172 Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sounds
0173 Reverb no hollowness.
LEAR 0174 Kent, on thy life, no more.
0175 175 My life I never held but as ⟨a⟩ pawn
0176 To wage against thine enemies, ⟨nor⟩ fear to lose
0178 Thy safety being motive.
LEAR 0179 Out of my sight!
0180 180 See better, Lear, and let me still remain
0181 The true blank of thine eye.
LEAR 0182 Now, by Apollo—
KENT 0183 Now, by Apollo, king,
0184 Thou swear’st thy gods in vain.
LEAR 0185 185O vassal! Miscreant!
0187 Kill thy physician, and thy fee bestow
0188 Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift,
0189 Or whilst I can vent clamor from my throat,
0190 190 I’ll tell thee thou dost evil.
0191 Hear me, recreant; on thine allegiance, hear me!
0192 That thou hast sought to make us break our vows—
0193 Which we durst never yet—and with strained pride
0194 To come betwixt our sentence and our power,
0195 195 Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,
0196 Our potency made good, take thy reward:
0197 Five days we do allot thee for provision
0198 To shield thee from disasters of the world,
0199 And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
0200 200 Upon our kingdom. If on the tenth day following
0201 Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions,
0202 The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter,
0203 This shall not be revoked.
0204 Fare thee well, king. Sith thus thou wilt appear,
0205 205 Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.
0206 ⌜To Cordelia.⌝ The gods to their dear shelter take
0207 thee, maid,
0208 That justly think’st and hast most rightly said.
0209 ⌜To Goneril and Regan.⌝ And your large speeches
0210 210 may your deeds approve,
0211 That good effects may spring from words of love.—
0212 Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu.
0213 He’ll shape his old course in a country new.
Flourish. Enter Gloucester with France, and Burgundy,
0214 Here’s France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
0216 We first address toward you, who with this king
0217 Hath rivaled for our daughter. What in the least
0218 Will you require in present dower with her,
0219 Or cease your quest of love?
BURGUNDY 0220 220 Most royal Majesty,
0221 I crave no more than hath your Highness offered,
0222 Nor will you tender less.
LEAR 0223 Right noble Burgundy,
0224 When she was dear to us, we did hold her so,
0225 225 But now her price is fallen. Sir, there she stands.
0226 If aught within that little seeming substance,
0227 Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced
0228 And nothing more, may fitly like your Grace,
0229 She’s there, and she is yours.
BURGUNDY 0230 230 I know no answer.
0231 Will you, with those infirmities she owes,
0232 Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,
0233 Dowered with our curse and strangered with our
0235 235 Take her or leave her?
BURGUNDY 0236 Pardon me, royal sir,
0237 Election makes not up in such conditions.
0238 Then leave her, sir, for by the power that made me
0239 I tell you all her wealth.—For you, great king,
0240 240 I would not from your love make such a stray
0241 To match you where I hate. Therefore beseech you
0242 T’ avert your liking a more worthier way
0243 Than on a wretch whom Nature is ashamed
0244 Almost t’ acknowledge hers.
FRANCE 0245 245 This is most strange,
0246 That she whom even but now was your ⟨best⟩
0248 The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
0250 250 Commit a thing so monstrous to dismantle
0251 So many folds of favor. Sure her offense
0252 Must be of such unnatural degree
0253 That monsters it, or your forevouched affection
0254 Fall into taint; which to believe of her
0255 255 Must be a faith that reason without miracle
0256 Should never plant in me.
CORDELIA, ⌜to Lear⌝ 0257 I yet beseech your Majesty—
0258 If for I want that glib and oily art
0259 To speak and purpose not, since what I ⟨well⟩
0260 260 intend
0261 I’ll do ’t before I speak—that you make known
0262 It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
0263 No unchaste action or dishonored step
0264 That hath deprived me of your grace and favor,
0265 265 But even for want of that for which I am richer:
0266 A still-soliciting eye and such a tongue
0267 That I am glad I have not, though not to have it
0268 Hath lost me in your liking.
LEAR 0269 Better thou
0270 270 Hadst not been born than not t’ have pleased me
0272 Is it but this—a tardiness in nature
0273 Which often leaves the history unspoke
0274 That it intends to do?—My lord of Burgundy,
0275 275 What say you to the lady? Love’s not love
0276 When it is mingled with regards that stands
0277 Aloof from th’ entire point. Will you have her?
0278 She is herself a dowry.
BURGUNDY, ⌜to Lear⌝ 0279 Royal king,
0280 280 Give but that portion which yourself proposed,
0281 And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
0282 Duchess of Burgundy.
0283 Nothing. I have sworn. I am firm.
0284 I am sorry, then, you have so lost a father
0285 285 That you must lose a husband.
CORDELIA 0286 Peace be with
0288 Since that respect and fortunes are his love,
0289 I shall not be his wife.
0290 290 Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich being poor;
0291 Most choice, forsaken; and most loved, despised,
0292 Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon,
0293 Be it lawful I take up what’s cast away.
0294 Gods, gods! ’Tis strange that from their cold’st
0295 295 neglect
0296 My love should kindle to enflamed respect.—
0297 Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my
0299 Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France.
0300 300 Not all the dukes of wat’rish Burgundy
0301 Can buy this unprized precious maid of me.—
0302 Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind.
0303 Thou losest here a better where to find.
0304 Thou hast her, France. Let her be thine, for we
0305 305 Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
0306 That face of hers again. ⌜To Cordelia.⌝ Therefore
0308 Without our grace, our love, our benison.—
0309 Come, noble Burgundy.
Flourish. ⌜All but France, Cordelia,
Goneril, and Regan⌝ exit.
FRANCE 0310 310Bid farewell to your sisters.
0311 The jewels of our father, with washed eyes
0312 Cordelia leaves you. I know you what you are,
0313 And like a sister am most loath to call
0315 315 father.
0316 To your professèd bosoms I commit him;
0317 But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
0318 I would prefer him to a better place.
0319 So farewell to you both.
0320 320 Prescribe not us our duty.
GONERIL 0321 Let your study
0322 Be to content your lord, who hath received you
0323 At Fortune’s alms. You have obedience scanted
0324 And well are worth the want that you have wanted.
0325 325 Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides,
0326 Who covers faults at last with shame derides.
0327 Well may you prosper.
FRANCE 0328 Come, my fair Cordelia.
France and Cordelia exit.
GONERIL 0329 Sister, it is not little I have to say of what
0330 330 most nearly appertains to us both. I think our
0331 father will hence tonight.
REGAN 0332 That’s most certain, and with you; next month
0333 with us.
GONERIL 0334 You see how full of changes his age is; the
0335 335 observation we have made of it hath ⟨not⟩ been
0336 little. He always loved our sister most, and with
0337 what poor judgment he hath now cast her off
0338 appears too grossly.
REGAN 0339 ’Tis the infirmity of his age. Yet he hath ever
0340 340 but slenderly known himself.
GONERIL 0341 The best and soundest of his time hath been
0342 but rash. Then must we look from his age to
0343 receive not alone the imperfections of long-engraffed
0344 condition, but therewithal the unruly waywardness
0345 345 that infirm and choleric years bring with
0348 from him as this of Kent’s banishment.
GONERIL 0349 There is further compliment of leave-taking
0350 350 between France and him. Pray you, let us sit
0351 together. If our father carry authority with such
0352 disposition as he bears, this last surrender of his will
0353 but offend us.
REGAN 0354 We shall further think of it.
GONERIL 0355 355We must do something, and i’ th’ heat.
0356 Thou, Nature, art my goddess. To thy law
0357 My services are bound. Wherefore should I
0358 Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
0359 The curiosity of nations to deprive me
0360 5 For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
0361 Lag of a brother? why “bastard”? Wherefore “base,”
0362 When my dimensions are as well compact,
0363 My mind as generous and my shape as true
0364 As honest madam’s issue? Why brand they us
0365 10 With “base,” with “baseness,” “bastardy,” “base,”
0367 Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
0368 More composition and fierce quality
0369 Than doth within a dull, stale, tired bed
0370 15 Go to th’ creating a whole tribe of fops
0371 Got ’tween asleep and wake? Well then,
0372 Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.
0373 Our father’s love is to the bastard Edmund
0374 As to th’ legitimate. Fine word, “legitimate.”
0375 20 Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed
0377 Shall ⌜top⌝ th’ legitimate. I grow, I prosper.
0378 Now, gods, stand up for bastards!
0379 Kent banished thus? And France in choler parted?
0380 25 And the King gone tonight, prescribed his power,
0381 Confined to exhibition? All this done
0382 Upon the gad?—Edmund, how now? What news?
EDMUND 0383 So please your Lordship, none. ⌜He puts a
paper in his pocket.⌝
GLOUCESTER 0384 Why so earnestly seek you to put up that
0385 30 letter?
EDMUND 0386 I know no news, my lord.
GLOUCESTER 0387 What paper were you reading?
EDMUND 0388 Nothing, my lord.
GLOUCESTER 0389 No? What needed then that terrible dispatch
0390 35 of it into your pocket? The quality of nothing
0391 hath not such need to hide itself. Let’s see. Come, if
0392 it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.
EDMUND 0393 I beseech you, sir, pardon me. It is a letter
0394 from my brother that I have not all o’erread; and
0395 40 for so much as I have perused, I find it not fit for
0396 your o’erlooking.
GLOUCESTER 0397 Give me the letter, sir.
EDMUND 0398 I shall offend either to detain or give it. The
0399 contents, as in part I understand them, are to
0400 45 blame.
GLOUCESTER 0401 Let’s see, let’s see.
⌜Edmund gives him the paper.⌝
EDMUND 0402 I hope, for my brother’s justification, he
0403 wrote this but as an essay or taste of my virtue.
GLOUCESTER (reads) 0404 This policy and reverence of age
0405 50 makes the world bitter to the best of our times, keeps
0406 our fortunes from us till our oldness cannot relish
0408 oppression of aged tyranny, who sways not as it hath
0409 power but as it is suffered. Come to me, that of this I
0410 55 may speak more. If our father would sleep till I waked
0411 him, you should enjoy half his revenue forever and
0412 live the beloved of your brother. Edgar.
0413 Hum? Conspiracy? “Sleep till I wake him, you
0414 should enjoy half his revenue.” My son Edgar! Had
0415 60 he a hand to write this? A heart and brain to breed it
0416 in?—When came you to this? Who brought it?
EDMUND 0417 It was not brought me, my lord; there’s the
0418 cunning of it. I found it thrown in at the casement
0419 of my closet.
GLOUCESTER 0420 65You know the character to be your
EDMUND 0422 If the matter were good, my lord, I durst
0423 swear it were his; but in respect of that, I would
0424 fain think it were not.
GLOUCESTER 0425 70It is his.
EDMUND 0426 It is his hand, my lord, but I hope his heart is
0427 not in the contents.
GLOUCESTER 0428 Has he never before sounded you in this
EDMUND 0430 75Never, my lord. But I have heard him oft
0431 maintain it to be fit that, sons at perfect age and
0432 fathers declined, the father should be as ward to the
0433 son, and the son manage his revenue.
GLOUCESTER 0434 O villain, villain! His very opinion in the
0435 80 letter. Abhorred villain! Unnatural, detested, brutish
0436 villain! Worse than brutish!—Go, sirrah, seek
0437 him. I’ll apprehend him.—Abominable villain!—
0438 Where is he?
EDMUND 0439 I do not well know, my lord. If it shall please
0440 85 you to suspend your indignation against my brother
0441 till you can derive from him better testimony of his
0442 intent, you should run a certain course; where, if
0444 purpose, it would make a great gap in your own
0445 90 honor and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience.
0446 I dare pawn down my life for him that he hath
0447 writ this to feel my affection to your Honor, and to
0448 no other pretense of danger.
GLOUCESTER 0449 Think you so?
EDMUND 0450 95If your Honor judge it meet, I will place you
0451 where you shall hear us confer of this, and by an
0452 auricular assurance have your satisfaction, and that
0453 without any further delay than this very evening.
GLOUCESTER 0454 He cannot be such a monster.
⟨EDMUND 0455 100Nor is not, sure.
GLOUCESTER 0456 To his father, that so tenderly and entirely
0457 loves him! Heaven and Earth!⟩ Edmund, seek him
0458 out; wind me into him, I pray you. Frame the
0459 business after your own wisdom. I would unstate
0460 105 myself to be in a due resolution.
EDMUND 0461 I will seek him, sir, presently, convey the
0462 business as I shall find means, and acquaint you
GLOUCESTER 0464 These late eclipses in the sun and moon
0465 110 portend no good to us. Though the wisdom of
0466 nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds
0467 itself scourged by the sequent effects. Love cools,
0468 friendship falls off, brothers divide; in cities, mutinies;
0469 in countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and
0470 115 the bond cracked ’twixt son and father. [This villain
0471 of mine comes under the prediction: there’s son
0472 against father. The King falls from bias of nature:
0473 there’s father against child. We have seen the best of
0474 our time. Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and
0475 120 all ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our
0476 graves.]—Find out this villain, Edmund. It shall
0477 lose thee nothing. Do it carefully.—And the noble
0478 and true-hearted Kent banished! His offense, honesty!
0479 ’Tis strange.He exits.
0481 when we are sick in fortune (often the surfeits of
0482 our own behavior) we make guilty of our disasters
0483 the sun, the moon, and stars, as if we were villains
0484 on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves,
0485 130 thieves, and treachers by spherical predominance;
0486 drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforced
0487 obedience of planetary influence; and all that we
0488 are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable
0489 evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish
0490 135 disposition on the charge of a star! My father
0491 compounded with my mother under the Dragon’s
0492 tail, and my nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it
0493 follows I am rough and lecherous. ⟨Fut,⟩ I should
0494 have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the
0495 140 firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. ⟨Edgar⟩—
0496 ⟨and⟩ pat he comes like the catastrophe of the old
0497 comedy. My cue is villainous melancholy, with a
0498 sigh like Tom o’ Bedlam.—O, these eclipses do
0499 portend these divisions. Fa, sol, la, mi.
EDGAR 0500 145How now, brother Edmund, what serious contemplation
0501 are you in?
EDMUND 0502 I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read
0503 this other day, what should follow these eclipses.
EDGAR 0504 Do you busy yourself with that?
EDMUND 0505 150I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed
0506 unhappily, ⟨as of unnaturalness between the
0507 child and the parent, death, dearth, dissolutions of
0508 ancient amities, divisions in state, menaces and
0509 maledictions against king and nobles, needless diffidences,
0510 155 banishment of friends, dissipation of cohorts,
0511 nuptial breaches, and I know not what.
EDGAR 0512 How long have you been a sectary
EDGAR 0515 160The night gone by.
EDMUND 0516 Spake you with him?
EDGAR 0517 Ay, two hours together.
EDMUND 0518 Parted you in good terms? Found you no
0519 displeasure in him by word nor countenance?
EDGAR 0520 165None at all.
EDMUND 0521 Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended
0522 him, and at my entreaty forbear his presence
0523 until some little time hath qualified the heat
0524 of his displeasure, which at this instant so rageth in
0525 170 him that with the mischief of your person it would
0526 scarcely allay.
EDGAR 0527 Some villain hath done me wrong.
EDMUND 0528 That’s my fear. [I pray you have a continent
0529 forbearance till the speed of his rage goes slower;
0530 175 and, as I say, retire with me to my lodging, from
0531 whence I will fitly bring you to hear my lord speak.
0532 Pray you go. There’s my key. If you do stir abroad,
0533 go armed.
EDGAR 0534 Armed, brother?]
EDMUND 0535 180Brother, I advise you to the best. I am no
0536 honest man if there be any good meaning toward
0537 you. I have told you what I have seen and heard, but
0538 faintly, nothing like the image and horror of it. Pray
0539 you, away.
EDGAR 0540 185Shall I hear from you anon?
EDMUND 0541 I do serve you in this business.Edgar exits.
0542 A credulous father and a brother noble,
0543 Whose nature is so far from doing harms
0544 That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty
0545 190 My practices ride easy. I see the business.
0546 Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit.
0547 All with me’s meet that I can fashion fit.
GONERIL 0548 Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding
0549 of his Fool?
OSWALD 0550 Ay, madam.
0551 By day and night he wrongs me. Every hour
0552 5 He flashes into one gross crime or other
0553 That sets us all at odds. I’ll not endure it.
0554 His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us
0555 On every trifle. When he returns from hunting,
0556 I will not speak with him. Say I am sick.
0557 10 If you come slack of former services,
0558 You shall do well. The fault of it I’ll answer.
OSWALD 0559 He’s coming, madam. I hear him.
0560 Put on what weary negligence you please,
0561 You and your fellows. I’d have it come to question.
0562 15 If he distaste it, let him to my sister,
0563 Whose mind and mine I know in that are one,
0564 ⟨Not to be overruled. Idle old man
0565 That still would manage those authorities
0566 That he hath given away. Now, by my life,
0567 20 Old fools are babes again and must be used
0568 With checks as flatteries, when they are seen
0570 Remember what I have said.
OSWALD 0571 Well, madam.
0572 25 And let his knights have colder looks among you.
0573 What grows of it, no matter. Advise your fellows so.
0574 ⟨I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,
0575 That I may speak.⟩ I’ll write straight to my sister
0576 To hold my ⟨very⟩ course. Prepare for dinner.
They exit ⌜in different directions.⌝
0577 If but as ⟨well⟩ I other accents borrow
0578 That can my speech diffuse, my good intent
0579 May carry through itself to that full issue
0580 For which I razed my likeness. Now, banished Kent,
0581 5 If thou canst serve where thou dost stand
0583 So may it come thy master, whom thou lov’st,
0584 Shall find thee full of labors.
Horns within. Enter Lear, ⌜Knights,⌝ and Attendants.
LEAR 0585 Let me not stay a jot for dinner. Go get it ready.
⌜An Attendant exits.⌝
0586 10 How now, what art thou?
KENT 0587 A man, sir.
LEAR 0588 What dost thou profess? What wouldst thou with
KENT 0590 I do profess to be no less than I seem, to serve
0591 15 him truly that will put me in trust, to love him that
0592 is honest, to converse with him that is wise and says
0593 little, to fear judgment, to fight when I cannot
0594 choose, and to eat no fish.
LEAR 0595 What art thou?
KENT 0596 20A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the
LEAR 0598 If thou be’st as poor for a subject as he’s for a
0599 king, thou art poor enough. What wouldst thou?
KENT 0600 Service.
LEAR 0601 25Who wouldst thou serve?
KENT 0602 You.
LEAR 0603 Dost thou know me, fellow?
KENT 0604 No, sir, but you have that in your countenance
0605 which I would fain call master.
KENT 0607 Authority.
LEAR 0608 What services canst do?
KENT 0609 I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a
0610 curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message
0611 35 bluntly. That which ordinary men are fit for I
0612 am qualified in, and the best of me is diligence.
LEAR 0613 How old art thou?
KENT 0614 Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing,
0615 nor so old to dote on her for anything. I have years
0616 40 on my back forty-eight.
LEAR 0617 Follow me. Thou shalt serve me—if I like thee
0618 no worse after dinner. I will not part from thee
0619 yet.—Dinner, ho, dinner!—Where’s my knave, my
0620 Fool? Go you and call my Fool hither.
⌜An Attendant exits.⌝
Enter ⌜Oswald, the⌝ Steward.
0621 45 You, you, sirrah, where’s my daughter?
OSWALD 0622 So please you—He exits.
LEAR 0623 What says the fellow there? Call the clotpole
0624 back. ⌜A Knight exits.⌝ Where’s my Fool? Ho! I think
0625 the world’s asleep.
⌜Enter Knight again.⌝
0626 50 How now? Where’s that mongrel?
KNIGHT 0627 He says, my lord, your ⟨daughter⟩ is not well.
LEAR 0628 Why came not the slave back to me when I
0629 called him?
KNIGHT 0630 Sir, he answered me in the roundest manner,
0631 55 he would not.
LEAR 0632 He would not?
KNIGHT 0633 My lord, I know not what the matter is, but to
0634 my judgment your Highness is not entertained
0635 with that ceremonious affection as you were wont.
0636 60 There’s a great abatement of kindness appears as
0638 himself also, and your daughter.
LEAR 0639 Ha? Sayst thou so?
KNIGHT 0640 I beseech you pardon me, my lord, if I be
0641 65 mistaken, for my duty cannot be silent when I think
0642 your Highness wronged.
LEAR 0643 Thou but remembrest me of mine own conception.
0644 I have perceived a most faint neglect of late,
0645 which I have rather blamed as mine own jealous
0646 70 curiosity than as a very pretense and purpose of
0647 unkindness. I will look further into ’t. But where’s
0648 my Fool? I have not seen him this two days.
KNIGHT 0649 Since my young lady’s going into France, sir,
0650 the Fool hath much pined away.
LEAR 0651 75No more of that. I have noted it well.—Go you
0652 and tell my daughter I would speak with her. ⌜An
Attendant exits.⌝ 0653 Go you call hither my Fool.
Enter ⌜Oswald, the⌝ Steward.
0654 O you, sir, you, come you hither, sir. Who am I, sir?
OSWALD 0655 My lady’s father.
LEAR 0656 80“My lady’s father”? My lord’s knave! You whoreson
0657 dog, you slave, you cur!
OSWALD 0658 I am none of these, my lord, I beseech your
LEAR 0660 Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal?
⌜Lear strikes him.⌝
OSWALD 0661 85I’ll not be strucken, my lord.
KENT, ⌜tripping him⌝ 0662 Nor tripped neither, you base
0663 football player?
LEAR 0664 I thank thee, fellow. Thou serv’st me, and I’ll
0665 love thee.
KENT, ⌜to Oswald⌝ 0666 90Come, sir, arise. Away. I’ll teach you
0667 differences. Away, away. If you will measure your
0668 lubber’s length again, tarry. But away. Go to. Have
0669 you wisdom? So.⌜Oswald exits.⌝
0671 95 earnest of thy service.⌜He gives Kent a purse.⌝
FOOL 0672 Let me hire him too. ⌜To Kent.⌝ Here’s my
0673 coxcomb.⌜He offers Kent his cap.⌝
LEAR 0674 How now, my pretty knave, how dost thou?
FOOL, ⌜to Kent⌝ 0675 Sirrah, you were best take my
0676 100 coxcomb.
LEAR 0677 Why, my boy?
FOOL 0678 Why? For taking one’s part that’s out of favor.
0679 ⌜To Kent.⌝ Nay, an thou canst not smile as the
0680 wind sits, thou ’lt catch cold shortly. There, take my
0681 105 coxcomb. Why, this fellow has banished two on ’s
0682 daughters and did the third a blessing against his
0683 will. If thou follow him, thou must needs wear my
0684 coxcomb.—How now, nuncle? Would I had two
0685 coxcombs and two daughters.
LEAR 0686 110Why, my boy?
FOOL 0687 If I gave them all my living, I’d keep my coxcombs
0688 myself. There’s mine. Beg another of thy
LEAR 0690 Take heed, sirrah—the whip.
FOOL 0691 115Truth’s a dog must to kennel; he must be
0692 whipped out, when the Lady Brach may stand by th’
0693 fire and stink.
LEAR 0694 A pestilent gall to me!
FOOL 0695 Sirrah, I’ll teach thee a speech.
LEAR 0696 120Do.
FOOL 0697 Mark it, nuncle:
0698 Have more than thou showest.
0699 Speak less than thou knowest,
0700 Lend less than thou owest,
0701 125 Ride more than thou goest,
0702 Learn more than thou trowest,
0703 Set less than thou throwest;
0705 And keep in-a-door,
0706 130 And thou shalt have more
0707 Than two tens to a score.
KENT 0708 This is nothing, Fool.
FOOL 0709 Then ’tis like the breath of an unfee’d lawyer.
0710 You gave me nothing for ’t.—Can you make no use
0711 135 of nothing, nuncle?
LEAR 0712 Why no, boy. Nothing can be made out of
FOOL, ⌜to Kent⌝ 0714 Prithee tell him, so much the rent of his
0715 land comes to. He will not believe a Fool.
LEAR 0716 140A bitter Fool!
FOOL 0717 Dost know the difference, my boy, between a
0718 bitter fool and a sweet one?
LEAR 0719 No, lad, teach me.
FOOL 0720 ⟨That lord that counseled thee
0721 145 To give away thy land,
0722 Come place him here by me;
0723 Do thou for him stand.
0724 The sweet and bitter fool
0725 Will presently appear:
0726 150 The one in motley here,
0727 The other found out there.
LEAR 0728 Dost thou call me “fool,” boy?
FOOL 0729 All thy other titles thou hast given away. That
0730 thou wast born with.
KENT 0731 155This is not altogether fool, my lord.
FOOL 0732 No, faith, lords and great men will not let me. If
0733 I had a monopoly out, they would have part on ’t.
0734 And ladies too, they will not let me have all the fool
0735 to myself; they’ll be snatching.⟩—Nuncle, give me
0736 160 an egg, and I’ll give thee two crowns.
LEAR 0737 What two crowns shall they be?
FOOL 0738 Why, after I have cut the egg i’ th’ middle and eat
0739 up the meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou
0741 165 both parts, thou bor’st thine ass on thy back o’er
0742 the dirt. Thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown
0743 when thou gav’st thy golden one away. If I speak
0744 like myself in this, let him be whipped that first
0745 finds it so. ⌜Sings.⌝
0746 170 Fools had ne’er less grace in a year,
0747 For wise men are grown foppish
0748 And know not how their wits to wear,
0749 Their manners are so apish.
LEAR 0750 When were you wont to be so full of songs,
0751 175 sirrah?
FOOL 0752 I have used it, nuncle, e’er since thou mad’st thy
0753 daughters thy mothers. For when thou gav’st them
0754 the rod and put’st down thine own breeches,
0755 Then they for sudden joy did weep,
0756 180 And I for sorrow sung,
0757 That such a king should play bo-peep
0758 And go the ⟨fools⟩ among.
0759 Prithee, nuncle, keep a schoolmaster that can teach
0760 thy Fool to lie. I would fain learn to lie.
LEAR 0761 185An you lie, sirrah, we’ll have you whipped.
FOOL 0762 I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters are.
0763 They’ll have me whipped for speaking true, thou ’lt
0764 have me whipped for lying, and sometimes I am
0765 whipped for holding my peace. I had rather be any
0766 190 kind o’ thing than a Fool. And yet I would not be
0767 thee, nuncle. Thou hast pared thy wit o’ both sides
0768 and left nothing i’ th’ middle. Here comes one o’ the
0770 How now, daughter? What makes that frontlet on?
0771 195 ⟨Methinks⟩ you are too much of late i’ th’ frown.
0773 need to care for her frowning. Now thou art an O
0774 without a figure. I am better than thou art now. I
0775 am a Fool. Thou art nothing. ⌜To Goneril.⌝ Yes,
0776 200 forsooth, I will hold my tongue. So your face bids
0777 me, though you say nothing.
0778 Mum, mum,
0779 He that keeps nor crust ⟨nor⟩ crumb,
0780 Weary of all, shall want some.
⌜He points at Lear.⌝
0781 205 That’s a shelled peascod.
0782 Not only, sir, this your all-licensed Fool,
0783 But other of your insolent retinue
0784 Do hourly carp and quarrel, breaking forth
0785 In rank and not-to-be-endurèd riots. Sir,
0786 210 I had thought by making this well known unto you
0787 To have found a safe redress, but now grow fearful,
0788 By what yourself too late have spoke and done,
0789 That you protect this course and put it on
0790 By your allowance; which if you should, the fault
0791 215 Would not ’scape censure, nor the redresses sleep
0792 Which in the tender of a wholesome weal
0793 Might in their working do you that offense,
0794 Which else were shame, that then necessity
0795 Will call discreet proceeding.
FOOL 0796 220For you know, nuncle,
0797 The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
0798 That it’s had it head bit off by it young.
0799 So out went the candle, and we were left darkling.
LEAR 0800 Are you our daughter?
0801 225 I would you would make use of your good wisdom,
0802 Whereof I know you are fraught, and put away
0803 These dispositions which of late transport you
0804 From what you rightly are.
0806 230 horse? Whoop, Jug, I love thee!
0807 Does any here know me? This is not Lear.
0808 Does Lear walk thus, speak thus? Where are his
0810 Either his notion weakens, his discernings
0811 235 Are lethargied—Ha! Waking? ’Tis not so.
0812 Who is it that can tell me who I am?
FOOL 0813 Lear’s shadow.
0814 I would learn that, for, by the marks of
0816 240 Knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded
0817 I had daughters.
FOOL 0818 Which they will make an obedient father.⟩
LEAR 0819 Your name, fair gentlewoman?
0820 This admiration, sir, is much o’ th’ savor
0821 245 Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you
0822 To understand my purposes aright.
0823 As you are old and reverend, should be wise.
0824 Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires,
0825 Men so disordered, so debauched and bold,
0826 250 That this our court, infected with their manners,
0827 Shows like a riotous inn. Epicurism and lust
0828 Makes it more like a tavern or a brothel
0829 Than a graced palace. The shame itself doth speak
0830 For instant remedy. Be then desired,
0831 255 By her that else will take the thing she begs,
0832 A little to disquantity your train,
0833 And the remainders that shall still depend
0834 To be such men as may besort your age,
0835 Which know themselves and you.
LEAR 0836 260 Darkness and
0838 Saddle my horses. Call my train together.
0840 Yet have I left a daughter.
0841 265 You strike my people, and your disordered rabble
0842 Make servants of their betters.
0843 Woe that too late repents!—⟨O, sir, are you
0845 Is it your will? Speak, sir.—Prepare my horses.
0846 270 Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
0847 More hideous when thou show’st thee in a child
0848 Than the sea monster!
[ALBANY 0849 Pray, sir, be patient.]
LEAR, ⌜to Goneril⌝ 0850 Detested kite, thou liest.
0851 275 My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
0852 That all particulars of duty know
0853 And in the most exact regard support
0854 The worships of their name. O most small fault,
0855 How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show,
0856 280 Which, like an engine, wrenched my frame of
0858 From the fixed place, drew from my heart all love
0859 And added to the gall! O Lear, Lear, Lear!
⌜He strikes his head.⌝
0860 Beat at this gate that let thy folly in
0861 285 And thy dear judgment out. Go, go, my people.
0862 My lord, I am guiltless as I am ignorant
0863 [Of what hath moved you.]
LEAR 0864 It may be so, my lord.—
0865 Hear, Nature, hear, dear goddess, hear!
0866 290 Suspend thy purpose if thou didst intend
0868 Into her womb convey sterility.
0869 Dry up in her the organs of increase,
0870 And from her derogate body never spring
0871 295 A babe to honor her. If she must teem,
0872 Create her child of spleen, that it may live
0873 And be a thwart disnatured torment to her.
0874 Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth,
0875 With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks,
0876 300 Turn all her mother’s pains and benefits
0877 To laughter and contempt, that she may feel
0878 How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
0879 To have a thankless child.—Away, away!
⌜Lear and the rest of his train⌝ exit.
0880 Now, gods that we adore, whereof comes this?
0881 305 Never afflict yourself to know more of it,
0882 But let his disposition have that scope
0883 As dotage gives it.
Enter Lear ⌜and the Fool.⌝
0884 What, fifty of my followers at a clap?
0885 Within a fortnight?
ALBANY 0886 310 What’s the matter, sir?
0887 I’ll tell thee. ⌜To Goneril.⌝ Life and death! I am
0889 That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus,
0890 That these hot tears, which break from me perforce,
0891 315 Should make thee worth them. Blasts and fogs upon
0893 Th’ untented woundings of a father’s curse
0894 Pierce every sense about thee! Old fond eyes,
0895 Beweep this cause again, I’ll pluck you out
0897 To temper clay. ⟨Yea, is ’t come to this?⟩
0898 Ha! Let it be so. I have another daughter
0899 Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable.
0900 When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
0901 325 She’ll flay thy wolvish visage. Thou shalt find
0902 That I’ll resume the shape which thou dost think
0903 I have cast off forever.He exits.
GONERIL 0904 Do you mark that?
0905 I cannot be so partial, Goneril,
0906 330 To the great love I bear you—
GONERIL 0907 Pray you, content.—What, Oswald, ho!—
0908 You, sir, more knave than Fool, after your master.
FOOL 0909 Nuncle Lear, Nuncle Lear, tarry. Take the Fool
0910 with thee.
0911 335 A fox, when one has caught her,
0912 And such a daughter,
0913 Should sure to the slaughter,
0914 If my cap would buy a halter.
0915 So the Fool follows after.He exits.
0916 340 This man hath had good counsel. A hundred
0918 ’Tis politic and safe to let him keep
0919 At point a hundred knights! Yes, that on every
0921 345 Each buzz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
0922 He may enguard his dotage with their powers
0923 And hold our lives in mercy.—Oswald, I say!
ALBANY 0924 Well, you may fear too far.
GONERIL 0925 Safer than trust too far.
0926 350 Let me still take away the harms I fear,
0927 Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart.
0928 What he hath uttered I have writ my sister.
0929 If she sustain him and his hundred knights
0930 When I have showed th’ unfitness—
0931 355 How now, Oswald?]
0932 What, have you writ that letter to my sister?
OSWALD 0933 Ay, madam.
0934 Take you some company and away to horse.
0935 Inform her full of my particular fear,
0936 360 And thereto add such reasons of your own
0937 As may compact it more. Get you gone,
0938 And hasten your return. ⌜Oswald exits.⌝ No, no, my
0940 This milky gentleness and course of yours,
0941 365 Though I condemn not, yet, under pardon,
0942 ⌜You⌝ are much more at task for want of wisdom
0943 Than praised for harmful mildness.
0944 How far your eyes may pierce I cannot tell.
0945 Striving to better, oft we mar what’s well.
GONERIL 0946 370Nay, then—
ALBANY 0947 Well, well, th’ event.
LEAR, ⌜to Kent⌝ 0948 Go you before to Gloucester with these
0949 letters. Acquaint my daughter no further with anything
0950 you know than comes from her demand out of
0951 the letter. If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be
0952 5 there afore you.
KENT 0953 I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered
0954 your letter.He exits.
FOOL 0955 If a man’s brains were in ’s heels, were ’t not in
0956 danger of kibes?
LEAR 0957 10Ay, boy.
LEAR 0960 Ha, ha, ha!
FOOL 0961 Shalt see thy other daughter will use thee kindly,
0962 15 for, though she’s as like this as a crab’s like an
0963 apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.
LEAR 0964 What canst tell, boy?
FOOL 0965 She will taste as like this as a crab does to a crab.
0966 Thou canst tell why one’s nose stands i’ th’ middle
0967 20 on ’s face?
LEAR 0968 No.
FOOL 0969 Why, to keep one’s eyes of either side ’s nose,
0970 that what a man cannot smell out he may spy into.
LEAR 0971 I did her wrong.
FOOL 0972 25Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?
LEAR 0973 No.
FOOL 0974 Nor I neither. But I can tell why a snail has a
LEAR 0976 Why?
FOOL 0977 30Why, to put ’s head in, not to give it away to his
0978 daughters and leave his horns without a case.
LEAR 0979 I will forget my nature. So kind a father!—Be
0980 my horses ready?⌜Gentleman exits.⌝
FOOL 0981 Thy asses are gone about ’em. The reason why
0982 35 the seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty
LEAR 0984 Because they are not eight.
FOOL 0985 Yes, indeed. Thou wouldst make a good Fool.
LEAR 0986 To take ’t again perforce! Monster ingratitude!
FOOL 0987 40If thou wert my Fool, nuncle, I’d have thee
0988 beaten for being old before thy time.
LEAR 0989 How’s that?
FOOL 0990 Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst
0991 been wise.
0992 45 O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven!
0993 Keep me in temper. I would not be mad!
0994 How now, are the horses ready?
GENTLEMAN 0995 Ready, my lord.
LEAR 0996 Come, boy.
0997 50 She that’s a maid now and laughs at my departure,
0998 Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut
EDMUND 1000 Save thee, Curan.
CURAN 1001 And ⟨you,⟩ sir. I have been with your father and
1002 given him notice that the Duke of Cornwall and
1003 Regan his duchess will be here with him this night.
EDMUND 1004 5How comes that?
CURAN 1005 Nay, I know not. You have heard of the news
1006 abroad?—I mean the whispered ones, for they are
1007 yet but ear-kissing arguments.
EDMUND 1008 Not I. Pray you, what are they?
CURAN 1009 10Have you heard of no likely wars toward ’twixt
1010 the dukes of Cornwall and Albany?
EDMUND 1011 Not a word.
CURAN 1012 You may do, then, in time. Fare you well, sir.
1013 The Duke be here tonight? The better, best.
1014 15 This weaves itself perforce into my business.
1015 My father hath set guard to take my brother,
1016 And I have one thing of a queasy question
1017 Which I must act. Briefness and fortune work!—
1018 Brother, a word. Descend. Brother, I say!
1019 20 My father watches. O sir, fly this place!
1021 You have now the good advantage of the night.
1022 Have you not spoken ’gainst the Duke of Cornwall?
1023 He’s coming hither, now, i’ th’ night, i’ th’ haste,
1024 25 And Regan with him. Have you nothing said
1025 Upon his party ’gainst the Duke of Albany?
1026 Advise yourself.
EDGAR 1027 I am sure on ’t, not a word.
1028 I hear my father coming. Pardon me.
1029 30 In cunning I must draw my sword upon you.
1030 Draw. Seem to defend yourself. Now, quit you
1031 well.⌜They draw.⌝
1032 Yield! Come before my father! Light, hoa, here!
1033 ⌜Aside to Edgar.⌝ Fly, brother.—Torches, torches!
1034 35 —So, farewell.Edgar exits.
1035 Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion
1036 Of my more fierce endeavor. I have seen drunkards
1037 Do more than this in sport.⌜He wounds his arm.⌝
1038 Father, father!
1039 40 Stop, stop! No help?
Enter Gloucester, and Servants with torches.
GLOUCESTER 1040 Now, Edmund, where’s the
1042 Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out,
1043 Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
1044 45 To stand auspicious mistress.
GLOUCESTER 1045 But where is he?
1046 Look, sir, I bleed.
GLOUCESTER 1047 Where is the villain,
1049 50 Fled this way, sir, when by no means he could—
1050 Pursue him, ho! Go after. ⌜Servants exit.⌝ By no
1051 means what?
1052 Persuade me to the murder of your Lordship,
1053 But that I told him the revenging gods
1054 55 ’Gainst parricides did all the thunder bend,
1055 Spoke with how manifold and strong a bond
1056 The child was bound to th’ father—sir, in fine,
1057 Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
1058 To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion
1059 60 With his preparèd sword he charges home
1060 My unprovided body, ⟨lanced⟩ mine arm;
1061 And when he saw my best alarumed spirits,
1062 Bold in the quarrel’s right, roused to th’ encounter,
1063 Or whether ghasted by the noise I made,
1064 65 Full suddenly he fled.
GLOUCESTER 1065 Let him fly far!
1066 Not in this land shall he remain uncaught,
1067 And found—dispatch. The noble duke my master,
1068 My worthy arch and patron, comes tonight.
1069 70 By his authority I will proclaim it
1070 That he which finds him shall deserve our thanks,
1071 Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;
1072 He that conceals him, death.
1073 When I dissuaded him from his intent
1074 75 And found him pight to do it, with curst speech
1075 I threatened to discover him. He replied
1076 “Thou unpossessing bastard, dost thou think
1077 If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
1078 Of any trust, virtue, or worth in thee
1079 80 Make thy words faithed? No. What ⟨I should⟩
1081 As this I would, though thou didst produce
1083 To thy suggestion, plot, and damnèd practice.
1084 85 And thou must make a dullard of the world
1085 If they not thought the profits of my death
1086 Were very pregnant and potential ⟨spurs⟩
1087 To make thee seek it.”
GLOUCESTER 1088 O strange and fastened villain!
1089 90 Would he deny his letter, said he?
1090 ⟨I never got him.⟩Tucket within.
1091 Hark, the Duke’s trumpets. I know not ⟨why⟩ he
1093 All ports I’ll bar. The villain shall not ’scape.
1094 95 The Duke must grant me that. Besides, his picture
1095 I will send far and near, that all the kingdom
1096 May have due note of him. And of my land,
1097 Loyal and natural boy, I’ll work the means
1098 To make thee capable.
Enter Cornwall, Regan, and Attendants.
1099 100 How now, my noble friend? Since I came hither,
1100 Which I can call but now, I have heard strange
1102 If it be true, all vengeance comes too short
1103 Which can pursue th’ offender. How dost, my
1104 105 lord?
1105 O madam, my old heart is cracked; it’s cracked.
1106 What, did my father’s godson seek your life?
1107 He whom my father named, your Edgar?
1108 O lady, lady, shame would have it hid!
1109 110 Was he not companion with the riotous knights
1110 That tended upon my father?
1111 I know not, madam. ’Tis too bad, too bad.
1112 Yes, madam, he was of that consort.
1113 No marvel, then, though he were ill affected.
1114 115 ’Tis they have put him on the old man’s death,
1115 To have th’ expense and waste of his revenues.
1116 I have this present evening from my sister
1117 Been well informed of them, and with such cautions
1118 That if they come to sojourn at my house
1119 120 I’ll not be there.
CORNWALL 1120 Nor I, assure thee, Regan.—
1121 Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
1122 A childlike office.
EDMUND 1123 It was my duty, sir.
1124 125 He did bewray his practice, and received
1125 This hurt you see striving to apprehend him.
CORNWALL 1126 Is he pursued?
GLOUCESTER 1127 Ay, my good lord.
1128 If he be taken, he shall never more
1129 130 Be feared of doing harm. Make your own purpose,
1130 How in my strength you please.—For you, Edmund,
1131 Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
1132 So much commend itself, you shall be ours.
1133 Natures of such deep trust we shall much need.
1134 135 You we first seize on.
EDMUND 1135 I shall serve you, sir,
1136 Truly, however else.
GLOUCESTER 1137 For him I thank your Grace.
1138 You know not why we came to visit you—
1139 140 Thus out of season, threading dark-eyed night.
1141 Wherein we must have use of your advice.
1142 Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
1143 Of differences, which I best ⟨thought⟩ it fit
1144 145 To answer from our home. The several messengers
1145 From hence attend dispatch. Our good old friend,
1146 Lay comforts to your bosom and bestow
1147 Your needful counsel to our businesses,
1148 Which craves the instant use.
GLOUCESTER 1149 150 I serve you, madam.
1150 Your Graces are right welcome.
Flourish. They exit.
OSWALD 1151 Good dawning to thee, friend. Art of this
KENT 1153 Ay.
OSWALD 1154 Where may we set our horses?
KENT 1155 5I’ th’ mire.
OSWALD 1156 Prithee, if thou lov’st me, tell me.
KENT 1157 I love thee not.
OSWALD 1158 Why then, I care not for thee.
KENT 1159 If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make
1160 10 thee care for me.
OSWALD 1161 Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.
KENT 1162 Fellow, I know thee.
OSWALD 1163 What dost thou know me for?
KENT 1164 A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a
1165 15 base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound,
1166 filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered,
1167 action-taking, whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable,
1168 finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting
1170 20 service, and art nothing but the composition of a
1171 knave, beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir
1172 of a mongrel bitch; one whom I will beat into
1173 ⟨clamorous⟩ whining if thou deny’st the least syllable
1174 of thy addition.
OSWALD 1175 25Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou thus
1176 to rail on one that is neither known of thee nor
1177 knows thee!
KENT 1178 What a brazen-faced varlet art thou to deny thou
1179 knowest me! Is it two days ⟨ago⟩ since I tripped up
1180 30 thy heels and beat thee before the King? ⌜He draws
his sword.⌝ 1181 Draw, you rogue, for though it be night,
1182 yet the moon shines. I’ll make a sop o’ th’ moonshine
1183 of you, you whoreson, cullionly barbermonger.
OSWALD 1185 35Away! I have nothing to do with thee.
KENT 1186 Draw, you rascal! You come with letters against
1187 the King and take Vanity the puppet’s part against
1188 the royalty of her father. Draw, you rogue, or I’ll so
1189 carbonado your shanks! Draw, you rascal! Come
1190 40 your ways.
OSWALD 1191 Help, ho! Murder! Help!
KENT 1192 Strike, you slave! Stand, rogue! Stand, you neat
1193 slave! Strike!⌜He beats Oswald.⌝
OSWALD 1194 Help, ho! Murder, murder!
Enter Bastard ⟨Edmund, with his rapier drawn,⟩
Cornwall, Regan, Gloucester, Servants.
EDMUND 1195 45How now, what’s the matter? Part!
KENT 1196 With you, goodman boy, if you please. Come, I’ll
1197 flesh you. Come on, young master.
1198 Weapons? Arms? What’s the matter here?
CORNWALL 1199 Keep peace, upon your lives! He dies that
1200 50 strikes again. What is the matter?
1201 The messengers from our sister and the King.
CORNWALL 1202 What is your difference? Speak.
OSWALD 1203 I am scarce in breath, my lord.
KENT 1204 No marvel, you have so bestirred your valor.
1205 55 You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee; a
1206 tailor made thee.
CORNWALL 1207 Thou art a strange fellow. A tailor make a
KENT 1209 A tailor, sir. A stonecutter or a painter could not
1210 60 have made him so ill, though they had been but two
1211 years o’ th’ trade.
CORNWALL 1212 Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?
OSWALD 1213 This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have
1214 spared at suit of his gray beard—
KENT 1215 65Thou whoreson zed, thou unnecessary letter!
1216 —My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread
1217 this unbolted villain into mortar and daub the wall
1218 of a jakes with him.—Spare my gray beard, you
CORNWALL 1220 70Peace, sirrah!
1221 You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
1222 Yes, sir, but anger hath a privilege.
CORNWALL 1223 Why art thou angry?
1224 That such a slave as this should wear a sword,
1225 75 Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as
1227 Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain
1228 Which are ⟨too⟩ intrinse t’ unloose; smooth every
1230 80 That in the natures of their lords rebel—
1231 Being oil to fire, snow to the colder moods—
1232 ⟨Renege,⟩ affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
1233 With every ⟨gale⟩ and vary of their masters,
1235 85 A plague upon your epileptic visage!
1236 ⌜Smile⌝ you my speeches, as I were a fool?
1237 Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
1238 I’d drive you cackling home to Camelot.
CORNWALL 1239 What, art thou mad, old fellow?
GLOUCESTER 1240 90How fell you out? Say that.
1241 No contraries hold more antipathy
1242 Than I and such a knave.
1243 Why dost thou call him “knave”? What is his fault?
KENT 1244 His countenance likes me not.
1245 95 No more, perchance, does mine, nor his, nor hers.
1246 Sir, ’tis my occupation to be plain:
1247 I have seen better faces in my time
1248 Than stands on any shoulder that I see
1249 Before me at this instant.
CORNWALL 1250 100 This is some fellow
1251 Who, having been praised for bluntness, doth affect
1252 A saucy roughness and constrains the garb
1253 Quite from his nature. He cannot flatter, he.
1254 An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth!
1255 105 An they will take it, so; if not, he’s plain.
1256 These kind of knaves I know, which in this
1258 Harbor more craft and more corrupter ends
1259 Than twenty silly-ducking observants
1260 110 That stretch their duties nicely.
1261 Sir, in good faith, in sincere verity,
1262 Under th’ allowance of your great aspect,
1263 Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire
1264 On ⌜flick’ring⌝ Phoebus’ front—
KENT 1266 To go out of my dialect, which you discommend
1267 so much. I know, sir, I am no flatterer. He that
1268 beguiled you in a plain accent was a plain knave,
1269 which for my part I will not be, though I should
1270 120 win your displeasure to entreat me to ’t.
CORNWALL, ⌜to Oswald⌝ 1271 What was th’ offense you gave
OSWALD 1273 I never gave him any.
1274 It pleased the King his master very late
1275 125 To strike at me, upon his misconstruction;
1276 When he, compact, and flattering his displeasure,
1277 Tripped me behind; being down, insulted, railed,
1278 And put upon him such a deal of man
1279 That worthied him, got praises of the King
1280 130 For him attempting who was self-subdued;
1281 And in the fleshment of this ⟨dread⟩ exploit,
1282 Drew on me here again.
KENT 1283 None of these rogues and cowards
1284 But Ajax is their fool.
CORNWALL 1285 135 Fetch forth the stocks.—
1286 You stubborn ancient knave, you reverent braggart,
1287 We’ll teach you.
KENT 1288 Sir, I am too old to learn.
1289 Call not your stocks for me. I serve the King,
1290 140 On whose employment I was sent to you.
1291 You shall do small ⟨respect,⟩ show too bold
1293 Against the grace and person of my master,
1294 Stocking his messenger.
1295 145 Fetch forth the stocks.—As I have life and honor,
1296 There shall he sit till noon.
1297 Till noon? Till night, my lord, and all night, too.
1298 Why, madam, if I were your father’s dog,
1299 You should not use me so.
REGAN 1300 150Sir, being his knave, I will.
1301 This is a fellow of the selfsame color
1302 Our sister speaks of.—Come, bring away the stocks.
Stocks brought out.
1303 Let me beseech your Grace not to do so.
1304 ⟨His fault is much, and the good king his master
1305 155 Will check him for ’t. Your purposed low correction
1306 Is such as basest and ⌜contemned’st⌝ wretches
1307 For pilf’rings and most common trespasses
1308 Are punished with.⟩ The King must take it ill
1309 That he, so slightly valued in his messenger,
1310 160 Should have him thus restrained.
CORNWALL 1311 I’ll answer that.
1312 My sister may receive it much more worse
1313 To have her gentleman abused, assaulted
1314 ⟨For following her affairs.—Put in his legs.⟩
⌜Kent is put in the stocks.⌝
CORNWALL 1315 165Come, my ⟨good⟩ lord, away.
⌜All but Gloucester and Kent⌝ exit.
1316 I am sorry for thee, friend. ’Tis the ⟨Duke’s⟩
1318 Whose disposition all the world well knows
1319 Will not be rubbed nor stopped. I’ll entreat for thee.
1320 170 Pray, do not, sir. I have watched and traveled hard.
1321 Some time I shall sleep out; the rest I’ll whistle.
1322 A good man’s fortune may grow out at heels.
1323 Give you good morrow.
1324 The Duke’s to blame in this. ’Twill be ill taken.
1325 175 Good king, that must approve the common saw,
1326 Thou out of heaven’s benediction com’st
1327 To the warm sun.⌜He takes out a paper.⌝
1328 Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
1329 That by thy comfortable beams I may
1330 180 Peruse this letter. Nothing almost sees miracles
1331 But misery. I know ’tis from Cordelia,
1332 Who hath most fortunately been informed
1333 Of my obscurèd course, and shall find time
1334 From this enormous state, seeking to give
1335 185 Losses their remedies. All weary and o’erwatched,
1336 Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
1337 This shameful lodging.
1338 Fortune, good night. Smile once more; turn thy
EDGAR 1340 I heard myself proclaimed,
1341 And by the happy hollow of a tree
1342 Escaped the hunt. No port is free; no place
1343 That guard and most unusual vigilance
1344 5 Does not attend my taking. Whiles I may ’scape,
1345 I will preserve myself, and am bethought
1346 To take the basest and most poorest shape
1347 That ever penury in contempt of man
1348 Brought near to beast. My face I’ll grime with filth,
1349 10 Blanket my loins, elf all my hairs in knots,
1350 And with presented nakedness outface
1352 The country gives me proof and precedent
1353 Of Bedlam beggars who with roaring voices
1354 15 Strike in their numbed and mortifièd arms
1355 Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary,
1356 And, with this horrible object, from low farms,
1357 Poor pelting villages, sheepcotes, and mills,
1358 Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers,
1359 20 Enforce their charity. “Poor Turlygod! Poor Tom!”
1360 That’s something yet. “Edgar” I nothing am.
1361 ’Tis strange that they should so depart from home
1362 And not send back my ⟨messenger.⟩
GENTLEMAN 1363 As I learned,
1364 The night before there was no purpose in them
1365 5 Of this remove.
KENT, ⌜waking⌝ 1366 Hail to thee, noble master.
LEAR 1367 Ha?
1368 Mak’st thou this shame thy pastime?
[KENT 1369 No, my lord.]
FOOL 1370 10Ha, ha, he wears cruel garters. Horses are tied
1371 by the heads, dogs and bears by th’ neck, monkeys
1372 by th’ loins, and men by th’ legs. When a ⟨man’s⟩
1373 overlusty at legs, then he wears wooden
1375 15 What’s he that hath so much thy place mistook
1376 To set thee here?
KENT 1377 It is both he and she,
1378 Your son and daughter.
KENT 1380 20Yes.
LEAR 1381 No, I say.
KENT 1382 I say yea.
LEAR 1383 By Jupiter, I swear no.
[KENT 1384 By Juno, I swear ay.
LEAR] 1385 25 They durst not do ’t.
1386 They could not, would not do ’t. ’Tis worse than
1388 To do upon respect such violent outrage.
1389 Resolve me with all modest haste which way
1390 30 Thou might’st deserve or they impose this usage,
1391 Coming from us.
KENT 1392 My lord, when at their home
1393 I did commend your Highness’ letters to them,
1394 Ere I was risen from the place that showed
1395 35 My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post,
1396 Stewed in his haste, half breathless, ⟨panting⟩ forth
1397 From Goneril his mistress salutations;
1398 Delivered letters, spite of intermission,
1399 Which presently they read; on ⟨whose⟩ contents
1400 40 They summoned up their meiny, straight took
1402 Commanded me to follow and attend
1403 The leisure of their answer, gave me cold looks;
1404 And meeting here the other messenger,
1405 45 Whose welcome, I perceived, had poisoned mine,
1406 Being the very fellow which of late
1407 Displayed so saucily against your Highness,
1408 Having more man than wit about me, drew.
1409 He raised the house with loud and coward cries.
1410 50 Your son and daughter found this trespass worth
1411 The shame which here it suffers.
[FOOL 1412 Winter’s not gone yet if the wild geese fly that
1415 55 Do make their children blind,
1416 But fathers that bear bags
1417 Shall see their children kind.
1418 Fortune, that arrant whore,
1419 Ne’er turns the key to th’ poor.
1420 60 But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolors for
1421 thy daughters as thou canst tell in a year.]
1422 O, how this mother swells up toward my heart!
1423 ⌜Hysterica⌝ passio, down, thou climbing sorrow!
1424 Thy element’s below.—Where is this daughter?
KENT 1425 65With the Earl, sir, here within.
LEAR, ⌜to Fool and Gentleman⌝ 1426 Follow me not. Stay
1427 here.He exits.
1428 Made you no more offense but what you speak of?
KENT 1429 None.
1430 70 How chance the King comes with so small a number?
FOOL 1431 An thou hadst been set i’ th’ stocks for that
1432 question, thou ’dst well deserved it.
KENT 1433 Why, Fool?
FOOL 1434 We’ll set thee to school to an ant to teach thee
1435 75 there’s no laboring i’ th’ winter. All that follow
1436 their noses are led by their eyes but blind men, and
1437 there’s not a nose among twenty but can smell him
1438 that’s stinking. Let go thy hold when a great wheel
1439 runs down a hill lest it break thy neck with following;
1440 80 but the great one that goes upward, let him
1441 draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better
1442 counsel, give me mine again. I would have none but
1443 knaves follow it, since a Fool gives it.
1444 That sir which serves and seeks for gain,
1445 85 And follows but for form,
1446 Will pack when it begins to rain
1448 But I will tarry; the Fool will stay,
1449 And let the wise man fly.
1450 90 The knave turns fool that runs away;
1451 The Fool no knave, perdie.
KENT 1452 Where learned you this, Fool?
FOOL 1453 Not i’ th’ stocks, fool.
Enter Lear and Gloucester.
1454 Deny to speak with me? They are sick? They are
1455 95 weary?
1456 They have traveled all the night? Mere fetches,
1457 The images of revolt and flying off.
1458 Fetch me a better answer.
GLOUCESTER 1459 My dear lord,
1460 100 You know the fiery quality of the Duke,
1461 How unremovable and fixed he is
1462 In his own course.
1463 Vengeance, plague, death, confusion!
1464 “Fiery”? What “quality”? Why Gloucester,
1465 105 Gloucester,
1466 I’d speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his wife.
1467 Well, my good lord, I have informed them so.
1468 “Informed them”? Dost thou understand me,
GLOUCESTER 1470 110Ay, my good lord.
1471 The King would speak with Cornwall. The dear
1473 Would with his daughter speak, commands, tends
1475 115 [Are they “informed” of this? My breath and
1478 No, but not yet. Maybe he is not well.
1479 Infirmity doth still neglect all office
1480 120 Whereto our health is bound. We are not ourselves
1481 When nature, being oppressed, commands the mind
1482 To suffer with the body. I’ll forbear,
1483 And am fallen out with my more headier will,
1484 To take the indisposed and sickly fit
1485 125 For the sound man. ⌜Noticing Kent again.⌝ Death on
1486 my state! Wherefore
1487 Should he sit here? This act persuades me
1488 That this remotion of the Duke and her
1489 Is practice only. Give me my servant forth.
1490 130 Go tell the Duke and ’s wife I’d speak with them.
1491 Now, presently, bid them come forth and hear me,
1492 Or at their chamber door I’ll beat the drum
1493 Till it cry sleep to death.
GLOUCESTER 1494 I would have all well betwixt you.
1495 135 O me, my heart, my rising heart! But down!
FOOL 1496 Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels
1497 when she put ’em i’ th’ paste alive. She knapped
1498 ’em o’ th’ coxcombs with a stick and cried “Down,
1499 wantons, down!” ’Twas her brother that in pure
1500 140 kindness to his horse buttered his hay.
Enter Cornwall, Regan, Gloucester, Servants.
LEAR 1501 Good morrow to you both.
CORNWALL 1502 Hail to your Grace.
Kent here set at liberty.
REGAN 1503 I am glad to see your Highness.
1504 Regan, I think ⟨you⟩ are. I know what reason
1505 145 I have to think so: if thou shouldst not be glad,
1506 I would divorce me from thy ⟨mother’s⟩ tomb,
1509 Some other time for that.—Belovèd Regan,
1510 150 Thy sister’s naught. O Regan, she hath tied
1511 Sharp-toothed unkindness, like a vulture, here.
1512 I can scarce speak to thee. Thou ’lt not believe
1513 With how depraved a quality—O Regan!
1514 I pray you, sir, take patience. I have hope
1515 155 You less know how to value her desert
1516 Than she to scant her duty.
[LEAR 1517 Say? How is that?
1518 I cannot think my sister in the least
1519 Would fail her obligation. If, sir, perchance
1520 160 She have restrained the riots of your followers,
1521 ’Tis on such ground and to such wholesome end
1522 As clears her from all blame.]
LEAR 1523 My curses on her.
REGAN 1524 O sir, you are old.
1525 165 Nature in you stands on the very verge
1526 Of his confine. You should be ruled and led
1527 By some discretion that discerns your state
1528 Better than you yourself. Therefore, I pray you
1529 That to our sister you do make return.
1530 170 Say you have wronged her.
LEAR 1531 Ask her forgiveness?
1532 Do you but mark how this becomes the house:
1533 “Dear daughter, I confess that I am old.
1534 Age is unnecessary. On my knees I beg
1535 175 That you’ll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.”
1536 Good sir, no more. These are unsightly tricks.
1537 Return you to my sister.
1539 She hath abated me of half my train,
1540 180 Looked black upon me, struck me with her tongue
1541 Most serpentlike upon the very heart.
1542 All the stored vengeances of heaven fall
1543 On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones,
1544 You taking airs, with lameness!
CORNWALL 1545 185 Fie, sir, fie!
1546 You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding flames
1547 Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
1548 You fen-sucked fogs drawn by the powerful sun
1549 To fall and blister!
1550 190 O, the blest gods! So will you wish on me
1551 When the rash mood is on.
1552 No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curse.
1553 Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give
1554 Thee o’er to harshness. Her eyes are fierce, but
1555 195 thine
1556 Do comfort and not burn. ’Tis not in thee
1557 To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train,
1558 To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes,
1559 And, in conclusion, to oppose the bolt
1560 200 Against my coming in. Thou better know’st
1561 The offices of nature, bond of childhood,
1562 Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude.
1563 Thy half o’ th’ kingdom hast thou not forgot,
1564 Wherein I thee endowed.
REGAN 1565 205 Good sir, to th’ purpose.
1566 Who put my man i’ th’ stocks?
CORNWALL 1567 What trumpet’s that?
1568 I know ’t—my sister’s. This approves her letter,
1569 That she would soon be here.
Enter ⌜Oswald, the⌝ Steward.
1570 210 Is your lady come?
1571 This is a slave whose easy-borrowed pride
1572 Dwells in the ⟨fickle⟩ grace of her he follows.—
1573 Out, varlet, from my sight!
CORNWALL 1574 What means your Grace?
1575 215 Who stocked my servant? Regan, I have good hope
1576 Thou didst not know on ’t.
1577 Who comes here? O heavens,
1578 If you do love old men, if your sweet sway
1579 Allow obedience, if you yourselves are old,
1580 220 Make it your cause. Send down and take my part.
1581 ⌜To Goneril.⌝ Art not ashamed to look upon this
1582 beard?⌜Regan takes Goneril’s hand.⌝
1583 O Regan, will you take her by the hand?
1584 Why not by th’ hand, sir? How have I offended?
1585 225 All’s not offense that indiscretion finds
1586 And dotage terms so.
LEAR 1587 O sides, you are too tough!
1588 Will you yet hold?—How came my man i’ th’
1590 230 I set him there, sir, but his own disorders
1591 Deserved much less advancement.
LEAR 1592 You? Did you?
1593 I pray you, father, being weak, seem so.
1594 If till the expiration of your month
1596 Dismissing half your train, come then to me.
1597 I am now from home and out of that provision
1598 Which shall be needful for your entertainment.
1599 Return to her? And fifty men dismissed?
1600 240 No! Rather I abjure all roofs, and choose
1601 To wage against the enmity o’ th’ air,
1602 To be a comrade with the wolf and owl,
1603 Necessity’s sharp pinch. Return with her?
1604 Why the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took
1605 245 Our youngest born—I could as well be brought
1606 To knee his throne and, squire-like, pension beg
1607 To keep base life afoot. Return with her?
1608 Persuade me rather to be slave and sumpter
1609 To this detested groom.⌜He indicates Oswald.⌝
GONERIL 1610 250 At your choice, sir.
1611 I prithee, daughter, do not make me mad.
1612 I will not trouble thee, my child. Farewell.
1613 We’ll no more meet, no more see one another.
1614 But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter,
1615 255 Or, rather, a disease that’s in my flesh,
1616 Which I must needs call mine. Thou art a boil,
1617 A plague-sore or embossèd carbuncle
1618 In my corrupted blood. But I’ll not chide thee.
1619 Let shame come when it will; I do not call it.
1620 260 I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot,
1621 Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove.
1622 Mend when thou canst. Be better at thy leisure.
1623 I can be patient. I can stay with Regan,
1624 I and my hundred knights.
REGAN 1625 265Not altogether so.
1626 I looked not for you yet, nor am provided
1627 For your fit welcome. Give ear, sir, to my sister,
1628 For those that mingle reason with your passion
1630 270 But she knows what she does.
LEAR 1631 Is this well spoken?
1632 I dare avouch it, sir. What, fifty followers?
1633 Is it not well? What should you need of more?
1634 Yea, or so many, sith that both charge and danger
1635 275 Speak ’gainst so great a number? How in one house
1636 Should many people under two commands
1637 Hold amity? ’Tis hard, almost impossible.
1638 Why might not you, my lord, receive attendance
1639 From those that she calls servants, or from mine?
1640 280 Why not, my lord? If then they chanced to slack
1642 We could control them. If you will come to me
1643 (For now I spy a danger), I entreat you
1644 To bring but five-and-twenty. To no more
1645 285 Will I give place or notice.
LEAR 1646 I gave you all—
REGAN 1647 And in good time you gave it.
1648 Made you my guardians, my depositaries,
1649 But kept a reservation to be followed
1650 290 With such a number. What, must I come to you
1651 With five-and-twenty? Regan, said you so?
1652 And speak ’t again, my lord. No more with me.
1653 Those wicked creatures yet do look well-favored
1654 When others are more wicked. Not being the worst
1655 295 Stands in some rank of praise. ⌜To Goneril.⌝ I’ll go
1656 with thee.
1657 Thy fifty yet doth double five-and-twenty,
1658 And thou art twice her love.
GONERIL 1659 Hear me, my lord.
1661 To follow in a house where twice so many
1662 Have a command to tend you?
REGAN 1663 What need one?
1664 O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars
1665 305 Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
1666 Allow not nature more than nature needs,
1667 Man’s life is cheap as beast’s. Thou art a lady;
1668 If only to go warm were gorgeous,
1669 Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear’st,
1670 310 Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true
1672 You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!
1673 You see me here, you gods, a poor old man
1674 As full of grief as age, wretched in both.
1675 315 If it be you that stirs these daughters’ hearts
1676 Against their father, fool me not so much
1677 To bear it tamely. Touch me with noble anger,
1678 And let not women’s weapons, water drops,
1679 Stain my man’s cheeks.—No, you unnatural hags,
1680 320 I will have such revenges on you both
1681 That all the world shall—I will do such things—
1682 What they are yet I know not, but they shall be
1683 The terrors of the Earth! You think I’ll weep.
1684 No, I’ll not weep.
1685 325 I have full cause of weeping, but this heart
Storm and tempest.
1686 Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws
1687 Or ere I’ll weep.—O Fool, I shall go mad!
⟨Lear, Kent, and Fool⟩ exit
⌜with Gloucester and the Gentleman.⌝
CORNWALL 1688 Let us withdraw. ’Twill be a storm.
1689 This house is little. The old man and ’s people
1690 330 Cannot be well bestowed.
1691 ’Tis his own blame hath put himself from rest,
1692 And must needs taste his folly.
1693 For his particular, I’ll receive him gladly,
1694 But not one follower.
1695 335 So am I purposed. Where is my lord of Gloucester?
1696 Followed the old man forth.
1697 He is returned.
GLOUCESTER 1698 The King is in high rage.
[CORNWALL 1699 Whither is he going?
1700 340 He calls to horse,] but will I know not whither.
1701 ’Tis best to give him way. He leads himself.
GONERIL, ⌜to Gloucester⌝
1702 My lord, entreat him by no means to stay.
1703 Alack, the night comes on, and the high winds
1704 Do sorely ruffle. For many miles about
1705 345 There’s scarce a bush.
REGAN 1706 O sir, to willful men
1707 The injuries that they themselves procure
1708 Must be their schoolmasters. Shut up your doors.
1709 He is attended with a desperate train,
1710 350 And what they may incense him to, being apt
1711 To have his ear abused, wisdom bids fear.
1712 Shut up your doors, my lord. ’Tis a wild night.
1713 My Regan counsels well. Come out o’ th’ storm.
KENT 1714 Who’s there, besides foul weather?
1715 One minded like the weather, most unquietly.
KENT 1716 I know you. Where’s the King?
1717 Contending with the fretful elements;
1718 5 Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea
1719 Or swell the curlèd waters ’bove the main,
1720 That things might change or cease; ⟨tears his white
1722 Which the impetuous blasts with eyeless rage
1723 10 Catch in their fury and make nothing of;
1724 Strives in his little world of man to outscorn
1725 The to-and-fro conflicting wind and rain.
1726 This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would
1728 15 The lion and the belly-pinchèd wolf
1729 Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs
1730 And bids what will take all.⟩
KENT 1731 But who is with him?
1732 None but the Fool, who labors to outjest
1733 20 His heart-struck injuries.
1735 And dare upon the warrant of my note
1736 Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,
1737 Although as yet the face of it is covered
1738 25 With mutual cunning, ’twixt Albany and Cornwall,
1739 [Who have—as who have not, that their great stars
1740 Throned and set high?—servants, who seem no less,
1741 Which are to France the spies and speculations
1742 Intelligent of our state.] ⟨From France there comes
1743 30 a power
1744 Into this scattered kingdom, who already,
1745 Wise in our negligence, have secret feet
1746 In some of our best ports and are at point
1747 To show their open banner. Now to you:
1748 35 If on my credit you dare build so far
1749 To make your speed to Dover, you shall find
1750 Some that will thank you, making just report
1751 Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
1752 The King hath cause to plain:⟩ [what hath been seen,
1753 40 Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes,
1754 Or the hard rein which both of them hath borne
1755 Against the old kind king, or something deeper,
1756 Whereof perchance these are but furnishings.]
1757 ⟨I am a gentleman of blood and breeding,
1758 45 And from some knowledge and assurance offer
1759 This office to you.⟩
1760 I will talk further with you.
KENT 1761 No, do not.
1762 For confirmation that I am much more
1763 50 Than my outwall, open this purse and take
1764 What it contains.
⌜Kent hands him a purse and a ring.⌝
1765 If you shall see Cordelia
1766 (As fear not but you shall), show her this ring,
1767 And she will tell you who that fellow is
1769 I will go seek the King.
1770 Give me your hand. Have you no more to say?
1771 Few words, but, to effect, more than all yet:
1772 That when we have found the King—in which your
1773 60 pain
1774 That way, I’ll this—he that first lights on him
1775 Holla the other.
They exit ⌜separately.⌝
1776 Blow winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow!
1777 You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
1778 Till you have drenched our steeples, ⟨drowned⟩ the
1780 5 You sulph’rous and thought-executing fires,
1781 Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
1782 Singe my white head. And thou, all-shaking
1784 Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ th’ world.
1785 10 Crack nature’s molds, all germens spill at once
1786 That makes ingrateful man.
FOOL 1787 O nuncle, court holy water in a dry house is
1788 better than this rainwater out o’ door. Good nuncle,
1789 in. Ask thy daughters’ blessing. Here’s a night
1790 15 pities neither wise men nor fools.
1791 Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! Spout, rain!
1792 Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters.
1793 I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness.
1795 20 You owe me no subscription. Then let fall
1796 Your horrible pleasure. Here I stand your slave,
1797 A poor, infirm, weak, and despised old man.
1798 But yet I call you servile ministers,
1799 That will with two pernicious daughters join
1800 25 Your high-engendered battles ’gainst a head
1801 So old and white as this. O, ho, ’tis foul!
FOOL 1802 He that has a house to put ’s head in has a good
1804 The codpiece that will house
1805 30 Before the head has any,
1806 The head and he shall louse;
1807 So beggars marry many.
1808 The man that makes his toe
1809 What he his heart should make,
1810 35 Shall of a corn cry woe,
1811 And turn his sleep to wake.
1812 For there was never yet fair woman but she made
1813 mouths in a glass.
1814 No, I will be the pattern of all patience.
1815 40 I will say nothing.
Enter Kent ⌜in disguise.⌝
KENT 1816 Who’s there?
FOOL 1817 Marry, here’s grace and a codpiece; that’s a
1818 wise man and a fool.
1819 Alas, sir, are you here? Things that love night
1820 45 Love not such nights as these. The wrathful skies
1821 Gallow the very wanderers of the dark
1822 And make them keep their caves. Since I was man,
1823 Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,
1824 Such groans of roaring wind and rain I never
1825 50 Remember to have heard. Man’s nature cannot carry
1826 Th’ affliction nor the fear.
1828 That keep this dreadful pudder o’er our heads
1829 Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch,
1830 55 That hast within thee undivulgèd crimes
1831 Unwhipped of justice. Hide thee, thou bloody hand,
1832 Thou perjured, and thou simular of virtue
1833 That art incestuous. Caitiff, to pieces shake,
1834 That under covert and convenient seeming
1835 60 Has practiced on man’s life. Close pent-up guilts,
1836 Rive your concealing continents and cry
1837 These dreadful summoners grace. I am a man
1838 More sinned against than sinning.
KENT 1839 Alack,
1840 65 bareheaded?
1841 Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel.
1842 Some friendship will it lend you ’gainst the tempest.
1843 Repose you there while I to this hard house—
1844 More harder than the stones whereof ’tis raised,
1845 70 Which even but now, demanding after you,
1846 Denied me to come in—return and force
1847 Their scanted courtesy.
LEAR 1848 My wits begin to turn.—
1849 Come on, my boy. How dost, my boy? Art cold?
1850 75 I am cold myself.—Where is this straw, my fellow?
1851 The art of our necessities is strange
1852 And can make vile things precious. Come, your
1854 Poor Fool and knave, I have one part in my heart
1855 80 That’s sorry yet for thee.
1856 He that has and a little tiny wit,
1857 With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
1858 Must make content with his fortunes fit,
1859 Though the rain it raineth every day.
1860 85 True, ⟨my good⟩ boy.—Come, bring us to this hovel.
⌜Lear and Kent⌝ exit.
1862 speak a prophecy ere I go:
1863 When priests are more in word than matter,
1864 When brewers mar their malt with water,
1865 90 When nobles are their tailors’ tutors,
1866 No heretics burned but wenches’ suitors,
1867 When every case in law is right,
1868 No squire in debt, nor no poor knight;
1869 When slanders do not live in tongues,
1870 95 Nor cutpurses come not to throngs,
1871 When usurers tell their gold i’ th’ field,
1872 And bawds and whores do churches build,
1873 Then shall the realm of Albion
1874 Come to great confusion;
1875 100 Then comes the time, who lives to see ’t,
1876 That going shall be used with feet.
1877 This prophecy Merlin shall make, for I live before
1878 his time.
GLOUCESTER 1879 Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this
1880 unnatural dealing. When I desired their leave that I
1881 might pity him, they took from me the use of mine
1882 own house, charged me on pain of perpetual
1883 5 displeasure neither to speak of him, entreat for
1884 him, or any way sustain him.
EDMUND 1885 Most savage and unnatural.
GLOUCESTER 1886 Go to; say you nothing. There is division
1887 between the dukes, and a worse matter than that. I
1888 10 have received a letter this night; ’tis dangerous to
1889 be spoken; I have locked the letter in my closet.
1890 These injuries the King now bears will be revenged
1892 must incline to the King. I will look him and privily
1893 15 relieve him. Go you and maintain talk with the
1894 Duke, that my charity be not of him perceived. If he
1895 ask for me, I am ill and gone to bed. If I die for it, as
1896 no less is threatened me, the King my old master
1897 must be relieved. There is strange things toward,
1898 20 Edmund. Pray you, be careful.He exits.
1899 This courtesy forbid thee shall the Duke
1900 Instantly know, and of that letter too.
1901 This seems a fair deserving, and must draw me
1902 That which my father loses—no less than all.
1903 25 The younger rises when the old doth fall.
1904 Here is the place, my lord. Good my lord, enter.
1905 The tyranny of the open night ’s too rough
1906 For nature to endure.Storm still.
LEAR 1907 Let me alone.
1908 5 Good my lord, enter here.
LEAR 1909 Wilt break my heart?
1910 I had rather break mine own. Good my lord, enter.
1911 Thou think’st ’tis much that this contentious storm
1912 Invades us to the skin. So ’tis to thee.
1913 10 But where the greater malady is fixed,
1914 The lesser is scarce felt. Thou ’dst shun a bear,
1915 But if ⟨thy⟩ flight lay toward the roaring sea,
1917 mind’s free,
1918 15 The body’s delicate. ⟨This⟩ tempest in my mind
1919 Doth from my senses take all feeling else
1920 Save what beats there. Filial ingratitude!
1921 Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand
1922 For lifting food to ’t? But I will punish home.
1923 20 No, I will weep no more. [In such a night
1924 To shut me out? Pour on. I will endure.]
1925 In such a night as this? O Regan, Goneril,
1926 Your old kind father whose frank heart gave all!
1927 O, that way madness lies. Let me shun that;
1928 25 No more of that.
KENT 1929 Good my lord, enter here.
1930 Prithee, go in thyself. Seek thine own ease.
1931 This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
1932 On things would hurt me more. But I’ll go in.—
1933 30 [In, boy; go first.—You houseless poverty—
1934 Nay, get thee in. I’ll pray, and then I’ll sleep.]
1935 Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er you are,
1936 That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
1937 How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
1938 35 Your looped and windowed raggedness defend
1940 From seasons such as these? O, I have ta’en
1941 Too little care of this. Take physic, pomp.
1942 Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
1943 40 That thou may’st shake the superflux to them
1944 And show the heavens more just.
[EDGAR ⌜within⌝ 1945 Fathom and half, fathom and half!
1946 Poor Tom!
FOOL 1947 Come not in here, nuncle; here’s a spirit. Help
1948 45 me, help me!
FOOL 1950 A spirit, a spirit! He says his name’s Poor Tom.
KENT 1951 What art thou that dost grumble there i’ th’
1952 straw? Come forth.
Enter Edgar ⌜in disguise.⌝
EDGAR 1953 50Away. The foul fiend follows me. Through the
1954 sharp hawthorn ⟨blows the cold wind.⟩ Hum! Go to
1955 thy ⟨cold⟩ bed and warm thee.
LEAR 1956 Didst thou give all to thy daughters? And art thou
1957 come to this?
EDGAR 1958 55Who gives anything to Poor Tom, whom the
1959 foul fiend hath led ⟨through⟩ fire and through flame,
1960 through ⟨ford⟩ and whirlpool, o’er bog and quagmire;
1961 that hath laid knives under his pillow and
1962 halters in his pew, set ratsbane by his porridge,
1963 60 made him proud of heart to ride on a bay trotting
1964 horse over four-inched bridges to course his own
1965 shadow for a traitor? Bless thy five wits! Tom’s
1966 a-cold. O, do de, do de, do de. Bless thee from
1967 whirlwinds, star-blasting, and taking! Do Poor Tom
1968 65 some charity, whom the foul fiend vexes. There
1969 could I have him now, and there—and there again
1970 —and there.Storm still.
1971 Has his daughters brought him to this pass?—
1972 Couldst thou save nothing? Wouldst thou give ’em
1973 70 all?
FOOL 1974 Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had been all
1976 Now all the plagues that in the pendulous air
1977 Hang fated o’er men’s faults light on thy daughters!
KENT 1978 75He hath no daughters, sir.
1979 Death, traitor! Nothing could have subdued nature
1980 To such a lowness but his unkind daughters.
1982 Should have thus little mercy on their flesh?
1983 80 Judicious punishment! ’Twas this flesh begot
1984 Those pelican daughters.
EDGAR 1985 Pillicock sat on Pillicock Hill. Alow, alow, loo,
FOOL 1987 This cold night will turn us all to fools and
1988 85 madmen.
EDGAR 1989 Take heed o’ th’ foul fiend. Obey thy parents,
1990 keep thy word’s justice, swear not, commit not with
1991 man’s sworn spouse, set not thy sweet heart on
1992 proud array. Tom’s a-cold.
LEAR 1993 90What hast thou been?
EDGAR 1994 A servingman, proud in heart and mind, that
1995 curled my hair, wore gloves in my cap, served the
1996 lust of my mistress’ heart and did the act of
1997 darkness with her, swore as many oaths as I spake
1998 95 words and broke them in the sweet face of heaven;
1999 one that slept in the contriving of lust and waked to
2000 do it. Wine loved I ⟨deeply,⟩ dice dearly, and in
2001 woman out-paramoured the Turk. False of heart,
2002 light of ear, bloody of hand; hog in sloth, fox in
2003 100 stealth, wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in
2004 prey. Let not the creaking of shoes nor the rustling
2005 of silks betray thy poor heart to woman. Keep thy
2006 foot out of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy
2007 pen from lenders’ books, and defy the foul fiend.
2008 105 Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind;
2009 says suum, mun, nonny. Dolphin my boy, boy, sessa!
2010 Let him trot by.Storm still.
LEAR 2011 Thou wert better in a grave than to answer with
2012 thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies.—Is
2013 110 man no more than this? Consider him well.—Thou
2014 ow’st the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep
2015 no wool, the cat no perfume. Ha, here’s three on ’s
2016 are sophisticated. Thou art the thing itself; unaccommodated
2017 man is no more but such a poor, bare,
2019 Come, unbutton here.⌜Tearing off his clothes.⌝
FOOL 2020 Prithee, nuncle, be contented. ’Tis a naughty
2021 night to swim in. Now, a little fire in a wild field
2022 were like an old lecher’s heart—a small spark, all
2023 120 the rest on ’s body cold.
Enter Gloucester, with a torch.
2024 Look, here comes a walking fire.
EDGAR 2025 This is the foul ⟨fiend⟩ Flibbertigibbet. He begins
2026 at curfew and walks ⟨till the⟩ first cock. He
2027 gives the web and the pin, squints the eye, and
2028 125 makes the harelip, mildews the white wheat, and
2029 hurts the poor creature of earth.
2030 Swithold footed thrice the ’old,
2031 He met the nightmare and her ninefold,
2032 Bid her alight,
2033 130 And her troth plight,
2034 And aroint thee, witch, aroint thee.
KENT 2035 How fares your Grace?
LEAR 2036 What’s he?
KENT 2037 Who’s there? What is ’t you seek?
GLOUCESTER 2038 135What are you there? Your names?
EDGAR 2039 Poor Tom, that eats the swimming frog, the
2040 toad, the tadpole, the wall newt, and the water;
2041 that, in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend
2042 rages, eats cow dung for sallets, swallows the old
2043 140 rat and the ditch-dog, drinks the green mantle of
2044 the standing pool; who is whipped from tithing to
2045 tithing, and stocked, punished, and imprisoned;
2046 who hath ⟨had⟩ three suits to his back, six shirts to
2047 his body,
2048 145 Horse to ride, and weapon to wear;
2049 But mice and rats and such small deer
2050 Have been Tom’s food for seven long year.
GLOUCESTER, ⌜to Lear⌝
2053 150 What, hath your Grace no better company?
EDGAR 2054 The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman. Modo
2055 he’s called, and Mahu.
GLOUCESTER, ⌜to Lear⌝
2056 Our flesh and blood, my lord, is grown so vile
2057 That it doth hate what gets it.
EDGAR 2058 155Poor Tom’s a-cold.
GLOUCESTER, ⌜to Lear⌝
2059 Go in with me. My duty cannot suffer
2060 T’ obey in all your daughters’ hard commands.
2061 Though their injunction be to bar my doors
2062 And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you,
2063 160 Yet have I ventured to come seek you out
2064 And bring you where both fire and food is ready.
2065 First let me talk with this philosopher.
2066 ⌜To Edgar.⌝ What is the cause of thunder?
2067 Good my lord, take his offer; go into th’ house.
2068 165 I’ll talk a word with this same learnèd Theban.—
2069 What is your study?
EDGAR 2070 How to prevent the fiend and to kill vermin.
LEAR 2071 Let me ask you one word in private.
⌜They talk aside.⌝
KENT, ⌜to Gloucester⌝
2072 Importune him once more to go, my lord.
2073 170 His wits begin t’ unsettle.
GLOUCESTER 2074 Canst thou blame him?
2075 His daughters seek his death. Ah, that good Kent!
2076 He said it would be thus, poor banished man.
2077 Thou sayest the King grows mad; I’ll tell thee,
2078 175 friend,
2080 Now outlawed from my blood. He sought my life
2081 But lately, very late. I loved him, friend,
2082 No father his son dearer. True to tell thee,
2083 180 The grief hath crazed my wits. What a night’s this!
2084 —I do beseech your Grace—
LEAR 2085 O, cry you mercy, sir.
2086 ⌜To Edgar.⌝ Noble philosopher, your company.
EDGAR 2087 Tom’s a-cold.
GLOUCESTER, ⌜to Edgar⌝
2088 185 In fellow, there, into th’ hovel. Keep thee warm.
LEAR 2089 Come, let’s in all.
KENT 2090 This way, my lord.
LEAR, ⌜indicating Edgar⌝ 2091 With him.
2092 I will keep still with my philosopher.
KENT, ⌜to Gloucester⌝
2093 190 Good my lord, soothe him. Let him take the fellow.
GLOUCESTER, ⌜to Kent⌝ 2094 Take him you on.
KENT, ⌜to Edgar⌝
2095 Sirrah, come on: go along with us.
LEAR 2096 Come, good Athenian.
GLOUCESTER 2097 No words, no words. Hush.
2098 195 Child Rowland to the dark tower came.
2099 His word was still “Fie, foh, and fum,
2100 I smell the blood of a British man.”
CORNWALL 2101 I will have my revenge ere I depart his
EDMUND 2103 How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature
2104 thus gives way to loyalty, something fears me to
2105 5 think of.
2107 brother’s evil disposition made him seek his death,
2108 but a provoking merit set awork by a reprovable
2109 badness in himself.
EDMUND 2110 10How malicious is my fortune that I must
2111 repent to be just! This is the letter he spoke of,
2112 which approves him an intelligent party to the
2113 advantages of France. O heavens, that this treason
2114 were not, or not I the detector.
CORNWALL 2115 15Go with me to the Duchess.
EDMUND 2116 If the matter of this paper be certain, you
2117 have mighty business in hand.
CORNWALL 2118 True or false, it hath made thee Earl of
2119 Gloucester. Seek out where thy father is, that he
2120 20 may be ready for our apprehension.
EDMUND, ⌜aside⌝ 2121 If I find him comforting the King, it
2122 will stuff his suspicion more fully.—I will persevere
2123 in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore
2124 between that and my blood.
CORNWALL 2125 25I will lay trust upon thee, and thou shalt
2126 find a ⟨dearer⟩ father in my love.
GLOUCESTER 2127 Here is better than the open air. Take it
2128 thankfully. I will piece out the comfort with what
2129 addition I can. I will not be long from you.
KENT 2130 All the power of his wits have given way to his
2131 5 impatience. The gods reward your kindness!
Enter Lear, Edgar ⌜in disguise,⌝ and Fool.
EDGAR 2132 Frateretto calls me and tells me Nero is an
2134 beware the foul fiend.
FOOL 2135 Prithee, nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a
2136 10 gentleman or a yeoman.
LEAR 2137 A king, a king!
[FOOL 2138 No, he’s a yeoman that has a gentleman to his
2139 son, for he’s a mad yeoman that sees his son a
2140 gentleman before him.
2141 15 To have a thousand with red burning spits
2142 Come hissing in upon ’em!
⟨EDGAR 2143 The foul fiend bites my back.
FOOL 2144 He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a
2145 horse’s health, a boy’s love, or a whore’s oath.
2146 20 It shall be done. I will arraign them straight.
2147 ⌜To Edgar.⌝ Come, sit thou here, most learnèd
2149 ⌜To Fool.⌝ Thou sapient sir, sit here. ⌜Now,⌝ you
EDGAR 2151 25Look where he stands and glares!—Want’st
2152 thou eyes at trial, madam?
⌜Sings.⌝ 2153 Come o’er the ⌜burn,⌝ Bessy, to me—
2154 Her boat hath a leak,
2155 And she must not speak
2156 30 Why she dares not come over to thee.
EDGAR 2157 The foul fiend haunts Poor Tom in the voice of
2158 a nightingale. Hoppedance cries in Tom’s belly for
2159 two white herring.—Croak not, black angel. I have
2160 no food for thee.
KENT, ⌜to Lear⌝
2161 35 How do you, sir? Stand you not so amazed.
2162 Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions?
2163 I’ll see their trial first. Bring in their evidence.
2166 40 ⌜To Fool.⌝ And thou, his yokefellow of equity,
2167 Bench by his side. ⌜To Kent.⌝ You are o’ th’
2169 Sit you, too.
EDGAR 2170 Let us deal justly.
⌜Sings.⌝ 2171 45 Sleepest or wakest, thou jolly shepherd?
2172 Thy sheep be in the corn.
2173 And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,
2174 Thy sheep shall take no harm.
2175 Purr the cat is gray.
LEAR 2176 50Arraign her first; ’tis Goneril. I here take my oath
2177 before this honorable assembly, kicked the poor
2178 king her father.
FOOL 2179 Come hither, mistress. Is your name Goneril?
LEAR 2180 She cannot deny it.
FOOL 2181 55Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint stool.
2182 And here’s another whose warped looks proclaim
2183 What store her heart is made on. Stop her there!
2184 Arms, arms, sword, fire! Corruption in the place!
2185 False justicer, why hast thou let her ’scape?⟩
EDGAR 2186 60Bless thy five wits!
KENT, ⌜to Lear⌝
2187 O pity! Sir, where is the patience now
2188 That you so oft have boasted to retain?
2189 My tears begin to take his part so much
2190 They mar my counterfeiting.
LEAR 2191 65The little dogs and all,
2192 Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart, see, they bark at me.
EDGAR 2193 Tom will throw his head at them.—Avaunt, you
2195 Be thy mouth or black or white,
2196 70 Tooth that poisons if it bite,
2198 Hound or spaniel, brach, or ⌜lym,⌝
2199 Bobtail ⟨tike,⟩ or ⟨trundle-tail,⟩
2200 Tom will make him weep and wail;
2201 75 For, with throwing thus my head,
2202 Dogs leapt the hatch, and all are fled.
2203 Do de, de, de. Sessa! Come, march to wakes
2204 and fairs and market towns. Poor Tom, thy horn
2205 is dry.
LEAR 2206 80Then let them anatomize Regan; see what breeds
2207 about her heart. Is there any cause in nature that
2208 make these hard hearts? ⌜To Edgar.⌝ You, sir, I
2209 entertain for one of my hundred; only I do not like
2210 the fashion of your garments. You will say they are
2211 85 Persian, but let them be changed.
2212 Now, good my lord, lie here and rest awhile.
LEAR, ⌜lying down⌝ 2213 Make no noise, make no noise.
2214 Draw the curtains. So, so, we’ll go to supper i’ th’
[FOOL 2216 90And I’ll go to bed at noon.]
GLOUCESTER, ⌜to Kent⌝
2217 Come hither, friend. Where is the King my master?
2218 Here, sir, but trouble him not; his wits are gone.
2219 Good friend, I prithee, take him in thy arms.
2220 I have o’erheard a plot of death upon him.
2221 95 There is a litter ready; lay him in ’t,
2222 And drive toward Dover, friend, where thou shalt
2224 Both welcome and protection. Take up thy master.
2225 If thou shouldst dally half an hour, his life,
2226 100 With thine and all that offer to defend him,
2227 Stand in assurèd loss. Take up, take up,
2229 Give thee quick conduct.
⟨KENT 2230 Oppressèd nature sleeps.
2231 105 This rest might yet have balmed thy broken sinews,
2232 Which, if convenience will not allow,
2233 Stand in hard cure. ⌜To the Fool.⌝ Come, help to
2234 bear thy master.
2235 Thou must not stay behind.
GLOUCESTER⟩ 2236 110 Come, come away.
⌜All but Edgar⌝ exit, ⌜carrying Lear.⌝
2237 When we our betters see bearing our woes,
2238 We scarcely think our miseries our foes.
2239 Who alone suffers suffers most i’ th’ mind,
2240 Leaving free things and happy shows behind.
2241 115 But then the mind much sufferance doth o’erskip
2242 When grief hath mates and bearing fellowship.
2243 How light and portable my pain seems now
2244 When that which makes me bend makes the King
2246 120 He childed as I fathered. Tom, away.
2247 Mark the high noises, and thyself bewray
2248 When false opinion, whose wrong thoughts defile
2250 In thy just proof repeals and reconciles thee.
2251 125 What will hap more tonight, safe ’scape the King!
2252 Lurk, lurk.⟩
CORNWALL, ⌜to Goneril⌝ 2253 Post speedily to my lord your
2254 husband. Show him this letter. ⌜He gives her a
paper.⌝ 2255 The army of France is landed.—Seek out
2256 the traitor Gloucester.⌜Some Servants exit.⌝
GONERIL 2258 Pluck out his eyes.
CORNWALL 2259 Leave him to my displeasure.—Edmund,
2260 keep you our sister company. The revenges we are
2261 bound to take upon your traitorous father are not
2262 10 fit for your beholding. Advise the Duke, where you
2263 are going, to a most festinate preparation; we are
2264 bound to the like. Our posts shall be swift and
2265 intelligent betwixt us.—Farewell, dear sister.—
2266 Farewell, my lord of Gloucester.
Enter ⌜Oswald, the⌝ Steward.
2267 15 How now? Where’s the King?
2268 My lord of Gloucester hath conveyed him hence.
2269 Some five- or six-and-thirty of his knights,
2270 Hot questrists after him, met him at gate,
2271 Who, with some other of the lord’s dependents,
2272 20 Are gone with him toward Dover, where they boast
2273 To have well-armèd friends.
CORNWALL 2274 Get horses for your mistress.
GONERIL 2275 Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.
2276 Edmund, farewell.⌜Goneril and Edmund⌝ exit.
2277 25 Go seek the traitor Gloucester.
2278 Pinion him like a thief; bring him before us.
⌜Some Servants exit.⌝
2279 Though well we may not pass upon his life
2280 Without the form of justice, yet our power
2281 Shall do a court’sy to our wrath, which men
2282 30 May blame but not control.
Enter Gloucester and Servants.
2283 Who’s there? The
CORNWALL 2286 Bind fast his corky arms.
2287 35 What means your Graces? Good my friends,
2289 You are my guests; do me no foul play, friends.
2290 Bind him, I say.
REGAN 2291 Hard, hard. O filthy traitor!
2292 40 Unmerciful lady as you are, I’m none.
2293 To this chair bind him.⌜Servants bind Gloucester.⌝
2294 Villain, thou shalt find—
⌜Regan plucks Gloucester’s beard.⌝
2295 By the kind gods, ’tis most ignobly done
2296 To pluck me by the beard.
2297 45 So white, and such a traitor?
GLOUCESTER 2298 Naughty lady,
2299 These hairs which thou dost ravish from my chin
2300 Will quicken and accuse thee. I am your host;
2301 With robber’s hands my hospitable favors
2302 50 You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?
2303 Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?
2304 Be simple-answered, for we know the truth.
2305 And what confederacy have you with the traitors
2306 Late footed in the kingdom?
REGAN 2307 55 To whose hands
2308 You have sent the lunatic king. Speak.
2309 I have a letter guessingly set down
2311 And not from one opposed.
CORNWALL 2312 60Cunning.
REGAN 2313 And false.
CORNWALL 2314 Where hast thou sent the King?
GLOUCESTER 2315 To Dover.
2316 Wherefore to Dover? Wast thou not charged at
2317 65 peril—
2318 Wherefore to Dover? Let him answer that.
2319 I am tied to th’ stake, and I must stand the course.
REGAN 2320 Wherefore to Dover?
2321 Because I would not see thy cruel nails
2322 70 Pluck out his poor old eyes, nor thy fierce sister
2323 In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.
2324 The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
2325 In hell-black night endured, would have buoyed up
2326 And quenched the stellèd fires;
2327 75 Yet, poor old heart, he holp the heavens to rain.
2328 If wolves had at thy gate howled that stern time,
2329 Thou shouldst have said “Good porter, turn the
2331 All cruels else subscribe. But I shall see
2332 80 The wingèd vengeance overtake such children.
2333 See ’t shalt thou never.—Fellows, hold the chair.—
2334 Upon these eyes of thine I’ll set my foot.
2335 He that will think to live till he be old,
2336 Give me some help!
⌜As Servants hold the chair, Cornwall forces out
one of Gloucester’s eyes.⌝
2337 85 O cruel! O you gods!
2338 One side will mock another. Th’ other too.
2339 If you see vengeance—
⌜FIRST⌝ SERVANT 2340 Hold your hand,
2341 my lord.
2342 90 I have served you ever since I was a child,
2343 But better service have I never done you
2344 Than now to bid you hold.
REGAN 2345 How now, you dog?
2346 If you did wear a beard upon your chin,
2347 95 I’d shake it on this quarrel. What do you mean?
CORNWALL 2348 My villain?⟨Draw and fight.⟩
2349 Nay, then, come on, and take the chance of anger.
REGAN, ⌜to an Attendant⌝
2350 Give me thy sword. A peasant stand up thus?
⟨She takes a sword and runs
at him behind;⟩ kills him.
2351 O, I am slain! My lord, you have one eye left
2352 100 To see some mischief on him. O!⌜He dies.⌝
2353 Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly!
⌜Forcing out Gloucester’s other eye.⌝
2354 Where is thy luster now?
2355 All dark and comfortless! Where’s my son
2357 105 Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature
2358 To quit this horrid act.
REGAN 2359 Out, treacherous villain!
2360 Thou call’st on him that hates thee. It was he
2361 That made the overture of thy treasons to us,
2362 110 Who is too good to pity thee.
2363 O my follies! Then Edgar was abused.
2364 Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him.
2365 Go thrust him out at gates, and let him smell
2366 His way to Dover.
⌜Some Servants⌝ exit with Gloucester.
2367 115 How is ’t, my lord? How look you?
2368 I have received a hurt. Follow me, lady.—
2369 Turn out that eyeless villain. Throw this slave
2370 Upon the dunghill.—Regan, I bleed apace.
2371 Untimely comes this hurt. Give me your arm.
⌜Cornwall and Regan⌝ exit.
2372 120 I’ll never care what wickedness I do
2373 If this man come to good.
⌜THIRD⌝ SERVANT 2374 If she live long
2375 And in the end meet the old course of death,
2376 Women will all turn monsters.
2377 125 Let’s follow the old earl and get the Bedlam
2378 To lead him where he would. His roguish madness
2379 Allows itself to anything.
2380 Go thou. I’ll fetch some flax and whites of eggs
2381 To apply to his bleeding face. Now heaven help him!
2382 Yet better thus, and known to be contemned,
2383 Than still contemned and flattered. To be worst,
2384 The lowest and most dejected thing of Fortune,
2385 Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear.
2386 5 The lamentable change is from the best;
2387 The worst returns to laughter. [Welcome, then,
2388 Thou unsubstantial air that I embrace.
2389 The wretch that thou hast blown unto the worst
2390 Owes nothing to thy blasts.] But who comes here?
Enter Gloucester and an old man.
2391 10 My father, poorly led? World, world, O world,
2392 But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee,
2393 Life would not yield to age.
2394 O my good lord, I have been your tenant
2395 And your father’s tenant these fourscore years.
2396 15 Away, get thee away. Good friend, begone.
2397 Thy comforts can do me no good at all;
2398 Thee they may hurt.
OLD MAN 2399 You cannot see your way.
2400 I have no way and therefore want no eyes.
2401 20 I stumbled when I saw. Full oft ’tis seen
2402 Our means secure us, and our mere defects
2403 Prove our commodities. O dear son Edgar,
2404 The food of thy abusèd father’s wrath,
2405 Might I but live to see thee in my touch,
2406 25 I’d say I had eyes again.
OLD MAN 2407 How now? Who’s there?
2408 O gods, who is ’t can say “I am at the worst”?
2409 I am worse than e’er I was.
OLD MAN 2410 ’Tis poor mad Tom.
2411 30 And worse I may be yet. The worst is not
2412 So long as we can say “This is the worst.”
2413 Fellow, where goest?
GLOUCESTER 2414 Is it a beggar-man?
OLD MAN 2415 Madman and beggar too.
2416 35 He has some reason, else he could not beg.
2417 I’ th’ last night’s storm, I such a fellow saw,
2418 Which made me think a man a worm. My son
2419 Came then into my mind, and yet my mind
2420 Was then scarce friends with him. I have heard
2421 40 more since.
2422 As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods;
2423 They kill us for their sport.
EDGAR, ⌜aside⌝ 2424 How should this be?
2425 Bad is the trade that must play fool to sorrow,
2426 45 Ang’ring itself and others.—Bless thee, master.
2427 Is that the naked fellow?
OLD MAN 2428 Ay, my lord.
2429 ⟨Then, prithee,⟩ get thee away. If for my sake
2431 50 I’ th’ way toward Dover, do it for ancient love,
2432 And bring some covering for this naked soul,
2433 Which I’ll entreat to lead me.
OLD MAN 2434 Alack, sir, he is mad.
2435 ’Tis the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind.
2436 55 Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure.
2437 Above the rest, begone.
2438 I’ll bring him the best ’parel that I have,
2439 Come on ’t what will.He exits.
GLOUCESTER 2440 Sirrah, naked fellow—
2441 60 Poor Tom’s a-cold. ⌜Aside.⌝ I cannot daub it further.
GLOUCESTER 2442 Come hither, fellow.
2443 And yet I must.—Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.
GLOUCESTER 2444 Know’st thou the way to Dover?
EDGAR 2445 Both stile and gate, horseway and footpath.
2446 65 Poor Tom hath been ⟨scared⟩ out of his good wits.
2447 Bless thee, good man’s son, from the foul fiend.
2448 ⟨Five fiends have been in Poor Tom at once: of lust,
2449 as Obidicut; Hobbididance, prince of dumbness;
2450 Mahu, of stealing; Modo, of murder; ⌜Flibbertigibbet,⌝
2451 70 of ⌜mopping⌝ and ⌜mowing,⌝ who since possesses
2452 chambermaids and waiting women. So, bless
2453 thee, master.⟩
GLOUCESTER, ⌜giving him money⌝
2454 Here, take this purse, thou whom the heavens’
2456 75 Have humbled to all strokes. That I am wretched
2457 Makes thee the happier. Heavens, deal so still:
2458 Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man,
2459 That slaves your ordinance, that will not see
2460 Because he does not feel, feel your power quickly.
2462 And each man have enough. Dost thou know Dover?
EDGAR 2463 Ay, master.
2464 There is a cliff, whose high and bending head
2465 Looks fearfully in the confinèd deep.
2466 85 Bring me but to the very brim of it,
2467 And I’ll repair the misery thou dost bear
2468 With something rich about me. From that place
2469 I shall no leading need.
EDGAR 2470 Give me thy arm.
2471 90 Poor Tom shall lead thee.
2472 Welcome, my lord. I marvel our mild husband
2473 Not met us on the way.
⟨Enter ⌜Oswald, the⌝ Steward.⟩
2474 Now, where’s your master?
2475 Madam, within, but never man so changed.
2476 5 I told him of the army that was landed;
2477 He smiled at it. I told him you were coming;
2478 His answer was “The worse.” Of Gloucester’s
2480 And of the loyal service of his son
2481 10 When I informed him, then he called me “sot”
2482 And told me I had turned the wrong side out.
2483 What most he should dislike seems pleasant to him;
2484 What like, offensive.
GONERIL, ⌜to Edmund⌝ 2485 Then shall you go no further.
2487 That dares not undertake. He’ll not feel wrongs
2488 Which tie him to an answer. Our wishes on the way
2489 May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother.
2490 Hasten his musters and conduct his powers.
2491 20 I must change names at home and give the distaff
2492 Into my husband’s hands. This trusty servant
2493 Shall pass between us. Ere long you are like to
2495 If you dare venture in your own behalf—
2496 25 A mistress’s command. Wear this; spare speech.
⌜She gives him a favor.⌝
2497 Decline your head. ⌜She kisses him.⌝ This kiss, if it
2498 durst speak,
2499 Would stretch thy spirits up into the air.
2500 Conceive, and fare thee well.
2501 30 Yours in the ranks of death.He exits.
GONERIL 2502 My most dear
2504 [O, the difference of man and man!]
2505 To thee a woman’s services are due;
2506 35 My fool usurps my body.
OSWALD 2507 Madam, here comes my lord.⟨He exits.⟩
2508 I have been worth the whistle.
ALBANY 2509 O Goneril,
2510 You are not worth the dust which the rude wind
2511 40 Blows in your face. ⟨I fear your disposition.
2512 That nature which contemns its origin
2513 Cannot be bordered certain in itself.
2514 She that herself will sliver and disbranch
2515 From her material sap perforce must wither
2516 45 And come to deadly use.
GONERIL 2517 No more. The text is foolish.
2518 Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile.
2519 Filths savor but themselves. What have you done?
2520 Tigers, not daughters, what have you performed?
2521 50 A father, and a gracious agèd man,
2522 Whose reverence even the head-lugged bear would
2524 Most barbarous, most degenerate, have you
2526 55 Could my good brother suffer you to do it?
2527 A man, a prince, by him so benefited!
2528 If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
2529 Send quickly down to tame ⌜these⌝ vile offenses,
2530 It will come:
2531 60 Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
2532 Like monsters of the deep.⟩
GONERIL 2533 Milk-livered man,
2534 That bear’st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs;
2535 Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
2536 65 Thine honor from thy suffering; ⟨that not know’st
2537 Fools do those villains pity who are punished
2538 Ere they have done their mischief. Where’s thy
2540 France spreads his banners in our noiseless land,
2541 70 With plumèd helm thy state begins ⌜to threat,⌝
2542 Whilst thou, a moral fool, sits still and cries
2543 “Alack, why does he so?”⟩
ALBANY 2544 See thyself, devil!
2545 Proper deformity ⟨shows⟩ not in the fiend
2546 75 So horrid as in woman.
GONERIL 2547 O vain fool!
2548 Thou changèd and self-covered thing, for shame
2549 Bemonster not thy feature. Were ’t my fitness
2550 To let these hands obey my blood,
2551 80 They are apt enough to dislocate and tear
2553 A woman’s shape doth shield thee.
GONERIL 2554 Marry, your manhood, mew—⟩
Enter a Messenger.
⟨ALBANY 2555 What news?⟩
2556 85 O, my good lord, the Duke of Cornwall’s dead,
2557 Slain by his servant, going to put out
2558 The other eye of Gloucester.
ALBANY 2559 Gloucester’s eyes?
2560 A servant that he bred, thrilled with remorse,
2561 90 Opposed against the act, bending his sword
2562 To his great master, who, ⟨thereat⟩ enraged,
2563 Flew on him and amongst them felled him dead,
2564 But not without that harmful stroke which since
2565 Hath plucked him after.
ALBANY 2566 95 This shows you are above,
2567 You ⟨justicers,⟩ that these our nether crimes
2568 So speedily can venge. But, O poor Gloucester,
2569 Lost he his other eye?
MESSENGER 2570 Both, both, my lord.—
2571 100 This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer.
⌜Giving her a paper.⌝
2572 ’Tis from your sister.
GONERIL, ⌜aside⌝ 2573 One way I like this well.
2574 But being widow and my Gloucester with her
2575 May all the building in my fancy pluck
2576 105 Upon my hateful life. Another way
2577 The news is not so tart.—I’ll read, and answer.
2578 Where was his son when they did take his eyes?
2579 Come with my lady hither.
2581 110 No, my good lord. I met him back again.
ALBANY 2582 Knows he the wickedness?
2583 Ay, my good lord. ’Twas he informed against him
2584 And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment
2585 Might have the freer course.
ALBANY 2586 115 Gloucester, I live
2587 To thank thee for the love thou show’d’st the King,
2588 And to revenge thine eyes.—Come hither, friend.
2589 Tell me what more thou know’st.
KENT 2590 Why the King of France is so suddenly gone
2591 back know you no reason?
GENTLEMAN 2592 Something he left imperfect in the state,
2593 which since his coming forth is thought of, which
2594 5 imports to the kingdom so much fear and danger
2595 that his personal return was most required and
KENT 2597 Who hath he left behind him general?
GENTLEMAN 2598 The Marshal of France, Monsieur La Far.
KENT 2599 10Did your letters pierce the Queen to any demonstration
2600 of grief?
2601 Ay, ⌜sir,⌝ she took them, read them in my
2603 And now and then an ample tear trilled down
2604 15 Her delicate cheek. It seemed she was a queen
2605 Over her passion, who, most rebel-like,
2606 Fought to be king o’er her.
KENT 2607 O, then it moved her.
2608 Not to a rage. Patience and sorrow ⌜strove⌝
2609 20 Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
2610 Sunshine and rain at once; her smiles and tears
2611 Were like a better way. Those happy smilets
2612 That played on her ripe lip ⌜seemed⌝ not to know
2613 What guests were in her eyes, which parted thence
2614 25 As pearls from diamonds dropped. In brief,
2615 Sorrow would be a rarity most beloved
2616 If all could so become it.
KENT 2617 Made she no verbal question?
2618 Faith, once or twice she heaved the name of
2619 30 “father”
2620 Pantingly forth, as if it pressed her heart;
2621 Cried “Sisters, sisters, shame of ladies, sisters!
2622 Kent, father, sisters! What, i’ th’ storm, i’ th’ night?
2623 Let pity not be believed!” There she shook
2624 35 The holy water from her heavenly eyes,
2625 And clamor moistened. Then away she started,
2626 To deal with grief alone.
KENT 2627 It is the stars.
2628 The stars above us govern our conditions,
2629 40 Else one self mate and make could not beget
2630 Such different issues. You spoke not with her
GENTLEMAN 2632 No.
2633 Was this before the King returned?
GENTLEMAN 2634 45 No, since.
2635 Well, sir, the poor distressèd Lear’s i’ th’ town,
2636 Who sometime in his better tune remembers
2637 What we are come about, and by no means
2638 Will yield to see his daughter.
GENTLEMAN 2639 50 Why, good sir?
2640 A sovereign shame so elbows him—his own
2642 That stripped her from his benediction, turned her
2643 To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights
2644 55 To his dog-hearted daughters—these things sting
2645 His mind so venomously that burning shame
2646 Detains him from Cordelia.
GENTLEMAN 2647 Alack, poor gentleman!
2648 Of Albany’s and Cornwall’s powers you heard not?
GENTLEMAN 2649 60’Tis so. They are afoot.
2650 Well, sir, I’ll bring you to our master Lear
2651 And leave you to attend him. Some dear cause
2652 Will in concealment wrap me up awhile.
2653 When I am known aright, you shall not grieve
2654 65 Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go
2655 Along with me.
Gentlemen, and Soldiers.
2656 Alack, ’tis he! Why, he was met even now
2657 As mad as the vexed sea, singing aloud,
2658 Crowned with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds,
2659 With hardocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckooflowers,
2660 5 Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
2661 In our sustaining corn. A century send forth.
2662 Search every acre in the high-grown field
2663 And bring him to our eye.⌜Soldiers exit.⌝
2664 What can man’s wisdom
2666 He that helps him take all my outward worth.
⟨DOCTOR⟩ 2667 There is means, madam.
2668 Our foster nurse of nature is repose,
2669 The which he lacks. That to provoke in him
2670 15 Are many simples operative, whose power
2671 Will close the eye of anguish.
CORDELIA 2672 All blest secrets,
2673 All you unpublished virtues of the earth,
2674 Spring with my tears. Be aidant and remediate
2675 20 In the good man’s ⟨distress.⟩ Seek, seek for him,
2676 Lest his ungoverned rage dissolve the life
2677 That wants the means to lead it.
MESSENGER 2678 News, madam.
2679 The British powers are marching hitherward.
2680 25 ’Tis known before. Our preparation stands
2681 In expectation of them.—O dear father,
2682 It is thy business that I go about.
2683 Therefore great France
2684 My mourning and importuned tears hath pitied.
2685 30 No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
2686 But love, dear love, and our aged father’s right.
2687 Soon may I hear and see him.
2688 But are my brother’s powers set forth?
OSWALD 2689 Ay, madam.
REGAN 2690 Himself in person there?
2692 5 Your sister is the better soldier.
2693 Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?
OSWALD 2694 No, madam.
2695 What might import my sister’s letter to him?
OSWALD 2696 I know not, lady.
2697 10 Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.
2698 It was great ignorance, Gloucester’s eyes being out,
2699 To let him live. Where he arrives he moves
2700 All hearts against us. Edmund, I think, is gone,
2701 In pity of his misery, to dispatch
2702 15 His nighted life; moreover to descry
2703 The strength o’ th’ enemy.
2704 I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.
2705 Our troops set forth tomorrow. Stay with us.
2706 The ways are dangerous.
OSWALD 2707 20 I may not, madam.
2708 My lady charged my duty in this business.
2709 Why should she write to Edmund? Might not you
2710 Transport her purposes by word? Belike,
2711 Some things—I know not what. I’ll love thee much—
2712 25 Let me unseal the letter.
OSWALD 2713 Madam, I had rather—
2714 I know your lady does not love her husband;
2715 I am sure of that; and at her late being here,
2716 She gave strange eliads and most speaking looks
2717 30 To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom.
OSWALD 2718 I, madam?
2719 I speak in understanding. Y’ are; I know ’t.
2721 My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talked,
2722 35 And more convenient is he for my hand
2723 Than for your lady’s. You may gather more.
2724 If you do find him, pray you, give him this,
2725 And when your mistress hears thus much from you,
2726 I pray, desire her call her wisdom to her.
2727 40 So, fare you well.
2728 If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
2729 Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.
2730 Would I could meet ⟨him,⟩ madam. I should show
2731 What party I do follow.
REGAN 2732 45 Fare thee well.
2733 When shall I come to th’ top of that same hill?
2734 You do climb up it now. Look how we labor.
2735 Methinks the ground is even.
EDGAR 2736 Horrible steep.
2737 5 Hark, do you hear the sea?
GLOUCESTER 2738 No, truly.
2739 Why then, your other senses grow imperfect
2740 By your eyes’ anguish.
GLOUCESTER 2741 So may it be indeed.
2742 10 Methinks thy voice is altered and thou speak’st
2743 In better phrase and matter than thou didst.
2744 You’re much deceived; in nothing am I changed
2745 But in my garments.
GLOUCESTER 2746 Methinks you’re better spoken.
2747 15 Come on, sir. Here’s the place. Stand still. How
2749 And dizzy ’tis to cast one’s eyes so low!
2750 The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
2751 Show scarce so gross as beetles. Halfway down
2752 20 Hangs one that gathers samphire—dreadful trade;
2753 Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.
2754 The fishermen that ⟨walk⟩ upon the beach
2755 Appear like mice, and yond tall anchoring bark
2756 Diminished to her cock, her cock a buoy
2757 25 Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge
2758 That on th’ unnumbered idle pebble chafes
2759 Cannot be heard so high. I’ll look no more
2760 Lest my brain turn and the deficient sight
2761 Topple down headlong.
GLOUCESTER 2762 30 Set me where you stand.
2763 Give me your hand. You are now within a foot
2764 Of th’ extreme verge. For all beneath the moon
2765 Would I not leap upright.
GLOUCESTER 2766 Let go my hand.
2767 35 Here, friend, ’s another purse; in it a jewel
2768 Well worth a poor man’s taking. Fairies and gods
2769 Prosper it with thee.⌜He gives Edgar a purse.⌝
2770 Go thou further off.
2771 Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.
EDGAR, ⌜walking away⌝
2772 40 Now fare you well, good sir.
GLOUCESTER 2773 With all my heart.
2774 Why I do trifle thus with his despair
2775 Is done to cure it.
2777 45 This world I do renounce, and in your sights
2778 Shake patiently my great affliction off.
2779 If I could bear it longer, and not fall
2780 To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
2781 My snuff and loathèd part of nature should
2782 50 Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him!—
2783 Now, fellow, fare thee well.⟨He falls.⟩
EDGAR 2784 Gone, sir. Farewell.—
2785 And yet I know not how conceit may rob
2786 The treasury of life, when life itself
2787 55 Yields to the theft. Had he been where he thought,
2788 By this had thought been past. Alive or dead?—
2789 Ho you, sir! Friend, hear you. Sir, speak.—
2790 Thus might he pass indeed. Yet he revives.—
2791 What are you, sir?
GLOUCESTER 2792 60 Away, and let me die.
2793 Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, feathers, air,
2794 So many fathom down precipitating,
2795 Thou ’dst shivered like an egg; but thou dost
2797 65 Hast heavy substance, bleed’st not, speak’st, art
2799 Ten masts at each make not the altitude
2800 Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.
2801 Thy life’s a miracle. Speak yet again.
GLOUCESTER 2802 70But have I fall’n or no?
2803 From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.
2804 Look up a-height. The shrill-gorged lark so far
2805 Cannot be seen or heard. Do but look up.
GLOUCESTER 2806 Alack, I have no eyes.
2807 75 Is wretchedness deprived that benefit
2808 To end itself by death? ’Twas yet some comfort
2809 When misery could beguile the tyrant’s rage
2810 And frustrate his proud will.
⌜He raises Gloucester.⌝
2812 80 Up. So, how is ’t? Feel you your legs? You stand.
2813 Too well, too well.
EDGAR 2814 This is above all strangeness.
2815 Upon the crown o’ th’ cliff, what thing was that
2816 Which parted from you?
GLOUCESTER 2817 85 A poor unfortunate beggar.
2818 As I stood here below, methought his eyes
2819 Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses,
2820 Horns whelked and waved like the enragèd sea.
2821 It was some fiend. Therefore, thou happy father,
2822 90 Think that the clearest gods, who make them
2824 Of men’s impossibilities, have preserved thee.
2825 I do remember now. Henceforth I’ll bear
2826 Affliction till it do cry out itself
2827 95 “Enough, enough!” and die. That thing you speak of,
2828 I took it for a man. Often ’twould say
2829 “The fiend, the fiend!” He led me to that place.
2830 Bear free and patient thoughts.
2831 But who comes here?
2832 100 The safer sense will ne’er accommodate
2833 His master thus.
LEAR 2834 No, they cannot touch me for ⟨coining⟩. I am the
2835 King himself.
EDGAR 2836 O, thou side-piercing sight!
LEAR 2837 105Nature’s above art in that respect. There’s your
2838 press-money. That fellow handles his bow like a
2839 crowkeeper. Draw me a clothier’s yard. Look, look,
2841 will do ’t. There’s my gauntlet; I’ll prove it on a
2842 110 giant. Bring up the brown bills. O, well flown, bird!
2843 I’ th’ clout, i’ th’ clout! Hewgh! Give the word.
EDGAR 2844 Sweet marjoram.
LEAR 2845 Pass.
GLOUCESTER 2846 I know that voice.
LEAR 2847 115Ha! Goneril with a white beard? They flattered
2848 me like a dog and told me I had the white hairs in
2849 my beard ere the black ones were there. To say “ay”
2850 and “no” to everything that I said “ay” and “no” to
2851 was no good divinity. When the rain came to wet me
2852 120 once and the wind to make me chatter, when the
2853 thunder would not peace at my bidding, there I
2854 found ’em, there I smelt ’em out. Go to. They are
2855 not men o’ their words; they told me I was everything.
2856 ’Tis a lie. I am not ague-proof.
2857 125 The trick of that voice I do well remember.
2858 Is ’t not the King?
LEAR 2859 Ay, every inch a king.
2860 When I do stare, see how the subject quakes.
2861 I pardon that man’s life. What was thy cause?
2862 130 Adultery? Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery? No.
2863 The wren goes to ’t, and the small gilded fly does
2864 lecher in my sight. Let copulation thrive, for
2865 Gloucester’s bastard son was kinder to his father
2866 than my daughters got ’tween the lawful sheets. To
2867 135 ’t, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers. Behold yond
2868 simp’ring dame, whose face between her forks
2869 presages snow, that minces virtue and does shake
2870 the head to hear of pleasure’s name. The fitchew
2871 nor the soiled horse goes to ’t with a more riotous
2872 140 appetite. Down from the waist they are centaurs,
2873 though women all above. But to the girdle do the
2874 gods inherit; beneath is all the fiend’s. There’s hell,
2876 scalding, stench, consumption! Fie, fie, fie, pah,
2877 145 pah! Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary;
2878 sweeten my imagination. There’s money for thee.
GLOUCESTER 2879 O, let me kiss that hand!
LEAR 2880 Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality.
2881 O ruined piece of nature! This great world
2882 150 Shall so wear out to naught. Dost thou know me?
LEAR 2883 I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou
2884 squinny at me? No, do thy worst, blind Cupid, I’ll
2885 not love. Read thou this challenge. Mark but the
2886 penning of it.
2887 155 Were all thy letters suns, I could not see.
2888 I would not take this from report. It is,
2889 And my heart breaks at it.
LEAR 2890 Read.
GLOUCESTER 2891 What, with the case of eyes?
LEAR 2892 160O ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your
2893 head, nor no money in your purse? Your eyes are in
2894 a heavy case, your purse in a light, yet you see how
2895 this world goes.
GLOUCESTER 2896 I see it feelingly.
LEAR 2897 165What, art mad? A man may see how this world
2898 goes with no eyes. Look with thine ears. See how
2899 yond justice rails upon yond simple thief. Hark in
2900 thine ear. Change places and, handy-dandy, which
2901 is the justice, which is the thief? Thou hast seen a
2902 170 farmer’s dog bark at a beggar?
GLOUCESTER 2903 Ay, sir.
LEAR 2904 And the creature run from the cur? There thou
2905 might’st behold the great image of authority: a
2906 dog’s obeyed in office.
2908 Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thy own back.
2909 Thou hotly lusts to use her in that kind
2910 For which thou whipp’st her. The usurer hangs the
2912 180 Through tattered clothes ⟨small⟩ vices do appear.
2913 Robes and furred gowns hide all. [⌜Plate sin⌝ with
2915 And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks.
2916 Arm it in rags, a pygmy’s straw does pierce it.
2917 185 None does offend, none, I say, none; I’ll able ’em.
2918 Take that of me, my friend, who have the power
2919 To seal th’ accuser’s lips.] Get thee glass eyes,
2920 And like a scurvy politician
2921 Seem to see the things thou dost not. Now, now,
2922 190 now, now.
2923 Pull off my boots. Harder, harder. So.
2924 O, matter and impertinency mixed,
2925 Reason in madness!
2926 If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes.
2927 195 I know thee well enough; thy name is Gloucester.
2928 Thou must be patient. We came crying hither;
2929 Thou know’st the first time that we smell the air
2930 We wawl and cry. I will preach to thee. Mark.
GLOUCESTER 2931 Alack, alack the day!
2932 200 When we are born, we cry that we are come
2933 To this great stage of fools.—This’ a good block.
2934 It were a delicate stratagem to shoe
2935 A troop of horse with felt. I’ll put ’t in proof,
2936 And when I have stol’n upon these son-in-laws,
2937 205 Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!
Enter a Gentleman ⌜and Attendants.⌝
2938 O, here he is. ⌜To an Attendant.⌝ Lay hand upon
2940 Your most dear daughter—
2941 No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even
2942 210 The natural fool of Fortune. Use me well.
2943 You shall have ransom. Let me have surgeons;
2944 I am cut to th’ brains.
GENTLEMAN 2945 You shall have anything.
LEAR 2946 No seconds? All myself?
2947 215 Why, this would make a man a man of salt,
2948 To use his eyes for garden waterpots,
2949 ⟨Ay, and laying autumn’s dust.⟩
2950 I will die bravely like a smug bridegroom. What?
2951 I will be jovial. Come, come, I am a king,
2952 220 Masters, know you that?
2953 You are a royal one, and we obey you.
LEAR 2954 Then there’s life in ’t. Come, an you get it, you
2955 shall get it by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa.
⟨The King exits running ⌜pursued by Attendants.⌝⟩
2956 A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch,
2957 225 Past speaking of in a king. Thou hast a daughter
2958 Who redeems nature from the general curse
2959 Which twain have brought her to.
EDGAR 2960 Hail, gentle sir.
GENTLEMAN 2961 Sir, speed you. What’s your will?
2962 230 Do you hear aught, sir, of a battle toward?
2963 Most sure and vulgar. Everyone hears that,
2964 Which can distinguish sound.
EDGAR 2965 But, by your favor,
2966 How near’s the other army?
2967 235 Near and on speedy foot. The main descry
2968 Stands on the hourly thought.
EDGAR 2969 I thank you, sir. That’s all.
2970 Though that the Queen on special cause is here,
2971 Her army is moved on.
EDGAR 2972 240 I thank you, sir.
2973 You ever-gentle gods, take my breath from me;
2974 Let not my worser spirit tempt me again
2975 To die before you please.
EDGAR 2976 Well pray you, father.
GLOUCESTER 2977 245Now, good sir, what are you?
2978 A most poor man, made tame to Fortune’s blows,
2979 Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
2980 Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand;
2981 I’ll lead you to some biding.
⌜He takes Gloucester’s hand.⌝
GLOUCESTER 2982 250 Hearty thanks.
2983 The bounty and the benison of heaven
2984 To boot, and boot.
Enter ⌜Oswald, the⌝ Steward.
OSWALD, ⌜drawing his sword⌝
2985 A proclaimed prize! Most happy!
2986 That eyeless head of thine was first framed flesh
2987 255 To raise my fortunes. Thou old unhappy traitor,
2988 Briefly thyself remember; the sword is out
2989 That must destroy thee.
GLOUCESTER 2990 Now let thy friendly hand
2991 Put strength enough to ’t.
⌜Edgar steps between Gloucester and Oswald.⌝
OSWALD 2992 260 Wherefore, bold peasant,
2994 Lest that th’ infection of his fortune take
2995 Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.
EDGAR 2996 Chill not let go, zir, without vurther ’casion.
OSWALD 2997 265Let go, slave, or thou diest!
EDGAR 2998 Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor
2999 volk pass. An ’chud ha’ bin zwaggered out of my
3000 life, ’twould not ha’ bin zo long as ’tis by a vortnight.
3001 Nay, come not near th’ old man. Keep out,
3002 270 che vor’ ye, or Ise try whether your costard or my
3003 ballow be the harder. Chill be plain with you.
OSWALD 3004 Out, dunghill.
EDGAR 3005 Chill pick your teeth, zir. Come, no matter vor
3006 your foins.⟨They fight.⟩
3007 275 Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse.
3008 If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body,
3009 And give the letters which thou find’st about me
3010 To Edmund, Earl of Gloucester. Seek him out
3011 Upon the English party. O, untimely death! Death!
3012 280 I know thee well, a serviceable villain,
3013 As duteous to the vices of thy mistress
3014 As badness would desire.
GLOUCESTER 3015 What, is he dead?
EDGAR 3016 Sit you down, father; rest you.
3017 285 Let’s see these pockets. The letters that he speaks of
3018 May be my friends. He’s dead; I am only sorry
3019 He had no other deathsman. Let us see.
⌜He opens a letter.⌝
3020 Leave, gentle wax, and, manners, blame us not.
3021 To know our enemies’ minds, we rip their hearts.
3022 290 Their papers is more lawful.Reads the letter.
3023 Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You have
3024 many opportunities to cut him off. If your will want
3025 not, time and place will be fruitfully offered. There is
3027 295 the prisoner, and his bed my jail, from the loathed
3028 warmth whereof deliver me and supply the place for
3029 your labor.
3030 Your (wife, so I would say) affectionate servant,
3031 ⟨and, for you, her own for venture,⟩Goneril.
3032 300 O indistinguished space of woman’s will!
3033 A plot upon her virtuous husband’s life,
3034 And the exchange my brother.—Here, in the sands
3035 Thee I’ll rake up, the post unsanctified
3036 Of murderous lechers; and in the mature time
3037 305 With this ungracious paper strike the sight
3038 Of the death-practiced duke. For him ’tis well
3039 That of thy death and business I can tell.
3040 The King is mad. How stiff is my vile sense
3041 That I stand up and have ingenious feeling
3042 310 Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract.
3043 So should my thoughts be severed from my griefs,
3044 And woes, by wrong imaginations, lose
3045 The knowledge of themselves.Drum afar off.
EDGAR 3046 Give me your hand.
3047 315 Far off methinks I hear the beaten drum.
3048 Come, father, I’ll bestow you with a friend.
3049 O, thou good Kent, how shall I live and work
3050 To match thy goodness? My life will be too short,
3051 And every measure fail me.
3052 To be acknowledged, madam, is o’erpaid.
3054 Nor more, nor clipped, but so.
CORDELIA 3055 Be better suited.
3056 These weeds are memories of those worser hours.
3057 I prithee put them off.
KENT 3058 10 Pardon, dear madam.
3059 Yet to be known shortens my made intent.
3060 My boon I make it that you know me not
3061 Till time and I think meet.
3062 Then be ’t so, my good lord.—How does the King?
⟨DOCTOR⟩ 3063 15Madam, sleeps still.
CORDELIA 3064 O, you kind gods,
3065 Cure this great breach in his abusèd nature!
3066 Th’ untuned and jarring senses, O, wind up,
3067 Of this child-changèd father!
⟨DOCTOR⟩ 3068 20 So please your Majesty
3069 That we may wake the King? He hath slept
3071 Be governed by your knowledge, and proceed
3072 I’ th’ sway of your own will. Is he arrayed?
Enter Lear in a chair carried by Servants.
3073 25 Ay, madam. In the heaviness of sleep,
3074 We put fresh garments on him.
3075 Be by, good madam, when we do awake him.
3076 I doubt ⟨not⟩ of his temperance.
⟨CORDELIA 3077 Very well.
3078 30 Please you, draw near.—Louder the music there.⟩
CORDELIA, ⌜kissing Lear⌝
3079 O, my dear father, restoration hang
3081 Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
3082 Have in thy reverence made.
KENT 3083 35 Kind and dear princess.
3084 Had you not been their father, these white flakes
3085 Did challenge pity of them. Was this a face
3086 To be opposed against the jarring winds?
3087 ⟨To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder,
3088 40 In the most terrible and nimble stroke
3089 Of quick cross-lightning? To watch, poor perdu,
3090 With this thin helm?⟩ Mine enemy’s dog,
3091 Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
3092 Against my fire. And wast thou fain, poor father,
3093 45 To hovel thee with swine and rogues forlorn
3094 In short and musty straw? Alack, alack,
3095 ’Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once
3096 Had not concluded all.—He wakes. Speak to him.
⟨DOCTOR⟩ 3097 Madam, do you; ’tis fittest.
3098 50 How does my royal lord? How fares your Majesty?
3099 You do me wrong to take me out o’ th’ grave.
3100 Thou art a soul in bliss, but I am bound
3101 Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
3102 Do scald like molten lead.
CORDELIA 3103 55 Sir, do you know me?
3104 You are a spirit, I know. Where did you die?
CORDELIA 3105 Still, still, far wide.
3106 He’s scarce awake. Let him alone awhile.
3107 Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight?
3108 60 I am mightily abused; I should e’en die with pity
3110 I will not swear these are my hands. Let’s see.
3111 I feel this pinprick. Would I were assured
3112 Of my condition!
CORDELIA 3113 65 O, look upon me, sir,
3114 And hold your hand in benediction o’er me.
3115 ⟨No, sir,⟩ you must not kneel.
LEAR 3116 Pray do not mock:
3117 I am a very foolish fond old man,
3118 70 Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less,
3119 And to deal plainly,
3120 I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
3121 Methinks I should know you and know this man,
3122 Yet I am doubtful, for I am mainly ignorant
3123 75 What place this is, and all the skill I have
3124 Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
3125 Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me,
3126 For, as I am a man, I think this lady
3127 To be my child Cordelia.
CORDELIA, ⌜weeping⌝ 3128 80And so I am; I am.
3129 Be your tears wet? Yes, faith. I pray, weep not.
3130 If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
3131 I know you do not love me, for your sisters
3132 Have, as I do remember, done me wrong.
3133 85 You have some cause; they have not.
CORDELIA 3134 No cause, no
LEAR 3136 Am I in France?
KENT 3137 In your own kingdom, sir.
LEAR 3138 90Do not abuse me.
3139 Be comforted, good madam. The great rage,
3140 You see, is killed in him, ⟨and yet it is danger
3141 To make him even o’er the time he has lost.⟩
3143 95 Till further settling.
CORDELIA 3144 Will ’t please your Highness walk?
LEAR 3145 You must bear with me.
3146 Pray you now, forget, and forgive. I am old and
3147 foolish.⟨They exit. Kent and Gentleman remain.⟩
⟨GENTLEMAN 3148 100Holds it true, sir, that the Duke of Cornwall
3149 was so slain?
KENT 3150 Most certain, sir.
GENTLEMAN 3151 Who is conductor of his people?
KENT 3152 As ’tis said, the bastard son of Gloucester.
GENTLEMAN 3153 105They say Edgar, his banished son, is with
3154 the Earl of Kent in Germany.
KENT 3155 Report is changeable. ’Tis time to look about.
3156 The powers of the kingdom approach apace.
GENTLEMAN 3157 The arbitrament is like to be bloody. Fare
3158 110 you well, sir.⌜He exits.⌝
3159 My point and period will be throughly wrought,
3160 Or well, or ill, as this day’s battle’s fought.