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King Lear

The Tragedy of King Lear

 

The Tragedy of King Lear

(complete text)


† † †

Act I, Scene 1

King Learís Palace.

† † †

    Enter Kent, Gloucester, and Edmund. [Kent and Gloucester converse. Edmund stands back.]

      • Earl of Kent. I thought the King had more affected the Duke of Albany than
        Cornwall.
      • Earl of Gloucester. It did always seem so to us; but now, in the division of the
        kingdom, it appears not which of the Dukes he values most, for 5
        equalities are so weigh'd that curiosity in neither can make
        choice of either's moiety.
      • Earl of Kent. Is not this your son, my lord?
      • Earl of Gloucester. His breeding, sir, hath been at my charge. I have so often
        blush'd to acknowledge him that now I am braz'd to't. 10
      • Earl of Kent. I cannot conceive you.
      • Earl of Gloucester. Sir, this young fellow's mother could; whereupon she grew
        round-womb'd, and had indeed, sir, a son for her cradle ere she
        had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault?
      • Earl of Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so 15
        proper.
      • Earl of Gloucester. But I have, sir, a son by order of law, some year elder than
        this, who yet is no dearer in my account. Though this knave came
        something saucily into the world before he was sent for, yet was
        his mother fair, there was good sport at his making, and the 20
        whoreson must be acknowledged.- Do you know this noble gentleman,
        Edmund?
      • Edmund. [comes forward] No, my lord.
      • Earl of Gloucester. My Lord of Kent. Remember him hereafter as my honourable
        friend. 25
      • Edmund. My services to your lordship.
      • Earl of Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you better.
      • Edmund. Sir, I shall study deserving.
      • Earl of Gloucester. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again.
        [Sound a sennet.] 30
        The King is coming.

        Enter one bearing a coronet; then Lear; then the Dukes of Albany and Cornwall; next, Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, with Followers.

          • Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.
          • Earl of Gloucester. I shall, my liege.

            Exeunt [Gloucester and Edmund].

              • Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.
                Give me the map there. Know we have divided
                In three our kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent
                To shake all cares and business from our age,
                Conferring them on younger strengths while we 40
                Unburthen'd crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall,
                And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
                We have this hour a constant will to publish
                Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife
                May be prevented now. The princes, France and Burgundy, 45
                Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,
                Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn,
                And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, my daughters
                (Since now we will divest us both of rule,
                Interest of territory, cares of state), 50
                Which of you shall we say doth love us most?
                That we our largest bounty may extend
                Where nature doth with merit challenge. Goneril,
                Our eldest-born, speak first.
              • Goneril. Sir, I love you more than words can wield the matter; 55
                Dearer than eyesight, space, and liberty;
                Beyond what can be valued, rich or rare;
                No less than life, with grace, health, beauty, honour;
                As much as child e'er lov'd, or father found;
                A love that makes breath poor, and speech unable. 60
                Beyond all manner of so much I love you.
              • Cordelia. [aside] What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.
              • Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
                With shadowy forests and with champains rich'd,
                With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads, 65
                We make thee lady. To thine and Albany's issue
                Be this perpetual.- What says our second daughter,
                Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak.
              • Regan. Sir, I am made
                Of the selfsame metal that my sister is, 70
                And prize me at her worth. In my true heart
                I find she names my very deed of love;
                Only she comes too short, that I profess
                Myself an enemy to all other joys
                Which the most precious square of sense possesses, 75
                And find I am alone felicitate
                In your dear Highness' love.
              • Cordelia. [aside] Then poor Cordelia!
                And yet not so; since I am sure my love's
                More richer than my tongue. 80
              • Lear. To thee and thine hereditary ever
                Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom,
                No less in space, validity, and pleasure
                Than that conferr'd on Goneril.- Now, our joy,
                Although the last, not least; to whose young love 85
                The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
                Strive to be interest; what can you say to draw
                A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.
              • Cordelia. Nothing, my lord.
              • Lear. Nothing? 90
              • Cordelia. Nothing.
              • Lear. Nothing can come of nothing. Speak again.
              • Cordelia. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
                My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty
                According to my bond; no more nor less. 95
              • Lear. How, how, Cordelia? Mend your speech a little,
                Lest it may mar your fortunes.
              • Cordelia. Good my lord,
                You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me; I
                Return those duties back as are right fit, 100
                Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
                Why have my sisters husbands, if they say
                They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
                That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
                Half my love with him, half my care and duty. 105
                Sure I shall never marry like my sisters,
                To love my father all.
              • Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
              • Cordelia. Ay, good my lord.
              • Lear. So young, and so untender? 110
              • Cordelia. So young, my lord, and true.
              • Lear. Let it be so! thy truth then be thy dower!
                For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
                The mysteries of Hecate and the night;
                By all the operation of the orbs 115
                From whom we do exist and cease to be;
                Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
                Propinquity and property of blood,
                And as a stranger to my heart and me
                Hold thee from this for ever. The barbarous Scythian, 120
                Or he that makes his generation messes
                To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
                Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
                As thou my sometime daughter.
              • Earl of Kent. Good my liege- 125
              • Lear. Peace, Kent!
                Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
                I lov'd her most, and thought to set my rest
                On her kind nursery.- Hence and avoid my sight!-
                So be my grave my peace as here I give 130
                Her father's heart from her! Call France! Who stirs?
                Call Burgundy! Cornwall and Albany,
                With my two daughters' dowers digest this third;
                Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
                I do invest you jointly in my power, 135
                Preeminence, and all the large effects
                That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly course,
                With reservation of an hundred knights,
                By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
                Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain 140
                The name, and all th' additions to a king. The sway,
                Revenue, execution of the rest,
                Beloved sons, be yours; which to confirm,
                This coronet part betwixt you.
              • Earl of Kent. Royal Lear, 145
                Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,
                Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd,
                As my great patron thought on in my prayers-
              • Lear. The bow is bent and drawn; make from the shaft.
              • Earl of Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade 150
                The region of my heart! Be Kent unmannerly
                When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man?
                Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak
                When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour's bound
                When majesty falls to folly. Reverse thy doom; 155
                And in thy best consideration check
                This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judgment,
                Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least,
                Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound
                Reverbs no hollowness. 160
              • Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more!
              • Earl of Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn
                To wage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it,
                Thy safety being the motive.
              • Lear. Out of my sight! 165
              • Earl of Kent. See better, Lear, and let me still remain
                The true blank of thine eye.
              • Lear. Now by Apollo-
              • Earl of Kent. Now by Apollo, King,
                Thou swear'st thy gods in vain. 170
              • Lear. O vassal! miscreant! [Lays his hand on his sword.]
              • Duke of Albany. [with Cornwall] Dear sir, forbear!
              • Earl of Kent. Do!
                Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
                Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift, 175
                Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
                I'll tell thee thou dost evil.
              • Lear. Hear me, recreant!
                On thine allegiance, hear me!
                Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow- 180
                Which we durst never yet- and with strain'd pride
                To come between our sentence and our power,-
                Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,-
                Our potency made good, take thy reward.
                Five days we do allot thee for provision 185
                To shield thee from diseases of the world,
                And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
                Upon our kingdom. If, on the tenth day following,
                Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
                The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter, 190
                This shall not be revok'd.
              • Earl of Kent. Fare thee well, King. Since thus thou wilt appear,
                Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.
                [To Cordelia] The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
                That justly think'st and hast most rightly said! 195
                [To Regan and Goneril] And your large speeches may your deeds
                approve,
                That good effects may spring from words of love.
                Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu;
                He'll shape his old course in a country new. Exit. 200

                Flourish. Enter Gloucester, with France and Burgundy; Attendants.

                  • Earl of Gloucester. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
                  • Lear. My Lord of Burgundy,
                    We first address toward you, who with this king
                    Hath rivall'd for our daughter. What in the least 205
                    Will you require in present dower with her,
                    Or cease your quest of love?
                  • Duke of Burgundy. Most royal Majesty,
                    I crave no more than hath your Highness offer'd,
                    Nor will you tender less. 210
                  • Lear. Right noble Burgundy,
                    When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
                    But now her price is fall'n. Sir, there she stands.
                    If aught within that little seeming substance,
                    Or all of it, with our displeasure piec'd, 215
                    And nothing more, may fitly like your Grace,
                    She's there, and she is yours.
                  • Duke of Burgundy. I know no answer.
                  • Lear. Will you, with those infirmities she owes,
                    Unfriended, new adopted to our hate, 220
                    Dow'r'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
                    Take her, or leave her?
                  • Duke of Burgundy. Pardon me, royal sir.
                    Election makes not up on such conditions.
                  • Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the pow'r that made me, 225
                    I tell you all her wealth. [To France] For you, great King,
                    I would not from your love make such a stray
                    To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you
                    T' avert your liking a more worthier way
                    Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd 230
                    Almost t' acknowledge hers.
                  • King of France. This is most strange,
                    That she that even but now was your best object,
                    The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
                    Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time 235
                    Commit a thing so monstrous to dismantle
                    So many folds of favour. Sure her offence
                    Must be of such unnatural degree
                    That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection
                    Fall'n into taint; which to believe of her 240
                    Must be a faith that reason without miracle
                    Should never plant in me.
                  • Cordelia. I yet beseech your Majesty,
                    If for I want that glib and oily art
                    To speak and purpose not, since what I well intend, 245
                    I'll do't before I speak- that you make known
                    It is no vicious blot, murther, or foulness,
                    No unchaste action or dishonoured step,
                    That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour;
                    But even for want of that for which I am richer- 250
                    A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
                    As I am glad I have not, though not to have it
                    Hath lost me in your liking.
                  • Lear. Better thou
                    Hadst not been born than not t' have pleas'd me better. 255
                  • King of France. Is it but this- a tardiness in nature
                    Which often leaves the history unspoke
                    That it intends to do? My Lord of Burgundy,
                    What say you to the lady? Love's not love
                    When it is mingled with regards that stands 260
                    Aloof from th' entire point. Will you have her?
                    She is herself a dowry.
                  • Duke of Burgundy. Royal Lear,
                    Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
                    And here I take Cordelia by the hand, 265
                    Duchess of Burgundy.
                  • Lear. Nothing! I have sworn; I am firm.
                  • Duke of Burgundy. I am sorry then you have so lost a father
                    That you must lose a husband.
                  • Cordelia. Peace be with Burgundy! 270
                    Since that respects of fortune are his love,
                    I shall not be his wife.
                  • King of France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being poor;
                    Most choice, forsaken; and most lov'd, despis'd!
                    Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon. 275
                    Be it lawful I take up what's cast away.
                    Gods, gods! 'tis strange that from their cold'st neglect
                    My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.
                    Thy dow'rless daughter, King, thrown to my chance,
                    Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France. 280
                    Not all the dukes in wat'rish Burgundy
                    Can buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.
                    Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind.
                    Thou losest here, a better where to find.
                  • Lear. Thou hast her, France; let her be thine; for we 285
                    Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
                    That face of hers again. Therefore be gone
                    Without our grace, our love, our benison.
                    Come, noble Burgundy.

                    Flourish. Exeunt Lear, Burgundy, [Cornwall, Albany, Gloucester, and Attendants].

                      • King of France. Bid farewell to your sisters.
                      • Cordelia. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
                        Cordelia leaves you. I know you what you are;
                        And, like a sister, am most loath to call
                        Your faults as they are nam'd. Use well our father. 295
                        To your professed bosoms I commit him;
                        But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
                        I would prefer him to a better place!
                        So farewell to you both.
                      • Goneril. Prescribe not us our duties. 300
                      • Regan. Let your study
                        Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you
                        At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
                        And well are worth the want that you have wanted.
                      • Cordelia. Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides. 305
                        Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
                        Well may you prosper!
                      • King of France. Come, my fair Cordelia.

                        Exeunt France and Cordelia.

                          • Goneril. Sister, it is not little I have to say of what most nearly 310
                            appertains to us both. I think our father will hence to-night.
                          • Regan. That's most certain, and with you; next month with us.
                          • Goneril. You see how full of changes his age is. The observation we
                            have made of it hath not been little. He always lov'd our
                            sister most, and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her 315
                            off appears too grossly.
                          • Regan. 'Tis the infirmity of his age; yet he hath ever but slenderly
                            known himself.
                          • Goneril. The best and soundest of his time hath been but rash; then
                            must we look to receive from his age, not alone the 320
                            imperfections of long-ingraffed condition, but therewithal
                            the unruly waywardness that infirm and choleric years bring with
                            them.
                          • Regan. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him as this
                            of Kent's banishment. 325
                          • Goneril. There is further compliment of leave-taking between France and
                            him. Pray you let's hit together. If our father carry authority
                            with such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of his
                            will but offend us.
                          • Regan. We shall further think on't. 330
                          • Goneril. We must do something, and i' th' heat.

                            Exeunt.


                              † † †

                              Act I, Scene 2

                              The Earl of Gloucesterís Castle.

                              † † †

                                Enter [Edmund the] Bastard solus, [with a letter].

                                  • Edmund. Thou, Nature, art my goddess; to thy law
                                    My services are bound. Wherefore should I 335
                                    Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
                                    The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
                                    For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
                                    Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
                                    When my dimensions are as well compact, 340
                                    My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
                                    As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
                                    With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
                                    Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
                                    More composition and fierce quality 345
                                    Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
                                    Go to th' creating a whole tribe of fops
                                    Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well then,
                                    Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land.
                                    Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund 350
                                    As to th' legitimate. Fine word- 'legitimate'!
                                    Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
                                    And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
                                    Shall top th' legitimate. I grow; I prosper.
                                    Now, gods, stand up for bastards! 355

                                    Enter Gloucester.

                                      • Earl of Gloucester. Kent banish'd thus? and France in choler parted?
                                        And the King gone to-night? subscrib'd his pow'r?
                                        Confin'd to exhibition? All this done
                                        Upon the gad? Edmund, how now? What news? 360
                                      • Edmund. So please your lordship, none.

                                        [Puts up the letter.]

                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter?
                                          • Edmund. I know no news, my lord.
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. What paper were you reading? 365
                                          • Edmund. Nothing, my lord.
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. No? What needed then that terrible dispatch of it into your
                                            pocket? The quality of nothing hath not such need to hide
                                            itself. Let's see. Come, if it be nothing, I shall not need
                                            spectacles. 370
                                          • Edmund. I beseech you, sir, pardon me. It is a letter from my brother
                                            that I have not all o'er-read; and for so much as I have
                                            perus'd, I find it not fit for your o'erlooking.
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Give me the letter, sir.
                                          • Edmund. I shall offend, either to detain or give it. The contents, as 375
                                            in part I understand them, are to blame.
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Let's see, let's see!
                                          • Edmund. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as
                                            an essay or taste of my virtue.
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. [reads] 'This policy and reverence of age makes the world 380
                                            bitter to the best of our times; keeps our fortunes from us
                                            till our oldness cannot relish them. I begin to find an idle
                                            and fond bondage in the oppression of aged tyranny, who sways,
                                            not as it hath power, but as it is suffer'd. Come to me, that
                                            of this I may speak more. If our father would sleep till I 385
                                            wak'd him, you should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live
                                            the beloved of your brother,
                                            'EDGAR.'
                                            Hum! Conspiracy? 'Sleep till I wak'd him, you should enjoy half
                                            his revenue.' My son Edgar! Had he a hand to write this? a heart 390
                                            and brain to breed it in? When came this to you? Who brought it?
                                          • Edmund. It was not brought me, my lord: there's the cunning of it. I
                                            found it thrown in at the casement of my closet.
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. You know the character to be your brother's?
                                          • Edmund. If the matter were good, my lord, I durst swear it were his; 395
                                            but in respect of that, I would fain think it were not.
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. It is his.
                                          • Edmund. It is his hand, my lord; but I hope his heart is not in the
                                            contents.
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Hath he never before sounded you in this business? 400
                                          • Edmund. Never, my lord. But I have heard him oft maintain it to be fit
                                            that, sons at perfect age, and fathers declining, the father
                                            should be as ward to the son, and the son manage his revenue.
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. O villain, villain! His very opinion in the letter! Abhorred
                                            villain! Unnatural, detested, brutish villain! worse than 405
                                            brutish! Go, sirrah, seek him. I'll apprehend him. Abominable
                                            villain! Where is he?
                                          • Edmund. I do not well know, my lord. If it shall please you to suspend
                                            your indignation against my brother till you can derive from him
                                            better testimony of his intent, you should run a certain course; 410
                                            where, if you violently proceed against him, mistaking his
                                            purpose, it would make a great gap in your own honour and shake
                                            in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life
                                            for him that he hath writ this to feel my affection to your
                                            honour, and to no other pretence of danger. 415
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Think you so?
                                          • Edmund. If your honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall
                                            hear us confer of this and by an auricular assurance have your
                                            satisfaction, and that without any further delay than this very
                                            evening. 420
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. He cannot be such a monster.
                                          • Edmund. Nor is not, sure.
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him.
                                            Heaven and earth! Edmund, seek him out; wind me into him, I pray
                                            you; frame the business after your own wisdom. I would unstate 425
                                            myself to be in a due resolution.
                                          • Edmund. I will seek him, sir, presently; convey the business as I
                                            shall find means, and acquaint you withal.
                                          • Earl of Gloucester. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to
                                            us. Though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet 430
                                            nature finds itself scourg'd by the sequent effects. Love cools,
                                            friendship falls off, brothers divide. In cities, mutinies; in
                                            countries, discord; in palaces, treason; and the bond crack'd
                                            'twixt son and father. This villain of mine comes under the
                                            prediction; there's son against father: the King falls from bias 435
                                            of nature; there's father against child. We have seen the best
                                            of our time. Machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all
                                            ruinous disorders follow us disquietly to our graves. Find out
                                            this villain, Edmund; it shall lose thee nothing; do it
                                            carefully. And the noble and true-hearted Kent banish'd! his 440
                                            offence, honesty! 'Tis strange. Exit.
                                          • Edmund. This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are
                                            sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behaviour, we make
                                            guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars; as if
                                            we were villains on necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; 445
                                            knaves, thieves, and treachers by spherical pre-dominance;
                                            drunkards, liars, and adulterers by an enforc'd obedience of
                                            planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine
                                            thrusting on. An admirable evasion of whore-master man, to lay
                                            his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father 450
                                            compounded with my mother under the Dragon's Tail, and my
                                            nativity was under Ursa Major, so that it follows I am rough and
                                            lecherous. Fut! I should have been that I am, had the
                                            maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.
                                            Edgar- 455
                                            [Enter Edgar.]
                                            and pat! he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy. My
                                            cue is villainous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam.
                                            O, these eclipses do portend these divisions! Fa, sol, la, mi.
                                          • Edgar. How now, brother Edmund? What serious contemplation are you 460
                                            in?
                                          • Edmund. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day,
                                            what should follow these eclipses.
                                          • Edgar. Do you busy yourself with that?
                                          • Edmund. I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed unhappily: as 465
                                            of unnaturalness between the child and the parent; death,
                                            dearth, dissolutions of ancient amities; divisions in state,
                                            menaces and maledictions against king and nobles; needless
                                            diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of cohorts,
                                            nuptial breaches, and I know not what. 470
                                          • Edgar. How long have you been a sectary astronomical?
                                          • Edmund. Come, come! When saw you my father last?
                                          • Edgar. The night gone by.
                                          • Edmund. Spake you with him?
                                          • Edgar. Ay, two hours together. 475
                                          • Edmund. Parted you in good terms? Found you no displeasure in him by
                                            word or countenance
                                          • Edgar. None at all.
                                          • Edmund. Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended him; and at my
                                            entreaty forbear his presence until some little time hath 480
                                            qualified the heat of his displeasure, which at this instant so
                                            rageth in him that with the mischief of your person it would
                                            scarcely allay.
                                          • Edgar. Some villain hath done me wrong.
                                          • Edmund. That's my fear. I pray you have a continent forbearance till 485
                                            the speed of his rage goes slower; and, as I say, retire with me
                                            to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my
                                            lord speak. Pray ye, go! There's my key. If you do stir abroad,
                                            go arm'd.
                                          • Edgar. Arm'd, brother? 490
                                          • Edmund. Brother, I advise you to the best. Go arm'd. I am no honest man
                                            if there be any good meaning toward you. I have told you what I
                                            have seen and heard; but faintly, nothing like the image and
                                            horror of it. Pray you, away!
                                          • Edgar. Shall I hear from you anon? 495
                                          • Edmund. I do serve you in this business.
                                            [Exit Edgar.]
                                            A credulous father! and a brother noble,
                                            Whose nature is so far from doing harms
                                            That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty 500
                                            My practices ride easy! I see the business.
                                            Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit;
                                            All with me's meet that I can fashion fit. Exit.

                                          † † †

                                          Act I, Scene 3

                                          The Duke of Albanyís Palace.

                                          † † †

                                            Enter Goneril and [her] Steward [Oswald].

                                              • Goneril. Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his fool? 505
                                              • Oswald. Ay, madam.
                                              • Goneril. By day and night, he wrongs me! Every hour
                                                He flashes into one gross crime or other
                                                That sets us all at odds. I'll not endure it.
                                                His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us 510
                                                On every trifle. When he returns from hunting,
                                                I will not speak with him. Say I am sick.
                                                If you come slack of former services,
                                                You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer.

                                                [Horns within.]

                                                  • Oswald. He's coming, madam; I hear him.
                                                  • Goneril. Put on what weary negligence you please,
                                                    You and your fellows. I'd have it come to question.
                                                    If he distaste it, let him to our sister,
                                                    Whose mind and mine I know in that are one, 520
                                                    Not to be overrul'd. Idle old man,
                                                    That still would manage those authorities
                                                    That he hath given away! Now, by my life,
                                                    Old fools are babes again, and must be us'd
                                                    With checks as flatteries, when they are seen abus'd. 525
                                                    Remember what I have said.
                                                  • Oswald. Very well, madam.
                                                  • Goneril. And let his knights have colder looks among you.
                                                    What grows of it, no matter. Advise your fellows so.
                                                    I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall, 530
                                                    That I may speak. I'll write straight to my sister
                                                    To hold my very course. Prepare for dinner.

                                                    Exeunt.


                                                      † † †

                                                      Act I, Scene 4

                                                      The Duke of Albanyís Palace.

                                                      † † †

                                                        Enter Kent, [disguised].

                                                          • Earl of Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow, 535
                                                            That can my speech defuse, my good intent
                                                            May carry through itself to that full issue
                                                            For which I raz'd my likeness. Now, banish'd Kent,
                                                            If thou canst serve where thou dost stand condemn'd,
                                                            So may it come, thy master, whom thou lov'st, 540
                                                            Shall find thee full of labours.
                                                            Horns within. Enter Lear, [Knights,] and Attendants.
                                                          • Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner; go get it ready. [Exit
                                                            an Attendant.]
                                                            How now? What art thou?
                                                          • Earl of Kent. A man, sir. 545
                                                          • Lear. What dost thou profess? What wouldst thou with us?
                                                          • Earl of Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem, to serve him truly
                                                            that will put me in trust, to love him that is honest, to
                                                            converse with him that is wise and says little, to fear
                                                            judgment, to fight when I cannot choose, and to eat no fish. 550
                                                          • Lear. What art thou?
                                                          • Earl of Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the King.
                                                          • Lear. If thou be'st as poor for a subject as he's for a king, thou
                                                            art poor enough. What wouldst thou?
                                                          • Earl of Kent. Service. 555
                                                          • Lear. Who wouldst thou serve?
                                                          • Earl of Kent. You.
                                                          • Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow?
                                                          • Earl of Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your countenance which I would
                                                            fain call master. 560
                                                          • Lear. What's that?
                                                          • Earl of Kent. Authority.
                                                          • Lear. What services canst thou do?
                                                          • Earl of Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious tale in
                                                            telling it and deliver a plain message bluntly. That which 565
                                                            ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in, and the best of me
                                                            is diligence.
                                                          • Lear. How old art thou?
                                                          • Earl of Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing, nor so old to
                                                            dote on her for anything. I have years on my back forty-eight. 570
                                                          • Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me. If I like thee no worse after
                                                            dinner, I will not part from thee yet. Dinner, ho, dinner!
                                                            Where's my knave? my fool? Go you and call my fool hither.
                                                            [Exit an attendant.]
                                                            [Enter [Oswald the] Steward.] 575
                                                            You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?
                                                          • Oswald. So please you- Exit.
                                                          • Lear. What says the fellow there? Call the clotpoll back.
                                                            [Exit a Knight.] Where's my fool, ho? I think the world's
                                                            asleep. 580
                                                            [Enter Knight]
                                                            How now? Where's that mongrel?
                                                          • Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.
                                                          • Lear. Why came not the slave back to me when I call'd him?
                                                          • Knight. Sir, he answered me in the roundest manner, he would not. 585
                                                          • Lear. He would not?
                                                          • Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is; but to my judgment
                                                            your Highness is not entertain'd with that ceremonious affection
                                                            as you were wont. There's a great abatement of kindness appears
                                                            as well in the general dependants as in the Duke himself also 590
                                                            and your daughter.
                                                          • Lear. Ha! say'st thou so?
                                                          • Knight. I beseech you pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken; for
                                                            my duty cannot be silent when I think your Highness wrong'd.
                                                          • Lear. Thou but rememb'rest me of mine own conception. I have 595
                                                            perceived a most faint neglect of late, which I have rather
                                                            blamed as mine own jealous curiosity than as a very pretence
                                                            and purpose of unkindness. I will look further into't. But
                                                            where's my fool? I have not seen him this two days.
                                                          • Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, sir, the fool 600
                                                            hath much pined away.
                                                          • Lear. No more of that; I have noted it well. Go you and tell my
                                                            daughter I would speak with her. [Exit Knight.] Go you, call
                                                            hither my fool.
                                                            [Exit an Attendant.] 605
                                                            [Enter [Oswald the] Steward.]
                                                            O, you, sir, you! Come you hither, sir. Who am I, sir?
                                                          • Oswald. My lady's father.
                                                          • Lear. 'My lady's father'? My lord's knave! You whoreson dog! you
                                                            slave! you cur! 610
                                                          • Oswald. I am none of these, my lord; I beseech your pardon.
                                                          • Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal?

                                                            [Strikes him.]

                                                              • Oswald. I'll not be strucken, my lord.
                                                              • Earl of Kent. Nor tripp'd neither, you base football player? 615

                                                                [Trips up his heels.

                                                                  • Lear. I thank thee, fellow. Thou serv'st me, and I'll love thee.
                                                                  • Earl of Kent. Come, sir, arise, away! I'll teach you differences. Away,
                                                                    away! If you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry; but
                                                                    away! Go to! Have you wisdom? So. 620

                                                                    [Pushes him out.]

                                                                      • Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee. There's earnest of thy
                                                                        service. [Gives money.]

                                                                        Enter Fool.

                                                                          • Fool. Let me hire him too. Here's my coxcomb. 625

                                                                            [Offers Kent his cap.]

                                                                              • Lear. How now, my pretty knave? How dost thou?
                                                                              • Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb.
                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Why, fool?
                                                                              • Fool. Why? For taking one's part that's out of favour. Nay, an thou 630
                                                                                canst not smile as the wind sits, thou'lt catch cold shortly.
                                                                                There, take my coxcomb! Why, this fellow hath banish'd two on's
                                                                                daughters, and did the third a blessing against his will. If
                                                                                thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb.- How now,
                                                                                nuncle? Would I had two coxcombs and two daughters! 635
                                                                              • Lear. Why, my boy?
                                                                              • Fool. If I gave them all my living, I'ld keep my coxcombs myself.
                                                                                There's mine! beg another of thy daughters.
                                                                              • Lear. Take heed, sirrah- the whip.
                                                                              • Fool. Truth's a dog must to kennel; he must be whipp'd out, when 640
                                                                                Lady the brach may stand by th' fire and stink.
                                                                              • Lear. A pestilent gall to me!
                                                                              • Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech.
                                                                              • Lear. Do.
                                                                              • Fool. Mark it, nuncle. 645
                                                                                Have more than thou showest,
                                                                                Speak less than thou knowest,
                                                                                Lend less than thou owest,
                                                                                Ride more than thou goest,
                                                                                Learn more than thou trowest, 650
                                                                                Set less than thou throwest;
                                                                                Leave thy drink and thy whore,
                                                                                And keep in-a-door,
                                                                                And thou shalt have more
                                                                                Than two tens to a score. 655
                                                                              • Earl of Kent. This is nothing, fool.
                                                                              • Fool. Then 'tis like the breath of an unfeed lawyer- you gave me
                                                                                nothing for't. Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle?
                                                                              • Lear. Why, no, boy. Nothing can be made out of nothing.
                                                                              • Fool. [to Kent] Prithee tell him, so much the rent of his land 660
                                                                                comes to. He will not believe a fool.
                                                                              • Lear. A bitter fool!
                                                                              • Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy, between a bitter
                                                                                fool and a sweet fool?
                                                                              • Lear. No, lad; teach me. 665
                                                                              • Fool. That lord that counsell'd thee
                                                                                To give away thy land,
                                                                                Come place him here by me-
                                                                                Do thou for him stand.
                                                                                The sweet and bitter fool 670
                                                                                Will presently appear;
                                                                                The one in motley here,
                                                                                The other found out there.
                                                                              • Lear. Dost thou call me fool, boy?
                                                                              • Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast 675
                                                                                born with.
                                                                              • Earl of Kent. This is not altogether fool, my lord.
                                                                              • Fool. No, faith; lords and great men will not let me. If I had a
                                                                                monopoly out, they would have part on't. And ladies too, they
                                                                                will not let me have all the fool to myself; they'll be 680
                                                                                snatching. Give me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee two
                                                                                crowns.
                                                                              • Lear. What two crowns shall they be?
                                                                              • Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i' th' middle and eat up the
                                                                                meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou clovest thy crown i' 685
                                                                                th' middle and gav'st away both parts, thou bor'st thine ass on
                                                                                thy back o'er the dirt. Thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown
                                                                                when thou gav'st thy golden one away. If I speak like myself in
                                                                                this, let him be whipp'd that first finds it so.
                                                                                [Sings] Fools had ne'er less grace in a year, 690
                                                                                For wise men are grown foppish;
                                                                                They know not how their wits to wear,
                                                                                Their manners are so apish.
                                                                              • Lear. When were you wont to be so full of songs, sirrah?
                                                                              • Fool. I have us'd it, nuncle, ever since thou mad'st thy daughters 695
                                                                                thy mother; for when thou gav'st them the rod, and put'st down
                                                                                thine own breeches,
                                                                                [Sings] Then they for sudden joy did weep,
                                                                                And I for sorrow sung,
                                                                                That such a king should play bo-peep 700
                                                                                And go the fools among.
                                                                                Prithee, nuncle, keep a schoolmaster that can teach thy fool to
                                                                                lie. I would fain learn to lie.
                                                                              • Lear. An you lie, sirrah, we'll have you whipp'd.
                                                                              • Fool. I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters are. They'll have me 705
                                                                                whipp'd for speaking true; thou'lt have me whipp'd for lying;
                                                                                and sometimes I am whipp'd for holding my peace. I had rather be
                                                                                any kind o' thing than a fool! And yet I would not be thee,
                                                                                nuncle. Thou hast pared thy wit o' both sides and left nothing
                                                                                i' th' middle. Here comes one o' the parings. 710

                                                                                Enter Goneril.

                                                                                  • Lear. How now, daughter? What makes that frontlet on? Methinks you
                                                                                    are too much o' late i' th' frown.
                                                                                  • Fool. Thou wast a pretty fellow when thou hadst no need to care for
                                                                                    her frowning. Now thou art an O without a figure. I am better 715
                                                                                    than thou art now: I am a fool, thou art nothing.
                                                                                    [To Goneril] Yes, forsooth, I will hold my tongue. So your face
                                                                                    bids me, though you say nothing. Mum, mum!
                                                                                    He that keeps nor crust nor crum,
                                                                                    Weary of all, shall want some.- 720
                                                                                    [Points at Lear] That's a sheal'd peascod.
                                                                                  • Goneril. Not only, sir, this your all-licens'd fool,
                                                                                    But other of your insolent retinue
                                                                                    Do hourly carp and quarrel, breaking forth
                                                                                    In rank and not-to-be-endured riots. Sir, 725
                                                                                    I had thought, by making this well known unto you,
                                                                                    To have found a safe redress, but now grow fearful,
                                                                                    By what yourself, too, late have spoke and done,
                                                                                    That you protect this course, and put it on
                                                                                    By your allowance; which if you should, the fault 730
                                                                                    Would not scape censure, nor the redresses sleep,
                                                                                    Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal,
                                                                                    Might in their working do you that offence
                                                                                    Which else were shame, that then necessity
                                                                                    Must call discreet proceeding. 735
                                                                                  • Fool. For you know, nuncle,
                                                                                    The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long
                                                                                    That it had it head bit off by it young.
                                                                                    So out went the candle, and we were left darkling.
                                                                                  • Lear. Are you our daughter? 740
                                                                                  • Goneril. Come, sir,
                                                                                    I would you would make use of that good wisdom
                                                                                    Whereof I know you are fraught, and put away
                                                                                    These dispositions that of late transform you
                                                                                    From what you rightly are. 745
                                                                                  • Fool. May not an ass know when the cart draws the horse?
                                                                                    Whoop, Jug, I love thee!
                                                                                  • Lear. Doth any here know me? This is not Lear.
                                                                                    Doth Lear walk thus? speak thus? Where are his eyes?
                                                                                    Either his notion weakens, his discernings 750
                                                                                    Are lethargied- Ha! waking? 'Tis not so!
                                                                                    Who is it that can tell me who I am?
                                                                                  • Fool. Lear's shadow.
                                                                                  • Lear. I would learn that; for, by the marks of sovereignty,
                                                                                    Knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded 755
                                                                                    I had daughters.
                                                                                  • Fool. Which they will make an obedient father.
                                                                                  • Lear. Your name, fair gentlewoman?
                                                                                  • Goneril. This admiration, sir, is much o' th' savour
                                                                                    Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you 760
                                                                                    To understand my purposes aright.
                                                                                    As you are old and reverend, you should be wise.
                                                                                    Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires;
                                                                                    Men so disorder'd, so debosh'd, and bold
                                                                                    That this our court, infected with their manners, 765
                                                                                    Shows like a riotous inn. Epicurism and lust
                                                                                    Make it more like a tavern or a brothel
                                                                                    Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth speak
                                                                                    For instant remedy. Be then desir'd
                                                                                    By her that else will take the thing she begs 770
                                                                                    A little to disquantity your train,
                                                                                    And the remainder that shall still depend
                                                                                    To be such men as may besort your age,
                                                                                    Which know themselves, and you.
                                                                                  • Lear. Darkness and devils! 775
                                                                                    Saddle my horses! Call my train together!
                                                                                    Degenerate bastard, I'll not trouble thee;
                                                                                    Yet have I left a daughter.
                                                                                  • Goneril. You strike my people, and your disorder'd rabble
                                                                                    Make servants of their betters. 780

                                                                                    Enter Albany.

                                                                                      • Lear. Woe that too late repents!- O, sir, are you come?
                                                                                        Is it your will? Speak, sir!- Prepare my horses.
                                                                                        Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
                                                                                        More hideous when thou show'st thee in a child 785
                                                                                        Than the sea-monster!
                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Pray, sir, be patient.
                                                                                      • Lear. [to Goneril] Detested kite, thou liest!
                                                                                        My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
                                                                                        That all particulars of duty know 790
                                                                                        And in the most exact regard support
                                                                                        The worships of their name.- O most small fault,
                                                                                        How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show!
                                                                                        Which, like an engine, wrench'd my frame of nature
                                                                                        From the fix'd place; drew from my heart all love 795
                                                                                        And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear!
                                                                                        Beat at this gate that let thy folly in [Strikes his head.]
                                                                                        And thy dear judgment out! Go, go, my people.
                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
                                                                                        Of what hath mov'd you. 800
                                                                                      • Lear. It may be so, my lord.
                                                                                        Hear, Nature, hear! dear goddess, hear!
                                                                                        Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend
                                                                                        To make this creature fruitful.
                                                                                        Into her womb convey sterility; 805
                                                                                        Dry up in her the organs of increase;
                                                                                        And from her derogate body never spring
                                                                                        A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
                                                                                        Create her child of spleen, that it may live
                                                                                        And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her. 810
                                                                                        Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth,
                                                                                        With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks,
                                                                                        Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
                                                                                        To laughter and contempt, that she may feel
                                                                                        How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is 815
                                                                                        To have a thankless child! Away, away! Exit.
                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Now, gods that we adore, whereof comes this?
                                                                                      • Goneril. Never afflict yourself to know the cause;
                                                                                        But let his disposition have that scope
                                                                                        That dotage gives it. 820

                                                                                        Enter Lear.

                                                                                          • Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a clap?
                                                                                            Within a fortnight?
                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. What's the matter, sir?
                                                                                          • Lear. I'll tell thee. [To Goneril] Life and death! I am asham'd 825
                                                                                            That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus;
                                                                                            That these hot tears, which break from me perforce,
                                                                                            Should make thee worth them. Blasts and fogs upon thee!
                                                                                            Th' untented woundings of a father's curse
                                                                                            Pierce every sense about thee!- Old fond eyes, 830
                                                                                            Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck ye out,
                                                                                            And cast you, with the waters that you lose,
                                                                                            To temper clay. Yea, is it come to this?
                                                                                            Let it be so. Yet have I left a daughter,
                                                                                            Who I am sure is kind and comfortable. 835
                                                                                            When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
                                                                                            She'll flay thy wolvish visage. Thou shalt find
                                                                                            That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think
                                                                                            I have cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant thee.

                                                                                            Exeunt [Lear, Kent, and Attendants].

                                                                                              • Goneril. Do you mark that, my lord?
                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. I cannot be so partial, Goneril,
                                                                                                To the great love I bear youó
                                                                                              • Goneril. Pray you, content.- What, Oswald, ho!
                                                                                                [To the Fool] You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master! 845
                                                                                              • Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry! Take the fool with thee.
                                                                                                A fox when one has caught her,
                                                                                                And such a daughter,
                                                                                                Should sure to the slaughter,
                                                                                                If my cap would buy a halter. 850
                                                                                                So the fool follows after. Exit.
                                                                                              • Goneril. This man hath had good counsel! A hundred knights?
                                                                                                'Tis politic and safe to let him keep
                                                                                                At point a hundred knights; yes, that on every dream,
                                                                                                Each buzz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike, 855
                                                                                                He may enguard his dotage with their pow'rs
                                                                                                And hold our lives in mercy.- Oswald, I say!
                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Well, you may fear too far.
                                                                                              • Goneril. Safer than trust too far.
                                                                                                Let me still take away the harms I fear, 860
                                                                                                Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart.
                                                                                                What he hath utter'd I have writ my sister.
                                                                                                If she sustain him and his hundred knights,
                                                                                                When I have show'd th' unfitness- [Enter [Oswald the] Steward.]
                                                                                                How now, Oswald? 865
                                                                                                What, have you writ that letter to my sister?
                                                                                              • Oswald. Yes, madam.
                                                                                              • Goneril. Take you some company, and away to horse!
                                                                                                Inform her full of my particular fear,
                                                                                                And thereto add such reasons of your own 870
                                                                                                As may compact it more. Get you gone,
                                                                                                And hasten your return. [Exit Oswald.] No, no, my lord!
                                                                                                This milky gentleness and course of yours,
                                                                                                Though I condemn it not, yet, under pardon,
                                                                                                You are much more at task for want of wisdom 875
                                                                                                Than prais'd for harmful mildness.
                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. How far your eyes may pierce I cannot tell.
                                                                                                Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.
                                                                                              • Goneril. Nay then-
                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Well, well; th' event. Exeunt. 880

                                                                                              † † †

                                                                                              Act I, Scene 5

                                                                                              Court before the Duke of Albanyís Palace. Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool.

                                                                                              † † †

                                                                                              • Lear. Go you before to Gloucester with these letters. Acquaint my
                                                                                                daughter no further with anything you know than comes from her
                                                                                                demand out of the letter. If your diligence be not speedy, I
                                                                                                shall be there afore you.
                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered your letter. Exit. 885
                                                                                              • Fool. If a man's brains were in's heels, were't not in danger of
                                                                                                kibes?
                                                                                              • Lear. Ay, boy.
                                                                                              • Fool. Then I prithee be merry. Thy wit shall ne'er go slip-shod.
                                                                                              • Lear. Ha, ha, ha! 890
                                                                                              • Fool. Shalt see thy other daughter will use thee kindly; for though
                                                                                                she's as like this as a crab's like an apple, yet I can tell
                                                                                                what I can tell.
                                                                                              • Lear. What canst tell, boy?
                                                                                              • Fool. She'll taste as like this as a crab does to a crab. Thou 895
                                                                                                canst tell why one's nose stands i' th' middle on's face?
                                                                                              • Lear. No.
                                                                                              • Fool. Why, to keep one's eyes of either side's nose, that what a
                                                                                                man cannot smell out, 'a may spy into.
                                                                                              • Lear. I did her wrong. 900
                                                                                              • Fool. Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?
                                                                                              • Lear. No.
                                                                                              • Fool. Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail has a house.
                                                                                              • Lear. Why?
                                                                                              • Fool. Why, to put's head in; not to give it away to his daughters, 905
                                                                                                and leave his horns without a case.
                                                                                              • Lear. I will forget my nature. So kind a father!- Be my horses
                                                                                                ready?
                                                                                              • Fool. Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the seven stars
                                                                                                are no moe than seven is a pretty reason. 910
                                                                                              • Lear. Because they are not eight?
                                                                                              • Fool. Yes indeed. Thou wouldst make a good fool.
                                                                                              • Lear. To tak't again perforce! Monster ingratitude!
                                                                                              • Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'ld have thee beaten for being
                                                                                                old before thy time. 915
                                                                                              • Lear. How's that?
                                                                                              • Fool. Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.
                                                                                              • Lear. O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven!
                                                                                                Keep me in temper; I would not be mad! [Enter a Gentleman.]
                                                                                                How now? Are the horses ready? 920
                                                                                              • Gentleman. Ready, my lord.
                                                                                              • Lear. Come, boy.
                                                                                              • Fool. She that's a maid now, and laughs at my departure,
                                                                                                Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut shorter

                                                                                                Exeunt.


                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                  Act II, Scene 1

                                                                                                  A court within the Castle of the Earl of Gloucester.

                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                    Enter [Edmund the] Bastard and Curan, meeting.

                                                                                                      • Edmund. Save thee, Curan.
                                                                                                      • Curan. And you, sir. I have been with your father, and given him
                                                                                                        notice that the Duke of Cornwall and Regan his Duchess will be
                                                                                                        here with him this night. 930
                                                                                                      • Edmund. How comes that?
                                                                                                      • Curan. Nay, I know not. You have heard of the news abroad- I mean the
                                                                                                        whisper'd ones, for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments?
                                                                                                      • Edmund. Not I. Pray you, what are they?
                                                                                                      • Curan. Have you heard of no likely wars toward 'twixt the two Dukes 935
                                                                                                        of Cornwall and Albany?
                                                                                                      • Edmund. Not a word.
                                                                                                      • Curan. You may do, then, in time. Fare you well, sir. Exit.
                                                                                                      • Edmund. The Duke be here to-night? The better! best!
                                                                                                        This weaves itself perforce into my business. 940
                                                                                                        My father hath set guard to take my brother;
                                                                                                        And I have one thing, of a queasy question,
                                                                                                        Which I must act. Briefness and fortune, work!
                                                                                                        Brother, a word! Descend! Brother, I say!
                                                                                                        [Enter Edgar.] 945
                                                                                                        My father watches. O sir, fly this place!
                                                                                                        Intelligence is given where you are hid.
                                                                                                        You have now the good advantage of the night.
                                                                                                        Have you not spoken 'gainst the Duke of Cornwall?
                                                                                                        He's coming hither; now, i' th' night, i' th' haste, 950
                                                                                                        And Regan with him. Have you nothing said
                                                                                                        Upon his party 'gainst the Duke of Albany?
                                                                                                        Advise yourself.
                                                                                                      • Edgar. I am sure on't, not a word.
                                                                                                      • Edmund. I hear my father coming. Pardon me! 955
                                                                                                        In cunning I must draw my sword upon you.
                                                                                                        Draw, seem to defend yourself; now quit you well.-
                                                                                                        Yield! Come before my father. Light, ho, here!
                                                                                                        Fly, brother.- Torches, torches!- So farewell.
                                                                                                        [Exit Edgar.] 960
                                                                                                        Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion
                                                                                                        Of my more fierce endeavour. [Stabs his arm.] I have seen
                                                                                                        drunkards
                                                                                                        Do more than this in sport.- Father, father!-
                                                                                                        Stop, stop! No help? 965

                                                                                                        Enter Gloucester, and Servants with torches.

                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?
                                                                                                          • Edmund. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out,
                                                                                                            Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
                                                                                                            To stand 's auspicious mistress. 970
                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. But where is he?
                                                                                                          • Edmund. Look, sir, I bleed.
                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Where is the villain, Edmund?
                                                                                                          • Edmund. Fled this way, sir. When by no means he could-
                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Pursue him, ho! Go after. [Exeunt some Servants]. 975
                                                                                                            By no means what?
                                                                                                          • Edmund. Persuade me to the murther of your lordship;
                                                                                                            But that I told him the revenging gods
                                                                                                            'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend;
                                                                                                            Spoke with how manifold and strong a bond 980
                                                                                                            The child was bound to th' father- sir, in fine,
                                                                                                            Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
                                                                                                            To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion
                                                                                                            With his prepared sword he charges home
                                                                                                            My unprovided body, lanch'd mine arm; 985
                                                                                                            But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits,
                                                                                                            Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to th' encounter,
                                                                                                            Or whether gasted by the noise I made,
                                                                                                            Full suddenly he fled.
                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Let him fly far. 990
                                                                                                            Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;
                                                                                                            And found- dispatch. The noble Duke my master,
                                                                                                            My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night.
                                                                                                            By his authority I will proclaim it
                                                                                                            That he which find, him shall deserve our thanks, 995
                                                                                                            Bringing the murderous caitiff to the stake;
                                                                                                            He that conceals him, death.
                                                                                                          • Edmund. When I dissuaded him from his intent
                                                                                                            And found him pight to do it, with curst speech
                                                                                                            I threaten'd to discover him. He replied, 1000
                                                                                                            'Thou unpossessing bastard, dost thou think,
                                                                                                            If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
                                                                                                            Of any trust, virtue, or worth in thee
                                                                                                            Make thy words faith'd? No. What I should deny
                                                                                                            (As this I would; ay, though thou didst produce 1005
                                                                                                            My very character), I'ld turn it all
                                                                                                            To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice;
                                                                                                            And thou must make a dullard of the world,
                                                                                                            If they not thought the profits of my death
                                                                                                            Were very pregnant and potential spurs 1010
                                                                                                            To make thee seek it.'
                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Strong and fast'ned villain!
                                                                                                            Would he deny his letter? I never got him.
                                                                                                            [Tucket within.]
                                                                                                            Hark, the Duke's trumpets! I know not why he comes. 1015
                                                                                                            All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not scape;
                                                                                                            The Duke must grant me that. Besides, his picture
                                                                                                            I will send far and near, that all the kingdom
                                                                                                            May have due note of him, and of my land,
                                                                                                            Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means 1020
                                                                                                            To make thee capable.

                                                                                                            Enter Cornwall, Regan, and Attendants.

                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. How now, my noble friend? Since I came hither
                                                                                                                (Which I can call but now) I have heard strange news.
                                                                                                              • Regan. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short 1025
                                                                                                                Which can pursue th' offender. How dost, my lord?
                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. O madam, my old heart is crack'd, it's crack'd!
                                                                                                              • Regan. What, did my father's godson seek your life?
                                                                                                                He whom my father nam'd? Your Edgar?
                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. O lady, lady, shame would have it hid! 1030
                                                                                                              • Regan. Was he not companion with the riotous knights
                                                                                                                That tend upon my father?
                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. I know not, madam. 'Tis too bad, too bad!
                                                                                                              • Edmund. Yes, madam, he was of that consort.
                                                                                                              • Regan. No marvel then though he were ill affected. 1035
                                                                                                                'Tis they have put him on the old man's death,
                                                                                                                To have th' expense and waste of his revenues.
                                                                                                                I have this present evening from my sister
                                                                                                                Been well inform'd of them, and with such cautions
                                                                                                                That, if they come to sojourn at my house, 1040
                                                                                                                I'll not be there.
                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. Nor I, assure thee, Regan.
                                                                                                                Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father
                                                                                                                A childlike office.
                                                                                                              • Edmund. 'Twas my duty, sir. 1045
                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. He did bewray his practice, and receiv'd
                                                                                                                This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.
                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. Is he pursued?
                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Ay, my good lord.
                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. If he be taken, he shall never more 1050
                                                                                                                Be fear'd of doing harm. Make your own purpose,
                                                                                                                How in my strength you please. For you, Edmund,
                                                                                                                Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
                                                                                                                So much commend itself, you shall be ours.
                                                                                                                Natures of such deep trust we shall much need; 1055
                                                                                                                You we first seize on.
                                                                                                              • Edmund. I shall serve you, sir,
                                                                                                                Truly, however else.
                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. For him I thank your Grace.
                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. You know not why we came to visit you- 1060
                                                                                                              • Regan. Thus out of season, threading dark-ey'd night.
                                                                                                                Occasions, noble Gloucester, of some poise,
                                                                                                                Wherein we must have use of your advice.
                                                                                                                Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
                                                                                                                Of differences, which I best thought it fit 1065
                                                                                                                To answer from our home. The several messengers
                                                                                                                From hence attend dispatch. Our good old friend,
                                                                                                                Lay comforts to your bosom, and bestow
                                                                                                                Your needful counsel to our business,
                                                                                                                Which craves the instant use. 1070
                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. I serve you, madam.
                                                                                                                Your Graces are right welcome.

                                                                                                                Exeunt. Flourish.


                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                  Act II, Scene 2

                                                                                                                  Before Gloucesterís Castle.

                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                    Enter Kent and [Oswald the] Steward, severally.

                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Good dawning to thee, friend. Art of this house? 1075
                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Ay.
                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Where may we set our horses?
                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. I' th' mire.
                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Prithee, if thou lov'st me, tell me.
                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. I love thee not. 1080
                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Why then, I care not for thee.
                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury Pinfold, I would make thee care for
                                                                                                                        me.
                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.
                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Fellow, I know thee. 1085
                                                                                                                      • Oswald. What dost thou know me for?
                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. A knave; a rascal; an eater of broken meats; a base, proud,
                                                                                                                        shallow, beggarly, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy,
                                                                                                                        worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver'd, action-taking, whoreson,
                                                                                                                        glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; 1090
                                                                                                                        one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that wouldst be a bawd in way of
                                                                                                                        good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave,
                                                                                                                        beggar, coward, pander, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch;
                                                                                                                        one whom I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deny the
                                                                                                                        least syllable of thy addition. 1095
                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail on one
                                                                                                                        that's neither known of thee nor knows thee!
                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. What a brazen-fac'd varlet art thou, to deny thou knowest me!
                                                                                                                        Is it two days ago since I beat thee and tripp'd up thy heels
                                                                                                                        before the King? [Draws his sword.] Draw, you rogue! for, though 1100
                                                                                                                        it be night, yet the moon shines. I'll make a sop o' th'
                                                                                                                        moonshine o' you. Draw, you whoreson cullionly barbermonger!
                                                                                                                        draw!
                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Away! I have nothing to do with thee.
                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Draw, you rascal! You come with letters against the King, and 1105
                                                                                                                        take Vanity the puppet's part against the royalty of her father.
                                                                                                                        Draw, you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your shanks! Draw, you
                                                                                                                        rascal! Come your ways!
                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Help, ho! murther! help!
                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Strike, you slave! Stand, rogue! Stand, you neat slave! 1110
                                                                                                                        Strike! [Beats him.]
                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Help, ho! murther! murther!

                                                                                                                        Enter Edmund, with his rapier drawn, Gloucester, Cornwall, Regan, Servants.

                                                                                                                          • Edmund. How now? What's the matter? Parts [them].
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. With you, goodman boy, an you please! Come, I'll flesh ye! 1115
                                                                                                                            Come on, young master!
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Weapons? arms? What's the matter here?
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Keep peace, upon your lives!
                                                                                                                            He dies that strikes again. What is the matter?
                                                                                                                          • Regan. The messengers from our sister and the King 1120
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. What is your difference? Speak.
                                                                                                                          • Oswald. I am scarce in breath, my lord.
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirr'd your valour. You cowardly
                                                                                                                            rascal, nature disclaims in thee; a tailor made thee.
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Thou art a strange fellow. A tailor make a man? 1125
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. Ay, a tailor, sir. A stonecutter or a painter could not have
                                                                                                                            made him so ill, though he had been but two hours at the trade.
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?
                                                                                                                          • Oswald. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have spar'd
                                                                                                                            At suit of his grey beard- 1130
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary letter! My lord, if
                                                                                                                            you'll give me leave, I will tread this unbolted villain into
                                                                                                                            mortar and daub the walls of a jakes with him. 'Spare my grey
                                                                                                                            beard,' you wagtail?
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Peace, sirrah! 1135
                                                                                                                            You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. Yes, sir, but anger hath a privilege.
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Why art thou angry?
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a sword,
                                                                                                                            Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as these, 1140
                                                                                                                            Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain
                                                                                                                            Which are too intrinse t' unloose; smooth every passion
                                                                                                                            That in the natures of their lords rebel,
                                                                                                                            Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
                                                                                                                            Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks 1145
                                                                                                                            With every gale and vary of their masters,
                                                                                                                            Knowing naught (like dogs) but following.
                                                                                                                            A plague upon your epileptic visage!
                                                                                                                            Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool?
                                                                                                                            Goose, an I had you upon Sarum Plain, 1150
                                                                                                                            I'ld drive ye cackling home to Camelot.
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. What, art thou mad, old fellow?
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. How fell you out? Say that.
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy
                                                                                                                            Than I and such a knave. 1155
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Why dost thou call him knave? What is his fault?
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. His countenance likes me not.
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. No more perchance does mine, or his, or hers.
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain.
                                                                                                                            I have seen better faces in my time 1160
                                                                                                                            Than stands on any shoulder that I see
                                                                                                                            Before me at this instant.
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. This is some fellow
                                                                                                                            Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect
                                                                                                                            A saucy roughness, and constrains the garb 1165
                                                                                                                            Quite from his nature. He cannot flatter, he!
                                                                                                                            An honest mind and plain- he must speak truth!
                                                                                                                            An they will take it, so; if not, he's plain.
                                                                                                                            These kind of knaves I know which in this plainness
                                                                                                                            Harbour more craft and more corrupter ends 1170
                                                                                                                            Than twenty silly-ducking observants
                                                                                                                            That stretch their duties nicely.
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. Sir, in good faith, in sincere verity,
                                                                                                                            Under th' allowance of your great aspect,
                                                                                                                            Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire 1175
                                                                                                                            On flickering Phoebus' front-
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. What mean'st by this?
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you discommend so much. I
                                                                                                                            know, sir, I am no flatterer. He that beguil'd you in a plain
                                                                                                                            accent was a plain knave, which, for my part, I will not be, 1180
                                                                                                                            though I should win your displeasure to entreat me to't.
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. What was th' offence you gave him?
                                                                                                                          • Oswald. I never gave him any.
                                                                                                                            It pleas'd the King his master very late
                                                                                                                            To strike at me, upon his misconstruction; 1185
                                                                                                                            When he, conjunct, and flattering his displeasure,
                                                                                                                            Tripp'd me behind; being down, insulted, rail'd
                                                                                                                            And put upon him such a deal of man
                                                                                                                            That worthied him, got praises of the King
                                                                                                                            For him attempting who was self-subdu'd; 1190
                                                                                                                            And, in the fleshment of this dread exploit,
                                                                                                                            Drew on me here again.
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. None of these rogues and cowards
                                                                                                                            But Ajax is their fool.
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Fetch forth the stocks! 1195
                                                                                                                            You stubborn ancient knave, you reverent braggart,
                                                                                                                            We'll teach you-
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. Sir, I am too old to learn.
                                                                                                                            Call not your stocks for me. I serve the King;
                                                                                                                            On whose employment I was sent to you. 1200
                                                                                                                            You shall do small respect, show too bold malice
                                                                                                                            Against the grace and person of my master,
                                                                                                                            Stocking his messenger.
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Fetch forth the stocks! As I have life and honour,
                                                                                                                            There shall he sit till noon. 1205
                                                                                                                          • Regan. Till noon? Till night, my lord, and all night too!
                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's dog,
                                                                                                                            You should not use me so.
                                                                                                                          • Regan. Sir, being his knave, I will.
                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. This is a fellow of the selfsame colour 1210
                                                                                                                            Our sister speaks of. Come, bring away the stocks!

                                                                                                                            Stocks brought out.

                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Let me beseech your Grace not to do so.
                                                                                                                                His fault is much, and the good King his master
                                                                                                                                Will check him for't. Your purpos'd low correction 1215
                                                                                                                                Is such as basest and contemn'dest wretches
                                                                                                                                For pilf'rings and most common trespasses
                                                                                                                                Are punish'd with. The King must take it ill
                                                                                                                                That he, so slightly valued in his messenger,
                                                                                                                                Should have him thus restrain'd. 1220
                                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. I'll answer that.
                                                                                                                              • Regan. My sister may receive it much more worse,
                                                                                                                                To have her gentleman abus'd, assaulted,
                                                                                                                                For following her affairs. Put in his legs.-
                                                                                                                                [Kent is put in the stocks.] 1225
                                                                                                                                Come, my good lord, away.

                                                                                                                                Exeunt [all but Gloucester and Kent].

                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. I am sorry for thee, friend. 'Tis the Duke's pleasure,
                                                                                                                                    Whose disposition, all the world well knows,
                                                                                                                                    Will not be rubb'd nor stopp'd. I'll entreat for thee. 1230
                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Kent. Pray do not, sir. I have watch'd and travell'd hard.
                                                                                                                                    Some time I shall sleep out, the rest I'll whistle.
                                                                                                                                    A good man's fortune may grow out at heels.
                                                                                                                                    Give you good morrow!
                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. The Duke 's to blame in this; 'twill be ill taken. Exit. 1235
                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Kent. Good King, that must approve the common saw,
                                                                                                                                    Thou out of heaven's benediction com'st
                                                                                                                                    To the warm sun!
                                                                                                                                    Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
                                                                                                                                    That by thy comfortable beams I may 1240
                                                                                                                                    Peruse this letter. Nothing almost sees miracles
                                                                                                                                    But misery. I know 'tis from Cordelia,
                                                                                                                                    Who hath most fortunately been inform'd
                                                                                                                                    Of my obscured course- and [reads] 'shall find time
                                                                                                                                    From this enormous state, seeking to give 1245
                                                                                                                                    Losses their remedies'- All weary and o'erwatch'd,
                                                                                                                                    Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
                                                                                                                                    This shameful lodging.
                                                                                                                                    Fortune, good night; smile once more, turn thy wheel.

                                                                                                                                    Sleeps.


                                                                                                                                      † † †

                                                                                                                                      Act II, Scene 3

                                                                                                                                      The open country.

                                                                                                                                      † † †

                                                                                                                                        Enter Edgar.

                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. I heard myself proclaim'd,
                                                                                                                                            And by the happy hollow of a tree
                                                                                                                                            Escap'd the hunt. No port is free, no place
                                                                                                                                            That guard and most unusual vigilance 1255
                                                                                                                                            Does not attend my taking. Whiles I may scape,
                                                                                                                                            I will preserve myself; and am bethought
                                                                                                                                            To take the basest and most poorest shape
                                                                                                                                            That ever penury, in contempt of man,
                                                                                                                                            Brought near to beast. My face I'll grime with filth, 1260
                                                                                                                                            Blanket my loins, elf all my hair in knots,
                                                                                                                                            And with presented nakedness outface
                                                                                                                                            The winds and persecutions of the sky.
                                                                                                                                            The country gives me proof and precedent
                                                                                                                                            Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices, 1265
                                                                                                                                            Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare arms
                                                                                                                                            Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary;
                                                                                                                                            And with this horrible object, from low farms,
                                                                                                                                            Poor pelting villages, sheepcotes, and mills,
                                                                                                                                            Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers, 1270
                                                                                                                                            Enforce their charity. 'Poor Turlygod! poor Tom!'
                                                                                                                                            That's something yet! Edgar I nothing am. Exit.

                                                                                                                                          † † †

                                                                                                                                          Act II, Scene 4

                                                                                                                                          Before Gloucesterís Castle; Kent in the stocks.

                                                                                                                                          † † †

                                                                                                                                            Enter Lear, Fool, and Gentleman.

                                                                                                                                              • Lear. 'Tis strange that they should so depart from home,
                                                                                                                                                And not send back my messenger. 1275
                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. As I learn'd,
                                                                                                                                                The night before there was no purpose in them
                                                                                                                                                Of this remove.
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Hail to thee, noble master!
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Ha! 1280
                                                                                                                                                Mak'st thou this shame thy pastime?
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. No, my lord.
                                                                                                                                              • Fool. Ha, ha! look! he wears cruel garters. Horses are tied by the
                                                                                                                                                head, dogs and bears by th' neck, monkeys by th' loins, and men
                                                                                                                                                by th' legs. When a man's over-lusty at legs, then he wears 1285
                                                                                                                                                wooden nether-stocks.
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. What's he that hath so much thy place mistook
                                                                                                                                                To set thee here?
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. It is both he and she-
                                                                                                                                                Your son and daughter. 1290
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. No.
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Yes.
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. No, I say.
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. I say yea.
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. No, no, they would not! 1295
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Yes, they have.
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. By Jupiter, I swear no!
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. By Juno, I swear ay!
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. They durst not do't;
                                                                                                                                                They would not, could not do't. 'Tis worse than murther 1300
                                                                                                                                                To do upon respect such violent outrage.
                                                                                                                                                Resolve me with all modest haste which way
                                                                                                                                                Thou mightst deserve or they impose this usage,
                                                                                                                                                Coming from us.
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. My lord, when at their home 1305
                                                                                                                                                I did commend your Highness' letters to them,
                                                                                                                                                Ere I was risen from the place that show'd
                                                                                                                                                My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post,
                                                                                                                                                Stew'd in his haste, half breathless, panting forth
                                                                                                                                                From Goneril his mistress salutations; 1310
                                                                                                                                                Deliver'd letters, spite of intermission,
                                                                                                                                                Which presently they read; on whose contents,
                                                                                                                                                They summon'd up their meiny, straight took horse,
                                                                                                                                                Commanded me to follow and attend
                                                                                                                                                The leisure of their answer, gave me cold looks, 1315
                                                                                                                                                And meeting here the other messenger,
                                                                                                                                                Whose welcome I perceiv'd had poison'd mine-
                                                                                                                                                Being the very fellow which of late
                                                                                                                                                Display'd so saucily against your Highness-
                                                                                                                                                Having more man than wit about me, drew. 1320
                                                                                                                                                He rais'd the house with loud and coward cries.
                                                                                                                                                Your son and daughter found this trespass worth
                                                                                                                                                The shame which here it suffers.
                                                                                                                                              • Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese fly that way.
                                                                                                                                                Fathers that wear rags 1325
                                                                                                                                                Do make their children blind;
                                                                                                                                                But fathers that bear bags
                                                                                                                                                Shall see their children kind.
                                                                                                                                                Fortune, that arrant whore,
                                                                                                                                                Ne'er turns the key to th' poor. 1330
                                                                                                                                                But for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours for thy
                                                                                                                                                daughters as thou canst tell in a year.
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. O, how this mother swells up toward my heart!
                                                                                                                                                Hysterica passio! Down, thou climbing sorrow!
                                                                                                                                                Thy element's below! Where is this daughter? 1335
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. With the Earl, sir, here within.
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Follow me not;
                                                                                                                                                Stay here. Exit.
                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. Made you no more offence but what you speak of?
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. None. 1340
                                                                                                                                                How chance the King comes with so small a number?
                                                                                                                                              • Fool. An thou hadst been set i' th' stocks for that question,
                                                                                                                                                thou'dst well deserv'd it.
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Why, fool?
                                                                                                                                              • Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no 1345
                                                                                                                                                labouring i' th' winter. All that follow their noses are led by
                                                                                                                                                their eyes but blind men, and there's not a nose among twenty
                                                                                                                                                but can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy hold when a great
                                                                                                                                                wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following
                                                                                                                                                it; but the great one that goes upward, let him draw thee after. 1350
                                                                                                                                                When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again. I
                                                                                                                                                would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.
                                                                                                                                                That sir which serves and seeks for gain,
                                                                                                                                                And follows but for form,
                                                                                                                                                Will pack when it begins to rain 1355
                                                                                                                                                And leave thee in the storm.
                                                                                                                                                But I will tarry; the fool will stay,
                                                                                                                                                And let the wise man fly.
                                                                                                                                                The knave turns fool that runs away;
                                                                                                                                                The fool no knave, perdy. 1360
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Where learn'd you this, fool?
                                                                                                                                              • Fool. Not i' th' stocks, fool.
                                                                                                                                                Enter Lear and Gloucester
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are sick? they are weary?
                                                                                                                                                They have travell'd all the night? Mere fetches- 1365
                                                                                                                                                The images of revolt and flying off!
                                                                                                                                                Fetch me a better answer.
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. My dear lord,
                                                                                                                                                You know the fiery quality of the Duke,
                                                                                                                                                How unremovable and fix'd he is 1370
                                                                                                                                                In his own course.
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confusion!
                                                                                                                                                Fiery? What quality? Why, Gloucester, Gloucester,
                                                                                                                                                I'ld speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his wife.
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Well, my good lord, I have inform'd them so. 1375
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Inform'd them? Dost thou understand me, man?
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Ay, my good lord.
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. The King would speak with Cornwall; the dear father
                                                                                                                                                Would with his daughter speak, commands her service.
                                                                                                                                                Are they inform'd of this? My breath and blood! 1380
                                                                                                                                                Fiery? the fiery Duke? Tell the hot Duke that-
                                                                                                                                                No, but not yet! May be he is not well.
                                                                                                                                                Infirmity doth still neglect all office
                                                                                                                                                Whereto our health is bound. We are not ourselves
                                                                                                                                                When nature, being oppress'd, commands the mind 1385
                                                                                                                                                To suffer with the body. I'll forbear;
                                                                                                                                                And am fallen out with my more headier will,
                                                                                                                                                To take the indispos'd and sickly fit
                                                                                                                                                For the sound man.- Death on my state! Wherefore
                                                                                                                                                Should he sit here? This act persuades me 1390
                                                                                                                                                That this remotion of the Duke and her
                                                                                                                                                Is practice only. Give me my servant forth.
                                                                                                                                                Go tell the Duke and 's wife I'ld speak with them-
                                                                                                                                                Now, presently. Bid them come forth and hear me,
                                                                                                                                                Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum 1395
                                                                                                                                                Till it cry sleep to death.
                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. I would have all well betwixt you. Exit.
                                                                                                                                              • Lear. O me, my heart, my rising heart! But down!
                                                                                                                                              • Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels when she
                                                                                                                                                put 'em i' th' paste alive. She knapp'd 'em o' th' coxcombs with 1400
                                                                                                                                                a stick and cried 'Down, wantons, down!' 'Twas her brother that,
                                                                                                                                                in pure kindness to his horse, buttered his hay.

                                                                                                                                                Enter Cornwall, Regan, Gloucester, Servants.

                                                                                                                                                  • Lear. Good morrow to you both.
                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. Hail to your Grace! 1405

                                                                                                                                                    Kent here set at liberty.

                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. I am glad to see your Highness.
                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what reason
                                                                                                                                                        I have to think so. If thou shouldst not be glad,
                                                                                                                                                        I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb, 1410
                                                                                                                                                        Sepulchring an adultress. [To Kent] O, are you free?
                                                                                                                                                        Some other time for that.- Beloved Regan,
                                                                                                                                                        Thy sister's naught. O Regan, she hath tied
                                                                                                                                                        Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here!
                                                                                                                                                        [Lays his hand on his heart.] 1415
                                                                                                                                                        I can scarce speak to thee. Thou'lt not believe
                                                                                                                                                        With how deprav'd a quality- O Regan!
                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. I pray you, sir, take patience. I have hope
                                                                                                                                                        You less know how to value her desert
                                                                                                                                                        Than she to scant her duty. 1420
                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. Say, how is that?
                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. I cannot think my sister in the least
                                                                                                                                                        Would fail her obligation. If, sir, perchance
                                                                                                                                                        She have restrain'd the riots of your followers,
                                                                                                                                                        'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end, 1425
                                                                                                                                                        As clears her from all blame.
                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. My curses on her!
                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. O, sir, you are old!
                                                                                                                                                        Nature in you stands on the very verge
                                                                                                                                                        Of her confine. You should be rul'd, and led 1430
                                                                                                                                                        By some discretion that discerns your state
                                                                                                                                                        Better than you yourself. Therefore I pray you
                                                                                                                                                        That to our sister you do make return;
                                                                                                                                                        Say you have wrong'd her, sir.
                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. Ask her forgiveness? 1435
                                                                                                                                                        Do you but mark how this becomes the house:
                                                                                                                                                        'Dear daughter, I confess that I am old. [Kneels.]
                                                                                                                                                        Age is unnecessary. On my knees I beg
                                                                                                                                                        That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.'
                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Good sir, no more! These are unsightly tricks. 1440
                                                                                                                                                        Return you to my sister.
                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. [rises] Never, Regan!
                                                                                                                                                        She hath abated me of half my train;
                                                                                                                                                        Look'd black upon me; struck me with her tongue,
                                                                                                                                                        Most serpent-like, upon the very heart. 1445
                                                                                                                                                        All the stor'd vengeances of heaven fall
                                                                                                                                                        On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones,
                                                                                                                                                        You taking airs, with lameness!
                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Cornwall. Fie, sir, fie!
                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding flames 1450
                                                                                                                                                        Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
                                                                                                                                                        You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the pow'rful sun,
                                                                                                                                                        To fall and blast her pride!
                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. O the blest gods! so will you wish on me
                                                                                                                                                        When the rash mood is on. 1455
                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curse.
                                                                                                                                                        Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give
                                                                                                                                                        Thee o'er to harshness. Her eyes are fierce; but thine
                                                                                                                                                        Do comfort, and not burn. 'Tis not in thee
                                                                                                                                                        To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train, 1460
                                                                                                                                                        To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes,
                                                                                                                                                        And, in conclusion, to oppose the bolt
                                                                                                                                                        Against my coming in. Thou better know'st
                                                                                                                                                        The offices of nature, bond of childhood,
                                                                                                                                                        Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude. 1465
                                                                                                                                                        Thy half o' th' kingdom hast thou not forgot,
                                                                                                                                                        Wherein I thee endow'd.
                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Good sir, to th' purpose.

                                                                                                                                                        Tucket within.

                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Who put my man i' th' stocks? 1470
                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. What trumpet's that?
                                                                                                                                                          • Regan. I know't- my sister's. This approves her letter,
                                                                                                                                                            That she would soon be here.
                                                                                                                                                            [Enter [Oswald the] Steward.]
                                                                                                                                                            Is your lady come? 1475
                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. This is a slave, whose easy-borrowed pride
                                                                                                                                                            Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows.
                                                                                                                                                            Out, varlet, from my sight!
                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. What means your Grace?

                                                                                                                                                            Enter Goneril.

                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Who stock'd my servant? Regan, I have good hope
                                                                                                                                                                Thou didst not know on't.- Who comes here? O heavens!
                                                                                                                                                                If you do love old men, if your sweet sway
                                                                                                                                                                Allow obedience- if yourselves are old,
                                                                                                                                                                Make it your cause! Send down, and take my part! 1485
                                                                                                                                                                [To Goneril] Art not asham'd to look upon this beard?-
                                                                                                                                                                O Regan, wilt thou take her by the hand?
                                                                                                                                                              • Goneril. Why not by th' hand, sir? How have I offended?
                                                                                                                                                                All's not offence that indiscretion finds
                                                                                                                                                                And dotage terms so. 1490
                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. O sides, you are too tough!
                                                                                                                                                                Will you yet hold? How came my man i' th' stocks?
                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. I set him there, sir; but his own disorders
                                                                                                                                                                Deserv'd much less advancement.
                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. You? Did you? 1495
                                                                                                                                                              • Regan. I pray you, father, being weak, seem so.
                                                                                                                                                                If, till the expiration of your month,
                                                                                                                                                                You will return and sojourn with my sister,
                                                                                                                                                                Dismissing half your train, come then to me.
                                                                                                                                                                I am now from home, and out of that provision 1500
                                                                                                                                                                Which shall be needful for your entertainment.
                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Return to her, and fifty men dismiss'd?
                                                                                                                                                                No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose
                                                                                                                                                                To wage against the enmity o' th' air,
                                                                                                                                                                To be a comrade with the wolf and owl- 1505
                                                                                                                                                                Necessity's sharp pinch! Return with her?
                                                                                                                                                                Why, the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took
                                                                                                                                                                Our youngest born, I could as well be brought
                                                                                                                                                                To knee his throne, and, squire-like, pension beg
                                                                                                                                                                To keep base life afoot. Return with her? 1510
                                                                                                                                                                Persuade me rather to be slave and sumpter
                                                                                                                                                                To this detested groom. [Points at Oswald.]
                                                                                                                                                              • Goneril. At your choice, sir.
                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. I prithee, daughter, do not make me mad.
                                                                                                                                                                I will not trouble thee, my child; farewell. 1515
                                                                                                                                                                We'll no more meet, no more see one another.
                                                                                                                                                                But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter;
                                                                                                                                                                Or rather a disease that's in my flesh,
                                                                                                                                                                Which I must needs call mine. Thou art a boil,
                                                                                                                                                                A plague sore, an embossed carbuncle 1520
                                                                                                                                                                In my corrupted blood. But I'll not chide thee.
                                                                                                                                                                Let shame come when it will, I do not call it.
                                                                                                                                                                I do not bid the Thunder-bearer shoot
                                                                                                                                                                Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove.
                                                                                                                                                                Mend when thou canst; be better at thy leisure; 1525
                                                                                                                                                                I can be patient, I can stay with Regan,
                                                                                                                                                                I and my hundred knights.
                                                                                                                                                              • Regan. Not altogether so.
                                                                                                                                                                I look'd not for you yet, nor am provided
                                                                                                                                                                For your fit welcome. Give ear, sir, to my sister; 1530
                                                                                                                                                                For those that mingle reason with your passion
                                                                                                                                                                Must be content to think you old, and so-
                                                                                                                                                                But she knows what she does.
                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Is this well spoken?
                                                                                                                                                              • Regan. I dare avouch it, sir. What, fifty followers? 1535
                                                                                                                                                                Is it not well? What should you need of more?
                                                                                                                                                                Yea, or so many, sith that both charge and danger
                                                                                                                                                                Speak 'gainst so great a number? How in one house
                                                                                                                                                                Should many people, under two commands,
                                                                                                                                                                Hold amity? 'Tis hard; almost impossible. 1540
                                                                                                                                                              • Goneril. Why might not you, my lord, receive attendance
                                                                                                                                                                From those that she calls servants, or from mine?
                                                                                                                                                              • Regan. Why not, my lord? If then they chanc'd to slack ye,
                                                                                                                                                                We could control them. If you will come to me
                                                                                                                                                                (For now I spy a danger), I entreat you 1545
                                                                                                                                                                To bring but five-and-twenty. To no more
                                                                                                                                                                Will I give place or notice.
                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. I gave you all-
                                                                                                                                                              • Regan. And in good time you gave it!
                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Made you my guardians, my depositaries; 1550
                                                                                                                                                                But kept a reservation to be followed
                                                                                                                                                                With such a number. What, must I come to you
                                                                                                                                                                With five-and-twenty, Regan? Said you so?
                                                                                                                                                              • Regan. And speak't again my lord. No more with me.
                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Those wicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd 1555
                                                                                                                                                                When others are more wicked; not being the worst
                                                                                                                                                                Stands in some rank of praise. [To Goneril] I'll go with thee.
                                                                                                                                                                Thy fifty yet doth double five-and-twenty,
                                                                                                                                                                And thou art twice her love.
                                                                                                                                                              • Goneril. Hear, me, my lord. 1560
                                                                                                                                                                What need you five-and-twenty, ten, or five,
                                                                                                                                                                To follow in a house where twice so many
                                                                                                                                                                Have a command to tend you?
                                                                                                                                                              • Regan. What need one?
                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars 1565
                                                                                                                                                                Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
                                                                                                                                                                Allow not nature more than nature needs,
                                                                                                                                                                Man's life is cheap as beast's. Thou art a lady:
                                                                                                                                                                If only to go warm were gorgeous,
                                                                                                                                                                Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st 1570
                                                                                                                                                                Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need-
                                                                                                                                                                You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!
                                                                                                                                                                You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,
                                                                                                                                                                As full of grief as age; wretched in both.
                                                                                                                                                                If it be you that stirs these daughters' hearts 1575
                                                                                                                                                                Against their father, fool me not so much
                                                                                                                                                                To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger,
                                                                                                                                                                And let not women's weapons, water drops,
                                                                                                                                                                Stain my man's cheeks! No, you unnatural hags!
                                                                                                                                                                I will have such revenges on you both 1580
                                                                                                                                                                That all the world shall- I will do such things-
                                                                                                                                                                What they are yet, I know not; but they shall be
                                                                                                                                                                The terrors of the earth! You think I'll weep.
                                                                                                                                                                No, I'll not weep.
                                                                                                                                                                I have full cause of weeping, but this heart 1585
                                                                                                                                                                Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws
                                                                                                                                                                Or ere I'll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!

                                                                                                                                                                Exeunt Lear, Gloucester, Kent, and Fool. Storm and tempest.

                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. Let us withdraw; 'twill be a storm.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. This house is little; the old man and 's people 1590
                                                                                                                                                                    Cannot be well bestow'd.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Goneril. 'Tis his own blame; hath put himself from rest
                                                                                                                                                                    And must needs taste his folly.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. For his particular, I'll receive him gladly,
                                                                                                                                                                    But not one follower. 1595
                                                                                                                                                                  • Goneril. So am I purpos'd.
                                                                                                                                                                    Where is my Lord of Gloucester?
                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. Followed the old man forth.
                                                                                                                                                                    [Enter Gloucester.]
                                                                                                                                                                    He is return'd. 1600
                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. The King is in high rage.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. Whither is he going?
                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. He calls to horse, but will I know not whither.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. 'Tis best to give him way; he leads himself.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Goneril. My lord, entreat him by no means to stay. 1605
                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. Alack, the night comes on, and the bleak winds
                                                                                                                                                                    Do sorely ruffle. For many miles about
                                                                                                                                                                    There's scarce a bush.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. O, sir, to wilful men
                                                                                                                                                                    The injuries that they themselves procure 1610
                                                                                                                                                                    Must be their schoolmasters. Shut up your doors.
                                                                                                                                                                    He is attended with a desperate train,
                                                                                                                                                                    And what they may incense him to, being apt
                                                                                                                                                                    To have his ear abus'd, wisdom bids fear.
                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. Shut up your doors, my lord: 'tis a wild night. 1615
                                                                                                                                                                    My Regan counsels well. Come out o' th' storm. [Exeunt.]

                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                  Act III, Scene 1

                                                                                                                                                                  A heath. Storm still.

                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                    Enter Kent and a Gentleman at several doors.

                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Who's there, besides foul weather?
                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. One minded like the weather, most unquietly.
                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. I know you. Where's the King? 1620
                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. Contending with the fretful elements;
                                                                                                                                                                        Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea,
                                                                                                                                                                        Or swell the curled waters 'bove the main,
                                                                                                                                                                        That things might change or cease; tears his white hair,
                                                                                                                                                                        Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage, 1625
                                                                                                                                                                        Catch in their fury and make nothing of;
                                                                                                                                                                        Strives in his little world of man to outscorn
                                                                                                                                                                        The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.
                                                                                                                                                                        This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch,
                                                                                                                                                                        The lion and the belly-pinched wolf 1630
                                                                                                                                                                        Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs,
                                                                                                                                                                        And bids what will take all.
                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. But who is with him?
                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. None but the fool, who labours to outjest
                                                                                                                                                                        His heart-struck injuries. 1635
                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Sir, I do know you,
                                                                                                                                                                        And dare upon the warrant of my note
                                                                                                                                                                        Commend a dear thing to you. There is division
                                                                                                                                                                        (Although as yet the face of it be cover'd
                                                                                                                                                                        With mutual cunning) 'twixt Albany and Cornwall; 1640
                                                                                                                                                                        Who have (as who have not, that their great stars
                                                                                                                                                                        Thron'd and set high?) servants, who seem no less,
                                                                                                                                                                        Which are to France the spies and speculations
                                                                                                                                                                        Intelligent of our state. What hath been seen,
                                                                                                                                                                        Either in snuffs and packings of the Dukes, 1645
                                                                                                                                                                        Or the hard rein which both of them have borne
                                                                                                                                                                        Against the old kind King, or something deeper,
                                                                                                                                                                        Whereof, perchance, these are but furnishings-
                                                                                                                                                                        But, true it is, from France there comes a power
                                                                                                                                                                        Into this scattered kingdom, who already, 1650
                                                                                                                                                                        Wise in our negligence, have secret feet
                                                                                                                                                                        In some of our best ports and are at point
                                                                                                                                                                        To show their open banner. Now to you:
                                                                                                                                                                        If on my credit you dare build so far
                                                                                                                                                                        To make your speed to Dover, you shall find 1655
                                                                                                                                                                        Some that will thank you, making just report
                                                                                                                                                                        Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
                                                                                                                                                                        The King hath cause to plain.
                                                                                                                                                                        I am a gentleman of blood and breeding,
                                                                                                                                                                        And from some knowledge and assurance offer 1660
                                                                                                                                                                        This office to you.
                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. I will talk further with you.
                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. No, do not.
                                                                                                                                                                        For confirmation that I am much more
                                                                                                                                                                        Than my out-wall, open this purse and take 1665
                                                                                                                                                                        What it contains. If you shall see Cordelia
                                                                                                                                                                        (As fear not but you shall), show her this ring,
                                                                                                                                                                        And she will tell you who your fellow is
                                                                                                                                                                        That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm!
                                                                                                                                                                        I will go seek the King. 1670
                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. Give me your hand. Have you no more to say?
                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Few words, but, to effect, more than all yet:
                                                                                                                                                                        That, when we have found the King (in which your pain
                                                                                                                                                                        That way, I'll this), he that first lights on him
                                                                                                                                                                        Holla the other. 1675

                                                                                                                                                                        Exeunt [severally].


                                                                                                                                                                          † † †

                                                                                                                                                                          Act III, Scene 2

                                                                                                                                                                          Another part of the heath. Storm still.

                                                                                                                                                                          † † †

                                                                                                                                                                            Enter Lear and Fool.

                                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
                                                                                                                                                                                You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
                                                                                                                                                                                Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks! 1680
                                                                                                                                                                                You sulph'rous and thought-executing fires,
                                                                                                                                                                                Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
                                                                                                                                                                                Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
                                                                                                                                                                                Strike flat the thick rotundity o' th' world,
                                                                                                                                                                                Crack Nature's moulds, all germains spill at once, 1685
                                                                                                                                                                                That makes ingrateful man!
                                                                                                                                                                              • Fool. O nuncle, court holy water in a dry house is better than this
                                                                                                                                                                                rain water out o' door. Good nuncle, in, and ask thy daughters
                                                                                                                                                                                blessing! Here's a night pities nether wise men nor fools.
                                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! spout, rain! 1690
                                                                                                                                                                                Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters.
                                                                                                                                                                                I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness.
                                                                                                                                                                                I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children,
                                                                                                                                                                                You owe me no subscription. Then let fall
                                                                                                                                                                                Your horrible pleasure. Here I stand your slave, 1695
                                                                                                                                                                                A poor, infirm, weak, and despis'd old man.
                                                                                                                                                                                But yet I call you servile ministers,
                                                                                                                                                                                That will with two pernicious daughters join
                                                                                                                                                                                Your high-engender'd battles 'gainst a head
                                                                                                                                                                                So old and white as this! O! O! 'tis foul! 1700
                                                                                                                                                                              • Fool. He that has a house to put 's head in has a good head-piece.
                                                                                                                                                                                The codpiece that will house
                                                                                                                                                                                Before the head has any,
                                                                                                                                                                                The head and he shall louse:
                                                                                                                                                                                So beggars marry many. 1705
                                                                                                                                                                                The man that makes his toe
                                                                                                                                                                                What he his heart should make
                                                                                                                                                                                Shall of a corn cry woe,
                                                                                                                                                                                And turn his sleep to wake.
                                                                                                                                                                                For there was never yet fair woman but she made mouths in a 1710
                                                                                                                                                                                glass.

                                                                                                                                                                                Enter Kent.

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lear. No, I will be the pattern of all patience;
                                                                                                                                                                                    I will say nothing.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Kent. Who's there? 1715
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fool. Marry, here's grace and a codpiece; that's a wise man and a
                                                                                                                                                                                    fool.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Kent. Alas, sir, are you here? Things that love night
                                                                                                                                                                                    Love not such nights as these. The wrathful skies
                                                                                                                                                                                    Gallow the very wanderers of the dark 1720
                                                                                                                                                                                    And make them keep their caves. Since I was man,
                                                                                                                                                                                    Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,
                                                                                                                                                                                    Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never
                                                                                                                                                                                    Remember to have heard. Man's nature cannot carry
                                                                                                                                                                                    Th' affliction nor the fear. 1725
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lear. Let the great gods,
                                                                                                                                                                                    That keep this dreadful pudder o'er our heads,
                                                                                                                                                                                    Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch,
                                                                                                                                                                                    That hast within thee undivulged crimes
                                                                                                                                                                                    Unwhipp'd of justice. Hide thee, thou bloody hand; 1730
                                                                                                                                                                                    Thou perjur'd, and thou simular man of virtue
                                                                                                                                                                                    That art incestuous. Caitiff, in pieces shake
                                                                                                                                                                                    That under covert and convenient seeming
                                                                                                                                                                                    Hast practis'd on man's life. Close pent-up guilts,
                                                                                                                                                                                    Rive your concealing continents, and cry 1735
                                                                                                                                                                                    These dreadful summoners grace. I am a man
                                                                                                                                                                                    More sinn'd against than sinning.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Kent. Alack, bareheaded?
                                                                                                                                                                                    Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel;
                                                                                                                                                                                    Some friendship will it lend you 'gainst the tempest. 1740
                                                                                                                                                                                    Repose you there, whilst I to this hard house
                                                                                                                                                                                    (More harder than the stones whereof 'tis rais'd,
                                                                                                                                                                                    Which even but now, demanding after you,
                                                                                                                                                                                    Denied me to come in) return, and force
                                                                                                                                                                                    Their scanted courtesy. 1745
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lear. My wits begin to turn.
                                                                                                                                                                                    Come on, my boy. How dost, my boy? Art cold?
                                                                                                                                                                                    I am cold myself. Where is this straw, my fellow?
                                                                                                                                                                                    The art of our necessities is strange,
                                                                                                                                                                                    That can make vile things precious. Come, your hovel. 1750
                                                                                                                                                                                    Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart
                                                                                                                                                                                    That's sorry yet for thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fool. [sings]
                                                                                                                                                                                    He that has and a little tiny wit-
                                                                                                                                                                                    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain- 1755
                                                                                                                                                                                    Must make content with his fortunes fit,
                                                                                                                                                                                    For the rain it raineth every day.
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lear. True, my good boy. Come, bring us to this hovel.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Exeunt [Lear and Kent].

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Fool. This is a brave night to cool a courtesan. I'll speak a 1760
                                                                                                                                                                                        prophecy ere I go:
                                                                                                                                                                                        When priests are more in word than matter;
                                                                                                                                                                                        When brewers mar their malt with water;
                                                                                                                                                                                        When nobles are their tailors' tutors,
                                                                                                                                                                                        No heretics burn'd, but wenches' suitors; 1765
                                                                                                                                                                                        When every case in law is right,
                                                                                                                                                                                        No squire in debt nor no poor knight;
                                                                                                                                                                                        When slanders do not live in tongues,
                                                                                                                                                                                        Nor cutpurses come not to throngs;
                                                                                                                                                                                        When usurers tell their gold i' th' field, 1770
                                                                                                                                                                                        And bawds and whores do churches build:
                                                                                                                                                                                        Then shall the realm of Albion
                                                                                                                                                                                        Come to great confusion.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Then comes the time, who lives to see't,
                                                                                                                                                                                        That going shall be us'd with feet. 1775
                                                                                                                                                                                        This prophecy Merlin shall make, for I live before his time. Exit.

                                                                                                                                                                                      † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                      Act III, Scene 3

                                                                                                                                                                                      Gloucesterís Castle.

                                                                                                                                                                                      † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                        Enter Gloucester and Edmund.

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural dealing! When
                                                                                                                                                                                            I desir'd their leave that I might pity him, they took from me
                                                                                                                                                                                            the use of mine own house, charg'd me on pain of perpetual 1780
                                                                                                                                                                                            displeasure neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any
                                                                                                                                                                                            way sustain him.
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edmund. Most savage and unnatural!
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Go to; say you nothing. There is division betwixt the Dukes,
                                                                                                                                                                                            and a worse matter than that. I have received a letter this 1785
                                                                                                                                                                                            night- 'tis dangerous to be spoken- I have lock'd the letter in
                                                                                                                                                                                            my closet. These injuries the King now bears will be revenged
                                                                                                                                                                                            home; there's part of a power already footed; we must incline to
                                                                                                                                                                                            the King. I will seek him and privily relieve him. Go you and
                                                                                                                                                                                            maintain talk with the Duke, that my charity be not of him 1790
                                                                                                                                                                                            perceived. If he ask for me, I am ill and gone to bed. Though I
                                                                                                                                                                                            die for't, as no less is threat'ned me, the King my old master
                                                                                                                                                                                            must be relieved. There is some strange thing toward, Edmund.
                                                                                                                                                                                            Pray you be careful. Exit.
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edmund. This courtesy, forbid thee, shall the Duke 1795
                                                                                                                                                                                            Instantly know, and of that letter too.
                                                                                                                                                                                            This seems a fair deserving, and must draw me
                                                                                                                                                                                            That which my father loses- no less than all.
                                                                                                                                                                                            The younger rises when the old doth fall. Exit.

                                                                                                                                                                                          † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                          Act III, Scene 4

                                                                                                                                                                                          The heath. Before a hovel. Storm still.

                                                                                                                                                                                          † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                            Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool.

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Here is the place, my lord. Good my lord, enter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                The tyranny of the open night 's too rough
                                                                                                                                                                                                For nature to endure.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Let me alone.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Good my lord, enter here. 1805
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Wilt break my heart?
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. I had rather break mine own. Good my lord, enter.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Thou think'st 'tis much that this contentious storm
                                                                                                                                                                                                Invades us to the skin. So 'tis to thee;
                                                                                                                                                                                                But where the greater malady is fix'd, 1810
                                                                                                                                                                                                The lesser is scarce felt. Thou'dst shun a bear;
                                                                                                                                                                                                But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
                                                                                                                                                                                                Thou'dst meet the bear i' th' mouth. When the mind's free,
                                                                                                                                                                                                The body's delicate. The tempest in my mind
                                                                                                                                                                                                Doth from my senses take all feeling else 1815
                                                                                                                                                                                                Save what beats there. Filial ingratitude!
                                                                                                                                                                                                Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand
                                                                                                                                                                                                For lifting food to't? But I will punish home!
                                                                                                                                                                                                No, I will weep no more. In such a night
                                                                                                                                                                                                To shut me out! Pour on; I will endure. 1820
                                                                                                                                                                                                In such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril!
                                                                                                                                                                                                Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all!
                                                                                                                                                                                                O, that way madness lies; let me shun that!
                                                                                                                                                                                                No more of that.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Good my lord, enter here. 1825
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Prithee go in thyself; seek thine own ease.
                                                                                                                                                                                                This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
                                                                                                                                                                                                On things would hurt me more. But I'll go in.
                                                                                                                                                                                                [To the Fool] In, boy; go first.- You houseless poverty-
                                                                                                                                                                                                Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep. [Exit Fool] 1830
                                                                                                                                                                                                Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
                                                                                                                                                                                                That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
                                                                                                                                                                                                How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
                                                                                                                                                                                                Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
                                                                                                                                                                                                From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en 1835
                                                                                                                                                                                                Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp;
                                                                                                                                                                                                Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
                                                                                                                                                                                                That thou mayst shake the superflux to them
                                                                                                                                                                                                And show the heavens more just.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. [within] Fathom and half, fathom and half! Poor Tom! 1840

                                                                                                                                                                                                Enter Fool [from the hovel].

                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fool. Come not in here, nuncle, here's a spirit. Help me, help me!
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Kent. Give me thy hand. Who's there?
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fool. A spirit, a spirit! He says his name's poor Tom.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Kent. What art thou that dost grumble there i' th' straw? 1845
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Come forth.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enter Edgar [disguised as a madman].

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Away! the foul fiend follows me! Through the sharp hawthorn
                                                                                                                                                                                                        blows the cold wind. Humh! go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. Hast thou given all to thy two daughters, and art thou come 1850
                                                                                                                                                                                                        to this?
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Who gives anything to poor Tom? whom the foul fiend hath led
                                                                                                                                                                                                        through fire and through flame, through ford and whirlpool, o'er
                                                                                                                                                                                                        bog and quagmire; that hath laid knives under his pillow and
                                                                                                                                                                                                        halters in his pew, set ratsbane by his porridge, made him proud 1855
                                                                                                                                                                                                        of heart, to ride on a bay trotting horse over four-inch'd
                                                                                                                                                                                                        bridges, to course his own shadow for a traitor. Bless thy five
                                                                                                                                                                                                        wits! Tom 's acold. O, do de, do de, do de. Bless thee from
                                                                                                                                                                                                        whirlwinds, star-blasting, and taking! Do poor Tom some charity,
                                                                                                                                                                                                        whom the foul fiend vexes. There could I have him now- and there- 1860
                                                                                                                                                                                                        and there again- and there!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Storm still.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. What, have his daughters brought him to this pass?
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Couldst thou save nothing? Didst thou give 'em all?
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fool. Nay, he reserv'd a blanket, else we had been all sham'd. 1865
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Now all the plagues that in the pendulous air
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hang fated o'er men's faults light on thy daughters!
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. He hath no daughters, sir.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Death, traitor! nothing could have subdu'd nature
                                                                                                                                                                                                            To such a lowness but his unkind daughters. 1870
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is it the fashion that discarded fathers
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Should have thus little mercy on their flesh?
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Judicious punishment! 'Twas this flesh begot
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Those pelican daughters.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Pillicock sat on Pillicock's Hill. 'Allow, 'allow, loo, loo! 1875
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fool. This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Take heed o' th' foul fiend; obey thy parents: keep thy word
                                                                                                                                                                                                            justly; swear not; commit not with man's sworn spouse; set not
                                                                                                                                                                                                            thy sweet heart on proud array. Tom 's acold.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. What hast thou been? 1880
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. A servingman, proud in heart and mind; that curl'd my hair,
                                                                                                                                                                                                            wore gloves in my cap; serv'd the lust of my mistress' heart and
                                                                                                                                                                                                            did the act of darkness with her; swore as many oaths as I spake
                                                                                                                                                                                                            words, and broke them in the sweet face of heaven; one that
                                                                                                                                                                                                            slept in the contriving of lust, and wak'd to do it. Wine lov'd 1885
                                                                                                                                                                                                            I deeply, dice dearly; and in woman out-paramour'd the Turk.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            False of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand; hog in sloth, fox
                                                                                                                                                                                                            in stealth, wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let not the creaking of shoes nor the rustling of silks betray
                                                                                                                                                                                                            thy poor heart to woman. Keep thy foot out of brothel, thy hand 1890
                                                                                                                                                                                                            out of placket, thy pen from lender's book, and defy the foul
                                                                                                                                                                                                            fiend. Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind; says
                                                                                                                                                                                                            suum, mun, hey, no, nonny. Dolphin my boy, my boy, sessa! let
                                                                                                                                                                                                            him trot by.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Storm still.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Why, thou wert better in thy grave than to answer with thy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                uncover'd body this extremity of the skies. Is man no more than
                                                                                                                                                                                                                this? Consider him well. Thou ow'st the worm no silk, the beast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume. Ha! Here's three
                                                                                                                                                                                                                on's are sophisticated! Thou art the thing itself; 1900
                                                                                                                                                                                                                unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked
                                                                                                                                                                                                                animal as thou art. Off, off, you lendings! Come, unbutton
                                                                                                                                                                                                                here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                [Tears at his clothes.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fool. Prithee, nuncle, be contented! 'Tis a naughty night to swim 1905
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    in. Now a little fire in a wild field were like an old lecher's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    heart- a small spark, all the rest on's body cold. Look, here
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    comes a walking fire.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enter Gloucester with a torch.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet. He begins at curfew, 1910
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and walks till the first cock. He gives the web and the pin,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        squints the eye, and makes the harelip; mildews the white wheat,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        and hurts the poor creature of earth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Saint Withold footed thrice the 'old;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He met the nightmare, and her nine fold; 1915
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bid her alight
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And her troth plight,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. How fares your Grace?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. What's he? 1920
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Who's there? What is't you seek?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. What are you there? Your names?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Poor Tom, that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the todpole,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the wall-newt and the water; that in the fury of his heart, when
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the foul fiend rages, eats cow-dung for sallets, swallows the 1925
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        old rat and the ditch-dog, drinks the green mantle of the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        standing pool; who is whipp'd from tithing to tithing, and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        stock-punish'd and imprison'd; who hath had three suits to his
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        back, six shirts to his body, horse to ride, and weapons to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        wear; 1930
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But mice and rats, and such small deer,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Have been Tom's food for seven long year.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Beware my follower. Peace, Smulkin! peace, thou fiend!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. What, hath your Grace no better company?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. The prince of darkness is a gentleman! 1935
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Modo he's call'd, and Mahu.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. Our flesh and blood is grown so vile, my lord,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That it doth hate what gets it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Poor Tom 's acold.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. Go in with me. My duty cannot suffer 1940
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        T' obey in all your daughters' hard commands.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Though their injunction be to bar my doors
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yet have I ventur'd to come seek you out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And bring you where both fire and food is ready. 1945
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. First let me talk with this philosopher.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What is the cause of thunder?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Good my lord, take his offer; go into th' house.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. I'll talk a word with this same learned Theban.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What is your study? 1950
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. How to prevent the fiend and to kill vermin.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. Let me ask you one word in private.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Importune him once more to go, my lord.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        His wits begin t' unsettle.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. Canst thou blame him? [Storm still.] 1955
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        His daughters seek his death. Ah, that good Kent!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He said it would be thus- poor banish'd man!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thou say'st the King grows mad: I'll tell thee, friend,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am almost mad myself. I had a son,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now outlaw'd from my blood. He sought my life 1960
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But lately, very late. I lov'd him, friend-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        No father his son dearer. True to tell thee,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The grief hath craz'd my wits. What a night 's this!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do beseech your Grace-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. O, cry you mercy, sir. 1965
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Noble philosopher, your company.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Tom's acold.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. In, fellow, there, into th' hovel; keep thee warm.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. Come, let's in all.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. This way, my lord. 1970
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. With him!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I will keep still with my philosopher.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Good my lord, soothe him; let him take the fellow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. Take him you on.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Sirrah, come on; go along with us. 1975
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. Come, good Athenian.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. No words, no words! hush.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Child Rowland to the dark tower came;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        His word was still
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Fie, foh, and fum! 1980
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I smell the blood of a British man.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exeunt.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Act III, Scene 5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Gloucesterís Castle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enter Cornwall and Edmund.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. I will have my revenge ere I depart his house.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edmund. How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature thus gives way to 1985
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                loyalty, something fears me to think of.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. I now perceive it was not altogether your brother's evil
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                disposition made him seek his death; but a provoking merit, set
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                awork by a reproveable badness in himself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edmund. How malicious is my fortune that I must repent to be just! 1990
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This is the letter he spoke of, which approves him an
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                intelligent party to the advantages of France. O heavens! that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                this treason were not- or not I the detector!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. Go with me to the Duchess.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edmund. If the matter of this paper be certain, you have mighty 1995
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                business in hand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. True or false, it hath made thee Earl of Gloucester.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Seek out where thy father is, that he may be ready for our
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                apprehension.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edmund. [aside] If I find him comforting the King, it will stuff his 2000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                suspicion more fully.- I will persever in my course of loyalty,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                though the conflict be sore between that and my blood.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. I will lay trust upon thee, and thou shalt find a dearer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                father in my love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exeunt.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Act III, Scene 6

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A farmhouse near Gloucesterís Castle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enter Gloucester, Lear, Kent, Fool, and Edgar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. Here is better than the open air; take it thankfully. I will
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        piece out the comfort with what addition I can. I will not be
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        long from you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. All the power of his wits have given way to his impatience. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The gods reward your kindness!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exit [Gloucester].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Frateretto calls me, and tells me Nero is an angler in the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            lake of darkness. Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fool. Prithee, nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a gentleman or a 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            yeoman.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. A king, a king!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fool. No, he's a yeoman that has a gentleman to his son; for he's a
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            mad yeoman that sees his son a gentleman before him.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. To have a thousand with red burning spits 2020
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Come hizzing in upon 'em-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. The foul fiend bites my back.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fool. He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. It shall be done; I will arraign them straight. 2025
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            [To Edgar] Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            [To the Fool] Thou, sapient sir, sit here. Now, you she-foxes!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Look, where he stands and glares! Want'st thou eyes at trial,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            madam?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Come o'er the bourn, Bessy, to me. 2030
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fool. Her boat hath a leak,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And she must not speak
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Why she dares not come over to thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. The foul fiend haunts poor Tom in the voice of a nightingale.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hoppedance cries in Tom's belly for two white herring. Croak 2035
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            not, black angel; I have no food for thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. How do you, sir? Stand you not so amaz'd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. I'll see their trial first. Bring in their evidence.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            [To Edgar] Thou, robed man of justice, take thy place. 2040
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            [To the Fool] And thou, his yokefellow of equity,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bench by his side. [To Kent] You are o' th' commission,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sit you too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Let us deal justly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sleepest or wakest thou, jolly shepherd? 2045
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thy sheep be in the corn;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And for one blast of thy minikin mouth
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thy sheep shall take no harm.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Purr! the cat is gray.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Arraign her first. 'Tis Goneril. I here take my oath before 2050
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            this honourable assembly, she kicked the poor King her father.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fool. Come hither, mistress. Is your name Goneril?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. She cannot deny it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fool. Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. And here's another, whose warp'd looks proclaim 2055
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What store her heart is made on. Stop her there!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Arms, arms! sword! fire! Corruption in the place!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            False justicer, why hast thou let her scape?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Bless thy five wits!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. O pity! Sir, where is the patience now 2060
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That you so oft have boasted to retain?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. [aside] My tears begin to take his part so much
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They'll mar my counterfeiting.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. The little dogs and all,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart, see, they bark at me. 2065
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Tom will throw his head at them. Avaunt, you curs!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Be thy mouth or black or white,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tooth that poisons if it bite;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mastiff, greyhound, mongrel grim,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hound or spaniel, brach or lym, 2070
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bobtail tyke or trundle-tail-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tom will make them weep and wail;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For, with throwing thus my head,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Do de, de, de. Sessa! Come, march to wakes and fairs and market 2075
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            towns. Poor Tom, thy horn is dry.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Then let them anatomize Regan. See what breeds about her
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            heart. Is there any cause in nature that makes these hard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            hearts? [To Edgar] You, sir- I entertain you for one of my
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            hundred; only I do not like the fashion of your garments. You'll 2080
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            say they are Persian attire; but let them be chang'd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. Now, good my lord, lie here and rest awhile.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Make no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So, so, so. We'll go to supper i' th' morning. So, so, so.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Fool. And I'll go to bed at noon. 2085

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enter Gloucester.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Come hither, friend. Where is the King my master?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Here, sir; but trouble him not; his wits are gone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Good friend, I prithee take him in thy arms.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have o'erheard a plot of death upon him. 2090
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                There is a litter ready; lay him in't
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And drive towards Dover, friend, where thou shalt meet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Both welcome and protection. Take up thy master.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                If thou shouldst dally half an hour, his life,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                With thine, and all that offer to defend him, 2095
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Stand in assured loss. Take up, take up!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And follow me, that will to some provision
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Give thee quick conduct.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Oppressed nature sleeps.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This rest might yet have balm'd thy broken senses, 2100
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Which, if convenience will not allow,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Stand in hard cure. [To the Fool] Come, help to bear thy master.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thou must not stay behind.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Come, come, away!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exeunt [all but Edgar].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edgar. When we our betters see bearing our woes,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We scarcely think our miseries our foes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Who alone suffers suffers most i' th' mind,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Leaving free things and happy shows behind;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip 2110
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How light and portable my pain seems now,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When that which makes me bend makes the King bow,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He childed as I fathered! Tom, away!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mark the high noises, and thyself bewray 2115
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In thy just proof repeals and reconciles thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    What will hap more to-night, safe scape the King!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Lurk, lurk. [Exit.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Act III, Scene 7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gloucesterís Castle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enter Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, [Edmund the] Bastard, and Servants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Cornwall. [to Goneril] Post speedily to my lord your husband, show him
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        this letter. The army of France is landed.- Seek out the traitor
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gloucester.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        [Exeunt some of the Servants.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Regan. Hang him instantly. 2125
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Goneril. Pluck out his eyes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Leave him to my displeasure. Edmund, keep you our sister
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            company. The revenges we are bound to take upon your traitorous
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            father are not fit for your beholding. Advise the Duke where you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            are going, to a most festinate preparation. We are bound to the 2130
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            like. Our posts shall be swift and intelligent betwixt us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Farewell, dear sister; farewell, my Lord of Gloucester. [Enter Oswald the Steward.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            How now? Where's the King?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Oswald. My Lord of Gloucester hath convey'd him hence.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Some five or six and thirty of his knights, 2135
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hot questrists after him, met him at gate;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Who, with some other of the lord's dependants,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are gone with him towards Dover, where they boast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To have well-armed friends.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Get horses for your mistress. 2140
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Goneril. Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Edmund, farewell. [Exeunt Goneril, Edmund, and Oswald.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Go seek the traitor Gloucester,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us. [Exeunt other Servants.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Though well we may not pass upon his life 2145
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Without the form of justice, yet our power
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shall do a court'sy to our wrath, which men
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            May blame, but not control. [Enter Gloucester, brought in by two or three.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Who's there? the traitor?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Regan. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he. 2150
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Bind fast his corky arms.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. What mean, your Graces? Good my friends, consider
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You are my guests. Do me no foul play, friends.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Cornwall. Bind him, I say.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            [Servants bind him.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Regan. Hard, hard. O filthy traitor!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Cornwall. To this chair bind him. Villain, thou shalt find-

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                [Regan plucks his beard.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done 2160
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To pluck me by the beard.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. So white, and such a traitor!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. Naughty lady,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    These hairs which thou dost ravish from my chin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Will quicken, and accuse thee. I am your host. 2165
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    With robber's hands my hospitable favours
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. Be simple-answer'd, for we know the truth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. And what confederacy have you with the traitors 2170
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Late footed in the kingdom?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. To whose hands have you sent the lunatic King?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Speak.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. I have a letter guessingly set down,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Which came from one that's of a neutral heart, 2175
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And not from one oppos'd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. Cunning.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. And false.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. Where hast thou sent the King?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. To Dover. 2180
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. Wherefore to Dover? Wast thou not charg'd at peril-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. Wherefore to Dover? Let him first answer that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. I am tied to th' stake, and I must stand the course.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. Wherefore to Dover, sir?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. Because I would not see thy cruel nails 2185
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd up
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And quench'd the steeled fires. 2190
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yet, poor old heart, he holp the heavens to rain.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thou shouldst have said, 'Good porter, turn the key.'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All cruels else subscrib'd. But I shall see
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The winged vengeance overtake such children. 2195
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. See't shalt thou never. Fellows, hold the chair.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. He that will think to live till he be old,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Give me some help!- O cruel! O ye gods!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. One side will mock another. Th' other too! 2200
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. If you see vengeance-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Servant 1. Hold your hand, my lord!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I have serv'd you ever since I was a child;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But better service have I never done you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Than now to bid you hold. 2205
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. How now, you dog?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Servant 1. If you did wear a beard upon your chin,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I'ld shake it on this quarrel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. What do you mean?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. My villain! Draw and fight. 2210
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Servant 1. Nay, then, come on, and take the chance of anger.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. Give me thy sword. A peasant stand up thus?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    She takes a sword and runs at him behind.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Servant 1. O, I am slain! My lord, you have one eye left
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To see some mischief on him. O! He dies. 2215
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Where is thy lustre now?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. All dark and comfortless! Where's my son Edmund?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To quit this horrid act. 2220
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. Out, treacherous villain!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thou call'st on him that hates thee. It was he
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That made the overture of thy treasons to us;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Who is too good to pity thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Gloucester. O my follies! Then Edgar was abus'd. 2225
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Regan. Go thrust him out at gates, and let him smell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    His way to Dover. [Exit one with Gloucester.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How is't, my lord? How look you?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Cornwall. I have receiv'd a hurt. Follow me, lady. 2230
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Turn out that eyeless villain. Throw this slave
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Upon the dunghill. Regan, I bleed apace.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Untimely comes this hurt. Give me your arm.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exit [Cornwall, led by Regan].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Servant 2. I'll never care what wickedness I do, 2235
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If this man come to good.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Servant 3. If she live long,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And in the end meet the old course of death,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Women will all turn monsters.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Servant 2. Let's follow the old Earl, and get the bedlam 2240
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To lead him where he would. His roguish madness
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Allows itself to anything.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Servant 3. Go thou. I'll fetch some flax and whites of eggs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To apply to his bleeding face. Now heaven help him!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exeunt.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Act IV, Scene 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The heath.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enter Edgar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Than still contemn'd and flatter'd. To be worst,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The lowest and most dejected thing of fortune,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear. 2250
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The lamentable change is from the best;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The worst returns to laughter. Welcome then,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thou unsubstantial air that I embrace!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The wretch that thou hast blown unto the worst
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Owes nothing to thy blasts. 2255
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                [Enter Gloucester, led by an Old Man.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But who comes here?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My father, poorly led? World, world, O world!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Life would not yield to age. 2260
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Old Man. O my good lord,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have been your tenant, and your father's tenant,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                These fourscore years.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Away, get thee away! Good friend, be gone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thy comforts can do me no good at all; 2265
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thee they may hurt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Old Man. You cannot see your way.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I stumbled when I saw. Full oft 'tis seen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Our means secure us, and our mere defects 2270
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Prove our commodities. Ah dear son Edgar,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The food of thy abused father's wrath!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Might I but live to see thee in my touch,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'ld say I had eyes again!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Old Man. How now? Who's there? 2275
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. [aside] O gods! Who is't can say 'I am at the worst'?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am worse than e'er I was.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Old Man. 'Tis poor mad Tom.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. [aside] And worse I may be yet. The worst is not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So long as we can say 'This is the worst.' 2280
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Old Man. Fellow, where goest?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Is it a beggarman?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Old Man. Madman and beggar too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. He has some reason, else he could not beg.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I' th' last night's storm I such a fellow saw, 2285
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Which made me think a man a worm. My son
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Came then into my mind, and yet my mind
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Was then scarce friends with him. I have heard more since.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As flies to wanton boys are we to th' gods.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They kill us for their sport. 2290
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. [aside] How should this be?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bad is the trade that must play fool to sorrow,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ang'ring itself and others.- Bless thee, master!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Is that the naked fellow?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Old Man. Ay, my lord. 2295
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Then prithee get thee gone. If for my sake
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thou wilt o'ertake us hence a mile or twain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I' th' way toward Dover, do it for ancient love;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And bring some covering for this naked soul,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Who I'll entreat to lead me. 2300
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Old Man. Alack, sir, he is mad!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. 'Tis the time's plague when madmen lead the blind.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Above the rest, be gone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parel that I have, 2305
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Come on't what will. Exit.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Sirrah naked fellow-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Poor Tom's acold. [Aside] I cannot daub it further.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Come hither, fellow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. [aside] And yet I must.- Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed. 2310
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Know'st thou the way to Dover?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Both stile and gate, horseway and footpath. Poor Tom hath been
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                scar'd out of his good wits. Bless thee, good man's son, from
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the foul fiend! Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once: of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididence, prince of dumbness; Mahu, of 2315
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                stealing; Modo, of murder; Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                mowing, who since possesses chambermaids and waiting women. So,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                bless thee, master!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heavens' plagues
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Have humbled to all strokes. That I am wretched 2320
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Makes thee the happier. Heavens, deal so still!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That slaves your ordinance, that will not see
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Because he does not feel, feel your pow'r quickly;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So distribution should undo excess, 2325
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And each man have enough. Dost thou know Dover?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Ay, master.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. There is a cliff, whose high and bending head
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Looks fearfully in the confined deep.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bring me but to the very brim of it, 2330
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                With something rich about me. From that place
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I shall no leading need.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Give me thy arm.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Poor Tom shall lead thee. 2335

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exeunt.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Act IV, Scene 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Before the Duke of Albanyís Palace.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enter Goneril and [Edmund the] Bastard.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. Welcome, my lord. I marvel our mild husband
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not met us on the way. [Enter Oswald the Steward.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Now, where's your master? 2340
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Madam, within, but never man so chang'd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I told him of the army that was landed:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He smil'd at it. I told him you were coming:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        His answer was, 'The worse.' Of Gloucester's treachery
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And of the loyal service of his son 2345
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        When I inform'd him, then he call'd me sot
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And told me I had turn'd the wrong side out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What most he should dislike seems pleasant to him;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What like, offensive.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. [to Edmund] Then shall you go no further. 2350
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is the cowish terror of his spirit,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That dares not undertake. He'll not feel wrongs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Which tie him to an answer. Our wishes on the way
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hasten his musters and conduct his pow'rs. 2355
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I must change arms at home and give the distaff
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shall pass between us. Ere long you are like to hear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (If you dare venture in your own behalf)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A mistress's command. Wear this. [Gives a favour.] 2360
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Spare speech.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Decline your head. This kiss, if it durst speak,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Would stretch thy spirits up into the air.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Conceive, and fare thee well.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. Yours in the ranks of death! Exit. 2365
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. My most dear Gloucester!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        O, the difference of man and man!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To thee a woman's services are due;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My fool usurps my body.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Madam, here comes my lord. Exit. 2370

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enter Albany.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Goneril. I have been worth the whistle.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. O Goneril,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You are not worth the dust which the rude wind
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Blows in your face! I fear your disposition. 2375
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That nature which contemns it origin
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cannot be bordered certain in itself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            She that herself will sliver and disbranch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            From her material sap, perforce must wither
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And come to deadly use. 2380
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Goneril. No more! The text is foolish.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Filths savour but themselves. What have you done?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A father, and a gracious aged man, 2385
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whose reverence even the head-lugg'd bear would lick,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Most barbarous, most degenerate, have you madded.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Could my good brother suffer you to do it?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A man, a prince, by him so benefited!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If that the heavens do not their visible spirits 2390
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Send quickly down to tame these vile offences,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It will come,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Humanity must perforce prey on itself,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Like monsters of the deep.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Goneril. Milk-liver'd man! 2395
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thine honour from thy suffering; that not know'st
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fools do those villains pity who are punish'd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy drum? 2400
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            France spreads his banners in our noiseless land,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With plumed helm thy state begins to threat,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whiles thou, a moral fool, sit'st still, and criest
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            'Alack, why does he so?'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. See thyself, devil! 2405
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So horrid as in woman.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Goneril. O vain fool!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for shame!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bemonster not thy feature! Were't my fitness 2410
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To let these hands obey my blood,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            They are apt enough to dislocate and tear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thy flesh and bones. Howe'er thou art a fiend,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A woman's shape doth shield thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Goneril. Marry, your manhood mew! 2415

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enter a Gentleman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. What news?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. O, my good lord, the Duke of Cornwall 's dead,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Slain by his servant, going to put out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The other eye of Gloucester. 2420
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Gloucester's eyes?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with remorse,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To his great master; who, thereat enrag'd,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Flew on him, and amongst them fell'd him dead; 2425
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But not without that harmful stroke which since
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hath pluck'd him after.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. This shows you are above,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You justicers, that these our nether crimes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                So speedily can venge! But O poor Gloucester! 2430
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lose he his other eye?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. Both, both, my lord.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                'Tis from your sister.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Goneril. [aside] One way I like this well; 2435
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But being widow, and my Gloucester with her,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                May all the building in my fancy pluck
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Upon my hateful life. Another way
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The news is not so tart.- I'll read, and answer. Exit.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Where was his son when they did take his eyes? 2440
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. Come with my lady hither.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. He is not here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. No, my good lord; I met him back again.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Knows he the wickedness?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. Ay, my good lord. 'Twas he inform'd against him, 2445
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Might have the freer course.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Gloucester, I live
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the King,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, friend. 2450
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tell me what more thou know'st.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exeunt.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Act IV, Scene 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The French camp near Dover.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enter Kent and a Gentleman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Why the King of France is so suddenly gone back know you the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        reason? 2455
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. Something he left imperfect in the state, which since his
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        coming forth is thought of, which imports to the kingdom so much
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        fear and danger that his personal return was most required and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        necessary.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Who hath he left behind him general? 2460
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. The Marshal of France, Monsieur La Far.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Did your letters pierce the Queen to any demonstration of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        grief?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. Ay, sir. She took them, read them in my presence,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And now and then an ample tear trill'd down 2465
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Her delicate cheek. It seem'd she was a queen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Over her passion, who, most rebel-like,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sought to be king o'er her.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. O, then it mov'd her?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. Not to a rage. Patience and sorrow strove 2470
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sunshine and rain at once: her smiles and tears
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Were like, a better way. Those happy smilets
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That play'd on her ripe lip seem'd not to know
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What guests were in her eyes, which parted thence 2475
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As pearls from diamonds dropp'd. In brief,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorrow would be a rarity most belov'd,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If all could so become it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Made she no verbal question?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. Faith, once or twice she heav'd the name of father 2480
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cried 'Sisters, sisters! Shame of ladies! Sisters!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Kent! father! sisters! What, i' th' storm? i' th' night?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let pity not be believ'd!' There she shook
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The holy water from her heavenly eyes, 2485
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And clamour moisten'd. Then away she started
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To deal with grief alone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. It is the stars,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The stars above us, govern our conditions;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Else one self mate and mate could not beget 2490
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. No.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Was this before the King return'd?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. No, since.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Well, sir, the poor distressed Lear's i' th' town; 2495
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who sometime, in his better tune, remembers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What we are come about, and by no means
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Will yield to see his daughter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. Why, good sir?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. A sovereign shame so elbows him; his own unkindness, 2500
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To his dog-hearted daughters- these things sting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        His mind so venomously that burning shame
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Detains him from Cordelia. 2505
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. Alack, poor gentleman!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you heard not?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. 'Tis so; they are afoot.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master Lear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And leave you to attend him. Some dear cause 2510
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Will in concealment wrap me up awhile.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        When I am known aright, you shall not grieve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you go
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Along with me. Exeunt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Act IV, Scene 4

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The French camp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enter, with Drum and Colours, Cordelia, Doctor, and Soldiers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cordelia. Alack, 'tis he! Why, he was met even now
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As mad as the vex'd sea, singing aloud,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Crown'd with rank fumiter and furrow weeds,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With harlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo flow'rs,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow 2520
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In our sustaining corn. A century send forth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Search every acre in the high-grown field
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And bring him to our eye. [Exit an Officer.] What can man's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            wisdom
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In the restoring his bereaved sense? 2525
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            He that helps him take all my outward worth.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Doctor. There is means, madam.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Our foster nurse of nature is repose,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The which he lacks. That to provoke in him
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Are many simples operative, whose power 2530
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Will close the eye of anguish.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cordelia. All blest secrets,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Spring with my tears! be aidant and remediate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In the good man's distress! Seek, seek for him! 2535
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That wants the means to lead it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enter Messenger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Messenger. News, madam.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The British pow'rs are marching hitherward. 2540
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cordelia. 'Tis known before. Our preparation stands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In expectation of them. O dear father,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                It is thy business that I go about.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Therefore great France
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My mourning and important tears hath pitied. 2545
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But love, dear love, and our ag'd father's right.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Soon may I hear and see him!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exeunt.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Act IV, Scene 5

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Gloucesterís Castle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enter Regan and [Oswald the] Steward.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. But are my brother's pow'rs set forth?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Ay, madam.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Himself in person there?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Madam, with much ado.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Your sister is the better soldier. 2555
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. No, madam.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. What might import my sister's letter to him?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. I know not, lady.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter. 2560
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It was great ignorance, Gloucester's eyes being out,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To let him live. Where he arrives he moves
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        All hearts against us. Edmund, I think, is gone,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In pity of his misery, to dispatch
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        His nighted life; moreover, to descry 2565
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The strength o' th' enemy.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Our troops set forth to-morrow. Stay with us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The ways are dangerous.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. I may not, madam. 2570
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My lady charg'd my duty in this business.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Why should she write to Edmund? Might not you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Transport her purposes by word? Belike,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Something- I know not what- I'll love thee much-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let me unseal the letter. 2575
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Madam, I had rather-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. I know your lady does not love her husband;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am sure of that; and at her late being here
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        She gave strange eyeliads and most speaking looks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom. 2580
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. I, madam?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. I speak in understanding. Y'are! I know't.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Therefore I do advise you take this note.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And more convenient is he for my hand 2585
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Than for your lady's. You may gather more.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you do find him, pray you give him this;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And when your mistress hears thus much from you,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I pray desire her call her wisdom to her.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So farewell. 2590
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Would I could meet him, madam! I should show
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What party I do follow.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Fare thee well. Exeunt. 2595

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Act IV, Scene 6

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The country near Dover.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enter Gloucester, and Edgar [like a Peasant].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. When shall I come to th' top of that same hill?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. You do climb up it now. Look how we labour.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Methinks the ground is even.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Horrible steep. 2600
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hark, do you hear the sea?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. No, truly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Why, then, your other senses grow imperfect
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            By your eyes' anguish.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. So may it be indeed. 2605
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Methinks thy voice is alter'd, and thou speak'st
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In better phrase and matter than thou didst.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Y'are much deceiv'd. In nothing am I chang'd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But in my garments.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Methinks y'are better spoken. 2610
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Come on, sir; here's the place. Stand still. How fearful
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And dizzy 'tis to cast one's eyes so low!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Show scarce so gross as beetles. Halfway down
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hangs one that gathers sampire- dreadful trade! 2615
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The fishermen that walk upon the beach
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Appear like mice; and yond tall anchoring bark,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Diminish'd to her cock; her cock, a buoy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge 2620
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That on th' unnumb'red idle pebble chafes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cannot be heard so high. I'll look no more,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Topple down headlong.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Set me where you stand. 2625
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Give me your hand. You are now within a foot
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of th' extreme verge. For all beneath the moon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Would I not leap upright.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Let go my hand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Here, friend, is another purse; in it a jewel 2630
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well worth a poor man's taking. Fairies and gods
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Now fare ye well, good sir.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. With all my heart. 2635
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. [aside]. Why I do trifle thus with his despair
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is done to cure it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. O you mighty gods! He kneels.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            This world I do renounce, and, in your sights,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shake patiently my great affliction off. 2640
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If I could bear it longer and not fall
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My snuff and loathed part of nature should
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now, fellow, fare thee well. 2645
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            He falls [forward and swoons].
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Gone, sir, farewell.-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And yet I know not how conceit may rob
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The treasury of life when life itself
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yields to the theft. Had he been where he thought, 2650
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            By this had thought been past.- Alive or dead?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ho you, sir! friend! Hear you, sir? Speak!-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thus might he pass indeed. Yet he revives.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What are you, sir?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Away, and let me die. 2655
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, feathers, air,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So many fadom down precipitating,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thou'dst shiver'd like an egg; but thou dost breathe;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hast heavy substance; bleed'st not; speak'st; art sound.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Ten masts at each make not the altitude 2660
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thy life is a miracle. Speak yet again.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. But have I fall'n, or no?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Look up a-height. The shrill-gorg'd lark so far 2665
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cannot be seen or heard. Do but look up.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Alack, I have no eyes!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is wretchedness depriv'd that benefit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To end itself by death? 'Twas yet some comfort
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage 2670
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And frustrate his proud will.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Give me your arm.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Up- so. How is't? Feel you your legs? You stand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Too well, too well.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. This is above all strangeness. 2675
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Upon the crown o' th' cliff what thing was that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Which parted from you?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. A poor unfortunate beggar.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. As I stood here below, methought his eyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses,Horns whelk'd and wav'd like the enridged sea. 2680
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was some fiend. Therefore, thou happy father,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Think that the clearest gods, who make them honours
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of men's impossibility, have preserv'd thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. I do remember now. Henceforth I'll bear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Affliction till it do cry out itself 2685
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            'Enough, enough,' and die. That thing you speak of,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I took it for a man. Often 'twould say
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            'The fiend, the fiend'- he led me to that place.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Bear free and patient thoughts.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enter Lear, mad, [fantastically dressed with weeds]. 2690
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But who comes here?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The safer sense will ne'er accommodate
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            His master thus.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. No, they cannot touch me for coming;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am the King himself. 2695
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. O thou side-piercing sight!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Nature 's above art in that respect. There's your press
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            money. That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper. Draw me
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            a clothier's yard. Look, look, a mouse! Peace, peace; this piece
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            of toasted cheese will do't. There's my gauntlet; I'll prove it 2700
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            on a giant. Bring up the brown bills. O, well flown, bird! i'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            th' clout, i' th' clout! Hewgh! Give the word.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Sweet marjoram.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Pass.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. I know that voice. 2705
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Ha! Goneril with a white beard? They flatter'd me like a dog,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and told me I had white hairs in my beard ere the black ones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            were there. To say 'ay' and 'no' to everything I said! 'Ay' and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            'no' too was no good divinity. When the rain came to wet me
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            once, and the wind to make me chatter; when the thunder would 2710
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            not peace at my bidding; there I found 'em, there I smelt 'em
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            out. Go to, they are not men o' their words! They told me I was
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            everything. 'Tis a lie- I am not ague-proof.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. The trick of that voice I do well remember.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is't not the King? 2715
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Ay, every inch a king!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When I do stare, see how the subject quakes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I pardon that man's life. What was thy cause?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Adultery?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery? No. 2720
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The wren goes to't, and the small gilded fly
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Does lecher in my sight.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let copulation thrive; for Gloucester's bastard son
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Was kinder to his father than my daughters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Got 'tween the lawful sheets. 2725
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To't, luxury, pell-mell! for I lack soldiers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Behold yond simp'ring dame,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Whose face between her forks presageth snow,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That minces virtue, and does shake the head
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To hear of pleasure's name. 2730
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The fitchew nor the soiled horse goes to't
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With a more riotous appetite.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Down from the waist they are Centaurs,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Though women all above.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But to the girdle do the gods inherit, 2735
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Beneath is all the fiend's.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There's hell, there's darkness, there's the sulphurous pit;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            burning, scalding, stench, consumption. Fie, fie, fie! pah, pah!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            imagination. There's money for thee. 2740
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. O, let me kiss that hand!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. O ruin'd piece of nature! This great world
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shall so wear out to naught. Dost thou know me?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me? 2745
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No, do thy worst, blind Cupid! I'll not love. Read thou this
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            challenge; mark but the penning of it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Were all the letters suns, I could not see one.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. [aside] I would not take this from report. It is,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And my heart breaks at it. 2750
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Read.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. What, with the case of eyes?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. O, ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            money in your purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            in a light. Yet you see how this world goes. 2755
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. I see it feelingly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. What, art mad? A man may see how the world goes with no eyes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Look with thine ears. See how yond justice rails upon yond
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            simple thief. Hark in thine ear. Change places and, handy-dandy,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            which is the justice, which is the thief? Thou hast seen a 2760
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            farmer's dog bark at a beggar?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Ay, sir.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. And the creature run from the cur? There thou mightst behold
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            the great image of authority: a dog's obeyed in office.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand! 2765
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thou hotly lusts to use her in that kind
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For which thou whip'st her. The usurer hangs the cozener.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Robes and furr'd gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold, 2770
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Arm it in rags, a pygmy's straw does pierce it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            None does offend, none- I say none! I'll able 'em.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Take that of me, my friend, who have the power
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To seal th' accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes 2775
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And, like a scurvy politician, seem
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To see the things thou dost not. Now, now, now, now!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pull off my boots. Harder, harder! So.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. O, matter and impertinency mix'd!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Reason, in madness! 2780
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know thee well enough; thy name is Gloucester.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thou must be patient. We came crying hither;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thou know'st, the first time that we smell the air
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We wawl and cry. I will preach to thee. Mark. 2785
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Alack, alack the day!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. When we are born, we cry that we are come
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To this great stage of fools. This' a good block.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It were a delicate stratagem to shoe
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A troop of horse with felt. I'll put't in proof, 2790
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And when I have stol'n upon these sons-in-law,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enter a Gentleman [with Attendants].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. O, here he is! Lay hand upon him.- Sir,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your most dear daughter- 2795
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The natural fool of fortune. Use me well;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You shall have ransom. Let me have a surgeon;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I am cut to th' brains.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. You shall have anything. 2800
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. No seconds? All myself?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Why, this would make a man a man of salt,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To use his eyes for garden waterpots,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ay, and laying autumn's dust.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. Good sir- 2805
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. I will die bravely, like a smug bridegroom. What!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I will be jovial. Come, come, I am a king;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My masters, know you that?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. You are a royal one, and we obey you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Lear. Then there's life in't. Nay, an you get it, you shall get it 2810
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Exit running. [Attendants follow.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gentleman. A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Past speaking of in a king! Thou hast one daughter
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Who redeems nature from the general curse 2815
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Which twain have brought her to.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edgar. Hail, gentle sir.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gentleman. Sir, speed you. What's your will?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edgar. Do you hear aught, sir, of a battle toward?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gentleman. Most sure and vulgar. Every one hears that 2820
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Which can distinguish sound.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edgar. But, by your favour,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How near's the other army?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gentleman. Near and on speedy foot. The main descry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stands on the hourly thought. 2825
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edgar. I thank you sir. That's all.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gentleman. Though that the Queen on special cause is here,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Her army is mov'd on.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edgar. I thank you, sir

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exit [Gentleman].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. You ever-gentle gods, take my breath from me;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let not my worser spirit tempt me again
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To die before you please!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Well pray you, father.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. Now, good sir, what are you? 2835
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. A most poor man, made tame to fortune's blows,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll lead you to some biding.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. Hearty thanks. 2840
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The bounty and the benison of heaven
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To boot, and boot!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enter [Oswald the] Steward.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Oswald. A proclaim'd prize! Most happy!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh 2845
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To raise my fortunes. Thou old unhappy traitor,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Briefly thyself remember. The sword is out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That must destroy thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. Now let thy friendly hand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Put strength enough to't. 2850

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            [Edgar interposes.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Oswald. Wherefore, bold peasant,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Dar'st thou support a publish'd traitor? Hence!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lest that th' infection of his fortune take
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Like hold on thee. Let go his arm. 2855
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Chill not let go, zir, without vurther 'cagion.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Oswald. Let go, slave, or thou diest!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor voke pass. An chud
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ha' bin zwagger'd out of my life, 'twould not ha' bin zo long as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                'tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near th' old man. Keep out, 2860
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                che vore ye, or Ise try whether your costard or my ballow be the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                harder. Chill be plain with you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Oswald. Out, dunghill!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                They fight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edgar. Chill pick your teeth, zir. Come! No matter vor your foins. 2865

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    [Oswald falls.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Oswald. Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And give the letters which thou find'st about me
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To Edmund Earl of Gloucester. Seek him out 2870
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Upon the British party. O, untimely death! Death!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He dies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. I know thee well. A serviceable villain,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As duteous to the vices of thy mistress
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As badness would desire. 2875
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. What, is he dead?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Sit you down, father; rest you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Let's see his pockets; these letters that he speaks of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            May be my friends. He's dead. I am only sorry
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            He had no other deathsman. Let us see. 2880
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Leave, gentle wax; and, manners, blame us not.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To know our enemies' minds, we'ld rip their hearts;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Their papers, is more lawful. Reads the letter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            'Let our reciprocal vows be rememb'red. You have many
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            opportunities to cut him off. If your will want not, time and 2885
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            place will be fruitfully offer'd. There is nothing done, if he
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            return the conqueror. Then am I the prisoner, and his bed my
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            jail; from the loathed warmth whereof deliver me, and supply the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            place for your labour.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            'Your (wife, so I would say) affectionate servant, 'Goneril.' 2890
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            O indistinguish'd space of woman's will!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A plot upon her virtuous husband's life,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And the exchange my brother! Here in the sands
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of murtherous lechers; and in the mature time 2895
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With this ungracious paper strike the sight
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of the death-practis'd Duke, For him 'tis well
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That of thy death and business I can tell.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Gloucester. The King is mad. How stiff is my vile sense,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling 2900
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            So should my thoughts be sever'd from my griefs,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And woes by wrong imaginations lose
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The knowledge of themselves.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A drum afar off.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Give me your hand.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Far off methinks I hear the beaten drum.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend. Exeunt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Act IV, Scene 7

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A tent in the French camp.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Enter Cordelia, Kent, Doctor, and Gentleman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cordelia. O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work 2910
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To match thy goodness? My life will be too short
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And every measure fail me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o'erpaid.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    All my reports go with the modest truth;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Nor more nor clipp'd, but so. 2915
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cordelia. Be better suited.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    These weeds are memories of those worser hours.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I prithee put them off.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Earl of Kent. Pardon, dear madam.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yet to be known shortens my made intent. 2920
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    My boon I make it that you know me not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Till time and I think meet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cordelia. Then be't so, my good lord. [To the Doctor] How, does the King?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Doctor. Madam, sleeps still.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cordelia. O you kind gods, 2925
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Th' untun'd and jarring senses, O, wind up
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Of this child-changed father!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Doctor. So please your Majesty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That we may wake the King? He hath slept long. 2930
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cordelia. Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I' th' sway of your own will. Is he array'd?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enter Lear in a chair carried by Servants.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Gentleman. Ay, madam. In the heaviness of sleep
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We put fresh garments on him. 2935
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Doctor. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I doubt not of his temperance.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Cordelia. Very well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Music.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Doctor. Please you draw near. Louder the music there! 2940
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cordelia. O my dear father, restoration hang
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thy medicine on my lips, and let this kiss
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Repair those violent harms that my two sisters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have in thy reverence made!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. Kind and dear princess! 2945
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cordelia. Had you not been their father, these white flakes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To be oppos'd against the warring winds?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In the most terrible and nimble stroke 2950
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of quick cross lightning? to watch- poor perdu!-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With this thin helm? Mine enemy's dog,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Against my fire; and wast thou fain, poor father,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To hovel thee with swine and rogues forlorn, 2955
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            In short and musty straw? Alack, alack!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            'Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Had not concluded all.- He wakes. Speak to him.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Doctor. Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cordelia. How does my royal lord? How fares your Majesty? 2960
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. You do me wrong to take me out o' th' grave.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Do scald like molten lead.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cordelia. Sir, do you know me? 2965
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. You are a spirit, I know. When did you die?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cordelia. Still, still, far wide!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Doctor. He's scarce awake. Let him alone awhile.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am mightily abus'd. I should e'en die with pity, 2970
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To see another thus. I know not what to say.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I will not swear these are my hands. Let's see.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I feel this pin prick. Would I were assur'd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Of my condition!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cordelia. O, look upon me, sir, 2975
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And hold your hands in benediction o'er me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            No, sir, you must not kneel.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Pray, do not mock me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I am a very foolish fond old man,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less; 2980
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And, to deal plainly,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I fear I am not in my perfect mind.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Methinks I should know you, and know this man;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yet I am doubtful; for I am mainly ignorant
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What place this is; and all the skill I have 2985
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Where I did lodge last night. Do not laugh at me;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For (as I am a man) I think this lady
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To be my child Cordelia.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cordelia. And so I am! I am! 2990
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, faith. I pray weep not.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you have poison for me, I will drink it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I know you do not love me; for your sisters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have, as I do remember, done me wrong.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You have some cause, they have not. 2995
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cordelia. No cause, no cause.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Am I in France?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. In your own kingdom, sir.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. Do not abuse me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Doctor. Be comforted, good madam. The great rage 3000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You see is kill'd in him; and yet it is danger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To make him even o'er the time he has lost.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Desire him to go in. Trouble him no more
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Till further settling.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Cordelia. Will't please your Highness walk? 3005
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. You must bear with me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pray you now, forget and forgive. I am old and foolish.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Exeunt. Manent Kent and Gentleman.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. Holds it true, sir, that the Duke of Cornwall was so slain?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Most certain, sir. 3010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. Who is conductor of his people?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. As 'tis said, the bastard son of Gloucester.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. They say Edgar, his banish'd son, is with the Earl of Kent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                in Germany.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Report is changeable. 'Tis time to look about; the powers of 3015
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                the kingdom approach apace.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Gentleman. The arbitrement is like to be bloody.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fare you well, sir. [Exit.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrought,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Or well or ill, as this day's battle's fought. Exit. 3020

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Act V, Scene 1

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The British camp near Dover.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Enter, with Drum and Colours, Edmund, Regan, Gentleman, and Soldiers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edmund. Know of the Duke if his last purpose hold,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or whether since he is advis'd by aught
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To change the course. He's full of alteration
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And self-reproving. Bring his constant pleasure. 3025

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    [Exit an Officer.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Our sister's man is certainly miscarried.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. Tis to be doubted, madam.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Now, sweet lord,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You know the goodness I intend upon you. 3030
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Tell me- but truly- but then speak the truth-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Do you not love my sister?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. In honour'd love.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. But have you never found my brother's way
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To the forfended place? 3035
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. That thought abuses you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. I am doubtful that you have been conjunct
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And bosom'd with her, as far as we call hers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. No, by mine honour, madam.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. I never shall endure her. Dear my lord, 3040
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Be not familiar with her.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. Fear me not.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        She and the Duke her husband!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enter, with Drum and Colours, Albany, Goneril, Soldiers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. [aside] I had rather lose the battle than that sister 3045
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Should loosen him and me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Our very loving sister, well bemet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Sir, this I hear: the King is come to his daughter,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With others whom the rigour of our state
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Forc'd to cry out. Where I could not be honest, 3050
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I never yet was valiant. For this business,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It toucheth us as France invades our land,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not bolds the King, with others whom, I fear,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Most just and heavy causes make oppose.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. Sir, you speak nobly. 3055
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Why is this reason'd?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. Combine together 'gainst the enemy;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For these domestic and particular broils
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Are not the question here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Let's then determine 3060
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        With th' ancient of war on our proceeding.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. I shall attend you presently at your tent.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Sister, you'll go with us?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. No.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. 'Tis most convenient. Pray you go with us. 3065
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. [aside] O, ho, I know the riddle.- I will go.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        [As they are going out,] enter Edgar [disguised].
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. If e'er your Grace had speech with man so poor,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hear me one word.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. I'll overtake you.- Speak. 3070

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exeunt [all but Albany and Edgar].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            If you have victory, let the trumpet sound
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            For him that brought it. Wretched though I seem,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I can produce a champion that will prove 3075
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What is avouched there. If you miscarry,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Your business of the world hath so an end,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And machination ceases. Fortune love you!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. Stay till I have read the letter.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. I was forbid it. 3080
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And I'll appear again.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. Why, fare thee well. I will o'erlook thy paper.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Exit [Edgar].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Enter Edmund.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edmund. The enemy 's in view; draw up your powers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Here is the guess of their true strength and forces
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    By diligent discovery; but your haste
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Is now urg'd on you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Albany. We will greet the time. Exit. 3090
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edmund. To both these sisters have I sworn my love;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Each jealous of the other, as the stung
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Are of the adder. Which of them shall I take?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Both? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy'd,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If both remain alive. To take the widow 3095
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And hardly shall I carry out my side,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    His countenance for the battle, which being done,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Let her who would be rid of him devise 3100
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    His speedy taking off. As for the mercy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The battle done, and they within our power,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Shall never see his pardon; for my state
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stands on me to defend, not to debate. Exit. 3105

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Act V, Scene 2

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  A field between the two camps. Alarum within.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enter, with Drum and Colours, the Powers of France over the stage, Cordelia with her Father in her hand, and exeunt. Enter Edgar and Gloucester.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Here, father, take the shadow of this tree
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For your good host. Pray that the right may thrive.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If ever I return to you again,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'll bring you comfort. 3110
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Gloucester. Grace go with you, sir!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Exit [Edgar].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Alarum and retreat within. Enter Edgar,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Away, old man! give me thy hand! away!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta'en. 3115
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Give me thy hand! come on!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. No further, sir. A man may rot even here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. What, in ill thoughts again? Men must endure
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Their going hence, even as their coming hither;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Ripeness is all. Come on. 3120
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Gloucester. And that's true too. Exeunt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Act V, Scene 3

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The British camp, near Dover.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              † † †

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Enter, in conquest, with Drum and Colours, Edmund; Lear and Cordelia as prisoners; Soldiers, Captain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edmund. Some officers take them away. Good guard
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Until their greater pleasures first be known
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That are to censure them. 3125
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Cordelia. We are not the first
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Who with best meaning have incurr'd the worst.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    For thee, oppressed king, am I cast down;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Myself could else outfrown false Fortune's frown.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters? 3130
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We two alone will sing like birds i' th' cage.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And ask of thee forgiveness. So we'll live,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh 3135
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And take upon 's the mystery of things,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As if we were God's spies; and we'll wear out, 3140
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That ebb and flow by th' moon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edmund. Take them away.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught thee? 3145
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And fire us hence like foxes. Wipe thine eyes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The goodyears shall devour 'em, flesh and fell,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ere they shall make us weep! We'll see 'em starv'd first.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Come. Exeunt [Lear and Cordelia, guarded]. 3150
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edmund. Come hither, Captain; hark.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Take thou this note [gives a paper]. Go follow them to prison.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    One step I have advanc'd thee. If thou dost
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As this instructs thee, thou dost make thy way
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To noble fortunes. Know thou this, that men 3155
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Are as the time is. To be tender-minded
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Does not become a sword. Thy great employment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Will not bear question. Either say thou'lt do't,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or thrive by other means.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Captain. I'll do't, my lord. 3160
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Edmund. About it! and write happy when th' hast done.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Mark- I say, instantly; and carry it so
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As I have set it down.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Captain. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    If it be man's work, I'll do't. Exit. 3165

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Flourish. Enter Albany, Goneril, Regan, Soldiers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Sir, you have show'd to-day your valiant strain,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And fortune led you well. You have the captives
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who were the opposites of this day's strife.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We do require them of you, so to use them 3170
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As we shall find their merits and our safety
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        May equally determine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. Sir, I thought it fit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To send the old and miserable King
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To some retention and appointed guard; 3175
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To pluck the common bosom on his side
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And turn our impress'd lances in our eyes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Which do command them. With him I sent the Queen,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My reason all the same; and they are ready 3180
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To-morrow, or at further space, t' appear
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Where you shall hold your session. At this time
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        We sweat and bleed: the friend hath lost his friend;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs'd
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        By those that feel their sharpness. 3185
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The question of Cordelia and her father
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Requires a fitter place.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Sir, by your patience,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I hold you but a subject of this war,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not as a brother. 3190
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. That's as we list to grace him.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Methinks our pleasure might have been demanded
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Bore the commission of my place and person,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The which immediacy may well stand up 3195
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And call itself your brother.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. Not so hot!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        In his own grace he doth exalt himself
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        More than in your addition.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. In my rights 3200
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        By me invested, he compeers the best.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. That were the most if he should husband you.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Jesters do oft prove prophets.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. Holla, holla!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That eye that told you so look'd but asquint. 3205
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Lady, I am not well; else I should answer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        From a full-flowing stomach. General,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Witness the world that I create thee here 3210
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My lord and master.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. Mean you to enjoy him?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. The let-alone lies not in your good will.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. Nor in thine, lord.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Half-blooded fellow, yes. 3215
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. [to Edmund] Let the drum strike, and prove my title thine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Stay yet; hear reason. Edmund, I arrest thee
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On capital treason; and, in thine attaint,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        This gilded serpent [points to Goneril]. For your claim, fair
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        sister, 3220
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I bar it in the interest of my wife.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        'Tis she is subcontracted to this lord,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And I, her husband, contradict your banes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If you will marry, make your loves to me;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My lady is bespoke. 3225
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. An interlude!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Thou art arm'd, Gloucester. Let the trumpet sound.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If none appear to prove upon thy person
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        There is my pledge [throws down a glove]! I'll prove it on thy 3230
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        heart,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Than I have here proclaim'd thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. Sick, O, sick!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Goneril. [aside] If not, I'll ne'er trust medicine. 3235
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. There's my exchange [throws down a glove]. What in the world
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        he is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That names me traitor, villain-like he lies.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Call by thy trumpet. He that dares approach,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        On him, on you, who not? I will maintain 3240
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My truth and honour firmly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. A herald, ho!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. A herald, ho, a herald!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Trust to thy single virtue; for thy soldiers,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        All levied in my name, have in my name 3245
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Took their discharge.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Regan. My sickness grows upon me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. She is not well. Convey her to my tent.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        [Exit Regan, led. Enter a Herald.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Come hither, herald. Let the trumpet sound, 3250
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And read out this.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Captain. Sound, trumpet! A trumpet sounds.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Herald. [reads] 'If any man of quality or degree within the lists of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        the army will maintain upon Edmund, supposed Earl of Gloucester,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        that he is a manifold traitor, let him appear by the third sound 3255
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        of the trumpet. He is bold in his defence.'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. Sound! First trumpet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Herald. Again! Second trumpet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Herald. Again! Third trumpet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Trumpet answers within.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enter Edgar, armed, at the third sound, a Trumpet before him.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Ask him his purposes, why he appears
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Upon this call o' th' trumpet.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Herald. What are you?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Your name, your quality? and why you answer 3265
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This present summons?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Know my name is lost;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                By treason's tooth bare-gnawn and canker-bit.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yet am I noble as the adversary
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I come to cope. 3270
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Which is that adversary?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. What's he that speaks for Edmund Earl of Gloucester?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edmund. Himself. What say'st thou to him?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Draw thy sword,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That, if my speech offend a noble heart, 3275
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thy arm may do thee justice. Here is mine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Behold, it is the privilege of mine honours,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                My oath, and my profession. I protest-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Maugre thy strength, youth, place, and eminence,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Despite thy victor sword and fire-new fortune, 3280
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thy valour and thy heart- thou art a traitor;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Conspirant 'gainst this high illustrious prince;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And from th' extremest upward of thy head
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To the descent and dust beneath thy foot, 3285
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                A most toad-spotted traitor. Say thou 'no,'
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This sword, this arm, and my best spirits are bent
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thou liest.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edmund. In wisdom I should ask thy name; 3290
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                But since thy outside looks so fair and warlike,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And that thy tongue some say of breeding breathes,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                What safe and nicely I might well delay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                By rule of knighthood, I disdain and spurn.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Back do I toss those treasons to thy head; 3295
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                With the hell-hated lie o'erwhelm thy heart;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Which- for they yet glance by and scarcely bruise-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This sword of mine shall give them instant way
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Where they shall rest for ever. Trumpets, speak!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Alarums. Fight. [Edmund falls.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Albany. Save him, save him!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Goneril. This is mere practice, Gloucester.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    By th' law of arms thou wast not bound to answer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    An unknown opposite. Thou art not vanquish'd,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    But cozen'd and beguil'd. 3305
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Albany. Shut your mouth, dame,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Or with this paper shall I stop it. [Shows her her letter to
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Edmund.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    - [To Edmund]. Hold, sir.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    [To Goneril] Thou worse than any name, read thine own evil.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    No tearing, lady! I perceive you know it. 3310
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Goneril. Say if I do- the laws are mine, not thine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Who can arraign me for't?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Albany. Most monstrous!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Know'st thou this paper?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Goneril. Ask me not what I know. Exit. 3315
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Duke of Albany. Go after her. She's desperate; govern her.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    [Exit an Officer.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. What, you have charg'd me with, that have I done,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And more, much more. The time will bring it out.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        'Tis past, and so am I.- But what art thou 3320
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That hast this fortune on me? If thou'rt noble,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do forgive thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Let's exchange charity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If more, the more th' hast wrong'd me. 3325
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My name is Edgar and thy father's son.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Make instruments to scourge us.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The dark and vicious place where thee he got
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cost him his eyes. 3330
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. Th' hast spoken right; 'tis true.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The wheel is come full circle; I am here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Methought thy very gait did prophesy
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A royal nobleness. I must embrace thee.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Let sorrow split my heart if ever I 3335
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Did hate thee, or thy father!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Worthy prince, I know't.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Where have you hid yourself?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        How have you known the miseries of your father?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. By nursing them, my lord. List a brief tale; 3340
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And when 'tis told, O that my heart would burst!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The bloody proclamation to escape
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That follow'd me so near (O, our lives' sweetness!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That with the pain of death would hourly die
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Rather than die at once!) taught me to shift 3345
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Into a madman's rags, t' assume a semblance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That very dogs disdain'd; and in this habit
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Met I my father with his bleeding rings,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Their precious stones new lost; became his guide,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Led him, begg'd for him, sav'd him from despair; 3350
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Never (O fault!) reveal'd myself unto him
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Until some half hour past, when I was arm'd,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Not sure, though hoping of this good success,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I ask'd his blessing, and from first to last
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Told him my pilgrimage. But his flaw'd heart 3355
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (Alack, too weak the conflict to support!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        'Twixt two extremes of passion, joy and grief,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Burst smilingly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edmund. This speech of yours hath mov'd me,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And shall perchance do good; but speak you on; 3360
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        You look as you had something more to say.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. If there be more, more woful, hold it in;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        For I am almost ready to dissolve,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hearing of this.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. This would have seem'd a period 3365
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To such as love not sorrow; but another,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        To amplify too much, would make much more,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And top extremity.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Whilst I was big in clamour, came there a man,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who, having seen me in my worst estate, 3370
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Who 'twas that so endur'd, with his strong arms
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He fastened on my neck, and bellowed out
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As he'd burst heaven; threw him on my father;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him 3375
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That ever ear receiv'd; which in recounting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Began to crack. Twice then the trumpets sounded,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And there I left him tranc'd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. But who was this? 3380
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Kent, sir, the banish'd Kent; who in disguise
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Followed his enemy king and did him service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Improper for a slave.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enter a Gentleman with a bloody knife.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Gentleman. Help, help! O, help! 3385
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. What kind of help?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. Speak, man.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. What means that bloody knife?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Gentleman. 'Tis hot, it smokes.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It came even from the heart of- O! she's dead! 3390
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. Who dead? Speak, man.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Gentleman. Your lady, sir, your lady! and her sister
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            By her is poisoned; she hath confess'd it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edmund. I was contracted to them both. All three
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now marry in an instant. 3395

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Enter Kent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. Here comes Kent.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Produce their bodies, be they alive or dead.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                [Exit Gentleman.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                This judgement of the heavens, that makes us tremble 3400
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Touches us not with pity. O, is this he?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The time will not allow the compliment
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That very manners urges.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. I am come
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To bid my king and master aye good night. 3405
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Is he not here?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Great thing of us forgot!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Speak, Edmund, where's the King? and where's Cordelia?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                [The bodies of Goneril and Regan are brought in.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Seest thou this object, Kent? 3410
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Earl of Kent. Alack, why thus?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edmund. Yet Edmund was belov'd.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The one the other poisoned for my sake,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                And after slew herself.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Even so. Cover their faces. 3415
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edmund. I pant for life. Some good I mean to do,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                (Be brief in't) to the castle; for my writ
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Is on the life of Lear and on Cordelia.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Nay, send in time. 3420
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Run, run, O, run!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edgar. To who, my lord? Who has the office? Send
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Thy token of reprieve.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edmund. Well thought on. Take my sword;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Give it the Captain. 3425
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. Haste thee for thy life. [Exit Edgar.]
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Edmund. He hath commission from thy wife and me
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To hang Cordelia in the prison and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                To lay the blame upon her own despair
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                That she fordid herself. 3430
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Duke of Albany. The gods defend her! Bear him hence awhile.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                [Edmund is borne off.]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Enter Lear, with Cordelia [dead] in his arms, [Edgar, Captain, and others following].

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stone.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Had I your tongues and eyes, I'ld use them so 3435
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That heaven's vault should crack. She's gone for ever!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I know when one is dead, and when one lives.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        She's dead as earth. Lend me a looking glass.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Why, then she lives. 3440
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Is this the promis'd end?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Or image of that horror?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. Fall and cease!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. This feather stirs; she lives! If it be so,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows 3445
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That ever I have felt.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. O my good master!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. Prithee away!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. 'Tis noble Kent, your friend.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all! 3450
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I might have sav'd her; now she's gone for ever!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cordelia, Cordelia! stay a little. Ha!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        What is't thou say'st, Her voice was ever soft,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Gentle, and low- an excellent thing in woman.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I kill'd the slave that was a-hanging thee. 3455
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Captain. 'Tis true, my lords, he did.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. Did I not, fellow?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have seen the day, with my good biting falchion
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I would have made them skip. I am old now,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And these same crosses spoil me. Who are you? 3460
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mine eyes are not o' th' best. I'll tell you straight.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. If fortune brag of two she lov'd and hated,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        One of them we behold.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. This' a dull sight. Are you not Kent?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. The same- 3465
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Your servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        He'll strike, and quickly too. He's dead and rotten.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. No, my good lord; I am the very man-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. I'll see that straight. 3470
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. That from your first of difference and decay
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Have followed your sad steps.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. You're welcome hither.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Earl of Kent. Nor no man else! All's cheerless, dark, and deadly.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Your eldest daughters have fordone themselves, 3475
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        And desperately are dead.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Lear. Ay, so I think.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Duke of Albany. He knows not what he says; and vain is it
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        That we present us to him.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Edgar. Very bootless. 3480

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Enter a Captain.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Captain. Edmund is dead, my lord.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. That's but a trifle here.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            You lords and noble friends, know our intent.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            What comfort to this great decay may come 3485
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shall be applied. For us, we will resign,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            During the life of this old Majesty,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            To him our absolute power; [to Edgar and Kent] you to your
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            rights;
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            With boot, and such addition as your honours 3490
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Have more than merited.- All friends shall taste
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The wages of their virtue, and all foes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The cup of their deservings.- O, see, see!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, 3495
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            And thou no breath at all? Thou'lt come no more,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Never, never, never, never, never!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Pray you undo this button. Thank you, sir.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Do you see this? Look on her! look! her lips!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Look there, look there! He dies. 3500
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. He faints! My lord, my lord!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. Break, heart; I prithee break!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. Look up, my lord.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. Vex not his ghost. O, let him pass! He hates him
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            That would upon the rack of this tough world 3505
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stretch him out longer.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Edgar. He is gone indeed.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. The wonder is, he hath endur'd so long.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            He but usurp'd his life.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. Bear them from hence. Our present business 3510
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Is general woe. [To Kent and Edgar] Friends of my soul, you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            twain
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Rule in this realm, and the gor'd state sustain.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Earl of Kent. I have a journey, sir, shortly to go.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            My master calls me; I must not say no. 3515
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Duke of Albany. The weight of this sad time we must obey,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The oldest have borne most; we that are young
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Shall never see so much, nor live so long.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Exeunt with a dead march.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                THE END

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