Imágenes de páginas

Reg. I pray you, father, being weak, seem so. If, till the expiration of your month, You will return and sojourn with my sister, Dismissing half your train, come then to me; I am now from home, and out of that provision Which shall be needful for your entertainment. Lear. Return to her, and fifty men dismiss'd? No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose To wagel against the enmity o'the air; To be a comrade with the wolf and owl,Necessity's sharp pinch!-Return with her? Why, the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took Our youngest born, I could as well be brought To knee his throne, and, squire-like, pension beg To keep base life afoot :-Return with her? Persuade me rather to be slave and sumpter To this detested groom. [Looking on the Steward. Gon. At your choice, sir. Lear. I pr'ythee, daughter, do not make me mad; I will not trouble thee, my child; farewell: We'll no more meet, no more see one another :But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter; Or, rather, a disease that's in my flesh, Which I must needs call mine: thou art a boil, A plague-sore, an embossed2 carbuncle, In my corrupted blood. But I'll not chide thee; Let shame come when it will, I do not call it : I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot, Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove: Mend, when thou canst; be better, at thy leisure : I can be patient; I can stay with Regan;

I, and my hundred knights.


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

Lear. Is this well spoken now? Reg. I dare avouch it, sir: What, fifty followers? Is it not well? What should you need of more? Yea, or so many? sith3 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.

Gon. Why might not you, my lord, receive at

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

We could control them: If you will come to me
(For now I spy a danger,) I entreat you
To bring but five and twenty; to no more
Will I give place or notice.

Lear. I gave you all-

And in good time you gave it.
Lear. Made you my guardians, my depositaries;
But kept a reservation to be follow'd
With such a number: What, must I come to you
With five and twenty, Regan? said you so?

Reg. And speak it again, my lord; no more with me.

Lear. Those wicked creatures yet do look wellfavour'd,

When others are more wicked; not being the worst,
Stands in some rank of praise :—I'll go with thee;
[To Goneril.
Thy fifty yet doth double five and twenty,
And thou art twice her love.

Gon. Hear me, my lord; What need five and twenty, ten, or five, (1) War. (2) Swelling. (3) Since. (4) Instigate.


To follow in a house, where twice so many Have a command to tend you?


What need one?

Lear. O, reason not the need: our basest beggars 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, 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 stir these daughters' hearts
Against their father, fool me not so much
To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger!
O, let not women's weapons, water-drops,
Stain my man's cheeks!-No, you unnatural hags,
I will have such revenges on you both,
That all the world shall-I will de such things,
What they are, yet I know not; but they shall be
The terrors of the earth. You think, I'll weep;
No, I'll not weep:-

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

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

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

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

So am I purpos'd.
Whe is my lord of Gloster?
Re-enter Gloster.

Corn. Follow'd the old man forth :-he is return'd.

Glo. The king is in high rage.

Whither is he going?
Glo. He calls to horse; but will I know not

Corn. 'Tis best to give him way; he leads himself.

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Gent. One minded like the weather, most un- You cataracts, and hurricanoes, spout

Kent. I know you; where's the king?
Gent. Contending with the fretful element :
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


The lion and the belly-pinched wolf
Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs,
And bids what will take all.


Gent. None but the fool; His heart-struck injuries. Kent.

But who is with him? who labours to out-jest

Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,
Catch in their fury, and make nothing of:
Strives in his little world of man to out-scorn
The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.

This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would nuncle, in and ask thy daughters' blessing: here's a night pities neither wise men nor fools.

Lear. Rumble thy belly full! Spit, fire! spout, rain !

Sir, I do know you;
And dare, upon the warrant of my art,2
Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,
Although as yet the face of it be cover'd
With utual cunning, 'twixt Albany and Cornwall;
Who have (as who have not, that their great stars
Thron'd and set high?) servants, who seem no less
Which are to France the spies and speculations
Intelligent of our state; what hath been seen,
Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes;
Or the hard rein which both of them have borne
Against the old kind king; or something deeper,
Whereof, perchance, these are but furnishings ;4-
[But, true it is, from France there comes a power
Into this scatter'd kingdom; who already,
Wise in our negligence, have secret feet
In some of our best ports, and are at point
To show their open banner.-Now to you:
If on my credit you dare build so far
To make your speed to Dover, you shall find
Some that will thank you, making just report
Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow
The king hath cause to plain.

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

Gent. I will talk further with you.


No, do not. For confirmation that I am much more Than my out wall, open this and take purse, 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 fellow5 is That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm! I will go seek the king.

Gent. Give me your hand: Have you no more to say?

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.
[Exeunt severally.
SCENE II.-Another part of the heath. Storm
continues. Enter Lear and Fool.
Lear. Blow, wind, and crack your cheeks! rage!


(1) Whose dugs are drawn dry by its young.

Which teaches us to find the mind's construction in the face."

(3) Snuffs are dislikes, and packings, underhand contrivances.

(4) Samples.

(5) Companion.

Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the cocks!

You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt couriers to oak-cleaving thunder-bolts,
Singe my white bead! And thou, all-shaking

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

Fool. O nuncle, court holy-water in a dry house is better than this rain-water out o'door.-Good

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;9 why then, let fall
Your horrible pleasure; here I stand, your slave,
A poor, infirm, weak, and despis'd old man :—
But yet I call you servile ministers,
That have with two pernicious daughters join'd
Your high-engender'd battles, 'gainst a head
So old and white as this. O! O! 'tis foul!
Fool. He that has a house to put his head in, bes
a good head-piece.

The cod-piece that will house,
Before the head has any,
The head and he shall louse;—
So beggars marry many.
The man that makes his toe

What he his heart should make,
Shall of a corn cry wo,

And turn his sleep to wake.

-for there was never yet fair woman, but she made mouths in a glass.

Enter Kent.

Lear. No, I will be the pattern of all patience, I will say nothing.

Kent. Who's there?

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

Kent. Alas, sir, are you here? things that love

Love not such nights as these; the wrathful skies
Gallow to the very wanderers of the dark,
And make them keep their caves: Since I was man,
Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,
Such of roaring wind and rain, I never
Remember to have heard: man's nature cannot
The affliction, nor the fear.


Let the great goda,
That keep this dreadful pother!l 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;
Thou perjur'd, and thou simular12 man of virtue,
That art incestuous: Caitiff, to pieces shake,
That under covert and convenient seeming13
Hast practis'd on man's life!-Close pent-up guilts,
Rive your concealing continents, and cry
These dreadful summoners grace. 14-I am a man,

(6) Quick as thought. (7) Avant couriers, French.
(8) A proverbial phrase for fair words.
(9) Obedience. (10) Scare or frighten.
(11) Blustering noise. (12) Counterfeit.
(13) Appearance. (14) Favour.

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


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


Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my
That's sorry yet for thee.

Fool. He that has a little tiny wit,—

With heigh, ho, the wind and the rain,! Must make content with his fortunes fit; For the rain it raineth every day.2

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Lear. True, my good boy.-Come, bring us to
this hovel. [Exeunt Lear and Kent.
Fool. This is a brave night to cool a courtezan.-
I'll speak a 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:
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'the field;
And bawds and whores do churches build;
Then shall the realm of Albion

Come to great confusion.

Then comes the time, who lives to see't,'
That going shall be us'd with feet.
This prophecy Merlin shall make ; for I live before
SCENE III.—A room in Gloster's castle. Enter

his time.

Gloster and Edmund.

Edm. This courtesy, forbid thee, shall the duke|
Instantly know; and of that letter too :-
This seems a fair deserving, and must draw me
That which my father loses; no less than all:

The younger rises, when the old doth fall. [Exit.
SCENE IV-A part of the heath, with a hovel.
Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool.

(1) Inquiring.

(2) Part of the Clown's song in Twelfth Night.

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[Storm still.


Let me alone.
Kent. Good my lord, enter here.
Wilt break my heart?
Kent. I'd rather break mine own: Good my lord,

Lear. Thou think'st 'tis much, that this conten-
tious storm

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

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


Good my lord, enter here. Lear. Pr'ythee, go in thyself; seek thine own



Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep.-
Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
[Fool goes in.
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides,
From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en

Glo. Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this un-Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp; natural dealing: When I desired their leave that I Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel; might pity him, they took from me the use of mine That thou may'st shake the superflux to them, own house; charged me, on pain of their perpetual And show the heavens more just. displeasure, neither to speak of him, entreat for him, nor any way sustain him.

Edm. Most savage, and unnatural!

Glo. Go to say you nothing: There is division between the dukes; and a worse matter than that: I have received a letter this night;--'tis dangerous to be spoken;-I have locked the letter in my closet: these injuries the king now bears will be revenged home; there is part of a power already footed:3 we must incline to the king. I will seek him, and privily relieve him: go you, and maintain talk with the duke, that my charity be not of him perceived: If he ask for me, I am ill, and gone to bed. If I die for it, as no less is threatened me, the king my old master must be relieved. There is some strange thing toward, Edmund; pray you, be careful. Exit.

This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
On things would hurt me more.-But I'll go in :
In, boy; go first.-[To the Fool.] you houseless

Edg. [Within.] Fathom and half, fathom and half! Poor Tom!

[The Fool runs out from the hovel. Fool. Come not in here, nuncle, here's a spirit. Help me, help me!

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

Kent. What art thou that dost grumble there
i'the straw?
Come forth."

Enter Edgar, disguised as a madman.
Edg. Away! the foul fiend follows me!-
Through the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind.-
Humph! go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.

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

Edg. Who gives any thing to poor Tom? whom the foul fiend hath led through fire and through flame, through ford and whirlpool, over bog and quagmire; that hath laid knives under his pillow,

(3) A force already landed.

and halters in his pew; set ratsbane by his porridge; wild field were like an old lecher's heart: a small made him proud of heart, to ride on a bay trotting-spark, all the rest of his body cold.-Look, here horse over four-inched bridges, to course his own comes a walking fire. shadow for a traitor:-Bless thy five wits! Tom's a-cold.-O, do de, do de, do de.-Bless thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting, and taking! Do poor Tom some charity, whom the foul fiend vexes: There could I have him now,-and there,-and there, and there again, and there. [Storm continues.

Lear. What, have his daughters brought him to this pass? Could'st thou save nothing? Didst thou give them all?

Fool. Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had been all shamed.

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To such a lowness, but his unkind daughters.-
Is it the fashion, that discarded fathers
Should have thus little mercy their flesh?
Judicious punishment! 'twas this flesh begot
Those pelican daughters.

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

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

Edg. A serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curled my hair; wore gloves in my cap,2 served the lust of my mistress's heart, and did the act of darkness with her; swore as many oaths as I spake words, and broke them in the sweet face of heaven: one, that slept in the contriving of lust, and waked to do it: Wine loved I deeply; dice dearly; and in woman, out-paramoured 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 women: Keep thy foot out of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy pen from lenders' books, and defy the foul fiend. -Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind: Says suum, mun, ha no nonny, dolphin, my boy, my boy, sessa; let him trot by.

[Storm still continues. Lear. Why, thou were better in thy grave, than to answer with thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies.-Is man no more than this? Consider him well: Thou owest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume :Ha! here's three of us are sophisticated!-Thou art the thing itself: unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art-Off, off, you lendings:-Come; unbutton here.3 [Tearing off his clothes. Fool. Pr'ythee, nuncle, be contented; this is a naughty night to swim in.-Now a little fire in a

(1) To take is to blast, or strike with malignant influence.

Edg. Take heed of the foul fiend: Obey thy parents; keep thy word justly; swear not; com-Beware my follower:-Peace, Smolkin;10 peace, mit not with man's sworn spouse; set not thy sweet heart on proud array: Tom's a-cold.

thou fiend!

Lear. What hast thou been?

(2) It was the custom to wear gloves in the hat, as the favour of a mistress.

(3) The words unbutton here, are probably only a marginal direction crept into the matter. (4) Diseases of the eye.

Edg. This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet: he begins at curfew, and walks till the first cock; he gives the web and the pin,4 squints the eye, and makes the hare-lip; mildews the white wheat, and hurts the poor creature of earth.

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

And her troth plight,

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

Enter Gloster, with a torch.

Lear. What's he?

Kent. Who's there? What is't you seek? Glo. What are you there? Your names? Edg Poor Tom; that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the tadpole, the wall-newt, and the water;8 that in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cow-dung for sallets; swallows the old rat, and the ditch-dog; drinks the green mantle of the standing pool; who is whipped from tything to tything, and stocked, punished, and imprisoned; who hath had three suits to his back, six shirts to his body, horse to ride, and weapon to wear,

But mice, and rats, and such small deer,
Have been Tom's food for seven long year.

Glo. What, hath your grace no better company? Edg. The prince of darkness is a gentleman; Modo he's called, and Mahu.11

Glo. Our flesh and blood, my lord, is grown so

That it doth hate what gets it.
Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold.

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

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

Lear. I'll talk a word with this same learned

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

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

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 Come hissing in upon them :

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

Lear. A king, a king!

Edg. The foul fiend bites my back.

Fool. He's mad, that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's

Lear. It shall be done, I will arraign them straight: :

Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer ;

[To Edgar. Thou, sapient sir, sit here. [To the Fool.]-Now, you she foxes!

Edg. Look, where he stands and glares !3— Wantest thou eyes at trial, madam?

Come o'er the bourn, Bessy, to me:→
Fool. Her boat hath a leak,

And she must not speak

Why she dares not come over to thee.

of a nightingale. Hopdance cries in Tom's belly, Edg. The foul fiend haunts poor Tom in the voice for two white herrings. Croak not, black angel; I have no food for thee.

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 the evidence.

Thou robed man of justice, take thy place;
[To Edgar
And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity, [To the Fool.
Bench by his side:-You are of the commission,
you too.
[To Kent,

Edg. Let us deal justly.

Sleepest, or wakest thou, jolly shepherd?
Thy sheep be in the corn;

And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,
Thy sheep shall take no harm.

Pur! the cat is grey.

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

Corn. Go with me to the duchess.

Edm. If the matter of this paper be certain, you have mighty business in hand.

Corn. True, or false, it hath made thee earl ofed the poor king her father.

Gloster. Seek out where thy father is, that he may be ready for our apprehension.

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

Corn. I will lay trust upon thee; and thou shalt find a dearer father in my love. [Exeunt. SCENE VI-A chamber in a farm-house, adjoining the castle. Enter Gloster, Lear, Kent, Fool, and Edgar.

Glo. 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. Kent. All the power of his wits has given way to his impatience:-The gods reward kindness! [Exit Gloster. Edg. Frateretto calls me; and tells me, Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent,2 and beware the foul fiend.


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

What store her heart is made of.—Stop her there!
Arms, arms, sword, fire!-Corruption in the place!
False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?
Edg. Bless thy five wits!

Kent. O pity!-Sir, where is the patience now,
That you so oft have boasted to retain ?

Edg. My tears begin to take his part so much, They'll mar my counterfeiting. [Aside.

Lear. The little dogs and all,

Tray, Blanch, and Sweet-heart, see, they bark at me.
Edg. Tom will throw his head at them :-
Avaunt, you curs!

Be thy mouth or black or white,
Tooth that poisons if it bite;
Mastiff, grey-hound, mongrel grim,
Hound, or spaniel, brach, or lym ;5
Or bobtail tike, or trundle-tail;
Tom will make them weep and wail:

(1) Child is an old term for knight.

(2) Addressed to the fool, who was anciently man, who thinks he sees the fiend. called an innocent.

(3) Edgar is speaking in the character of a mad

(4) Brook or rivulet. (5) A blood-hound.

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