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Reg. Good sir, to th' purpose.

Lear. Who put my man i'th' stocks?

Corn. What trumpet's that?

[Trumpet sounds.

Reg. I know't, my sister's; this confirms her letters.

Enter Oswald.

Sir, is your lady come!

Lear. More torture still!

Out, varlet, from my sight!

Corn. What means your grace!

[Strikes OSWALD.

Lear. Who stock'd my servant? Regan, I have


Thou didst not know it.

[Trumpet sounds.

Enter Goneril and Attendants.

Who comes here? Oh, Heav'ns!

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!
Why, Gorgon, dost thou come to haunt me here ?
Art not asham'd to look upon this beard?
Darkness upon my eyes, they play me false !
O, Regan, wilt thou take her by the hand?

Gon. Why not by th' hand, sir? How have I offended?

All's not offence that indiscretion finds,

And dotage terms so.

Lear. Heart, thou art too tough!

Reg. I pray you, sir, being old, confess you are so. If, till the expiration of your month,

You will return, and sojourn with our sister,
Dismissing half your train, come then to me;
I'm now from home, and out of that provision
That shall be needful for your entertainment.
Lear. Return with her, and fifty knights dismiss'd ?
No, rather I'll abjure all roofs, and chuse
To be companion to the midnight wolf,

My naked head expos'd to th' merciless air,
Than have my smallest wants supply'd by her.
Gon. At your choice, sir.

Lear. Now, I pr'ythee, daughter, do not make me mad!

I will not trouble thee, my child; farewell;
Let shame come when it will, I do not call it ;
I do not bid the thunder bearer strike,
Nor tell tales of thee to avenging Heaven.
Mend when thou canst; be better at thy leisure ;—
I can be patient, I can stay with Regan,

I, and my hundred knights.

Reg. Your pardon, sir;

I look'd not for you yet, nor am provided
For your fit welcome.

Lear. Is this well spoken, now?

Reg. My sister treats you fair. What! fifty followers?

Is it not well? What should you need of more?
Gon. Why might not you, my lord, receive attend-


From those whom she calls servants, or from mine? Reg. Why not, my lord? If then they chance to

slack you,

We could control them.—If you come to me,

For now I see the danger, I intreat you

To bring but five and twenty; to no more
Will I give place.

Lear. I gave you all!

Reg. And in good time

you gave it.

Lear. Hold, now, my temper! stand this bolt unmov'd,

And I am thunder proof.

The wicked, when compar'd with the more wicked,
Seem beautiful; and not to be the worst,

Stands in some rank of praise. Now, Goneril,
Thou art innocent again, I'll go with thee;
Thy fifty yet does double five and twenty,
And thou art twice her love.

Gon. Hear me, my lord.

[It begins to rain.

What need you five and twenty, ten, or five,
To follow in a house, where twice so many
Have a command t' attend you?

Reg. What need one?

[Distant Thunder.

Lear. Heav'ns drop your patience down!
You see me here, ye 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 cheek!-No, you unnatural hags,
I will have such revenges on you both,

That all the world shall—I will do such things,—
What they are, yet I know not; but they shall be
The terrors of the earth.—You think I'll weep;
No, I'll not weep :—

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


[Exeunt King Lear, Kent and the Knights—
Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, Gloster,
Oswald, Captain of the Guards, and
Attendants, into the Castle.



A desert Heath.—Rain—Thunder -Lightning.

Enter King Lear and Kent.

Lear. Blow, winds, and burst your cheeks! rage louder yet!

Fantastic lightning, singe, singe my white head!
Spout cataracts, and hurricanoes fall,


you have drown'd the towns and palaces

Of proud, ingrateful man!

Kent. Not all my best intreaties can persuade him Into some needful shelter, or to 'bide

This poor slight cov'ring on his aged head,

Expos'd to this wild war of earth and heav'n.


Lear. Rumble thy fill! fight whirlwind, rain and


Not fire, wind, rain, or thunder, are my daughters:
I tax not you, ye elements, with unkindness:
I never gave you kingdoms, call'd you children;
You owe me no obedience.—Then let fall

Your horrible pleasure!—Here I stand your slave,
A poor, infirm, weak, and despis'd old man.—


Yet I will call you servile ministers,

That have with two pernicious daughters join'd
Your high engendered battle 'gainst a head

So old and white as this. Oh! oh! 'tis foul.
Kent. Hard by, sir, is a hovel, that will lend
Some shelter from this tempest.

Lear. I will forget my nature.

What! So

kin a fath r!— [Rain—

hunde —L ghtn n . Ay, there's the point.

Kent. Consider, good my liege, things, that love night,

Love not such nights as this; these wrathful skies
Gallow the very wanderers of the dark,

And make them keep their caves: such drenching rain,

Such sheets of fire, such claps of horrid thunder, Such groans of roaring winds, have ne'er been known.

Lear. Let the great gods,


That keep this dreadful pother o'er our heads,

Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch, That hast within thee undiscover'd crimes !—

Hide, hide, thou murd'rer, hide thy bloody hand!— Thou perjur'd villain, holy hypocrite,

That drink'st the widow's tears, sigh now, and ask These dreadful summoners' grace!I am a man More sinn'd against, than sinning.

Kent. Good sir, to th' hovel.

Lear. My wits begin to turn.

Come on, my boy; how dost, my boy? art cold?
I'm cold myself; show me this straw, my fellow;
The art of our necessity is strange,

And can make vile things precious.—my poor knave,
Cold as I am at heart, I've one place there
That's sorry yet for thee.


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