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This prophecy Merlin shall make; for I live before
A Room in Gloster's Castle.
Enter GLOSTER and EDMUND. Glo. Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural dealing: When I desired their leave that I might pity him, they took from me the use of mine own house; charged me, on pain of their perpetual 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: 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. 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.
Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool.
enter: The tyranny of the open night's too rough For nature to endure.
[ Storm still. Lear.
Let me alone. Kent. Good my lord, enter here. Lear.
Wilt break my heart? Kent. I'd rather break mine own: Good my lord,
enter. Lear. Thou think'st 'tis much, that this conten
tious storm Invades us to the skin: so 'tis to thee; But where the greater malady is fix'd, The lesser is scarce felt. Thou’dst shun a bear: But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea, Thou’dst meet the bear i’ the mouth. When the
mind's free, The body's delicate: the tempest in my mind Doth from my senses take all feeling else, Save what beats there.— Filial ingratitude ! Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand, For lifting food to't?-But I will punish home :No, I will weep no more.-In such a night To shut me out!—Pour on; I will endure:In such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril !Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all, O, that way madness lies; let me shun that; No more of that,Kent.
Good my lord, enter here. Lear. Pr'ythee, go in thyself; seek thine own ease; This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
On things would hurt me more.—But I'll go in:
poverty, Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep.
[Fool goes in. Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are, That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides, Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en Too little care of this! Take physick, pomp; Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel; That thou may'st shake the superflux to them, And show the heavens more just. Edg. [Within.) Fathom and half, fathom and
half! Poor Tom!
[The Fool runs out from the Hovel. Fool. Come not in here, nuncle, here's a spirit. Help me, help me!
Kent. Give me thy hand.-Who's there?
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, and halters in his pew; set ratsbane by his porridge; made him proud of heart, to ride on a bay trottinghorse over four-inched bridges, to course his own shadow for a traitor:-Bless thy five wits !5 Tom's a-cold.-0, 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? Did’st thou give them
all? · Fool. Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had been all shamed. Lear. Now, all the plagues that in the pendulous
air Hang fated o'er men's faults, light on thy daughters!
Kent. He hath no daughters, sir.
Edg. Pillicock sat on pillicock's-hill;--
Fool. This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.
Edg. Take heed o’the foul fiend: Obey thy pa
1- Bless thy five wits !] So the five senses were called by our old writers.
6- taking!) To take is to blast; or strike with malignant influence.
1- pelican daughters.] The young pelican is fabled to suck the mother's blood.
rents; keep 'thy word justly; 'swear not; commit not with man's sworn spouse; set not thy sweet heart on proud array: Tom's a-cold. . Lear. What hast thou been?
Edg. A serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curled my hair; wore gloves in my cap, 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 rustsing 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.
[Tearing off his Clothes. Fool. Pr’ythee, nuncle, be contented; this is a
4. you je bare, formodated ed! Thom
8 wore gloves in my cap,] i. e. His mistress's favours : which was the fashion of that time. :9 light of ear,] Credulous of evil, ready to receive malicious reports.