« PreviousContinue »
To shut me out!--Pour on, I will endure-
Kent. See, my lord, here's the entrance.
And pass it all I'll pray, and then I'll sleep.
Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
Edg. [In the Hovel.] Five fathom and a half.—
Kent. What art thou that dost grumble there i' th'
Enter Edgar, disguised.
Edg. Away! the foul fiend follows me—Through the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind-Mum, go to thy bed and warm thee--Ha! what do I see? By all my griefs, the poor old king bare-headed, And drench'd in this foul storm! Professing syrens, Are all your protestations come to this?
Lear. Tell me, fellow, didst thou give all to thy two daughters ?
Edg. Who gives any thing to poor Tom, whom the foul fiend has led through fire and through flame, through bushes and bogs? that has laid knives under his pillow, and halters in his pew; that has made him proud of heart to ride on a bay trotting horse over
four-inched bridges, to course his own shadow for a traitor?——Bless thy five wits! Tom's a-cold. Bless thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting, and taking! Do poor Tom some charity, whom the foul fiend vexes. Sa, sa; there I could have him now, and there, and there again.
Lear. What, have his daughters brought him to this pass?
Couldst thou save nothing? Didst thou give them all? Kent. He has no daughter, sir.
Lear. Death! traitor, nothing could have subdu'd
To such a lowness, but his unkind daughters.
Edg. Pillicock sat upon pillicock hill; hallo, hallo,
Lear. Is it the fashion that discarded fathers Should have such little mercy on their flesh ? Judicious punishment! 'twas this flesh begot Those pelican daughters.
Edg. Take heed of the 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. (Wind and Rain.] 'Tom's a cold.
Lear. What hast thou been?
Edg. A serving-man, proud of heart; that curled my hair; used perfume and washes; that served the lust of my mistress's heart, and did the act of darkness with her; swore as many oaths as I spoke words; and broke them all in the sweet face of Heaven: Let not the paint, nor the patch, nor the rustling of silks, betray thy poor heart to woman; keep thy foot out of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy pen from creditors' books, and defy the foul fiend. (Wind and Rain.] Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind.—Ha, no nonny, dolphin, my boy, my boy, sessa; let him trot by.
Lear. Death! thou wert better in thy grave, than thus to answer with thy uncovered body this extremity
of the sky. Yet consider him well, and man's no more
I'll be my original self; quick, quick, uncase me.
Lear. One point I had forgot; what is your name! Edg. Poor Tom, that eats the swimming frog, the wall-newt and the water-newt; that in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cow dung for sallads, swallows the old rat and the ditch dog; that drinks the green mantle off the standing pool; that's whipt from tything to tything; that has three suits to his back, six shirts to his body;
Horse to ride, and weapon to wear;
But rats and mice, and such small deer,
Beware my follower; peace, Smolkid, peace, thou foul fiend!
Lear. One word more, but be sure true counsel; tell me, is a madman a gentleman, or a yeoman? Kent. I fear'd 'twou'd come to this; his wits are gone.
Edg. Frateretto calls me, and tells me, Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.
Lear. Right, ha! ha-was it not pleasant to have a thousand with red hot spits come hissing in upon them?
Edg. My tears begin to take his part so much, They mar my counterfeiting.
Lear. The little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart, see, they bark at me.
Edg. Tom will throw his head at 'em : 'vaunt, ye
Be thy mouth or black, or white,
Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled.—See, see,
Come, march to wakes, and fairs, and market towns. -Poor Tom, thy horn is dry.
Lear. You, sir, I entertain you for one of my hundred; only I do not like the fashion of your garments; you'll say they're Persian; but no matter, let 'em be changed.
Edg. This is the foul Flibbertigibbet; he begins at curfew, and walks till the first cock; he gives the web, and the pin; knits the elflock; squints the eye, and makes the hare-lip; mildews the white wheat, and hurts the poor creatures of the earth.
Saint Withold footed thrice the wold,
Ghost. What, has your grace no better company? Edg. The prince of darkness is a gentleman; Mono he is called, and Mahu.
Glost. Go with me, sir; hard by I have a tenant. My duty cannot suffer me to obey in all your daughters' hard commands: though their injunctions be to
bar my doors, and let this tyrannous night take hold upon you, yet I have ventured to come seek you out, and bring you where both fire and food are ready. Kent. Good my lord, take this offer.
Lear. First, let me talk with this philosopher. Say, Stagyrite, what is the cause of thunder? with me.
sir, go you,
Lear. I'll talk a word with this same learned The
What is your study?
Edg. How to prevent the fiend, and to kill vermin. Lear. Let me ask you a word in private.
Kent. His wits are quite unsettled; good sir, let's force him hence.
Glost. Canst blame him? His daughters seek his death.
This bedlam but disturbs him the more; fellow, be
Edg. Child Rowland to the dark tower came, His word was still fie, fob, and fum,
I smell the blood of a British man.—O, torture!
[Exit Edgar into the Hovel. Glost, Now, I pr'ythee, friend, let's take him in our
There is a litter ready; lay him in't,
And drive toward Dover, friend, where thou shalt
Both welcome and protection.
Good sir, along with us.
Lear. You say right; let 'em anatomize Regan, see what breeds about her heart. Is there any cause in nature for these hard hearts?
Kent. I beseech your grace,—
Lear. Hist!—make no noise, make no noise ;— draw the curtains; closer, closer:—so, so, so,—we'll go to supper i' the morning,—so, so, so.
[king Lear falls asleep, and is carried off by Gloster and Kent.—Thunder and Light