Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
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King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)


Enter Lear, Kent, and Foole.
Kent. Here is the place my Lord, good my Lord enter, the tir-
rany of the open night's too ruffe for nature to endure.
Lear. Let me alone.
Kent. Good my Lord enter.
Lear. Wilt breake my heart?
Kent. I had rather breake mine owne, good my Lord enter.
Lear. Thou thinkst tis much, that this crulentious storme
Inuades vs to the skin, so tis to thee,
But where the greater malady is fixt,
The lesser is scarse felt, thou wouldst shun a Beare,
1790But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
Thoud'st meete the beare it'h mouth, when the mind's free,
The bodies delicate, the tempest in my minde;
Doth from my sences take all feeling else,
Saue what beares their filiall ingratitude,
1795Is it not as this mouth should teare this hand
For lifting food to it? but I will punish sure;
No I will weepe no more; in such a night as this!
O Regan, Gonorill, your old kinde father
1800Whose franke heart gaue you all, O that way madnesse lies,
Let me shunne that, no more of that.
Kent. Good my lord enter.
Lear. Prethee go in thy selfe, seeke thy owne ease,
1805This tempest will not giue me leaue to ponder
On things would hurt me more, but Ile go in,
Poore naked wretches, where so ere you are
1810That bide the pelting of this pittilesse night,
How shall your house-lesse heads, and vnfed sides,
Your loopt and windowed raggednesse defend you
From seasons such as these, O I haue tane
Too little care of this, take physicke pompe,
1815Expose thy selfe to feele what wretches feele,
That thou maist shake the superflux to them,
And shew the heauens more iust.
1820Foole. Come not in here Nunckle, here's a spirit, helpe me, help
me.
Kent. Giue me thy hand, who's there?
Foole. A spirit, he sayes his name is poore Tom.
1825Kent. What art thou that dost grumble there in the straw?
come foorth.
Edg. Away, the foule fiend followes me, through the sharpe
hathorne blowes the cold winde, goe to thy cold bed & warme
thee.
1830Lear. Hast thou giuen all to thy two daughters, and art thou
come to this?
Edg. Who giues any thing to poore Tom, whom the foule
fiend hath led through fire, and throgh foord, and whirli-poole,
ore bog and quagmire, that has laide kniues vnder his pillow, &
1835halters in his pue, set ratsbane by his pottage, made him proud
of heart, to ride on a bay trotting horse ouer foure incht bridg-
es, to course his owne shadow for a traitor, blesse thy fiue wits,
Toms a cold, blesse thee from whirl-windes, starre-blusting, &
1840taking, do poore Tom some charity, whom the foule fiend vexes,
there could I haue him now, and there, and there againe.
Lear. What, his daughters brought him to this passe,
1845Couldst thou saue nothing? didst thou giue them all?
Foole. Nay he reserued a blanket, else wee had beene all sha-
med.
Lear. Now all the plagues that in the pendulous ayre
Hang fated ore mens faults, fall on thy daughters.
1850Kent. He hath no daughters sir.
Lear. Death traitor, nothing could haue subdued nature
To such a lownesse, but his vnkinde daughters,
Is it the fashion that discarded fathers,
Should haue thus little mercy on their flesh,
1855Iudicious punishment, twas this flesh
Begot those Pelicane daughters.
Edg. Pilicock sate on pelicocks hill, a lo lo lo.
Foole. This cold night will turne vs all to fooles & madmen.
1860Edg. Take heed of the foule fiend, obey thy parents, keepe thy
words iustly, sweare not, commit not with mans sworne spouse,
set not thy sweet heart on proud array; Toms a cold.
Lear. What hast thou beene?
1865Edg. A seruing man, proud in heart and minde, that curlde my
haire, wore gloues in my cap, serued the lust of my mistris heart,
and did the acte of darknesse with her, swore as many oaths as I
spake words, and broke them in the sweete face of heauen, one
that slept in the contriuing of lust, and wak't to do it, wine lo-
1870ued I deepely, dice dearely, and in woman, out paramord the
Turke, false of heart, light of eare, bloudy of hand, hog in sloth,
Fox in stealth, Wolfe in greedinesse, Dog in madnesse, Lyon in
prey, let not the creeking of shooes, nor the ruslings of silkes
1875betray thy poore heart to women, keepe thy foote out of bro-
thell, thy hand out of placket, thy pen from lenders booke, and
defie the foule fiend, still through the hathorne blowes the colde
winde, hay no on ny, Dolphin my boy, my boy, cease let him trot
1880by.
Lear. Why thou wert better in thy graue, then to answer with
thy vncouered body this extremity of the skies; is man no more
but this? consider him well, thou owest the worme no silke, the
beast no hide, the sheep no wooll, the cat no perfume, he'rs three
1885ones are sophisticated, thou art the thing it selfe, vnaccomoda-
ted man is no more but such a poore bare forked Animal as thou
art, off, off you leadings, come on be true.
Foole. Prithee Nunckle be content, this is a naughty night to
swim in, now a little fire in a wilde field, were like an old lechers
heart, a small sparke, all the rest in body colde, looke here comes
a walking fire.
1890
Enter Glocester.
1895Edg. This is the foule fiend Sirberdegibit, he begins at curfue,
and walks till the first cocke, he gins the web, the pinqueuer the
eye, and makes the hart lip, mildewes the white wheate, & hurts
the poore creature of earth, swithald footed thrice the olde anel-
thu night Moore and her nine fold bid her, O light and her troth
plight and arint thee, with arint thee.
Kent. How fares your Grace?
1905Lear. What's he?
Kent. Whose there? what ist you seeke?
Glost. What are you there? your names.
Edg. Poore Tom, that eates the swimming frog, the toade, the
toade pold, the wall-wort, and the water, that in the fruite of his
1910heart, when the foule fiend rages,
Eates cowdung for sallets, swallowes the old rat, and the ditch-
dog, drinkes the greene mantle of the standing poole, who is
whipt from tything to tything, and stock-punisht and impriso-
ned, who hath had three sutes to his backe, fixe shirts to his bo-
dy, horse to ride, and weapon to weare.
But Mice and Rats, and such small Deere,
Hath beene Toms food for seuen long yeare.
Beware my follower, peace snulbug, peace thou fiend.
1920Glost, What, hath your Grace no better company?
Edg. The Prince of darknes is a Gentleman, modo hee's called,
and ma hu --------
Glost. Our flesh and bloud is growne so vilde my Lord, that it
doth hate what gets it.
1925Edg. Poore Toms a colde.
Glost. Go in with me, my duty cannot suffer to obey in al your
daughters hard commands, though their iniunction be to barre
my doores, and let this tyranous night take hold vpon you, yet
1930haue I venter'd to come seeke you out, and bring you where
both food and fire is ready.
Lear. First let me talke with this Philosopher;
What is the cause of thunder?
Kent. My good Lord take his offer, go into the house.
Lear. Ile talke a word with this most learned Theban; wha[t]
is your study?
Edg. How to preuent the fiend, and to kill vermine.
Lear. Let me aske you one word in priuate.
1940Kent. Importune him to goe my Lord, his wits begin to vn-
setle.
Glost. Canst thou blame him?
His daughters seeke his death. O that good Kent,
He said it would be thus, poore banisht man,
1945Thou saist the King growes mad, ile tell thee friend,
I am almost mad my selfe; I had a sonne
Now out-lawed from my bloud, he sought my life
But lately, very late, I lou'd him friend,
No father his sonne dearer, truth to tell thee,
1950The greefe has craz'd my wits.
What a night's this? I do beseech your Grace.
Lear. O cry you mercy noble Philosopher, your company.
Edg. Tom's a cold.
1955Glost. In fellow there, into th'houell, keepe thee warme.
Lear. Come, let's in all.
Kent. This way my Lord.
Lear. With him I will keepe still, with my Philosopher.
1960Kent. Good my Lord sooth him, let him take the fellow.
Glost. Take him you on.
Kent. Sirra come on, go along with vs.
Lear. Come good Athenian.
1965Glost. No words, no words, hush.
Edg. Childe Rowland, to the darke towne come,
His word was still fye, fo, and fum,
I smell the bloud of a British man.