Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Michael Best
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Modern, Quarto)

[Scene 13]
Enter Gloucester and Lear, [with] Kent, [disguised, the] Fool, and [Edgar disguised as Poor] Tom.
Here is better than the open air. Take it thankfully. I will piece out the comfort with what addition I 2000can. I will not be long from you.
All the power of his wits have given way to impatience. The gods discern your kindness.
[Exit Gloucester.]
Frateretto calls me, and tells me Nero is an 2005angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent. Beware the foul fiend.
Prithee nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a gentleman or a yeoman.
A king, a king. To have a thousand with red burning spits come hissing in upon them.
The foul fiend bites my back.
He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath.
It shall be done. I will arraign them straight.
2014.5[To Edgar] Come sit thou here most learned justice.
[To the Fool] Thou, sapient sir, sit here. No, you she foxes--
Look where he stands and glares. Want'st thou eyes at troll-madam?
Come o'er the burn Bessy, to me.
Her boat hath a leak,
And she must not speak,
2014.10Why she dares not come over to thee.
The foul fiend haunts poor Tom in the voice of a nightingale. Hoppedance cries in Tom's belly for two white herring. Croak not, black angel, I have no food for thee.
How do you sir? Stand you not so amazed. Will you 2014.15lie down and rest upon the cushions?
I'll see their trial first. Bring in their evidence. [To Edgar] Thou robed man of justice, take thy place; [To the Fool] and thou, his yokefellow of equity, bench by his side. [To Kent] You are o'th'commission, sit you too.
Let us deal justly.
Sleepest or wakest, thou jolly shepherd,
2014.20 Thy sheep be in the corn,
And for one blast of thy minikin mouth
Thy sheep shall take no harm.
Purr, the cat is gray.
Arraign her first. 'Tis Goneril. I here take my oath before this honorable assembly she kicked the poor king her father.
Come hither, mistress. Is your name Goneril?
She cannot deny it.
Cry you mercy, I took you for a join-stool.
And here's another whose warped looks proclaim,
What store her heart is made on. Stop her there!
Arms, arms, sword, fire, corruption in the place!
2014.30False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?
Bless thy five wits.
Oh, pity! Sir, where is the patience now,
That you so oft have boasted to retain?
[Aside] My tears begin to take his part so much
They'll mar my counterfeiting.
The little dogs and all,
Trey, Blanch, and Sweetheart--see they bark at me.
Tom will throw his head at them. Avaunt, you curs!
Be thy mouth or black or white,
Tooth that poisons if it bite,
2025Mastiff, greyhound, mongrel grim,
Hound or spaniel, brach, or him,
Bobtail tyke or trundle-tail,
Tom will make them weep and wail,
For, with throwing thus my head
2030Dogs leap the hatch and all are fled.
Loudla doodla, come march to wakes and fairs and market towns. Poor Tom, thy horn is dry.
Then let them anatomize Regan, see what breeds about her heart. Is there any cause in nature that 2035makes this hardness? [To Edgar] You, sir, I entertain you for one of my hundred, only I do not like the fashion of your garments. You'll say they are Persian attire, but let them be changed.
Now, good my lord, lie here awhile.
Make no noise, make no noise, draw the curtains, so, so, so. We'll go to supper i'th'morning, so, so, so.
[He sleeps.]
Enter Gloucester.
Come hither, friend. 2045Where is the King, my master?
Here, sir, but trouble him not. His wits are gone.
Good friend, I prithee take him in thy arms.
I have o'erheard a plot of death upon him.
There is a litter ready. Lay him in't,
2050And drive towards Dover, friend, where thou shalt meet
Both welcome and protection. Take up thy master.
If thou shouldst dally half an hour, his life,
With thine and all that offer to defend him,
Stand in assurèd loss. Take up the King
2055And follow me, that will to some provision
Give thee quick conduct.
Oppressèd nature sleeps.
This rest might yet have balmed thy broken sinews,
Which, if convenience will not allow,
Stand in hard cure. [To the Fool] Come, help to bear thy master.
Thou must not stay behind.
Come, come away.
Exeunt [all but Edgar].
When we our betters see bearing our woes
We scarcely think our miseries our foes.
Who alone suffers, suffers most i'th'mind,
Leaving free things and happy shows behind,
2056.10But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip,
When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.
How light and portable my pain seems now,
When that which makes me bend, makes the king bow;
He childed as I fathered. Tom, away.
2056.15Mark the high noises, and thyself bewray,
When false opinion, whose wrong thoughts defile thee,
In thy just proof repeals and reconciles thee.
What will hap more tonight, safe 'scape the king.
Lurk, lurk.