Page images

Corn. I will lay trust upon thee; and thou shalt find a dearer father in my




A Chamber in a Farm-house, adjoining the Castle.

Enter GLOSTER, LEAR, Kent, Fool, und EDGAR.

Glo. Here is better than the open air; take it thankfully: I will piece out the comfort with what addition I can: I will not be long from you.

Kent. All the power of his wits has given way to his impatience :-The gods reward your kindness!

[Exit Gloster. Edg. Frateretto calls me; and tells me, Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.

Fool. Pr'ythee, nuncle, tell me, whether a madman be a gentleman, or a yeoman?

Leur. A king, a king!

Foul, No; he's a yeoman, that has a gentleman to his son: for he's a mad yeoman, that sees his son a gentleman before him.

Lear. To have a thousand with red burning spits Come hizzing upon them:

Edy. The foul fiend bites my back.

Fool. He's mad, that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse's health 64, a boy's love, or a whore's oath. Leur. It shall be done, I will arraign them


Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer;

[To Edgar. Thou, sapient sir, sit here. [To the Fool.]-Now, you

she foxes ! Edg. Look, where he stands and glares! --Wantest thou eyes at trial, madam 65?

Come oʻer the bourn, Bessy, to me:
Fool. Her boat hath a leak,

And she must not speak
Why she dares not come over to thee.

Will you

Edg. The'foul fiend haunts poor Tom in the voice of a nightingale. 66 Hopdance cries in Tom's belly for two white herring. Croak not, black angel; I have no food for thee. Kent. How do you, sir? Stand you not so


lie down and rest upon the cushions? Leur. I'll see their trial first: Bring in the evi

dence. Thou robed man of justice, take thy place;

[To Edgar. And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity, [To the Fool. Bench by his side:-You are of the commission, Sit you too.

[To Kent, Edg. Let us deal justly.

Sleepest, or wakest thou, jolly shepherd?

Thy sheep be in the corn;

And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,

Thy sheep shall take no harm.

Pur! the cat is grey.

Lear. Arraign her first; 'tis Goneril. I here take my oath before this honourable assembly, she kick'd the poor king her father. Fool. Come hither, mistress; Is your name Go

neril? Lear. She cannot deny it. Fool. Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool. Lear. And here's another, whose warp'd looks pro

claim What store her heart is made of.-Stop her there! Arms, arms, sword, fire !-Corruption in the place! False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?

Edg. Bless thy five wits!

Kent. O pity!—Sir, where is the patience now, That you so oft have boasted to retain ?

Edg. My tears begin to take his part so much, They'll mar my counterfeiting.

[Aside Lear. The little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and Sweet-heart, see, they bark at me.

Edg. Tom will throw his head at them:-Avausity

you curs !

Be thy mouth or black or white,
Tooth that poisons if it bite;
Mastiff, grey-hound, mongrel grim,
Hound, or spaniel, brach, or lym;

Or bobtail tike, or trundle-tail ;
Tom will make them weep and wail:
For, with throwing thus my head,

Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled. Do de, de de. Sessa. Come, march to wakes and fairs, and market towns :-Poor Tom, thy horn is dry 68.

Lear. Then let them anatomise Regan, see what breeds about her heart: Is there any cause in nature, that makes these hard hearts? -You, sir, I entertain you for one of my hundred; only, I do not like the fashion of your garments: you will say, they are Persian attire; but let them be changed. [To Edgar.

Kent. Now, good my lord, lie here, and rest awhile.

Lear. Make no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains: So, so, so: We'll go to supper i’the morning: So, so, so, Fool. And I'll go to bed at noon.

Re-enter GLOSTER. Glo. Come hither, friend: Where is the king my

master? Kent. Here, sir; but trouble him not, his wits are

gone. Glo. Good friend, I pr’ythee take him in thy arms; I have o'er-heard a plot of death upon him: There is a litter ready; lay him in't, And drive toward Dover, friend, where thou shalt


Both welcome and protection. Take up thy master:
If thou should'st dally half an hour, his life,
With thine, and all that offer to defend him,
Stand in assured loss: Take up, take up;
And follow me, that will to some provision
Give thee quick conduct.

Oppress'd nature sleeps:
This rest might yet have balm'd thy broken senses,
Which, if convenience will not allow,
Stand in hard cure.—Come, help to bear thy masterz
Thou must not stay behind.

[To the Fool. Glo.

Come, come, away. [Excunt Kent, Gloster, and the Fool, bearing

off the king. Edg. When we our betters see bearing our woes, We scarcely think our miseries our foes. Who alone suffers, suffers most i'the mind; Leaving free things, and happy shows, behind: But 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 father'd !—Tom, 'away: Mark the high noises; and thyself bewray, When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles

thee, In thy just proof, repeals, and reconciles thee. What will hap more to-night, safe scape the king! Lurk, lurk.]


« PreviousContinue »