« PreviousContinue »
Reg. I know't my sisters, this approues her letters,
That she would soone be here, is your lady come?
Lear. This is a flaue, whose easie borrowed pride
Dwels in the fickle grace of her he followes,
Out varlet, from my sight.
Duke. What meanes yonr grace?
Gon. Who strucke my seruant? Regan, I haue good hope
Thou didst know ant.
Lear. Who comes here? O heauens !
If you do loue olde men, if you sweet sway alow
Obedience, if your selues are old, make it your cause,
Send downe and take my part;
Art not alham'd to looke vpon this beard ?
O Regan, wilt thou take her by the hand?
Gon. Why not by the hand fir, how haue I offended?
All's not offence that indiscretion findes,
And dotage tearmes so.
Lear. O fides, you are too tough,
Will you yet hold ? how came my man i'ch stockes ?
Duke. I set him there, but his owne disorders
Deseru'd much lesse aduancement.
Lear. You ; did you ?
Reg. I pray you father being weake, seeme so,
If till the expiration of your moneth,
You will returne and soiourne with my sister,
Dismissing halfe your traine, come then to me,
I am now from home, and out of that prouision
Which shall be needfull for your entertainment.
Lear. Returne to her, and fifty men dismist?
No, rather I abiure all roofes, and chuse
To wage against the cnmity of the ayre,
To be a comrade with the wolfe and owle,
Necessities sharpe pinch, returne with her :
Why the hot blood in France, that dowerles
Tooke our yongest borne, I could as well be brought
To knee his throne, and squire-like pension beg,
To keepe base life afoote ; returne with her?
Perswade me rather to be Naue and sumpter
To this detested groome.
Gon. At your choise fir.
Lear. Now I prethee daughter do not make me mad,
I will not' trouble thee my childe, farwell,
Wee'l no more meete, no more see one another.
But yet thou art my flesh, my bloud, my daughter,
Or rather a disease that lies within my flesh,
Which I must needs call mine, thou art a byle,
A plague fore, an imbossed carbuncle in my
Corrupted bloud, but Ile not chide thee,
Let shame come when it will, I do not call it,
I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoote,
Nor tell tales of thee to high iudging loue,
Mend when thou canst, be better at thy leisure,
I can be patient, I can stay with Regan,
I and my hundred knights.
Reg. Not altogether so fir, I looke not for you yet,
Nor am prouided for your fit welcome,
Giue eare to my sister, for those
That mingle reason with your passion,
Must be content to thinke you are old, and so,
But she knowes what she does.
Lear. Is this well spoken now?
Reg. I dare auouch it sir, what fifty followers,
Is it not well? what should you need of more,
Yea or so many, sith that both charge and danger
Speakes gainst so great a number, how in a house
Should many people vnder two commands
Hold amity, tis hard, almost impossible.
Gon. Why might not you my lord, receive attendance
From those that she cals feruants, or from mine?
Reg. Why not my lord ? if then they chancît to slacke you,
We could controle them ; if you will come to me,
(For now I spie a danger) I entreate you
To bring but fiue and twenty, to no more
Will I giue place or notice.
Lear. I gaue you all.
Reg. And in good time you gaue it.
Lear. Made you my guardians, my depositaries,
But kept a referuation to be followed
With such a number, what, must I come to you
With fiue and twenty, Regan, said you so?
Reg. And speak’t againe my lord, no more with me.
Lear. Those wicked creatures yet do seeme well-fauour'd
When others are more wicked, not being the worst,
Stands in some ranke of praise, Ile go with thee,
Thy fifty yet doth double fiue and twenty,
And thou art twice her loue.
Gon. Heare me my lord ;
What need you fiue and twenty, ten, or fiuc,
To follow in a house, where twice fo many
Haue a command to tend you ?
Regan. What needs one?
Lear. O reason not the deed, our basest beggers
Are in the poorest thing superfluous,
Allow not nature more then nature needs,
Mans life's as cheap as beasts; thou art a lady,
If onely to go warme were gorgious,
Why nature needs not what thou gorgious wearest,
Which scarsely keepes thee warme, but for true need,
You heauens giue me that patience, patience I need,
You see me heere (you gods) a poore old fellow,
As full of greefe as age, wretched in both,
If it be you that stirres these daughters hearts
Against their father, foole me not too much,
To beare it lamely, touch me with noble anger,
Olet not womens weapons, water drops
Staine my mans cheekes, no you vnnaturall hags,
I will haue such reuenges on you both,
That all the world Mall--I will do such things,
What they are, yet I know not, but they shall be
The terrors of the earth; you thinke ile weepe,
No, ile not weepe, I haue full cause of weeping,
But this heart shall breake in a thousand flowes
Ere ile weepe; ô foole, I shall go mad.
Exeunt Lear, Glocester, Kent, and Foole. Duke. Let vs withdraw, twill be a storme.
Reg. This house is little, the old man and his people, Cannot be well bestowed.
Gon. Tis his owne blame hath put himselfe from rest, And must needs taste his folly.
Reg. For his particular, ile receiue him gladly, But not one follower.
Duke. So I am purpord, where is my lord of Glocester ?
Enter Glocefter. Reg. Followed the old man forth, he is return'd. Glo. The king is in high rage, and will I know not whether, Reg. Tis good to giue him way, he leads himselfe.
Gon. My lord, entreate him by no meanes to stay.
Glo. Alacke, the night comes on, and the bleake windes Do sorely russell, for many miles about there's not a bush.
Reg. O sir, to wilfull men,
The iniuries that they themselues procure,
Must be their schoole-masters, fhut vp your doores,
He is attended with a desperate traine,
And what they may incense him too, being apt,
To haue his eare abused, wisedome bids feare.
Duke. Shut vp your doores my lord, 'tis a wilde night,
My Regan counsels well, come out ath storme.
Enter Kent and a Gentleman at seuerall doores.
Kent. What's heere beside foule weather ?
Gent. One minded like the weather, most vnquietly.
Kent. I know you, where's the king ?
Gent. Contending with the fretfull element,
Bids the winde blow the earth into the sea,
Or swell the curled waters boue the maine,
That things mighi change or cease, teares his white haire,
Which the impetuous blasts with eielesse rage
Catch in their fury, and make nothing of,
Striues in his little world of man to out-scorne,
The too and fro conflicting winde and raine,
This night wherein the cub-drawne beare would couch,
The lyon, and the belly pinched wolfe
Keepe their furre dry, vnbonneted he runnes,
And bids what will take all.
Kent. But who is with him ?
Gent. None but the foole, who labours to out-iest His heart strooke iniuries.