Page images

Kent. Sir I do know you, And dare vpon the warrant of my arte, Commend a deare thing to you, there is diuision, Although as yet the face of it be couer'd With mutuall cunning, twixt Albany and Cornwall. But true it is, from France there comes a power Into this scatterd kingdom, who already wise in our negligence Haue secret fee in some of our best ports, , And are at point to sew their open banner, Now to you, if on my credite you dare build so farre, To make your speed to Douer, you shall finde Some that will thanke you, making iust report Of how vnnaturall and bemadding forrow The king hath cause to plaine ; I am a gentleman of blood and breeding, And from some knowledge and assurance, Offer this office to you.

Gent. I will talke farther with you.

Kent. No do not,
For confirmation that I much more
Then my outwall, open this purse and take
What it containes, if you shall fee Cordelia,
As doubt not but you shall, shew her this ring,
And she will tell you who your fellow is,
That yet you do not know, fie on this storme,
I will go seeke the king.

Gent. Giue me your hand, haue you no more to say ?

Kent. Few words, but to effect more then all yet,
That when we haue found the king,
Ile this way, you that, he that first lights
On him, hollow the other.


[blocks in formation]

Enter Lear and Foole.
Lear. Blow winde and cracke your checkes, rage, blow
Your carterickes, and hircanios spout till you haue drencht
The steeples, drownd the cockes, you sulpherous and
Thought executing fires, vaunt-currers to
Oke-cleauing thunder-bolts, sing my white head,
And thou all faking thunder, smite flat
The thicke rotundity of the world, cracke natures
Mold, all germains spill at once that make
Ingratefull man,

Foole. O nunckle, court holy water in a dry house
Is better then this raine water out a doore,
Good nunckle in, and aske thy daughters blessing,
Here's a night pitties neyther wise man nor foole.

Lear. Rumble thy belly full, spit firc, spout raine,
Nor raine, winde, thunder, fire, are my daughters,
I taske not you, you elements with ynkindnesse,
I neuer gaue you kingdome, cald you children,
You owe me no subscription ; why then let fall your horrible
Pleasure, here I stand your slauc, a poore, infirme, weake, and
Despised old man, but yet I call you seruile
Ministers, that haue with two pernitious daughters ioyn'd
Your high engendered battell gainst a head so old and white
As this, O tis foule.

Foole. He that has a house to put his head in, has a good hcad peece, the cod peece that will house before the head, has any the head and he shall lowse, so beggers marry many, the man that makes his toe, what he his heart should make, shall haue a corne cry oe, and turne his Neepe to wake, for there was neuer yet faire woman, but she made mouthes in a glasse,

Lear. No, I will be the patterne of all patience, I will say nothing


Enter Kent.

Kent. Who's there?

Foole. Marry heere's grace and a codpis, that's a wiseman and a foole.

Kent. Alaffe fir, fit you heere ?
Things that loue night, loue not such nights as these ;
The wrathfull skies gallow, the very wanderer of the
Darke, and makes them keepe their caues,
Since I was man, such sheetes of fire,
Such bursts of horrid thunder, such grones of
Roring winde and raine, I nere remember
To haue heard, mans nature cannot carry
The affliction, nor the force.

Lear. Let the great gods that keepe this dreadfull
Thundring ore our heads, finde out their enemies now,
Tremble thou wretch that hast within thee
Vndivulged crimes, vnwhipt of iustice,
Hide thee thou bloudy hand, thou periur'd, and
Thou simular man of vertue that art incestious,
Caytiffe in peeces shake, that vnder couert
And conuenient seeming, haft practised on mans life,
Close pent vp guilts, riue your concealed centers,
And cry these dreadfull summoners grace,
I am a man more find against their finning.

Kent. Alacke bare headed, gracious my lord, hard by here is a houell, some friendship will it lend you gainst the tem. pest, repose you there, whilst I to this hard house, more hard then is the stone whereof tis rais'd, which euen but now demanding after me, denide me to come in, returne and force their scanted curtefie.

Lear. My wit begins to turne,
Come on my boy, how dost my boy, art cold?
I am cold my felfe, where is this straw my fellow,


The art of our necessities is strange, that can
Make vilde things precious, come you houell poore,
Foole and knaue, I haue one part of my heart
That forrowes yet for thee,

Foole. He that has a little tine wit, with hey họ the winde and the raine, must make content with his fortunes fit, for the raine, it raineth euery day.

Lear. True my good boy, come bring vs to this houell.

Enter Glocester, and the bastard with lights.
Glost. Alacke, alacke, Edmund I like not this
Vnnaturall dealing, when I desired their leaue
That I might pitty him, they tooke from me
The vse of mine owne house, chargd me on paine
Of their displeasure, neither to speake of him,
Entreate for him, nor any way sustaine him.
Baft. Most fauage and vnnaturall,

(the dukes,
Glot. Go too, say you nothing, there's a diuision betwixt
And a worse matter then that, I haue receiued
A letter this night, tis dangerous to be spoken,
I haue lockt the letter in my closet, these iniuries
The king now beares, will be reuenged home;
There's part of a power already landed,
We must incline to the king, I will seeke him,
And priuily releeue him ; go you and maintaine talke
With the duke, that my charity be not of him
Perceiued ; if he aske for me, I am ill, and gone
To bed, though I die for it, as no lesse is threatned me,
The king my old master must be releeued, there is
Some strange thing toward, Edmund, pray you be carefull.

Exit. Baft. This courtesie forbid thee, shall the duke instantly And of that letter to, this seemes a faire deseruing, (know,


And must draw to me that which my father loses, no lesse
Then all, then yonger rises, when the old do fall.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Enter Lear, Kent, and Foole.
Kent. Here is the place my lord, good my lord enter, the
uirrany 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 thinkft tis much, that this crulentious storme
Inuades us to the skin, so tis to thee,
But where the greater malady is fixt,
The lesser is scarse felt, thou wouldst Thun a beare,
But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
Thoud'st meete the beare i’th mouth, when the mind's free,
The bodies delicate, the tempest in my minde,
Doth from my fences take all feeling else,
Saue what beares their filiall ingratitude,
Is 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
Whose franke heart gaue you all, O that way madnesle lies,
Let me shunne that, no more of that.

Kent. Good my lord enter.

Lear. Prethee go in thy selfe, seeke thy owne eafe,
This tempest will not giue me leave to ponder
On things would hurt me more, but Ile go in,
Poore naked wretches, where so ere you are
That bide the pelting of this pittilesse night,
How shall your house-leffe heads, and vnfed fides,


« PreviousContinue »