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The tyranny of the open night's too rough For nature to endure.


Let me arone.

Kent. Good my lord, enter here.
Wilt break my heart?
Kent. I'd rather break mine own: Good my lord,


Lear. Thou think'st. 'tis much, that this contentious storm


Invades us to the skin so 'tis to thee;
But where the greater malady is fix'd,
The lesser is scarce felt. Thou'dst shun a bear :
But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
Thou'dst meet the bear i' the mouth.
mind's free,

When the

The body's delicate: the tempest in my mind
Doth from my senses take all feeling else,
Save what beats there. · Filial ingratitude!
Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand,
For lifting food to't? But I will punish home :-
No, I will weep no more. - In such a night

To shut me out!
Pour on;
I will endure:
In such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril!
Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all,-
O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
No more of that,

Good my lord, enter here. Lear. Pr'ythee, go in thyself; seck thine own


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[Storm still.

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This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
On things would hurt me more. — But I'll go in:
In, boy; go first. [To the Fool.] You houseless


poverty, Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep. [Fool goes in. Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are, That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm, How shall your houseless heads, and unfed sides, Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'e Too little care of this! Take physick, pomp; Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel; That thou may'st shake the superflux to them, And show the heavens more just.

Edg. [Within.] Fathom and half, fathom and half! Poor Tom!

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[The Fool runs out from the hovel. Fool. Come not in here, nuncle, here's a spirit. Help me, help me!

Kent. Give me thy hand. Who's there? Fool. A spirit, a spirit; he says his name's poor Tom. Kent. What art thou that dost grumble there i'the straw? Come forth.

Enter EDGAR, disguised as a madman. Edg. Away! the foul fiend follows me ! Through the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind.Humph! go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.

Lear. Hast thou given all to thy two daughters? And art thou come to this?

a-cold. — O, do de, do de, do de. Bless thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting, and taking! Do poor Tom some charity, whom the foul fiend vexes: There could I have him now, - and there, - and there, - and there again, and there.

Edg. Who gives any thing to poor Tom? whom the foul fiend hath led through fire and through flame, through ford and whirlpool, over bog and quagmire; that hath laid knives under his pillow, and halters in his pew; set ratsbane by his porridge; made him proud of heart, to ride on a bay trottinghorse over four-inched bridges, to course his own shadow for a traitor : — Bless thy five wits! Tom's

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Edg. A serving-man, proud in heart and mind that curled my hair; wore gloves in my cap, served the lust of my mistress's heart, and did the act of darkness with her; swore as many oaths as I spake words, and broke them in the sweet face of heaven: one, that slept in the contriving of lust, and waked to do it: Wine loved I deeply; dice dearly; and in woman, out-paramoured the Turk: False of heart, light of ear, bloody of hand; Hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey. Let not the creaking of shoes, nor the rustling of silks, betray thy poor heart to women: Keep thy foot out of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy pen from lenders' books, and defy the foul fiend. Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind: Says suum, mun, ha no nonny, dolphin my boy, my boy, sessa; let him trot by.

[Storm still continues. Lear. Why, thou were better in thy grave, than to answer with thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies. Is man no more than this? Consider him well: Thou owest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume : Ha! here's three of us are sophisticated! — Thou art the thing itself: unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as thou art. - Off, off, you lendings: Come; unbutton here. [Tearing off his clothes. Fool. Pr'ythee, nuncle, be contented; this is a naughty night to swim in. Now a little fire in a wild field were like an old lecher's heart; a small spark, all the rest of his body cold. Look, here comes a walking fire.

Edg. This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet: he begins at curfew, and walks till the first cock, he gives the web and the pin, squints the eye, and makes the hare-lip; mildews the white wheat, and hurts the poor creature of earth.

Edg. Take heed o'the foul fiend: Obey thy parents; keep thy word justly; swear not; commit not with man's sworn spouse; set not thy sweet heart on proud array: Tom's a-cold.

Lear. What hast thou been?

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Saint Withold footed thrice the wold;
He met the night-mare, and her nine-fold;
Bid her alight,

And her troth plight,

And, aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!

Kent. How fares your grace?

Enter GLOSTER, with a torch.

Lear. What's he?

Kent. Who's there? What is't you seek? Glo. What are you there? Your names? Edg. Poor Tom; that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the tadpole, the wall-newt, and the water; that in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cow-dung for sallets; swallows the old rat, and the ditch-dog; drinks the green mantle of the standing pool; who is whipped from tything to tything, and stocked, punished, and imprisoned; who hath had three suits to his back, six shirts to his body, horse to ride, and weapon to wear,

But mice, and rats, and such small deer, Have been Tom's food for seven long year. Beware my follower: - Peace, Smolkin; peace,

thou fiend!

Glo. What, hath your grace no better company? Edg. The prince of darkness is a gentleman; Modo he's call'd, and Mahu.

Glo. Our flesh and blood, my lord, is grown so


I will keep still with my philosopher.

Kent. Good my lord, sooth him; let him take the


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With him;

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Edm. If the matter of this paper be certain, you have mighty business in hand.

Corn. True, or false, it hath made thee earl of Gloster. Seek out where thy father is, that he may be ready for our apprehension.

Edm. [Aside.] If I find him comforting the king, it will stuff his suspicion more fully. - I will persevere in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore between that and my blood.

Corn. I will lay trust upon thee; and thou shalt find dearer father in my love. [Exeunt. SCENE VI. A Chamber in a Farm-House, adjoining the Castle.


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.

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Pur! the cat is grey.

Lear. Arraign her first; 'tis Goneril. I here take my oath before this honourable assembly, she kicked the poor king her father.

Fool. Come hither, mistress; Is your name Goneril?

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 proclaim

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 :-Avaunt, 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.

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

Do de, de de. Sessa. Come, march to wakes and fairs, and market towns:-Poor Tom, thy horn is dry. Lear. Then let them anatomize Regan, see what preeds 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 EEGAR.

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SCENE VII. A Room in Gloster's Castle. Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GONERIL, EDMUND, a id Servants.

Corn. Post speedily to my lord your husband; show him this letter: — the army of France is landed: :- Seek out the villain Gloster.

[Exeunt some of the Servants Reg. Hang him instantly. Gon. Pluck out his eyes.

Corn. Leave him to my displeasure. - Edmund, keep you our sister company; the revenges we are bound to take upon your traitorous father, are not fit for your beholding. Advise the duke, where you are going, to a most festinate preparation; we are bound to the like. Our posts shall be swift, and intelligent betwixt us. Farewell, dear sister; farewell, my lord of Gloster.

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Enter Steward.

How now? Where's the king?

Stew. My lord of Gloster hath convey'd him

hence :

Some five or six and thirty of his knights,
Hot questrists after him, met him at gate;
Who, with some other of the lord's dependants,
Are gone with him towards Dover; where they


To have well-armed friends.

Get horses for your mistress.
Gon. Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.
Corn. Edmund, farewell, - Go, seek the traitor
Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us :
[Exeunt other Servants.
Though well we may not pass upon his life
Without the form of justice; yet our power
Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men
May blame, but not control. Who's there? The


Re-enter Servants, with GLOSTER.

Reg. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.
Corn. Bind fast his corky arms.
Glo. What mean your graces ?
friends, consider

Good my

You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends.
Corn. Bind him, I say. [Servants bind him.
Hard, hard : :- O filthy traitor!
Glo. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none.
Corn. To this chair bind him: Villain, thou
shalt find- [REGAN plucks his beard.
Gio. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done
To pluck me by the beard.

Keg. So white, and such a traitor !

Glo. Naughty lady, These hairs, which thou dost ravish from my chin,

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traitors Late footed in the kingdom?

Reg. To whose hands have you sent the lunatick king?


Glo. I have a letter guessingly set down, Which came from one that's of a neutral heart, And not from one oppos'd.


In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.
The sea, with such a storm as his bare head
In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd

And quench'd the stelled fires: yet, poor old


Reg. Wherefore to Dover?

Glo. Because I would not see thy cruel nails Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister

He holp the heavens to rain.


If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time,
Thou should'st have said, Good porter, turn the key;
All cruels else subscrib' But I shall see
The winged vengeance overtake such children.
Corn. See it shalt thou never: - Fellows, hold
the chair:

Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.

[GLOSTER is held down in his chair, while
CORNWALL plucks out one of his eyes ;
and sets his foot on it.

Glo. He, that will think to live till he be old,
Give me some help:
O cruel! O ye gods!
Reg. One side will mock another; the other



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To see some mischief on him: - O!


Corn. Lest it see more, prevent it: - Out, vile jelly!

Where is thy lustre now?

Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your host;
With robbers' hands, my hospitable favours
You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?
Corn. Come, sir, what letters had you late from
Reg. Be simple-answer'd, for we know the

[Tears out GLOSTER's other eye, and throws
it on the ground.
Glo. All dark and comfortless.
Where's my
son Edmund ?

Corn. And what confederacy have you with the Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature,
To quit this horrid act.

Out, treacherous villain!
Thou call'st on him that hates thee: it was he
That made the overture of thy treasons to us;
Who is too good to pity thee.
O my follies!



[Draws. They fight. CORNWALL is wounded. Reg. Give me thy sword.-[To another Servant.] A peasant stand up thus!

[Snatches a sword, comes behind, and stabs him. Serv. O, I am slain! - My lord, you have one eye left




And false.
Corn. Where hast thou sent the king?
To Dover.

Then Edgar was abus'd.
Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!
Reg. Go, thrust him out at gates, and let him
His way to Dover.
Corn. I have receiv'd a hurt: - Follow me
lady. -

How'st, my lord? How look


To Dover? Wast thou not charg'd at thy peril
Corn. Wherefore to Dover? Let him first answer

Turn out that eyeless villain;-throw this slave
Upon the dunghill. - Regan, I bleed apace :

Glo. I am tied to the stake, and I must stand the Untimely comes this hurt: Give me your armı.
[Exit CORNWALL, led by REGAN; Servants
unbind GLOSTER, and lead him out.

1 Serv. I'll never care what wickedness 1 do, If this man come to good.

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Old Man. Alack, sir, you cannot see your way. Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes; I stumbled when I saw : Full oft 'tis seen, Our mean secures us; and our mere defects Prove our commodities. Ah, dear son Edgar, The food of thy abused father's wrath! Might I but live to see thee in my touch, I'd say, I had eyes again!

Old Man.

How now? Who's there? Edg. [Aside.] O gods! Who is't can say, I am at the worst ?

I am worse than e'er I was.
Old Man.

'Tis poor mad Tom. Edg. [Aside.] And worse I may be yet: The worst is not,

So long as we can say, This is the worst.
Old Man. Fellow, where goest?
Is it a beggar-man?
Old Man. Madman and beggar too.
Glo. He has some reason, else he could not beg.
I' the last night's storm I such a fellow saw;
Which made me think a man a worm: My son
Came then into my mind; and yet my mind
Was then scarce friends with him: I have heard
more since :

As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods; They kill us for their sport.

To lead him where he would; his roguish madness Allows itself to any thing.

2 Serv. Go thou; I'll fetch some flax, and whites of eggs,

To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help him! [Exeunt severally.

Edg. How should this be? Bad is the trade must play the fool to sorrow, Ang'ring itself and others. [Aside.] — Bless thee,


Glo. Is that the naked fellow?
Old Man.

Ay, my lord.

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Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure;
Above the rest, be gone.

Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parrel that I have, Come on't what will.


Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow.

Edg. Poor Tom's a-cold.. further.

I cannot daub it

Glo. Come hither, fellow.
Edg. [Aside.] And yet I must.
eyes, they bleed.

Bless thy sweet

Glo. Know'st thou the way to Dover? Edg. Both stile and gate, horse-way, and footpath. Poor Tom hath been scared out of his good wits: Bless the good man from the foul fiend! Five fiends have been in poor Tom at once; of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididance, prince of dumbness; Mahu, of stealing; Modo, of murder; and Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and mowing; who since possesses chamber-maids and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master!

Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the heaven's plagues

Have humbled to all strokes that I am wretched,
Makes thee the happier :- Heavens, deal so still!
Let the superfluous, and lust-dieted man,
That slaves your ordinance, that will not see
Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly;
So distribution should undo excess,

And each man have enough. Dost thou know


Edg. Ay, master.

Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending head Looks fearfully in the confined deep : Bring me but to the very brim of it, And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear, With something rich about me: from that place I shall no leading need.

Edg. Give me thy arm; Poor Tom shall lead thee. [Exeunt. SCENE II.—Before the Duke of Albany's Palace. Enter GONERIL and EDMUND; Steward meeting them. Gon. Welcome, my lord: I marvel, our mild husband

Not met us on the way: - Now, where's your


Steu. Madam, within; but never man so chang'd:

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