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Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
KENT. | Waking.] Hail to thee, noble master ! This shameful lodging.
LEAR. Ha! Mak’st thou this shame thy pastime? Fortune, good night; smile once more; turn thy KENT.
No, my lord. wheel!
[Sleeps. Fool. Ha, ha! he wears crueld garters! Horses
are tied by the heads, dogs and bears by the neck, monkeys by the loins, and men by the legs :
when a man is* over-lusty at legs, then he wears SCENE III.-A Wood.
LEAR. What's he, that hath so much thy place Enter EDGAR.
mistook, Edg. I heard myself proclaim'd ;
To set thee here?
KENT. It is both he and she,-
LEAR. No, I say ! To take the basest and most poorest shape,
KENT. I say, yea. That ever penury, in contempt of man,
LEAR. No, no ; they would not." Brought near to beast: my face I'll grime with KENT. Yes, they have. filth;
LEAR. By Jupiter, I swear, no ! Blanket my loins; elf all my hair * in knots ja KENT. By Juno, I swear, ay. And with presented nakedness out-face
LEAR. They durst not do’t; The winds and persecutions of the sky.
They could not, would not do't ; 'tis worse than The country gives me proof and precedent
murder, Of Bedlam beggars,(2) who, with roaring voices, To do upon respect such violent outrage : Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare arms Resolve me, with all modest haste, which way Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary; Thou mightst deserve, or they impose, this usage, And with this horrible object, from low farms, Coming from us. Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes, and mills, KENT. My lord, when at their home Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with prayers, I did commend your highness' letters to them, Enforce their charity.--Poor Turlygood /13) poor Ere I was risen from the place that show'd Tom!
My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post, That's something yet ;-Edgar I nothing am. Stew'd in his haste, half breathless, panting +
Which presently they read : on whose contents, SCENE IV.-Before Gloucester's Castle. KENT
They summon’d up their meiny,s straight took in the Stocks.
Commanded me to follow, and attend
The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks : LEAR. 'Tis strange that they should so depart And meeting here the other messenger, from home,
Whose welcome I perceiv'd had poison'd mine, And not send back my messenger.t
(Being the very fellow which of late GENT.
As I learn’d, Display'd so saucily against your highness) The night before there was no purpose in them Having more man than wit about me, drew; Of this remove.
He rais’d the house with loud and coward cries :
First folio, haires.
(+) First folio, Messengers.
(*) First folio omits, is. (t) First folio, painting.
(1) First folio, those.
- elf all my hair in kpots :) " Hair thus knotted was vulgarly supposed to be the work of elves and fairies in the night. So ja 'Romeo and Juliet,' Act I. Sc. 4,-
- plats the manes of horses in the night; And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which, once untangled, much misfortune bodes.'" -STEETENI. 1 - pelting villages,-) That is, paltry, pedling villages. * Par Turlygood! poor Tom !) So Dekker, in his " Bell-man
the name of poore Tom, and comming neere any body cries out, Poore Tom is a-cold."
d - cruel garters! The same quibble on cruel and crewel, i.e. worsted of which stockings, garters, &c., were made, is found in many of our old plays.
e - nether-stocks.) Stockings were formerly called nether. stocks, and breeches over-stocks or upper-stocks.
f No, no; they would not.) This and the next speech are not in the folio.
& They summon'd up their meiny,-) Meiny here signifies train
Your son and daughter found this trespass worth
Re-enter LEAR, with GLOUCESTER. The shame which here it suffers.
Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese fly that way.
LEAR. Deny to speak with me? They are sick?
they are weary? Fathers that wear rags,
They have travell’d all the night ? Mere Do make their children blind;
The images of revolt and Aying off.
Fetch me a better answer.
My dear lord,
You know the fiery quality of the duke ;
How unremoveable and fix'd he is But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours b
In his own course. for thy daughters, as thou canst tell in a year.
LEAR. Vengeance! plague! death! confusion ! LEAR. O, how this mother swells up toward my
Fiery? what quality ? Why, Gloster, Gloster, heart!
I'd speak with the duke of Cornwall and his wife. Hysterica* passio,(4)—down, thou climbing sorrow,
Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform’d Thy element's below !—Where is this daughter ?
them so.d KENT. With the earl, sir, here within.
LEAR. Inform’d them! Dost thou understand LEAR. Follow me not; stay here. [Exit.
me, man? GENT. Made you no more offence but what you
Glo. Ay, my good lord. speak of ?
LEAR. The king would speak with Cornwall ; Kent. None.
the dear father How chance the king comes with so small a train ? + |
Would with his daughter speak, commands her Fool. An thou hadst been set i' the stocks for
service : that question, thou hadst well deserved it.
Are they inform’d of this ?–My breath and KENT. Why, fool ?
blood!Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant, to
Fiery? the fiery duke ?--Tell the hot duke, that teach thee there's no labouring i' the winter. All
No, but not yet :-may be, he is not well : that follow their noses are led by their eyes but
Infirmity doth still neglect all office, blind men ; and there's not a nose among twenty
Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourbut can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy
selves, hold when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it
When nature, being oppress'd, commands the break thy neck with following it:& but the great
mind one that goes up the hill, 8 let him draw thee after.
To suffer with the body: I'll forbear ; When a wise man gives thee better counsel,
And am fall'n out with my more headier will, give me mine again : I would have none but
To take the indispos’d and sickly fit knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.
For the sound man.-Death on my state! whereThat sir which serves and seeks for gain,
[Looking on KENT. And follows but for form,
Should he sit here? This act persuades me, Will pack when it begins to rain,
That this remotion of the duke and her And leave thee in the storm.
Is practice only. Give me my servant forth : But I will tarry; the fool will stay,
Go, tell the duke and's wife I'd speak with And let the wise man fly :
them, The knave turns fool that runs away;
Now, presently: bid them come forth and hear The fool no knave, perdy.
Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum KENT. Where learned you this, fool ?
Till it cry sleep to death." Fool. Not i' the stocks, fool.
Glo. I would have all well betwixt you. [Erit.
(*) Old copies, Historica.
(+) First folio, number.
& Winter's not gone yet, &c.] This speech is not found in the
The knave turns fool that runs away;
The fool no knave, perdy )
* The fool turns knave that runs away;
The knave no fool, perdy."
(+) First folio, commands, tends, service. d Well, my good lord, &c.] This speech and Lear's rejoinder are found only in the folio.
e Is practice only.) Practice, it need hardly be repeated, meant artifice, conspiracy, &c. f Till it cry sleep to death.) Till the clamour of the drum deor is the death of sleep. The line is usually given, however,
"Till it cry, Sleep to death!" that is, till it cry out, arake no more, and this very possibly was the poet's idea.
a - the cockney-] “Cockney," of old, bore more tha: one signification; as employed by Chaucer, in "The Rove's Tale," verse 4205,
" And when this jape is told another day,
I sal be hald a daf, a cokenay,"it plainly means an effeminate spoony. In Dekker's “Newes from Hell," &c. 1602,-"'Tis not their fault, but our mothers', our cockering mothers, who for their labour made us to be called
cockneys," it has the same import. According to Percy, whose authority is the following couplet from the ancient ballad called "The Turnament of Tottenham," —
“At that feast were they served in rich array;
Every five and five hala cokenay,"it meant a cook or scullion; and that, perhaps, is the sense of the word in the present place.
Enter Cornwall, REGAN, GLOUCESTER, and Most serpent-like, upon the very heart:-
All the stor'd vengeances of heaven fall
On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones, LEAR. Good morrow to you both.
You taking airs, with lameness !
Fie, sir, fie! [Kent is set at liberty. LEAR. You nimble lightnings, dart your blindReg. I am glad to see your highness.
ing flames LEAR. Regan, I think you are ; I know what | Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty, reason
You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the pow’rful sun, I have to think so: if thou shouldst not be glad, To fall and blast her pride! I would divorce me from thy mother's * tomb,
O, the blest gods! Sepulchring an adultress.-0, are you free? So will you wish on me, when the rash mood is on.
[To KENT. | LEAR. No, Regan, thou shalt never have my Some other time for that.-Beloved Regan,
curse ; Thy sister's naught: 0, Regan, she hath tied Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here !-- Thee o'er to harshness ; her eyes are fierce, but [Points to his heart.
thine I can scarce speak to thee; thou’lt not believe, Do comfort, and not burn. 'Tis not in thee With how depravd a quality–0 Regan !
To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train, Reg. I pray you, sir, take patience: I have To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes, hope,
And, in conclusion, to oppose the bolt You less know how to value her desert,
Against my coming in : thou better know'st Than she to scant her duty.
The offices of nature, bond of childhood, LEAR.
Say, how is that ? " Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude ; Reg. I cannot think my sister in the least Thy half o'the kingdom hast thou not forgot, Would fail her obligation : if, sir, perchance, Wherein I thee endow’d. She have restrain’d the riots of your followers,
Good sir, to the purpose. 'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end, LEAR. Who put my man i'the stocks ? As clears her from all blame.
[Trumpets without. LEAR. My curses on her!
What trumpet's that ? REG.
O, sir, you are old; Reg. I know't my sister's: this approves her Nature in you stands on the very verge
Is your lady come? LEAR.
Ask her forgiveness ? ! LEAR. This is a slave, whose easy-borrow'd Do you but mark how this becomes the house : (5)
Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows. Dear daughter, I confess that I am old;
Out, varlet, from my sight! Age is unnecessary: on my knees I beg, [Kneeling. I CORN.
What means your grace ? That you'll wuchsafe me raiment, bed, and food. | LEAR. Who stock'd my servant ? Regan, I
have good hope Reg. Good sir, no more; these are unsightly Thou didst not know on't. Who comes here? tricks :
Allowf obedience, if * yourselves are old,
(*) First folia, Mosker. (*) First folio omits, sir. * Say, how is that t] This and the next speech are not in the quartos
low taking airs, To taky, in old language, signified to Miast, or intact with banenal infuenceSe in Act Ill. Se 4,-** Bless the thom whirlwindis, star blasting, and so him." e te fall and blast her pride!) The follo tamely reads
* To fall and Master
(*) First folio inserts, yok. d The tender-hetted mature Tender-hefted is a very doubtfal expression, and "tender dested, the reading of the quartos, is not much less so: but we have not sufficient confidence in the substitution, "tender-hearted," which Rowe and Pope adopt, to alter the ancient tert
- te sesim sises, -] "Sises " are allowances of provision. i Allow ebedar*00,-) That is, approve obedience.
Make it your cause; send down, and take my | Must be content to think you old, and som part !
| But she knows what she does. Art not asham'd to look upon this beard ?
Is this well spoken ? To Gon. Reg. I dare avouch it, sir: what, fifty followers? 0, Regan, will you take her by the hand?
Is it not well? What should you need of more? Gon. Why not by the hand, sir ? How have Yea, or so many, sith that both charge and danger I offended ?
Speak 'gainst so great a number? How, in one All's not offence, that indiscretion finds
house, And dotage terms so.
Should many people, under two commands, LEAR.
O, sides, you are too tough! Hold amity ? 'Tis hard ; almost impossible. Will you get hold ?—How came my man i' the | Gon. Why might not you, my lord, receive
attendance CORN. I set him there, sir : but his own From those that she calls servants, or from mine? Desery'd much less advancement.
Reg. Why not, my lord ? If then they LEAR.
You! did you ?
chanc'd to slack ye, Reg. I pray you, father, being weak, seem so. | We could control them. If you will come to me, If, till the expiration of your month,
(For now I spy a danger) I entreat you
And in good time you gave it. LEAR. Return to her, and fifty men dismiss'd!
LEAR. — Made you my guardians, my deposiNo, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose
taries ; To wage against the enmity o'the air;
But kept a reservation to be followed To be a comrade with the wolf and owl,—
With such a number. What, must I come to you Necessity's sharp pinch ! ^_Return with her ! With five and twenty? Regan, said you so ? Why, the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took
REG. And speak 't again, my lord ; no more Our youngest born, I could as well be brought
with me. To knee his throne, and, squire-like, pension beg LEAR. Those wicked creatures yet do look To keep base life afoot.—Return with her!
well-favour'd, Persuade me rather to be slave and sumpter When others are more wicked; not being the To this detested groom. [Pointing to OSWALD.
At your choice, sir. Stands in some rank of praise.—I'll go with thee; LEAR. I prythee, daughter, do not make me
To GONERIL. mad :
Thy fifty yet doth double five and twenty,
Hear me, my lord ;
To follow in a house, where twice so many
What need one ? In my corrupted blood. But I'll not chide thee; LEAR. O, reason not the need : our basest Let shame come when it will, I do not call it :
beggars I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot,
Are in the poorest thing superfluous : Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove : Allow not nature more than nature needs, Mend when thou canst; be better at thy leisure: Man's life is cheap as beast's : thou art a lady ; I can be patient; I can stay with Regan,
If only to go warm were gorgeous, I and my hundred knights.
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st,
Not altogether so: Which scarcely keeps thee warm.-But, for true I look'd not for you yet, nor am provided
need, For your fit welcome. Give ear, sir, to my sister; | You heavens, give me that patience, patience I For those that mingle reason with your passion,
(*) First folio, or.
Necessity's sharp pinch)
"To be a comrade with the wolf, and howl
Necessity's sharp pinch."
And Mr. Collier terms the alteration, "A fortunate recovery of what must have been tbe real language of the poet"!
b You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need !] Mr. Collier's annotator reads,
"— give me but patience," &c.