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That you'd convey me to his breathless trunk,
With my torn robes to wrap his hoary head,
With my torn hair to bind his hands and feet,
Then with a show'r of tears
To wash his clay-smear'd cheeks, and die beside him.
Glost. Oh, fair Cordelia, thou hast piety Enough t'atone for both thy sisters' crimes; I have already plotted to restore My injur'd master, and thy virtue tells me We shall succeed, and suddenly. [Exit Gloster.
Cord. Despatch, Aranthe; For in this disguise, we'll instantly Go seek the king, and bring him some relief.
Aran. How, madam! are you ignorant That your most impious sisters have decreed Immediate death for any that relieve him?
Cord. I cannot dread the furies in this case.
Aran. In such a night as this! Consider, madam, For many miles about there's scarce a bush To shelter in.
Cord. Therefore no shelter for the king,
Blow winds, and lightnings fall;
[Exeunt Cordelia and Aranthe.
Edm. In this disguise, we'll instantly
Go seek the king! Ha! ha! a lucky change:
That virtue, which I fear'd would be my hindrance,
Has prov'd the bawd to my design.
I'll bribe two ruffians shall at distance follow,
And seize them in some desert place; and there
Whilst one retains her, t'other shall return
T'inform me where she's lodg'd: I'll be disguis'd too.
Whilst they are poaching for me, I'll to the duke
With these dispatches: then to the field,
Another Part of the Heath.—Rain—Thunder—Lightning.
Enter King Lear and Kent.
Kent. Here is the place, my lord; good, my lord, enter: The tyranny of this open night's too rough For nature to endure.
Lear. Let me alone.
Kent. Good my lord, enter.
Lear. Wilt break my heart?
Kent. I'd rather break mine own.
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: The tempest in my mind Does 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'll punish home!
No, I will weep no more. [Ram—Thunder—Lightning. 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
Oh, that way madness lies! let me shun that;
Kent. See, my lord, here's the entrance.
Lear. Well, I'll go in,
Edg. [In the Hovel.] Five fathom and a half.— Poor Tom!
Kent. What art thou that dost grumble there i' th' straw? Come forth.
Enter Edgar, disguised.
Edg. Away! the foul fiend follows me—Through
the sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind Mum,go
to thy bed and warm thee Ha! what do I see?
By all my griefs, the poor old king bare-headed, And drench'd in this foul storm! Professing syrens, Are all your protestations come to this?
Lear. Tell me, fellow, didst thou give all to thy two daughters?
Edg. Who gives any thing to poor Tom, whom the foul fiend has led through fire and through flame, through bushes and bogs? that has laid knives under his pillow, and halters in his pew; that has made him proud of heart to ride on a bay trotting horse over four-inched bridges, to course his own shadow for a
traitor? Bless thy five wits! Tom's a-cold. Bless
thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting, and taking! Do poor Tom some charity, whom the foul fiend vexes. Sa, sa; there I could have him now, and there, and there again.
Lear. What, have his daughters brought him to this pass? Couldst thou save nothing? Didst thou give them all?
Kent. He has no daughter, sir.
Lear. Death! traitor, nothing could have subdu'd nature »
To such a lowness, but his unkind daughters.
Edg. Pillicock sat upon pillicock hill; hallo, hallo, hallo.
Lear. Is it the fashion that discarded fathers Should have such little mercy on their flesh? Judicious punishment! 'twas this flesh begot Those pelican daughters.
Edg. Take heed of 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. (Wind and Rain.] 'Tom's a cold.
Lear. What hast thou been?
Edg. A serving-man, proud of heart; that curled my hair; used perfume and washes; that served the lust of my mistress's heart, and did the act of darkness with her; swore as many oaths as I spoke words; and broke them all in the sweet face of Heaven: Let not the paint, nor the patch, nor the rustling of silks, betray thy poor heart to woman; keep thy foot out of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy pen from creditors' books, and defy the foul fiend. (Wind and Rain.] Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind.—Ha, no nonny, dolphin, my boy, my boy, sessa; let him trot by.
Lear. Death! thou wert better in thy grave, than thus to answer with thy uncovered body this extremity of the sky. Yet consider him well, and man's no more than this; thou art indebted to the worm for no silk, to the beast for no hide, to the cat for no perfume.— Ha! here's two of us are sophisticated: thou art the thing itself; unaccommodated man is no more than such a poor, bare, forked, animal as thou art. Off, off, ye vain disguises, empty lendings, I'll be my original self; quick, quick, uncase me.
Kent. Defend his wits, good Heaven!
Lear. One point I had forgot; what is your name!
Edg. Poor Tom, that eats the swimming frog, the wall-newt and the water-newt; that in the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cow dung for sallads, swallows the old rat and the ditch dog; that drinks the green mantle off the standing pool; that's whipt from tything to tything; that has three suits to his back, six shirts to his body;
Horse to ride, and weapon to wear;
Beware my follower; peace, Smolkid, peace, thou foul fiend!
Lear. One word more, but be sure true counsel; tell me, is a madman a gentleman, or a yeoman?
Kent. I fear'd'twou'd come to this; his wits are gone.
Edg. Frateretto calls me, and tells me, Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.
Lear. Right, ha! ha!—was it not pleasant to have a thousand with red hot spits come hissing in upon them? 7
Edg. My tears begin to take his part so much, They mar my counterfeiting.
Lear. The little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart, see, they bark at me.