Act III, Scene 2
Another part of the heath.
- Storm still. Enter Lear and Fool.
Lear1 - 9
- Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage, blow!
- You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
- Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!
- You sulph’rous and thought-executing fires,
- Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
- Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
- Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ th’ world!
- Crack nature’s moulds, all germains spill at once
- That makes ingrateful man!
Fool10 - 13
- O nuncle, court holy-water in a dry house is better than
- this rain-water out o’ door. Good nuncle, in, ask thy
- daughters blessing. Here’s a night pities neither wise men
- nor fools.
Lear14 - 24
- Rumble thy bellyful! Spit, fire! Spout, rain!
- Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire are my daughters.
- I tax not you, you elements, with unkindness;
- I never gave you kingdom, call’d you children;
- You owe me no subscription. Then let fall
- Your horrible pleasure. Here I stand your slave,
- A poor, infirm, weak, and despis’d old man;
- But yet I call you servile ministers,
- That will with two pernicious daughters join
- Your high-engender’d battles ’gainst a head
- So old and white as this. O, ho! ’Tis foul.
Fool25 - 35
- He that has a house to put ’s head in has a good head-piece.
- The codpiece that will house
- Before the head has any,
- The head and he shall louse:
- So beggars marry many.
- The man that makes his toe
- What he his heart should make,
- Shall of a corn cry woe,
- And turn his sleep to wake.
- For there was never yet fair woman but she made mouths in a
- Enter Kent disguised as Caius.
Lear36 - 37
- No, I will be the pattern of all patience, I will say
- Who’s there?
Fool39 - 40
- Marry, here’s grace and a codpiece—that’s a wise man and a
Kent41 - 48
- Alas, sir, are you here? Things that love night
- Love not such nights as these. The wrathful skies
- Gallow the very wanderers of the dark,
- And make them keep their caves. Since I was man,
- Such sheets of fire, such bursts of horrid thunder,
- Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never
- Remember to have heard. Man’s nature cannot carry
- Th’ affliction nor the fear.
Lear49 - 60
- Let the great gods,
- That keep this dreadful pudder o’er our heads,
- Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch
- That hast within thee undivulged crimes
- Unwhipt of justice! Hide thee, thou bloody hand;
- Thou perjur’d, and thou simular of virtue
- That art incestuous! Caitiff, to pieces shake,
- That under covert and convenient seeming
- Has practic’d on man’s life! Close pent-up guilts,
- Rive your concealing continents, and cry
- These dreadful summoners grace. I am a man
- More sinn’d against than sinning.
Kent61 - 68
- Alack, bare-headed?
- Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel,
- Some friendship will it lend you ’gainst the tempest.
- Repose you there, while I to this hard house
- (More harder than the stones whereof ’tis rais’d,
- Which even but now, demanding after you,
- Denied me to come in) return, and force
- Their scanted courtesy.
Lear69 - 75
- My wits begin to turn.
- Come on, my boy. How dost, my boy? Art cold?
- I am cold myself. Where is this straw, my fellow?
- The art of our necessities is strange
- And can make vild things precious. Come, your hovel.
- Poor Fool and knave, I have one part in my heart
- That’s sorry yet for thee.
Fool76 - 79
- “He that has and a little tiny wit—
- With heigh-ho, the wind and the rain—
- Must make content with his fortunes fit,
- Though the rain it raineth every day.”
- True, boy. Come bring us to this hovel.
- Exit with Kent.
Fool81 - 97
- This is a brave night to cool a courtezan. I’ll speak a
- prophecy ere I go:
- When priests are more in word than matter;
- When brewers mar their malt with water;
- When nobles are their tailors’ tutors;
- No heretics burn’d, but wenches’ suitors;
- Then shall the realm of Albion
- Come to great confusion.
- When every case in law is right;
- No squire in debt, nor no poor knight;
- When slanders do not live in tongues;
- Nor cutpurses come not to throngs;
- When usurers tell their gold i’ th’ field,
- And bawds and whores do churches build;
- Then comes the time, who lives to see’t,
- That going shall be us’d with feet.
- This prophecy Merlin shall make, for I live before his time.