Act III, Scene 4
The heath. Before a hovel.
- Enter Lear, Kent disguised as Caius, and Fool.
Kent1 - 3
- Here is the place, my lord; good my lord, enter,
- The tyranny of the open night’s too rough
- For nature to endure.
- Storm still.
- Let me alone.
- Good my lord, enter here.
- Wilt break my heart?
- I had rather break mine own. Good my lord, enter.
Lear8 - 24
- 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 roaring sea,
- Thou’dst meet the bear i’ th’ mouth. When the mind’s free,
- The body’s delicate; this 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.
Lear26 - 39
- Prithee go in thyself, seek thine own ease.
- This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
- On things would hurt me more. But I’ll go in.
- To the Fool.
- In, boy, go first.—You houseless poverty—
- Nay, get thee in; I’ll pray, and then I’ll sleep.
- Exit Fool.
- 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’en
- Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp,
- Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
- That thou mayst shake the superflux to them,
- And show the heavens more just.
- Fathom and half, fathom and half! Poor Tom!
- Enter Fool from the hovel.
- Come not in here, nuncle, here’s a spirit. Help me, help me!
- Give me thy hand. Who’s there?
- A spirit, a spirit! He says his name’s poor Tom.
Kent44 - 45
- What art thou that dost grumble there i’ th’ straw? Come
- Enter Edgar disguised as a madman.
Edgar46 - 47
- Away, the foul fiend follows me! Through the sharp hawthorn
- blow the cold winds. Humh, go to thy bed and warm thee.
Lear48 - 49
- Didst thou give all to thy daughters? And art thou come to
Edgar50 - 60
- Who gives any thing to poor Tom? Whom the foul fiend hath
- led through fire and through flame, through ford and
- whirlpool, o’er 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
- trotting-horse over four-inch’d bridges, to course his own
- shadow for a traitor. Bless thy five wits! Tom’s 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
- again—and there.
- Storm still.
Lear61 - 62
- Has his daughters brought him to this pass? Couldst thou
- save nothing? Wouldst thou give ’em all?
- Nay, he reserv’d a blanket, else we had been all sham’d.
Lear64 - 65
- Now all the plagues that in the pendulous air Hang fated
- o’er men’s faults light on thy daughters!
- He hath no daughters, sir.
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- Death, traitor! Nothing could have subdu’d nature
- To such a lowness but his unkind daughters.
- Is it the fashion, that discarded fathers
- Should have thus little mercy on their flesh?
- Judicious punishment! ’Twas this flesh begot
- Those pelican daughters.
- Pillicock sat on Pillicock-Hill, alow! Alow, loo, loo!
- This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.
Edgar75 - 78
- Take heed o’ th’ foul fiend. Obey thy parents, keep thy
- word’s justice, swear not, commit not with man’s sworn
- spouse, set not thy sweet heart on proud array. Tom’s
- What hast thou been?
Edgar80 - 94
- A servingman! Proud in heart and mind; that curl’d my hair;
- wore gloves in my cap; serv’d the lust of my mistress’
- 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 wak’d
- to do it. Wine lov’d I deeply, dice dearly; and in woman
- out-paramour’d 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 woman. 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, nonny. Dolphin my boy, boy, sessa! Let him trot
- Storm still.
Lear95 - 102
- Thou wert better in a grave than to answer with thy
- uncover’d body this extremity of the skies. Is man no more
- than this? Consider him well. Thou ow’st the worm no silk,
- the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume.
- Ha? Here’s three on ’s are sophisticated. Thou art the thing
- itself: unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare,
- fork’d animal as thou art. Off, off, you lendings! Come,
- unbutton here.
- Tearing off his clothes.
Fool103 - 106
- Prithee, nuncle, be contented, ’tis 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 on ’s body cold.
- Enter Gloucester with a torch.
- Look, here comes a walking fire.
Edgar107 - 115
- This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet; he begins at curfew,
- and walks till the first cock; he gives the web and the pin,
- squinies the eye, and makes the hare-lip; mildews the white
- wheat, and hurts the poor creature of earth.
- Swithold footed thrice the ’old,
- He met the night-mare and her nine-fold;
- Bid her alight,
- And her troth plight,
- And aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!
- How fares your Grace?
- What’s he?
- Who’s there? What is’t you seek?
- What are you there? Your names?
Edgar120 - 130
- 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 whipt from tithing
- to tithing, and stock-punish’d and imprison’d; 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, Smulkin, peace, thou fiend!
- What, hath your Grace no better company?
Edgar132 - 133
- The prince of darkness is a gentleman. Modo he’s call’d, and
Gloucester134 - 135
- Our flesh and blood, my lord, is grown so vild
- That it doth hate what gets it.
- Poor Tom’s a-cold.
Gloucester137 - 142
- Go in with me; my duty cannot suffer
- T’ obey in all your daughters’ hard commands.
- Though their injunction be to bar my doors,
- And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you,
- Yet have I ventured to come seek you out,
- And bring you where both fire and food is ready.
Lear143 - 144
- First let me talk with this philosopher.
- What is the cause of thunder?
- Good my lord, take his offer, go into th’ house.
Lear146 - 147
- I’ll talk a word with this same learned Theban.
- What is your study?
- How to prevent the fiend, and to kill vermin.
- Let me ask you one word in private.
Kent150 - 151
- Importune him once more to go, my lord,
- His wits begin t’ unsettle.
Gloucester152 - 161
- Canst thou blame him?
- Storm still.
- His daughters seek his death. Ah, that good Kent!
- He said it would be thus, poor banish’d man.
- Thou sayest the King grows mad, I’ll tell thee, friend,
- I am almost mad myself. I had a son,
- Now outlaw’d from my blood; he sought my life,
- But lately, very late. I lov’d him, friend,
- No father his son dearer; true to tell thee,
- The grief hath craz’d my wits. What a night’s this!
- I do beseech your Grace—
Lear162 - 163
- O, cry you mercy, sir.
- Noble philosopher, your company.
- Tom’s a-cold.
- In, fellow, there, into th’ hovel; keep thee warm.
- Come, let’s in all.
- This way, my lord.
Lear168 - 169
- With him;
- I will keep still with my philosopher.
- Good my lord, soothe him; let him take the fellow.
- Take him you on.
- Sirrah, come on; go along with us.
- Come, good Athenian.
- No words, no words, hush.
Edgar175 - 177
- Child Rowland to the dark tower came,
- His word was still, “Fie, foh, and fum,
- I smell the blood of a British man.”