Act IV, Scene 6
Fields near Dover.
- Enter Gloucester and Edgar dressed like a peasant.
- When shall I come to th’ top of that same hill?
- You do climb up it now. Look how we labor.
- Methinks the ground is even.
Edgar4 - 5
- Horrible steep.
- Hark, do you hear the sea?
- No, truly.
Edgar7 - 8
- Why then your other senses grow imperfect
- By your eyes’ anguish.
Gloucester9 - 11
- So may it be indeed.
- Methinks thy voice is alter’d, and thou speak’st
- In better phrase and matter than thou didst.
Edgar12 - 13
- Y’ are much deceiv’d. In nothing am I chang’d
- But in my garments.
- Methinks y’ are better spoken.
Edgar15 - 28
- Come on, sir, here’s the place; stand still. How fearful
- And dizzy ’tis, to cast one’s eyes so low!
- The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
- Show scarce so gross as beetles. Half way down
- Hangs one that gathers sampire, dreadful trade!
- Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.
- The fishermen that walk upon the beach
- Appear like mice; and yond tall anchoring bark,
- Diminish’d to her cock; her cock, a buoy
- Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge,
- That on th’ unnumb’red idle pebble chafes,
- Cannot be heard so high. I’ll look no more,
- Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight
- Topple down headlong.
- Set me where you stand.
Edgar30 - 32
- Give me your hand. You are now within a foot
- Of th’ extreme verge. For all beneath the moon
- Would I not leap upright.
Gloucester33 - 37
- Let go my hand.
- Here, friend, ’s another purse; in it a jewel
- Well worth a poor man’s taking. Fairies and gods
- Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off:
- Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.
- Now fare ye well, good sir.
- With all my heart.
Edgar40 - 41
- Why I do trifle thus with his despair
- Is done to cure it.
Gloucester42 - 49
- O you mighty gods!
- He kneels.
- This world I do renounce, and in your sights
- Shake patiently my great affliction off.
- If I could bear it longer, and not fall
- To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
- My snuff and loathed part of nature should
- Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O bless him!
- Now, fellow, fare thee well.
- He falls.
Edgar50 - 57
- Gone, sir; farewell!
- And yet I know not how conceit may rob
- The treasury of life, when life itself
- Yields to the theft. Had he been where he thought,
- By this had thought been past. Alive or dead?—
- Ho, you, sir! Friend! Hear you, sir! Speak!—
- Thus might he pass indeed; yet he revives.—
- What are you, sir?
- Away, and let me die.
Edgar59 - 65
- Hadst thou been aught but goss’mer, feathers, air
- (So many fathom down precipitating),
- Thou’dst shiver’d like an egg: but thou dost breathe,
- Hast heavy substance, bleed’st not, speak’st, art sound.
- Ten masts at each make not the altitude
- Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.
- Thy life’s a miracle. Speak yet again.
- But have I fall’n, or no?
Edgar67 - 69
- From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.
- Look up a-height, the shrill-gorg’d lark so far
- Cannot be seen or heard. Do but look up.
Gloucester70 - 74
- Alack, I have no eyes.
- Is wretchedness depriv’d that benefit,
- To end itself by death? ’Twas yet some comfort,
- When misery could beguile the tyrant’s rage,
- And frustrate his proud will.
Edgar75 - 76
- Give me your arm.
- Up—so. How is’t? Feel you your legs? You stand.
- Too well, too well.
Edgar78 - 80
- This is above all strangeness.
- Upon the crown o’ th’ cliff, what thing was that
- Which parted from you?
- A poor unfortunate beggar.
Edgar82 - 87
- As I stood here below, methought his eyes
- Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses,
- Horns welk’d and waved like the enridged sea.
- It was some fiend; therefore, thou happy father,
- Think that the clearest gods, who make them honors
- Of men’s impossibilities, have preserved thee.
Gloucester88 - 92
- I do remember now. Henceforth I’ll bear
- Affliction till it do cry out itself
- “Enough, enough,” and die. That thing you speak of,
- I took it for a man; often ’twould say,
- “The fiend, the fiend!”—he led me to that place.
Edgar93 - 96
- Bear free and patient thoughts.
- Enter Lear mad, crowned with weeds and flowers.
- But who comes here?
- The safer sense will ne’er accommodate
- His master thus.
- No, they cannot touch me for coining, I am the King himself.
- O thou side—piercing sight!
Lear99 - 105
- Nature’s above art in that respect. There’s your
- press-money. That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper;
- draw me a clothier’s yard. Look, look, a mouse! Peace,
- peace, this piece of toasted cheese will do’t. There’s my
- gauntlet, I’ll prove it on a giant. Bring up the brown
- bills. O, well flown, bird! I’ th’ clout, i’ th’
- clout—hewgh! Give the word.
- Sweet marjorum.
- I know that voice.
Lear109 - 117
- Ha! Goneril with a white beard? They flatter’d me like a
- dog, and told me I had the white hairs in my beard ere the
- black ones were there. To say “ay” and “no” to every thing
- that I said! “Ay,” and “no” too, was no good divinity. When
- the rain came to wet me once, and the wind to make me
- chatter, when the thunder would not peace at my bidding,
- there I found ’em, there I smelt ’em out. Go to, they are
- not men o’ their words: they told me I was every thing. ’Tis
- a lie, I am not ague-proof.
Gloucester118 - 119
- The trick of that voice I do well remember;
- Is’t not the King?
Lear120 - 144
- Ay, every inch a king!
- When I do stare, see how the subject quakes.
- I pardon that man’s life. What was thy cause?
- Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery? No,
- The wren goes to’t, and the small gilded fly
- Does lecher in my sight.
- Let copulation thrive; for Gloucester’s bastard son
- Was kinder to his father than my daughters
- Got ’tween the lawful sheets.
- To’t, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.
- Behold yond simp’ring dame,
- Whose face between her forks presages snow;
- That minces virtue, and does shake the head
- To hear of pleasure’s name—
- The fitchew nor the soiled horse goes to’t
- With a more riotous appetite.
- Down from the waist they are Centaurs,
- Though women all above;
- But to the girdle do the gods inherit,
- Beneath is all the fiends’: there’s hell, there’s darkness,
- There is the sulfurous pit, burning, scalding,
- Stench, consumption. Fie, fie, fie! Pah, pah!
- Give me an ounce of civet; good apothecary,
- Sweeten my imagination. There’s money for thee.
- O, let me kiss that hand!
- Let me wipe it first, it smells of mortality.
Gloucester147 - 148
- O ruin’d piece of nature! This great world
- Shall so wear out to nought. Dost thou know me?
Lear149 - 151
- I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me?
- No, do thy worst, blind Cupid, I’ll not love. Read thou this
- challenge; mark but the penning of it.
- Were all thy letters suns, I could not see.
Edgar153 - 154
- I would not take this from report; it is,
- And my heart breaks at it.
- What, with the case of eyes?
Lear157 - 159
- O ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no
- money in your purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your
- purse in a light, yet you see how this world goes.
- I see it feelingly.
Lear161 - 165
- What, art mad? A man may see how this world goes with no
- eyes. Look with thine ears; see how yond justice rails upon
- yond simple thief. Hark in thine ear: change places, and
- handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Thou
- hast seen a farmer’s dog bark at a beggar?
- Ay, sir.
Lear167 - 182
- And the creature run from the cur? There thou mightst behold
- the great image of authority: a dog’s obey’d in office.
- Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand!
- Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thy own back,
- Thou hotly lusts to use her in that kind
- For which thou whip’st her. The usurer hangs the cozener.
- Thorough tatter’d clothes small vices do appear;
- Robes and furr’d gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
- And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;
- Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw does pierce it.
- None does offend, none, I say none, I’ll able ’em.
- Take that of me, my friend, who have the power
- To seal th’ accuser’s lips. Get thee glass eyes,
- And like a scurvy politician, seem
- To see the things thou dost not. Now, now, now, now.
- Pull off my boots; harder, harder-so.
Edgar183 - 184
- O, matter and impertinency mix’d,
- Reason in madness!
Lear185 - 189
- If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes.
- I know thee well enough, thy name is Gloucester.
- Thou must be patient; we came crying hither.
- Thou know’st, the first time that we smell the air
- We wawl and cry. I will preach to thee. Mark.
- Lear takes off his crown of weeds and flowers.
- Alack, alack the day!
Lear191 - 196
- When we are born, we cry that we are come
- To this great stage of fools.—This’ a good block.
- It were a delicate stratagem, to shoe
- A troop of horse with felt. I’ll put’t in proof,
- And when I have stol’n upon these son-in-laws,
- Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!
- Enter First Gentleman with Attendants.
First Gentleman197 - 198
- O, here he is: lay hand upon him.—Sir,
- Your most dear daughter—
Lear199 - 202
- No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even
- The natural fool of fortune. Use me well,
- You shall have ransom. Let me have surgeons,
- I am cut to th’ brains.
- You shall have any thing.
Lear204 - 207
- No seconds? All myself?
- Why, this would make a man a man of salt
- To use his eyes for garden water-pots,
- Ay, and laying autumn’s dust.
- Good sir—
Lear209 - 211
- I will die bravely, like a smug bridegroom. What?
- I will be jovial. Come, come, I am a king,
- Masters, know you that?
- You are a royal one, and we obey you.
Lear213 - 214
- Then there’s life in’t. Come, and you get it, you shall get
- it by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa.
- Exit running; Attendants follow.
First Gentleman215 - 218
- A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch,
- Past speaking of in a king! Thou hast one daughter
- Who redeems nature from the general curse
- Which twain have brought her to.
- Hail, gentle sir.
- Sir, speed you: what’s your will?
- Do you hear aught, sir, of a battle toward?
First Gentleman222 - 223
- Most sure and vulgar; every one hears that,
- Which can distinguish sound.
Edgar224 - 225
- But by your favor,
- How near’s the other army?
First Gentleman226 - 227
- Near and on speedy foot; the main descry
- Stands on the hourly thought.
- I thank you, sir, that’s all.
First Gentleman229 - 230
- Though that the Queen on special cause is here,
- Her army is mov’d on.
- I thank you, sir.
- Exit First Gentleman.
Gloucester232 - 234
- You ever—gentle gods, take my breath from me,
- Let not my worser spirit tempt me again
- To die before you please!
- Well pray you, father.
- Now, good sir, what are you?
Edgar237 - 240
- A most poor man, made tame to fortune’s blows,
- Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
- Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand,
- I’ll lead you to some biding.
Gloucester241 - 243
- Hearty thanks;
- The bounty and the benison of heaven
- To boot, and boot!
- Enter Steward Oswald.
Oswald244 - 248
- A proclaim’d prize! Most happy!
- That eyeless head of thine was first fram’d flesh
- To raise my fortunes. Thou old unhappy traitor,
- Briefly thyself remember; the sword is out
- That must destroy thee.
Gloucester249 - 250
- Now let thy friendly hand
- Put strength enough to’t.
- Edgar interposes.
Oswald251 - 254
- Wherefore, bold peasant,
- Durst thou support a publish’d traitor? Hence,
- Lest that th’ infection of his fortune take
- Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.
- Chill not let go, zir, without vurther cagion.
- Let go, slave, or thou di’st!
Edgar257 - 261
- Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor voke pass. And
- chud ha’ bin zwagger’d out of my life, ’twould not ha’ bin
- zo long as ’tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near th’ old
- man; keep out, che vor’ ye, or I’ce try whither your costard
- or my ballow be the harder. Chill be plain with you.
- Out, dunghill!
- They fight.
- Chill pick your teeth, zir. Come, no matter vor your foins.
Oswald264 - 269
- Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse:
- If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body,
- And give the letters which thou find’st about me
- To Edmund Earl of Gloucester; seek him out
- Upon the English party. O untimely death!
- He dies.
Edgar270 - 272
- I know thee well; a serviceable villain,
- As duteous to the vices of thy mistress
- As badness would desire.
- What, is he dead?
Edgar274 - 295
- Sit you down, father; rest you.
- Let’s see these pockets; the letters that he speaks of
- May be my friends. He’s dead; I am only sorry
- He had no other deathsman. Let us see.
- Leave, gentle wax, and, manners, blame us not:
- To know our enemies’ minds, we rip their hearts,
- Their papers is more lawful.
- Reads the letter.
- “Let our reciprocal vows be rememb’red. You have many
- opportunities to cut him off; if your will want not, time
- and place will be fruitfully offer’d. There is nothing done,
- if he return the conqueror; then am I the prisoner, and his
- bed my jail; from the loath’d warmth whereof deliver me, and
- supply the place for your labor. Your (wife, so I would say)
- affectionate servant, Goneril.”
- O indistinguish’d space of woman’s will!:
- A plot upon her virtuous husband’s life,
- And the exchange my brother! Here, in the sands,
- Thee I’ll rake up, the post unsanctified
- Of murderous lechers; and in the mature time
- With this ungracious paper strike the sight
- Of the death-practic’d Duke. For him ’tis well
- That of thy death and business I can tell.
Gloucester296 - 301
- The King is mad; how stiff is my vild sense
- That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling
- Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract,
- So should my thoughts be sever’d from my griefs,
- And woes by wrong imaginations lose
- The knowledge of themselves.
- Drum afar off.
Edgar302 - 304
- Give me your hand;
- Far off methinks I hear the beaten drum.
- Come, father, I’ll bestow you with a friend.