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King Lear: Act IV, Scene 6

King Lear
Act IV, Scene 6

Fields near Dover.

  1. Enter Gloucester and Edgar dressed like a peasant.

Gloucester

1
  1. When shall I come to th’ top of that same hill?

Edgar

2
  1. You do climb up it now. Look how we labor.

Gloucester

3
  1. Methinks the ground is even.

Edgar

4 - 5
  1.                              Horrible steep.
  2. Hark, do you hear the sea?

Gloucester

6
  1.                            No, truly.

Edgar

7 - 8
  1. Why then your other senses grow imperfect
  2. By your eyes’ anguish.

Gloucester

9 - 11
  1.                        So may it be indeed.
  2. Methinks thy voice is alter’d, and thou speak’st
  3. In better phrase and matter than thou didst.

Edgar

12 - 13
  1. Y’ are much deceiv’d. In nothing am I chang’d
  2. But in my garments.

Gloucester

14
  1.                     Methinks y’ are better spoken.

Edgar

15 - 28
  1. Come on, sir, here’s the place; stand still. How fearful
  2. And dizzy ’tis, to cast one’s eyes so low!
  3. The crows and choughs that wing the midway air
  4. Show scarce so gross as beetles. Half way down
  5. Hangs one that gathers sampire, dreadful trade!
  6. Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.
  7. The fishermen that walk upon the beach
  8. Appear like mice; and yond tall anchoring bark,
  9. Diminish’d to her cock; her cock, a buoy
  10. Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge,
  11. That on th’ unnumb’red idle pebble chafes,
  12. Cannot be heard so high. I’ll look no more,
  13. Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight
  14. Topple down headlong.

Gloucester

29
  1.                       Set me where you stand.

Edgar

30 - 32
  1. Give me your hand. You are now within a foot
  2. Of th’ extreme verge. For all beneath the moon
  3. Would I not leap upright.

Gloucester

33 - 37
  1.                           Let go my hand.
  2. Here, friend, ’s another purse; in it a jewel
  3. Well worth a poor man’s taking. Fairies and gods
  4. Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off:
  5. Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.

Edgar

38
  1. Now fare ye well, good sir.

Gloucester

39
  1. With all my heart.

Edgar

40 - 41
  1. Aside.
  2. Why I do trifle thus with his despair
  3. Is done to cure it.

Gloucester

42 - 49
  1.                     O you mighty gods!
  2. He kneels.
  3. This world I do renounce, and in your sights
  4. Shake patiently my great affliction off.
  5. If I could bear it longer, and not fall
  6. To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
  7. My snuff and loathed part of nature should
  8. Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O bless him!
  9. Now, fellow, fare thee well.
  1. He falls.

Edgar

50 - 57
  1.                              Gone, sir; farewell!
  2. And yet I know not how conceit may rob
  3. The treasury of life, when life itself
  4. Yields to the theft. Had he been where he thought,
  5. By this had thought been past. Alive or dead?—
  6. Ho, you, sir! Friend! Hear you, sir! Speak!—
  7. Thus might he pass indeed; yet he revives.—
  8. What are you, sir?

Gloucester

58
  1.                    Away, and let me die.

Edgar

59 - 65
  1. Hadst thou been aught but goss’mer, feathers, air
  2. (So many fathom down precipitating),
  3. Thou’dst shiver’d like an egg: but thou dost breathe,
  4. Hast heavy substance, bleed’st not, speak’st, art sound.
  5. Ten masts at each make not the altitude
  6. Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.
  7. Thy life’s a miracle. Speak yet again.

Gloucester

66
  1. But have I fall’n, or no?

Edgar

67 - 69
  1. From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.
  2. Look up a-height, the shrill-gorg’d lark so far
  3. Cannot be seen or heard. Do but look up.

Gloucester

70 - 74
  1. Alack, I have no eyes.
  2. Is wretchedness depriv’d that benefit,
  3. To end itself by death? ’Twas yet some comfort,
  4. When misery could beguile the tyrant’s rage,
  5. And frustrate his proud will.

Edgar

75 - 76
  1.                               Give me your arm.
  2. Upso. How is’t? Feel you your legs? You stand.

Gloucester

77
  1. Too well, too well.

Edgar

78 - 80
  1.                     This is above all strangeness.
  2. Upon the crown o’ th’ cliff, what thing was that
  3. Which parted from you?

Gloucester

81
  1.                        A poor unfortunate beggar.

Edgar

82 - 87
  1. As I stood here below, methought his eyes
  2. Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses,
  3. Horns welk’d and waved like the enridged sea.
  4. It was some fiend; therefore, thou happy father,
  5. Think that the clearest gods, who make them honors
  6. Of men’s impossibilities, have preserved thee.

Gloucester

88 - 92
  1. I do remember now. Henceforth I’ll bear
  2. Affliction till it do cry out itself
  3. Enough, enough,” and die. That thing you speak of,
  4. I took it for a man; often ’twould say,
  5. The fiend, the fiend!”—he led me to that place.

Edgar

93 - 96
  1. Bear free and patient thoughts.
  2. Enter Lear mad, crowned with weeds and flowers.
  3.                                 But who comes here?
  4. The safer sense will ne’er accommodate
  5. His master thus.

Lear

97
  1. No, they cannot touch me for coining, I am the King himself.

Edgar

98
  1. O thou sidepiercing sight!

Lear

99 - 105
  1. Nature’s above art in that respect. There’s your
  2. press-money. That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper;
  3. draw me a clothier’s yard. Look, look, a mouse! Peace,
  4. peace, this piece of toasted cheese will do’t. There’s my
  5. gauntlet, I’ll prove it on a giant. Bring up the brown
  6. bills. O, well flown, bird! I’ th’ clout, i’ th’
  7. clouthewgh! Give the word.

Edgar

106
  1. Sweet marjorum.

Lear

107
  1. Pass.

Gloucester

108
  1. I know that voice.

Lear

109 - 117
  1. Ha! Goneril with a white beard? They flatter’d me like a
  2. dog, and told me I had the white hairs in my beard ere the
  3. black ones were there. To say ay and no to every thing
  4. that I said! Ay,” and no too, was no good divinity. When
  5. the rain came to wet me once, and the wind to make me
  6. chatter, when the thunder would not peace at my bidding,
  7. there I found ’em, there I smelt ’em out. Go to, they are
  8. not men o’ their words: they told me I was every thing. ’Tis
  9. a lie, I am not ague-proof.

Gloucester

118 - 119
  1. The trick of that voice I do well remember;
  2. Is’t not the King?

Lear

120 - 144
  1.                    Ay, every inch a king!
  2. When I do stare, see how the subject quakes.
  3. I pardon that man’s life. What was thy cause?
  4. Adultery?
  5. Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery? No,
  6. The wren goes to’t, and the small gilded fly
  7. Does lecher in my sight.
  8. Let copulation thrive; for Gloucester’s bastard son
  9. Was kinder to his father than my daughters
  10. Got ’tween the lawful sheets.
  11. To’t, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.
  12. Behold yond simp’ring dame,
  13. Whose face between her forks presages snow;
  14. That minces virtue, and does shake the head
  15. To hear of pleasure’s name
  16. The fitchew nor the soiled horse goes to’t
  17. With a more riotous appetite.
  18. Down from the waist they are Centaurs,
  19. Though women all above;
  20. But to the girdle do the gods inherit,
  21. Beneath is all the fiends’: there’s hell, there’s darkness,
  22. There is the sulfurous pit, burning, scalding,
  23. Stench, consumption. Fie, fie, fie! Pah, pah!
  24. Give me an ounce of civet; good apothecary,
  25. Sweeten my imagination. There’s money for thee.

Gloucester

145
  1. O, let me kiss that hand!

Lear

146
  1. Let me wipe it first, it smells of mortality.

Gloucester

147 - 148
  1. O ruin’d piece of nature! This great world
  2. Shall so wear out to nought. Dost thou know me?

Lear

149 - 151
  1. I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me?
  2. No, do thy worst, blind Cupid, I’ll not love. Read thou this
  3. challenge; mark but the penning of it.

Gloucester

152
  1. Were all thy letters suns, I could not see.

Edgar

153 - 154
  1. Aside.
  2. I would not take this from report; it is,
  3. And my heart breaks at it.

Lear

155
  1. Read.

Gloucester

156
  1. What, with the case of eyes?

Lear

157 - 159
  1. O ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no
  2. money in your purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your
  3. purse in a light, yet you see how this world goes.

Gloucester

160
  1. I see it feelingly.

Lear

161 - 165
  1. What, art mad? A man may see how this world goes with no
  2. eyes. Look with thine ears; see how yond justice rails upon
  3. yond simple thief. Hark in thine ear: change places, and
  4. handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Thou
  5. hast seen a farmer’s dog bark at a beggar?

Gloucester

166
  1. Ay, sir.

Lear

167 - 182
  1. And the creature run from the cur? There thou mightst behold
  2. the great image of authority: a dog’s obey’d in office.
  3. Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand!
  4. Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thy own back,
  5. Thou hotly lusts to use her in that kind
  6. For which thou whip’st her. The usurer hangs the cozener.
  7. Thorough tatter’d clothes small vices do appear;
  8. Robes and furr’d gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
  9. And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;
  10. Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw does pierce it.
  11. None does offend, none, I say none, I’ll able ’em.
  12. Take that of me, my friend, who have the power
  13. To seal th’ accuser’s lips. Get thee glass eyes,
  14. And like a scurvy politician, seem
  15. To see the things thou dost not. Now, now, now, now.
  16. Pull off my boots; harder, harder-so.

Edgar

183 - 184
  1. Aside.
  2. O, matter and impertinency mix’d,
  3. Reason in madness!

Lear

185 - 189
  1. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes.
  2. I know thee well enough, thy name is Gloucester.
  3. Thou must be patient; we came crying hither.
  4. Thou know’st, the first time that we smell the air
  5. We wawl and cry. I will preach to thee. Mark.
  1. Lear takes off his crown of weeds and flowers.

Gloucester

190
  1. Alack, alack the day!

Lear

191 - 196
  1. When we are born, we cry that we are come
  2. To this great stage of fools.—This’ a good block.
  3. It were a delicate stratagem, to shoe
  4. A troop of horse with felt. I’ll put’t in proof,
  5. And when I have stol’n upon these son-in-laws,
  6. Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!
  1. Enter First Gentleman with Attendants.

First Gentleman

197 - 198
  1. O, here he is: lay hand upon him.—Sir,
  2. Your most dear daughter

Lear

199 - 202
  1. No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even
  2. The natural fool of fortune. Use me well,
  3. You shall have ransom. Let me have surgeons,
  4. I am cut to th’ brains.

First Gentleman

203
  1.                         You shall have any thing.

Lear

204 - 207
  1. No seconds? All myself?
  2. Why, this would make a man a man of salt
  3. To use his eyes for garden water-pots,
  4. Ay, and laying autumn’s dust.

First Gentleman

208
  1.                               Good sir

Lear

209 - 211
  1. I will die bravely, like a smug bridegroom. What?
  2. I will be jovial. Come, come, I am a king,
  3. Masters, know you that?

First Gentleman

212
  1. You are a royal one, and we obey you.

Lear

213 - 214
  1. Then there’s life in’t. Come, and you get it, you shall get
  2. it by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa.
  1. Exit running; Attendants follow.

First Gentleman

215 - 218
  1. A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch,
  2. Past speaking of in a king! Thou hast one daughter
  3. Who redeems nature from the general curse
  4. Which twain have brought her to.

Edgar

219
  1. Hail, gentle sir.

First Gentleman

220
  1.                   Sir, speed you: what’s your will?

Edgar

221
  1. Do you hear aught, sir, of a battle toward?

First Gentleman

222 - 223
  1. Most sure and vulgar; every one hears that,
  2. Which can distinguish sound.

Edgar

224 - 225
  1.                              But by your favor,
  2. How near’s the other army?

First Gentleman

226 - 227
  1. Near and on speedy foot; the main descry
  2. Stands on the hourly thought.

Edgar

228
  1.                               I thank you, sir, that’s all.

First Gentleman

229 - 230
  1. Though that the Queen on special cause is here,
  2. Her army is mov’d on.

Edgar

231
  1.                       I thank you, sir.
  1. Exit First Gentleman.

Gloucester

232 - 234
  1. You evergentle gods, take my breath from me,
  2. Let not my worser spirit tempt me again
  3. To die before you please!

Edgar

235
  1.                           Well pray you, father.

Gloucester

236
  1. Now, good sir, what are you?

Edgar

237 - 240
  1. A most poor man, made tame to fortune’s blows,
  2. Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
  3. Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand,
  4. I’ll lead you to some biding.

Gloucester

241 - 243
  1.                               Hearty thanks;
  2. The bounty and the benison of heaven
  3. To boot, and boot!
  1. Enter Steward Oswald.

Oswald

244 - 248
  1. A proclaim’d prize! Most happy!
  2. That eyeless head of thine was first fram’d flesh
  3. To raise my fortunes. Thou old unhappy traitor,
  4. Briefly thyself remember; the sword is out
  5. That must destroy thee.

Gloucester

249 - 250
  1.                         Now let thy friendly hand
  2. Put strength enough to’t.
  1. Edgar interposes.

Oswald

251 - 254
  1.                           Wherefore, bold peasant,
  2. Durst thou support a publish’d traitor? Hence,
  3. Lest that th’ infection of his fortune take
  4. Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.

Edgar

255
  1. Chill not let go, zir, without vurther cagion.

Oswald

256
  1. Let go, slave, or thou di’st!

Edgar

257 - 261
  1. Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor voke pass. And
  2. chud ha’ bin zwagger’d out of my life, ’twould not ha’ bin
  3. zo long as ’tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near th’ old
  4. man; keep out, che vor’ ye, or I’ce try whither your costard
  5. or my ballow be the harder. Chill be plain with you.

Oswald

262
  1. Out, dunghill!
  1. They fight.

Edgar

263
  1. Chill pick your teeth, zir. Come, no matter vor your foins.

Oswald

264 - 269
  1. Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse:
  2. If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body,
  3. And give the letters which thou find’st about me
  4. To Edmund Earl of Gloucester; seek him out
  5. Upon the English party. O untimely death!
  6. Death!
  1. He dies.

Edgar

270 - 272
  1. I know thee well; a serviceable villain,
  2. As duteous to the vices of thy mistress
  3. As badness would desire.

Gloucester

273
  1.                          What, is he dead?

Edgar

274 - 295
  1. Sit you down, father; rest you.
  2. Let’s see these pockets; the letters that he speaks of
  3. May be my friends. He’s dead; I am only sorry
  4. He had no other deathsman. Let us see.
  5. Leave, gentle wax, and, manners, blame us not:
  6. To know our enemies’ minds, we rip their hearts,
  7. Their papers is more lawful.
  8. Reads the letter.
  9. Let our reciprocal vows be rememb’red. You have many
  10. opportunities to cut him off; if your will want not, time
  11. and place will be fruitfully offer’d. There is nothing done,
  12. if he return the conqueror; then am I the prisoner, and his
  13. bed my jail; from the loath’d warmth whereof deliver me, and
  14. supply the place for your labor. Your (wife, so I would say)
  15. affectionate servant, Goneril.”
  16. O indistinguish’d space of woman’s will!:
  17. A plot upon her virtuous husband’s life,
  18. And the exchange my brother! Here, in the sands,
  19. Thee I’ll rake up, the post unsanctified
  20. Of murderous lechers; and in the mature time
  21. With this ungracious paper strike the sight
  22. Of the death-practic’d Duke. For him ’tis well
  23. That of thy death and business I can tell.

Gloucester

296 - 301
  1. The King is mad; how stiff is my vild sense
  2. That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling
  3. Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract,
  4. So should my thoughts be sever’d from my griefs,
  5. And woes by wrong imaginations lose
  6. The knowledge of themselves.
  1. Drum afar off.

Edgar

302 - 304
  1.                              Give me your hand;
  2. Far off methinks I hear the beaten drum.
  3. Come, father, I’ll bestow you with a friend.
  1. Exeunt.
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