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King Lear: Act 3, Scene 4

King Lear
Act 3, Scene 4

The heath. Before a hovel.

  1. Enter Lear, Kent disguised as Caius, and Fool.

Kent

2 - 4
  1. Here is the place, my lord; good my lord, enter,
  2. The tyranny of the open night’s too rough
  3. For nature to endure.
  1. Storm still.

Lear

6
  1.                       Let me alone.

Kent

7
  1. Good my lord, enter here.

Lear

8
  1.                           Wilt break my heart?

Kent

9
  1. I had rather break mine own. Good my lord, enter.

Lear

10 - 26
  1. Thou think’st ’tis much that this contentious storm
  2. Invades us to the skin; so ’tis to thee;
  3. But where the greater malady is fix’d,
  4. The lesser is scarce felt. Thou’dst shun a bear,
  5. But if thy flight lay toward the roaring sea,
  6. Thou’dst meet the bear i’ th’ mouth. When the mind’s free,
  7. The body’s delicate; this tempest in my mind
  8. Doth from my senses take all feeling else,
  9. Save what beats therefilial ingratitude!
  10. Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand
  11. For lifting food to’t? But I will punish home.
  12. No, I will weep no more. In such a night
  13. To shut me out? Pour on, I will endure.
  14. In such a night as this? O Regan, Goneril!
  15. Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all
  16. O, that way madness lies, let me shun that!
  17. No more of that.

Kent

27
  1.                  Good my lord, enter here.

Lear

28 - 43
  1. Prithee go in thyself, seek thine own ease.
  2. This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
  3. On things would hurt me more. But I’ll go in.
  4. To the Fool.
  5. In, boy, go first.—You houseless poverty
  6. Nay, get thee in; I’ll pray, and then I’ll sleep.
  7. Exit Fool.
  8. Poor naked wretches, wheresoe’er you are,
  9. That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
  10. How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
  11. Your loop’d and window’d raggedness, defend you
  12. From seasons such as these? O, I have ta’en
  13. Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp,
  14. Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
  15. That thou mayst shake the superflux to them,
  16. And show the heavens more just.

Edgar

44 - 45
  1. Within.
  2. Fathom and half, fathom and half! Poor Tom!
  1. Enter Fool from the hovel.

Fool

47
  1. Come not in here, nuncle, here’s a spirit. Help me, help me!

Kent

48
  1. Give me thy hand. Who’s there?

Fool

49
  1. A spirit, a spirit! He says his name’s poor Tom.

Kent

50 - 51
  1. What art thou that dost grumble there i’ th’ straw? Come
  2. forth.
  1. Enter Edgar disguised as a madman.

Edgar

53 - 54
  1. Away, the foul fiend follows me! Through the sharp hawthorn
  2. blow the cold winds. Humh, go to thy bed and warm thee.

Lear

55 - 56
  1. Didst thou give all to thy daughters? And art thou come to
  2. this?

Edgar

57 - 67
  1. Who gives any thing to poor Tom? Whom the foul fiend hath
  2. led through fire and through flame, through ford and
  3. whirlpool, o’er bog and quagmire; that hath laid knives
  4. under his pillow, and halters in his pew, set ratsbane by
  5. his porridge, made him proud of heart, to ride on a bay
  6. trotting-horse over four-inch’d bridges, to course his own
  7. shadow for a traitor. Bless thy five wits! Tom’s a-coldO do
  8. de, do de, do de. Bless thee from whirlwinds, star-blasting,
  9. and taking! Do poor Tom some charity, whom the foul fiend
  10. vexes. There could I have him nowand thereand there
  11. againand there.
  1. Storm still.

Lear

69 - 70
  1. Has his daughters brought him to this pass? Couldst thou
  2. save nothing? Wouldst thou give ’em all?

Fool

71
  1. Nay, he reserv’d a blanket, else we had been all sham’d.

Lear

72 - 73
  1. Now all the plagues that in the pendulous air Hang fated
  2. o’er men’s faults light on thy daughters!

Kent

74
  1. He hath no daughters, sir.

Lear

75 - 80
  1. Death, traitor! Nothing could have subdu’d nature
  2. To such a lowness but his unkind daughters.
  3. Is it the fashion, that discarded fathers
  4. Should have thus little mercy on their flesh?
  5. Judicious punishment! ’Twas this flesh begot
  6. Those pelican daughters.

Edgar

81
  1. Pillicock sat on Pillicock-Hill, alow! Alow, loo, loo!

Fool

82
  1. This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.

Edgar

83 - 86
  1. Take heed o’ th’ foul fiend. Obey thy parents, keep thy
  2. word’s justice, swear not, commit not with man’s sworn
  3. spouse, set not thy sweet heart on proud array. Tom’s
  4. a-cold.

Lear

87
  1. What hast thou been?

Edgar

88 - 102
  1. A servingman! Proud in heart and mind; that curl’d my hair;
  2. wore gloves in my cap; serv’d the lust of my mistress’
  3. heart, and did the act of darkness with her; swore as many
  4. oaths as I spake words, and broke them in the sweet face of
  5. heaven: one that slept in the contriving of lust, and wak’d
  6. to do it. Wine lov’d I deeply, dice dearly; and in woman
  7. out-paramour’d the Turk. False of heart, light of ear,
  8. bloody of hand; hog in sloth, fox in stealth, wolf in
  9. greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey. Let not the
  10. creaking of shoes nor the rustling of silks betray thy poor
  11. heart to woman. Keep thy foot out of brothels, thy hand out
  12. of plackets, thy pen from lenders’ books, and defy the foul
  13. fiend. Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind: says
  14. suum, mun, nonny. Dolphin my boy, boy, sessa! Let him trot
  15. by.
  1. Storm still.

Lear

104 - 111
  1. Thou wert better in a grave than to answer with thy
  2. uncover’d body this extremity of the skies. Is man no more
  3. than this? Consider him well. Thou ow’st the worm no silk,
  4. the beast no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume.
  5. Ha? Here’s three on ’s are sophisticated. Thou art the thing
  6. itself: unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare,
  7. fork’d animal as thou art. Off, off, you lendings! Come,
  8. unbutton here.
  1. Tearing off his clothes.

Fool

113 - 117
  1. Prithee, nuncle, be contented, ’tis a naughty night to swim
  2. in. Now a little fire in a wild field were like an old
  3. lecher’s heart, a small spark, all the rest on ’s body cold.
  4. Enter Gloucester with a torch.
  5. Look, here comes a walking fire.

Edgar

118 - 126
  1. This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet; he begins at curfew,
  2. and walks till the first cock; he gives the web and the pin,
  3. squinies the eye, and makes the hare-lip; mildews the white
  4. wheat, and hurts the poor creature of earth.
  5. Swithold footed thrice the ’old,
  6. He met the night-mare and her nine-fold;
  7.                                          Bid her alight,
  8.                 And her troth plight,
  9. And aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!

Kent

127
  1. How fares your Grace?

Lear

128
  1. What’s he?

Kent

129
  1. Who’s there? What is’t you seek?

Gloucester

130
  1. What are you there? Your names?

Edgar

131 - 141
  1. Poor Tom, that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the
  2. tadpole, the wall-newt, and the water; that in the fury of
  3. his heart, when the foul fiend rages, eats cow-dung for
  4. sallets; swallows the old rat and the ditch-dog; drinks the
  5. green mantle of the standing pool; who is whipt from tithing
  6. to tithing, and stock-punish’d and imprison’d; who hath had
  7. three suits to his back, six shirts to his body
  8.                                                  Horse to ride, and weapon to wear;
  9.                                    But mice and rats, and such small deer,
  10.                                         Have been Tom’s food for seven long year.
  11. Beware my follower. Peace, Smulkin, peace, thou fiend!

Gloucester

142
  1. What, hath your Grace no better company?

Edgar

143 - 144
  1. The prince of darkness is a gentleman. Modo he’s call’d, and
  2. Mahu.

Gloucester

145 - 146
  1. Our flesh and blood, my lord, is grown so vild
  2. That it doth hate what gets it.

Edgar

147
  1. Poor Tom’s a-cold.

Gloucester

148 - 153
  1. Go in with me; my duty cannot suffer
  2. T’ obey in all your daughters’ hard commands.
  3. Though their injunction be to bar my doors,
  4. And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you,
  5. Yet have I ventured to come seek you out,
  6. And bring you where both fire and food is ready.

Lear

154 - 155
  1. First let me talk with this philosopher.
  2. What is the cause of thunder?

Kent

156
  1. Good my lord, take his offer, go into th’ house.

Lear

157 - 158
  1. I’ll talk a word with this same learned Theban.
  2. What is your study?

Edgar

159
  1. How to prevent the fiend, and to kill vermin.

Lear

160
  1. Let me ask you one word in private.

Kent

161 - 162
  1. Importune him once more to go, my lord,
  2. His wits begin t’ unsettle.

Gloucester

163 - 173
  1.                             Canst thou blame him?
  2. Storm still.
  3. His daughters seek his death. Ah, that good Kent!
  4. He said it would be thus, poor banish’d man.
  5. Thou sayest the King grows mad, I’ll tell thee, friend,
  6. I am almost mad myself. I had a son,
  7. Now outlaw’d from my blood; he sought my life,
  8. But lately, very late. I lov’d him, friend,
  9. No father his son dearer; true to tell thee,
  10. The grief hath craz’d my wits. What a night’s this!
  11. I do beseech your Grace

Lear

174 - 175
  1.                          O, cry you mercy, sir.
  2. Noble philosopher, your company.

Edgar

176
  1. Tom’s a-cold.

Gloucester

177
  1. In, fellow, there, into th’ hovel; keep thee warm.

Lear

178
  1. Come, let’s in all.

Kent

179
  1.                     This way, my lord.

Lear

180 - 181
  1. With him;
  2. I will keep still with my philosopher.

Kent

182
  1. Good my lord, soothe him; let him take the fellow.

Gloucester

183
  1. Take him you on.

Kent

184
  1. Sirrah, come on; go along with us.

Lear

185
  1. Come, good Athenian.

Gloucester

186
  1. No words, no words, hush.

Edgar

187 - 189
  1. Child Rowland to the dark tower came,
  2. His word was still, Fie, foh, and fum,
  3. I smell the blood of a British man.”
  1. Exeunt.
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