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KingLearAct3

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 8 months ago

Script / Text of Act III King Lear

 

ACT III

!SCENE I. A heath.!

Storm still. Enter KENT and a Gentleman, meeting

KENT

I know you. Where's the king?

 

GENTLEMEN

Contending with the fretful elements:

Bids the winds blow the earth into the sea,

Or swell the curled water 'bove the main,

That things might change or cease; tears his white hair,

Which the impetuous blasts, with blind rage,

Catch in their fury, and make nothing of;

Strives in his little world of man to out-scorn

The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain.

KENT

But who is with him?

Gentleman

None but the fool;

KENT

Sir, I do know you;

And dare, upon the warrant of my note,

Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,

Although as yet the face of it be cover'd

With mutual cunning, 'twixt Albany and Cornwall;

Who have--as who have not, that their great stars

Throned and set high?--servants, who seem no less,

Which are to France the spies and speculations

Intelligent of our state; what hath been seen,

Either in snuffs and packings of the dukes,

Or the hard rein which both of them have borne

Against the old kind king; or something deeper,

Whereof perchance these are but furnishings;

But, true it is, from France there comes a power

Into this scatter'd kingdom; who already,

Wise in our negligence, have secret feet

In some of our best ports, and are at point

To show their open banner. Now to you:

If on my credit you dare build so far

To make your speed to Dover, you shall find

Some that will thank you, making just report

Of how unnatural and bemadding sorrow

The king hath cause to plain.

I am a gentleman of blood and breeding;

And, from some knowledge and assurance, offer

This office to you.

Gentleman

I will talk further with you.

KENT

No, do not.

For confirmation that I am much more

Than my out-wall, open this purse, and take

What it contains. If you shall see Cordelia,--

show her this ring;

And she will tell you who your fellow is

That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm!

I will go seek the king.

Exeunt severally

!SCENE II.! Another part of the heath. Storm still.

Enter KING LEAR and Fool

KING LEAR

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 sulphurous and thought-executing fires,

Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,

Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,

Smite flat the thick rotundity o' the world!

Crack nature's moulds, an germens spill at once,

That make ingrateful man!

Fool

O nuncle, Good nuncle, in, and ask thy daughters' blessing:

here's a night pities neither wise man nor fool.

KING LEAR

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 despised old man:

But yet I call you servile ministers,

That have with two pernicious daughters join'd

Your high engender'd battles 'gainst a head

So old and white as this. O! O! 'tis foul!

Fool

He that has a house to put's head in has a good

head-piece.

The cod-piece 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 glass.

KING LEAR

No, I will be the pattern of all patience;

I will say nothing.

Enter KENT

KENT

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

The affliction nor the fear.

KING LEAR

Let the great gods,

That keep this dreadful pother o'er our heads,

Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch,

That hast within thee undivulged crimes,

Unwhipp'd of justice: hide thee, thou bloody hand;

Thou perjured, and thou simular man of virtue

That art incestuous: caitiff, to pieces shake,

That under covert and convenient seeming

Hast practised 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.

KENT

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 raised;

Which even but now, demanding after you,

Denied me to come in--return, and force

Their scanted courtesy.

KING LEAR

My wits begin to turn.

Come on, my boy: how dost, my boy? art cold?

I am cold myself.

The art of our necessities is strange,

That can make vile things precious. Come,

your hovel.

Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart

That's sorry yet for thee.

Fool

Singing

He that has and a little tiny wit--

With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,--

Must make content with his fortunes fit,

For the rain it raineth every day.

KING LEAR

True, my good boy. Come, bring us to this hovel.

Exeunt KING LEAR and KENT

Fool

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;

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' the field;

And bawds and whores do churches build;

Then shall the realm of Albion

Come to great confusion:

Then comes the time, who lives to see't,

That going shall be used with feet.

This prophecy Merlin shall make; for I live before his time.

Exit

SCENE III. Gloucester's castle.

Enter GLOUCESTER and EDMUND

GLOUCESTER

Edmund, I like not this unnaturaldealing.

When I asked their leave that I might

pity the king, they took from me the use of mine own

house; charged me, on pain of their perpetual

displeasure, neither to speak of him, entreat for

him, nor any way sustain him.

EDMUND

Most savage and unnatural!

GLOUCESTER

There's a division betwixt the dukes;

I have received a letter this night;

'tis dangerous to be spoken; I have locked the letter in my closet:

these injuries the king now bears will be revenged

home; there's part of a power already footed: we

must incline to the king. I will seek him, and

quietly relieve him: go you and talk with the duke,

that my charity be not by him perceived.

 

Exit

EDMUND

the duke shall instantly know; and of that letter too:

This seems a fair and deserving.

The younger rises when the old doth fall.

Exit

SCENE IV. The heath. Before a hovel.

Enter KING LEAR, KENT, and Fool

KENT

Here is the place,enter my lord,:

The tyranny of the open night's too rough

For nature to endure.

Storm still

KING LEAR

Let me alone.

KENT

Good my lord, enter here.

KING LEAR

Wilt break my heart?

KENT

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

KING LEAR

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'ldst shun a bear;

But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,

Thou'ldst meet the bear i' the mouth. When the

mind's free.

The tempest in my mind Doth from my senses

take all feeling else. Filial ingratitude!

Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand

For lifting food to't? No, I will weep no more.

In such a night to shut me out! Pour on; I will endure.

O Regan, Goneril! Your old kind father,

whose frank heart gave all,--

O, that way madness lies; let me shun that.

KENT

Good my lord, enter here.

KING LEAR

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.

Fool goes in

Poor naked wretches 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! Expose thyself to feel

what wretches feel.

EDGAR

Within Fathom and half, fathom and half! Poor Tom!

The Fool runs out from the hovel

Fool

Come not in here, nuncle, here's a spirit

Help me, help me!

Enter EDGAR disguised as a mad man

EDGAR

Away! the foul fiend follows me!

KING LEAR

Hast thou given all to thy two daughters?

And art thou come to this?

EDGAR

Who gives any thing to poor Tom? whom the foul

fiend hath led through fire and through flame, and

through ford and whirlipool e'er bog and quagmire;

that hath laid knives under his pillow, and halters

in his pew; set ratsbane by his porridge; made film

proud of heart, to ride on a bay trotting-horse over

four-inched bridges, to course his own shadow for a

traitor. Bless thy five wits! Tom's a-cold,--O, do

de, do de, do de. 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

KING LEAR

What, have his daughters brought him to this pass?

Couldst thou save nothing? Didst thou give them all?

KENT

He hath no daughters, sir.

KING LEAR

Death, traitor! nothing could have subdued 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.

Fool

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

EDGAR

Take heed o' the foul fiend: obey thy parents;

keep thy word justly; swear not; commit not with

man's sworn spouse; set not thy sweet heart on proud

array. Tom's a-cold.

KING LEAR

What hast thou been?

EDGAR

A serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curled

my hair; wore gloves in my cap; served the lust of

my mistress' heart, and did the act of darkness with

her; in woman she out-paramoured the Turk: false of

heart, light of ear, bloody of hand; hog in sloth,

fox in stealth,wolf in greediness.

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,

and defy the foul fiend.

Says suum, mun, ha, no, nonny.

Dolphin my boy, my boy, sessa! let him trot by.

Storm still

KING LEAR

Thou owest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheep

no wool, the cat no perfume.Thou art the thing itself:

unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor bare.

Off, off, you lendings! come unbutton here.

Tearing off his clothes

Fool

'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 therest on's body cold.

Look, here comes a walking fire.

Enter GLOUCESTER, with a torch

GLOUCESTER

What are you there? Your names?

EDGAR

Poor Tom; 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 whipped from tithing to

tithing, and stock- punished, and imprisoned.

GLOUCESTER

What, hath your grace no better company?

EDGAR

The prince of darkness is a gentleman:

Modo he's call'd, and Mahu.

GLOUCESTER

Our flesh and blood is grown so vile, my lord,

That it doth hate what gets it.

Go in with me: my duty cannot suffer

To 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.

KENT

Importune him once more to go, my lord;

His wits begin to unsettle.

GLOUCESTER

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 say'st the king grows mad;

I am almost mad myself: I had a son,

Now outlaw'd from my blood; he sought my life,

But lately, very late: I loved him, friend;

No father his son dearer: truth to tell thee,

The grief hath crazed my wits.

KING LEAR

O, cry your mercy, sir.

Noble philosopher, your company.

EDGAR

Tom's a-cold.

GLOUCESTER

In, fellow, there, into the hovel: keep thee warm.

KING LEAR

Come let's in all.

KING LEAR

With him;

I will keep still with my philosopher.

KENT

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

Sirrah, come on; go along with us.

EDGAR

Child Rowland to the dark tower came,

His word was still,--Fie, foh, and fum,

I smell the blood of a British man.

Exeunt

SCENE V. Gloucester's castle.

Enter CORNWALL and EDMUND

CORNWALL

I will have my revenge ere I depart his house.

EDMUND

How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature thus

gives way to loyalty, something fears me to think

of.

CORNWALL

I now perceive, it was not altogether your

brother's evil disposition made him seek his death;

 

EDMUND

This is the letter he spoke of, which

approves him an intelligent party to the advantages

of France: O heavens! that this treason were not,

or not I the detector!

CORNWALL

o with me to the duchess.

EDMUND

If the matter of this paper be certain, you have

mighty business in hand.

CORNWALL

True or false, it hath made thee earl of

Gloucester. Seek out where thy father is, that he

may be ready for our apprehension.

EDMUND

Aside If I find him comforting the king, it will

stuff Cornwall's suspicion more fully.--I will persevere in

my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore

between that and my blood.

CORNWALL

I will lay trust upon thee; and thou shalt find a

dearer father in my love.

Exeunt

SCENE VI. A chamber in a farmhouse adjoining the castle.

Enter GLOUCESTER, KING LEAR, KENT, Fool, and EDGAR

GLOUCESTER

Here is better than the open air; take it

thankfully. I will piece out the comfort with what

addition I can: I will not be long from you.

KENT

All the power of his wits have given way to his

impatience: the gods reward your kindness!

Exit GLOUCESTER

EDGAR

Frateretto calls me; and tells me

Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness.

Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.

Fool

Prithee, nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a

gentleman or a yeoman?

KING LEAR

A king, a king!

Fool

No, he's a yeoman that has a gentleman to his son;

for he's a mad yeoman that sees his son a gentleman

before him.

KING LEAR

To have a thousand with red burning spits

Come hissing in upon 'em,--

EDGAR

The foul fiend bites my back.

Fool

He's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a

horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath.

KING LEAR

It shall be done; I will arraign them straight.

To EDGAR

Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer;

To the Fool

Thou, sapient sir, sit here. Now, you she foxes!

EDGAR

Look, where he stands and glares!

Wantest thou eyes at trial, madam?

Come o'er the bourn, Bessy, to me,--

Fool

Her boat hath a leak,

And she must not speak

Why she dares not come over to thee.

EDGAR

The foul fiend haunts poor Tom in the voice of a

nightingale. Hopdance cries in Tom's belly for two

white herring. Croak not, black angel; I have no

food for thee.

KENT

How do you, sir? Stand you not so amazed:

Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions?

KING LEAR

I'll see their trial first. Bring in the evidence.

To EDGAR

Thou robed man of justice, take thy place;

To the Fool

And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity,

Bench by his side:

To KENT

you are o' the commission,

Sit you too.

EDGAR

Let us deal justly.

Sleepest or wakest thou, jolly shepherd?

Thy sheep be in the corn;

And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,

Thy sheep shall take no harm.

Pur! the cat is gray.

KING LEAR

Arraign her first; 'tis Goneril. I here take my

oath before this honourable assembly, she kicked the

poor king her father.

Fool

Come hither, mistress. Is your name Goneril?

KING LEAR

She cannot deny it.

Fool

Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.

KING LEAR

And here's another, whose warp'd looks proclaim

What store her heart is made on. Stop her there!

Arms, arms, sword, fire! Corruption in the place!

False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?

EDGAR

Bless thy five wits!

KENT

O pity! Sir, where is the patience now,

That thou so oft have boasted to retain?

EDGAR

Aside My tears begin to take his part so much,

They'll mar my counterfeiting.

KING LEAR

The little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and

Sweet-heart, see, they bark at me.

EDGAR

Tom will throw his head at them. Avaunt, you curs!

Be thy mouth or black or white,

Tooth that poisons if it bite;

Mastiff, grey-hound, mongrel grim,

Hound or spaniel, brach or lym,

Or bobtail tike or trundle-tail,

Tom will make them weep and wail:

For, with throwing thus my head,

Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled.

Do de, de, de. Sessa! Come, march to wakes and

fairs and market-towns. Poor Tom, thy horn is dry.

KING LEAR

Then let them anatomize Regan; see what breeds

about her heart. Is there any cause in nature that

makes these hard hearts?

To EDGAR

You, sir, I entertain for one of my hundred; only I

do not like the fashion of your garments: you will

say they are Persian attire: but let them be changed.

KENT

Now, good my lord, lie here and rest awhile.

KING LEAR

Make no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains:

so, so, so. We'll go to supper i' he morning. So, so, so.

Fool

And I'll go to bed at noon.

Re-enter GLOUCESTER

GLOUCESTER

Come hither, friend: where is the king my master?

KENT

Here, sir; but trouble him not, his wits are gone.

GLOUCESTER

Good friend, I prithee, take him in thy arms;

I have o'erheard a plot of death upon him:

There is a litter ready; lay him in 't,

And drive towards Dover, friend, where thou shalt meet

Both welcome and protection. Take up thy master:

If thou shouldst dally half an hour, his life,

With thine, and all that offer to defend him,

Stand in assured loss: take up, take up;

And follow me, that will to some provision

Give thee quick conduct.

KENT

Oppressed nature sleeps:

This rest might yet have balm'd thy broken senses,

Which, if convenience will not allow,

Stand in hard cure.

To the Fool

Come, help to bear thy master;

Thou must not stay behind.

GLOUCESTER

Come, come, away.

Exeunt all but EDGAR

EDGAR

When we our betters see bearing our woes,

We scarcely think our miseries our foes.

Who alone suffers suffers most i' the mind,

Leaving free things and happy shows behind:

But then the mind much sufferance doth o'er skip,

When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship.

How light and portable my pain seems now,

When that which makes me bend makes the king bow,

He childed as I father'd! Tom, away!

Mark the high noises; and thyself bewray,

When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee,

In thy just proof, repeals and reconciles thee.

What will hap more to-night, safe 'scape the king!

Lurk, lurk.

Exit

SCENE VII. Gloucester's castle.

Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GONERIL, EDMUND, and Servants

CORNWALL

Post speedily to my lord your husband; show him

this letter: the army of France is landed. Seek

out the villain Gloucester.

Exeunt some of the Servants

REGAN

Hang him instantly.

GONERIL

Pluck out his eyes.

CORNWALL

Leave him to my displeasure. Edmund, keep you our

sister company: the revenges we are bound to take

upon your traitorous father are not fit for your

beholding. Advise the duke, where you are going, to

a most festinate preparation: we are bound to the

like. Our posts shall be swift and intelligent

betwixt us. Farewell, dear sister: farewell, my

lord of Gloucester.

Enter OSWALD

How now! where's the king?

OSWALD

My lord of Gloucester hath convey'd him hence:

Some five or six and thirty of his knights,

Hot questrists after him, met him at gate;

Who, with some other of the lords dependants,

Are gone with him towards Dover; where they boast

To have well-armed friends.

CORNWALL

Get horses for your mistress.

GONERIL

Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.

CORNWALL

Edmund, farewell.

Exeunt GONERIL, EDMUND, and OSWALD

Go seek the traitor Gloucester,

Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us.

Exeunt other Servants

Though well we may not pass upon his life

Without the form of justice, yet our power

Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men

May blame, but not control. Who's there? the traitor?

Enter GLOUCESTER, brought in by two or three

REGAN

Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.

CORNWALL

Bind fast his corky arms.

GLOUCESTER

What mean your graces? Good my friends, consider

You are my guests: do me no foul play, friends.

CORNWALL

Bind him, I say.

Servants bind him

REGAN

Hard, hard. O filthy traitor!

GLOUCESTER

Unmerciful lady as you are, I'm none.

CORNWALL

To this chair bind him. Villain, thou shalt find--

REGAN plucks his beard

GLOUCESTER

By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done

To pluck me by the beard.

REGAN

So white, and such a traitor!

GLOUCESTER

Naughty lady,

These hairs, which thou dost ravish from my chin,

Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your host:

With robbers' hands my hospitable favours

You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?

CORNWALL

Come, sir, what letters had you late from France?

REGAN

Be simple answerer, for we know the truth.

CORNWALL

And what confederacy have you with the traitors

Late footed in the kingdom?

REGAN

To whose hands have you sent the lunatic king? Speak.

GLOUCESTER

I have a letter guessingly set down,

Which came from one that's of a neutral heart,

And not from one opposed.

CORNWALL

Cunning.

REGAN

And false.

CORNWALL

Where hast thou sent the king?

GLOUCESTER

To Dover.

REGAN

Wherefore to Dover? Wast thou not charged at peril--

CORNWALL

Wherefore to Dover? Let him first answer that.

GLOUCESTER

I am tied to the stake, and I must stand the course.

REGAN

Wherefore to Dover, sir?

GLOUCESTER

Because I would not see thy cruel nails

Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister

In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs.

The sea, with such a storm as his bare head

In hell-black night endured, would have buoy'd up,

And quench'd the stelled fires:

Yet, poor old heart, he holp the heavens to rain.

If wolves had at thy gate howl'd that stern time,

Thou shouldst have said 'Good porter, turn the key,'

All cruels else subscribed: but I shall see

The winged vengeance overtake such children.

CORNWALL

See't shalt thou never. Fellows, hold the chair.

Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.

GLOUCESTER

He that will think to live till he be old,

Give me some help! O cruel! O you gods!

REGAN

One side will mock another; the other too.

CORNWALL

If you see vengeance,--

First Servant

Hold your hand, my lord:

I have served you ever since I was a child;

But better service have I never done you

Than now to bid you hold.

REGAN

How now, you dog!

First Servant

If you did wear a beard upon your chin,

I'd shake it on this quarrel. What do you mean?

CORNWALL

My villain!

They draw and fight

First Servant

Nay, then, come on, and take the chance of anger.

REGAN

Give me thy sword. A peasant stand up thus!

Takes a sword, and runs at him behind

First Servant

O, I am slain! My lord, you have one eye left

To see some mischief on him. O!

Dies

CORNWALL

Lest it see more, prevent it. Out, vile jelly!

Where is thy lustre now?

GLOUCESTER

All dark and comfortless. Where's my son Edmund?

Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature,

To quit this horrid act.

REGAN

Out, treacherous villain!

Thou call'st on him that hates thee: it was he

That made the overture of thy treasons to us;

Who is too good to pity thee.

GLOUCESTER

O my follies! then Edgar was abused.

Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him!

REGAN

Go thrust him out at gates, and let him smell

His way to Dover.

Exit one with GLOUCESTER

How is't, my lord? how look you?

CORNWALL

I have received a hurt: follow me, lady.

Turn out that eyeless villain; throw this slave

Upon the dunghill. Regan, I bleed apace:

Untimely comes this hurt: give me your arm.

Exit CORNWALL, led by REGAN

Second Servant

I'll never care what wickedness I do,

If this man come to good.

Third Servant

If she live long,

And in the end meet the old course of death,

Women will all turn monsters.

Second Servant

Let's follow the old earl, and get the Bedlam

To lead him where he would: his roguish madness

Allows itself to any thing.

Third Servant

Go thou: I'll fetch some flax and whites of eggs

To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help him!

Exeunt severally

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