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KingLearAct4

Page history last edited by PBworks 14 years, 6 months ago

Script / Text of Act IV King Lear

 

*ACT IV*

* SCENE I. The heath. *

Enter EDGAR

EDGAR

Yet better thus, and known to be contemn'd,

Than still contemn'd and flatter'd, to be worst.

The lamentable change is from the best;

The worst returns to laughter. Welcome, then,

Thou unsubstantial air that I embrace!

The wretch that thou hast blown unto the worst

Owes nothing to thy blasts. But who comes here?

Enter GLOUCESTER, led by an Old Man

My father, poorly eyed? World, world, O world!

GLOUCESTER

Away, get thee away; good friend, be gone:

Thy comforts can do me no good at all;

Thee they may hurt.

Old Man

Alack, sir, you cannot see your way.

GLOUCESTER

I have no way, and therefore want no eyes;

I stumbled when I saw.

O dear son Edgar,

Might I but live to see thee in my touch,

I'd say I had eyes again!

Old Man

How now! Who's there?

EDGAR

[Aside O gods! Who is't can say 'I am at

the worst'?

I am worse than e'er I was.

Old Man

'Tis poor mad Tom.

Fellow, where goest?

GLOUCESTER

Is it a beggar-man?

Old Man

Madman and beggar too.

GLOUCESTER

I' the last night's storm I saw such a fellow;

Which made me think a man a worm: my son

Came then into my mind; and yet my mind

Was then scarce friends with him.

As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods.

They kill us for their sport.

EDGAR

Bless thee, master!

GLOUCESTER

Is that the naked fellow?

Old Man

Ay, my lord.

GLOUCESTER

Then, prithee, get thee gone: if, for my sake,

Thou wilt o'ertake us,

I' the way toward Dover, do it for ancient love;

And bring some covering for this naked soul,

Who I'll entreat to lead me.

Old Man

Alack, sir, he is mad.

GLOUCESTER

'Tis the times' plague, when madmen lead the blind.

Old Man

I'll bring him the best 'parel that I have,

Come on't what will.

[Exit

GLOUCESTER

Sirrah, naked fellow,--

EDGAR

Poor Tom's a-cold.

[Aside

I cannot daub it further.

GLOUCESTER

Come hither, fellow.

EDGAR

[Aside And yet I must.--Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.

GLOUCESTER

Know'st thou the way to Dover?

EDGAR

Both stile and gate, horse-way and foot-path. Poor

Tom hath been scared out of his good wits: bless

thee, good man's son, from the foul fiend! So, bless thee, master!

GLOUCESTER

Here, take this purse, thou whom the heavens' plagues

Have humbled to all strokes: that I am wretched

Makes thee the happier. Dost thou know Dover?

EDGAR

Ay, master.

GLOUCESTER

There is a cliff, whose high and bending head

Looks fearfully in the confined deep:

Bring me but to the very brim of it,

And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear

With something rich about me: from that place

I shall no leading need.

EDGAR

Give me thy arm:

Poor Tom shall lead thee.

Exeunt

* SCENE II. Before ALBANY's palace. *

Enter GONERIL and EDMUND

GONERIL

Welcome, my lord: I marvel our mild husband

Not met us on the way.

[Enter OSWALD

Now, where's your master'?

OSWALD

Madam, within; but never man so changed.

I told him of the army that was landed;

He smiled at it: I told him you were coming:

His answer was 'The worse:' of Gloucester's treachery,

And of the loyal service of his son,

When I inform'd him, then he call'd me sot,

And told me I had turn'd the wrong side out:

What most he should dislike seems pleasant to him;

What like, offensive.

GONERIL

It is the cowish terror of his spirit,

That dares not undertake. Our wishes on the way

May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother;

Hasten his musters and conduct his powers:

I must change arms at home, and give the distaff

Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant

Shall pass between us.

Decline your head: this kiss, if it durst speak,

Would stretch thy spirits up into the air:

Conceive, and fare thee well.

EDMUND

Yours in the ranks of death.

GONERIL

My most dear Gloucester!

[Exit EDMUND

O, the difference of man and man!

To thee a woman's services are due:

My fool usurps my body.

OSWALD

Madam, here comes my lord.

Exit

Enter ALBANY

GONERIL

I have been worth the whistle.

ALBANY

O Goneril!

You are not worth the dust which the rude wind

Blows in your face.

Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd?

A father, and a gracious aged man,

Whose reverence even the head-lugg'd bear would lick,

Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you madded.

Could my good brother suffer you to do it?

GONERIL

Milk-liver'd man!

That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs.

Where's thy drum?

France spreads his banners in our noiseless land;

Whil’st thou, a moral fool, sits still, and cries

'Alack, why does he so?'

ALBANY

See thyself, devil!

Proper deformity seems not in the fiend

So horrid as in woman.

GONERIL

O vain fool!

Enter a Messenger

ALBANY

What news?

Messenger

O, my good lord, the Duke of Cornwall's dead:

Slain by his servant, going to put out

The other eye of Gloucester.

ALBANY

Gloucester's eye!

Messenger

A servant that he bred, thrill'd with remorse,

Opposed against the act, bending his sword

To his great master; who fell'd him dead;

But not without that harmful stroke, which since

Hath pluck'd him after.

ALBANY

This shows you are above,

You justicers, that these our nether crimes

So speedily can venge! But, O poor Gloucester!

Lost he his other eye?

Messenger

Both, both, my lord.

This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer;

'Tis from your sister.

GONERIL

[Aside One way I like this well;

But being widow, and my Gloucester with her,

May all the building in my fancy pluck

Upon my hateful life --I'll read, and answer.

[Exit

ALBANY

Knows Edmund the wickedness?

Messenger

Ay, my good lord; 'twas he inform'd against him;

And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment

Might have the freer course.

ALBANY

Gloucester, I live

To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the king,

And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, friend:

Tell me what more thou know'st.

Exeunt

* SCENE III. The French camp near Dover. *

Enter KENT and a Gentleman

KENT

Why the King of France is so suddenly gone back

know you the reason?

Gentleman

Something he left imperfect in the

state, which since his coming forth is thought

of; which imports to the kingdom so much

fear and danger, that his personal return was

most required and necessary.

KENT

Did your letters pierce the queen to any

demonstration of grief?

Gentleman

Ay, sir; she took them, read them in my presence;

And now and then an ample tear trill'd down

Her delicate cheek: it seem'd she was a queen

Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,

Sought to be king o'er her.

KENT

O, then it moved her.

Gentleman

Not to a rage: patience and sorrow strove

Who should express her goodliest. You have seen

Sunshine and rain at once: those happy smilets,

That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know

What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,

As pearls from diamonds dropp'd. In brief,

Sorrow would be a rarity most beloved,

If all could so become it.

'Faith, once or twice she heaved the name of 'father'

Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart:

Cried 'Sisters! sisters! Shame of ladies! sisters!

Kent! father! sisters! What, i' the storm? i' the night?

Let pity not be believed!' There she shook

The holy water from her heavenly eyes,

And clamour moisten'd: then away she started

To deal with grief alone.

KENT

It is the stars,

The stars above us, govern our conditions;

Else one self mate and mate could not beget

Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?

Gentleman

No.

KENT

Was this before the king return'd?

Gentleman

No, since.

KENT

Well, sir, the poor distressed Lear's i' the town;

Who sometime, in his better tune, remembers

What we are come about, and by no means

Will yield to see his daughter.

Gentleman

Why, good sir?

KENT

A sovereign shame so elbows him: his own unkindness,

That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her

To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights

To his dog-hearted daughters, these things sting

His mind so venomously, that burning shame

Detains him from Cordelia.

Gentleman

Alack, poor gentleman!

KENT

Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you heard not?

Gentleman

'Tis so, they are afoot.

KENT

Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master Lear,

And leave you to attend him: some dear cause

Will in concealment wrap me up awhile;

When I am known aright, you shall not grieve

Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go

Along with me.

Exeunt

* SCENE IV. The same. A tent. *

Enter, with drum and colours, CORDELIA, Doctor, and Soldiers

CORDELIA

Alack, 'tis he: why, he was met even now

As mad as the vex'd sea; singing aloud;

Crown'd with rank fumiter and furrow-weeds,

With bur-docks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,

Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow

In our sustaining corn. A century send forth;

Search every acre in the high-grown field,

And bring him to our eye.

Exit an Officer

What can man's wisdom

In the restoring his bereaved sense?

He that helps him take all my outward worth.

Doctor

There is means, madam:

Our foster-nurse of nature is repose,

The which he lacks; that to provoke in him,

Are many simples operative, whose power

Will close the eye of anguish.

CORDELIA

All blest secrets,

All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,

Spring with my tears! be aidant and remediate

In the good man's distress! Seek, seek for him;

Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life

That wants the means to lead it.

Enter a Messenger

Messenger

News, madam;

The British powers are marching hitherward.

CORDELIA

'Tis known before; our preparation stands

In expectation of them. O dear father,

It is thy business that I go about;

Therefore great France

My mourning and important tears hath pitied.

No blown ambition doth our arms incite,

But love, dear love, and our aged father's right:

Soon may I hear and see him!

Exeunt

* SCENE V. Gloucester's castle. *

Enter REGAN and OSWALD

REGAN

But are my brother's powers set forth?

OSWALD

Ay, madam.

REGAN

Himself in person there?

OSWALD

Madam, with much ado:

Your sister is the better soldier.

REGAN

Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?

OSWALD

No, madam.

REGAN

What might import my sister's letter to him?

OSWALD

I know not, lady.

REGAN

'Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter.

It was great ignorance, Gloucester's eyes being out,

To let him live: where he arrives he moves

All hearts against us: Edmund, I think, is gone,

In pity of his misery, to dispatch

His nighted life: moreover, to descry

The strength o' the enemy.

OSWALD

I must needs after him, madam, with my letter.

REGAN

Our troops set forth to-morrow: stay with us;

The ways are dangerous.

OSWALD

I may not, madam:

My lady charged my duty in this business.

REGAN

Why should she write to Edmund? Might not you

Transport her purposes by word? Belike,

Something--I know not what: I'll love thee much,

Let me unseal the letter.

OSWALD

Madam, I had rather--

REGAN

I know your lady does not love her husband;

I am sure of that: and at her late being here

She gave strange oeillades and most speaking looks

To noble Edmund. I know you are of her bosom.

OSWALD

I, madam?

REGAN

I speak in understanding; you are; I know't:

Therefore I do advise you, take this note:

My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd;

And more convenient is he for my hand

Than for your lady's: you may gather more.

If you do find him, pray you, give him this;

And when your mistress hears thus much from you,

I pray, desire her call her wisdom to her.

So, fare you well.

If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,

Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.

OSWALD

Would I could meet him, madam! I should show

What party I do follow.

REGAN

Fare thee well.

Exeunt

* SCENE VI. Fields near Dover. *

Enter GLOUCESTER, and EDGAR dressed like a peasant

GLOUCESTER

When shall we come to the top of that same hill?

EDGAR

You do climb up it now: look, how we labour.

GLOUCESTER

Methinks the ground is even.

EDGAR

Horrible steep.

Hark, do you hear the sea?

GLOUCESTER

No, truly.

EDGAR

Why, then, your other senses grow imperfect

By your eyes' anguish.

GLOUCESTER

So may it be, indeed:

Methinks thy voice is alter'd; and thou speak'st

In better phrase and matter than thou didst.

EDGAR

You're much deceived: in nothing am I changed

But in my garments.

GLOUCESTER

Methinks you're better spoken.

EDGAR

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 samphire, 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 the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes,

Cannot be heard so high. I'll look no more;

Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight

Topple down headlong.

GLOUCESTER

Set me where you stand.

EDGAR

Give me your hand: you are now within a foot

Of the extreme verge: for all beneath the moon

Would I not leap upright.

GLOUCESTER

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 farther off;

Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.

EDGAR

Now fare you well, good sir.

GLOUCESTER

With all my heart.

EDGAR

Why I do trifle thus with his despair

Is done to cure it.

GLOUCESTER

Kneeling O you mighty gods!

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 forward

EDGAR

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?

GLOUCESTER

Away, and let me die.

EDGAR

Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, 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.

GLOUCESTER

But have I fall'n, or no?

EDGAR

From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.

Look up a-height; the shrill-gorged lark so far

Cannot be seen or heard: do but look up.

GLOUCESTER

Alack, I have no eyes.

Is wretchedness deprived that benefit,

To end itself by death? 'Twas yet some comfort,

When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,

And frustrate his proud will.

EDGAR

Give me your arm:

Up: so. How is 't? Feel you your legs? You stand.

GLOUCESTER

Too well, too well.

EDGAR

This is above all strangeness.

Upon the crown o' the cliff, what thing was that

Which parted from you?

GLOUCESTER

A poor unfortunate beggar.

EDGAR

As I stood here below, methought his eyes

Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses,

Horns whelk'd and waved like the enridged sea:

It was some fiend; therefore, thou happy father,

Think that the clearest gods, who make them honours

Of men's impossibilities, have preserved thee.

GLOUCESTER

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.

EDGAR

Bear free and patient thoughts. But who comes here?

Enter KING LEAR, fantastically dressed with wild flowers

The safer sense will ne'er accommodate

His master thus.

KING LEAR

No, they cannot touch me for coining; I am the

king himself.

EDGAR

O thou side-piercing sight!

KING LEAR

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' the clout, i' the clout: hewgh!

Give the word.

EDGAR

Sweet marjoram.

KING LEAR

Pass.

GLOUCESTER

I know that voice.

KING LEAR

Ha! Goneril, with a white beard! They flattered

me like a dog; and told me I had 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.

GLOUCESTER

The trick of that voice I do well remember:

Is 't not the king?

KING LEAR

Ay, every inch a king:

When I do stare, see how the subject quakes.

I pardon that man's life. What was thy cause? Adultery?

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 simpering 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's the

sulphurous pit,

Burning, scalding, stench, consumption; fie,

fie, fie! pah, pah! Give me an ounce of civet,

good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination:

there's money for thee.

GLOUCESTER

O, let me kiss that hand!

KING LEAR

Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality.

GLOUCESTER

O ruin'd piece of nature! This great world

Shall so wear out to nought. Dost thou know me?

KING LEAR

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.

GLOUCESTER

Were all the letters suns, I could not see one.

EDGAR

I would not take this from report; it is,

And my heart breaks at it.

KING LEAR

Read.

GLOUCESTER

What, with the case of eyes?

KING LEAR

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.

GLOUCESTER

I see it feelingly.

KING LEAR

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?

GLOUCESTER

Ay, sir.

KING LEAR

And the creature run from the cur? There thou

mightst behold the great image of authority: a

dog's obeyed in office.

Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand!

Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back;

Thou hotly lust'st to use her in that kind

For which thou whipp'st her. The usurer hangs the cozener.

Through 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 the 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.

EDGAR

O, matter and impertinency mix'd! Reason in madness!

KING LEAR

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.

GLOUCESTER

Alack, alack the day!

KING LEAR

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 sons-in-law,

Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!

Enter a Gentleman, with Attendants

Gentleman

O, here he is: lay hand upon him. Sir,

Your most dear daughter--

KING LEAR

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 the brains.

Gentleman

You shall have any thing.

KING LEAR

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.

Gentleman

Good sir,--

KING LEAR

I will die bravely, like a bridegroom. What!

I will be jovial: come, come; I am a king,

My masters, know you that.

Gentleman

You are a royal one, and we obey you.

KING LEAR

Then there's life in't. Nay, if you get it, you

shall get it with running. Sa, sa, sa, sa.

Exit running; Attendants follow

Gentleman

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.

EDGAR

Hail, gentle sir.

Gentleman

Sir, speed you: what's your will?

EDGAR

Do you hear aught, sir, of a battle toward?

Gentleman

Most sure and vulgar: every one hears that,

Which can distinguish sound.

EDGAR

But, by your favour,

How near's the other army?

Gentleman

Near and on speedy foot; the main descry

Stands on the hourly thought.

EDGAR

I thank you, sir: that's all.

Gentleman

Though that the queen on special cause is here,

Her army is moved on.

EDGAR

I thank you, sir.

Exit Gentleman

GLOUCESTER

You ever-gentle gods, take my breath from me:

Let not my worser spirit tempt me again

To die before you please!

EDGAR

Well pray you, father.

GLOUCESTER

Now, good sir, what are you?

EDGAR

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.

GLOUCESTER

Hearty thanks:

The bounty and the benison of heaven

To boot, and boot!

Enter OSWALD

OSWALD

A proclaim'd prize! Most happy!

That eyeless head of thine was first framed flesh

To raise my fortunes. Thou old unhappy traitor,

Briefly thyself remember: the sword is out

That must destroy thee.

GLOUCESTER

Now let thy friendly hand

Put strength enough to't.

EDGAR interposes

OSWALD

Wherefore, bold peasant,

Darest thou support a publish'd traitor? Hence;

Lest that the infection of his fortune take

Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.

EDGAR

Ch'ill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion.

OSWALD

Let go, slave, or thou diest!

EDGAR

Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor volk

pass. An chud ha' bin zwaggered 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 ise try whether your costard or my ballow be

the harder: ch'ill be plain with you.

OSWALD

Out, dunghill!

EDGAR

Ch'ill pick your teeth, zir: come; no matter vor

your foins.

They fight, and EDGAR knocks him down

OSWALD

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 British party: O, untimely death!

Dies

EDGAR

I know thee well: a serviceable villain;

As duteous to the vices of thy mistress

As badness would desire.

GLOUCESTER

What, is he dead?

EDGAR

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 death's-man. Let us see:

Leave, gentle wax; and, manners, blame us not:

To know our enemies' minds, we'ld rip their hearts;

Their papers, is more lawful.

Reads

'Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You have

many opportunities to cut him off: if your will

want not, time and place will be fruitfully offered.

There is nothing done, if he return the conqueror:

then am I the prisoner, and his bed my goal; from

the loathed warmth whereof deliver me, and supply

the place for your labour.

'Your--wife, so I would say--

'Affectionate servant,

'GONERIL.'

O undistinguish'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 practised duke: for him 'tis well

That of thy death and business I can tell.

GLOUCESTER

The king is mad: how stiff is my vile 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.

EDGAR

Give me your hand:

Drum afar off

Far off, methinks, I hear the beaten drum:

Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend.

Exeunt

* SCENE VII. A tent in the French camp. LEAR on a bed asleep,

soft music playing; Gentleman, and others attending. *

Enter CORDELIA, KENT, and Doctor

CORDELIA

O thou good Kent, how shall I live and work,

To match thy goodness?

KENT

To be acknowledged, madam, is o'erpaid.

All my reports go with the modest truth;

Nor more nor clipp'd, but so.

CORDELIA

Be better suited:

These weeds are memories of those worser hours:

I prithee, put them off.

KENT

Pardon me, dear madam;

Yet to be known shortens my made intent:

My boon I make it, that you know me not

Till time and I think meet.

CORDELIA

Then be't so, my good lord.

[To the Doctor

How does the king?

Doctor

Madam, sleeps still.

CORDELIA

O you kind gods,

Cure this great breach in his abused nature!

Doctor

So please your majesty

That we may wake the king: he hath slept long.

CORDELIA

Be govern'd by your knowledge, and proceed

I' the sway of your own will. Is he array'd?

Gentleman

Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his sleep

We put fresh garments on him.

Doctor

Be by, good madam, when we do awake him;

I doubt not of his temperance.

CORDELIA

Very well.

O my dear father! Restoration hang

Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss

Repair those violent harms that my two sisters

Have in thy reverence made!

KENT

Kind and dear princess!

CORDELIA

Was this a face

To be opposed against the warring winds?

To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?

In the most terrible and nimble stroke

Of quick, cross lightning? to watch--poor perdu!--

With this thin helm? Alack, alack!

'Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once

Had not concluded all. He wakes;

How does my royal lord?

KING LEAR

You do me wrong to take me out o' the grave:

Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound

Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears

Do scald like molten lead.

CORDELIA

Sir, do you know me?

KING LEAR

You are a spirit, I know: when did you die?

CORDELIA

Still, still, far wide!

Doctor

He's scarce awake: let him alone awhile.

KING LEAR

Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight?

I am mightily abused. I should e'en die with pity,

To see another thus. I know not what to say.

CORDELIA

O, look upon me, sir,

And hold your hands in benediction o'er me.

KING LEAR

Pray, do not mock me:

I am a very foolish fond old man,

Fourscore and upward, not an hour more nor less;

And, to deal plainly,

I fear I am not in my perfect mind.

Do not laugh at me;

For, as I am a man, I think this lady

To be my child Cordelia.

CORDELIA

And so I am, I am.

KING LEAR

Be your tears wet? yes, 'faith. I pray, weep not:

If you have poison for me, I will drink it.

I know you do not love me; for your sisters

Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:

You have some cause, they have not.

CORDELIA

No cause, no cause.

KING LEAR

Am I in France?

KENT

In your own kingdom, sir.

KING LEAR

Do not abuse me.

Doctor

Be comforted, good madam: the great rage,

You see, is kill'd in him.

Desire him to go in; trouble him no more

Till further settling.

CORDELIA

Will't please your highness walk?

KING LEAR

You must bear with me:

Pray you now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish.

[Exeunt all but KENT and Gentleman

Gentleman

Holds it true, sir, that the Duke of Cornwall was so slain?

KENT

Most certain, sir.

Gentleman

Who is conductor of his people?

KENT

As 'tis said, the bastard son of Gloucester.

Gentleman

They say Edgar, his banished son, is with the Earl

of Kent in Germany.

KENT

Report is changeable. 'Tis time to look about; the

powers of the kingdom approach apace.

Gentleman

The arbitrement is like to be bloody. Fare you

well, sir.

[Exit

KENT

My point and period will be throughly wrought,

Or well or ill, as this day's battle's fought.

[Exit

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