Puslapio vaizdai

Reg. O Sir, to wilful men,

The injuries that they themfelyes procure

Must be their school-mafters: fhut up your doors;
He is attended with a defp'rate train,

And what they may incenfe him to, being apt

To have his ear abus'd, wisdom bids fear.

Corn. Shut up your doors, my Lord, 'tis a wild night. My Regan counfels well: come out o' th' ftorm. [Exeunt.


SCENE A Heath.

Aftorm is heard with Thunder and Lightning. Enter Kent, and a Gentleman, feverally.


WHO's there befides foul weather?


Gent. One minded like the weather, moft un-
Kent. I know you: where's the King?

Gent. Contending with the fretful elements;
Bids the wind blow the earth into the fea,

Or fwell the curled waters 'bove the main,

That things might change or ceafe: tears his white hair, Which the impetuous blafts with eyelefs rage

Catch in their fury, and make nothing of.

This night, in which the cub-drawn bear would couch, The lion, and the belly-pinched wolf

Keep their furr dry, unbonneted he runs,

And bids what will, take all.

Kent. But who is with him?

Gent. None but the fool, who labours to out-jeft His heart-ftruck injuries.

D 3


(2) By cub-drawn bear muft be underflood the fhe-bear drawn dry by the fucking of her cubs, and thence moft ravenous and greedy of prey. Warburton.

Kent. Sir, I do know you,

And dare upon the warrant of my note
Commend a dear thing to you.

There's divifion

(Although as yet the face of it is cover'd

With mutual craft) 'twixt Albany and Cornwall: ↳
3/And true it is from France there comes a pow'r
Into this 'fhatter'd kingdom, who already
Wife in our negligence, have fecret lea
In fome of our beft ports, and are at point
To show their open banner-Now to you:
If on my credit you dare build fo far

To make your fpeed to Dover, you shall find
Some that will thank you, making just report
Of how unnatural and madding forrow
The King hath caufe to plain.

I am a gentleman of blood and breeding,
And from fome knowledge and affurance of you,
Offer this office.

Gent. I'll talk further with you.

Kent. No, do not:

For confirmation that I am much more

Than my out-wall, open this purfe and take
What it contains. If you fhall fee Cordelia,
(As fear not but you fhall) fhew her that Ring,
And the will tell you who this fellow is,

That yet you do not know. Fie on this ftorm!
I will go feek the King.

Gent. Give me your hand, have you no more to fay?


-'twixt Albany and Cornwall:

Who have (as who have not, whom their great ftars
Thron'd and fet high?) fervants, who feem no less,
Which are to France the fpies and fpeculations
Intelligent of our ftate. What hath been feen,
Either in fnuffs and packings of the Dukes,

Or the hard rein which both of them have born
Against the old kind King; or fomething deeper,
Whereof, perchance, thefe are but furnishings-
Gent. I will talk.

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Kent. Few words, but to effect more than all yet; [take That, when we have found the King, ('for which you That way, I this:) he that firft lights on him,

Holla the other.


Storm fill. Enter Lear and Fool.


Lear. Blow winds, and crack your cheeks; rage, blow! You cataracts and hurricanoes fpout

'Till you have drencht our fteeples, drown'd the cocks!
You fulph'rous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers of oak-cleaving thunder-bolts,
Singe my white head! And thou all-fhaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o' th' world,

Crack nature's mould, all germins fpill at once
That make ingrateful man!

Fool. O nuncle, court-holy-water in a dry houfe is better than the rain-water out o' door. Good nuncle, in, ask thy daughters bleffing; here's a night that pities neither wife men nor fools.

Lear. Rumble thy belly full, fpit fire, fpout 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 fubmiffion. Then let fall

Your horrible pleasure; -here I ftand your flave,
A poor, infirm, weak, and defpis'd old man!
But yet I call you fervile minifters,

That have with two pernicious daughters join'd
Your high-engender'd battles, 'gainst a head

So old and white as this. O, ho! 'tis foul. [head-piece:
Fool. He that has a houfe to put's head in, has a good
The cod-piece that will houfe, before the head has any:
The head and he fhall lowfe; fo beggars marry many.
That man that makes his toe, what he his heart fhould make,

5 in

D 4

6 germains... old edit. Theob. emend.


Shall of a corn cry woe, and turn his fleep to wake.

For there was never yet fair woman, but fhe made mouths in a glass.

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Lear. No, I will be the pattern of all patience,

I will fay nothing.

Kent Who's there?

Fool. Marry, here's grace, and a cod-piece, that's a wife man and a fool.

Kent. Alas, Sir, are you here? things that love night,
Love not fuch nights as thefe: the wrathful skies
Gallow the very wand'rers of the dark,

And make them keep their caves: fince I was man,
Such fheets of fire, fuch burfts of horrid thunder,
Such groans of roaring wind and rain, I never
Remember to have heard. Man's nature cannot carry
Th' affliction, nor the force.

Lear. Let the great Gods,

That keep this dreadful thund'ring o'er our heads,
Find out their enemies now. Tremble, thou wretch,
That haft within thee undivulged crimes

Unwhipt of justice! Hide thee, thou bloody hand;
Thou perjure, and thou fimular of virtue,
That art inceftuous! caitiff, fhake to pieces,
That under covert and convenient seeming
Haft practis'd on man's life! Clofe pent-up guilts,
Rive your concealing continents, and ask
Thefe dreadful fummoners grace!
More finn'd againft, than finning.

Kent. Alack, bare-headed?

I am a man,

Gracious my Lord, hard by here is a hovel,
Some friendship will it lend you 'gainst the tempeft:
Repose you there, while I to this hard house
(More hard than is the ftone whereof 'tis rais'd;
Which even but now, demanding after you,


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Deny'd me to come in) return, and force
Their fcanted courtefie.

Lear. My wits begin to turn.

Come on, my boy. How doft, my boy? art cold?
I'm cold myself. Where is this ftraw, my fellow ?
The art of our neceffities is ftrange,

That can make vile things precious. Come, your hovel;
Poor fool and knave, I've one 7 'ftring) in my heart
That's forry yet for thee.

Fool. He that has and a little tiny wit,

With beigh bo, the wind and the rain,
Must make content with his fortunes fit,
Though the rain it raineth every day.

Lear. True, my good boy; come, bring us to this hovel.

Fool. 'Tis a brave night to cool a courtezan.
I'll speak a prophecy or e'er I go;

When priests are more in words than matter,
When brewers marr their malt with water;
When nobles are their tailors tutors;
No hereticks burn'd, but wenches fuitors;
*/Then comes the time, who lives to fee't,
That going fhall be us'd with feet.
When every cafe in law is right,
No 'Squire in debt, nor no poor Knight;
When flanders do not live in tongues,
And cut-purfes come not to throngs;

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... old edit. Warb. emend. and transp.

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