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Edg. Tom's a-cold.
Lear. Come, let's in all.
This way, my lord.
No words, no words :
A Room in Gloster's Castle.
Enter CORNWALL and EDMUND. Corn. I will have my revenge, ere I depart his
house. Edm. How, my lord, I may be censured, that nature thus gives way to loyalty, something fears me to think of.
Corn. I now perceive, it was not altogether your brother's evil disposition made him seek his death;
4 Child is an old term for knight.
but a provoking merit, set a-work by a reproveable badness in himself.
Edm. How malicious is my fortune, that I must repent to be just! 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!
Corn. Go with me to the duchess,
Edm. If the matter of this paper be certain, you have mighty business in hand.
Corn. True, or false, it hath made thee earl of Gloster. Seek out where thy father is, that he may be ready for our apprehension.
Edm. [Aside.] If I find him comforting the king, it will stuff his suspicion more fully.- I will persevere in my course of loyalty, though the conflict be sore between that and my blood.
Corn. I will lay trust upon thee; and thou shalt find a dearer father in my love.
A Chamber in a Farn-House, adjoining the Castle.
Enter GLOSTER, LEAR, KENT, Fool, and EDGAR.
Glo. 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 has given way to his impatience:-The gods reward your kindness!
[Exit GLOSTER. Edg. Frateretto calls me; and tells me, Nero is an
angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.
Fool. Pr’ythee, nuncle, tell me, whether a madman be a gentleman, or a yeoman?
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.
Lear. To have a thousand with red burning spits Come hissing in upon them :Edg. The foul fiend bites
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, Lear. It shall be done, I will arraign them
straight :Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer;
[To EDGAR. Thou, sapient sir, sit here. [To the Fool.]-Now,
you she foxes ! Edg. Look, where he stands and glares !6_ Wantest thou eyes at trial, madam ?
Come o'er the bourn,7 Bessy, to me:Fool. Her boat hath a leak,
And she must not speak
Why she dares not come over to thee. Edg. The foul fiend haunts poor Tom in the voice of a nightingale. Hopdance cries in Tom's belly for
5 Addressed to the Fool, who were anciently called Innocents.
6 Edgar is speaking in the character of a madman, who thinks he sees the fiend.
7 Brook or rivulet.
two white herring. Croak not, black angel; I have no food for thee.
Kent. How do you, sir? Stand you not so amaz’d: Will
you lie down and rest upon the cushions ? Lear. I'll see their trial first :-Bring in the evi
Thy sheep be in the corn ;
Thy sheep shall take no harm.
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?
Lear. She cannot deny it.
Edg. Bless thy five wits !
Kent. O pity!-Sir, where is the patience now, That you so oft have boasted to retain ?
Edg. My tears begin to take his part so much, They'll mar my counterfeiting.
[Aside. Lear. The little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and Sweet-heart, see, they bark at me.
Edg. Tom will throw his head at them :-Avaunt,
you curs !
Be thy mouth or black or white,
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
Lear. Then let them anatomize Regan, see what breeds about her heart: Is there any cause in nature, that makes these hard hearts ?-You, sir, I entertain you 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.
[To EDGAR. Kent. Now, good my lord, lie here, and rest awhile.
Lear. Make no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains : So, so, so: We'll go to supper i’ the morning: So, so, so.
Fool. And I'll go to bed at noon.
8 A blood-hound.