Enter KING LEAR and Fool
||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!
||O nuncle, court holy-water
in a dry
house is better than this rain-water out o' door.
Good nuncle, in, and ask thy daughters' blessing:
here's a night pities neither wise man nor fool.
||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!
||He that has a house to
put's head in has a good
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.
||No, I will be the pattern
of all patience;
I will say nothing.
||Marry, here's grace and a
cod-piece; that's a wise
man and a fool.
||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.
||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.
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.
||My wits begin to turn.
Come on, my boy: how dost, my boy? art cold?
I am cold myself. Where is this straw, my fellow?
The art of our necessities is strange,
That can make vile things precious. Come,
Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart
That's sorry yet for thee.
||He that has and a little
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,--
Must make content with his fortunes fit,
For the rain it raineth every day.
||True, my good boy. Come,
bring us to this hovel.
||[Exeunt KING LEAR and
||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.
Enter GLOUCESTER and EDMUND
||Alack, alack, Edmund, I
like not this unnatural
dealing. When I desire their leave that I might
pity him, 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.
||Most savage and unnatural!
||Go to; say you nothing.
There's a division betwixt
the dukes; and a worse matter than that: 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
privily relieve him: go you and maintain talk with
the duke, that my charity be not of him perceived:
if he ask for me. I am ill, and gone to bed.
Though I die for it, as no less is threatened me,
the king my old master must be relieved. There is
some strange thing toward, Edmund; pray you, be careful.
||This courtesy, forbid
thee, shall the duke
Instantly know; and of that letter too:
This seems a fair deserving, and must draw me
That which my father loses; no less than all:
The younger rises when the old doth fall.
To see other scenes
from the show:
Act III, Scene 3 Gloucester's castle./Act
III, Scene 4 The heath. Before a hovel.
Act I, Scene 1 King Lear's palace
Act III, Scene 5 Gloucester's castle./Act
III, Scene 6 A chamber in a farmhouse adjoining the castle.
Act I, Scene 2 The Earl of Gloucester's
Act III, Scene 7 Gloucester's castle.
Act I, Scene 3 The Duke of Albany's palace.
Act IV, Scene 1 The heath.
Act I, Scene 4 A hall in the same.
Act IV, Scene 2 Before Albany's palace.
Act I, Scene 5 Court before the same.
Act IV, Scene 3 The French camp near
Dover./Act IV, Scene 4 The same. A tent.
Act II, Scene 1 Gloucester's castle.
Act IV, Scene 5 Gloucester's castle.
Act II, Scene 2 Before Gloucester's castle.
Act IV, Scene 6 Fields near Dover.
Act II, Scene 3 A wood./Act II, Scene 4
Before Gloucester's castle.
Act IV, Scene 7 A tent in the French camp.
Act III, Scene 1 A heath.
Act V, Scene 1 The British camp near Dover.
Act III, Scene 2 Another part of the heath.
Act V, Scene 2 A field between the two
camps./Act V, Scene 3 The British camp near Dover.
To view other King
Scene by Scene Synopsis
Character Directory Commentary
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