Act III, Scene 5 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;
but a provoking merit, set a-work by a reprovable
badness in himself.
EDMUND 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!
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 his 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]

 

Act III, Scene 6 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]

 

To see other scenes from the show:

Full Text 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 castle. 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.

 

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