Speeches (Lines) for Lear
in "King Lear"

Total: 188

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(stage directions). Enter one bearing a coronet; then Lear; then the Dukes of Albany and Cornwall; next, Goneril, Regan, Cordelia, with Followers.

Lear. Attend the lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester.



(stage directions). Exeunt [Gloucester and Edmund].

Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker purpose.
Give me the map there. Know we have divided
In three our kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent
To shake all cares and business from our age,
Conferring them on younger strengths while we
Unburthen'd crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall,
And you, our no less loving son of Albany,
We have this hour a constant will to publish
Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife
May be prevented now. The princes, France and Burgundy,
Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love,
Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn,
And here are to be answer'd. Tell me, my daughters
(Since now we will divest us both of rule,
Interest of territory, cares of state),
Which of you shall we say doth love us most?
That we our largest bounty may extend
Where nature doth with merit challenge. Goneril,
Our eldest-born, speak first.



Cordelia. [aside] What shall Cordelia speak? Love, and be silent.

Lear. Of all these bounds, even from this line to this,
With shadowy forests and with champains rich'd,
With plenteous rivers and wide-skirted meads,
We make thee lady. To thine and Albany's issue
Be this perpetual.- What says our second daughter,
Our dearest Regan, wife to Cornwall? Speak.



Cordelia. [aside] Then poor Cordelia!
And yet not so; since I am sure my love's
More richer than my tongue.

Lear. To thee and thine hereditary ever
Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom,
No less in space, validity, and pleasure
Than that conferr'd on Goneril.- Now, our joy,
Although the last, not least; to whose young love
The vines of France and milk of Burgundy
Strive to be interest; what can you say to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.



Cordelia. Nothing, my lord.

Lear. Nothing?



Cordelia. Nothing.

Lear. Nothing can come of nothing. Speak again.



Cordelia. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth. I love your Majesty
According to my bond; no more nor less.

Lear. How, how, Cordelia? Mend your speech a little,
Lest it may mar your fortunes.



Cordelia. Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me; I
Return those duties back as are right fit,
Obey you, love you, and most honour you.
Why have my sisters husbands, if they say
They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed,
That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry
Half my love with him, half my care and duty.
Sure I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all.

Lear. But goes thy heart with this?



Cordelia. Ay, good my lord.

Lear. So young, and so untender?



Cordelia. So young, my lord, and true.

Lear. Let it be so! thy truth then be thy dower!
For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate and the night;
By all the operation of the orbs
From whom we do exist and cease to be;
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee from this for ever. The barbarous Scythian,
Or he that makes his generation messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
As thou my sometime daughter.



Earl of Kent. Good my liege-

Lear. Peace, Kent!
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I lov'd her most, and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery.- Hence and avoid my sight!-
So be my grave my peace as here I give
Her father's heart from her! Call France! Who stirs?
Call Burgundy! Cornwall and Albany,
With my two daughters' dowers digest this third;
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
I do invest you jointly in my power,
Preeminence, and all the large effects
That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly course,
With reservation of an hundred knights,
By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain
The name, and all th' additions to a king. The sway,
Revenue, execution of the rest,
Beloved sons, be yours; which to confirm,
This coronet part betwixt you.



Earl of Kent. Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,
Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd,
As my great patron thought on in my prayers-

Lear. The bow is bent and drawn; make from the shaft.



Earl of Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade
The region of my heart! Be Kent unmannerly
When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man?
Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak
When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour's bound
When majesty falls to folly. Reverse thy doom;
And in thy best consideration check
This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judgment,
Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least,
Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound
Reverbs no hollowness.

Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more!



Earl of Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it,
Thy safety being the motive.

Lear. Out of my sight!



Earl of Kent. See better, Lear, and let me still remain
The true blank of thine eye.

Lear. Now by Apollo-



Earl of Kent. Now by Apollo, King,
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.

Lear. O vassal! miscreant! [Lays his hand on his sword.]



Earl of Kent. Do!
Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift,
Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee thou dost evil.

Lear. Hear me, recreant!
On thine allegiance, hear me!
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow-
Which we durst never yet- and with strain'd pride
To come between our sentence and our power,-
Which nor our nature nor our place can bear,-
Our potency made good, take thy reward.
Five days we do allot thee for provision
To shield thee from diseases of the world,
And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
Upon our kingdom. If, on the tenth day following,
Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter,
This shall not be revok'd.



Earl of Gloucester. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.

Lear. My Lord of Burgundy,
We first address toward you, who with this king
Hath rivall'd for our daughter. What in the least
Will you require in present dower with her,
Or cease your quest of love?



Duke of Burgundy. Most royal Majesty,
I crave no more than hath your Highness offer'd,
Nor will you tender less.

Lear. Right noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
But now her price is fall'n. Sir, there she stands.
If aught within that little seeming substance,
Or all of it, with our displeasure piec'd,
And nothing more, may fitly like your Grace,
She's there, and she is yours.



Duke of Burgundy. I know no answer.

Lear. Will you, with those infirmities she owes,
Unfriended, new adopted to our hate,
Dow'r'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her?



Duke of Burgundy. Pardon me, royal sir.
Election makes not up on such conditions.

Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the pow'r that made me,
I tell you all her wealth. [To France] For you, great King,
I would not from your love make such a stray
To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you
T' avert your liking a more worthier way
Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd
Almost t' acknowledge hers.



Cordelia. I yet beseech your Majesty,
If for I want that glib and oily art
To speak and purpose not, since what I well intend,
I'll do't before I speak- that you make known
It is no vicious blot, murther, or foulness,
No unchaste action or dishonoured step,
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour;
But even for want of that for which I am richer-
A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
As I am glad I have not, though not to have it
Hath lost me in your liking.

Lear. Better thou
Hadst not been born than not t' have pleas'd me better.



Duke of Burgundy. Royal Lear,
Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Duchess of Burgundy.

Lear. Nothing! I have sworn; I am firm.



King of France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being poor;
Most choice, forsaken; and most lov'd, despis'd!
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon.
Be it lawful I take up what's cast away.
Gods, gods! 'tis strange that from their cold'st neglect
My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.
Thy dow'rless daughter, King, thrown to my chance,
Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France.
Not all the dukes in wat'rish Burgundy
Can buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me.
Bid them farewell, Cordelia, though unkind.
Thou losest here, a better where to find.

Lear. Thou hast her, France; let her be thine; for we
Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of hers again. Therefore be gone
Without our grace, our love, our benison.
Come, noble Burgundy.



Earl of Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow,
That can my speech defuse, my good intent
May carry through itself to that full issue
For which I raz'd my likeness. Now, banish'd Kent,
If thou canst serve where thou dost stand condemn'd,
So may it come, thy master, whom thou lov'st,
Shall find thee full of labours.
Horns within. Enter Lear, [Knights,] and Attendants.

Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner; go get it ready. [Exit
an Attendant.]
How now? What art thou?



Earl of Kent. A man, sir.

Lear. What dost thou profess? What wouldst thou with us?



Earl of Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem, to serve him truly
that will put me in trust, to love him that is honest, to
converse with him that is wise and says little, to fear
judgment, to fight when I cannot choose, and to eat no fish.

Lear. What art thou?



Earl of Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the King.

Lear. If thou be'st as poor for a subject as he's for a king, thou
art poor enough. What wouldst thou?



Earl of Kent. Service.

Lear. Who wouldst thou serve?



Earl of Kent. You.

Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow?



Earl of Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your countenance which I would
fain call master.

Lear. What's that?



Earl of Kent. Authority.

Lear. What services canst thou do?



Earl of Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious tale in
telling it and deliver a plain message bluntly. That which
ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in, and the best of me
is diligence.

Lear. How old art thou?



Earl of Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing, nor so old to
dote on her for anything. I have years on my back forty-eight.

Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me. If I like thee no worse after
dinner, I will not part from thee yet. Dinner, ho, dinner!
Where's my knave? my fool? Go you and call my fool hither.
[Exit an attendant.]
[Enter [Oswald the] Steward.]
You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?



Oswald. So please you- Exit.

Lear. What says the fellow there? Call the clotpoll back.
[Exit a Knight.] Where's my fool, ho? I think the world's
[Enter Knight]
How now? Where's that mongrel?



Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.

Lear. Why came not the slave back to me when I call'd him?



Knight. Sir, he answered me in the roundest manner, he would not.

Lear. He would not?



Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is; but to my judgment
your Highness is not entertain'd with that ceremonious affection
as you were wont. There's a great abatement of kindness appears
as well in the general dependants as in the Duke himself also
and your daughter.

Lear. Ha! say'st thou so?



Knight. I beseech you pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken; for
my duty cannot be silent when I think your Highness wrong'd.

Lear. Thou but rememb'rest me of mine own conception. I have
perceived a most faint neglect of late, which I have rather
blamed as mine own jealous curiosity than as a very pretence
and purpose of unkindness. I will look further into't. But
where's my fool? I have not seen him this two days.



Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, sir, the fool
hath much pined away.

Lear. No more of that; I have noted it well. Go you and tell my
daughter I would speak with her. [Exit Knight.] Go you, call
hither my fool.
[Exit an Attendant.]
[Enter [Oswald the] Steward.]
O, you, sir, you! Come you hither, sir. Who am I, sir?



Oswald. My lady's father.

Lear. 'My lady's father'? My lord's knave! You whoreson dog! you
slave! you cur!



Oswald. I am none of these, my lord; I beseech your pardon.

Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal?



(stage directions). [Trips up his heels.

Lear. I thank thee, fellow. Thou serv'st me, and I'll love thee.



(stage directions). [Pushes him out.]

Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee. There's earnest of thy
service. [Gives money.]



(stage directions). [Offers Kent his cap.]

Lear. How now, my pretty knave? How dost thou?



Fool. Why? For taking one's part that's out of favour. Nay, an thou
canst not smile as the wind sits, thou'lt catch cold shortly.
There, take my coxcomb! Why, this fellow hath banish'd two on's
daughters, and did the third a blessing against his will. If
thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb.- How now,
nuncle? Would I had two coxcombs and two daughters!

Lear. Why, my boy?



Fool. If I gave them all my living, I'ld keep my coxcombs myself.
There's mine! beg another of thy daughters.

Lear. Take heed, sirrah- the whip.



Fool. Truth's a dog must to kennel; he must be whipp'd out, when
Lady the brach may stand by th' fire and stink.

Lear. A pestilent gall to me!



Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech.

Lear. Do.



Fool. Then 'tis like the breath of an unfeed lawyer- you gave me
nothing for't. Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle?

Lear. Why, no, boy. Nothing can be made out of nothing.



Fool. [to Kent] Prithee tell him, so much the rent of his land
comes to. He will not believe a fool.

Lear. A bitter fool!



Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy, between a bitter
fool and a sweet fool?

Lear. No, lad; teach me.



Fool. That lord that counsell'd thee
To give away thy land,
Come place him here by me-
Do thou for him stand.
The sweet and bitter fool
Will presently appear;
The one in motley here,
The other found out there.

Lear. Dost thou call me fool, boy?



Fool. No, faith; lords and great men will not let me. If I had a
monopoly out, they would have part on't. And ladies too, they
will not let me have all the fool to myself; they'll be
snatching. Give me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee two

Lear. What two crowns shall they be?



Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i' th' middle and eat up the
meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou clovest thy crown i'
th' middle and gav'st away both parts, thou bor'st thine ass on
thy back o'er the dirt. Thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown
when thou gav'st thy golden one away. If I speak like myself in
this, let him be whipp'd that first finds it so.
[Sings] Fools had ne'er less grace in a year,
For wise men are grown foppish;
They know not how their wits to wear,
Their manners are so apish.

Lear. When were you wont to be so full of songs, sirrah?



Fool. I have us'd it, nuncle, ever since thou mad'st thy daughters
thy mother; for when thou gav'st them the rod, and put'st down
thine own breeches,
[Sings] Then they for sudden joy did weep,
And I for sorrow sung,
That such a king should play bo-peep
And go the fools among.
Prithee, nuncle, keep a schoolmaster that can teach thy fool to
lie. I would fain learn to lie.

Lear. An you lie, sirrah, we'll have you whipp'd.



(stage directions). Enter Goneril.

Lear. How now, daughter? What makes that frontlet on? Methinks you
are too much o' late i' th' frown.



Fool. For you know, nuncle,
The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long
That it had it head bit off by it young.
So out went the candle, and we were left darkling.

Lear. Are you our daughter?



Fool. May not an ass know when the cart draws the horse?
Whoop, Jug, I love thee!

Lear. Doth any here know me? This is not Lear.
Doth Lear walk thus? speak thus? Where are his eyes?
Either his notion weakens, his discernings
Are lethargied- Ha! waking? 'Tis not so!
Who is it that can tell me who I am?



Fool. Lear's shadow.

Lear. I would learn that; for, by the marks of sovereignty,
Knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded
I had daughters.



Fool. Which they will make an obedient father.

Lear. Your name, fair gentlewoman?



Goneril. This admiration, sir, is much o' th' savour
Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you
To understand my purposes aright.
As you are old and reverend, you should be wise.
Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires;
Men so disorder'd, so debosh'd, and bold
That this our court, infected with their manners,
Shows like a riotous inn. Epicurism and lust
Make it more like a tavern or a brothel
Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth speak
For instant remedy. Be then desir'd
By her that else will take the thing she begs
A little to disquantity your train,
And the remainder that shall still depend
To be such men as may besort your age,
Which know themselves, and you.

Lear. Darkness and devils!
Saddle my horses! Call my train together!
Degenerate bastard, I'll not trouble thee;
Yet have I left a daughter.



(stage directions). Enter Albany.

Lear. Woe that too late repents!- O, sir, are you come?
Is it your will? Speak, sir!- Prepare my horses.
Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
More hideous when thou show'st thee in a child
Than the sea-monster!



Duke of Albany. Pray, sir, be patient.

Lear. [to Goneril] Detested kite, thou liest!
My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
That all particulars of duty know
And in the most exact regard support
The worships of their name.- O most small fault,
How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show!
Which, like an engine, wrench'd my frame of nature
From the fix'd place; drew from my heart all love
And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear!
Beat at this gate that let thy folly in [Strikes his head.]
And thy dear judgment out! Go, go, my people.



Duke of Albany. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
Of what hath mov'd you.

Lear. It may be so, my lord.
Hear, Nature, hear! dear goddess, hear!
Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend
To make this creature fruitful.
Into her womb convey sterility;
Dry up in her the organs of increase;
And from her derogate body never spring
A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen, that it may live
And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her.
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth,
With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks,
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt, that she may feel
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child! Away, away! Exit.



(stage directions). Enter Lear.

Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a clap?
Within a fortnight?



Duke of Albany. What's the matter, sir?

Lear. I'll tell thee. [To Goneril] Life and death! I am asham'd
That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus;
That these hot tears, which break from me perforce,
Should make thee worth them. Blasts and fogs upon thee!
Th' untented woundings of a father's curse
Pierce every sense about thee!- Old fond eyes,
Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck ye out,
And cast you, with the waters that you lose,
To temper clay. Yea, is it come to this?
Let it be so. Yet have I left a daughter,
Who I am sure is kind and comfortable.
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
She'll flay thy wolvish visage. Thou shalt find
That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think
I have cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant thee.



(beginning of scene)

Lear. Go you before to Gloucester with these letters. Acquaint my
daughter no further with anything you know than comes from her
demand out of the letter. If your diligence be not speedy, I
shall be there afore you.



Fool. If a man's brains were in's heels, were't not in danger of

Lear. Ay, boy.



Fool. Then I prithee be merry. Thy wit shall ne'er go slip-shod.

Lear. Ha, ha, ha!



Fool. Shalt see thy other daughter will use thee kindly; for though
she's as like this as a crab's like an apple, yet I can tell
what I can tell.

Lear. What canst tell, boy?



Fool. She'll taste as like this as a crab does to a crab. Thou
canst tell why one's nose stands i' th' middle on's face?

Lear. No.



Fool. Why, to keep one's eyes of either side's nose, that what a
man cannot smell out, 'a may spy into.

Lear. I did her wrong.



Fool. Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?

Lear. No.



Fool. Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail has a house.

Lear. Why?



Fool. Why, to put's head in; not to give it away to his daughters,
and leave his horns without a case.

Lear. I will forget my nature. So kind a father!- Be my horses



Fool. Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the seven stars
are no moe than seven is a pretty reason.

Lear. Because they are not eight?



Fool. Yes indeed. Thou wouldst make a good fool.

Lear. To tak't again perforce! Monster ingratitude!



Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'ld have thee beaten for being
old before thy time.

Lear. How's that?



Fool. Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst been wise.

Lear. O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven!
Keep me in temper; I would not be mad! [Enter a Gentleman.]
How now? Are the horses ready?



Gentleman. Ready, my lord.

Lear. Come, boy.



(stage directions). Enter Lear, Fool, and Gentleman.

Lear. 'Tis strange that they should so depart from home,
And not send back my messenger.



Earl of Kent. Hail to thee, noble master!

Lear. Ha!
Mak'st thou this shame thy pastime?



Fool. Ha, ha! look! he wears cruel garters. Horses are tied by the
head, dogs and bears by th' neck, monkeys by th' loins, and men
by th' legs. When a man's over-lusty at legs, then he wears
wooden nether-stocks.

Lear. What's he that hath so much thy place mistook
To set thee here?



Earl of Kent. It is both he and she-
Your son and daughter.

Lear. No.



Earl of Kent. Yes.

Lear. No, I say.



Earl of Kent. I say yea.

Lear. No, no, they would not!



Earl of Kent. Yes, they have.

Lear. By Jupiter, I swear no!



Earl of Kent. By Juno, I swear ay!

Lear. They durst not do't;
They would not, could not do't. 'Tis worse than murther
To do upon respect such violent outrage.
Resolve me with all modest haste which way
Thou mightst deserve or they impose this usage,
Coming from us.



Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese fly that way.
Fathers that wear rags
Do make their children blind;
But fathers that bear bags
Shall see their children kind.
Fortune, that arrant whore,
Ne'er turns the key to th' poor.
But for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours for thy
daughters as thou canst tell in a year.

Lear. O, how this mother swells up toward my heart!
Hysterica passio! Down, thou climbing sorrow!
Thy element's below! Where is this daughter?



Earl of Kent. With the Earl, sir, here within.

Lear. Follow me not;
Stay here. Exit.



Fool. Not i' th' stocks, fool.
Enter Lear and Gloucester

Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are sick? they are weary?
They have travell'd all the night? Mere fetches-
The images of revolt and flying off!
Fetch me a better answer.



Earl of Gloucester. My dear lord,
You know the fiery quality of the Duke,
How unremovable and fix'd he is
In his own course.

Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confusion!
Fiery? What quality? Why, Gloucester, Gloucester,
I'ld speak with the Duke of Cornwall and his wife.



Earl of Gloucester. Well, my good lord, I have inform'd them so.

Lear. Inform'd them? Dost thou understand me, man?



Earl of Gloucester. Ay, my good lord.

Lear. The King would speak with Cornwall; the dear father
Would with his daughter speak, commands her service.
Are they inform'd of this? My breath and blood!
Fiery? the fiery Duke? Tell the hot Duke that-
No, but not yet! May be he is not well.
Infirmity doth still neglect all office
Whereto our health is bound. We are not ourselves
When nature, being oppress'd, commands the mind
To suffer with the body. I'll forbear;
And am fallen out with my more headier will,
To take the indispos'd and sickly fit
For the sound man.- Death on my state! Wherefore
Should he sit here? This act persuades me
That this remotion of the Duke and her
Is practice only. Give me my servant forth.
Go tell the Duke and 's wife I'ld speak with them-
Now, presently. Bid them come forth and hear me,
Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum
Till it cry sleep to death.



Earl of Gloucester. I would have all well betwixt you. Exit.

Lear. O me, my heart, my rising heart! But down!



(stage directions). Enter Cornwall, Regan, Gloucester, Servants.

Lear. Good morrow to you both.



Regan. I am glad to see your Highness.

Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what reason
I have to think so. If thou shouldst not be glad,
I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb,
Sepulchring an adultress. [To Kent] O, are you free?
Some other time for that.- Beloved Regan,
Thy sister's naught. O Regan, she hath tied
Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here!
[Lays his hand on his heart.]
I can scarce speak to thee. Thou'lt not believe
With how deprav'd a quality- O Regan!



Regan. I pray you, sir, take patience. I have hope
You less know how to value her desert
Than she to scant her duty.

Lear. Say, how is that?



Regan. I cannot think my sister in the least
Would fail her obligation. If, sir, perchance
She have restrain'd the riots of your followers,
'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end,
As clears her from all blame.

Lear. My curses on her!



Regan. O, sir, you are old!
Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of her confine. You should be rul'd, and led
By some discretion that discerns your state
Better than you yourself. Therefore I pray you
That to our sister you do make return;
Say you have wrong'd her, sir.

Lear. Ask her forgiveness?
Do you but mark how this becomes the house:
'Dear daughter, I confess that I am old. [Kneels.]
Age is unnecessary. On my knees I beg
That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.'



Regan. Good sir, no more! These are unsightly tricks.
Return you to my sister.

Lear. [rises] Never, Regan!
She hath abated me of half my train;
Look'd black upon me; struck me with her tongue,
Most serpent-like, upon the very heart.
All the stor'd vengeances of heaven fall
On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones,
You taking airs, with lameness!



Duke of Cornwall. Fie, sir, fie!

Lear. You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding flames
Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the pow'rful sun,
To fall and blast her pride!



Regan. O the blest gods! so will you wish on me
When the rash mood is on.

Lear. No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curse.
Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give
Thee o'er to harshness. Her eyes are fierce; but thine
Do comfort, and not burn. 'Tis not in thee
To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train,
To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes,
And, in conclusion, to oppose the bolt
Against my coming in. Thou better know'st
The offices of nature, bond of childhood,
Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude.
Thy half o' th' kingdom hast thou not forgot,
Wherein I thee endow'd.



(stage directions). Tucket within.

Lear. Who put my man i' th' stocks?



Regan. I know't- my sister's. This approves her letter,
That she would soon be here.
[Enter [Oswald the] Steward.]
Is your lady come?

Lear. This is a slave, whose easy-borrowed pride
Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows.
Out, varlet, from my sight!



(stage directions). Enter Goneril.

Lear. Who stock'd my servant? Regan, I have good hope
Thou didst not know on't.- Who comes here? O heavens!
If you do love old men, if your sweet sway
Allow obedience- if yourselves are old,
Make it your cause! Send down, and take my part!
[To Goneril] Art not asham'd to look upon this beard?-
O Regan, wilt thou take her by the hand?



Goneril. Why not by th' hand, sir? How have I offended?
All's not offence that indiscretion finds
And dotage terms so.

Lear. O sides, you are too tough!
Will you yet hold? How came my man i' th' stocks?



Duke of Cornwall. I set him there, sir; but his own disorders
Deserv'd much less advancement.

Lear. You? Did you?



Regan. I pray you, father, being weak, seem so.
If, till the expiration of your month,
You will return and sojourn with my sister,
Dismissing half your train, come then to me.
I am now from home, and out of that provision
Which shall be needful for your entertainment.

Lear. Return to her, and fifty men dismiss'd?
No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose
To wage against the enmity o' th' air,
To be a comrade with the wolf and owl-
Necessity's sharp pinch! Return with her?
Why, the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took
Our youngest born, I could as well be brought
To knee his throne, and, squire-like, pension beg
To keep base life afoot. Return with her?
Persuade me rather to be slave and sumpter
To this detested groom. [Points at Oswald.]



Goneril. At your choice, sir.

Lear. I prithee, daughter, do not make me mad.
I will not trouble thee, my child; farewell.
We'll no more meet, no more see one another.
But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter;
Or rather a disease that's in my flesh,
Which I must needs call mine. Thou art a boil,
A plague sore, an embossed carbuncle
In my corrupted blood. But I'll not chide thee.
Let shame come when it will, I do not call it.
I do not bid the Thunder-bearer shoot
Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove.
Mend when thou canst; be better at thy leisure;
I can be patient, I can stay with Regan,
I and my hundred knights.



Regan. Not altogether so.
I look'd not for you yet, nor am provided
For your fit welcome. Give ear, sir, to my sister;
For those that mingle reason with your passion
Must be content to think you old, and so-
But she knows what she does.

Lear. Is this well spoken?



Regan. Why not, my lord? If then they chanc'd to slack ye,
We could control them. If you will come to me
(For now I spy a danger), I entreat you
To bring but five-and-twenty. To no more
Will I give place or notice.

Lear. I gave you all-



Regan. And in good time you gave it!

Lear. Made you my guardians, my depositaries;
But kept a reservation to be followed
With such a number. What, must I come to you
With five-and-twenty, Regan? Said you so?



Regan. And speak't again my lord. No more with me.

Lear. Those wicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd
When others are more wicked; not being the worst
Stands in some rank of praise. [To Goneril] I'll go with thee.
Thy fifty yet doth double five-and-twenty,
And thou art twice her love.



Regan. What need one?

Lear. O, reason not the need! Our basest beggars
Are in the poorest thing superfluous.
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is cheap as beast's. Thou art a lady:
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st
Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need-
You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!
You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,
As full of grief as age; wretched in both.
If it be you that stirs these daughters' hearts
Against their father, fool me not so much
To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger,
And let not women's weapons, water drops,
Stain my man's cheeks! No, you unnatural hags!
I will have such revenges on you both
That all the world shall- I will do such things-
What they are yet, I know not; but they shall be
The terrors of the earth! You think I'll weep.
No, I'll not weep.
I have full cause of weeping, but this heart
Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws
Or ere I'll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!



(stage directions). Enter Lear and Fool.

Lear. 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 sulph'rous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Strike flat the thick rotundity o' th' world,
Crack Nature's moulds, all germains spill at once,
That makes ingrateful man!



Fool. 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 nether wise men nor fools.

Lear. 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 despis'd old man.
But yet I call you servile ministers,
That will with two pernicious daughters join
Your high-engender'd battles 'gainst a head
So old and white as this! O! O! 'tis foul!



(stage directions). Enter Kent.

Lear. No, I will be the pattern of all patience;
I will say nothing.



Earl of Kent. 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
Th' affliction nor the fear.

Lear. Let the great gods,
That keep this dreadful pudder 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 perjur'd, and thou simular man of virtue
That art incestuous. Caitiff, in pieces shake
That under covert and convenient seeming
Hast practis'd 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.



Earl of Kent. Alack, bareheaded?
Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel;
Some friendship will it lend you 'gainst the tempest.
Repose you there, whilst I to this hard house
(More harder than the stones whereof 'tis rais'd,
Which even but now, demanding after you,
Denied me to come in) return, and force
Their scanted courtesy.

Lear. 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, your hovel.
Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heart
That's sorry yet for thee.



Fool. [sings]
He that has and a little tiny wit-
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain-
Must make content with his fortunes fit,
For the rain it raineth every day.

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



Earl of Kent. Here is the place, my lord. Good my lord, enter.
The tyranny of the open night 's too rough
For nature to endure.

Lear. Let me alone.



Earl of Kent. Good my lord, enter here.

Lear. Wilt break my heart?



Earl of Kent. I had rather break mine own. Good my lord, enter.

Lear. Thou think'st 'tis much that this contentious storm
Invades us to the skin. So 'tis to thee;
But where the greater malady is fix'd,
The lesser is scarce felt. Thou'dst shun a bear;
But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,
Thou'dst meet the bear i' th' mouth. When the mind's free,
The body's delicate. The tempest in my mind
Doth from my senses take all feeling else
Save what beats there. Filial ingratitude!
Is it not as this mouth should tear this hand
For lifting food to't? But I will punish home!
No, I will weep no more. In such a night
To shut me out! Pour on; I will endure.
In such a night as this! O Regan, Goneril!
Your old kind father, whose frank heart gave all!
O, that way madness lies; let me shun that!
No more of that.



Earl of Kent. Good my lord, enter here.

Lear. Prithee go in thyself; seek thine own ease.
This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
On things would hurt me more. But I'll go in.
[To the Fool] In, boy; go first.- You houseless poverty-
Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep. [Exit Fool]
Poor naked wretches, wheresoe'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your loop'd and window'd raggedness, defend you
From seasons such as these? O, I have ta'en
Too little care of this! Take physic, pomp;
Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel,
That thou mayst shake the superflux to them
And show the heavens more just.



Edgar. Away! the foul fiend follows me! Through the sharp hawthorn
blows the cold wind. Humh! go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.

Lear. Hast thou given all to thy two daughters, and art thou come
to this?



(stage directions). Storm still.

Lear. What, have his daughters brought him to this pass?
Couldst thou save nothing? Didst thou give 'em all?



Fool. Nay, he reserv'd a blanket, else we had been all sham'd.

Lear. Now all the plagues that in the pendulous air
Hang fated o'er men's faults light on thy daughters!



Earl of Kent. He hath no daughters, sir.

Lear. Death, traitor! nothing could have subdu'd nature
To such a lowness but his unkind daughters.
Is it the fashion that discarded fathers
Should have thus little mercy on their flesh?
Judicious punishment! 'Twas this flesh begot
Those pelican daughters.



Edgar. Take heed o' th' foul fiend; obey thy parents: keep thy word
justly; swear not; commit not with man's sworn spouse; set not
thy sweet heart on proud array. Tom 's acold.

Lear. What hast thou been?



(stage directions). Storm still.

Lear. Why, thou wert better in thy grave than to answer with thy
uncover'd body this extremity of the skies. Is man no more than
this? Consider him well. Thou ow'st the worm no silk, the beast
no hide, the sheep no wool, the cat no perfume. Ha! Here's three
on's are sophisticated! Thou art the thing itself;
unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked
animal as thou art. Off, off, you lendings! Come, unbutton



Earl of Kent. How fares your Grace?

Lear. What's he?



Earl of Gloucester. Go in with me. My duty cannot suffer
T' obey in all your daughters' hard commands.
Though their injunction be to bar my doors
And let this tyrannous night take hold upon you,
Yet have I ventur'd to come seek you out
And bring you where both fire and food is ready.

Lear. First let me talk with this philosopher.
What is the cause of thunder?



Earl of Kent. Good my lord, take his offer; go into th' house.

Lear. I'll talk a word with this same learned Theban.
What is your study?



Edgar. How to prevent the fiend and to kill vermin.

Lear. Let me ask you one word in private.



Earl of Gloucester. Canst thou blame him? [Storm still.]
His daughters seek his death. Ah, that good Kent!
He said it would be thus- poor banish'd man!
Thou say'st the King grows mad: I'll tell thee, friend,
I am almost mad myself. I had a son,
Now outlaw'd from my blood. He sought my life
But lately, very late. I lov'd him, friend-
No father his son dearer. True to tell thee,
The grief hath craz'd my wits. What a night 's this!
I do beseech your Grace-

Lear. O, cry you mercy, sir.
Noble philosopher, your company.



Earl of Gloucester. In, fellow, there, into th' hovel; keep thee warm.

Lear. Come, let's in all.



Earl of Kent. This way, my lord.

Lear. With him!
I will keep still with my philosopher.



Earl of Kent. Sirrah, come on; go along with us.

Lear. Come, good Athenian.



Fool. Prithee, nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a gentleman or a

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 hizzing in upon 'em-



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.
[To Edgar] Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer.
[To the Fool] Thou, sapient sir, sit here. Now, you she-foxes!



Earl of 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 their evidence.
[To Edgar] Thou, robed man of justice, take thy place.
[To the Fool] And thou, his yokefellow of equity,
Bench by his side. [To Kent] You are o' th' 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.
Purr! the cat is gray.

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.



Fool. Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.

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. [aside] My tears begin to take his part so much
They'll mar my counterfeiting.

Lear. The little dogs and all,
Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart, 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, greyhound, mongrel grim,
Hound or spaniel, brach or lym,
Bobtail tyke 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.

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 you for one of my
hundred; only I do not like the fashion of your garments. You'll
say they are Persian attire; but let them be chang'd.



Earl of 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' th' morning. So, so, so.



Edgar. Bear free and patient thoughts.
Enter Lear, mad, [fantastically dressed with weeds].
But who comes here?
The safer sense will ne'er accommodate
His master thus.

Lear. No, they cannot touch me for coming;
I am the King himself.



Edgar. O thou side-piercing sight!

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'
th' clout, i' th' clout! Hewgh! Give the word.



Edgar. Sweet marjoram.

Lear. Pass.



Earl of Gloucester. I know that voice.

Lear. Ha! Goneril with a white beard? They flatter'd 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 everything 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
everything. 'Tis a lie- I am not ague-proof.



Earl of Gloucester. The trick of that voice I do well remember.
Is't not the 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?
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 simp'ring dame,
Whose face between her forks presageth 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 fiend's.
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.



Earl of Gloucester. O, let me kiss that hand!

Lear. Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality.



Earl of Gloucester. O ruin'd piece of nature! This great world
Shall so wear out to naught. Dost thou know me?

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.



Edgar. [aside] I would not take this from report. It is,
And my heart breaks at it.

Lear. Read.



Earl of Gloucester. What, with the case of eyes?

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.



Earl of Gloucester. I see it feelingly.

Lear. What, art mad? A man may see how the 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?



Earl of Gloucester. Ay, sir.

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 lusts to use her in that kind
For which thou whip'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 pygmy'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 th' 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!

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.



Earl of Gloucester. Alack, alack the day!

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!



Gentleman. O, here he is! Lay hand upon him.- Sir,
Your most dear daughter-

Lear. No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even
The natural fool of fortune. Use me well;
You shall have ransom. Let me have a surgeon;
I am cut to th' brains.



Gentleman. You shall have anything.

Lear. No seconds? All myself?
Why, this would make a man a man of salt,
To use his eyes for garden waterpots,
Ay, and laying autumn's dust.



Gentleman. Good sir-

Lear. I will die bravely, like a smug 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.

Lear. Then there's life in't. Nay, an you get it, you shall get it
by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa!



Cordelia. How does my royal lord? How fares your Majesty?

Lear. You do me wrong to take me out o' th' 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?

Lear. You are a spirit, I know. When did you die?



Doctor. He's scarce awake. Let him alone awhile.

Lear. Where have I been? Where am I? Fair daylight,
I am mightily abus'd. I should e'en die with pity,
To see another thus. I know not what to say.
I will not swear these are my hands. Let's see.
I feel this pin prick. Would I were assur'd
Of my condition!



Cordelia. O, look upon me, sir,
And hold your hands in benediction o'er me.
No, sir, you must not kneel.

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.
Methinks I should know you, and know this man;
Yet I am doubtful; for I am mainly ignorant
What place this is; and all the skill I have
Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
Where I did lodge last night. 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!

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.

Lear. Am I in France?



Earl of Kent. In your own kingdom, sir.

Lear. Do not abuse me.



Cordelia. Will't please your Highness walk?

Lear. You must bear with me.
Pray you now, forget and forgive. I am old and foolish.



Cordelia. We are not the first
Who with best meaning have incurr'd the worst.
For thee, oppressed king, am I cast down;
Myself could else outfrown false Fortune's frown.
Shall we not see these daughters and these sisters?

Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison.
We two alone will sing like birds i' th' cage.
When thou dost ask me blessing, I'll kneel down
And ask of thee forgiveness. So we'll live,
And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues
Talk of court news; and we'll talk with them too-
Who loses and who wins; who's in, who's out-
And take upon 's the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies; and we'll wear out,
In a wall'd prison, packs and sects of great ones
That ebb and flow by th' moon.



Edmund. Take them away.

Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught thee?
He that parts us shall bring a brand from heaven
And fire us hence like foxes. Wipe thine eyes.
The goodyears shall devour 'em, flesh and fell,
Ere they shall make us weep! We'll see 'em starv'd first.
Come. Exeunt [Lear and Cordelia, guarded].



(stage directions). Enter Lear, with Cordelia [dead] in his arms, [Edgar, Captain, and others following].

Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl! O, you are men of stone.
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'ld use them so
That heaven's vault should crack. She's gone for ever!
I know when one is dead, and when one lives.
She's dead as earth. Lend me a looking glass.
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,
Why, then she lives.



Duke of Albany. Fall and cease!

Lear. This feather stirs; she lives! If it be so,
It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows
That ever I have felt.



Earl of Kent. O my good master!

Lear. Prithee away!



Edgar. 'Tis noble Kent, your friend.

Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all!
I might have sav'd her; now she's gone for ever!
Cordelia, Cordelia! stay a little. Ha!
What is't thou say'st, Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle, and low- an excellent thing in woman.
I kill'd the slave that was a-hanging thee.



Captain. 'Tis true, my lords, he did.

Lear. Did I not, fellow?
I have seen the day, with my good biting falchion
I would have made them skip. I am old now,
And these same crosses spoil me. Who are you?
Mine eyes are not o' th' best. I'll tell you straight.



Earl of Kent. If fortune brag of two she lov'd and hated,
One of them we behold.

Lear. This' a dull sight. Are you not Kent?



Earl of Kent. The same-
Your servant Kent. Where is your servant Caius?

Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that.
He'll strike, and quickly too. He's dead and rotten.



Earl of Kent. No, my good lord; I am the very man-

Lear. I'll see that straight.



Earl of Kent. That from your first of difference and decay
Have followed your sad steps.

Lear. You're welcome hither.



Earl of Kent. Nor no man else! All's cheerless, dark, and deadly.
Your eldest daughters have fordone themselves,
And desperately are dead.

Lear. Ay, so I think.



Duke of Albany. That's but a trifle here.
You lords and noble friends, know our intent.
What comfort to this great decay may come
Shall be applied. For us, we will resign,
During the life of this old Majesty,
To him our absolute power; [to Edgar and Kent] you to your
With boot, and such addition as your honours
Have more than merited.- All friends shall taste
The wages of their virtue, and all foes
The cup of their deservings.- O, see, see!

Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life!
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,
And thou no breath at all? Thou'lt come no more,
Never, never, never, never, never!
Pray you undo this button. Thank you, sir.
Do you see this? Look on her! look! her lips!
Look there, look there! He dies.

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