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King Lear

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ACT III SCENE VI A chamber in a farmhouse adjoining the castle. 
GLOUCESTERHere 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.
KENTAll the power of his wits have given way to his
impatience: the gods reward your kindness!5
EDGARFrateretto calls me; and tells me
Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness.
Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.
FoolPrithee, nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a
gentleman or a yeoman?10
KING LEARA king, a king!
FoolNo, 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 LEARTo have a thousand with red burning spits15
Come hissing in upon 'em,--
EDGARThe foul fiend bites my back.
FoolHe's mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a
horse's health, a boy's love, or a whore's oath.
KING LEARIt shall be done; I will arraign them straight.20
Come, sit thou here, most learned justicer;
[To the Fool]
Thou, sapient sir, sit here. Now, you she foxes!
EDGARLook, where he stands and glares!
Wantest thou eyes at trial, madam?
Come o'er the bourn, Bessy, to me,--25
FoolHer boat hath a leak,
And she must not speak
Why she dares not come over to thee.
EDGARThe foul fiend haunts poor Tom in the voice of a
nightingale. Hopdance cries in Tom's belly for two30
white herring. Croak not, black angel; I have no
food for thee.
KENTHow do you, sir? Stand you not so amazed:
Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions?
KING LEARI'll see their trial first. Bring in the evidence.35
Thou robed man of justice, take thy place;
[To the Fool]
And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity,
Bench by his side:
you are o' the commission,
Sit you too.40
EDGARLet 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.45
Pur! the cat is gray.
KING LEARArraign her first; 'tis Goneril. I here take my
oath before this honourable assembly, she kicked the
poor king her father.
FoolCome hither, mistress. Is your name Goneril?50
KING LEARShe cannot deny it.
FoolCry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.
KING LEARAnd 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!55
False justicer, why hast thou let her 'scape?
EDGARBless thy five wits!
KENTO 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, 60
They'll mar my counterfeiting.
KING LEARThe little dogs and all, Tray, Blanch, and
Sweet-heart, see, they bark at me.
EDGARTom will throw his head at them. Avaunt, you curs!
Be thy mouth or black or white,65
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:70
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 LEARThen let them anatomize Regan; see what breeds75
about her heart. Is there any cause in nature that
makes these hard hearts?
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.80
KENTNow, good my lord, lie here and rest awhile.
KING LEARMake no noise, make no noise; draw the curtains:
so, so, so. We'll go to supper i' he morning. So, so, so.
FoolAnd I'll go to bed at noon.
GLOUCESTERCome hither, friend: where is the king my master?85
KENTHere, sir; but trouble him not, his wits are gone.
GLOUCESTERGood 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 meet90
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 provision95
Give thee quick conduct.
KENTOppressed nature sleeps:
This rest might yet have balm'd thy broken senses,
Which, if convenience will not allow,
Stand in hard cure.100
[To the Fool]
Come, help to bear thy master;
Thou must not stay behind.
GLOUCESTERCome, come, away.
[Exeunt all but EDGAR]
EDGARWhen we our betters see bearing our woes,
We scarcely think our miseries our foes.105
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,110
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.115
What will hap more to-night, safe 'scape the king!
Lurk, lurk.

King Lear, Act 3, Scene 7

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