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Kent. Who's there?

Fool. Marry, here's grace, and a cod-piece; that's a wise man, and a fool.

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


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


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


Thou perjur'd, and thou similar man of virtue
That art incestuous: Caitiff, to pieces shake,

That under covert and convenient seeming

Hast practis'd on man's life! -Close pent-up


Rive your concealing continents, and cry

These dreadful summoners grace.—I am a man, More sinn'd against, than sinning,


Alack, bare-headed!

Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel;

Some friendship will it lend you 'gainst the tem


Repose you there: while I to this hard house,
(More hard than is the stone whereof 'tis rais'd;
Which even but now, demanding after you,
Deny'd me to come in,) return, and force

Their scanted courtesy.


Come on, my boy:

I am cold myself.

My wits begin to turn.How dost, my boy? Art cold?

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. He that has a little tiny wit,

With heigh, 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.

[Exeunt Lear and Kent.

Fool. 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 hereticks 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 us'd with feet.

This prophecy Merlin shall make; for I live before

his time.




Enter Glo'ster and Edmund.

Glo. Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural dealing: When I desired 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.

Edm. Most savage, and unnatural!

Glo. Go to; say you nothing: There is division between the dukes; and a worse matter than that: I have received a letter this night;-'tis dangerous to be spoken;-I have lock'd the letter in my closet: these injuries the king now bears will be revenged home; there is 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. If I die for it, as no less is threaten'd me, the king my old master must be relieved. There is some strange thing toward, Edmund; pray you, be careful. [Exit. Edm. 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.



Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool.

Kent. Here is the place, my lord; good my lord,


The tyranny of the open night's too rough

For nature to endure.

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[Storm still.

Wilt break my heart?

Kent. Good my lord, enter here.


Kent. I'd rather break mine own: Good my

lord, enter.

Lear. Thou think'st 'tis much, that this conten

tious 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' the 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,


Good my lord, enter here. Lear. Pr'ythee, go in thyself; seek thine own


This tempest will not give me leave to ponder
Ön things would hurt me more.-But i'll go in:
In, boy; go first.-[to the Fool.] You houseless

Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep.[Fool goes in. 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 physick, pomp;
Expose thyself to feel what wretches feel;
That thou may'st shake the superflux to them,
And show the heavens more just.

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