Actus Tertius. Scena Prima.

Storme still. Enter Kent, and a Gentleman, seuerally.

Kent. Who's there besides foule weather? Gen. One minded like the weather, most vnquietly

Kent. I know you: Where's the King? Gent. Contending with the fretfull Elements; Bids the winde blow the Earth into the Sea, Or swell the curled Waters 'boue the Maine, That things might change, or cease

Kent. But who is with him? Gent. None but the Foole, who labours to out-iest His heart-strooke iniuries

Kent. Sir, I do know you, And dare vpon the warrant of my note Commend a deere thing to you. There is diuision (Although as yet the face of it is couer'd With mutuall cunning) 'twixt Albany, and Cornwall: Who haue, as who haue not, that their great Starres Thron'd and set high; Seruants, who seeme no lesse, Which are to France the Spies and Speculations Intelligent of our State. What hath bin seene, Either in snuffes, and packings of the Dukes, Or the hard Reine which both of them hath borne Against the old kinde King; or something deeper, Whereof (perchance) these are but furnishings

Gent. I will talke further with you

Kent. No, do not: For confirmation that I am much more Then my out-wall; open this Purse, and take What it containes. If you shall see Cordelia, (As feare not but you shall) shew her this Ring, And she will tell you who that Fellow is That yet you do not know. Fye on this Storme, I will go seeke the King

Gent. Giue me your hand, Haue you no more to say? Kent. Few words, but to effect more then all yet; That when we haue found the King, in which your pain That way, Ile this: He that first lights on him, Holla the other.


Scena Secunda.

Storme still. Enter Lear, and Foole.

Lear. Blow windes, & crack your cheeks; Rage, blow You Cataracts, and Hyrricano's spout, Till you haue drench'd our Steeples, drown the Cockes. You Sulph'rous and Thought-executing Fires, Vaunt-curriors of Oake-cleauing Thunder-bolts, Sindge my white head. And thou all-shaking Thunder, Strike flat the thicke Rotundity o'th' world, Cracke Natures moulds, all germaines spill at once That makes ingratefull Man

Foole. O Nunkle, Court holy-water in a dry house, is better then this Rain-water out o' doore. Good Nunkle, in, aske thy Daughters blessing, heere's a night pitties neither Wisemen, nor Fooles

Lear. Rumble thy belly full: spit Fire, spowt Raine: Nor Raine, Winde, Thunder, Fire are my Daughters; I taxe not you, you Elements with vnkindnesse. I neuer gaue you Kingdome, call'd you Children; You owe me no subscription. Then let fall Your horrible pleasure. Heere I stand your Slaue, A poore, infirme, weake, and dispis'd old man: But yet I call you Seruile Ministers, That will with two pernicious Daughters ioyne Your high-engender'd Battailes, 'gainst a head So old, and white as this. O, ho! 'tis foule

Foole. He that has a house to put's head in, has a good Head-peece: The Codpiece that will house, before the head has any; The Head, and he shall Lowse: so Beggers marry many. The man y makes his Toe, what he his Hart shold make, Shall of a Corne cry woe, and turne his sleepe to wake. For there was neuer yet faire woman, but shee made mouthes in a glasse. Enter Kent

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

Kent. Who's there? Foole. Marry here's Grace, and a Codpiece, that's a Wiseman, and a Foole

Kent. Alas Sir are you here? Things that loue night, Loue not such nights as these: The wrathfull Skies Gallow the very wanderers of the darke And make them keepe their Caues: Since I was man, Such sheets of Fire, such bursts of horrid Thunder, Such groanes of roaring Winde, and Raine, I neuer Remember to haue heard. Mans Nature cannot carry Th' affliction, nor the feare

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book