Lear. What hast thou bin? Edg. A Seruingman? Proud in heart, and minde; that curl'd my haire, wore Gloues in my cap; seru'd the Lust of my Mistris heart, and did the acte of darkenesse with her. Swore as many Oathes, as I spake words, & broke them in the sweet face of Heauen. One, that slept in the contriuing of Lust, and wak'd to doe it. Wine lou'd I deerely, Dice deerely; and in Woman, out-Paramour'd the Turke. False of heart, light of eare, bloody of hand; Hog in sloth, Foxe in stealth, Wolfe in greedinesse, Dog in madnes, Lyon in prey. Let not the creaking of shooes, Nor the rustling of Silkes, betray thy poore heart to woman. Keepe thy foote out of Brothels, thy hand out of Plackets, thy pen from Lenders Bookes, and defye the foule Fiend. Still through the Hauthorne blowes the cold winde: Sayes suum, mun, nonny, Dolphin my Boy, Boy Sesey: let him trot by.

Storme still.

Lear. Thou wert better in a Graue, then to answere with thy vncouer'd body, this extremitie of the Skies. Is man no more then this? Consider him well. Thou ow'st the Worme no Silke; the Beast, no Hide; the Sheepe, no Wooll; the Cat, no perfume. Ha? Here's three on's are sophisticated. Thou art the thing it selfe; vnaccommodated man, is no more but such a poore, bare, forked Animall as thou art. Off, off you Lendings: Come, vnbutton heere. Enter Gloucester, with a Torch.

Foole. Prythee Nunckle be contented, 'tis a naughtie night to swimme in. Now a little fire in a wilde Field, were like an old Letchers heart, a small spark, all the rest on's body, cold: Looke, heere comes a walking fire

Edg. This is the foule Flibbertigibbet; hee begins at Curfew, and walkes at first Cocke: Hee giues the Web and the Pin, squints the eye, and makes the Hare-lippe; Mildewes the white Wheate, and hurts the poore Creature of earth. Swithold footed thrice the old, He met the Night-Mare, and her nine-fold; Bid her a-light, and her troth-plight, And aroynt thee Witch, aroynt thee

Kent. How fares your Grace? Lear. What's he? Kent. Who's there? What is't you seeke? Glou. What are you there? Your Names? Edg. Poore Tom, that eates the swimming Frog, the Toad, the Tod-pole, the wall-Neut, and the water: that in the furie of his heart, when the foule Fiend rages, eats Cow-dung for Sallets; swallowes the old Rat, and the ditch-Dogge; drinkes the green Mantle of the standing Poole: who is whipt from Tything to Tything, and stockt, punish'd, and imprison'd: who hath three Suites to his backe, sixe shirts to his body: Horse to ride, and weapon to weare: But Mice, and Rats, and such small Deare, Haue bin Toms food, for seuen long yeare: Beware my Follower. Peace Smulkin, peace thou Fiend

Glou. What, hath your Grace no better company? Edg. The Prince of Darkenesse is a Gentleman. Modo he's call'd, and Mahu

Glou. Our flesh and blood, my Lord, is growne so vilde, that it doth hate what gets it

Edg. Poore Tom's a cold

Glou. Go in with me; my duty cannot suffer T' obey in all your daughters hard commands: Though their Iniunction be to barre my doores, And let this Tyrannous night take hold vpon you, Yet haue I ventured to come seeke you out, And bring you where both fire, and food is ready

Lear. First let me talke with this Philosopher, What is the cause of Thunder? Kent. Good my Lord take his offer, Go into th' house

Lear. Ile talke a word with this same lerned Theban: What is your study? Edg. How to preuent the Fiend, and to kill Vermine

Lear. Let me aske you one word in priuate

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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