(Line differences from Q1 are in brackets, lines in F1 only are in italics)
Act III, scene iv
The heath. Before a
Enter KING LEAR, KENT, and FOOL
Here is the place, my lord; good my lord, enter.
The tyranny of the open night's too rough
For nature to endure.
Let me alone.
Good my lord, enter here.
Wilt break my heart?
I had rather break mine own. Good my lord, enter.
Thou think'st 'tis much that this contentious [tempestuous] storm
Invades us to the skin: so 'tis to thee;
But where the greater malady is fixed,
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 [sure]:
No, I will weep no more. In such a night as this
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 [you] all --
O, that way madness lies; let me shun that;
No more of that.
Good my lord, enter here.
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.
In, boy; go first. You houseless poverty --
Nay, get thee in. I'll pray, and then I'll sleep.
Poor naked wretches, whereso'er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm [night],
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
Your looped and windowed 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.
Enter EDGAR and FOOL
Fathom and half, fathom and half! Poor Tom!
Come not in here, nuncle, here's a spirit!
Help me, help me!
Give me thy hand. Who's there?
A spirit, a spirit: he says his name's poor Tom.
What art thou that dost grumble there i' the straw?
Away! the foul fiend follows me!
Through the sharp hawthorn blows the [cold] wind.
Humh! go to thy cold bed, and warm thee.
Didst thou give all to thy [two] daughters?
And art thou come to this?
Who gives anything to poor Tom? whom the foul
fiend hath led through fire and through flame, and
through sword [ford] and whirlpool o'er bog and quagmire;
that hath laid knives under his pillow, and halters
in his pew; set ratsbane by his porridge; made him
proud of heart, to ride on a bay trotting-horse over
four-inched bridges, to course his own shadow for a
traitor. Bless thy five wits! Tom's a-cold -- O, do
de, do de, do de. Bless thee from whirlwinds,
star-blasting, and taking! Do poor Tom some
charity, whom the foul fiend vexes. There could I
have him now -- and there -- and there again, and there.
[What,] have his daughters brought him to this pass?
Couldst thou save nothing? Wouldst [Didst] thou give them all?
Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had been all shamed.
Now, all the plagues that in the pendulous air
Hang fated o'er men's faults, light [fall] on thy daughters!
He hath no daughters, sir.
Death, traitor! Nothing could have subdued 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.
Pillicock sat on Pillicock-hill:
Halloo, halloo, loo, loo!
This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.
Take heed o' the foul fiend. Obey thy parents;
keep thy words justice [justly]; swear not; commit not with
man's sworn spouse; set not thy sweet heart on proud
array -- Tom's a-cold.
What hast thou been?
A serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curled
my hair, wore gloves in my cap, served the lust of
my mistress' heart, and did the act of darkness with
her; swore as many oaths as I spake words, and
broke them in the sweet face of heaven. One that
slept in the contriving of lust, and waked to do it.
Wine loved I deeply, dice dearly, and in woman
out-paramoured the Turk. False of heart, light of
ear, bloody of hand; hog in sloth, fox in stealth,
wolf in greediness, dog in madness, lion in prey.
Let not the creaking of shoes nor the rustling of
silks betray thy poor heart to woman. Keep thy foot
out of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy pen
from lenders' books, and defy the foul fiend.
Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind:
Says suum, mun, ha, no, nonny. Dolphin my boy,
sessa! let him trot by.
[Why,] thou wert better in thy grave than to answer
with thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies.
Is man no more than this? Consider him well. Thou
owest 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 here.
Tearing off his clothes
Prithee, nuncle, be contented; 'tis a naughty night
to swim in. Now a little fire in a wild field were
like an old lecher's heart; a small spark, all the
rest on's body cold. Look, here comes a walking fire.
Enter GLOUCESTER with a torch
This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet: he begins
at curfew, and walks till the first cock; he gives
the web and the pin, squints [squemes] the eye, and makes the
hare-lip; mildews the white wheat, and hurts the
poor creature of earth.
Swithold footed thrice the old [wold];
He met the night-mare, and her nine-fold;
Bid her alight,
And her troth plight,
And, aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!
How fares your grace?
Who's there? What is't you seek?
What are you there? Your names?
Poor Tom; that eats the swimming frog, the toad,
the tadpole, the wall-newt and the water; that in
the fury of his heart, when the foul fiend rages,
eats cow-dung for sallets; swallows the old rat and
the ditch-dog; drinks the green mantle of the
standing pool; who is whipped from tithing to
tithing, and stock-punished, and imprisoned; who
hath had three suits to his back, six shirts to his
body, horse to ride, and weapon to wear;
But mice and rats, and such small deer,
Have been Tom's food for seven long year.
Beware my follower. Peace, Smulkin [Snulbug]; peace, thou fiend!
What, hath your grace no better company?
The prince of darkness is a gentleman:
Modo he's call'd, and Mahu.
Our flesh and blood is grown so vile, my lord,
That it doth hate what gets it.
Poor Tom's a-cold.
Go in with me. My duty cannot suffer
To 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 ventured to come seek you out,
And bring you where both fire and food is ready.
First let me talk with this philosopher.
What is the cause of thunder?
Good my lord, take his offer; go into the house.
I'll talk a word with this same [most] learned Theban.
What is your study?
How to prevent the fiend, and to kill vermin.
Let me ask you one word in private.
Importune him once more to go, my lord;
His wits begin to unsettle.
Canst thou blame him?
His daughters seek his death: ah, that good Kent!
He said it would be thus, poor banished man!
Thou say'st the king grows mad; I'll tell thee, friend,
I am almost mad myself. I had a son,
Now outlawed from my blood. He sought my life,
But lately, very late, I loved him, friend;
No father his son dearer. Truth to tell thee,
The grief hath crazed my wits. What a night's this!
I do beseech your grace --
O, cry your mercy, sir.
Noble philosopher, your company.
In, fellow, there, into the hovel: keep thee warm.
Come let's in all.
This way, my lord.
With him; I will keep still with my philosopher.
Good my lord, soothe him; let him take the fellow.
Take him you on.
Sirrah, come on; go along with us.
Come, good Athenian.
No words, no words: hush.
Child Rowland to the dark tower came [town come],
His word was still, "Fie, foh, and fum,
I smell the blood of a British man."
Commentary on Act III, scene iv
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