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King Lear
by William Shakespeare

Act 3, Scene 6 Easiest-to-Read Edition

A room in a farmhouse adjoining Gloucester's castle

 

 

 

 



King Lear Act 3, Scene 6


 

King Lear Act 3 Scene 6

Enter GLOUCESTER, LEAR, KENT disguised,FOOL, and EDGAR disguised

Enter GLOUCESTER, LEAR, KENT disguised,FOOL, and EDGAR disguised

GLOUCESTER

Here 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.

 

GLOUCESTER

Here 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.

 

KENT

All the power of his wits have given way to his impatience.

The gods reward your kindness!

 

KENT

All the power of his wits have given way to his impatience.

The gods reward your kindness!

 

Exit  GLOUCESTER

Exit  GLOUCESTER

EDGAR

Frateretto (a minor devil) calls me and tells me Nero (diabolical Roman emperor) is an angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent (naive person), and beware the foul fiend.

 

EDGAR

Frateretto calls me and tells me Nero is an angler in the lake of darkness. Pray, innocent, and beware the foul fiend.

 

FOOL

Prithee, nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a gentleman or a yeoman?

 

FOOL

Prithee, nuncle, tell me whether a madman be a gentleman or a yeoman?

 

LEAR

A king, a king!

 

LEAR

A king, a king!

 

FOOL

No, 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.

 

FOOL

No, 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.

 

LEAR

To have a thousand [devils] with red burning spits

Come hissing in upon 'em (Goneril and Regan)!

 

LEAR

To have a thousand with red burning spits

Come hissing in upon 'em!

 

EDGAR

The foul fiend bites my back.

 

EDGAR

The foul fiend bites my back.

 

FOOL

He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boy’s love, or a whore’s oath.

 

FOOL

He’s mad that trusts in the tameness of a wolf, a horse’s health, a boy’s love, or a whore’s oath.

 

LEAR

It shall be done. I will arraign (bring them to trial) them straight (straightaway).

(to EDGAR) Come, sit thou here, most learnèd justicer (judge).

(to FOOL)

Thou, sapient (wise) sir, sit here.—Now, you she-foxes (Goneril and Regan being brought to trial)—

 

LEAR

It shall be done. I will arraign them straight.

(to EDGAR) Come, sit thou here, most learnèd justicer.

(to FOOL)

Thou, sapient sir, sit here.—Now, you she-foxes—

 

EDGAR

Look, where he stands and glares!—Want’st thou eyes (can’t you see) at trial, madam?

(sings)

Come o'er the bourn (stream), Bessy, to me—

 

EDGAR

Look, where he stands and glares!—Want’st thou eyes at trial, madam?

(sings)

Come o'er the bourn, Bessy, to me—

 

FOOL

(sings)

Her boat hath a leak,

And she must not speak

Why she dares not come over to thee.

 

FOOL

(sings)

Her boat hath a leak,

And she must not speak

Why she dares not come over to thee.

 

EDGAR

The foul fiend haunts Poor Tom in the voice of a nightingale. Hoppedance (a demon) cries in Tom’s belly for two white herring. Croak not, black angel. I have no food for thee.

 

EDGAR

The foul fiend haunts Poor Tom in the voice of a nightingale. Hoppedance cries in Tom’s belly for two white herring. Croak not, black angel. I have no food for thee.

 

KENT

(to LEAR) How do you, sir? Stand you not so amazed.

Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions?

 

KENT

(to LEAR) How do you, sir? Stand you not so amazed.

Will you lie down and rest upon the cushions?

 

LEAR

I’ll see their trial first. Bring in the evidence.

(to EDGAR) Thou robèd man of justice, take thy place.

(to FOOL) And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity,

Bench by his side.

(to KENT)

   You are o' th' commission.

Sit you too.

 

LEAR

I’ll see their trial first. Bring in the evidence.

(to EDGAR) Thou robèd man of justice, take thy place.

(to FOOL) And thou, his yoke-fellow of equity,

Bench by his side.

(to KENT)

   You are o' th' commission.

Sit you too.

 

EDGAR

Let us deal justly.

(sings)

Sleepest or wakest thou, jolly shepherd?

Thy sheep be in the corn.

And for one blast of thy minikin mouth,

blast - note on a horn

manikin=tiny

Thy sheep shall take no harm.

Purr! The cat is gray.

 

EDGAR

Let us deal justly.

(sings)

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.

Purr! The cat is gray.

 

 

LEAR

Arraign her first. 'Tis Goneril. I here take my oath before this honorable assembly, she kicked (kicked out) the poor king her father.

 

LEAR

Arraign her first. 'Tis Goneril. I here take my oath before this honorable assembly, she kicked the poor king her father.

 

FOOL

Come hither, mistress. Is your name Goneril?

 

FOOL

Come hither, mistress. Is your name Goneril?

 

LEAR

She cannot deny it.

 

LEAR

She cannot deny it.

 

FOOL

Cry you mercy (beg you have mercy=excuse me), I took you for a joint-stool (stool made by a joiner).

 

FOOL

Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.

 

LEAR

And here’s another (Regan), whose warped looks proclaim

What store her heart is made on. Stop her there!

Arms, arms, sword, fire, corruption in the place!

False justicer, why hast thou let her ’scape (escape)?

 

LEAR

And here’s another, whose warped looks proclaim

What store her heart is made on. Stop her there!

Arms, arms, sword, fire, corruption in the place!

False justicer, why hast thou let her ’scape?

 

EDGAR

Bless thy five wits.

 

EDGAR

Bless thy five wits.

 

KENT

(to LEAR) O pity! Sir, where is the patience now,

That thou so oft have boasted to retain?

 

KENT

(to LEAR) O 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,

They’ll mar my counterfeiting.

 

EDGAR

(aside) My tears begin to take his part so much,

They’ll mar my counterfeiting.

 

LEAR

     The little dogs and all,

Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart—see, they bark at me.

 

LEAR

     The little dogs and all,

Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart—see, they bark at me.

 

EDGAR

Tom will throw his head at them.—Avaunt (begone), you curs!

Tooth that poisons if it bite,

Mastiff, greyhound, mongrel grim,

Hound or spaniel, brach or him (female or male),

Bobtail tyke (dog of little worth) or trundle-tail (long tail)—

Tom will make them weep and wail.

For with throwing thus my head,

Dogs leap the hatch (half-door), and all are fled.

Be thy mouth or black or white,

Do-de, de-de. Cessez! Come, march to wakes and fairs and market towns. Poor Tom, thy horn (drinking horn) is dry.

 

EDGAR

Tom will throw his head at them.—Avaunt, you curs!

Tooth that poisons if it bite,

Mastiff, greyhound, mongrel grim,

Hound or spaniel, brach or him,

Bobtail tyke or trundle-tail—

Tom will make them weep and wail.

For with throwing thus my head,

Dogs leap the hatch, and all are fled.

Be thy mouth or black or white,

Do-de, de-de. Cessez! Come, march to wakes and fairs and market towns. Poor Tom, thy horn is dry.

 

LEAR

Then let them anatomize Regan. See what breeds about her heart. Is there any cause in nature that makes these hard hearts? (to EDGAR) You, sir, I entertain you 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.

 

LEAR

Then let them anatomize Regan. See what breeds about her heart. Is there any cause in nature that makes these hard hearts? (to EDGAR) You, sir, I entertain you 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.

 

KENT

Now, good my lord, lie here and rest awhile.

 

KENT

Now, good my lord, lie here and rest awhile.

 

LEAR

Make no noise, make no noise. Draw the curtains—so, so, so. We’ll go to supper i' th' morning. So, so, so.

(sleeps)

 

LEAR

Make no noise, make no noise. Draw the curtains—so, so, so. We’ll go to supper i' th' morning. So, so, so.

(sleeps)

 

FOOL

And I’ll go to bed at noon.

 

FOOL

And I’ll go to bed at noon.

 

Enter GLOUCESTER

Enter GLOUCESTER

GLOUCESTER

(to KENT) Come hither, friend. Where is the king my master?

 

GLOUCESTER

(to KENT) Come hither, friend. Where is the king my master?

 

KENT

Here, sir, but trouble him not. His wits are gone.

 

KENT

Here, sir, but trouble him not. His wits are gone.

 

GLOUCESTER

Good 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

litter=vehicle pulled by animals

And drive towards Dover, friend, where thou shalt meet

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 assurèd loss. Take up, take up,

And follow me, that will to some provision

provision=supplies

Give thee quick conduct.

 

 

GLOUCESTER

Good 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 meet

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 assurèd loss. Take up, take up,

And follow me, that will to some provision

Give thee quick conduct.

 

KENT

   Oppressèd nature sleeps.—

(to the sleeping Lear) This rest might yet have balmed thy broken sinews,

Which, if convenience will not allow,

Stand in hard cure (will be hard to cure).

(to FOOL)

    Come, help to bear thy master.

Thou must not stay behind.

 

KENT

   Oppressèd nature sleeps.—

This rest might yet have balmed thy broken sinews,

Which, if convenience will not allow,

Stand in hard cure.

(to FOOL)

    Come, help to bear thy master.

Thou must not stay behind.

 

GLOUCESTER

     Come, come, away.

 

GLOUCESTER

     Come, come, away.

 

Exeunt all but EDGAR

Exeunt all but EDGAR

EDGAR

When we our betters see bearing our woes,

our woes=similar woes

We scarcely think our miseries our foes.

Who alone suffers, suffers most i' th' mind,

Leaving free things and happy shows behind.

But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip

When grief hath mates and bearing fellowship.

How light and portable my pain seems now

When that which makes me bend makes the king bow.

He childed as I fathered. Tom, away!

(Lear’s children and Edgar’s father share similar faults)

Mark the high noises and thyself bewray

bewray=unmask

When false opinion, whose wrong thought defiles thee,

In thy just proof repeals and reconciles thee.

just proof=proof of innocence

What will hap more tonight, safe ’scape the king!

what=whatever

‘scape=escape

Lurk, lurk.

(stay in the shadows)

 

EDGAR

When we our betters see bearing our woes,

We scarcely think our miseries our foes.

Who alone suffers, suffers most i' th' mind,

Leaving free things and happy shows behind.

But then the mind much sufferance doth o'erskip

When grief hath mates and bearing fellowship.

How light and portable my pain seems now

When that which makes me bend makes the king bow.

He childed as I fathered. 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.

What will hap more tonight, safe ’scape the king!

Lurk, lurk.

 

Exit

Exit

 

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