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King Lear
by William Shakespeare

Act 4, Scene 6 Easiest-to-Read Edition

Fields near Dover

 

 

 

 



King Lear Act 4, Scene 6


 

King Lear Act 4 Scene 6

Enter GLOUCESTER, and EDGAR disguised in peasant clothing

Enter GLOUCESTER, and EDGAR disguised in peasant clothing

GLOUCESTER

When shall we come to th' top of that same hill?

 

GLOUCESTER

When shall we come to th' top of that same hill?

 

EDGAR

You do climb up it now. Look how we labor.

 

EDGAR

You do climb up it now. Look how we labor.

 

GLOUCESTER

Methinks the ground is even.

 

GLOUCESTER

Methinks the ground is even.

 

EDGAR

     Horrible steep.

Hark, do you hear the sea?

 

EDGAR

     Horrible steep.

Hark, do you hear the sea?

 

GLOUCESTER

   No, truly.

 

GLOUCESTER

   No, truly.

 

EDGAR

Why then, your other senses grow imperfect

By your eyes' anguish.

 

EDGAR

Why then, your other senses grow imperfect

By your eyes' anguish.

 

GLOUCESTER

   So may it be indeed.

Methinks thy voice is altered, and thou speak’st

In better phrase and matter than thou didst.

 

GLOUCESTER

   So may it be indeed.

Methinks thy voice is altered, and thou speak’st

In better phrase and matter than thou didst.

 

EDGAR

You’re much deceived. In nothing am I changed

But in my garments.

 

EDGAR

You’re much deceived. In nothing am I changed

But in my garments.

 

GLOUCESTER

   Methinks you’re better spoken.

 

GLOUCESTER

   Methinks you’re better spoken.

 

EDGAR

Come on, sir. Here’s the place. Stand still. How fearful

And dizzy ’tis to cast one’s eyes so low!

The crows and choughs that wing the midway air

Show scarce so gross as beetles. Halfway down

so gross=so large

Hangs one that gathers samphire—dreadful trade!

one=one person

samphire=a plant used in pickling

Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.

The fishermen that walk upon the beach

Appear like mice. And yon tall anchoring bark,

bark=ship

Diminished to her cock, her cock a buoy

cock=cock-boat, a ship’s small boat

Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge

That on th' unnumbered idle pebbles chafes

Cannot be heard so high. I’ll look no more

Lest my brain turn and the deficient sight

Topple down headlong.

topple=topple me

 

EDGAR

Come on, sir. Here’s the place. Stand still. How fearful

And dizzy ’tis to cast one’s eyes so low!

The crows and choughs that wing the midway air

Show scarce so gross as beetles. Halfway down

Hangs one that gathers samphire—dreadful trade!

Methinks he seems no bigger than his head.

The fishermen that walk upon the beach

Appear like mice. And yon tall anchoring bark,

Diminished to her cock, her cock a buoy

Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge

That on th' unnumbered idle pebbles chafes

Cannot be heard so high. I’ll look no more

Lest my brain turn and the deficient sight

Topple down headlong.

 

GLOUCESTER

Set me where you stand.

 

GLOUCESTER

Set me where you stand.

 

EDGAR

Give me your hand. You are now within a foot

Of th' extreme verge. For all beneath the moon

Would I not leap upright.

 

EDGAR

Give me your hand. You are now within a foot

Of th' extreme verge. For all beneath the moon

Would I not leap upright.

 

GLOUCESTER

   Let go my hand.

(gives EDGAR another purse)

Here, friend, ’s another purse, in it a jewel

Well worth a poor man’s taking. Fairies and gods

Prosper it with thee! Go thou farther off.

prosper it=make it do well

Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.

 

GLOUCESTER

   Let go my hand.

(gives EDGAR another purse)

Here, friend, ’s another purse, in it a jewel

Well worth a poor man’s taking. Fairies and gods

Prosper it with thee! Go thou farther off.

Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.

 

EDGAR

Now fare you well, good sir.

 

EDGAR

Now fare you well, good sir.

 

GLOUCESTER

   With all my heart.

 

GLOUCESTER

   With all my heart.

 

EDGAR moves aside

EDGAR moves aside

EDGAR

(aside) Why I do trifle thus with his despair

why=the reason why

Is done to cure it.

 

EDGAR

(aside) Why I do trifle thus with his despair

Is done to cure it.

 

GLOUCESTER

   O you mighty gods, (kneels)

This world I do renounce, and in your sights

Shake patiently my great affliction off.

If I could bear it longer and not fall

To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,

My snuff and loathèd part of nature should

snuff=partially burned out candle wick

should=would

Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him!—

Now, fellow, fare thee well. (falls)

 

GLOUCESTER

   O you mighty gods, (kneels)

This world I do renounce, and in your sights

Shake patiently my great affliction off.

If I could bear it longer and not fall

To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,

My snuff and loathèd part of nature should

Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him!—

Now, fellow, fare thee well. (falls)

 

 EDGAR

   Gone, sir. Farewell.

(aside) And yet I know not how conceit may rob

conceit may=Gloucester’s imagination might

The treasury of life when life itself

Yields to the theft. Had he been where he thought,

yields to the theft=gives up

where he thought=on the verge

By this had thought been past. Alive or dead?—

Ho you, sir, friend! Hear you, sir? Speak.—

Thus might he pass indeed. Yet he revives.—

pass=die

What are you, sir?

what are you=how are you

 

EDGAR

   Gone, sir. Farewell.

(aside) And yet I know not how conceit may rob

The treasury of life when life itself

Yields to the theft. Had he been where he thought,

By this had thought been past. Alive or dead?—

Ho you, sir, friend! Hear you, sir? Speak.—

Thus might he pass indeed. Yet he revives.—

What are you, sir?

 

GLOUCESTER

   Away, and let me die.

 

GLOUCESTER

   Away, and let me die.

 

EDGAR

Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, feathers, air,

hadst thou been aught but . . .=even if you had been nothing but . . .

So many fathom down precipitating,

precipitating=falling headlong

Thou’dst shivered like an egg. But thou dost breathe,

shivered=shattered

Hast heavy substance, bleed’st not, speak’st, art sound.

Ten masts at each make not the altitude

at each=end to end

Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.

Thy life’s a miracle. Speak yet again.

 

EDGAR

Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, feathers, air,

So many fathom down precipitating,

Thou’dst shivered like an egg. But thou dost breathe,

Hast heavy substance, bleed’st not, speak’st, art sound.

Ten masts at each make not the altitude

Which thou hast perpendicularly fell.

Thy life’s a miracle. Speak yet again.

 

GLOUCESTER

But have I fall'n, or no?

 

GLOUCESTER

But have I fall'n, or no?

 

EDGAR

From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.

bourn=boundary (of England)

Look up a-height. The shrill-gorged lark so far

shrill-gorged=shrill-sounding

Cannot be seen or heard. Do but look up.

 

EDGAR

From the dread summit of this chalky bourn.

Look up a-height. The shrill-gorged lark so far

Cannot be seen or heard. Do but look up.

 

GLOUCESTER

Alack, I have no eyes.

Is wretchedness deprived that benefit,

To end itself by death? 'Twas yet some comfort

When misery could beguile the tyrant’s rage

misery=dying

beguile=divert attention from

And frustrate his proud will.

 

GLOUCESTER

Alack, I have no eyes.

Is wretchedness deprived that benefit,

To end itself by death? 'Twas yet some comfort

When misery could beguile the tyrant’s rage

And frustrate his proud will.

 

EDGAR

   Give me your arm.

Up so. How is ’t? Feel you your legs? You stand.

 

EDGAR

   Give me your arm.

Up so. How is ’t? Feel you your legs? You stand.

 

GLOUCESTER

Too well, too well.

 

GLOUCESTER

Too well, too well.

 

EDGAR

   This is above all strangeness.

Upon the crown o' th' cliff, what thing was that

Which parted from you?

 

EDGAR

   This is above all strangeness.

Upon the crown o' th' cliff, what thing was that

Which parted from you?

 

GLOUCESTER

   A poor unfortunate beggar.

 

GLOUCESTER

   A poor unfortunate beggar.

 

EDGAR

As I stood here below, methought his eyes

Were two full moons. He had a thousand noses,

Horns whelked and waved like the enragèd sea.

whelked=twisted

It was some fiend. Therefore, thou happy father,

fiend=devil

Think that the clearest gods, who make them honors

clearest=brightly shining

make them honors of=are proud of curing

Of men’s impossibilities, have preserved thee.

 

EDGAR

As I stood here below, methought his eyes

Were two full moons. He had a thousand noses,

Horns whelked and waved like the enragèd sea.

It was some fiend. Therefore, thou happy father,

Think that the clearest gods, who make them honors

Of men’s impossibilities, have preserved thee.

 

GLOUCESTER

I do remember now. Henceforth I’ll bear

Affliction till it do cry out itself,

“Enough, enough,” and die. That thing you speak of,

I took it for a man. Often ’twould say,

“The fiend, the fiend!” He led me to that place.

 

GLOUCESTER

I do remember now. Henceforth I’ll bear

Affliction till it do cry out itself,

“Enough, enough,” and die. That thing you speak of,

I took it for a man. Often ’twould say,

“The fiend, the fiend!” He led me to that place.

 

EDGAR

Bear free and patient thoughts.

 

EDGAR

Bear free and patient thoughts.

 

Enter LEAR, mad

Enter LEAR, mad

     But who comes here?

The safer sense will ne'er accommodate

safer sense=healthier mind

accommodate=allow for

His master thus.

his master thus=Lear to be this way

 

     But who comes here?

The safer sense will ne'er accommodate

His master thus.

 

LEAR

No, they cannot touch me for crying. I am the king himself.

touch me=interfere with me

 

LEAR

No, they cannot touch me for crying. I am the king himself.

 

EDGAR

(aside) O thou side-piercing sight!

 

EDGAR

(aside) O thou side-piercing sight!

 

LEAR

Nature’s above art in that respect (nature is better at breaking hearts than art). There’s your press- money (enlistment bonus). That fellow handles his bow (cross-bow) like a crowkeeper (person hired to scare crows). Draw me (draw back the bow-string) a clothier’s yard. Look, look, a mouse! Peace, peace, this piece of toasted cheese will do ’t. There’s my gauntlet (glove worn by knights). I’ll prove it (win a contest) on a giant. Bring up the brown bills (brown spears?). O, well flown, bird (good shot). I' th' clout (archery target), i' th' clout. Hewgh! Give the word.

 

LEAR

Nature’s above art in that respect. There’s your press- money. That fellow handles his bow like a crowkeeper. Draw me a clothier’s yard. Look, look, a mouse! Peace, peace, this piece of toasted cheese will do ’t. There’s my gauntlet. I’ll prove it on a giant. Bring up the brown bills. O, well flown, bird. I' th' clout, i' th' clout. Hewgh! Give the word.

 

EDGAR

Sweet marjoram (aromatic herb).

 

EDGAR

Sweet marjoram.

 

LEAR

Pass.

 

LEAR

Pass.

 

GLOUCESTER

I know that voice.

 

GLOUCESTER

I know that voice.

 

LEAR

Ha! Goneril with a white beard? Ha, Regan? They flattered me like a dog and told me I had white hairs in my beard ere the black ones were there (i.e., I was wise before my time). To say “Ay” and “No” to everything that I said “Ay” and “No” to was no good divinity (did not make me a god). When the rain came to wet me once, and the wind to make me chatter, when the thunder would not peace at my bidding—there I found 'em, there I smelt 'em out (I realized that I wasn’t a god). Go to, they are not men o' their words. They told me I was everything. 'Tis a lie, I am not ague-proof (ague was a disease).

 

LEAR

Ha! Goneril with a white beard? Ha, Regan? They flattered me like a dog and told me I had white hairs in my beard ere the black ones were there. To say “Ay” and “No” to everything that I said “Ay” and “No” to was no good divinity. When the rain came to wet me once, and the wind to make me chatter, when the thunder would not peace at my bidding—there I found 'em, there I smelt 'em out. Go to, they are not men o' their words. They told me I was everything. 'Tis a lie, I am not ague-proof.

 

GLOUCESTER

The trick of that voice I do well remember.

trick=quality

Is ’t not the king?

 

GLOUCESTER

The trick of that voice I do well remember.

Is ’t not the king?

 

LEAR

   Ay, every inch a king. When I do stare, see how the subject quakes. I pardon that man’s life. What was thy cause? Adultery? Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery? No. The wren goes to ’t, and the small gilded fly (dragonfly) does lecher in my sight. Let copulation thrive, for Gloucester’s bastard son was kinder to his father than my daughters got (begotten)  ’tween the lawful sheets. To ’t, luxury (lasciviousness), pell-mell—for I lack soldiers (need a population increase). Behold yond simpering dame, whose face between her forks presages snow, that minces virtue and does shake the head to hear of pleasure’s name. The fitchew nor the soiled horse (neither the polecat nor the soiled horse) goes to ’t with a more riotous appetite. Down from the waist they are centaurs (half horse, half woman), though women all above. But to the girdle (waist) do the gods inherit; beneath is all the fiends' (devils’). There’s hell, there’s darkness, there’s the sulfurous pit— burning, scalding, stench, consumption (four syllables)! Fie, fie, fie, pah, pah!—Give me an ounce of civet (perfume obtained from a civet cat), good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination. There’s money for thee.

 

LEAR

   Ay, every inch a king. When I do stare, see how the subject quakes. I pardon that man’s life. What was thy cause? Adultery? Thou shalt not die. Die for adultery? No. The wren goes to ’t, and the small gilded fly does lecher in my sight. Let copulation thrive, for Gloucester’s bastard son was kinder to his father than my daughters got ’tween the lawful sheets. To ’t, luxury, pell-mell—for I lack soldiers. Behold yond simpering dame, whose face between her forks presages snow, that minces virtue and does shake the head to hear of pleasure’s name. The fitchew nor the soiled horse goes to ’t with a more riotous appetite. Down from the waist they are centaurs, though women all above. But to the girdle do the gods inherit; beneath is all the fiends'. There’s hell, there’s darkness, there’s the sulfurous pit— burning, scalding, stench, consumption! Fie, fie, fie, pah, pah!—Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination. There’s money for thee.

 

GLOUCESTER

O, let me kiss that hand!

 

GLOUCESTER

O, let me kiss that hand!

 

LEAR

Let me wipe it first. It smells of mortality.

 

LEAR

Let me wipe it first. It smells of mortality.

 

GLOUCESTER

O ruined piece of nature! This great world

Shall so wear out to naught. Dost thou know me?

shall so wear out to naught=shall in this way wear down to nothing

 

GLOUCESTER

O ruined piece of nature! This great world

Shall so wear out to naught. Dost thou know me?

 

LEAR

I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny (squint) at me? No, do thy worst (try to make me to fall in love), blind Cupid. I’ll not love. Read thou this challenge. Mark (notice) but the penning (handwriting) of it.

 

LEAR

I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me? No, do thy worst, blind Cupid. I’ll not love. Read thou this challenge. Mark but the penning of it.

 

GLOUCESTER

Were all thy letters suns, I could not see one.

 

GLOUCESTER

Were all thy letters suns, I could not see one.

 

EDGAR

(aside) I would not take (believe) this from report (second hand). It is,

And my heart breaks at it.

 

EDGAR

(aside) I would not take this from report. It is,

And my heart breaks at it.

 

LEAR

Read.

GLOUCESTER

What, with the case of eyes (empty eye sockets)?

 

LEAR

Read.

GLOUCESTER

What, with the case of eyes?

 

LEAR

Oh ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light. Yet you see how this world goes.

 

LEAR

Oh ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light. Yet you see how this world goes.

 

GLOUCESTER

I see it feelingly.

 

GLOUCESTER

I see it feelingly.

 

LEAR

What, art mad? A man may see how this world goes with no eyes. Look with thine ears. See how yon justice rails upon yon simple thief. Hark in thine ear: change places and, handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Thou hast seen a farmer’s dog bark at a beggar?

 

LEAR

What, art mad? A man may see how this world goes with no eyes. Look with thine ears. See how yon justice rails upon yon simple thief. Hark in thine ear: change places and, handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Thou hast seen a farmer’s dog bark at a beggar?

 

GLOUCESTER

Ay, sir.

 

GLOUCESTER

Ay, sir.

 

LEAR

And the creature run from the cur? There thou mightst behold the great image of authority: a dog’s obeyed in office.

Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand.

beadle=police officer

hold=hold back

Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back.

Thou hotly lust’st to use her in that kind

For which thou whipp’st her. The usurer hangs the cozener.

usurer=money lender who charges excessive interest

cozener=cheat

Through tattered clothes great vices do appear;

Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,

And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks.

Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw does pierce it.

None does offend—none, I say, none. I’ll able 'em.

none does offend=no one escapes sinning (?)

able ‘em=vouch for them

Take that of me, my friend, who have the power

To seal th' accuser’s lips. Get thee glass eyes,

And like a scurvy politician seem

To see the things thou dost not. Now, now, now, now,

Pull off my boots. Harder, harder. So.

 

LEAR

And the creature run from the cur? There thou mightst behold the great image of authority: a dog’s obeyed in office.

Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand.

Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back.

Thou hotly lust’st to use her in that kind

For which thou whipp’st her. The usurer hangs the cozener.

Through tattered clothes great vices do appear;

Robes and furred gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,

And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks.

Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw does pierce it.

None does offend—none, I say, none. I’ll able 'em.

Take that of me, my friend, who have the power

To seal th' accuser’s lips. Get thee glass eyes,

And like a scurvy politician seem

To see the things thou dost not. Now, now, now, now,

Pull off my boots. Harder, harder. So.

 

EDGAR

(aside) O matter and impertinency mixed! Reason in madness!

 

EDGAR

(aside) O matter and impertinency mixed! Reason in madness!

 

LEAR

If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes.

fortunes=misfortunes

I know thee well enough. Thy name is Gloucester.

Thou must be patient. We came crying hither

patient=patient with me

Thou know’st the first time that we smell the air

We wawl and cry. I will preach to thee. Mark me.

 

LEAR

If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes.

I know thee well enough. Thy name is Gloucester.

Thou must be patient. We came crying hither.

Thou know’st the first time that we smell the air

We wawl and cry. I will preach to thee. Mark me.

 

GLOUCESTER

Alack, alack the day!

 

GLOUCESTER

Alack, alack the day!

 

LEAR

When we are born, we cry that we are come

To this great stage of fools. This a good block.

block=shape of hat (of felt)

It were a delicate stratagem to shoe

A troop of horse with felt. I’ll put ’t in proof.

put ‘t in proof=I’ll do it

And when I have stol'n upon these sons-in-law,

Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!

 

LEAR

When we are born, we cry that we are come

To this great stage of fools. This a good block.

It were a delicate stratagem to shoe

A troop of horse with felt. I’ll put ’t in proof.

And when I have stol'n upon these sons-in-law,

Then, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!

 

Enter GENTLEMAN with two others

Enter GENTLEMAN with two others

GENTLEMAN

Oh, here he is. Lay hand upon him.—Sir,

Your most dear daughter—

 

GENTLEMAN

Oh, here he is. Lay hand upon him.—Sir,

Your most dear daughter—

 

LEAR

No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even

The natural fool of fortune. Use me well.

natural fool of fortune=born fool of bad fortune

You shall have ransom. Let me have surgeons.

I am cut to th' brains.

 

LEAR

No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even

The natural fool of fortune. Use me well.

You shall have ransom. Let me have surgeons.

I am cut to th' brains.

 

GENTLEMAN

   You shall have anything.

 

GENTLEMAN

   You shall have anything.

 

LEAR

No seconds? All myself?

seconds=supporters

all myself=only myself

Why, this would make a man a man of salt,

man of salt=man who cries

To use his eyes for garden water-pots,

for garden water-pots=to fill garden water-pots

Ay, and laying autumn’s dust.

using water to lay dust

 

LEAR

No seconds? All myself?

Why, this would make a man a man of salt,

To use his eyes for garden water-pots,

Ay, and laying autumn’s dust.

 

GENTLEMAN

     Good sir—

 

GENTLEMAN

     Good sir—

 

LEAR

I will die bravely, like a smug bridegroom.

smug=self-satisfied

What, I will be jovial. Come, come.

jovial=majestic (Jove-like)

I am a king, my masters, know you that?

masters=fellows

 

LEAR

I will die bravely, like a smug bridegroom.

What, I will be jovial. Come, come.

I am a king, my masters, know you that?

 

GENTLEMAN

You are a royal one, and we obey you.

 

GENTLEMAN

You are a royal one, and we obey you.

 

LEAR

Then there’s life in ’t. Come, an if you get it, you shall get it by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa.

(catch me if you can)

 

LEAR

Then there’s life in ’t. Come, an if you get it, you shall get it by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa.

 

Exit LEAR running, followed by two gentlemen

Exit LEAR running, followed by two gentlemen

GENTLEMAN

A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch,

Past speaking of in a king. Thou hast a daughter

daughter=Cordelia

Who redeems nature from the general curse

Which twain have brought her to.

twain=Goneril and Regan

her=Cordelia

 

GENTLEMAN

A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch,

Past speaking of in a king. Thou hast a daughter

Who redeems nature from the general curse

Which twain have brought her to.

 

EDGAR

     Hail, gentle sir.

 

EDGAR

     Hail, gentle sir.

 

GENTLEMAN

Sir, speed you. What’s your will?

 

GENTLEMAN

Sir, speed you. What’s your will?

 

EDGAR

Do you hear aught, sir, of a battle toward?

aught=anything

 

EDGAR

Do you hear aught, sir, of a battle toward?

 

GENTLEMAN

Most sure and vulgar. Everyone hears that

vulgar=publicly known

That can distinguish sound.

 

GENTLEMAN

Most sure and vulgar. Everyone hears that

That can distinguish sound.

 

EDGAR

But, by your favor, how near’s the other army?

 

EDGAR

But, by your favor, how near’s the other army?

 

GENTLEMAN

Near and on speedy foot. The main descry

descry=sighting

Stands in the hourly thought.

(is expected at any hour)

 

GENTLEMAN

Near and on speedy foot. The main descry

Stands in the hourly thought.

 

EDGAR

   I thank you, sir. That’s all.

 

EDGAR

   I thank you, sir. That’s all.

 

GENTLEMAN

Though that the queen on special cause is here,

Her army is moved on.

 

GENTLEMAN

Though that the queen on special cause is here,

Her army is moved on.

 

EDGAR

   I thank you, sir.

 

EDGAR

   I thank you, sir.

 

Exit GENTLEMAN

Exit GENTLEMAN

GLOUCESTER

You ever gentle gods, take my breath from me.

Let not my worser spirit tempt me again

To die before you please.

 

GLOUCESTER

You ever gentle gods, take my breath from me.

Let not my worser spirit tempt me again

To die before you please.

 

EDGAR

Well pray you, father.

 

EDGAR

Well pray you, father.

 

GLOUCESTER

Now, good sir, what are you?

(who are you)

 

GLOUCESTER

Now, good sir, what are you?

 

EDGAR

A most poor man made tame to fortune’s blows,

Who by the art of known and feeling sorrows

art=practical skill

Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand,

pregnant=apt

I’ll lead you to some biding.

biding=shelter

 

EDGAR

A most poor man made tame to fortune’s blows,

Who by the art of known and feeling sorrows

Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand,

I’ll lead you to some biding.

 

GLOUCESTER

     Hearty thanks.

The bounty and the benison of heaven

bounty=generosity

benison=blessing

To boot, and boot.

to boot=in addition

 

GLOUCESTER

     Hearty thanks.

The bounty and the benison of heaven

To boot, and boot.

 

Enter OSWALD the steward

Enter OSWALD the steward

OSWALD

A proclaimed (PROclaimed) prize! Most happy!

That eyeless head of thine was first framed flesh

To raise my fortunes. Thou old unhappy traitor,

Briefly thyself remember. The sword is out

thyself remember=renounce your sins

That must destroy thee.

 

OSWALD

A proclaimed prize! Most happy!

That eyeless head of thine was first framed flesh

To raise my fortunes. Thou old unhappy traitor,

Briefly thyself remember. The sword is out

That must destroy thee.

 

GLOUCESTER

   Now let thy friendly hand

Put strength enough to ’t.

friendly – Gloucester wants to die

 

GLOUCESTER

   Now let thy friendly hand

Put strength enough to ’t.

 

EDGAR interferes

EDGAR interferes

OSWALD

   Wherefore, bold peasant,

Darest thou support a published traitor? Hence,

Lest that th' infection of his fortune take

fortune=bad fortune

Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.

like=similar

 

OSWALD

   Wherefore, bold peasant,

Darest thou support a published traitor? Hence,

Lest that th' infection of his fortune take

Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.

 

EDGAR (in country dialect)

'Chill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion.

 

EDGAR (in country dialect)

'Chill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion.

 

OSWALD

Let go, slave, or thou diest!

 

OSWALD

Let go, slave, or thou diest!

 

EDGAR

Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor volk pass. An 'chud ha' bin zwaggered out of my life, ’twould not ha' bin zo long as ’tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near th' old man. Keep out, che vor' ye, or I’se try whether your costard or my ballow be the harder. 'Chill be plain with you.

(If I could have been swaggered out of my life, it would have happened weeks ago. Nay, come not near the old man. Keep out, I warn you, or I shall try whether your head or my staff is the harder. I’ll be plain with you.)

 

EDGAR

Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor volk pass. An 'chud ha' bin zwaggered out of my life, ’twould not ha' bin zo long as ’tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near th' old man. Keep out, che vor' ye, or I’se try whether your costard or my ballow be the harder. 'Chill be plain with you.

 

OSWALD

Out, dunghill!

 

OSWALD

Out, dunghill!

 

EDGAR

'Chill pick your teeth, zir. Come, no matter vor your foins.

pick=break

vor your foins=about your sword thrusts

 

EDGAR

'Chill pick your teeth, zir. Come, no matter vor your foins.

 

EDGAR and OSWALD fight

EDGAR and OSWALD fight

OSWALD

(falling) Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse.

If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body

wilt=wish to

And give the letters which thou find’st about me

To Edmund, Earl of Gloucester. Seek him out

Upon the British party. O untimely death! (dies)

upon=in

OSWALD

(falling) Slave, thou hast slain me. Villain, take my purse.

If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body

And give the letters which thou find’st about me

To Edmund, Earl of Gloucester. Seek him out

Upon the British party. O untimely death! (dies)

 

EDGAR

I know thee well—a serviceable villain,

serviceable=subservient

As duteous to the vices of thy mistress

As badness would desire.

 

EDGAR

I know thee well—a serviceable villain,

As duteous to the vices of thy mistress

As badness would desire.

 

GLOUCESTER

   What, is he dead?

 

GLOUCESTER

   What, is he dead?

 

EDGAR

Sit you down, father. Rest you.

Let’s see these pockets. The letters that he speaks of

May be my friends. He’s dead. I am only sorry

He had no other death’s-man. Let us see.

death’s-man=executioner

(takes letters out of OSWALD’s pocket and opens them)

Leave, gentle wax, and manners, blame us not.

leave=your permission

wax=sealing wax on the letter

To know our enemies' minds, we rip their hearts.

Their papers is more lawful.

(reads)

“Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You have many opportunities to cut him (Albany) off. If your will want not (is not lacking), time and place will be fruitfully offered. There is nothing done (all is lost) if he return the conqueror. Then am I the prisoner and his bed my jail, from the loathed warmth whereof deliver me and supply the place for your labor (sexual labor). Your—wife, so I would say—affectionate servant, and for you her own for venture (venturing),

     Goneril.”

O indistinguished space of woman’s will!

A plot upon her virtuous husband’s life,

And the exchange my brother!—(to Oswald) Here in the sands

Thee I’ll rake up, the post unsanctified

thee I’ll rake up=Oswald I’ll cover

post unsanctified=unholy messenger

Of murderous lechers. And in the mature time

murderous lechers=Goneril and Edmund

With this ungracious paper strike the sight

strike the sight=assault the eyes

Of the death-practiced duke. For him ’tis well

death-practiced duke=duke (Albany) whose death was practiced for

That of thy death and business I can tell.

 thy death=Oswald’s

tell=report

 

EDGAR

Sit you down, father. Rest you.

Let’s see these pockets. The letters that he speaks of

May be my friends. He’s dead. I am only sorry

He had no other death’s-man. Let us see.

(takes letters out of OSWALD’s pocket and opens them)

Leave, gentle wax, and manners, blame us not.

To know our enemies' minds, we rip their hearts.

Their papers is more lawful.

(reads)

“Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You have many opportunities to cut him off. If your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully offered. There is nothing done if he return the conqueror. Then am I the prisoner and his bed my jail, from the loathed warmth whereof deliver me and supply the place for your labor. Your—wife, so I would say—affectionate servant, and for you her own for venture,

     Goneril.”

O indistinguished space of woman’s will!

A plot upon her virtuous husband’s life,

And the exchange my brother!—Here in the sands

Thee I’ll rake up, the post unsanctified

Of murderous lechers. And in the mature time

With this ungracious paper strike the sight

Of the death-practiced duke. For him ’tis well

That of thy death and business I can tell.

 

GLOUCESTER

The king is mad. How stiff is my vile sense,

how unyielding are my senses

That I stand up and have ingenious feeling

ingenious=functional

Of my huge sorrows. Better I were distract—

distract=mentally disturbed

So should my thoughts be severed from my griefs

should=would

And woes by wrong imaginations lose

The knowledge of themselves.

 

GLOUCESTER

The king is mad. How stiff is my vile sense,

That I stand up and have ingenious feeling

Of my huge sorrows. Better I were distract—

So should my thoughts be severed from my griefs

And woes by wrong imaginations lose

The knowledge of themselves.

 

Drum afar off

Drum afar off

EDGAR

     Give me your hand.

Far off methinks I hear the beaten drum.

Come, father, I’ll bestow you with a friend.

 

EDGAR

     Give me your hand.

Far off methinks I hear the beaten drum.

Come, father, I’ll bestow you with a friend.

 

Exeunt

Exeunt

 

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