King Lear By William Shakespeare Act III: Scene 4

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
[Tears off his clothes.]

Pr'ythee, 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.

This is the foul fiend Flibbertigibbet: he begins at curfew,
and walks till the first cock; he gives the web and the pin,
squints the eye, and makes the harelip; mildews the white wheat,
and hurts the poor creature of earth.
Swithold footed thrice the old;
He met the nightmare, and her nine-fold;
Bid her alight
And her troth plight,
And aroint thee, witch, aroint thee!

How fares your grace?

[Enter Gloucester with a torch.]

What's he?

Who's there? What is't you seek?

What are you there? Your names?

Poor Tom; that eats the swimming frog, the toad, the todpole, 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 stocked, punished,
and imprisoned; who hath had three suits to his back, six shirts
to his body, horse to ride, and weapons to wear; —
But mice and rats, and such small deer,
Have been Tom's food for seven long year.
Beware my follower. — Peace, Smulkin; 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, my lord, is grown so vile
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 ventur'd 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 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 banish'd man! —
Thou say'st the king grows mad; I'll tell thee, friend,
I am almost mad myself: I had a son,
Now outlaw'd from my blood; he sought my life
But lately, very late: I lov'd him, friend, —
No father his son dearer: true to tell thee,
[Storm continues.]
The grief hath craz'd my wits. — What a night's this! —
I do beseech your grace, —

O, cry you mercy, sir. —
Noble philosopher, your company.

Tom's a-cold.

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,
His word was still — Fie, foh, and fum,
I smell the blood of a British man.


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