[Enter Kent in disguise, and Gloucester.]
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!
Enter Lear, Edgar in disguise, and Fool.]
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.
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.
To have a thousand with red burning spits
Come hissing in upon ’em!
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.
It shall be done. I will arraign them straight.
[To Edgar.] Come, sit thou here, most learnèd
[To Fool.] Thou sapient sir, sit here. Now, you
EDGAR Look where he stands and glares!—Want’st
thou eyes at trial, madam?
[Sings.] Come o’er the burn, Bessy, to me—
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 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?
I’ll see their trial first. Bring in their evidence.
[To Edgar.] Thou robèd man of justice, take thy
 [To Fool.] And thou, his yokefellow of equity,
Bench by his side. [To Kent.] You are o’ th’
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,
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, kicked the poor
king her father.
FOOL Come hither, mistress. Is your name Goneril?
LEAR She cannot deny it.
FOOL Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint stool.
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!
KENT , [to Lear]
O pity! Sir, where is the patience now
That you so oft have boasted to retain?
EDGAR , [aside]
My tears begin to take his part so much
They mar my counterfeiting.
LEAR The little dogs and all,
Tray, Blanch, and Sweetheart, see, they bark at me.
EDGAR Tom will throw his head at them.—Avaunt, you
Be thy mouth or black or white,
 Tooth that poisons if it bite,
Mastiff, greyhound, mongrel grim,
Hound or spaniel, brach, or lym,
Bobtail tike, or trundle-tail,
Tom will make him weep and wail;
 For, with throwing thus my head,
Dogs leapt the hatch, and all are fled.
Do de, de, de. Sessa! Come, march to wakes
and fairs and market towns. Poor Tom, thy horn
LEAR Then let them anatomize Regan; see what breeds
about her heart. Is there any cause in nature that
make these hard hearts? [To Edgar.] You, sir, I
entertain for one of my hundred; only I do not like
the fashion of your garments. You will say they are
 Persian, but let them be changed.
Now, good my lord, lie here and rest awhile.
LEAR , [lying down] Make no noise, make no noise.
Draw the curtains. So, so, we’ll go to supper i’ th’
FOOL And I’ll go to bed at noon.
GLOUCESTER , [to Kent]
Come hither, friend. Where is the King my master?
Here, sir, but trouble him not; his wits are gone.
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 toward Dover, friend, where thou shalt
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.
Oppressèd nature sleeps.
 This rest might yet have balmed thy broken sinews,
Which, if convenience will not allow,
Stand in hard cure. [To the Fool.] Come, help to
bear thy master.
Thou must not stay behind.
GLOUCESTER Come, come away.
[All but Edgar exit, carrying Lear.]
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
 He childed as I fathered. Tom, away.
Mark the high noises, and thyself bewray
When false opinion, whose wrong thoughts defile
In thy just proof repeals and reconciles thee.
 What will hap more tonight, safe ’scape the King!