[Enter Lear, Kent in disguise, 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. [Storm still.]
LEAR Let me alone.
Good my lord, enter here.
LEAR Wilt break my heart?
I had rather break mine own. Good my lord, enter.
Thou think’st ’tis much that this contentious 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 roaring sea,
Thou ’dst meet the bear i’ th’ mouth. When the
 The body’s delicate. This 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.
 No, I will weep no more. In such a night
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 all!
O, that way madness lies. Let me shun that;
 No more of that.
KENT 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, wheresoe’er you are,
That bide the pelting of this pitiless storm,
How shall your houseless heads and unfed sides,
 Your looped and windowed raggedness defend
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 may’st shake the superflux to them
And show the heavens more just.
EDGAR [within] Fathom and half, fathom and half!
FOOL Come not in here, nuncle; here’s a spirit. Help
 me, help me!
KENT Give me thy hand. Who’s there?
FOOL A spirit, a spirit! He says his name’s Poor Tom.
KENT What art thou that dost grumble there i’ th’
straw? Come forth.
[Enter Edgar in disguise.]
EDGAR Away. The foul fiend follows me. Through the
sharp hawthorn blows the cold wind. Hum! Go to
thy cold bed and warm thee.
LEAR Didst thou give all to thy daughters? And art thou
come to this?
EDGAR Who gives anything to Poor Tom, whom the
foul fiend hath led through fire and through flame,
through 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. [Storm still.]
Has his daughters brought him to this pass?—
Couldst thou save nothing? Wouldst thou give ’em
FOOL Nay, he reserved a blanket, else we had been all
Now all the plagues that in the pendulous air
Hang fated o’er men’s faults light on thy daughters!
KENT 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.
EDGAR Pillicock sat on Pillicock Hill. Alow, alow, loo,
FOOL This cold night will turn us all to fools and
EDGAR Take heed o’ th’ foul fiend. Obey thy parents,
keep thy word’s justice, swear not, commit not with
man’s sworn spouse, set not thy sweet heart on
proud array. Tom’s a-cold.
LEAR What hast thou been?
EDGAR A servingman, 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, nonny. Dolphin my boy, boy, sessa!
Let him trot by. [Storm still.]
LEAR Thou wert better in a grave than to answer with
thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies.—Is
 man no more than this? Consider him well.—Thou
ow’st 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.]
FOOL 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.
[Enter Gloucester, with a torch.]
Look, here comes a walking fire.
EDGAR 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 ninefold,
Bid her alight,
 And her troth plight,
And aroint thee, witch, aroint thee.
KENT How fares your Grace?
LEAR What’s he?
KENT Who’s there? What is ’t you seek?
GLOUCESTER What are you there? Your names?
EDGAR 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 stocked, punished, and imprisoned;
who hath had three suits to his back, six shirts to
 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! Peace, thou
GLOUCESTER , [to Lear]
 What, hath your Grace no better company?
EDGAR The Prince of Darkness is a gentleman. Modo
he’s called, and Mahu.
GLOUCESTER , [to Lear]
Our flesh and blood, my lord, is grown so vile
That it doth hate what gets it.
EDGAR Poor Tom’s a-cold.
GLOUCESTER , [to Lear]
Go in with me. My duty cannot suffer
T’ 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.
[To Edgar.] What is the cause of thunder?
Good my lord, take his offer; go into th’ house.
I’ll talk a word with this same learnèd Theban.—
What is your study?
EDGAR How to prevent the fiend and to kill vermin.
LEAR Let me ask you one word in private.
[They talk aside.]
KENT , [to Gloucester]
Importune him once more to go, my lord.
 His wits begin t’ unsettle.
GLOUCESTER Canst thou blame him?
His daughters seek his death. Ah, that good Kent!
He said it would be thus, poor banished man.
Thou sayest the King grows mad; I’ll tell thee,
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. True to tell thee,
 The grief hath crazed my wits. What a night’s this!
—I do beseech your Grace—
LEAR O, cry you mercy, sir.
[To Edgar.] Noble philosopher, your company.
EDGAR Tom’s a-cold.
GLOUCESTER , [to Edgar]
 In fellow, there, into th’ hovel. Keep thee warm.
LEAR Come, let’s in all.
KENT This way, my lord.
LEAR , [indicating Edgar] With him.
I will keep still with my philosopher.
KENT , [to Gloucester]
Good my lord, soothe him. Let him take the fellow.
GLOUCESTER , [to Kent] Take him you on.
KENT , [to Edgar]
Sirrah, come on: go along with us.
LEAR Come, good Athenian.
GLOUCESTER 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.”