KIng Lear Test Quotes

Edmund Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy lawMy services are bound. Wherefore should IStand in the plague of custom, and permitThe curiosity of nations to deprive me,For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shinesLag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?When my dimensions are as well compact,My mind as generous, and my shape as true,As honest madam’s issue? Why brand they usWith base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, takeMore composition and fierce qualityThan doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,Got ‘tween asleep and wake? Well, then,Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:Our father’s love is to the bastard EdmundAs to the legitimate: fine word,–legitimate!Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,And my invention thrive, Edmund the baseShall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:Now, gods, stand up for bastards!
Glouscester Let him fly far:Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;And found–dispatch. The noble duke my master,My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night:By his authority I will proclaim it,That he which finds him shall deserve our thanks,Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;He that conceals him, death.
Cornwall This is some fellow,Who, having been praised for bluntness, doth affectA saucy roughness, and constrains the garbQuite from his nature: he cannot flatter, he,An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth!An they will take it, so; if not, he’s plain.These kind of knaves I know, which in this plainnessHarbour more craft and more corrupter endsThan twenty silly ducking observantsThat stretch their duties nicely.
Kent Sir, I am too old to learn:Call not your stocks for me: I serve the king;On whose employment I was sent to you:You shall do small respect, show too bold maliceAgainst the grace and person of my master,Stocking his messenger.
Fool Winter’s not gone yet, if the wild-geese fly that way.Fathers that wear ragsDo make their children blind;But fathers that bear bagsShall see their children kind.Fortune, that arrant whore,Ne’er turns the key to the poor.But, for all this, thou shalt have as many doloursfor thy daughters as thou canst tell in a year.
Lear O, how this mother swells up toward my heart!Hysterica passio, down, thou climbing sorrow,Thy element’s below! Where is this daughter?
Lear The king would speak with Cornwall; the dear fatherWould with his daughter speak, commands her service:Are they inform’d of this? My breath and blood!Fiery? the fiery duke? Tell the hot duke that–No, but not yet: may be he is not well:Infirmity doth still neglect all officeWhereto our health is bound; we are not ourselvesWhen nature, being oppress’d, commands the mindTo suffer with the body: I’ll forbear;And am fall’n out with my more headier will,To take the indisposed and sickly fitFor the sound man. Death on my state! whereforeShould he sit here? This act persuades meThat this remotion of the duke and herIs practise only. Give me my servant forth.Go tell the duke and ‘s wife I’ld speak with them,Now, presently: bid them come forth and hear me,Or at their chamber-door I’ll beat the drumTill it cry sleep to death.
Lear Regan, I think you are; I know what reasonI have to think so: if thou shouldst not be glad,I would divorce me from thy mother’s tomb,Sepulchring an adultress.
Regan I cannot think my sister in the leastWould fail her obligation: if, sir, perchanceShe have restrain’d the riots of your followers,’Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end,As clears her from all blame.
Regan O, sir, you are old.Nature in you stands on the very vergeOf her confine: you should be ruled and ledBy some discretion, that discerns your stateBetter than you yourself. Therefore, I pray you,That to our sister you do make return;Say you have wrong’d her, sir.
Lear [Rising] Never, Regan:She hath abated me of half my train;Look’d black upon me; struck me with her tongue,Most serpent-like, upon the very heart:All the stored vengeances of heaven fallOn her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones,You taking airs, with lameness!
Regan I pray you, father, being weak, seem so.If, till the expiration of your month,You will return and sojourn with my sister,Dismissing half your train, come then to me:I am now from home, and out of that provisionWhich shall be needful for your entertainment.
Lear O, reason not the need: our basest beggarsAre in the poorest thing superfluous:Allow not nature more than nature needs,Man’s life’s as cheap as beast’s: thou art a lady;If only to go warm were gorgeous,Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear’st,Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need,–You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need!You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,As full of grief as age; wretched in both!If it be you that stir these daughters’ heartsAgainst their father, fool me not so muchTo bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger,And let not women’s weapons, water-drops,Stain my man’s cheeks! No, you unnatural hags,I will have such revenges on you both,That all the world shall–I will do such things,–What they are, yet I know not: but they shall beThe terrors of the earth. You think I’ll weepNo, I’ll not weep:I have full cause of weeping; but this heartShall break into a hundred thousand flaws,Or ere I’ll weep. O fool, I shall go mad!
Regan O, sir, to wilful men,The injuries that they themselves procureMust be their schoolmasters. Shut up your doors:He is attended with a desperate train;And what they may incense him to, being aptTo have his ear abused, wisdom bids fear.
Lear My wits begin to turn.Come on, my boy: how dost, my boy? art cold?I am cold myself. Where is this straw, my fellow?The art of our necessities is strange,That can make vile things precious. Come,your hovel.Poor fool and knave, I have one part in my heartThat’s sorry yet for thee.
Fool This is a brave night to cool a courtezan.I’ll speak a prophecy ere I go:When priests are more in word than matter;When brewers mar their malt with water;When nobles are their tailors’ tutors;No heretics burn’d, but wenches’ suitors;When every case in law is right;No squire in debt, nor no poor knight;When slanders do not live in tongues;Nor cutpurses come not to throngs;When usurers tell their gold i’ the field;And bawds and whores do churches build;Then shall the realm of AlbionCome to great confusion:Then comes the time, who lives to see’t,That going shall be used with feet.This prophecy Merlin shall make; for I live before his time.
Edmund This courtesy, forbid thee, shall the dukeInstantly know; and of that letter too:This seems a fair deserving, and must draw meThat which my father loses; no less than all:The younger rises when the old doth fall.
Lear Thou think’st ’tis much that this contentious stormInvades us to the skin: so ’tis to thee;But where the greater malady is fix’d,The lesser is scarce felt. Thou’ldst shun a bear;But if thy flight lay toward the raging sea,Thou’ldst meet the bear i’ the mouth. When themind’s free,The body’s delicate: the tempest in my mindDoth from my senses take all feeling elseSave what beats there. Filial ingratitude!Is it not as this mouth should tear this handFor lifting food to’t? But I will punish home:No, I will weep no more. In such a nightTo 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.
Lear Didst thou give all to thy daughters, and art thou come to this?
Lear What, have his daughters brought him to this pass?Couldst thou save nothing? Didst thou give them all?
Edgar A serving-man, proud in heart and mind; that curledmy hair; wore gloves in my cap; served the lust ofmy mistress’ heart, and did the act of darkness withher; swore as many oaths as I spake words, andbroke them in the sweet face of heaven: one thatslept in the contriving of lust, and waked to do it:wine loved I deeply, dice dearly: and in womanout-paramoured the Turk: false of heart, light ofear, 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 ofsilks betray thy poor heart to woman: keep thy footout of brothels, thy hand out of plackets, thy penfrom lenders’ books, and defy the foul fiend.Still through the hawthorn blows the cold wind:Says suum, mun, ha, no, nonny.Dolphin my boy, my boy, sessa! let him trot by.
Lear Why, thou wert better in thy grave than to answerwith thy uncovered body this extremity of the skies.Is man no more than this? Consider him well. Thouowest the worm no silk, the beast no hide, the sheepno 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.
Cornwall True or false, it hath made thee earl ofGloucester. Seek out where thy father is, that hemay be ready for our apprehension.
Fool and Lear 1Prithee, nuncle, tell me whether a madman be agentleman or a yeoman?2A king, a king!1 No, he’s a yeoman that has a gentleman to his son;for he’s a mad yeoman that sees his son a gentlemanbefore him.
Kent Oppressed nature sleeps:This rest might yet have balm’d thy broken senses,Which, if convenience will not allow,Stand in hard cure.
Gloucester I have no way, and therefore want no eyes;I stumbled when I saw: full oft ’tis seen,Our means secure us, and our mere defectsProve our commodities. O dear son Edgar,The food of thy abused father’s wrath!Might I but live to see thee in my touch,I’ld say I had eyes again!
Gloucester He has some reason, else he could not beg.I’ the last night’s storm I such a fellow saw;Which made me think a man a worm: my sonCame then into my mind; and yet my mindWas then scarce friends with him: I have heardmore since.As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods.They kill us for their sport.
Gloucester ‘Tis the times’ plague, when madmen lead the blind.Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure;Above the rest, be gone.
Edgar Aside] And yet I must.–Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed.
Edgar Why, then, your other senses grow imperfectBy your eyes’ anguish.
Gloucester I do remember now: henceforth I’ll bearAffliction 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.
Lear Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality.
Edgar O, matter and impertinency mix’d! Reason in madness!
Edmund To both these sisters have I sworn my love;Each jealous of the other, as the stungAre of the adder. Which of them shall I take?Both? one? or neither? Neither can be enjoy’d,If both remain alive: to take the widowExasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril;And hardly shall I carry out my side,Her husband being alive. Now then we’ll useHis countenance for the battle; which being done,Let her who would be rid of him deviseHis speedy taking off. As for the mercyWhich he intends to Lear and to Cordelia,The battle done, and they within our power,Shall never see his pardon; for my stateStands on me to defend, not to debate.
Edgar What, in ill thoughts again? Men must endureTheir going hence, even as their coming hither;Ripeness is all: come on.
Edmund Come hither, captain; hark.Take thou this note;Giving a papergo follow them to prison:One step I have advanced thee; if thou dostAs this instructs thee, thou dost make thy wayTo noble fortunes: know thou this, that menAre as the time is: to be tender-mindedDoes not become a sword: thy great employmentWill not bear question; either say thou’lt do ‘t,Or thrive by other means.
Goneril and Regan 1Holla, holla!That eye that told you so look’d but a-squint.2 Lady, I am not well; else I should answerFrom a full-flowing stomach. General,Take thou my soldiers, prisoners, patrimony;Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine:Witness the world, that I create thee hereMy lord and master.
Edgar Let’s exchange charity.I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;If more, the more thou hast wrong’d me.My name is Edgar, and thy father’s son.The gods are just, and of our pleasant vicesMake instruments to plague us:The dark and vicious place where thee he gotCost him his eyes.
Edmund I pant for life: some good I mean to do,Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send,Be brief in it, to the castle; for my writIs on the life of Lear and on Cordelia:Nay, send in time.
Kent Vex not his ghost: O, let him pass! he hates him muchThat would upon the rack of this tough worldStretch him out longer.

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