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  Act 3 Scene 4

page Act 3 Scene 4 Page 4

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LEAR

65Death, 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
70Those pelican daughters.

LEAR

Like hell! Nothing but cruel daughters could have degraded him like this. Is it fashionable now for neglected fathers to get so little pity? That’s a fair punishment! I’m the one who fathered those bloodsucking daughters.

EDGAR

Pillicock sat on Pillicock hill. Alow, alow, loo, loo!

EDGAR

FOOL

This cold night will turn us all to fools and madmen.

FOOL

This stormy night will turn us all into fools and madmen.

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.

EDGAR

Beware of the devil. Obey your parents, keep your word, don’t swear, don’t sleep with another man’s wife, and don’t covet flashy clothes. Tom’s chilly.

LEAR

What hast thou been?

LEAR

What were you before this?

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 outparamoured 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.” Dauphin my boy, my boy, cessez. Let him trot by.

EDGAR

I used to be an honorable devoted servant who curled his hair, wore his mistress’s glove in his hat as a token of her affection, and slept with his mistress whenever she wanted. I swore oaths with every other word out of my mouth, and broke the oaths shamelessly. I used to dream of having sex and wake up to do it. I loved wine and gambling, and had more women than a Turkish sultan keeps in his harem. I was disloyal and violent. I eavesdropped. I was as lazy as a hog, as sneaky as a fox, as greedy as a wolf, as mad as a dog, and as ruthless as a lion. Don’t ever let a woman know what you’re thinking. Stay away from whores, don’t chase skirts, don’t borrow money, and resist the devil. The cold wind’s still blowing through the hawthorn tree. (speaking to an imaginary horse) Dauphin, my boy, stop that.—Let the horse go by.
Storm still
The storm continues.