King Lear

First folio
Modern text


Key line

Enter Edgar.Enter Edgar KL IV.i.1.1
Yet better thus, and knowne to be contemn'd,Yet better thus, and known to be contemned,contemned (adj.)
despised, contemptible, despicable
KL IV.i.1
Then still contemn'd and flatter'd, to be worst:Than still contemned and flattered. To be worst,still (adv.)
constantly, always, continually
KL IV.i.2
The lowest, and most deiected thing of Fortune,The lowest and most dejected thing of fortune,dejected (adj.)

old form: deiected
cast down, abased, humbled
KL IV.i.3
Stands still in esperance, liues not in feare:Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear.esperance (n.)
hope, expectation, optimism
KL IV.i.4
The lamentable change is from the best,The lamentable change is from the best; KL IV.i.5
The worst returnes to laughter. Welcome then,The worst returns to laughter. Welcome, then, KL IV.i.6
Thou vnsubstantiall ayre that I embrace:Thou unsubstantial air that I embrace!unsubstantial (adj.)

old form: vnsubstantiall
lacking in material substance, intangible
KL IV.i.7
The Wretch that thou hast blowne vnto the worst,The wretch that thou hast blown unto the worst KL IV.i.8
Owes nothing to thy blasts.Owes nothing to thy blasts. KL IV.i.9.1
Enter Glouster, and an Old man.Enter Gloucester, led by an Old Man KL IV.i.9
But who comes heere?But who comes here? KL IV.i.9.2
My Father poorely led? / World, World, O world!My father, parti-eyed! World, world, O world!parti-eyed (adj.)
[unclear meaning] with eyes of mixed colours; bleeding
KL IV.i.10
But that thy strange mutations make vs hate thee,But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee KL IV.i.11
Life would not yeelde to age.Life would not yield to age. KL IV.i.12.1
Oldm. OLD MAN 
O my good Lord,O my good lord, KL IV.i.12.2
I haue bene your Tenant, / And your Fathers Tenant,I have been your tenant, and your father's tenant KL IV.i.13
these fourescore yeares.These fourscore years! KL IV.i.14
Away, get thee away: good Friend be gone,Away! Get thee away! Good friend, be gone. KL IV.i.15
Thy comforts can do me no good at all,Thy comforts can do me no good at all;comfort (n.)
encouragement, support, hope
KL IV.i.16
Thee, they may hurt.Thee they may hurt. KL IV.i.17.1
Oldm. OLD MAN 
You cannot see your way.You cannot see your way. KL IV.i.17.2
I haue no way, and therefore want no eyes:I have no way and therefore want no eyes;want (v.)
require, demand, need
KL IV.i.18
I stumbled when I saw. Full oft 'tis seene,I stumbled when I saw. Full oft 'tis seenoft (adv.)
KL IV.i.19
Our meanes secure vs, and our meere defectsOur means secure us, and our mere defectsmean (n.)

old form: meanes
(plural) resources, wherewithal, wealth
KL IV.i.20
mere (adj.)

old form: meere
sole, personal, particular
secure (v.)
make over-confident, keep unsuspecting
Proue our Commodities. Oh deere Sonne Edgar,Prove our commodities. O dear son Edgar,commodity (n.)
asset, advantage, benefit
KL IV.i.21
The food of thy abused Fathers wrath:The food of thy abused father's wrath!abused (adj.)
deceived, misled, fooled, cheated
KL IV.i.22
Might I but liue to see thee in my touch,Might I but live to see thee in my touch KL IV.i.23
I'ld say I had eyes againe.I'd say I had eyes again. KL IV.i.24.1
Oldm. OLD MAN 
How now? who's there?How now? Who's there? KL IV.i.24.2
Edg. EDGAR  
(aside) KL IV.i.25
O Gods! Who is't can say I am at the worst?O gods! Who is't can say ‘ I am at the worst ’? KL IV.i.25
I am worse then ere I was.I am worse than e'er I was. KL IV.i.26.1
'Tis poore mad Tom.'Tis poor mad Tom. KL IV.i.26.2
Edg. EDGAR  
(aside) KL IV.i.27
And worse I may be yet: the worst is not,And worse I may be yet. The worst is not, KL IV.i.27
So long as we can say this is the worst.So long as we can say ‘ This is the worst.’ KL IV.i.28
Oldm. OLD MAN 
Fellow, where goest?Fellow, where goest? KL IV.i.29.1
Is it a Beggar-man?Is it a beggar-man? KL IV.i.29.2
Oldm. OLD MAN 
Madman, and beggar too.Madman and beggar too. KL IV.i.30
He has some reason, else he could not beg.He has some reason, else he could not beg. KL IV.i.31
I'th'last nights storme, I such a fellow saw;I'the last night's storm I such a fellow saw KL IV.i.32
Which made me thinke a Man, a Worme. My SonneWhich made me think a man a worm. My son KL IV.i.33
Came then into my minde, and yet my mindeCame then into my mind, and yet my mind KL IV.i.34
Was then scarse Friends with him. / I haue heard more since:Was then scarce friends with him. I have heard more since. KL IV.i.35
As Flies to wanton Boyes, are we to th'Gods,As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods;wanton (adj.)
cruelly irresponsible, badly behaved
KL IV.i.36
They kill vs for their sport.They kill us for their (n.)
recreation, amusement, entertainment
KL IV.i.37.1
Edg. EDGAR  
(aside) KL IV.i.37
How should this be?How should this be? KL IV.i.37.2
Bad is the Trade that must play Foole to sorrow,Bad is the trade that must play fool to sorrow,trade (n.)
course of action, practice
KL IV.i.38
Ang'ring it selfe, and others. Blesse thee Master.Angering itself and others. (Aloud) Bless thee, master! KL IV.i.39
Is that the naked Fellow?Is that the naked fellow? KL IV.i.40.1
Oldm. OLD MAN 
I, my Lord.Ay, my lord. KL IV.i.40.2
Get thee away: If for my sakeThen prithee get thee away. If for my sake KL IV.i.41
Thou wilt ore-take vs hence a mile or twaineThou wilt o'ertake us hence a mile or twain,overtake (v.)

old form: ore-take
catch up to, come up with
KL IV.i.42
I'th'way toward Douer, do it for ancient loue,I'the way toward Dover, do it for ancient love,ancient, aunchient (adj.)
former, earlier, past
KL IV.i.43
And bring some couering for this naked Soule,And bring some covering for this naked soul, KL IV.i.44
Which Ile intreate to leade me.Who I'll entreat to lead me. KL IV.i.45.1
Alacke sir, he is mad.Alack, sir, he is mad. KL IV.i.45.2
'Tis the times plague, / When Madmen leade the blinde:'Tis the time's plague when madmen lead the blind.plague (n.)
calamity, affliction, scourge
KL IV.i.46
Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure:Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure. KL IV.i.47
Aboue the rest, be gone.Above the rest, begone. KL IV.i.48
Oldm. OLD MAN 
Ile bring him the best Parrell that I haueI'll bring him the best 'parel that I have. KL IV.i.49
Come on't, what will. Come on't what will. KL IV.i.50.1
ExitExit KL IV.i.
Sirrah, naked fellow.Sirrah naked fellow! KL IV.i.50.2
Poore Tom's a cold. I cannot daub it further.Poor Tom's a-cold. (Aside) I cannot daub it further.daub (v.)
pretend, fake, pass off
KL IV.i.51
Come hither fellow.Come hither, fellow. KL IV.i.52
Edg. EDGAR  
(aside) KL IV.i.53
And yet I must: Blesse thy sweete eyes, they bleede.And yet I must. (Aloud) Bless thy sweet eyes, they bleed. KL IV.i.53.1
Know'st thou the way to Douer?Knowest thou the way to Dover? KL IV.i.54
Both style, and gate; Horseway, and foot-path: pooreBoth stile and gate, horse-way and footpath, Poor KL IV.i.55
Tom hath bin scarr'd out of his good wits. Blesse theeTom hath been scared out of his good wits. Bless thee,wits, also five wits
faculties of the mind (common wit, imagination, fantasy, estimation, memory) or body (the five senses)
KL IV.i.56
good mans sonne, from the foule Fiend.good man's son, from the foul fiend. Five fiends havegoodman (adj.)

old form: good mans
[title for a person under the rank of gentleman] mister, master
KL IV.i.57
been in Poor Tom at once: of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididence,Hobbididence (n.)
[pron: hobi'didens] in Christian tradition, the name of a devil
KL IV.i.58
Obidicut (n.)
[pron: o'bidikut] in Christian tradition, the name of a devil
prince of dumbness; Mahu, of stealing;Mahu (n.)
[pron: 'mahhu] in Christian tradition, the name of a devil
KL IV.i.59
Modo, of murder; Flibberdigibbet, of mopping andmopping (n.)
grimacing, making faces
KL IV.i.60
Flibberdigibbet (n.)
[pron: fliberdi'jibet] in Christian tradition, the name of a devil
Modo (n.)
[pron: 'mohdoh] in Christian tradition, the name of a devil
mowing, who since possesses chambermaids andmowing (n.)
grimacing, making mouths
KL IV.i.61
waiting-women. So bless thee, master! KL IV.i.62
Here take this purse, yu whom the heau'ns plaguesHere, take this purse, thou whom the heavens' plaguesplague (n.)
calamity, affliction, scourge
KL IV.i.63
Haue humbled to all strokes: that I am wretchedHave humbled to all strokes:. That I am wretchedstroke (n.)
affliction, blow, misery
KL IV.i.64
Makes thee the happier: Heauens deale so still:Makes thee the happier. Heavens deal so still!still (adv.)
constantly, always, continually
KL IV.i.65
deal (v.)

old form: deale
bestow, apportion, grant
Let the superfluous, and Lust-dieted man,Let the superfluous and lust-dieted manlust-dieted (adj.)
pleasure-gorged, self-indulgent
KL IV.i.66
superfluous (adj.)
having too much, over-supplied, overflowing
That slaues your ordinance, that will not seeThat slaves your ordinance, that will not seeordinance (n.)
decree, divine rule, injunction
KL IV.i.67
slave (v.)

old form: slaues
enslave, bring into subjection
Because he do's not feele, feele your powre quickly:Because he does not feel, feel your power quickly! KL IV.i.68
So distribution should vndoo excesse,So distribution should undo excessundo (v.)

old form: vndoo
eliminate, abolish, do away with
KL IV.i.69
And each man haue enough. Dost thou know Douer?And each man have enough. Dost thou know Dover? KL IV.i.70
I Master.Ay, master. KL IV.i.71
There is a Cliffe, whose high and bending headThere is a cliff whose high and bending headbending (adj.)
overhanging, jutting, curved
KL IV.i.72
Lookes fearfully in the confined Deepe:Looks fearfully in the confined deep;fearfully (adv.)
frighteningly, terrifyingly
KL IV.i.73
confined (adj.)
bounded, enclosed, rimmed
Bring me but to the very brimme of it,Bring me but to the very brim of it KL IV.i.74
And Ile repayre the misery thou do'st beareAnd I'll repair the misery thou dost bear KL IV.i.75
With something rich about me: from that place,With something rich about me. From that place KL IV.i.76
I shall no leading neede.I shall no leading need. KL IV.i.77.1
Giue me thy arme;Give me thy arm; KL IV.i.77.2
Poore Tom shall leade thee. Poor Tom shall lead thee. KL IV.i.78
Exeunt.Exeunt KL IV.i.78
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