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curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly. That which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualify'd in; and the best of me is diligence.
Lear. How old art thou?
Kent. Not so young, Sir, to love a woman for singing; nor so old, to doat on her for any thing. I have years on my back forty-eight.
Lear. Follow me, thou shalt serve me; if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet. Dinner, ho, dinner-Where's my knave? my fool?
Go you, and call my fool hither. You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter? Stew. So please you
[Exit: Lear. What says the fellow there ? Call the clodpoll back.-Where's my fool, ho? I think, the world's asleep. How now? Where's that mungrel ?
Knight. He says, my Lord, your daughter is not well.
Lear. Why came not the save back to me when I call's him?
Knight. Sir, he answer'd me in the roundeft manner, he would not.
Lear. He would not?
Knight. My Lord, I know not what he matter is, but, to my judgment, your Highness is not entertain'd with that ceremonious affection as you were wont; there's a great abatement of kin 'nefs appears as well in the general dependants, as in ti e Duke himself also, and your daughter.
Lear. Ha ! say'st thou fo?
Knigbt. I beseech you, pardon me, my Lord, if I be mistaken ; for my duty cannot be silent, when I think your Highness is wrong'd.
Lear. Thoy but remember'ft me of my own conception. I have perceived a most faint neglect of late, Vol. YI.
which I have rather blamed as my own jealous curiofity, than as a very pretence and purpose of unkindness; I will look further into't. But where's my fool? I have not seen him these two days.
Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, Sir, the fool hath much pin'd away.
Lear. No more of that, I have noted it well. GO you and tell my daughter, I would fpeak with her. Go
you, call hither my fool.
O, you, Sir, come you hither, Sir; who am I, Sir?
Stew. My lady's father. Lear. My lady's father ? my Lord's knave! you whoreson dog, you Nave, you cur.
Stew. I am none of these, my Lord; I befeech your pardon. Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal ?
[Striking bim: Stew. I'll not be struck, my Lord. Kent. Nor tript neither, you base foot-ball player.
[Tripping up bis heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow. Thou serv'st me, and I'll love thee.
Kent. Come, Sir, arise, away. I'll teach you differences. Away, away; if you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry again ; but away, go to, have you wisdom? so.
wisdom? so. [Pushes the Steward out. Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee. There's earnest of thy service. [Giving money.
SC EN XIII
To them, Enter Fool.
Fool. Let me hire him too. Here's my coxcomb.
[Giving Kent his cap. Lear. How now, my pretty knave? how do'st thou? Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb. Kent. Why, my boy?
Fool. Why? for taking one's part, that is out of favour. Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind fits, thou'lt catch cold shortly. There, 3 take my coxcomb. Why, this fellow has banish'd two of his daughters, and did the third a blessing against his will; if thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb. How now, nuncle? Would I had + two coxcombs, and two daughters.
Lear. Why, my boy?
Fool. If I give them all my living, I'll keep my coxcombs myfelf. There's mine, beg another of thy daughters.
Lear. Take heed, Sirrah, the whip. Fool. Truth's a dog must to kennel ș he must be whip'd out, when the lady brach may stand by th' fire and stink.
Lear. A peftilent gall to me.
[To Kent. Lear. Do. Fool. Mark it, nuncle.
3 take my coxcomb.) Meaning denote a vain conceited meddling his cap, called fo, because on the fellow. WARBURTON. top of the fool or jester's cap 4 two cexcombs,] Two fools was fewed a piece of red cloth, caps, intended, as it seems, to resembling the comb of a cock. mark double folly in the man that The word, afterwards, used to gives all to his daughters.
Have more than thou showest,
Learn more than thou troweft,
Kent. This is nothing, fool.
Fool. Then it is like the breath of an unfee'd lawyer, you gave me nothing fort. Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle?
Lear. Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out of nothing:
Fool. Pr’ythee, tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to. He will not believe a fool. [To Kent.
Lear. A bitter fool !
Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy, between a bitter fool and a sweet one ?
Lear, No, lad, teach me.
Lear. Dost thou call me fool, boy ?
Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given away ; that thou wast born with.
* Lend less than thou owest,] fignifies to believe. The preThat is, do not lend all that ihou cept is admirable.
WARB. baft. To owe in Old English is This dialogue, from No, lad, to podofs. If oue be taken for teach me, down to, Give me an so be in debt, the more prudent egg, was restored from the first ediprecept would be,
tion by Mr. T heobald. It is omit. Lend more than thou owest. ted in the folio, perhaps for po.
5 Learn more than thou trorvest, ] litical reasons, as it seemed to To trou, is an old word which censure monopolies.
Kent. This is not altogether fool, my Lord.
Fool. No, faith; Lords, and great men will not let me; ? if I had a monopoly on't, they would have part on't : nay, the Ladies too, they'll not let me have all fool to myself, they'll be snatching. Give me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee two crowns,
Lear. What two crowns shall they be?
Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i'th’middle and eat up the meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou clovest thy Crown i'th'middle and gav'st away both parts, thou bor'ft thine ass on thy back o'er the dirt. Thou hadīt little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gav'st thy golden crown away. If I speak like myself in this, let him be whip’d that first finds it so.
& Fools ne'er bad less grace in a year, (Singing
For wise men are grown foppila;
Tbeir manners are so apish. Lear. When were you won't to be fo full of songs, firrah?
Fool. I have used it, nuncle, e'er since thou mad'st thy daughters thy mothers; for when thou gav'ft them the rod, and put it down thy own breeches,
Then they for sudden joy did weep, [Singing
And I for forrow sung,
tbe fools among Pr’ythee, nuncle, keep a school-master that can teach thy fool to lye; I would fain learn to lye.
? If I had a monopoly on't, they gear, ] There never was a would bave a part on't :) A satire time when fools were less in on the gross abuses of monopo- favour, and the reason is, that lies at that time; and the cor- they were never fo little wanted, ruption and avarice of the cour. for wise men now supply their tiers
, who commonly went shares place. Such I think is the meanwith the patentee.
WARB. ing. The old edition has wit for 8 Fools ne'er bad less grace in a grace.