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I have cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant thee.
[Exeunt Lear, Kent, and Attendants. Gon. Do
you mark that, my lord ? Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril, To the great love I bear you,
Gon. Pray you, content.— What, Oswald, ho! You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master.
[to the Fool. Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, and take the-fool with thee.
• A fox, when one has caught her,
[Erit. Gon. This man hath had good counsel.--A hun
dred knights ! "Tis politic and safe to let him keep At pointi a hundred knights. Yes, that on every
Alb. Well, you may fear too far.
Safer than trust too far:
· Completely armed.
If she sustain him and his hundred knights,
What, have you writ that letter to my sister?
Stew. Ay, madam.
Get you gone;
lord, This milky gentleness, and course of yours, Though I condemn it not; yet, under pardon, You are much more attask'd 1 for want of wisdom, Than praised for harmful mildness.
Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.
Gom. Nay, then–
1 Liable to reprehension.
Court before the same.
Enter LEAR, KENT, and FOOL. Lear. Go you before to Gloster with these letters : acquaint my daughter no farther with any thing you know, than comes from her demand out of the letter. If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there before you.
Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered
[Exit. Fool. If a man's brains were in his heels, were 't not in danger of kibes ?
Lear. Ay, boy.
Fool. Then, I pr’ythee, be merry; thy wit shall not go slipshod.
Lear. Ha, ha, ha!
Fool. Shalt see, thy other daughter will use thee kindly; for though she 's as like this as a crab is like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.
Lear. Why, what canst thou tell, my boy?
Fool. She will taste as like this as a crab does to a crab. Thou canst tell why one's nose stands i' the middle of his face ?
Fool. Why, to keep his eyes on either side his nose; that what a man cannot smell out, he ray spy into.
Lear. I did her wrong :
Fool. Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell? Lear. No.
Fool. Nor I neither ; but I can tell why a snail has a house.
Fool. Why, to put his head in; not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns without
Lear. I will forget my nature.-So
kind a father!-Be
horses ready? Fool. Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven, is a pretty reason.
Lear. Because they are not eight?
Fool. Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool.
Lear. To take it again perforce !-Monster ingratitude !
Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I 'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time.
Lear. How's that?
Fool. Thou shouldst not have been old before thou hadst been wise. Lear. O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet
How now? Are the horses ready?
Gen. Ready, my lord.
Lear. Come, boy.
departure, Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut shorter.
A court within the castle of the Earl of Gloster. Enter EDMUND and
meeting. Edm. Save thee, Curan. Curan. And you, sir.
I have been with your father; and given him notice, that the duke of Cornwall, and Regan his duchess, will be here with him to-night.
Edm, How comes that?
Curan. Nay, I know not. You have heard of the news abroad; I mean, the whispered ones, for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments ?
Edm. Not I: pray you, what are they?
Curan. Have you heard of no likely wars toward 'twixt the dukes of Cornwall and Albany ?
Edm. Not a word.
[Exit. Edm. The duke be here to-night? The better!