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Thou mightst deserve, or they impose this usage,
Coming from us.

Kent. My lord, when at their home
I did commend your highness' letters to them,
Ere I was risen from the place that show'd
My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post,
Stew'd in his haste, half breathless, panting forth
From Goneril his mistress salutations ;
Deliver'd letters, spite of intermission,
Which presently they read; on whose contents,
They summon'd up their meiny,1 straight took

horse; Commanded me to follow, and attend The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks ; And meeting here the other messenger, Whose welcome, I perceived, had poison'd mine, (Being the very fellow that of late Display'd so saucily against your highness) Having more man than wit about me, drew: He raised the house with loud and coward cries : Your son and daughter found this trespass worth The shame which here it suffers.

Fool. Winter 's not gone yet, if the wild geese fly that way.

• Fathers, that wear rags,

Do make their children blind;
But fathers, that bear bags,

Shall see their children kind.

1 Train, retinue.




Fortune, that arrant whore,

Ne'er turns the key to the poor.'— But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolors 1 for thy daughters as thou canst tell in a year. Lear. O, how this mother 2 swells up toward my

heart ! Hysterica passio ! down, thou climbing sorrow; Thy element 's below!—Where is this daughter?

Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.

Follow me not; Stay here.

[Exit. Gen. Made you no more offence than what you

speak of? Kent. None. How chance the king comes with so small a train ?

Fool. An thou hadst been set i' the stocks for that question, thou hadst well deserved it.

Kent. Why, fool ?

Fool. We 'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no laboring in the winter. All that follow their noses are led by their eyes, but blind men; and there's not a nose among twenty, but can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy hold, when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again: I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.

1 A quibble between dolors and dollars. 3 i. e. the disease called by that name.

That, sir, which serves and seeks for gain,

And follows but for form,
Will pack, when it begins to rain,

And leave thee in the storm.
• But I will tarry; the fool will stay,

And let the wise man fly :
The knave turns fool, that runs away;

The fool no knave, perdy.' 1
Kent. Where learned you this, fool ?
Fool. Not i' the stocks, fool.

Re-enter LEAB, with GLOSTER.

Lear, Deny to speak with me? They are sick ?

they are weary?
They have travell’d hard to-night? Mere fetches ;
The images of revolt and flying off!
Fetch me a better answer.

My dear lord,
You know the fiery quality of the duke;
How unremoveable and fix'd he is
In his own course.

Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confusion !-
Fiery? what quality? Why, Gloster, Gloster,
I'd speak with the duke of Cornwall and his


· A corruption of the French oath par Dieu.

Glos. Well, my good lord, I have inform'd

them so.

Lear. Inform’d them! Dost thou understand me,


Glos. Ay, my good lord.
Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall; the

dear father Would with his daughter speak, commands her ser

vice :

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 office,
Whereto our health is bound; we are not our-

selves, When nature, being oppress’d, commands the mind To suffer with the body: I'll forbear; And am fallen out with my more headier will, To take the indisposed and sickly fit For the sound man.-Death on my state! wherefore

[looking on Kent. Should he sit here? This act persuades me, That this remotion of the duke and her Is practice ? only. Give me my servant forth : Go, tell the duke and his wife I'd speak with Till it cry, Sleep to death.'

them, Now, presently: bid them come forth and hear me, Or at their chamber-door I 'll beat the drum,

1 i. e. removal from their own house.

2 Artifice.

Glos. I'd have all well betwixt you. [Exit. Lear. O me, my heart, my rising heart !—but,

down. Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels, when she put them i' the paste alive: she rapped 'em o' the coxcombs with a stick, and cried, • Down, wantons, down!' 'Twas her brother, that, in pure kindness to his horse, buttered his hay.

Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and Servants.
Lear. Good morrow to you both.

Hail to your grace !

[Kent is set at liberty. Re. I am glad to see your highness. Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what


I have to think so: if thou shouldst not be glad,
I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb,
Sepulchring an adulteress.-0, are you free?

(to Kent.
Some other time for that.-Beloved Regan,
Thy sister 's naught: O Regan, she hath tied
Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here.-

points to his heart. I can scarce speak to thee; thou 'It not believe, Of how depraved a quality O Regan !

Re. I pray you, sir, take patience: I have hope, You less know how to value her desert, Than she to scant her duty.

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