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Edm. That's my fear. I pray you, have a | May carry through itself to that full issue continent * forbearance, till the speed of his For which I razed my likeness.-Now, ba rage goes slower; and, as I say, retire with nish'd Kent, [condemin'd, me to my lodging, from whence I will fitly If thou canst serve where thou dost stand bring you to hear my lord speak: Pray you, (So may it come!) thy master, whom thou go; there's my key:-If you do stir abroad, Shall find thee full of labours. [lovest, go armed. Horns within. Enter LEAR, Knights, and Attendants.
Edg. Armed, brother?
Elm. Brother, I advise you to the best: go armed; I am no honest man, if there be any good meaning towards you: I have told you what I have seen and heard, but faintly; nothing like the image and horror of it: Pray you, away.
Edg. Shall I hear from you anon?
A credulous father, and a brother noble, Whose nature is so far from doing harms, That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty My practices ride easy!-I see the business.Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit: All with me's meet, that I can fashion fit. [Exit.
SCENE III. A Room in the Duke of Albany's Palace.
Enter GONERIL and Steward. Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman Stew. Ay, madam. [for chiding of his fool? Gon. By day and night! he wrongs me; every He flashes into one gross crime or other, [hour That sets us all at odds: I'll not endure it: His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us [ing, On every trifle:-When he returns from huntI will not speak with him; say, I am sick; If you come slack of former services, You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer. Stew. He's coming, madam; I hear him. [Horns within. Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please, [question: You and your fellows; I'd have it come to If he dislike it, let him to my sister, Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one, Not to be over-ruled. Idle old man, That still would manage those authorities, That he hath given away!-Now, by my life, Old fools are babes again; and must be used With checks, as flatteries,-when they are seen Remember what I have said. J. [abused. Stew. Very well, madam. Gon. And let his knights have colder looks among you; [fellows so: What grows of it, no matter; advise your I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,... [sister, That I may speak :-I'll write straight to my To hold my very course :-Prepare for dinner. [Exeunt.
Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem; to serve him truly, that will put me in to love him that is honest; to converse with him that is wise, and says little; to fear judgment; to fight, when I cannot choose; and to eat no' fish.
Lear. What art thon?
Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king.
Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject, as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What wouldst thou?
Lear. Who wouldst thon serve?
Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow?
Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your countenance, which I would fain call master. Lear. What's that?
Lear. What services canst thou do?
Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified 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 dote 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:
Lear. What says the fellow there? the clotpoll back.-Where's my fool, ho?-[ think the world's asleep.-How now? where's that mongrel?
Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.
Lear. Why came not the slave back to me, when I called him?
Knight. Sir, he answered me in the roundest manner, he would not.
Lear. He would not!
Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is; but to my judgment, your highness is not entertained with that ceremonious affec
tion as you were wont; there's a great abatement of kindness appears, as well in the general dependants, as in the duke himself also, and your daughter.
Lear. Ha! sayst thou so?
Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken; for my duty cannot be silent, when I think your highness is wronged.
Lear. Thou but remember'st me of mine own conception; I have perceived a most faint neglect of late; which I have rather blamed as mine own jealous curiosity*, 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 this two days. Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, sir, the fool hath much pined away. Lear. No more of that; I have noted it well.-Go you, and tell my daughter I would speak with her.-Go you, call hither my fool. Re-enter Steward.
O, you sir, you sir, come you hither: Who' am I, sir?
Stew. My lady's father.
Lear. My lady's father! my lord's knave: you whoreson dog; you slave! you cur! Stew. I am none of this, my lord; I be seech you, pardon me.
Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal? [Striking him. Stew. I'll not be struck, my lord. Kent. Nor tripped neither; you base foot. ball player. [Tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow; thou servest 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 : but away: go to; Have you wisdom? so. [Pushes the Steward out. Lear, Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee: there's earnest of thy service.
(Giving KENT money. Enter Fool. > Fool. Let me hire him too;-Here's my coxcomb. [Giving KENT his Cap. Lear. How now, my pretty knave? how dost thou ?
Fool Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb.
Kent. Why, fool?
Fool. Why? For taking one's part that is out of favour: Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits, thoul't catch cold shortly: There, take my coxcomb: Why, this fellow has banished 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 gave them all my living, I'd keep my coxcombs myself:. There's mine; beg another of thy daughters.
Lear. Take heed, sirrah; the whip.
Punctilious jealousy. + Design.
Fool. Truth's a dog that must to kennel? he must be whipped out, when Lady, the brachý, may stand by the fire, and stink.
Lear. A pestilent gall to me!
Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech.
Fool. Mark it, nuncle:
Have more than thou showest,
And thou shalt have more
Than two tens to a score. Lear. This is nothing, fool.
Fool. Then 'tis like the breath of an unfeed lawyer: you gave me nothing for❜t: Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle?
Lear. Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out of nothing.
Fool. Pry'thee, tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to; he will not believe a fool. [TO KENT.
Lear. A bitter fool!
Fool. That lord, that counsell'd thee
Or do thou for him stand:
The other found out there.
Kent. This is not altogether fool, my lord. Fool. No, 'faith, lords and great men will not let me; if I had a monopoly out, they would have part on't: and ladies too, they will 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' the middle, and eat up the meat; the two crowns of the egg. When thou clovest thy crown i'the middle, and gavest away both parts, thon borest thine ass on thy back over the dirt: Thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gavest thy golden one away. If I speak like myself in this, let him be whipp'd that first finds it so.
Fools had ne'er less grace** in a year; [Sings.
Lear. When were you wont to be so full of songs, sirrah?
Fool. I have used it, nuncle, ever since thou + Estate or property. Believest..
madest thy daughters thy mother: for when thou gavest them the rod, and put'st down thine own breeches,
Then they for suddenjoy did weep, [Sings.
That such a king should play bo-peep,
Pry'thee, nuncle, keep a school-master that can teach thy fool to lie; I would fain learn to lie. Lear. If you lie, sirrah, we'll have you whipped.
Fool. I marvel, what kin thou and thy daughters are: they'll have me whipped for speaking true, thou'lt have me whipped for lying; and, sometimes, I am whipped for holding my peace. I had rather be any kind of thing, than a fool: and yet I would not be thee, nuncle; thou hast pared thy wit o'both sides, and left nothing in the middle: Here comes one o'the parings.
Lear. How now, daughter! what makes that frontlet* on? Methinks, you are too much of late i' the frown.
Fool. Thou wast a pretty fellow, when thou hadst no need to care for her frowning; now thou art an Ot without a figure: I am better than thou art now; I am a fool, thou art nothing. Yes, forsooth, I will hold my tongue; so your face [To GON.] bids me, though you say nothing. Mum, mum,
He that keeps nor crust nor crum, Weary of all, shall want some.That's a shealed peascodt. [Pointing to LEAR. Gon. Not only, sir, this your all-licensed fool, But other of your insolent retinue
Do hourly carp and quarrel; breaking forth In rank and not-to-be-endured riots. Sir, I had thought, by making this well known unto you, [fearful, To have found a safe redress; but now grow By what yourself too late have spoke and done, That you protect this course, and put it on By your allowances; which if you should, the [sleep; I Would not 'scape censure, nor the redresses V Which in the tender of a wholesome weal ||, N Might in their working do you that offence, T Which else were shame, that then necessity Will call discreet proceeding.
Fool. For you trow, nuncle,
The hedge sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
Lear. Are you our daughter?
Gon. Come, sir, I would, you would make use of that good wisdom whereof I know you are fraught; and put away these dispositions, which of late transform you from what you Trightly are.
Fool. May not an ass know when the cart draws the horse?-Whoop, Jug! I love thee. Lear. Does any here know me? Why this
* Part of a woman's head-dress to which Lear 1 A mere husk which contains nothing. ¶ Stored. * Complexion.
is not Lear: does Lear walk thus? speak thus ? Where are his eyes? Either his notion weakens, or his discernings are lethargied.-Sleeping or waking?-Ha! sure 'tis not so.-Who is it that can tell me who I am?-Lear's shadow ? I would learn that; for by the marks of sovereignty, knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded I had daughters.
Fool. Which they will make an obedient father.
Lear. Your name, fair gentlewoman?
This admiration is much o' the favour**
Lear. Woe, that too late repents,-O, sir, are you come? [pare my horses. Is it your will? [7b ALB.] Speak, sir.-PreIngratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a Than the sea-monster! [child,
Alh. Pray, sir, be patient. Lear. Detested kite! thou liest: [To GON. My train are men of choice and rarest parts, That all particulars of duty know: And in the most exact regard support [fault, The worships of their name.-O most smali How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show! Which, like an engine ‡‡ wrench'd my frame
[love, From the fix'd place; drew from my heart all And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear! Beat at this gate that let thy folly in.
[Striking his head. And thy dear judgment out!-Go,go,my people. Alb. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignoOf what hath moved you. [rant Lear. It may be so, my lord.-Here, nature here;
Dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if
compares her frowning brow.
tt Continue in service.
↑ A cipher. Well-governed state. The rack.
body never spring If she must teem,
And from her derogate
Lear. What, fifty of my followers, at a clap! Within a fortnight?
Alb. What's the matter, sir? [ashamed Lear. I'll tell thee ;-Life and death! I am That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus: [To GONERIL. That these hot tears, which break from me [fogs upon thee! Should make thee worth them.-Blasts and The untented woundings of a father's curse Pierce every sense about thee!-Old fond eyes, Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck you out; And cast you, with the waters that you lose, To temper clay.-Ha! is it come to this? Let it be so:-Yet have I left a daughter, Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable; When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails She'll flay thy wolfish visage! Thou shalt find, That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think I have cast off for ever;thou shalt, Iwarrant 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 [To the Fool. Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, and take the fool with thee.
A fox, when one has caught her, And such a daughter,
Should sure to the slaughter,
If my cap would buy a halter; So the fool follows after.
Gon. This man hath had good counsel :-A
"Tis politic, and safe, to let him keep
Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
What, have you writ that letter to my sister?
Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I can not tell;
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well. Gon. Nay, then
Alb. Well, well; the event.
SCENE V. Court before the same.
Enter LEAR, KENT, and Fool. Lear. Go you before to Gloster with thes letters: acquaint my daughter no further wit any thing you know, than comes from her d mand out of the letter: If your diligence t not speedy, I shall be there before you.
Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I hav [Exi delivered your letter. Fool. If a man's brains were in his heel were't not in danger of kibes? Lear. Ay, boy.
Fool. Then, I pr'ythee, be merry; thy w shall not go slip-shod.
Lear. Ha, ha, ha!
Fool. Shalt see, thy other daughter will t thee kindly: for though she's as like this a crab is like an apple, yet Ican tell what I can t
Lear. Why, what canst thou tell, my bo Fool, She will taste as like this, as a c does to a crab. Thou canst tell, why on nose stands i' the middle of his face? Lear. No.
Fool. Why, to keep his eyes on either s his nose; that what a man cannot smell a he may spy into.
Lear. I did her wrong:-
Fool. Nor I neither; but I can tell wh snail has a house. Lear, Why?
Fool. Why, to put his head in; not to g it away to his daughters, and leave his ho without a case.
Lear. I will forget my nature.-So kin father!-Be my horses ready?
Fool. Thy asses are gone about 'em.
And hold our lives in mercy.-Oswald, I say!-reason why the seven stars are no more th
All. Well, you may fear too far.
is a pretty reason.
Lear. Because they are not eight? Fool. Yes, indeed; thou wouldest make good fool.
Lear. To take it again perforce!-Mons ingratitude!
Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd ha thee beaten for being old before thy time. § Armed. Liable to reprehension.
SCENE I. A Court within the Castle of Enter GLOSTER, and Servants with Torches.
the Earl of Gloster.
Enter EDMUND and CURAN, meeting.
Cur. And you, sir. I have been with your ther; and given him notice, that the duke Cornwall, and Regan his duchess, will be ere with him to-night.
Edm. How comes that?
Cur. Nay, I know not: You have heard of e news abroad; I mean, the whispered ones, r they are yet but ear-kissing arguments? Edm. Not I; 'Pray you, what are they? Cur. Have you heard of no likely wars toard, 'twixt the dukes of Cornwall and Alny?
Edm. Not a word.
other, a word; descend:-Brother, I say; Enter EDGAR.
father watches:-O sir, fly this place; elligence is given where you are hid; i have now the good advantage of the night:[Cornwall? e you not spoken 'gainst the duke of 3 coming hither; now, i' the night, i' the haste,
Regan with him; Have you nothing said n his party 'gainst the duke of Albany? iset yourself.
'dg. I am sure on't, not a word. 'dm. I hear, my father coming-Pardon [you: cunning, I must draw my sword upon w: Seem to defend yourself: Now quit you well. [hereld-come before my father;-Light, ho, brother;-Torches! torches!-So, farewell.[Exit EDGAR. ne blood drawn on me would beget opinion [Wounds his arm. my more fierce endeavour; I have seen drunkards
more than this in sport.-Father! father! op, stop! No help?
Delicate. + Consider, recollect yourself. Severe, harsh.
Glo. Now, Edmund, where's the villain? Edm. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out, [moon Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the To stand his auspicious mistress:Glo.
Edm. Look, sir, I bleed.
But where is he?
Where is the villain, Edmund ? Edm. Fled this way, sir. When by no means he could
Glo. Pursue him, ho!-Go after.-[Erit Serv.] By no means,-what?
Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your lordship;
But that I told him, the revenging gods
Or whether gasted by the noise I made,
My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night: By his authority I will proclaim it, [thanks, That he, which finds him, shall deserve our Bringing the murderous coward to the stake; He, that conceals him, death.
Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent, And found him pight to do it, with curst¶ speech
I threaten'd to discover him: He replied, Thou unpossessing bastard! dost thou think, If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
Of any trust, virtue, or worth, in thee Make thy words faith'd? No: what i should deny, [produce (As this I would; ay, though thou didst My very character**) P'd turn it all Tothy suggestion,plot,and damned practice: And thou must make a dullard of the world, If they not thought the profits of my death Were very pregnant and potential spurs
To make thee seek it.