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Pr'ythee, 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 whipp'd.
Fool. I marvel, what kin thou and thy daughters are: they'll have me whipp'd for speaking true, thou❜lt have me whipp'd for lying; and, sometimes, I am whipp'd 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 had'st no need to care for her frowning; now thou art an O 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 sheal'd peascod.
[pointing to Lear.
Gon. Not only, sir, this your all-licens'd 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, To have found a safe redress; but now grow fearful, By what yourself too late have spoke and done,
That you protect this course, and put it on
By your allowance; which if you should, the fault
Fool. For you trow, nuncle,
The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
So, out went the candle, and we were left darkling.
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 rightly 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 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.
Gon. Come, sir;
This admiration is much o' the favour
Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you
To understand my purposes aright:
As you are old and reverend, you should be wise:
By her, that else will take the thing she begs,
A little to disquantity your train;
And the remainder, that shall still depend,
To be such men as may besort your age,
And know themselves and you.
Darkness and devils!
Saddle my horses; call my train together.-
Gon. You strike my people; and your disorder'd
Make servants of their betters.
Lear. Woe, that too late repents,-O, sir, are you come?
Is it your will? [to Alb.] Speak, sir.-Prepare my
Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend,
More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child, Than the sea-monster!
Pray, sir, be patient.
Lear. Detested kite! thou liest:
My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
And in the most exact regard support
The worships of their name.-O most small fault,
Which, like an engine, wrench'd my frame of nature
Lear. It may be so, my lord.-Hear, nature, hear;
in her the organs of increase;
And from her derogate body never spring
Create her child of spleen; that it
To have a thankless child!-Away, away!
Alb. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes
Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause; But let his disposition have that scope
That dotage gives it.
Lear. What, fifty of my followers, at a clap' Within a fortnight?
What's the matter, sir?
Lear. I'll tell thee; Life and death! I am
That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus:
The untented woundings of a father's curse
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.