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And thou shalt have more
Than two tens to a score. Lear. This is nothing, fool.
Fool. Then 'tis like the breath of an unfee'd 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. Prythee, 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 fool ?
Lear. No, lad; teach me.
To give away thy land,
Or do thou for him stand:
Will presently appear;
The other found out there.
Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wast born with. 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 spatching.–Give me an
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, thou 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 gracel in a year ; (Singing.
For wise men are grown foppish; And know not how their wits to wear,
Their manners are so apish. Lear. When were you wont to be so full of songs, sirrah ?
Fool. I have used it, nuncle, ever since thou madest thy daughters thy mother: for when thou gavest them the rod, and put'st down thine own breeches, Then they for sudden joy did weep, (Singing.
And I for sorrow sung;
the fools among Prythee, 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 i'the middle: Here comes one o'the parings.
Enter Goneril. Lear. How now, daughter? what makes that frontleta 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 03 without a figure : I am better
than thou art now; I am a fool, thou art nothing.--Yes, forsooth, I will
(2) Part of a woman's head-dress, to which Lear compares her frowning brow.
(3) A cypher.
hold my tongue; so your face (To Gon.] bids me, though you say nothing. Mum, mum,
He that keeps nor crust nor crumb,
Weary of all, shall want some.That's a sheal'd peascod.? [Pointing to Lear.
Gon. Not only, sir, this your all-licens 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 Would not 'scape censure, nor the redresses sleep: Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal,3 Might in their working do you that offence, Which else were shame, that then necessity Will call discreet proceeding. Fool. For you trow, nuncle,
The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
That it had its head bit off by his young. So out went the candle, and we were left darkling.
Lear. Are you our daughter?
Gon. Come, sir, I would, you would make use of that good wisdom whereof I know you are fraught ;4 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 ;
(1) A mere husk which contains nothing.
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?
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 : Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires; Men so disorder'd, so debauch'd, and bold, That this our court, infected with their manners, Shows like a riotous inn: epicurism and lust Make it more like a tavern or a brothel, Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth speak For instant remedy: Be then desired By her, that else will take the thing she begs, A little to disquantity your train ; And the remainder, that shall still depend, 2 To be such men as may besort your age, And know themselves and you. Lear.
Darkness and devils ! Saddle my horses; call my train together. Degenerate bastard! I'll not trouble thee; Yet have I left a daughter. Gon. You strike my people; and your disorder'd
rabble Make servants of their betters.
Enter Albany. Lear. Wo, that too late repents,-0, sir, are Is it your will? [To Alb.] Speak, sir.-Prepare my
horses. Ingratitude ! thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child, Than the sea-monster!
(2) Continue in service.
Pray, sir, be patient. Lear. Detested kite! thou liest : (To Goneril. My train are men of choice and rarest parts, That all particulars of duty know; And in the most exact regard support The worships of their name.-- most small fault, How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show! Which, like an engine,' wrench'd my frame of
nature From the fix'd place; drew from my heart all love, 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 † am ignorant Of what hath mov'd
you. Lear. It may be so, my lord.—Hear, nature, hear; Dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if Thou didst intend to make this creature fruitful! Into her womb convey sterility! Dry up in her the organs of increase ; And from her derogate2 body never spring A babe to honour her! If she must teem, Create her child of spleen ; that it may live, And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her! Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth ; With cadent3 tears fret channels in her cheeks; Turn all her mother's pains, and benefits, To laughter and contempt; that she may feel How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is To have a thankless child !-Away, away! (Exit. Alb. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes
this? Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause ; But let his disposition have that scope That dotage gives it.
Re-enter Lear. Lear. What, fifty of my followers, at a clap! (1) The rack. (2) Degraded. (3) Falling.