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On every trifle. When he returns from hunting Kent. Authority:
Lear. What services canst thou do?
Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, ron, You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answe:. mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a Osw. He's coming, madam ; I hear him. plain message bluntly; that which ordinary men
Horns within. are fit for, I am qualified in, and the best of me Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please, is diligence. You and your fellows; I'd have it come to ques. Lear. How old art thou ? tion:
Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman for If he distaste it, let him to my sister,
singing, nor so old to dote on her for any thing; Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are I have years on my back forty-eight. one,
Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me: if I Not to be over-rul'd. Idle old man,
like thee no worse after dinner I will not part That still would manage those authorities from thee yet. Dinner, hol dinner! Where's That he hath given away! Now, by my life, my knave? my fool ? Go you and call my fool Old fools are babes again, and must be us'd 20 hither,
Exit an Attendant. With checks as flatteries, when they are seen abus'd.
Enter OSWALD. Remember what I have said.
You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter ?
Excit. 50 Gon. And let his knights have colder looks
Lear. What says the fellow there? Call the among you;
Exit a Knight. What grows of it, no matter ; advise your Where's my fool, ho? I think the world's asleep.
. fellows so : I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall, That I may speak : I'll write straight to my How now! Where's that mongrel ?
Re-enter Knight sister To hold my very course. Prepare for dinner.
Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is Eceunt.
Lear. Why came not the slave back to me SCENE IV.-A Hall in the Same.
when I called him?
Knight. Sir, he answered me in the roundest Enter KENT, disguised.
manner, he would not. Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow,
Lear. He would not ! That can my speech diffuse, my good intent
Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter May carry through itself to that full iss
is; but, to my judgment, your highness is not For which I raz'd my likeness. Now, banish'a entertained with that ceremonious affection as Kent,
you were wont; there's a great abatement of If thou canst serve where thou dost stand con. kindness appears as well in the general dedemn'd,
pendants as in the duke himself also and your So may it come, thy master, whom thou lov'st,
daughter. Shall find thee full of labours.
Lear. Ha ! sayest thou so ?
Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, Horns within. Enter LEAR, Knights, and if I be mistaken ; for my duty cannot be silent Attendants.
when I think your highness wronged. Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner : go,
Lear. Thou but rememberest me of mine own get it ready.
Exit an Attendant. conception: I have perceived a most faint How now! what art thou ?
10 neglect of late ; which I have rather blamed Kent. A man, sir.
as mine own jealous curiosity than as a very Lear. What dost thou profess? What would'st pretence and purpose of unkindness : I will look thou with us?
further into 't. But where's my fool ? I have Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem ;
not seen him this two days. to serve him truly that will put me in trust; to
Knight. Since my young lady's going into love him that is honest; to converse with him France, sir, the fool bath much pined away. that is wise, and says little; to fear judgment;
Lear. No more of that; I have noted it well. to fight when I cannot choose ; and to eat no
Go you and tell my daughter I would speak fish.
Exit an Attendant, Lear. What art thou ?
Go you, call hither
Exit an Attendant, k'ent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king.
Re-enter OSWALD. Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What O! you sir, you, come you hither, sir. Who am would'st thou ?
I, sir? Kent. Service.
Osw. My lady's father. Lear. Whom would'st thou serve ?
Lear. “My lady's father'! my lord's kpave : Kent. You.
you whoreson dog! you slave ! you cur ! Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow?
Osw. I am none of these, my lord ; I beseech Kent. No, sir ; but you have that in your your pardon. coantenance which I would fain call master. 31 Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you Lear. What's that?
Fool. Let me hire him too: here's my coxcomb. Offers KENT his cap. Lear. How now, my pretty knave! how dost
Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb. Kent. Why, fool? Fool. Why? for taking one's part that's out of favour. Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits, thou 'lt catch cold shortly: there, take my coxcomb. Why, this fellow has banished two on's 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.
Fool. Truth's a dog must to kennel; he must be whipped out when Lady the brach may stand by the fire and stink.
Lear. A pestilent gall to me!
Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech. Lear. Do.
Fool. Mark it, nuncle:
Have more than thou showest,
The sweet and bitter fool
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 snatching. Nuncle, give me an egg, and I'll give thee two
Lear. What two crowns shall they be?
Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i' the I 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 o'er 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 whipped that first finds it so.
Fools had ne'er less grace in a year; 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?
Then they for sudden joy did weep,
That such a king should play bo-peep,
Prithee, nuncle, keep a schoolmaster that can teach thy fool to lie: I would fain learn to lie. Lear. An 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 o' thing than a fool; and yet I would not be thee, nuncle; thou hast pared thy wit o' both sides, and left nothing i' 140 the middle: here comes one o' the parings.
Fool. I have used it, nuncle, ever since thou
madest thy daughters thy mothers; for when thou gavest them the rod and puttest down thine own breeches,
In rank and not-to-be-endured riots. Sir
Enter ALBANY. I had thought, by making this well known unto Lear. Woe, that too late repents ; 01 sir, are
you, To have found a safe redress; but now grow Is it your will ? Speak, sir. Prepare my horses.
you come? fearful,
Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend, By what yourself too late have spoke and done, More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child, That you protect this course, and put it on Than the sea-monster. By your allowance ; which if you should, the Alb.
Pray, sir, be patient. fault
Lear. To GONERIL. Detested kite! thou liest: Would not 'scape censure, nor the redresses My train are men of choice and rarest parts, sleep,
That all particulars of duty know, Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal, And in the most exact regard support Might in their working do you that offence,
The worships of their name. O most small Which else were shame, that then necessity
fault, Will call discreet proceeding.
How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show! Pool. For you know, nuncle,
Which, like an engine, wrench'd my frame of The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so
From the fix'd place, drew from my heart all That it bad it head bit off by it young. love, So out went the candle, and we were left dark- And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear! ling.
Beat at this gate, that let thy folly in, Lear. Are you our daughter ?
Striking his head. Gon. Come, sir,
And thy dear judgment out! Go, go, my people. I would you would make use of your good wis- Alb. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant dom,
Of what hath mov'd you. Whereof I know you are fraught; and put away Lear.
It may be so, my lord.
Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend
And from her derogate body never spring Does Lear walk thus ? speak thus ? Where are A babe to honour her! If she must teem, his eyes ?
Create her child of spleen, that it may live Either his notion weakens, his discernings 250 | And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her! Are lethargied. Ha! waking ? 'tis not so. Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth, Who is it that can tell me who I am ?
With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks, Fool. Lear's shadow.
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits Lear. I would learn that ; for by the marks To laughter and contempt, that she may feel of sovereignty, knowledge, and reason, I should How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is be false persuaded I had daughters.
To have a thankless child ! Away, away! Exit. Pool. Which they will make an obedient
Alb. Now, gods that we adore, whereof comes father.
this? Lear. Your name, fair gentlewoman?
Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause; Gon. This admiration, sir, is much o' the But let his disposition have that scope
260 That dotage gives it. Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you To understand my purposes aright:
Re-enter LEAR. As you are old and reverend, should be wise. Lear. What ! fifty of my followers at a clap; Here do you keep a hundred knights and Within a fortnight! squires ;
What's the matter, sir? Men so disorder'd, so debosh'd, and bold,
Lear. I'll tell thee. To GONERIL. Life and That this our court, infected with their manners, death ! I am asham'd Shows like a riotous inn: epicurism and lust That thou hast power to sbake my manhood Make it more like a tavern or a brothel
thus, Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth That these hot tears, which break from me speak
perforce, For instant remedy ; be then desir'd 270 Should make thee worth them. Blasts and fogs By her, that else will take the thing she begs, A little to disquantity your train ;
The untented woundings of a father's curse And the rema der, that shall still depend, Pierce every sense about thee! old fond eyes, To be such men as may besort your age, Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck ye out, Which know themselves and you.
And cast you, with the waters that you lose, Lear.
Darkness and devils ! To temper clay. Yea, is it come to this? Saddle my horses ; call my train together. Let it be so : I have another daughter, Degenerate bastard ! I'll not trouble thee : Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable : Yet have I left a daughter.
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails Gon. You strike my people, and your dis- She'll flay thy wolvish visage. Thou shalt find order'd rabble
That I'll resume the shape which thou dost Make servants of their betters.
I have cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant Lear. Ha, ha, ha! thee.
Fool. Shalt see thy other daughter will use Exeunt LEAR, KENT, and Attendants. thee kindly; for though she's as like this as a Gon. Do you mark that, my lord ?
crab's like an apple, yet I can tell what I can Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril,
tell. To the great love I bear you, --
Lear. What canst tell, boy? Gon. Pray you, content. What, Oswald, ho! Fool. She will taste as like this as a crab does To the Fool. You, sir, more knave than fool, to a crab. Thou canst tell why one's nose after your master.
stands i' the middle on 's face !
Fool. Why, to keep one's eyes of either side's
'Lear. I did her wrong,
Fool. Canst tell how an oyster makes his So the fool follows after.
E.cit. shell ? Gon. This man hath had good counsel. A Lear. No. hundred knights!
Fool. Nor I neither ? but I can tell why a 'Tis politic and safe to let him keep
snail bas a house. At point a hundred knights; yes, that on every Lear. Why? dream,
Pool. Why, to put 's head in; not to give it Each buzz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike, away to his daughters, and leave his horns He may enguard his dotage with their powers, without a case. And hold our lives in mercy. Oswald, I say ! 352 Lear. I will forget my nature. So kind a Alb. Well, you may fear too far.
father! Be my horses ready? Gon.
Safer than trust too far. Pool. Thy asses are gone about 'em. The Let me still take away the harms I fear, reason why the seven stars are no more than Not fear still to be taken: I know his heart. seven is a pretty reason. What he hath utter'd I have writ my sister ; Lear. Because they are not eight ? If she sustain him and his hundred knights, Fool. Yes, indeed: thou would'st make a When I have show'd the unfitness,
Lear. To take 't again perforce! Monster Re-enter OswALD.
Oswald ! Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have What! have you writ that letter to my sister ? thee beaten for being old before thy time. Osw. Ay, madam.
Lear. How's that? Gon. Take you some company, and away to Fool. Thou should'st not have been old till horse :
thou hadst been wise. Inform her full of my particular fear ;
Lear. 01 let me not be mad, not mad, sweet And thereto add such reasons of your own
heaven; As may compact it more.
Get you gone,
Keep me in temper; I would not be mad ! And hasten your return.
Pool. She that's a maid now, and laughs at Than prais'd for harmful mildness.
my departure, Alb. How far your eyes may pierce I cannot shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut tell :
Ecount Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.
Gon. Nay, then–
SCENE I.- A Court within the Castle of the Earl of
Enter EDMUND and CURAN, meeting. Lear. Go you before to Gloucester with these Edm. Save thee, Curan. letters. Acquaint my daughter no further with Cur. And you, sir. I have been with your any thing you know than comes from her de- father, and given him notice that the Duke of mand out of the letter. If your diligence be Cornwall and Regan his duchess will be here not speedy I shall be there before you.
with him this night. Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I have Edm. How comes that? delivered your letter.
Erit. Cur. Nay, I know not. You have heard of Pool. If a man's brains were in 's heels, were 't the news abroad? I mean the whispered ones. not in danger of kibes ?
for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments. Lear. Ay, boy.
Edm. Not I: pray you, what are they! Pool. Then, I prithee, be merry ; thy wit shall Cur. Have you heard of no likely wars towarı, ne'er go slip-shod.
'twist the Dukes of Cornwall and Albany ?
Edm. Not a word.
By his authority I will proclaim it, Cur. You may do then, in time. Fare you That he which finds him shall deserve our thanks, well, sir.
Exit. Bringing the murderous coward to the stake ; Edm. The duke be here to-night ! The He that conceals him, death. better! best!
Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent, This weaves itself perforce into my business. And found him pight to do it, with curst speech My father hath set guard to take my brother ; I threaten'd to discover him : he replied, And I have one thing, of a queasy question, * Thou unpossessing bastard ! dost thou think, Which I must act. Briefness and fortune, work! If I would stand against thee, would the reposal Brother, a word; descend : brother, I say ! Of any trust, virtue, or worth in thee Enter EDGAR,
Make thy words faith'd ? No: what I should
deny, My father watches : 0 sir! fly this place; As this I would; ay, though thou didst produce Intelligence is given where you are hid ; My very character, I'd turn it all You have now the good advantage of the night. To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice : Have you not spoken 'gainst the Duke of And thou must make a dullard of the world, Cornwall ?
If they not thought the profits of my death He's coming hither, now, i' the night, i' the haste, were very pregnant and potential spurs And Regan with him ; have you nothing said To make thee seek it.' Upon his party 'gainst the Duke of Albany ? Glou.
Strong and fasten'd villain ! Advise yourself.
Would he deny his letter? I never got him. Edg. I am sure on 't, not a word.
Tucket within. Edm. I hear my father coming ; pardon me ; Hark! the duke's trumpets. I kuow not why In cunning I must draw my sword upon you ; 31 he comes. Draw; seem to defend yourself; now quit you All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape ; well.
The duke must grant me that : besides, his Yield; come before my father. Light, ho! picture here!
I will send far and near, that all the kingdom Fly, brother. Torches ! torches! So, farewell. May have due note of him ; and of my land,
Exit EDGAR. Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion To make thee capable.
Wounds his arm. Of my more fierce endeavour: I have seen
Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, and Attendants. drunkards
Corn. How now, my noble friend ! since I Do more than this in sport. Father ! father ! came hither, Stop, stop! No help?
Which I can call but now, I have heard strange
news. Enter GLOUCESTER, and Servants with torches.
Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short Glou. Now, Edmund, where's the villain ? Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my Edm. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp lord ? sword out,
Glou. O! madam, my old heart is crack'd, is Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon crack'd. To stand auspicious mistress.
Reg. What! did my father's godson seek your Glou.
But where is he? 41 life? Edm. Look, sir, I bleed.
He whom my father nam'd ? your Edgar? Glou.
Where is the villain, Edmund ? Glou. O ! lady, lady, shame would have it hid. Edm. Fled this way, sir. When by no means Rej. Was he not companion with the riotous he could
knights Glou. Pursue him, lio! Go after. Lxit Serrant. That tend upon my father? By no means what?
Glou. I know not, madam ; 'tis too bad, too bad. Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your Edm. Yes, madam, lie was of that consort. lordship;
Reg. No marvel then though he were ill But that I told him, the revenging gods
affected ; 'Gainst parricides did all the thunder bend ; 'Tis they have put him on the old man's death, Spoke with how manifold and strong a bond To have the expense and waste of his revenues. The child was bound to the father ; sir, in fine, | I have this present evening from my sister Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
Been well inform‘d of them, and with such To his upnatural purpose, in fell motion,
cantions With his prepared sword he charges home That if they come to sojourn at my house, My unprovided body, lanc'd mine arm :
I'll not be there. But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits
Nor I, assure thee, Regan. Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to the Edmund, I hear that you have shown your father encounter,
A child-like office. Or whether gasted by the noise I made,
'Twas my duty, sir. Full suddenly he fled.
Glou. He did bewray his practice; and receiv'd Glou.
Let him fly far : This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him. Not in this land shall he remain uncaught; Corn. Is he pursued ? And found - dispatch. The noble duke my Glou.
Ay, my good lord. master,
Corn. If he be taken he shall never more My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night : 60 Be fear'd of doing harm; make your own purpose,