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How in my strength you please. For you, | against the king, and take vanity the puppet's Edmund,

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part against the royalty of her father. Draw, you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your shanks: draw, you rascal; come your ways.


Osw. Help, ho! murder! help! Kent. Strike, you slave; stand, rogue, stand; you neat slave, strike. Beats him.

Osw. Help, ho! murder! murder!

Enter EDMUND, with his rapier drawn. Edm. How now! What's the matter?


Parting them. Kent. With you, goodman boy, an you please: come, I'll flesh ye; come on, young master. Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOUCESTER, and Servants. Glou. Weapons! arms! here?

What's the matter

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Osw. Good dawning to thee, friend: art of painter could not have made him so ill, though this house?

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Osw. Why dost thou use me thus? I know thee not.

Kent. Fellow, I know thee.

Osw. What dost thou know me for?

Kent. A knave, a rascal, an eater of broken meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, threesuited, hundred-pound, filthy, worsted-stocking knave; a lily-livered, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunk-inheriting slave; one that would'st be a bawd, in way of good service, and art nothing but the composition of a knave, beggar, coward, pandar, and the son and heir of a mongrel bitch: one whom I will beat into clamorous whining if thou deniest the least syllable of thy addition.

Osw. Why, what a monstrous fellow art thou, thus to rail on one that is neither known of thee nor knows thee!


Kent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou knowest me! Is it two days since I tripped up thy heels and beat thee before the king? Draw, you rogue; for though it be night, yet the moon shines: I'll make a sop o' the moonshine of you. Drawing his sword. Draw, you whoreson cullionly barber-monger, draw.

Osw. Away! I have nothing to do with thee. Kent. Draw, you rascal; you come with letters

they had been but two hours o' the trade. Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel? Osw. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have spared at suit of his grey beard,

Kent. Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary letter! My lord, if you will give me leave, I will tread this unbolted villain into mortar, and daub the wall of a jakes with him. Spare my grey beard, you wagtail?

Corn. Peace, sirrah!

You beastly knave, know you no reverence?
Kent. Yes, sir; but anger hath a privilege.
Corn. Why art thou angry?

Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a sword,

Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues as these,

Like rats, oft bite the holy cords a-twain Which are too intrinse t' unloose; smooth every passion

That in the natures of their lords rebel :
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters,
Knowing nought, like dogs, but following.
A plague upon your epileptic visage!
Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool?
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plain,
I'd drive ye cackling home to Camelot.

Corn. What! art thou mad, old fellow?
Glou. How fell you out? say that.
Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy
Than I and such a knave.

Corn. Why dost thou call him knave? What is his fault?

Kent. His countenance likes me not. Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, nor his, nor hers.

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Against the grace and person of my master, Stocking his messenger.



Fetch forth the stocks! You stubborn ancient knave, you reverend braggart,

We'll teach you.

Kent. Sir, I am too old to learn. Call not your stocks for me; I serve the king, On whose employment I was sent to you; You shall do small respect, show too bold malice


Are punish'd with the king must take it ill, That he, so slightly valued in his messenger, Should have him thus restrain'd.

Fetch forth the stocks! As I have life and honour, there shall he sit till



Reg. Till noon! till night, my lord; and all night too.

Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's dog, You should not use me so.

Reg. Sir, being his knave, I will. Corn. This is a fellow of the self-same colour Our sister speaks of. Come, bring away the stocks. Stocks brought out. Glou. Let me beseech your grace not to do so. His fault is much, and the good king his master Will check him for 't: your purpos'd low correction

Is such as basest and contemned'st wretches 150 For pilferings and most common trespasses

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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, 30
Stew'd in his haste, half breathless, panting

From Goneril his mistress salutations;
Deliver'd letters, spite of intermission,
Which presently they read: on whose contents
They summon'd up their meiny, straight took

Commanded me to follow, and attend

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How chance the king comes with so small a number?

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 labouring i' 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.

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.

Kent. Where learned you this, fool?
Fool. Not i' the stocks, fool.

Re-enter LEAR, with GLOUCESTER. Lear. Deny to speak with me! They are sick! they are weary!

They have travell'd all the night!

The images of revolt and flying off.
Fetch me a better answer.

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Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confusion! The leisure of their answer; gave me cold Fiery! what quality? Why, Gloucester, Gloulooks:

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Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild-geese Would with his daughter speak, commands her

fly that way.

Fathers that wear rags

Do make their children blind, But fathers that bear bags


Shall see their children kind.


Are they inform'd of this? My breath and blood!

Fiery! the fiery duke! Tell the hot duke that

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Glou. I would 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 'em i' the paste alive; she knapped '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.


Lear. Good morrow to you both.

Hail to your grace! KENT is set at liberty. Reg. I am glad to see your highness. 130 Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what


I have to think so: if thou should'st not be glad,

I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb, Sepulchring an adult'ress. To KENT. O! are you free?

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 'lt not believe
With how deprav'd a quality-O Regan!

Reg. I pray you, sir, take patience. I have hope

You less know how to value her desert
Than she to scant her duty.



Say, how is that? Reg. I cannot think my sister in the least Would fail her obligation: if, sir, perchance She have restrain'd the riots of your followers, 'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end,

As clears her from all blame.
Lear. My curses on her!
O, sir! you are old;
Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of her confine: you should be rul'd and led 150
By some discretion that discerns your state
Better than you yourself. Therefore I pray you
That to our sister you do make return;
Say you have wrong'd her, sir.

Ask her forgiveness?
Do you but mark how this becomes the house:

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Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give
Thee o'er to harshness: her eyes are fierce, but

Do comfort and not burn. 'Tis not in thee
To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train,

To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes,
And, in conclusion, to oppose the bolt
Against my coming in: thou better know'st 180
The offices of nature, bond of childhood,
Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude;
Thy half o' the kingdom hast thou not forgot,
Wherein I thee endow'd.
Good sir, to the purpose.
Lear. Who put my man i' the stocks?



Tucket within. What trumpet's that? Reg. I know 't, my sister's: this approves her letter,

That she would soon be here.

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You did you? Reg. I pray you, father, being weak, seem so. If, till the expiration of your month, You will return and sojourn with my sister, Dismissing half your train, come then to me: I am now from home, and out of that provision Which shall be needful for your entertainment. Lear. Return to her? and fifty men dismiss'd? No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose To wage against the enmity o' the air; To be a comrade with the wolf and owl, Necessity's sharp pinch! Return with her! Why, the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took


Our youngest born, I could as well be brought To knee his throne, and, squire-like, pension beg

To keep base life afoot. Return with her!
Persuade me rather to be slave and sumpter
To this detested groom. Pointing at OSWALD.
At your choice, sir. 220
Lear. I prithee, daughter, do not make me

I will not trouble thee, my child; farewell.
We'll no more meet, no more see one another;
But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my

Or rather a disease that's in my flesh,
Which I must needs call mine: thou art a boil,
A plague-sore, an embossed carbuncle,

Reg. And in good time you gave it. Lear. Made you my guardians, my depositaries, But kept a reservation to be follow'd With such a number. What! must I come to you With five-and-twenty? Regan, said you so ?

Reg. And speak 't again, my lord; no more with me.

Lear. Those wicked creatures yet do look well-favour'd

When others are more wicked; not being the worst

Stands in some rank of praise. To GONERIL.
I'll go with thee:

Thy fifty yet doth double five-and-twenty,
And thou art twice her love.
Hear me, my lord.
What need you five-and-twenty, ten, or five,
To follow in a house where twice so many
Have a command to tend you?

What need one!
Lear. O reason not the need; our basest

Are in the poorest thing superfluous :
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is cheap as beast's. Thou art a lady;
If only to go warm were gorgeous,
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous


Which scarcely keeps thee warm. But, for true need,

You heavens, give me that patience, patience I


You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,
As full of grief as age; wretched in both!
If it be you that stirs these daughters' hearts
Against their father, fool me not so much
To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger,
And let not women's weapons, water-drops, 29

In my corrupted blood. But I'll not chide Stain my man's cheeks! No, you unnatural



Let shame come when it will, I do not call it :
I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot,
Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove.
Mend when thou canst; be better at thy leisure:
I can be patient; I can stay with Regan,
I and my hundred knights.

Not altogether so :
I look'd not for you yet, nor am provided
For your fit welcome. Give ear, sir, to my sister;
For those that mingle reason with your passion
Must be content to think you old, and so-
But she knows what she does.

Lear. Is this well spoken ? Reg. I dare avouch it, sir: what! fifty followers! Is it not well? What should you need of more? Yea, or so many, sith that both charge and danger Speak 'gainst so great a number? How, in one house,


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I will have such revenges on you both
That all the world shall-I will do such things,
What they are yet I know not, but they shall be
The terrors of the earth. You think I'll weep;
No, I'll not weep:

I have full cause of weeping, but this heart
Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws
Or ere I'll weep. O fool! I shall go mad.
and Fool.
Corn. Let us withdraw, 'twill be a storm.
Storm heard at a distance.
Reg. This house is little: the old man and his

Cannot be well bestow'd.

Gon. 'Tis his own blame; hath put himself from rest,

And must needs taste his folly.

Reg. For his particular, I'll receive him gladly, But not one follower.


So am I purpos'd.
Where is my Lord of Gloucester?
Corn. Follow'd the old man forth.

Glou. The king is in high rage.

He is

Whither is he going!

Glou. He calls to horse; but will I know not

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