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Enter LEAR, Fool, and Gentleman.
As I learned,
Hail to thee, noble master!
Kent. No, my lord.
Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel” garters ! Horses are tied by the head; dogs and bears by the neck; monkeys by the loins, and men by the legs; when a man is over-lusty at legs, then he wears wooden nether-stocks.3
Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place mistook, To set thee here? Kent.
It is both he and she,
Lear. They durst not do’t;
tions of lunacy and distraction; and their popular name, Turlupins, was probably derived from the wolfish howling's they made in their fits of religious raving. Cotgrave interprets 6 Mon Turelurear, My Pillicock, my pretty knave.” 1 See note 2, Act i. Sc. 5. p. 39, ante. 2 A quibble on crewel, i. e. worsted. 3 The old word for stockings.
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To do, upon respect, such violent outrage.
My lord, when at their home
Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese fly that way.
Fathers, that wear rags,
Do make their children blind;
Shall see their children kind.
1 6 To do, upon respect, such violent outrage," means “to do such violent outrage, deliberately, or upon consideration." Respect is frequently used for consideration by Shakspeare.
2 i. e. 5 spite of leaving me unanswered for a time.”
3 Meiny, signifying a family household, or retinue of servants, is from the French meinie, anciently written mesnie.
4 The personal pronoun, which is found in the preceding line, is understood before the word having, or before drew. The same license is taken by Shakspeare in other places.
5 66 If this be their behavior, the king's troubles are not yet at an end." This speech is omitted in the quartos.
But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolors 1 for
Lear. O, how this mother’ swells up toward my heart !
Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.
Follow me not;
Gent. Made you no more offence than what you
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 laboring in 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,
And leave thee in the storm.
And let the wise man fly:
The fool no knave, perdy.
1 A quibble between dolors and dollars.
2 Lear affects to pass off the swelling of his heart, ready to burst with grief and indignation, for the disease called the mother, or hysterica passio, which, in the Poet's time, was not thought peculiar to women only.
3 If, says the fool, you had been schooled by the ant, you would have known that the king's train, like that sagacious insect, prefer the summer of prosperity to the colder season of adversity, from which no profit can be derived, and desert him who has been left 5 open and bare for every storm that blows."
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Re-enter LEAR, with GLOSTER.
they are weary?
My dear lord,
Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confusion!
Glo. Well, my good lord, I have informed them so.
Glo. Ay, my good lord.
[Looking on KENT.
Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum,
Glo. I'd have all well betwixt you. .
Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney ? did to the cels, when she put them i’the paste alive ; she rapped '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.
Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and Servants.
Hail to your grace!
[KENT is set at liberty. Reg. I am glad to see your highness.
Lear. Regan, I think you are ; I know what reason I have to think so. If thou shouldst not be glad, I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb, Sepulchring an adultress.-0, are you free?
[T. KENT. Some other time for that.----Beloved Regan, Thy sister's naught. O Regan, she hath tied Sharp-toothed unkindness, like a vulture, here.
[Points to his heart. I can scarce speak to thee; thou'lt not believe, Of how depraved a quality--O Regan!
Reg. I pray you, sir, take patience; I have hope,
Say, how is that?
1 The meaning of this passage seems to be, 6 I'll beat the drum till it cries out—Let them awake no more ; let their present sleep be their last.” Mason would read, “ death to sleep," instead of " sleep to death.
2 A cockney and a ninny-hammer, or simpleton, were convertible terms.
3 This is somewhat inaccurately expressed. Shakspeare having, as on some other occasions, perplexed himself by the word less.