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Fool. We'll fet thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no labouring 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 5 can fmell him that's ftinking. Let go thy hold, when a great wheel runs down a hill, left it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wife man gives thee better counsel, give me mine ro again: I would have none but knaves follow it, fince a fool gives it.
They could not, would not do't; 'tis worse than
Kent. My lord, when at their home
I did commend your highness' letters to them,
The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks:
Feel. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geefe fly that way 4.
Fathers, that wear rags,
Do make their children blind;
But fathers, that bear bags,
Shall fee their children kind.
Fortune, that arrant whore,
Ne'er turns the key to the poor.-
That, fir, which ferves and feeks for gain,
Will pack, when it begins to rain,
And leave thee in the ftorm.
But I will tarry: the fool will stay,
And let the wife man fly :
The knave turns fool, that runs away:
The fool no knave perdy.
Kent. Where learn'd you this, fool?
Re-enter Lear, with Glofter.
Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are fick they are weary?
They have travell'd hard to night? Mere fetches;
Glo. My dear lord,
30 You know the fiery quality of the Duke;
Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confufion!
Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall;
Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourfelves
For the found man.-Death on my state! where-
Should he fit here? This act perfuades me,
Now, prefently; bid them come forth and hear
3 i. e. people.
Spight of 4 The meaning
That is, to violate the public and venerable character of a messenger from the king. 2 intermiffion means without pause, ruithout fuffering time to intervene. is, If this be their behaviour, the king's troubles are not yet at an end. 5 A quibble is here intended between dolours and dollars. 6 The word twenty refers to the noses of the blind men, and not to the men in general.
7 Practice is here used in an ill fense for unlawful artifice.
Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum, "Till it cry, Sleep to death.
Glo. I would have all well betwixt you.
[Exit. Lear. O me, my heart, my rifing heart!-but 5 down.
Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels, when the put them i' the paste alive; fhe rapt 'em o' the coxcombs with a stick, and cry'd,|
Down, wantons, down :' Twas her brother, 10 that, in pure kindness to his horfe, butter'd his hay.
Enter Cornwall, Regan, Glofter, and Servants.
Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what
I have to think so: if thou should'st not be glad,
Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give [thine
Some other time for that.-Beloved Regan,
I can scarce speak to thee; thou'lt not believe,
Reg. I pray you, fir, take patience; I have hope,
Than fhe to scant her duty.
Lear. Say? how is that?
Reg. I cannot think, my fifter in the leaft
30 That fhe would foon be here.-Is your lady come?
Corn. What means your grace?
Lear. Who stock'd my fervant? Regan, I have
Thou didst not know on't. Who comes here?
[Kneeling. 50 That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food." Reg. Good fir, no more; thefe are unfightly
Return you to my fister.
Lear. Never, Regan:
Gon. Why not by the hand, fir? How have I
All's not offence, that indifcretion finds,
Lear. O fides, you are too tough!
Will you yet hold?How came my man i'the
Corn. I fet him there, fir: but his own disorders Deferv'd much lefs advancement 10.
Lear. You did you?
She hath abated me of half my train;
Reg. I pray you, father, being weak, feem fo. If, 'till the expiration of your month,
1 i. e. probably a cook or fcullion. the order of families, duties of relation. to pull down. Hefted, Mr. Steevens fays, feems to mean the fame as beaved. Tender-befted, i. e. whofe bofom is agitated by tender paffions. 7 i. e. to contract my allowances or proportions fettled. Sizes are certain portions of bread, beer, or other victuals, which in colleges are fet down to the account of particular persons. 9 To find means little more than to think. 10 By ids advancement is meant, a ftill wc. fe or more disgraceful fituation; e fituation not so reputable.
8 i. e. approve.
You will return and fojourn with my sister,
When others are more wicked; not being the worst,
Thy fifty yet doth double five-and-twenty,
Lear. Now I pr'ythee, daughter, do not make
Reg. Not altogether so, fir;
I look'd not for you yet, nor am provided
Lear. Is this well spoken now?
Reg. I dare avouch it, fir: What, fifty followers?
Is it not well? What should you need of more?
What need you five-and-twenty, ten, or five,
Have a command to tend you?
Reg. What need one?
Lear. O, reafon not the need: our basest beggars Are in the poorest thing fuperfluous:
Allow not nature more than nature needs,
Man's life is cheap as beaft's: thou art a lady;
Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st,
I have full caufe of weeping; but this heart
Yea, or fo many? fith that both charge and danger 40 Cannot be well beftow'd.
Speak 'gainst so great a number? How, in one
1i. e. to make war.
2 i. e. in a fervile state.
Gon.'Tis his own blame; he hath put himself from And muft needs tafte his folly.
Reg. For his particular, I'll receive him gladly, But not one follower.
Gon. So am I purpos'd.
Where is my lord of Glofter?
Glo. He calls to horfe; but will I know not
Do forely ruffle; for many miles about
Reg. O, fir, to wilful men,
3 Sumpter is a horse that carries neceffaries on a journey, though fometimes used for the cafe to carry them in, 4 Embofed is fwelling, protuberant.
And what they may incense him to, being apt
My Regan counfels well: come out o' the ftorm.
A Storm is beard, with thunder and lightning. Enter
HO's there, befide foul weather?
Kent. I know you; Where's the king?
Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage,
Kent. But who is with him?
Gent. None but the fool; who labours to out-jeft
His heart-ftruck injuries.
Kent. Sir, I do know you;
And dare, upon the warrant of my note 3,
To make your speed to Dover, you shall find
[rofI am a gentleman of blood and breeding,
Gent. I will talk further with you.
15 For confirmation that I am much more
20 That yet you do not know. Fie on this storm!
[fay? Gent. Give me your hand: Have you no more to Kent. Few words, but, to effect, more than all
[your pain 25 That, when we have found the king, (in which That way; I'll this,) he that first lights on him, Holla the other. [Exeunt feverally
You cataracts, and hurricanoes, spout [cocks! 35 Till you have drench'd our steeples, drown'd the You fulphurous and thought-executing fires, Vaunt-couriers 7 to oak-cleaving thunder-bolts, Singe my white head! And thou all-shaking thunder, Strike flat the thick rotundity o' the world! Crack nature's moulds; all germens fpill at once3, That make ingrateful man!
Fool. O nuncle, court holy-water 9 in a dry house is better than this rain-water out o' door. nuncle, in, and ask thy daughters bleffing; here's 45 a night pities neither wife men nor fools.
Lear. Rumble thy belly full! Spit, fire! fpout,
Nor rain, wind, thunder, fire, are my daughters:
The main feems to fignify here the main land, the continent. 2 Cub-drawn means, whofe dugs art dravon dry by its young. 3 My obfervation of your character. 4 Snuffs are diflikes, and packings underhand contrivances. 5 i. e. colours, external pretences. 6 i. e. divided, unfettled. 7 Avant couriers, Fr. 8 That is, "Crack nature's mould, and spill (or deftroy) all the feeds of matter that are hoarded within it." 9 Court boly-water is a proverbial expreflion, meaning fair words. fcription for obedience. 11 i. e. fhameful, difhonourable.
Fool. Marry, here's grace, and a cod-piece 2; that's a wife man, and a fool.
Kent. Alas, fir, are you here? things that love
Love not fuch nights as these; the wrathful fkies
Lear. Let the great gods,
Muft make content with bis fortunes fit;
Lear. True, my good boy.-Come, bring us to
When priests are more in word than matter;
10 No heretics burn'd, but wenches' fuitors:
20 Come to great confusion.
That keep this dreadful pother o'er our heads,
Kent. Alack, bare-headed!
Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel;
This prophecy Merlin fhall make; for I live be
An Apartment in Glofter's Caftle.
Enter Glofter, and Edmund.
Glo. Alack, alack, Edmund, I like not this unnatural dealing: When I defired their leave that I might pity him, they took from me the use perpetual difpleasure, neither to speak of him, enof mine own houfe; charg'd me, on pain of their treat for him, nor any way sustain him.
Edm. Moft favage, and unnatural!
Glo. Go to; fay you nothing: There is divifion between the dukes; and a worfe matter than that: 35 I have received a letter this night;-'tis dangerous to be spoken.I have lock'd the letter in my clofet: thefe injuries the king now bears will be revenged home; there is part of a power already footed: we must incline to the king. I will feek him, and privily relieve him: go you, and maintain talk with the duke, that my charity be not of him perceived: If he ask for me, I am ill, and gone to bed. If I die for it, as no less is threaten'd me, the king my old mafter must be relieved. 451 There is fome strange thing toward, Edmund; pray you, be careful. [Exit.
Edm. This courtesy, forbid thee, fhall the duke
A Part of the Heath, with a Hovel.
Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool.
i. e. A beggar marries a wife and lice.
2 Alluding perhaps to the saying of a contemporary wit,