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Lear. Ay, boy.

Fool. Then, I pr'ythee, be merry; thy wit father.-Be my horses ready? shall not go slip shod. Lear. Ha, ha, ha!

Fool. Shalt see, thy other daughter will use thee kindly: for though she's as like this as a crab is like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.

Lear. Why, what can'st thou tell, my boy? Fool. She will taste as like this, as a crab does to a crab. Thou canst tell, why one's nose stands I'the middle of his face?

Lear. No.

Fool. Why, to keep his eyes on either side his nose; that what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into.

Lear. I did her wrong;

Fool. Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?
Lear. No.

Fool. Nor I neither; but I can tell why snail has a house.

Lear. Why?

Fool. Why, to put his head in; not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns without a case.

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This weaves itself perforce into my business!
My father hath set guard to take my brother;
And I have one thing, of a queazy question,
Which I must act:-Briefness, and fortune,
work!-

Lear. I will forget my nature. So kind a

ACT II.

Brother, a word; descend :-Brother, I say;
Enter Edgar.
My father watches :- -O sir, fly this place:
Intelligence is given where you are hid;
You have now the good advantage of the night:-
Have you not spoken 'gainst the duke of Cornwall?
He's coming hither; now, i'the night, i'the haste,
And Regan with him: have you nothing said
Upon his party 'gainst the duke of Albany?
Advise yourself.

Edg. I am sure on't, not a word.

Edm. I hear my father coming,-Pardon me:In cunning, I must draw my sword upon you:Draw: Seem to defend yourself: now quit you

well.

Fool. Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven, is a pretty reason.

Lear. Because they are not eight?

Fool. Yes, indeed: thouwould'st make a good fool. Lear. To take it again perforce !-Monster ingratitude!

Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time. Lear. How's that?

Fool. Thou should'st not have been old, before thou hadst been wise.

Lear. O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven! Keep me in temper: I would not be mad!Enter Gentleman.

How now! are the horses ready?

Gent. Ready, my lord.

Lear. Come, buy.

[departure,

Fool. She that is maid now, and laughs at my Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut shorter. [exeunt.

Yield: come before my father; Light, ho
here!-

Fly, brother:-Torches! torches!-So, farewell.-
[exit Edgar.
Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion
[wounds his arm.
Of my more fierce endeavour: I have seen drunk-
Do more than this in sport.-Father! father! [ards
Stop, stop! No help?

Enter Gloster, and Servants with torches.
Glo. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?
Edm. Here stood he in the dark his sharp
sword out,

Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
To stand his auspicious mistress:-

Glo. But where is he?

Edm. Look, sir, I bleed.

}

Glo. Where is the villain, Edmund? [could-
Edm. Fled this way, sir. When by no means lie
Glo. Pursue him,ho!-Go after.-[exit Servant]
By no means,-what?
[lordship;
Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your
But that I told him, the revenging gods
'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend
Spoke, with how manifold and strong a bond
The child was bound to the father;-Sir, in fine,
Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion,
With his prepared sword, he charges home
My unprovided body, lanc'd mine arm :
But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to the encounter,
Or whether gasted by the noise I made,
Full suddenly he fled.

Glo. Let him fly far:

Not in this land shall he remain uncaught
And found-Despatch.-The noble duke my

master,

My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night;
By his authority I will proclaim it,

That he, which finds him, shall deserve our thanks, | Natures of such deep trust we shall much need
Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;
He, that conceals him, death.

You we first seize on.

Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
And found him pight to do it, with curst speech
I threaten'd to discover him: He replied,
"Thou unpossessing bastard! dost thou think,
If I would stand against thee, would the reposal
Of any trust, virtue, or worth, in thee
Make thy words faith'd? No: what I should deny
(As this I would; ay, though thou didst produce
My very character,) I'd turn it all

To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice:
And thou must make a dullard of the world,
If they not thought the profits of my death
Were very pregnant and potential spurs
To make thee seek it."

Glo. Strong and fasten'd villain!

Would he deny his letter?—I never got him.
[trumpets within.
Hark, the duke's trumpets! I know not why he

comes:

All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape;
The duke must grant me that: besides, his picture
I will send far and near, that all the kingdom
May have due note of him; and of my land,
Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means
To make thee capable.

Enter Cornwall, Regan, and Attendants. Corn. How now, my noble friend? since I came hither [news. (Which I can call but now,) I have heard strange Reg. If it be true, all vengeance comes too short, Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my [crack'd! Glo. O, madam, my old heart is crack'd, is Reg. What, did my father's godson seek your He whom my father nam'd?-your Edgar? [life? Glo. O, lady, lady, shame would have it hid! Reg. Was he not companion with the riotous That tend upon my father? [knights

lord?

Glo. I know not, madam:

It is too bad, too bad

Edm. Yes, madam, he was. Reg. No marvel then, though he were ill affected; 'Tis they have put him on the old man's death, To have the waste and spoil of his revenues. I have this present evening from my sister Been well inform'd of them; and with such cautions,

Edm. I shall serve you, sir.

Truly, however else.

Edm. 'Twas my duty, sir.

Glo. He did bewray his practice; and receiv'd This hurt you see, striving to apprehend him.

Corn. Is he pursued?

Glo. Ay, my good lord, he is.

Corn. If he be taken, he shall never more
Be fear'd of doing harm: make your own purpose,
How in my strength you please.-For you,
Edmund,

Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
So much commend itself, you shall be ours;

Glo. For him, I thank your grace. [you,-
Corn. You know not why we came to visit
Reg. Thus out of season; threading dark-ey'd
Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poize, [night.
Wherein we must have use of your advice :-
Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
Of differences, which I best thought it fit
To answer from our home; the several messengers
From hence attend despatch. Our good old friend,
Lay comforts to your bosom; and bestow
Your needful counsel to our business,
Which craves the instant use.

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Stew. Why, then I care not for thee.

Kent. If I had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I would make thee care for me.

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

Kent. Fellow, I know thee.

Stew. 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-liver'd, action-taking knave; a whoreson, glass-gazing, super-serviceable, 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, pander, 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.

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

That, if they come to sojourn at my house,
I'll not be there.

Kent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to deny thou know'st me! Is it two days ago, since I tripped up thy heels, and heat thee, before the king? Draw, you rogue: for, though it he night,

Corn. Nor I, assure thee, Regan.

Edmund, I bear that you have shown your father the moon shines; I'll make a sop o'the moonshine
A child-like office.

of you: draw, you whoreson cullionly barber
monger, draw.
[drawing his swords.
Stew. Away; I have nothing to do with thea
Kent. Draw, you rascal; you come with lettera
against the king; and take vanity the puppet
part, against the royalty of her father: draw,
you rogue, or I'll so carbonado your shanks:
draw, you rascal; come your ways.

Stew. Help, ho! murder! help!

Kent. Strike you slave; stand, rogue, stand; you neat slave, strike.

Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder

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Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Than twenty silly ducking observants,
That stretch their duties nicely,

Kent. Sir, in good sooth, in sincere verity,
Under the allowance of your grand aspéct,
Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire
On flickering Phoebus' front,—

Corn. What mean'st by this?

Kent. To go out of my dialect, which you discommend so much. I know, sir, I am no flatterer he that beguiled you in a plain accent, was a plain knave; which, for my part, I will not be, though I should win your displeasure to entreat me to it.

Corn. What was the offence you gave him?
Stew. Never any:

Kent. Ay, a tailor, sir: a stone-cutter, or a painter, could not have made him so ill, though they had been but two hours at the trade.

It pleas'd the king, his master, very late,
To strike at me, upon his misconstruction;
When he, conjunct, and flattering his displeasure,
Tripp'd me behind; being down, insulted, rail'd,
And put upon him such a deal of man,

Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?
Stew. This antient ruffian, sir, whose life I That worthy'd him, got praises of the king

For him attempting who was self-subdu'd;
And, in the fleshment of this dread exploit,
Drew on me here.

Kent. None of these rogues, and cowards,
But Ajax is their fool.

Corn. Fetch forth the stocks, ho!

Enter Edmund, Cornwall, Regan, Gloster, and
Servants.
Edm. How now? What's the matter? Part.
Kent. With you, goodman boy, if you please;
some, I'll flesh you; come on, young master.

Glo. Weapons! arms! What's the matter here?
Corn. Keep peace upon your lives;
He dies that strikes again: what is the matter?
Reg. The messengers from our sister and the
king.

Corn. What is your difference? speak.
Stew. I am scarce in breath, my lord.

Kent. No marvel, you have so bestirred your valour. You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee; a tailor made thee.

Corn. Thou art a strange fellow: a tailor make
a man?

have spar'd,

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 has a privilege.
Corn. Why art thou angry?

[sword,

Kent. That such a slave as this should wear a
Who wears no honesty. Such smiling rogues
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain, [as these,
Which are too intrinse t'unloose: smooth every
That in the natures of their lords rebels; [passion
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods;
Renege, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters,
As 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 homa to Camelot.

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

Corn. Fetch forth the stocks!

As I've life and honour, there shall he sit till noon.
Reg. Till noon! till night, my lord; and all
night too.
[dog,
Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's
You should not use me so.

Reg. Sir, being his knave, I will.

[stocks brought out. Corn. This is a fellow of the self-same colour Our sister speaks of:-Come, bring away the stocks.

Glo. 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 correc

tion

Is such, as basest and contemmed'st wretches,
For pilferings and most common trespasses,
Are punish'd with: the king must take it ill,
That he's so slightly valued in his messenger
Should have him thus restrain'd.

Corn. I'll answer that.

Reg. My sister may receive it much more worer, To have her gentleman abus'd, assaulted, For following her affairs.-Put in his leg [Kent is put in the stocks. away.

Come, my good lord;

[exeunt Reg. and Corn. Glo. I am sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's pleasure,

Corn. This is some fellow, [affect Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth A saucy roughness; and constrains the garb, Quite from his nature: he cannot flatter, he !An honest mind and plain, he must speak truth: An they will take it, so; if not, he's plain. [ness These kind of knaves I know, which in this plain-Whose disposition, all the world well knows,

Will not be rubb'd, nor stopp'd: I'll entreat for | legs; when a man is over-lusty at legs, then he thee.

wears wooden nether stocks.

Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place To set thee here?

[misteek

Kent. It is both he and she,

Your son and daughter.
Lear. No.

Kent. Pray, do not, sir: I have watch'd, and travell'd hard;

Some time I shall sleep out, the rest I'll whistle. A good man's fortune may grow out at heels: Give you good morrow!

Glo. The duke's to blame in this; 'twill be ill [exit.

taken.

Kent. Good king, that must approve the common saw!

Thou out of heaven's benediction com'st
To the warm sun!

Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
That by thy comfortable beams I may
Peruse this letter!-Nothing almost sees miracles,
But misery ;-I know, 'tis from Cordelia;
Who hath most fortunately been inform'd
Of my obscured course; and shall find time
From this enormous state,-seeking to give
Losses their remedies:-All weary and o'er-
watch'd,

Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold

This shameful lodging. [he sleeps. Fortune, good night; smile once more; turn thy

wheel!

SCENE III. A PART OF THE HEATH.

Enter Edgar.

Edg. I heard myself proclaim'd; And, by the happy hollow of a tree, Escap'd the hunt. No port is free; no place, That guard, and most unusual vigilance, Does not attend my taking. While I may 'scape I will preserve myself; and am bethought To take the basest and most poorest shape, That ever penury, in contempt of man, Brought near to beast: my face I'll grime with filth;

Blanket my loins: elf all my hair in knots,
And with presented nakedness out-face
The winds, and persecutions of the sky.
The country gives me proof and precedent
Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices,
Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare arms
Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary;
And with this horrible object, from low farms,
Poor pelting villages, sheep-cotes, and mills,
Sometime with lunatic bans, sometime with
prayers,
[Tom!
Enforce their charity.-Poor Turlygood! poor|
That's something yet;-Edgar I nothing am. [exit.

SCENE IV. BEFORE GLOSTER'S CASTLE.
Enter Lear, Fool, and Gentleman.

Lear. 'Tis strange, that they should so depart from home,

And not send back my messenger.

Gent. As I learn'd,

The night before there was no purpose in them Of this remove.

Kent. Hail to thee, noble master!

Lear. How!

Mak'st thou this shame thy pastime ?

Kent. No, my lord.

Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters! Horses are tied by the heads; dogs, and bears, by the neck; monkeys by the loins; and men by the

Kent. Yes.

Lear. No, I say.

Kent. I say, yea.

Lear. No, no; they would not.
Kent. Yes, they have.

Lear. By Jupiter, I swear, no.
Kent. By Juno, I swear, ay.
Lear. They durst not do't;
[murder,
They could not, would not, do't; 'tis worse than
To do upon respect such violent outrage:
Resolve me, with all modest haste, which way
Thou might'st deserve, or they impose, this usage,
Coming from us.

Kent. 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,
Stew'd in his haste, half-breathless, panting forth
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
[horse:
The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks.
And meeting here the other messenger,
Whose welcome, I perceiv'd, had poison'd mine,
(Being the very fellow that of late
Display'd so saucily against your highness,
Having more man than wit about me, drew);
He rais'd the house with loud and coward cries:
Your son and daughter found this trespass worth
The shame which here it suffers.

Fool. Winter's not gone yet if the wild geese fly that way.

Fathers, that wear rags,

Do make their children blind;
But fathers, that bear bags,

Shall see their children kind.
Fortune, that arrant whore,
Ne'er turns the key to the poor.-

But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours for thy daughters, as thou canst tell in a year. Lear. O, how this mother swells up toward my heart!

Hysterica passio! down, thou climbing sorrow,
Thy element's below!-Where is this daughter?
Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.
Lear. Follow me not;

Stay here.

[exit.

Gent. Made you no more offence than what Kent. None. [you speak of?

How chance the king comes with so small a train? Fool. An thou hast 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 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,

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sest it break thy neck with following it: but the | I have to think so: if thou shouldst not be glad, great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, Sepúlch'ring an adultress.-O, are you free give me mine again: I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.

[to Kent.
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,
Of 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.

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 learn'd you this, fool?
Fool. Not i'the stocks, fool.

Re-enter Lear, with Gloster.

Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are sick?
they are weary?

They have travell'd hard to-night? Mere fetches;
The images of revolt and flying off!

Fetch me a better answer.

Glo. My dear lord,

You know the fiery quality of the duke;
How unremovable and fix'd he is

In his own course.

80.

Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confusion!Fiery! what quality? Why, Gloster, Gloster, I'd speak with the duke of Cornwall and his wife. Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform'd them [me, man? Lear. Inform'd them? Dost thou understand Glo. Ay, my good lord. Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall; the dear father [service: Would with his daughter speak, commands her Are they inform'd of this?-My breath and blood!

Fiery? the fiery duke?- Tell the hot duke, that
No, but not yet:-may be, he is not well:
Infirmity doth still neglect all office,
Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourselves,
When nature, being oppress'd, commands the mind
To suffer with the body: I'll forbear;
And am fallen out with my more headier will,
To take the indispos'd and sickly fit

For the sound man.-Death on my state where-
fore
[looking on Kent.
Should he sit here? This act persuades me,
That this remotion of the duke and her
Is practice only. Give me my servant forth :
Go, tell the duke and his wife, I'd speak with
them,
[me,
Now, presently bid them come forth and hear
Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum,

Till it cry- -Sleep to death.

Glo. I'd 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 them i'the paste alive; she rapp'd 'em o'the coxcombs with a stick, and cried, Down, wantons, down: 'Twas her brother, that, in pure kindness to his horse, butter'd his hay. Enter Cornwall, Regan, Gloster, and Servants.

Lear. Good morrow to you both.

Corn. 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

Lear. 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!

Reg. O sir, you are old;
Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of her confine: you should be rul'd, and led
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.
Lear. Ask her forgiveness?

Do you but mark how this becomes the house:
'Dear daughter, I confess that I am old;
Age is unnecessary: on my knees I beg, [kneeling.
That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.
Reg. Good sir, no more; these are unsightly
Return you to my sister.
[tricks:

Lear. Never, Regan:

She hath abated me of half my train;
Look'd black upon me; struck me with her tongue,
Most serpent-like, upon the very heart:-
All the stor'd vengeances of heaven full
On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones,
You taking airs, with lameness!

Corn. Fie, fie, fie!

[ing flames
Lear. You nimble lightnings,, dart your blind-
Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the powerful sun,
To fall and blast her pride!

Reg. O the blest gods!

So will you wish on me, when the rash mood's on.
Lear. No, Regan, thou shalt never have iny
Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give [curse;
Thee o'er to harshness; her eyes are fierce, but
Do comfort, and not burn: 'Tis not in thee [thine
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
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.

Reg. Good sir, to the purpose. [trumpets within.
Lear. Who put my man i'the stocks?
Corn. What trumpet's that?

Enter Steward.

Reg. I know't, my sister's: this approves her letter, [come? That she would soon be here.-Is your lady

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