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Kent. Come, sir, arise, away; I'll teach you differences; away, away: If you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry: but away: go to; Have you wisdom? so. (Pushing the Steward out.) Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee: there's earnest of thy service. (Giving Kent money.) Enter Fool.

Fool. Let me hire him too;-Here's my coxcomb. (Giving Kent his cap.) Lear. How now, my pretty knave! how dost thou? Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb. Kent. Why, fool?

Fool. Why? for taking one's part, that is 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 banish'd two of his 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 that must to kennel; he must be whipp'd 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 shewest,

Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest,
Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou trowest,
Set less than thou throwest;
Leave thy drink and thy whore,
And keep in-a-door,

And thou shalt have more

Than two tens to a score. Lear. This is nothing, fool. Fool. Then 'tis like the breath of an unfee'd lawyer; you gave me nothing for't: Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle? [of nothing. Lear. Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out Fool. Pr'ythee, tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to; he will not believe a fool. (To Kent.) Lear. A bitter fool!

Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy,

between a bitter fool and a sweet fool?

Lear. No, lad; teach me.

Fool. That lord, that counsel'd thee
To give away thy land,

Come place him here by me,

Or do thou for him stand:
The sweet and bitter fool

Will presently appear;
The one in motley here,

The other found out there! Lear. Dost thou call me fool, boy? 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 bave all fool to myself; they'll be snatching.-Give me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee two crowns.

Lear. What two crowns shall they be?

Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i'the 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, thon borest thine ass on thy back over the dirt: Thou had'st little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gavest thy golden one away. If I speak like myself in this, let him be whipp'd that first finds it so.

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Fools had ne'er less grace in a year; (Singing.)
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?

Fool. I have used it, nuncle, ever since thou madest thy daughters thy mother: for when thou gavest them the rod, and put'st down thine own breeches,

Then they for sudden joy did weep, (Singing.)
And I for sorrow sung,

That such a king should play bo-peep,

And go the fools among.

Pr'ythee, nuncle, keep a school-master that can teach thy fool to lie; I would fain learn to lie. Lear. If you lie, sirrah, we'll have you whipped. Fool. I marvel, what kin thou and thy daughters are they'll have me whipp'd for speaking true, thou'lt have me whipp'd for lying; and, sometimes, I am whipp'd for holding my peace. I had rather be any kind of thing, than a fool: and yet I would not be thee, nuncle; thou hast pared thy wit o'both sides, and left nothing in the middle: Here comes one o'the parings.


Lear. How now, daughter? what makes that frontlet on? Methinks, you are too much of late i' the frown.

Fool. Thou wast a pretty fellow, when thou had'st no need to care for her frowning; now thou art an O without a figure: I am better than thou art now; I am a fool, thou art nothing.-Yes, forsooth, I will hold my tongue; so your face (to Gon.) bids me, though you say nothing. Mum, mum,

He that keeps nor crust nor crum,
Weary of all, shall want some.-
That's a shealed peascod. (Pointing to Lear.)
Gon. Not only, sir, this your all-licens'd fool,
But other of your insolent retinue,

Do hourly carp and quarrel; breaking forth
In rank and not-to-be-endured riots. Sir,

I had thought, by making this well known unto you,
To have found a safe redress; but now grow fearful,
By what yourself too late have spoke and done,
That you protect this course, and put it on
By your allowance; which if you should, the fault
Would not 'scape censure, nor the redresses sleep;
Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal,
Might in their working do you that offence,
Which else were shame, that then necessity
Will call discreet proceeding.

Fool. For you trow, nuncle,

The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long, That it had its head bit off by its young. So, out went the candle, and we were left darkling. Lear. Are you our daughter?

Gon. Come, sir, I would, you would make use of that good wisdom whereof I know you are fraught; and put away these dispositions, which of late transform you from what you rightly are.

Fool. May not an ass know, when the cart draws the horse?-Whoop, Jug! I love thee.

Lear. Does any here know me?-Why, this is not Lear: does Lear walk thus? speak thus? Where are his eyes? Either his notion weakens, or his discernings are lethargied. Sleeping or waking?— Ha! sure 'tis not so.-Who is it that can tell me who I am?-Lear's shadow? I would learn that; for by the marks of sovereignty, knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded I had daughters

Fool. Which they will make an obedient father.
Lear. Your name, fair gentlewoman?
Gon. Come, sir;

This admiration is much o'the favour
Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you
To understand my purposes aright:

As you are old and reverend, you should be wise:

Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires; | She'll flay thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find,
Men so disorder'd, so debauch'd, and bold,
That this our court, infected with their manners,
Shews like a riotous inn: epicurism and last
Make it more like a tavern, or a brothel,

Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth speak
For instant remedy: Be then desir'd

By her, that else will take the thing she begs,
A little to disquantity your train;

And the remainder, that shall still depend,
To be such men as may besort your age,
And know themselves and you.

Darkness and devils!-
Saddle my horses; call my train together.—
Degenerate bastard! I'll not trouble thee;
Yet have I left a daughter.


Gon. You strike my people; and your disorder'd Make servants of their betters.


Lear. Woe, that too late repents.-O, sir, are you come? [horses. Is it your will? (to Alb.) Speak, sir.-Prepare my Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous, when thou shew'st thee in a child, Than the sea-monster!


Pray, sir, be patient.

Lear. Detested kite! thou liest: (To Goneril.)
My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
That all particulars of duty know;
And in the most exact regard support

The worships of their name.-O most small fault,
How ugly didst thou in Cordelia shew!
Which, like an engine, wrench'd my frame of nature
From the fix'd place; drew from my heart all love,
And added to the gall. O, Lear, Lear, Lear!
Beat at this gate, that let thy folly in,

(Striking his head.)
And thy dear judgment out!-Go, go, my people.
Alb. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
Of what hath mov'd you.
Lear. It may be so, my lord.-Hear, nature,
Dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if
Thou didst intend to make this creature fruitful!
Into her womb convey sterility!
Dry up in her the organs of increase;
And from her derogate body never spring
A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen; that it may live,
And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her!
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth;
With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks;
Turn all her mother's pains, and benefits,
To laughter and contempt; that she may feel
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!-Away, away! [Exit.
Alb. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes

Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause; But let his disposition have that scope

That dotage gives it.

Re-enter LEAR.

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That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus: (To Goneril.) That these hot tears, which break from me perforce, Should make thee worth them.-Blasts and fogs upon thee!

The untented woundings of a father's curse
Pierce every sense about thee!-Old fond eyes,
Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck you out;
And cast you, with the waters that you lose,
To temper clay.-Ha! is it come to this?
Let it be so:-Yet have I left a daughter,
Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable;
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails

That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think I have cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant thee. [Exeunt Lear, Kent, and Attendants,

Gon. Do you mark that, my lord?
Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril,

To the great love I bear you,

Gon. Pray you, content.-What, Oswald, ho! You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master.

(To the Fool.)

Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, and take the fool with thee.

A fox, when one has caught her,
And such a daughter,

Should sure to the slaughter,

If my cap would buy a halter;

So the fool follows after.

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Gon. This man hath had good counsel:-A han

dred knights!

'Tis politic, and safe, to let him keep

At point, a hundred knights. Yes, that on every dream,

Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
He may enguard his dotage with their powers,
And hold our lives in mercy.-Oswald, I say!-
Alb. Well, you may fear too far.
Safer than trust:
Let me still take away the harms I fear,
Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart:
What he hath utter'd, I have writ my sister;
If she sustain him and his hundred knights,
When I have shew'd the unfitness.-How now,

Enter Steward.

What, have you writ that letter to my sister? Stew. Ay, madam.


Gon. Take you some company, and away to Inform her full of my particular fear; And thereto add such reasons of your own, As may compact it more. Get you gone; And hasten your return. [Exit Stew.] No, no, my lord,

This milky gentleness, and course of yours, Though I condemn it not, yet, under pardon, You are much more attask'd for want of wisdom, Than prais'd for harmful mildness.

Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot tell; Striving to better, oft we mar what's well. Gon. Nay, then

Alb. Well, well; the event.

SCENE V.-Court before the same.

Enter LEAR, KENT, and Fool.


Lear. Go you before to Gloster with these letters: acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you know, than comes from her demand out of the letter: If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there before you.

Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered your letter. [Exit. Fool, If a man's brains were in his heels, were't not in danger of kibes?

Lear. Ay, boy.

Fool. Then, I pr'ythee, be merry; thy wit 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?

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Edm. Look, sir, I bleed. [ingratitude!

Lear. To take it again, perforce !-Monster Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time.

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But where is he?

Where is the villain, Edmund ? Edm. Fled this way, sir. When by no means he could

Glo. Pursue him, ho!-Go after.-[Exit Serv.] By no means,-what?

Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your lordship;

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.
Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;
Let him fly far:
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,
Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;
He, that conceals him, death.

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.

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


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,
Corn-Loyal and natural boy, I'll work the means
To make thee capable.

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


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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 Regan. If it be true, all vengeance comes too [lord? Which can pursue the offender. How dost, my 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?

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I shall serve you, sir,

Truly, however else.
For him I thank your grace.
Corn. You know not why we came to visit you,
Reg. Thus out of season; threading dark-ey'd

Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poize,
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.


I serve you, madam : Your graces are right welcome. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.-Before Gloster's Castle.
Enter KENT and Steward, severally.
Stew. Good dawning to thee, friend: Art of the
Kent. Ay.

Stew. Where may we set our horses?
Kent I'the mire.

Stew. Pr'ythee, if thou love me, tell me.
Kent. I love thee not.

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; alily-liver'd, action-taking knave; a whorson, 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, 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 thee, nor knows thee? Kent. What Tizen-faced varle


deny thou know'st me? Is it two days ago, since I tripp'd up thy heels, and beat thee, before the king! Draw, you rogue; for, though it be night, the moon shines; I'll make a sop o'the moonshine of you: Draw, you whorson cullionly barber-monger, draw. (Drawing his sword.)

Stew. Away; I have nothing to do with thee. Kent. Draw, you rascal: you come with letters against the king; and take vanity the puppet's 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. (Beating him.)

Stew. Help, ho! murder! murder! Enter EDMUND, CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and Servants.

Edm. How now? What's the matter? Part. Kent. With you, goodman boy, if you please ;* come, I'll flesh you; come on, young master.

Glo. Weapons! arms! What's the matter bere' 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 bestire'd your valour. You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee; a tailor made thee.

Corn. Thou art a strange fellow: a tailor make

a man?

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.

Corn. Speak yet, how grew your quarrel? Stew. This ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I have spar'd,

At suit of his grey beard,—

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

Corn. Peace, sirrah!

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That in the natures of their lords rebels;
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 home to Camelot.
Corn. What, art thou mad, old fellow?
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's his offence?

Kent. His countenance likes me not.

Corn. No more, perchance, does mine, or his, or hers.

Kent. Sir, 'tis my occupation to be plain ;
I have seen better faces in my time,
Than stands on any shoulder that I see
Before me at this instant.

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

Corn. This is some fellow, Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect 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. These kind of knaves I know, which in this plain


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 aspect, Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire On flickering Phoebus' front,


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:

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,
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.
Fetch forth the stocks, ho!
You stubborn ancient knave, you reverent 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, shew too bold malice Against the grace and person of my master, Stocking his messenger.


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.

Kent. Why, madam, if I were your father's dog, 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 correction Is such, as basest and contemned'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. I'll answer that. Reg. My sister may receive it much more worse, To have her gentleman abus'd, assaulted,


For following her affairs.-Put in his legs.

(Kent is put in the stocks.)

Come, my good lord; away.

[Exeunt Regan and Cornwall.

Glo. I am sorry for thee, friend; 'tis the duke's

Whose disposition, all the world well knows,
Will not be rubb'd, nor stopp'd: I'll entreat for
[travell'd hard;
Kent. Pray, do not, sir: I have watch'd, and
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



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-

Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
This shameful lodging.

Fortune, good night; smile once more; turn thy
(He sleeps.)
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

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,
Enforce their charity.-Poor Turly good! 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.
As I learn'd,
The night before there was no purpose in them
Of this remove.
Lear. How!
Mak'st thou this shame thy pastime?
Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters!
Horses are tied by the heads; dogs, and bears, by
the neck; monkies by the loins, and men by the
legs: when a man is over-lusty at legs, then he
wears wooden nether-stocks.
Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place
To set thee here?

Hail to thee, noble master!

No, my lord.

It is both he and she, Your son and daughter. Lear. No.

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;

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.

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