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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.
Fool. Mark it, nuncle:
Have more than thou shewest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
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
Come place him here by me,
Or do thou for him stand:
Will presently appear;
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.
Fools had ne'er less grace in a year; (Singing.)
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.)
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,
Do hourly carp and quarrel; breaking forth
I had thought, by making this well known unto you,
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.
This admiration is much o'the favour
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,
Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth speak
By her, that else will take the thing she begs,
And the remainder, that shall still depend,
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.)
The worships of their name.-O most small fault,
(Striking his head.)
Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause; But let his disposition have that scope
That dotage gives it.
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
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?
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,
Should sure to the slaughter,
If my cap would buy a halter;
So the fool follows after.
Gon. This man hath had good counsel:-A han
'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,
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?
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.
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
That he, which finds him, shall deserve our thanks,
Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice:
All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not 'scape;
My father watches:-O sir, fly this place :
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?
I shall serve you, sir,
Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poize,
To answer from our home; the several messengers
I serve you, madam : Your graces are right welcome. [Exeunt.
SCENE II.-Before Gloster's Castle.
Stew. Where may we set our horses?
Stew. Pr'ythee, if thou love me, tell me.
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.
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
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!
That in the natures of their lords rebels;
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 ;
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,
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,
Kent. None of these rogues, and cowards,
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,
Glo. The duke's to blame in this; 'twill be ill
Thou out of heaven's benediction com'st
Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
Fortune, good night; smile once more; turn thy
Edg. I heard myself proclaim'd;
Blanket my loins; elf all my hair in knots,
That's something yet;-Edgar I nothing am.[Exit.
Hail to thee, noble master!
No, my lord.
It is both he and she, Your son and daughter. Lear. No.
Lear. No, I say.
Lear. No, no; they would not.
Lear. By Jupiter, I swear, no.