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breaking foorth in ranke and (not to be endured riots) sir, I had thought by making this well knowne vnto you, to haue found a safe redresse, but now grow fearefull by what your felfe too late haue spoke and done, that you protect this course, and put on by your allowance, which if you should, the fault would not scape censure, nor the redresse sleepe, which in the tender of a wholesome weal, might in their working do you that offence, that else were shame, that then necessity must call discreete proceedings.
Foole. For you trow nuncle, the hedge-sparrow fed the cookow so long, that it had it head bit off beit young, so out went the candle, and we were left darkling.
Lear. Are you our daughter.
Gonorill. Come sir, I would you would make vse of that good wisedome whereof I know you are fraught, and put away these dispositions, that of late transforme you from what you rightly are.
Foole. May not an asse know when the cart drawes the horse, whoop lug I loue thee.
Lear. Doth any here know me? why this is not Lear; doth Lear walke thus ? speake thus ? where are his cies, either his notion, weaknesse, or his discernings are lethergy, fieeping or waking; ha! sure tis not so, who is it that can tell me who I am ? Lears shadow ? I would learne that, for by the markes of foueraignty, knowledge, and reason, I should be false pero fwaded I had daughters.
Foole. Which they, will make an obedient father.
Gon. Come sir, this admiration is much of the fauour of other your new prankes ; I do beseech you vnderstand my purposes aright, as you are old and reuerend, you should be wise, heere doe you keep one hundred knights and squires, men fo disordered, fo deboyst and bold, that this our court
infected with their manners, shewes like a riotous inne, epi. carisme and lust make more like a tauerne or brothell, then a great pallace, the Mame it selfc doth speake for instant remedy, bee thou desired by her, that else will take the thing the begs, a little to disquantity your traine, and the remainder that shall still depend, to be such men as may befort your age, and know themselues and you.
Lear, Darknesle and diuels! saddle my horses, call my traine together, degenerate bastard, ile not trouble thee ; yet haue I left a daughter.
Gou. You strike my people, and your disordered rabble, make seruants of their betters.
Enter Duke. Lear. We that too late repent's vs; O fir, are you come ? Is it your will that we prepare any horses, ingratitude ! thou marble-hearted fiend, more hideous when thou shewest thee in a childe, then the sea-monster, detested kite, thou lessen my traine and men of choise and rarest parts, that all particulars of duty know, and in the most exact regard, support the worshippes of their name, O most small fault, how vgly didst thou in Cordelia shew, that like an engine wrencht my frame of nature from the fixt place, drew from my heart all loue, and added to the gall; ô Lear, Lear! beate at this gate that let thy folly in, and thy deare iudgment out, goe, goe, my people ?
Duke. My lord, I am guiltlesse as I am ignorant.
Lear. It may be so my lord, harke nature, heare deere goddesse, suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend to make this creture fruitefull, into her wombe conuey fterility, dry vp in her the organs of encrease, and from her derogate body neuer spring a babe to honor her; if she must teem, create her childe of spleen, that it may live and be a thourt disue
tur d torment to her, let it stampe wrinckles in her brow of youth, with accent teares, fret channels in her cheekes, turne all her mothers paines and benefits to laughter and contempt, that shee may feele, how Marper then a ferpents tooth it is, to haue a thanklesse childe, goe, goe, my people?
Duke. Now gods that we adore, whereof comes this !
Gon. Neuer afflict your felfe to know the cause, but let his disposition haue that scope that dotage giues it.
Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a clap, within a fortnight?
Duke. What is the matter sir ?
Lear. Ile tell thee, life and death! I am asham'd that thou haft power to make my manhood thus, that these hot teares that breake from me perforce, should make the worst blafts and fogs vpon the vntender woundings of a fathers curse, peruse euery sence about the olde fond eies, be-weepe this cause againe, ile plucke you out, and you cast with the waters that you make to temper clay, yea, is it come to this ? yet haue I left a daughter, whom I am sure is kinde and comfortable, when she shall heare this of thee, with her nailes shee'l Rey thy woluish visage, thou shalt finde that ile resume the shape, which thou doelt thinke I haue cast off for euer, thou shalt I warrant thee.
Exit. Gon. Do
lord ? Duke. I cannot be so partiall Gonorill to the great loue I
Gon. Gome sir, no more ; you, more knaue then foole, after your master.
Foole. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry and take the foole with a fox when one has caught her, and such a daughter, should sure to the slaughter, if my cap would buy a halter, fa the foole followes after. Gon. What Osvald, ho.
Oswald. Heere madam.
Gon. Take you some company, and away to horse, informe her full of my particular feares, and thereto adde such reasons of your owne, as may compact it more, get you gone, and after your returne-now my lord, this mildie gentlenesse and course of yours though I dislike not, yet vnder pardon y'are much more alapt want of wisedome, then praise før harmfull mildneffe.
Duke. How farre your eies may pierce I cannot tell,
Gon. Nay then-
Enter Lear, Kent, and Foole. Lear. Go you before to Glocester with these letters, acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you know, then comes from her demand out of the letter, if your diligence be not speedie, I Mall be there before you.
Kent. I will not sleepe my lord, till I haue deliuered your letter.
Exit. Foole. If a mans braines were in his heeles, wert not in danger of kybes?
Lear. I boy.
Focle. Then I prethee be merry, thy wit shall nere go flipThod.
Lear. Ha, ha, ha.
Foole, Shalt see thy other daughter will vse thee kindly, for though she is as like this, as a crabbe is like an apple, yet I con, what I can tell. Lear. Why what canst thou tell my boy? VOL. II. I
Foole. Shee'l taste as like this, as a crab doth to a crab ; thou canst not tell why ones nose stands in the middle of his face?
Foole. Why to keep his eyes on either side his pose, that what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into.
Lear. I did her wrong!
Foole. Why to put his head in, not to giue it away ynto his daughter, and leaue his hornes without a case.
Lear. I will forget my nature, so kinde a father ; bee my horses ready?
Foole. Thy asses are gone about them; the reason why the seuen starres are no more then feuen, is a pretty reason.
Lear. Because they are not eight.
Foole. If thou wert my foole nunckle, Ide haue thee beaten for being olde before thy time.
Lear. How's that?
Foole. Thou shouldst not haue beene olde, before thou hadst beene wise.
Lear. O let me not be mad fweete heauen! I would not bee mad, keepe me in temper, I would not bee mad; are the horses ready ?
Seruant. Ready my lord.
Exit. Foole. She that is maid now, and laughs at my departure, Shall not be a maid long, except things be cut shorter.