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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 showest,
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?
Lear. Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out of nothing.
Fool. Pr'ythee, tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to; he will not believe a fool.
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.
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 have 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, thou 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.
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 whipp'd. 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 sheal'd 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
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 - Lear's shadow? I would learn that; for by the marks of sovereignty, knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded I had daughters.
Fools had ne'er less grace in a year; [Singing. tell me who I am?
And know not how their wits to wear,
Lear. When were you wont to be so full of songs,
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,
Fool. Which they will make an obedient father.
This admiration is much o'the favour
Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you
you are old and reverend, you should be wise:
Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth
For instant remedy: Be then desir'd
By her, that else will take the thing she begs,
Should make thee worth them. Blasts and fogs upon thee!
The untented woundings of a father's curse
Saddle my horses; call my train together.
Gon. You strike my people; and your disorder'd
Make servants of their betters.
And in the most exact regard support
[Striking his head.
Lear. It may be so, my lord, Hear, nature,
Dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if
To have a thankless child! - Away, away! [Erit.
Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause;
Lear. What, fifty of my followers, at a clap! Within a fortnight
[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 fools follow after.
Gon. This man hath had good counsel: A
'Tis politick, and safe, to let him keep
Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
Safer than trust.
Cur. Nay, I know not: You have heard of the news abroad; I mean, the whispered ones, for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments?
Edm. Not I; 'Pray you, what are they? Cur. Have you heard of no likely wars toward, 'twixt the dukes of Cornwall and Albany? Edm. Not a word.
Cur. You may then, in time. Fare you well, sir. [Exit.
Edm. The duke be here to-night? The better!
This weaves itself perforce into my business!
Have you not spoken 'gainst the duke of Cornwall?
Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your lord- | 'Tis they have put him on the old man's death,
My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night :
That he, which finds him, shall deserve our thanks,
Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
Make thy words faith'd? No: what I should deny, (As this I would; ay, though thou didst produce My very character,) I'l turn it all
To thy suggestion, plot, and damned practice:
Reg. Thus out of season; threading dark-ey'd night.
Occasions, noble Gloster, of some poize,
I serve you, madam : [Exeunt.
Your graces are right welcome.
Enter KENT and Steward, severally.
Stew. Good dawning to thee, friend: Art of the house?
Stew. Where may we set our horses?
Kent. I'the mire.
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, three-suited, hundred-pound, filthy worsted-stocking knave; a lily-liver'd, action-taking knave; a whorson, glassgazing, superserviceable, finical rogue; one-trunkinheriting 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 deny'st 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 a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to 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 here?
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 bestirr'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?
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!
How fell you out?
Corn. What, art thou mad, old fellow?
Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy,
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;
This is some fellow,
Harbour more craft, and more corrupter ends,
Kent. Sir, in good sooth, in sincere verity,
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,
None of these rogues, and cowards,
But Ajax is their fool.
Corn. Fetch forth the stocks, ho! You stubborn ancient knave, you reverent braggart, We'll teach you ·
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.
Fetch forth the stocks:
Corn. This is a fellow of the self-same colour Our sister speaks of: - Come, bring away the
Glo. Let me beseech your grace not to do so: His fault is much, and the good king his master