Puslapio vaizdai

tion. I have perceiv'd a most faint neglect of late, which I have rather blamed as my own jealous curiofity, than as a very pretence and purpose of unkindness; I will look further into't; but where's my fool? I have not feen him these two days.

Knight. Since my young Lady's going into France, Sir, the fool hath much pined away.

Lear. No more of that, I have noted it well; go you and tell my daughter, I would speak with her. Go you, call hither my fool. O you, Sir, come you hither, Sir, who am I, Sir?

Enter Steward.

Stew. My Lady's father.

Lear. My Lady's father? my Lord's knave, you whorefon dog, you flave, you cur!

Stew. I am none of thefe, my Lord; I befeech your pardon.

Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal?

[Striking him.

Stew. I'll not be ftruck, my Lord.
Kent. Nor tript neither, you base foot-ball player?

[Tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow. Thou ferv'ft me, and I'll love thee.

Kent. Come, Sir, arife, away, I'll teach you differences: away, away; if you will meafure your lubber's length again, tarry; but away, go to; have you wifdom? fo. [Pufbes out the Steward. Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee; there's earnest of thy service.

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Fool. Let me hire him too, here's my coxcomb.

[Giving his cap. Lear. How now, my pretty knave? how do'ft thou?

B 4


Fool. Sirrah, you were best take
Kent. Why, my boy?

my coxcomb.

Fool. Why? for taking one's part that is out of favour, nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind fits, thou❜lt catch cold shortly. There, take my coxcomb; why, this fel low has banifh'd two of his daughters, and did the third a bleffing 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 give them all my living, I'll keep my coxcomb my felf; there's mine, beg another of thy daughters.

Lear. Take heed, Sirrah, the whip.

Fool. Truth's a dog muft to kennel, he must be whipp'd out, when the lady brach may ftand by th' fire and stink.

Lear. A peftilent gall to me.

Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a fpeech.

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Lear. Do,

Fool. Mark it, nuncle;

Have more than thou showeft,

Speak lefs than thou knoweft,
Lend less than thou oweft,
Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou troweft,
Set lefs than thou throweft:
Leave thy drink and thy whore,

And keep within door,
And thou fhalt have more

Than two tens to a score.

Kent. This is nothing, fool.

[To Kent.

Fool. Then it is 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, fo much the rent of his land


comes to: he will not believe a fool.a

Lear. Doft thou call me fool?

[To Kent.

Fool. All thy other titles thou haft given away; that thou waft 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 on't, they would have part on't: nay, the Ladies too, they'll not let me have all fool my felf, they'll be snatching. Give me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee two crowns.

Lear. What two crowns fhall they be?

Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i'th middle and eat up the meat, the two crowns of the egg: when thou cloveft thy crown i'th' middle and gav'ft away both parts, thou bor'ft thine afs on thy back o'er the dirt; thou had'ft little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gav'ft thy golden one away if I fpeak like my felf in this, let him be whipp'd that firft finds it fo.

Fools ne'er bad lefs grace in a year,
For wife men are grown foppish,
And know not how their wits to wear,
Their manners are fo apifb.


Lear. 9'Since when' were you wont to be fo full of fongs, Sirrah?

Fool. I have ufed it, nuncle, e'er fince thou mad'ft thy daughters thy mothers; for when thou gav'ft them the rod, and put'ft down thine own breeches.


believe a fool.

Lear. A bitter fool!


Fool. Doft thou know the difference, my boy, between a bitter fool and a fweet one?

Lear. No, lad: teach me.

Fool. That Lord that counfel'd thee to give away thy Land,

Come place him here by me, 8 'or do' thou for him itand.

The sweet and bitter fool will presently appear,

The one in motley here, the other found out there.
Lear. Doft thou call, &c.

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Then they for fudden joy did weep,

And I for forrow fung,

That fuch a King should play bo-peep,
And go the fools among.


Pr'ythee, nuncle, keep a school-mafter that can teach thy fool to lie; I would fain learn to lie.

Lear. If you lie, Sirrah, we'll have you whipt.

Fool. I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters are: they'll have me whipt for speaking true, thou'lt have me whipt for lying, and fometimes I am whipt for holding my peace. I had rather be any kind o' thing than a fool, and yet I would not be thee, nuncle; thou haft pared thy wit o' both fides, and left nothing i' th' middle; here comes one o' th' parings.



To them, Enter Gonerill.


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

Fool. Thou waft a pretty fellow when thou hadst 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 forfooth I will hold my tongue, [To Gonerill.] fo your face bids me, tho' you fay nothing.

Mum, mum, be that keeps nor cruft nor crum, [Singing. Weary of all, fball want fome.

That's a fheal'd peafcod.

Gon. Not only, Sir, this your all-licenc'd fool,
But other of your infolent retinue,

Do hourly carp and quarrel, breaking forth
In rank and not to be endured riots, Sir.
I thought by making this well known unto you,
T have found a fafe redrefs; but now grow fearful
By what your felf too late have fpoke and done,


That you protect this courfe, and put it on
By your allowance; if you should, the fault
Would not 'scape cenfure, nor the redresses sleep,
Which in the tender of a wholfome weal,
Might in their working do you that offence,
Which else were fhame, that then neceffity
Will call difcreet proceeding.

Fool. For you know, nuncle,

The bedge-fparrow fed the Cuckoo fo long,
That it bad its bead bit off by its young;

So out went the candle, and we were left darkling.
Lear. Are you our daughter?

Gon. I would you would make use of your good wifdom, Whereof I know you are fraught, and put away Thefe difpofitions, which of late tranfport you

From what you rightly are.

Fool. May not an Afs know when the cart draws the horfe? whoop, Jug, I love thee.

Lear. Does any here know me? this is not Lear:
Does Lear walk thus? fpeak thus? where are his eyes?
Either his notion weakens, his difcernings

Are lethargied-Ha! waking-'tis not fo;
Who is it that can tell me who I am? a

Lear's fhadow? I would learn; for by the marks
Of fovereignty, of knowledge, and of reason,
I fhould be falfe perfuaded I had daughters.
Your name, fair gentlewoman?

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

You, as you're old and rev'rend, fhould be wife.
Here do you keep a hundred Knights and 'Squires,
Men fo diforder'd, fo debauch'd and bold,
That this our Court, infected with their manners,
Shews like a riotous Inn; Epicurism and luft
Make it more like a tavern or a brothel,

(2) — who I am?

Fool. Lear's fhadow.

Lear. Your name, fair gentlewoman ?


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