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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.
Then they for sudden joy did weep, [Singing
And I for sorrow sung,
And go the fools among.
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 whippd 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 oʻthe parings.
Gon. Not only, sir, this your all-licens'd fool,
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.
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.—Your name, fair gentlewoman?
Gon. Come, sir :
As you are old and reverend, you should be wise :
Darkness and devils !
Gon. You strike my people ; and your disorder'd rabble
Pray, sir, be patient.
[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.-0 most small fault, How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show ! 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. What! fifty of my followers, at a clap, Within a fortnight?
Alb. What's the matter, sir ?
Lear. I'll tell thee ;-Life and death! I am asham'd 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,
[Exeunt LEAR, KENT, and Attendants.
Lear dispatches Kent to the court of the Duke of Cornwall, to announce his intention of taking up his residence with his daughter Regan. The Duke and his wife are at the Castle of Gloster, where they are found by Kent. The sturdy old man chastises the insolence of a servitor of Goneril's, and is placed in the stocks, by the order of Regan. Lear, not finding Regan at her own castle, seeks her at the Duke of Gloster's.
SCENE—Before Gloster's Castle.
Enter LEAR, Fool, and Gentleman.
As I learn’d,
Hail to thee, noble master!
No, my lord.
Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place mistook
It is both he and she,
Lear. They durst not do't;
Thou might'st deserve, or they impose, this usage,
My lord, when at their home
Fathers, that wear rags,
Do make their children blind;
Shall see their children kind. But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolors for thy daughters, as thou canst tell in a year.
Lear. O, how this mother swells up toward my heart !
Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.
Follow me not;
[Exit. Gent. Made you no more offence than what you speak of?
Fool. An thou hadst been set i’ the stocks for that question, thou hadst well deserved it.
Kent. Why, fool ?
Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no laboring in the winter. All that follow their noses are led by their eyes, but blind men. Let go thy hold, when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again : I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.
That, sir, which serves and seeks for gain,
And follows but for form,
Will pack, when it begins to rain,
And leave thee in the storm.
And let the wise man fly:
The fool no knave, perdy.
Re-enter LEAR, with GLOSTER.
My dear lord,
Lear. Vengeance! plague ! death! confusion !
, and his wife.
[Looking on KENT
[Exit Lear. O me, my heart, my rising heart !—but, down.
Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and Servants. Good morrow to you both.