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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,
And go the fools among.
Pr'ythee, nuncle, keep a schoolmaster 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? Mo thinks, you are too much of late i' the frown.
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,
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:
This admiration is much o' the favor
Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you
As you are old and reverend, you should be wise:
That this our court, infected with their manners,
Than a grac'd palace: The shame itself doth speak
By her, that else will take the thing she begs,
Gon. You strike my people; and your disorder'd rabble
Lear. Woe, that too late repents,-O, sir, are you come ?
More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child,
Pray, sir, be patient. Lear. Detested kite! thou liest:
My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
The worships of their name.-O most small fault,
Which, like an engine, wrench'd my frame of nature
Lear. What! fifty of my followers, at a clap,
Alb. What's the matter, sir?
[Striking his head.
Lear. I'll tell thee;-Life and death! I am asham'd
And cast you, with the waters that you lose,
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.
Lear. 'Tis strange, that they should so depart from home, And not send back my messenger.
As I learn'd,
The night before there was no purpose in them
Of this remove.
Hail to thee, noble master!
No, my lord.
Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters! Horses are tied by the heads; dogs, and bears, by the neck; monkeys by the loins, and men by the legs.
Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place mistook
To set thee here?
Lear. No, I say.
It is both he and she,
Lear. No, no; they would not.
Lear. By Jupiter, I swear, no.
Lear. They durst not do't;
They could not, would not do't; 'tis worse than murder,
To do upon respect such violent outrage:
Resolve me, with all modest haste, which way
Thou might'st deserve, or they impose, this usage,
Deliver❜d letters, spite of intermission,
The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks:
Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese fly that way.
Fathers, that wear rags,
Do make their children blind;
But fathers, that bear bags,
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;
Gent. Made you no more offence than what you speak of?
How chance the king comes with so small a train ?
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,
Will pack, when it begins to rain,
Re-enter LEAR, with GLOSTER.
Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are sick? they are weary! They have travell'd hard to-night? Mere fetches
The images of revolt and flying off!
Fetch me a better answer.
My dear lord, You know the fiery quality of the duke; How unremovable and fix'd he is
In his own course.
Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confusion !-
Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform'd them so.
Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall; the dear father
Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourselves,
And am fallen out with my more headier will,
For the sound man.-Death on my state! wherefore
Should he sit here? This act persuades me,
[Looking on KENT
Is practice only. Give me my servant forth:
Till it cry-Sleep to death.
Glo. I'd have all well betwixt you.
Lear. O me, my heart, my rising heart!—but, down. Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and Servants. Good morrow to you both.