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conception : I have perceived a most faint neglect -Go you, and tell my daughter I would speak of late ; which I have rather blamed as mine own with her.- Exit an Attendant.] Go you, call jealous curiosity than as a very pretence and pur hither my fool.—[Exit an Attendant.] pose of unkindness: I will look further into 't.But where's my fool ? I have not seen him this
Re-enter Oswald. two days.
Knight. Since my young lady's going into 0, you sir, you, come you hither, sir : who am I, France, sir, the fool hath much pined away. LEAR. No more of that; I have noted it well.! Osw. My lady's father.
LEAR. My lady's father ! my lord's knave:
Learn more than thou trowest, you whoreson dog! you slave! you cur !
Set less than thou throwest; Osw. I am none of these, my lord ; I beseech
Leave thy drink and thy whore, your pardon.
And keep in-a-door, LEAR. Do you bandy looks with me, you
And thou shalt have more rascal?
Than two tens to a score. Osw. I'll not be struck,* my lord.
LEAR. This is nothing, fool. Kent. Nor tripp'd neither, you base foot-ball
Fool. Then 'tis like the breath of an unfee'd player.
[Tripping up his heels. | lawyer, you gave me nothing for 't. Can you LEAR. I thank thee, fellow; thou servest me,
make no use of nothing, nuncle ? and I 'll love thee.
LEAR. Why, no, boy; nothing can be made Kent. Come, sir, arise, away! I'll teach you
out of nothing. differences; away, away! If you will measure
Fool. Pr’ythee, tell him, so much the rent of your lubber's length again, tarry : but away! go his land comes to : he will not believe a fool. to; have you wisdom? so. [Pushes Oswald out.
[To KENT. LEAR. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee :
LEAR. A bitter fool! . there's earnest of thy service.
Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy, [Giving KENT money. | between a bitter fool and a sweet one?
LEAR. No, lad, teach me.
Fool. That lord, that counsellid thee
To give away thy land, coxcomb.
Come place him here by me,[Giving Kent his cap.
Or* do thou for him stand; LEAR. How now, my pretty knave ! how dost
The sweet and bitter fool thou?
Will presently appear ; Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb.
The one in motley here, KENT. Why, fool ?*
The other found out there. Fool. Why, for taking one's part that's out of favour. Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind
LEAR. Dost thou call me fool, boy?
Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given sits, thou'lt catch cold shortly : there, take my
| away ; that thou wast born with. coxcomb. Why, this fellow has banished two on's
KENT. This is not altogether fool, my lord. daughters, and did the third a blessing against his
Fool. No, 'faith, lords and great men will not will; if thou follow him, thou must needs wear
| let me; if I had a monopoly out,(3) they would my coxcomb.-Ilow now, nuncle! Would I had
have part on't: and ladies too, they will not let two coxcombs and two daughters !
me have all fool to myself ; they 'll be snatching:LEAR. Why, my boy? Fool. If I gave them all my living, I'd keep
Nuncle, give me an egg, and I'll give thee two
crowns. my coxcombs myself. There's mine; beg another
LEAR. What two crowns shall they be? of thy daughters. LEAR. Take heed, sirrah,—the whip.
Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i' the
middle, and eat up the meat, the two crowns of Fool. Truth's a dog must to kennel ; he must
the egg. When thou clovest thy crown I i' the be whipped out, when the lady brach may stand
middle, and gavest away both parts, thou borest by the fire and stink.
thine ass on thy back o'er the dirt: thou hadst LEAR. A pestilent gall to me!
little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gavest thy Fool. Sirrah, I 'll teach thee a speech.
golden one away. If I speak like myself in this, LEAR, Do. Foot. Mark it, nuncle :--
let him be whipped that first finds it so.
[Singing Have more than thou showest,
Fools had ne'er less grace in a year;
For wise men are grown foppish,
And know not how their wits to wear,
Their manners are so apish.
(*) Old copies omit, Or. (+) Old copies, loades, lodes. # Why, fool!) This interrogatory, in the form of, "Why, my
(1) First folio, Crownes. boy is given in the folio to Lear; but, as Mr. Dyce obserres, down to and including the words in the Fool's speech, “they 'li it is plain that the Fool addresses the King for the first time, be snatching," are omitted in the folio. when he says, "How now, nuncle !"
• Fools had ne'er less grace in a year ;) The quartos have,b than the trowest, That is, than thou belirtest. e This is nothing, fool.] In the folio, this speech is assigned
"— ne'er less wit in a year;" to Kent.
perhaps the true reading : as in Lyly's "Mother Bombie," 1594, & No, lad, teach me.) This line and the portion of the dialogue we tînd, " I think gentlemen had never less wit in a year."'
LEAR. When were you wont to be so full of By what yourself too late have spoke and done, songs, sirrah?
That you protect this course, and put it on Fool. I have used it, nuncle, ever since thou | By your allowance; which if you should, the madest thy daughters thy mothers : for when thou
fault gavest them the rod, and putt'st down thine own Would not ’scape censure, nor the redresses sleep, breeches,
Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal,
[Singing. Might in their working do you that offence, Then they for sudden joy did weep,
Which else were shame—that then necessity
Will call discreet proceeding.
Fool. For you trow,* nuncle,
The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long, Pr’ythee, nuncle, keep a school-master that can That it's had it head bit off by it young." teach thy fool to lie ; I would fain learn to lie.
So, out went the candle, and we were left darklingo LEAR. An you lie, sirrah, we'll have you
LEAR. Are you our daughter ? whipped.
Gon. I would you would make use of that t FOOL. I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters
good wisdom are : they 'll have me whipped for speaking true,
Whereof I know you are fraught; and put away thou 'lt have me whipped for lying; and some
These dispositions, which of late transport you times I am whipped for holding my peace. I had From what you rightly are. rather be any kind o' thing than a fool ; and yet
| Fool. May not an ass know when the cart I would not be thee, nuncle ; thou hast pared thy | draws the horse ?_Whoon. Jug! I love thee. wit o' both sides, and left nothing i’ the middle.
LEAR. Does any here know me?—This is not Here comes one o' the parings.
[his eyes ? Does Lear walk thus ? speak thus ? Where are Enter GONERIL.
Either his notion weakens, his discernings LEAR. How now, daughter! what makes that
Are lethargied.—Ha! Waking ?-'tis not so.
es that Who is it that can tell me who I am ?— frontlet on ? (4)
Fool. Lear's shadow ? Methinks + you are too much of late i’ the frown.
LEAR. I would learn that, for, by the marks of Fool. Thou wast a pretty fellow when thou!
sovereignty, knowledge, and reason, hadst no need to care for her frowning ; now thou
I should be false persuaded I had daughters.art an O without a figure. I am better than thou
Fool. Which they will make an obedient art now; I am a fool, thou art nothing.–Yes,
father. forsooth [To Gox.), I will hold my tongue, so your
LEAR. Your name, fair gentlewoman ? face bids me, though you say nothing. Mum,
Gon. This admiration, sir, is much o' the favour mum,
Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you He that keeps nor crust nor crumb,
To understand my purposes aright: [wise. Weary of all, shall want some.
As you are old and reverend, you I should be That's a sheal'd peascod. [Pointing to LEAR. Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires ;
Gon. Not only, sir, this your all-licens’d fool, Men so disordered, so debosh’d, and bold, But other of your insolent retinue
That this our court, infected with their manners, Do hourly carp and quarrel ; breaking forth Shows like a riotous inn : epicurism and lust In rank and not-to-be-endured riots. Sir, Make it more like a tavern or a brothel, I had thought, by making this well known unto Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth you,
speak To have found a safe redress ; but now grow | For instant remedy: be, then, desir'd fearful,
By her, that else will take the thing she begs,
(*) First folio, Poole. (t) First folio omits, Methinks.
Then they for sudden joy did weep,
And I for sorrow sung," &c.] So in Heywood's "Rape of Lucrece," —
" When Tarquin first in court began,
And was approved King,
And I for sorrow sing."
c - darkling.) This word, which, like the Scotch darklins, implied in the dark, occurs again in "A Midsummer Night's Dream,"
Act II. Sc. 3; and is found in the ancient comedy of “Roister
d-for, by the marks of sovereignty, knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded," &c.) This is certainly obscure, Warburton reads, "--of sovereignty of knowledge," &c.; but possibly the meaning may be restored by simply omitting the comma after sovereignty, " - by the marks of sovereignty know, ledge and reason," i.e. of supreme or sovereign knowledge, &c.
e - an obedient father. This and the three preceding lines are only found in the quartos.
A little to disquantity your train ;
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits And the remainder, that shall still depend,
To laughter and contempt ; that she may feel To be such men as may besort your age,
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is Which know themselves and you.
To have a thankless child !-Away, away! [Exit. LEAR.
Darkness and devils !-- Alb. Now, gods that we adore, whereof comes Saddle my horses ! call my train together !
this? Degenerate bastard ! I'll not trouble thec;
Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause ;* Yet have I left a daughter.
But let his disposition have that scope Gon. You strike my people ; and your dis- | That 7 dotage gives it.
LEAR. What, fifty of my followers at a clap!
Within a fortnight! LEAR. Woe, that too late repents,—[TO ALB.] |
What's the matter, sir ?
LEAR. I'll tell thee;—Life and death! [To Gon. Is it your will ? Speak, sir. — Prepare my
I am asham'd horses.
That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus. Ingratitude ! thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child,
That these hot tears, which break from me
Should make thee worth them.—Blasts and fogs
upon thee! LEAR. Detested kite ! thou liest : [To GONERIL.
The untented woundings of a father's curse
Pierce every sense about thee !-Old fond eyes, And in the most exact regard support
Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck ye out,
And cast you, with the waters that you loose, The worships of their name.—0, most small fault,
To temper clay.--Ha! is it come to this ?
Let it be so ; yet have I left a daughter,
Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable; nature
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails From the fix'd place ; drew from my heart all
She'll flay thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find love,
That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear!
I have cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant Beat at this gate, that let thy folly in,
thee. I [Striking his head. And thy dear judgment out !-Go, go, my people.
[Exeunt LEAR, KENT, and Attendants. ALB. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
Gon. Do you mark that, my lord ? S
Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril, .
To the great love I bear you,-
Gon. Pray you, content. - What, Oswald,
ho! Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend To make this creature fruitful !
You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master. Into her womb convey sterility!
[To the Fool.
Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, and || Dry up in her the organs of increase ; And from her derogate body never spring
take the fool with thee. A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
A fox, when one has caught her, Create her child of spleen ; that it may live,
And such a daughter, And be a thwart disnatur’d torment to her!
Should sure to the slaughter, Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth ;
If my cap would buy a halter : With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks ;
So the fool follows after.
(*) First folio, to know more of it.
it; First folio, As. (1) First folio omits, thou shalt, I warrant thee. ($) First folio omits, my lord. () First folio omits, and.
(*) First folio omits, O sir, are you come? A -- an engine,-) By an engine is meant the instrument of torture called the rack.
b - untented woundings- "Untented wounds," Steevens says, "may possibly signify here, such as will not admit of having a tent put into them." The expression, there can be no doubt, means unsearchable wovnds-wounds too deep to be probed,
C-loose,-) That is, discharge.
Ha! is it come to this?
“Ha? Let it be so
Gon. This man hath had good counsel :-a! LEAR. Ay, boy.. hundred knights!
Fool. Then, I pr’ythee, be merry; thy wit 'Tis politic and safe to let him keep
shall not go slip-shod. At point a hundred knights : yes, that on every LEAR. Ha, ha, ha! dream,
Fool. Shalt see thy other daughter will use Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike, thee kindly :b for though she's as like this as a He may enguard his dotage with their powers, crab's like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell. And hold our lives in mercy.-Oswald, I say !
LEAR. What canst tell, boy? ALB. Well, you may fear too far.
Fool. She will taste as like this, as a crab Gon.
Safer than trust too far : | does to a crab. Thou canst tell why one's nose Let me still take away the harms I fear,
stands i' the middle on's face ? Not fear still to be taken: I know his heart.
LEAR. No. What he hath utter'd I have writ my sister ;
Fool. Why, to keep one's eyes of either side If she sustain him and his hundred knights, his nose ; that what a man cannot smell out, he 'When I have show'd the unfitness,
may spy into.
LEAR. I did her wrong:
FOOL. Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell? Re-enter OsWALD.
Fool. Nor I neither ; but I can tell why a How now, Oswald ?
snail has a house. What, have you writ that letter to my sister ? LEAR. Why? Osw. Ay, madam.
Fool. Why, to put his head in; not to give it Gon. Take you some company, and away to away to his daughters, and leave his horns without horse;
a case. Inform her full of my particular fear;
LEAR. I will forget my nature.—So kind a And thereto add such reasons of your own father !—Be my horses ready? As may compact it more. Get you gone;
Fool. Thy asses are gone about 'em. The And hasten your return.-[Exit Osw.] No, no, | reason why the seven stars are no more than seven, my lord,
is a pretty reason. This milky gentleness and course of yours
LEAR. Because they are not eight? Though I condemn not, yet, under pardon,
Fool. Yes, indeed : thou wouldst make a good You are much more attask'd * for want of wisdom, fool. Than prais'd for harmful mildness.
LEAR. To take 't again perforce !--Monster Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot ingratitude ! tell;
Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.
thee beaten for being old before thy time. Gos. Nay, then–
LEAR. How's that? ALB. Well, well; the event. [Exeunt. / Fool. Thou shouldst not have been old, before*
thou hadst been wise.
LEAR. O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet SCENE V.—Court before the Sume.
Keep me in temper ; I would not be mad !
LEAR. Come, boy. Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I have Fool. She that's a maid now, and laughs at delivered your letter.
my departure, Fool. "If a man's brains were in 's heels, were't | Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut not in danger of kibes ?
(*) First folio, at task.
First folio, till.
This man hath had good counsel :-) This and what follows down to the entrance of Oswald, are not in the qaartos.
b - thy other daughter will use thee kindly :) Kindly is here used, as Malone pointed out, with the double meaning of affectionately, and after her nature, or kind.