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no need to care for her frowning; now thou art an 0 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 shealed peascod. [Pointing to LEAR.
Gon. Not only, sir, this your all-Iicensed fool,
you protect this course, and put it on 3
Fool. For you trow, nuncle,
Lear. Are you our daughter ?
Gon. Come, sir, I would you would make use of that good wisdom whereof I know you are fraught ;
1 i. e. a cipher. 2 Now a mere husk that contains nothing. 3 Put it on, that is, promote it, push it forward. Allowance is approbation.
4 « Shakspeare's fools are certainly copied from the life. The originals whom he copied were no doubt men of quick parts; lively and sarcastic. Though they were licensed to say any thing, it was still necessary, to prevent giving offence, that every thing they said should have a playful air; we may suppose, therefore, that they had a custom of taking off the edge of too sharp a speech by covering it hastily with the end of an old song, or any glib nonsense that came into their mind. I know no other way of accounting for the incoherent words with which Shakspeare often finishes this fool's speeches.”—Sir Joshua Reynolds.
5 The folio omits these words, and reads the rest of the speech, perhaps rightly, as verse.
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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 tell me who I am ? i
Fool. Lear's shadow,
Lear. [I would learn that; for by the marks of sovereignty, knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded I had daughters.
Fool. Which they will make an obedient father.]
Gon. Come, sir ;
do beseech you
Darkness and devils !
1 This passage has been erroneously printed in all the late editions 66 Who is it can tell me who I am?" says Lear. In the folio, the replys 66 Lear's shadow," is rightly given to the fool. It is remarkable that the continuation of Lear's speech, and the continuation of the fool's comment, is omitted in the folio copy.
2 i. e. of the complerion.
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Degenerate bastard! I'll not trouble thee;
Lear. Woe, that too late repents, - sir, are you
'Pray, sir, be patient.
[Striking his head.
Alb. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
Lear. It may be so, my lord.---Hear, nature, hear;
1 One of the quarto copies reads, “ We that too late repents us. The others, “We that too late repents."
2 The sea-monster is the hippopotamus, the hieroglyphical symbol of impiety and ingratitude.
3 By an engine the rack is here intended.
And from her derogate body never spring
[Exit. Alb. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes this?
Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause ;
Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a ciap!
What's the matter, sir?
[To GONERIL. That these hot tears, which break from me perforce, Should make thee worth them.--Blasts and fogs upon
1 Derogate here means degenerate, degraded.
2 Thwart as a noun adjective is not frequent in our language. It is to be found, however, in Promos and Cassandra, 1578:
66 Sith fortune thwart doth crosse my joys with care. Disnatured is wanting natural affection.
3 “ Pains and benefits,” in this place, signify maternal cares and good offices.
4 The untented woundings are the rankling or never-healing wounds inflicted by a parental malediction. Tents are well-known dressings inserted into wounds as a preparative to healing them.
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To temper clay.---Ha! is it come to this?
[Exeunt LEAR, KENT, and Attendants
Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril,
Gon. "Pray you, content.--What, Oswald, ho!
[To the Fool.
A fox, when one has caught her,
my cap would buy a halter ;
Alb. Well, you may fear too far.
Safer than trust too far;
1 This speech is gleaned partly from the folios, and partly from the
2 All within brackets is omitted in the quartos.