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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 moved you.
Lear. It may be so, my lord.—Hear, Nature,

Dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if
Thou didst intend to make this creature fruitful :
Into her womb convey sterility;

in her the organs of increase;
And from her derogate 2 body never spring
A babe to honor her! If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen, that it may live,
And be a thwart disnatured torment to ber :
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth;
With cadent 3 tears fret channels in her cheeks ;
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt; that she may

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child !-Away, away !


Dry up

1 A rack.

2 Degraded.

3 Falling.

Alb. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes

Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause;
But let his disposition have that scope
That dotage gives it.

Re-enter LEAR.

Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a clap?
Within a fortnight?

What's the matter, sir ?
Lear. I'll tell thee:-Life and death! I am

ashamed 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 1 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,
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.
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
She 'll flay thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find,
That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think

1 Undressed.

I have cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant thee.

[Exeunt Lear, Kent, and Attendants. Gon. Do you mark that, my lord ?

Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril, To the great love I bear you,

Gon. Pray you, content.-What, Oswald, ho! You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master.

[to the Fool. Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, and take the-fool with thee.

A fox, when one has caught her,
And such a daughter,
Should sure to the slaughter,
If my cap would buy a halter ;
So the fool follows after.'

[Exit. Gon. This man hath had good counsel.–A hun

dred knights! "Tis politic and safe to let him keep At point 1 a hundred knights, Yes, that on every

Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
He may enguard his dotage with their powers,
And hold our lives in mercy.-Oswald, I say !

Alb. Well, you may fear too far.

Safer than trust too far:
Let me still take away the harms I fear,
Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart:
What he hath utter'd, I have writ my sister;

1 Completely armed.

If she sustain him and his hundred knights,
When I have show'd the unfitness,

Oswald ?

-How now,



What, have you writ that letter to my sister?

Stew. Ay, madam.
Gon. Take you some company,


away horse : Inform her full of my particular fear; And thereto add such reasons of your own, As may compact it more.

Get you gone; And hasten your return. [Exit Stew.] No, no, my

lord, This milky gentleness, and course of yours, , Though I condemn it not; yet, under pardon, You are much more attask'd 1 for want of wisdom, Than praised for harmful mildness. Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot

tell :
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.

Gom. Nay, then-
Alb. Well, well; the event.


1 Liable to reprehension.


Court before the same.

Enter LEAR, KENT, and FOOL. Lear. Go you before to Gloster with these letters : acquaint my daughter no farther with any thing you know, than comes from her demand out of the letter. If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there before you.

Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered


[Erit. Fool. If a man's brains were in his heels, were 't not in danger of kibes ?

Lear. Ay, boy.

Fool. Then, I pr’ythee, be merry; thy wit shall not go slipshod.

Lear. Ha, ha, ha!

Fool. Shalt see, thy other daughter will use thee kindly; for though she's as like this as a crab is like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.

Lear. Why, what canst thou tell, my boy?

Fool. She will taste as like this as a crab does to à crab. Thou canst tell why one's nose stands ị the middle of his face?

Lear. No.

Fool. Why, to keep his eyes on either side his nose; that what a man cannot smell out, he way spy into.

Lear. I did her wrong:

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