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Reg. I dare avouch it, sir : What, fifty followers ? Is it not well? What should you need of more? Yea, or so many ? sith that both charge and danger Speak ’gainst so great a number? How, in one house, Should many people, under two commands, Hold amity ? 'Tis hard ; almost impossible. Gon. Why might not you, my lord, receive attend
ance From those that she calls servants, or from mine? Reg. Why not, my lord? If then they chanc'd to
slack you, We could controul them : If you will come to me, (For now I spy a danger,) I entreat you To bring but five-and-twenty; to no more Will I give place, or notice. .
Lear. I gave you all-
Lear. Made you my guardians, my depositaries;
Reg. And speak it again, my lord; no more with me,
vour'd, When others are more wicked; not being the worst, Stands in some rank of praise :—I'll go with thee;
[To GONERIL. Thy fifty yet doth double five-and-twenty, And thou art twice her love.
Gon. Hear me, my lord ;
Have a command to tend you?
Reg. What need one?
Lear. O, reason not the need : our basest beggars Are in the poorest thing superfluous : Allow not nature more than nature needs, Man's life is cheap as beast's: thou art a lady; If only to go warm were gorgeous, Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'st, Which scarcely keeps thee warm.-But, for true need, You heavens, give me that patience, patience I need! You see me here, you gods, a poor old man, As full of grief as age; wretched in both! If it be you that stir these daughters' hearts Against their father, fool me not so much To bear it tamely; touch me with noble anger! O, let not women's weapons, water-drops, Stain my man's cheeks!—No, you unnatural hags, I will have such revenges on you both, That all the world shall—I will do such things, What they are, yet I know not; but they shall be The terrors of the earth. You think, I'll weep; No, I'll not weep :I have full cause of weeping; but this heart Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws, Or ere I'll weep :-0, fool, I shall go mad!
[Exeunt LEAR, GLOSTER, Kent, and Fool, Corn. Let us withdraw, 'twill be a storm.
[Storm heard at a distance. Reg. This house Is little; the old man and his people cannot Be well bestow’d.
Gon. 'Tis his own blame; he hath put
Himself from rest, and must needs taste his folly.
Reg. For his particular, I'll receive him gladly, But not one follower.
Gon. So am I purpos’d. Where is my lord of Gloster ?
Re-enter GLOSTER. Corn. Follow'd the old man forth :—he is return'd. Glo. The king is in high rage. Corn. Whither is he going? Glo. He calls to horse; but will I know not whither. Corn. 'Tis best to give him way; he leads himself. Gon. My lord, entreat him by no means to stay.
Glo. Alack, the night comes on, and the bleak winds
Reg. O, sir, to wilful men,
Corn. Shut up your doors, my lord; 'tis a wild night; My Regan counsels well: come out o'the storm.
SCENE 1.— A Heath.
A Storm is heard, with Thunder and Lightning. Enter
Kent, and a Gentleman, meeting. Kent. Who's here, beside foul weather ? Gent. One minded like the weather, most unquietly. Kent. I know you; Where's the king ? Gent. Contending with the fretful element : Bids the wind blow the earth into the sea, Or swell the curled waters ’bove the main, That things might change, or cease: tears his white
hair ; Which the impetuous blasts, with eyeless rage, Catch in their fury, and make nothing of: Strives in his little world of man to out-scorn The to-and-fro-conflicting wind and rain. This night, wherein the cub-drawn bear would couch, The lion and the belly-pinched wolf Keep their fur dry, unbonneted he runs, And bids what will take all.
Kent. But who is with him?
Gent. None but the fool; who labours to outjest
Kent. Sir, I do know you;
Commend a dear thing to you. There is division,
Kent. No, do not.