Imagens das páginas

Kent. A man,

sir. Lear. What dost thou profess? What wouldst thou with us ?

Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem ; to serve him truly that will put me in trust; to love him that is honest; to converse with him that is wise, and says little; to fear judgment; to fight when I cannot choose ; and to eat no fish.

Lear. What art thou ?

Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king.

Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What wouldst thou?

Kent. Service.
Lear. Who wouldst thou serve ?
Kent. You.
Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow?

Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your countenance, which I would fain call master.

Lear. What's that ?
Kent. Authority.
Lear. What services canst thou do?

Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in; and the best of me is diligence.

Lear. How old art thou ?

Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing; nor so old, to dote on her for any thing : I have years on my back forty-eight.




Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me: if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet.—Dinner, ho, dinner !—Where's my knave ? my fool? Go you, and call my fool hither.


You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?
Stew. So please you,

[Exit. Lear. What says the fellow there? Call the clotpoll back.- Where's my fool, ho?-I think the world's asleep. How now? where's that mongrel ?

Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.

Lear. Why came not the slave back to me when I called him ?

Knight. Sir, he answered me in the roundest manner, he would not.

Lear. He would not!

Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is ; but, to my judgment, your highness is not entertained with that ceremonious affection as you were wont; there's a great abatement of kindness appears, as well in the general dependents, as in the duke himself also and your daughter.

Lear. Ha! sayest thou so?

Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken ; for my duty cannot be silent when I think your highness is wronged.

Lear. Thou but rememberest me of mine own conception. I have perceived a most faint neglect of late; which I have rather blamed as mine own jealous curiosity,' than as a very pretence 2 and purpose of unkindness. I will look farther into 't. --But where's my fool? I have not seen him this two days.

Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, sir, the fool hath much pined away.

Lear. No more of that; I have noted it well.-Go you, and tell my daughter I would speak with her.-Go you, call hither my fool.

Re-enter STEWARD.
O, you sir, you sir, come you hither.

Who am I, sir ?

Stew. My lady's father.

Lear. My lady's father! my lord's knave! you whoreson dog! you slave! you cur !

Stew. I am none of this, my lord; I beseech you, pardon me. Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal ?

[striking him. Stew. I'll not be struck, my lord.

Kent. Nor tripped neither, you base football player.

(tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow; thou servest me, and I'll love thee..

Kent. Come, sir, arise, away; I'll teach you differences; away, away: if you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry; but away: go to : have you wisdom ? so. [pushes the Steward out,

1 Punctilious jealousy.

• Design.

Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee: there's earnest of thy service. [giving Kent money.

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Enter FOOL.

Fool. Let me hire him too :-here's my coxcomb.

(giving Kent his cap. Lear. How now, my pretty knave? how dost thou ?

Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb.
Kent. Why, fool ?

Fool. Why? For taking one's part that is out of favor. Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits, thou 'lt catch cold shortly. There, take my coxcomb:

: why, this fellow has banished two of his daughters, and did the third a blessing against his will; if thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb.—How now,

nuncle ? Would I had two coxcombs and two daughters !

Lear. Why, my boy?

Fool. If I gave them all my living, I'd keep my coxcombs myself: there's mine; beg another of thy daughters.

Lear. Take heed, sirrah; the whip.

Fool. Truth's a dog that must to kennel ; he must be whipped out, when lady, the brach, may stand by the fire and stink.

1 Bitch hound.

Lear. A pestilent gall to me!
Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech.
Lear. Do.
Fool. Mark it, nuncle :-

• Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest,
Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou trowest,?
Set less than thou throwest;
Leave thy drink and thy whore,
And keep in-a-door,
And thou shalt have more

Than two tens to a score.'
Lear. This is nothing, fool.

Fool. Then 'tis like the breath of an unfeed lawyer; you gave me nothing for 't: can you make no use of nothing, nuncle?

Lear. Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out of nothing

Fool. Pr’ythee, tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to ; he will not believe a fool. [to Kent.

Lear. A bitter fool!

Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy, between a bitter fool and a sweet fool ?

Lear. No, lad ; teach me.
Fool. That lord, that counsel'd thee

To give away thy land,

1 Ownest, possessest.

2 Believest.

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