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Kent. This is not altogether fool, my lord.
Fool. No, 'faith, lords and great men will not let me; if I had a monopoly out, they would have part on't: and ladies too, they will not let me have all fool to myself; they'll be snatching.--Give me an egg, puncle, and I'll give thee two crowns. Lear. What two crowns shall they be?
Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i’the middle, and eat up the meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou clovest thy crown i'the middle, and gavest away both parts, thou borest thine ass on thy back over the dirt: Thou had'st little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gavest thy golden one away. If I speak like myself in this, let him be whipped that first finds it so.
Fools had ne'er less grace in a year; (Singing.
For wise men are grown foppish ;
Their manners are so apish.
Lear. When were you wont to be so full of songs,
sirrah? Fool. I have used it, nuncle, ever since thou madest thy daughters thy mother: for when thou gavest them the rod, and put'st down thine own breeches,
Then they for sudden joy did weep, [Singing.
And I for sorrow sung,
And go the fools among.
Pr’ythee, nuncle, keep a school-master that can teach thy fool to lie; I would fain learn to lie.
Lear. If you lie, sirrah, we'll have you whipped.
Fool. I marvel, what kin thou and thy daughters are: they'll have me whipped for speaking true, thou'lt have me whipped for lying; and, sometimes, I am whipped for holding my peace. I bad rather be any kind of thing, than a fool : and yet I would not be thee, nuncle; thou hast pared thy wit o’both sides, and left nothing in the middle: Here comes one o'the parings.
Enter GONERIL. Lear. How now, daughter? what makes that frontlet on? Methinks, you are too much of late i'the frown.
Fool. Thou wast a pretty fellow, when thou bad'st no need to care for her frowning; now thou art an O 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 por crum,
Weary of all, shall want some.That's a shealed peascod.
(Pointing to Lear. Gon. Not only, sir, this your all-licens'd fool, But other of your insolent retinue, Do hourly carp and quarrel; breaking forth In rank and not-to-be-endured riots. Sir, I had thought, by making this well known unto you, To have found a safe redress; but now grow fearful, By what yourself too late have spoke and done, That you protect this course, and put it on By your allowance; which if you should, the fault Would not 'scape censure, nor the redresses sleep; Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal, Might in their working do you that offence, Which else were shame, that then necessity Will call discreet proceeding;
Fool. For you trow, nuucle,
The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long,
That it had its head bit off by its young. So, out went the candle, and we were left darkling.
Lear. Are you our daughter?
Gon. Come, sir, I would, you would make use of that good wisdom whereof I know you are fraught ; 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 bis notion weakeus, or his discernings are lethargied.-Sleeping or waking ?-Ha! sure 'tis not so.--Who is it that can tell me who I am? Lear's shadow? 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. Lear. Your name, fair gentlewoman?
Gon. Come, sir; This admiration is much o’the favour Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you To understand my purposes aright: As you are old and reverend, you should be wise : Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires; Men so disorder'd, so debauch'd, and bold, That this our court, infected with their manners, Shows like a riotous iun: epicurism and lust Make it more like a tavern, or a brothel, Then a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth speak For instant remedy: Be then desir'd By her, that else will take the things she begs, A little to disquantity your train ; And the remainder, that shall still depend, To be such men ás may besort your age, And know themselves and you.
Lear. Darkness and devils !-Saddle my horses ; call my train together. Degenerate bastard! I'll not trouble thee; Yet bave I left a daughter. Gon. You strike my people; and your disorder'd
rabble Make servants of their betters.
Enter Albany. Lear. Woe, that too late repents.-0, sir, are you
come? Is it your will? [To Alb.] Speak, sir.— Prepare my
Alb. Pray, sir, be patient.
Lear. Detesteci kital thou liests [To Goneril, My train are men of choice and rarest parts, That all particulars of duty know; And in the most exact regard support The worships of their name. ---O 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
And from her derogate body never spring
Alb. What's the matter, sir?
asham'd 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
The untented wounds of a father's curse