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ALB. Now, Gods that we adore, whereof comes this?
That dotage gives it.
LEAR. What, fifty of my followers at a clap!
What's the matter, Sir? LEAR. I'll tell thee. [to GONERIL.] Life and death! I am asham'd
That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus;
The untented woundings of a father's curse
Pierce every sense about thee! Old fond Eyes,
To the great love I bear you
GON. Pray you, content. What, Oswald, ho!
[to the Fool.] You, Sir, more knave than fool, after your master.
A fox, when one has caught her,
If my cap would buy a halter:
FOOL. Nuncle Lear, Nuncle Lear, tarry, and take the
GON. This man hath had good counsel! A hundred ACT I knights! Sc. IV
'Tis politic and safe to let him keep
At point a hundred knights! yes, that, on every dream,
Safer than trust too far:
SCENE V. Court before the Same.
Enter LEAR, KENT, and the Fool.
LEAR. Go you before to Gloucester with these letters. Acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you know than comes from her demand out of the letter.
your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there afore
KENT. I will not sleep, my Lord, till I have deliver'd
FOOL. If a man's brains were in's heels, were 't not in
LEAR. Ay, Boy.
FOOL. Then, I pr'ythee, be merry; thy wit shall not go slip-shod.
LEAR. Ha, ha, ha!
FOOL. Shalt see thy other daughter will use thee kindly;
for though she's as like this as a crab's like an apple,
yet I can tell what I can tell.
LEAR. What canst tell, Boy?
FOOL. She will taste as like this as a crab does to a crab. Thou canst tell why one's nose stands i' the middle on's face?
FOOL. Why, to keep one's eyes of either side's nose; that what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into.
LEAR. I did her wrong.
FOOL. Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?
FOOL. Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail has a house.
FOOL. Why, to put his head in; not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns without a case.
LEAR. I will forget my nature. So kind a father! Be
my horses ready?
FOOL. Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the seven Stars are no more than seven is a pretty
LEAR. Because they are not eight?
FOOL. Yes, indeed: thou would'st make a good Fool.
FOOL. If thou wert my Fool, Nuncle, I'ld have thee
LEAR. How's that?
FOOL. Thou should'st not have been old till thou hadst ACT I been wise.
LEAR. O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet Heaven!
Enter a Gentleman.
How now! are the horses ready?
GENT. Ready, my Lord.
LEAR. Come, Boy.
FOOL. She that's a maid now, and laughs at my
Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut shorter.
SCENE I. The EARL OF GLOUCESTER's Castle.
Enter EDMUND, and CURAN meets him.
EDM. Save thee, Curan.
CUR. And you, Sir. I have been with your father, and given him notice that the Duke of Cornwall and Regan his Duchess will be here with him this night.
EDM. How comes that?
CUR. Nay, I know not. You have heard of the news abroad? I mean the whisper'd ones, for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments.
EDM. Not I pray you, what are they?
CUR. Have you heard of no likely wars toward 'twixt the
EDM. Not a word.
CUR. You may do, then, in time. Fare you well, Sir.
EDM. The Duke be here to-night? The better! best!
1 i.e. in a ticklish business.
My father watches: O Sir, fly this place!
Draw; seem to defend yourself: now quit you well. 30
Do more than this in sport.
Light, ho, here!
Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion
Enter GLOUCESTER, and Servants with torches.
GLOU. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?
[wounds his arm. I have seen drunkards Father, Father!
But where is he?
EDM. Look, Sir, I bleed.