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the surfeit* of our own behaviour) we make Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong. guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and Edm. That's my fear. I pray you, have a the stars: as if we were villains by I necessity; continent forbearance till the speed of his rage fools by heavenly compulsion ; knaves, thieves, goes slower; and, as I say, retire with me to my and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunk- lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to ards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience hear my lord speak: pray ye, go; there's my of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, key :if you do stir abroad, go armed. by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evasion EDG. Armed, brother? of whore-master man, to lay his goatish disposi- Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best ; go tion on the charge of a star! My father com- armed ;* I am no honest man, if there be any pounded with my mother under the dragon's tail ; good meaning toward you: I have told you what and my nativity was under ursa major; so that I have seen and heard but faintly; nothing like it follows, I am rough and lecherous.—Tut, $ I the image and horror of it: pray you, away. should have been that I am, had the maidenliest Eng. Shall I hear from you anon? star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. Edm. I do serve you in this business.Edgar—and || pat he comes, like the catastrophe
[Erit EDGAR. of the old comedy: my cue is villainous melan- A credulous father, and a brother noble, choly, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam.
Whose nature is so far from doing harms,
That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty Enter EDGAR.
My practices ride easy !-I see the business.
Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit: O, these eclipses do portend these divisions ! fa, All with me’s meet, that I can fashion fit. [Exit. sol, la, mi.
Edg. How now, brother Edmund! what serious contemplation are you in?
EDM. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction SCENE III.-A Room in the Duke of Albany's I read this other day, what should follow these
Palace. eclipses. EDG. Do you busy yourself with that?
Enter GONERIL, and Oswald her Steward. Edm. I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed unhappily; as of unnaturalness a between Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for the child and the parent; death, dearth, dissolu- chiding of his fool ? tions of ancient amities ; divisions in state, menaces Osw. Ay, madam. and maledictions against king and nobles; needless Gon. By day and night he wrongs me; every diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of
hour cohorts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what. He flashes into one gross crime or other,
Eng. How long have you been a sectary That sets us all at odds : I'll not endure it : astronomical ?
His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us Edm. Come, come; when saw you my father On every
trifle.— When he returns from hunting, last?
I will not speak with him; say I am sick : Edg. The night gone by.
If you come slack of former services, Edm. Spake you with him ?
You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer. Edg. Ay, two hours together.
Osw. He's coming, madam ; I hear him. EDM. Parted you iu good terms ? Found you
[Horns without. no displeasure in him, by word nor countenance ? Gon. Put on what weary negligence you EDG. None at all.
please, EDM. Bethink yourself wherein you may have You and your fellows; I'd have it come to offended him: and at my entreaty forbear his
question : presence until some little time hath qualified the If he distaste it, let him to my sister, heat of his displeasure; which at this instant so Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one, rageth in him, that with the mischief of your Not to be over-rul'd. Idle old man, person it would scarcely allay.
That still would manage those authorities,
That he hath given away !--Now, by my life,
LEAR. Who wouldst thou serve ? Old fools are babes again, and must be us’d
KENT. You. With checks as flatteries,—when they are seen LEAR. Dost thou know me, fellow ? abus'd.
KENT. No, sir ; but you have that in your Remember what I have said.
countenance which I would fain call master. Osw. Well, madam.
LEAR. What's that? Gon. And let his knights have colder looks KENT. Authority. among you;
LEAR. What services canst thou do?
mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall, plain message bluntly: that which ordinary men That I may speak : _I'll write straight to my are fit for, I am qualified in; and the best of me sister,
is,—diligence. To hold my course.—Prepare for dinner.
LEAR. How old art thou ? [Exeunt. 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 SCENE IV.-A Hall in the same.
like thee no worse after dinner. I will not part
from thee yet.—Dinner, ho, dinner !_Where's Enter Kent, disguised.
my knave ? my fool ? Go you and call my fool hither.
[Exit an Attendant. KENT. If but as well I other accents borrow, That can my speech diffuse, my good intent
You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?
Osw. So please you, —
LEAR. What says the fellow there ? Call the So may it come, thy master, whom thou lov'st, clotpoll back.—[Exit a Knight.]—Where's my Shall find thee full of labours.
fool, ho?-I think the world's asleep.
Horns without. Enter LEAR, Knights, and
How now! where's that mongrel ? LEAR. Let me not stay a jot for dinner; go, KNIGHT. He says, my lord, your daughter* is get it ready. [Exit an Attendant.] How now! not well. what art thou ?
LEAR. Why came not the slave back to me, KENT. A man, sir.
when I call’d him ? LEAR. What dost thou profess? What wouldst KNIGHT. Sir, he answered me in the roundest thou with us ?
manner, he would not. Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem ;
LEAR. He would not ! to serve him truly that will put me in trust ; to KNIGHT. My lord, I know not what the matter
is; but, to my judgment, your highness is not that is wise, and says little ; to fear judgment ; to en
entertained with that ceremonious affection as you fight when I cannot choose; and to eat no fish.(2) were wont; there's a great abatement of kindness LEAR. What art thou ?
appears as well in the general dependants as in KENT. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as
the duke himself also, and your daughter. poor as the king
LEAR. Ha! sayest thou so ? LEAR. If thou beest as poor for a subject, as
Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What if I be mistaken ; for my duty cannot be silent wouldst thou ?
when I think your highness wronged. KENT. Service.
LEAR. Thou but rememberest me of mine own
I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall,
That I may speak:-) These lines are not in the folio.
(*) First folio, Daughters. b That can my speech diffuse,-) Diffuse, here, signifies, disguise.
LEAR. My lady's father ! my lord's knave:
Learn more than thou trowest, you whoreson dog! you slave! you cur!
Set less than thou throwest; Osw. I am none of these, my lord; I beseech
Leave thy drink and thy whore,
And keep in-a-door, LEAR. Do you bandy looks with me, you
And thou shalt have more rascal ?
Than two tens to a score. Osw. I'll not be struck,* my
LEAR. This is nothing, fool.° Kent. Nor tripp'd neither, you base foot-ball
Fool. Then 'tis like the breath of an unfee'd player. [Tripping up his heels.
lawyer,—you gave me nothing for it. Can you LEAR. I thank thee, fellow; thou servest me,
make no use of nothing, nuncle ? and I 'll love thee.
LEAR. Why, no, boy ; nothing can be made Kent. Come, sir, arise, away! I'll teach you
out of nothing differences; away, away! If you will measure
Fool. Pr’ythee, tell him, so much the rent of your lubber's length again, tarry: but away! go
his land comes to; he will not believe a fool. to; have you wisdom? so. [ [Pushes OSWALD out.
[To KENT. LEAR. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee :
LEAR. A bitter fool ! there's earnest of thy service.
Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy, [Giving KENT money. between a bitter fool and a sweet one ?
LEAR. No, lad, teach me.
Fool. That lord, that counsell’d thee
To give away thy land,
Come place him here by me, coxcomb. [Giving Kent his cap.
Or* do thou for him stand; LEAR. How now, my pretty knave ! how dost
The sweet and bitter fool thou?
Will presently appear ; Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb.
The one in motley here, KENT. Why, fool ? *
The other found out there. Fool. Why, for taking one's part that's out of
LEAR. Dost thou call me fool, boy ? favour. Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits, thou'lt catch cold shortly: there, take my
Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given
away ; that thou wast born with. coxcomb. Why, this fellow has banished two on’s
KENT. This is not altogether fool, my lord. daughters, and did the third a blessing against his
Foot. No, 'faith, lords and great men will not will; if thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb.—How now, nuncle ! Would I had
let me; if I had a monopoly out,(3) they would two coxcombs and two daughters !
have part on't: and ladiesť too, they will not let LEAR. Why, my boy?
me have all fool to myself; they 'll be snatching:Fool. If I gave them all my living, I'd keep
Nuncle, give me an egg, and I'll give thee two my coxcombs myself. There's mine; beg another
LEAR. What two crowns shall they be ? of thy daughters. LEAR. Take heed, sirrah,—the whip.
Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i' the Fool. Truth's a dog must to kennel; he must
middle, and eat up the meat, the two crowns of be whipped out, when the lady brach may stand
the egg. When thou clovest thy crown # i' the by the fire and stink.
middle, and gavest away both parts, thou borest
thine ass on thy back o'er the dirt: thou hadst LEAR. A pestilent gall to me! Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech.
little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gavest thy
golden one away. If I speak like myself in this, LEAR. Do. Fool. Mark it, nuncle :
let him be whipped that first finds it so.
[Singing Have more than thou showest,
Fools had ne'er less grace in a year ;
For wise men are grown foppish,
And know not how their wits to wear,
Their manners are so apish.
(*) First folio, strucken. & Why, fool?) This interrogatory, in the form of, "Why, my boy?" is given in the folio to Lear; but, as Mr. Dyce observes, it is plain that the Fool addresses the King for the first time, when he says, "How now, nuncle!”
b -- than thou trowest, —-] That is, than thou believest.
© This is nothing, fool.] In the folio, this speech is assigned to Kent. d No, lad, teach me.) This line and the portion of the dialogue
(*) Old copies omit, Or. (t) Old copies, loades, lodes.
(1) First folio, Crownes. down to and including the words in the Fool's speech, “they 'll be snatching," are omitted in the folio. e Pools had ne'er less grace in a year ;] The quartos have,
ne'er less wit in a year;" perhaps the true reading: as in Lyly's "Mother Bombie," 1594, we find, “I think gentlemen had never less wit in a year."
LEAR. When were you wont to be so full of By what yourself too late have spoke and done,
That you protect this course, and put it on Fool. I have used it, nuncle, ever since thou
allowance ; which if you should, the madest thy daughters thy mothers : for when thou
fault gavest them the rod, and putt'st down thine own Would not ’scape censure, nor the redresses sleep, breeches,
Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal,
[Singing. Might in their working do you that offence, — Then they for sudden joy did weep,
Which else were shame—that then necessity,
Will call discreet proceeding.
Fool. For you trow,* nuncle,
The hedge-sparrow fed the cuckoo so long, Prythee, nuncle, keep a school-master that can That it's had it head bit off by it young." teach thy fool to lie ; I would fain learn to lie.
So, out went the candle, and we were left darkling.° LEAR. An you lie, sirrah, we'll have you
LEAR. Are you our daughter ? whipped.
Gon. I would you would make use of that † FOOL. I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters
good wisdom are: they 'll have me whipped for speaking true, Whereof I know you are fraught ; and put away thou’lt have me whipped for lying ; and some- These dispositions, which of late transport you times I am whipped for holding my peace. I had
From what you rightly are. rather be any kind o’thing than a fool ; and yet
Fool. May not an ass know when the cart I would not be thee, nuncle ; thou hast pared thy
draws the horse ?— Whoop, Jug! I love thee. wit o' both sides, and left nothing i' the middle.
LEAR. Does any here know me ?—This is not Here comes one o' the parings.
? Does Lear walk thus ? speak thus ? Where are Enter GONERIL.
Either his notion weakens, his discernings
Are lethargied.—Ha! Waking ?—'tis not so.LEAR. How now, daughter! what makes that
Who is it that can tell me who I am ?frontlet on ? (4)
Fool. Lear's shadow ? Methinks † you are too much of late i the frown.
LEAR. I would learn that, for, by the marks of Fool. Thou wast a pretty fellow when thou
sovereignty, knowledge, and reason," hadst no need to care for her frowning; now thou
I should be false persuaded I had daughters.-art an O without a figure. I am better than thou
Fool. Which they will make obedient art now; I am a fool, thou art nothing.–Yes,
father.o forsooth [To Gon.], I will hold my tongue, so your
LEAR. Your name, fair gentlewoman ? face bids me, though you say nothing. Mum,
Gon. This admiration, sir, is much o' the favour mum,
Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you He that keeps nor crust nor crumb, To understand my purposes aright :
[wise. Weary of all, shall want some.
As you are old and reverend, you I should be That's a sheal'd peascod. [Pointing to LEAR. Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires ;
Gon. Not only, sir, this your all-licens’d fool, Men so disordered, so debosh'd, and bold, But other of your insolent retinue
That this our court, infected with their manners, Do hourly carp and quarrel ; breaking forth Shows like a riotous inn : epicurism and lust In rank and not-to-be-endured riots. Sir,
Make it more like a tavern or a brothel, I had thought, by making this well known unto Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth you,
speak To have found a safe redress; but now grow For instant remedy: be, then, desir'd fearful,
By her, that else will take the thing she begs,
(*) First folio, Poole.
(1) First folio omits, Methinks. Then they for sudden joy did weep,
And I for sorrow sung," &c.) So in Heywood's “Rape of Lucrece,”
“ When Tarquin first in court began,
And was approved King,
And I for sorrow sing."
c - darkling.) This word, which, like the Scotch darklins, implied in the dark, occurs again in " A Midsummer Night's Dream,"
(*) First folio, know.
(1) First folio, your. (1) First folio omits, you. Act II. Sc. 3; and is found in the ancient comedy of “Roister Doister," Act III. Sc. 1,-"He will go darklyng to his grave."
d - for, by the marks of sovereignty, knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded,” &c.] This is certainly obscure, Warburton reads, "- of sovereignty of knowledge," &c.; but possibly the meaning may be restored by simply omitting the comma after sovereignty," — by the marks of sovereignty know, ledge and reason," i.e. of supreme or sovereign knowledge, &c.
e -- an obedient father.] This and the three preceding lines are only found in the quartos.