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for by the marks of sovereignty, knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded I had daugh
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
As you are old and reverend, you should be wise:
Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth speak
By her, that else will take the thing she begs,
A little to disquantity your train;
And the remainder, that shall still depend,2
Darkness and devils!
Saddle my horses; call my train together.-
Gon. You strike my people; and your disorder'd
Make servants of their betters.
Lear. Wo, that too late repents,-O, sir, are
Is it your will? [To Alb.] Speak, sir.—Prepare my horses.
Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend,
More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child, Than the sea-monster!
(2) Continue in service.
Pray, sir, be patient.
Lear. Detested kite! thou liest:
My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
That all particulars of duty know;
The worships of their name.-O most small fault,
Which, like an engine, wrench'd my frame of
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 Df what hath mov'd you.
Lear. It may be so, my lord.-Hear, nature, hear; Dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if Thou didst intend to make this creature fruitful! Into her womb convey sterility!
Dry up in her the organs of increase;
To have a thankless child!-Away, away! [Exit.
Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause; But let his disposition have that scope
That dotage gives it.
Lear. What, fifty of my followers, at a clap!
(1) The rack. (2) Degraded.
What's the matter, sir!
Within a fortnight?
Lear. I'll tell thee;-Life and death! I am
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 upon thee!
The untented woundings of a father's curse
Gon. Do you mark that, my lord?
To the great love I bear you,
Gon. Pray you, content --What, Oswald, ho! You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master. [To the Fool.
Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, and take the fool with thee.
A fox, when one has caught her,
Should sure to the slaughter,
So the fool follows after.
Gon. This man hath had good counsel :-A hun
'Tis politic, and safe, to let him keep
At point, a hundred knights.
Yes, that on every
Each buzz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike, He may enguard his dotage with their powers, And hold our lives in mercy.-Oswald, I say!Alb. Well, you may fear too far.
Gon. Safer than trust: Let me still take away the harms I fear, Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart: What he hath utter'd, I have writ my sister; If she sustain him and his hundred knights, When I have show'd the unfitness,-How now, Oswald?
What, have you writ that letter to my sister?
Stew. Ay, madam.
Gon. Take you some company,
Inform her full of my particular fear;
and away to
And thereto add such reasons of your own,
This milky gentleness, and course of yours,
Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot tell; Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.
Gon. Nay, then
Alb. Well, well; the event.
SCENE V-Court before the same. Enter Lear, Kent, and Fool.
Lear. Go you before to Gloster with these letters: acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you know, than comes from her demand out (2) Liable to reprehension.
of the letter: If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there before you.
Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered your letter.
Fool. If a man's brains were in his heels, were't not in danger of kibes?
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 is like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.
Lear. Why, what canst thou tell, my 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 of his face?
Fool. Why, to keep his eyes on either side his 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
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 reason.
Lear. Because they are not eight?
Fool. Yes, indeed: Thou would'st make a good fool.
Lear. To take it again perforce!—-Monster ingratitude!