Imatges de pàgina

And go

clovest thy Crown i'th' middle, and gav'st away both parts, thou bor’st thine Ass on thy Back o'er the Dirt; thou hadst little Wit in thy bald Crown, when thou gav'st thy golden one away: If I speak like my self in this, let him be whipt that firit finds it lo.

Fools had ne'er less Grace in a rear, [Singing.
For Wifemen are grown foppish,
And know not how their Wits to wear,

Their Manners are fo apish.
Lear. When were you wont to be so full of Songs, Sirrah?

Fool. I have used it Nuncle, e'er since thou mad's thy Daughters thy Mothers; for when thou gav'st them the Rod, and pur'st down thine own Breeches, then they For sudden Joy did weep,

[Singing. And I for Sorrow sung, That such a King should play bo peep.

the Fools among. Prithee Nuncle keep a School-Mafter that can teach thy Fool to lie; I would fain learn to lie.

Leur. And you lie, Sirrah, we'll have you whipt.

Fool. I marvel what kin ihou and thy Daughters are : they'll have me whipt for speaking true, thou'lt have me whipt for Lying, and sometimes I am whipt, for holding my Peace. I had rather be any kind of thing than a Fool, and yet I would not be thee, Nuncle; thou haft pared thy Wito'both sides, and left nothing i'th' middle; here comes one o’the parings.

Enter Goneril. Lear. How now, Daughter ? what makes that Frontlet on? You are too much of lare i'ch' frown.

Fool. Thou wast a pretty Fellow when thou hadft no need to care for her frowning ; now thou art an O without a Fi. gure; I am better than thou art now, I am a Fool, thou art nothing. Yes forsooth I will hold my Tongue, so your Face bids me, tho'

you say nothing.
Mum, Mum, he that keeps nor Cruft, nor Crum, [Singing.

Weary of all, shall want some.
That's a sheal'd Pescod.
Gon. Not only, Sir, this, your all-licenc'd Fool,


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But other of your infolent 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 your self too late have spoke and done,
That you prote& 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 wholsome weal,
Might in their working do you that Offence,
Which else were Shame, that then necessity
Will call discreet proceeding.

Fool. For you know, Nuncle, 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. I would you would make use of your good Wisdom,
Whereof I know you are fraught, and put away
These Dispositions, which of late transport 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? This is not Lear:
Does Lear walk thus ? Speak thus? Where are his Eyes?
Either his Notion weakens, his Discernings
Are Lethargied----Ha! waking!—Tis not so;
Who is it that can tell me who I am?

Fool. Lear's Shadow.
Lear. Your Name, fair Gentlewoman !-----

Gor. This Admiration, Sir, is much o'th' favour
Of other your new Pranks.
To understand my purposes aright:
You, as you are Old and Reverend, should be Wise.
Here do you keep a hundred Knights and Squires,
Men so disorder'd, so debosh'd, and bold,
That this our Couit, infe&ted with their Manners,
Shews like a riotous Ion; Epicurism and Luft
Make it more like a Tavern or a Brothel,
Than a grac'd Palace. The Shame it self doth speak
For instant remedy. Be then defir’d,

I do beseech you


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By her, that else will take the thing the begs;
A little to disquantity your Train;
And the remainders that shall still depend,
To be such Men as may before your Age,
Which know themselves, and you.

Lear, Darkness and Devils !
Saddle my Horses, call my Train together
Degenerate Bastard! I'll not trouble thee;
Yet have I left a Daughter.
Gon. You strike my People, and your

disorder'd Rabble make Servants of their Betters.

Enter Albany.
Lear. Wde! that too late repents
Is it your will, speak, Sir? Prepare my Horses---- [To Alb.
Ingratitude! thou Marble-hearted Fiend,
More hideous when thou thew'st thee in a Child,
Than the Sea-monster.

Alb. Pray, Sir, be patient;
Lear. Detested Kite! thou lielt.

[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 Names. O most small Fault!
How ugly didst thou in Cordelia shew?
Which like an Engine, wrencht my frame of Nature
From the fixt 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,
And thy dear Judgment out. Go, go, my Peoples

Alb. My Lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
Of what hath moved 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 fterility,
Dry up in her che Organs of increase,
And from her derogate Body, never spring
A Babe to honour her. If she must teern,
Create her Child of Spleen, that it may live;


And be a thwart, disnatur'd torment to her ;
Let it stamp wrinkles in her Brow of Youth,
With cadent Tears fret Chanels in her Cheeks,
Turn all her Mother's Pains and Benefits
To Laughter and Contempt; that she may feel,
How sharper than a Serpent's Tooth it is,
To have a thankless Child. Away, away-

[Exit: Alb. Now Gods that we adore, Whereof comes this?

Gon. Never affli& your self to know of it :
But let his Disposition have that Scope
As dotage gives it.

Enter Lear:
Lear. What, fifty of my Followers at a clap?
Within a fortnight?

Alb. What's the matter, sir?

Lear. I'll tell thee ---- Life and Death, I am alhamd. That thou hast power to shake my Manhood thus; That these hot Tears, which break from me perforce, Should make thee worth them ---- Blasts and Fogs upon

thee; Th' untented Woundings of a Father's Curse Pierce every Sense about thee. Old fond Eyes, Beweep her once again, I'll pluck ye out, And cast you with the Waters that


lose To temper Clay. Ha! Let it be so I have another Daughter, Who I am sure is kind and comfortable ; When she shall hear this of thee; with her nails She'll flea thy Wolvish Visage. Thou shalt find, That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think I have cast off for ever. [Exit Lear and Attendantsi

Gon. Do you mark that

Alb. I cannot be so parcial, Gonerill, To the great Love I bear you.

Gon. Pray you be content. What, Oswald, ho!
You, Sir, more Knave than Fool, after your Masters

Fool. Nuncle Lear, Nuncle Lear,
Tarry, take the Fool with thee :
A Fox, when one has caught her,
And such a Daughter,
Should sure to the Slaughter,

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If my Cap would buy a Halter,
So the Fool follows alter.

[Exit. Gon. This Man hath had good Counsel, - a hundred

Knights ! 'Tis politick, and safe to let him keep At point a hundred Knights ; yes, that on every Dream, Each buz, 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 foar ;

Gon. Safer than trust too far ;
Let me still take away the harms I far,
Not fear still to be taken. I know his Heart ;
What he hath utter'd, I have writ my Sister;
If she'll sustain him, and his hundred Knights
When I have thew'd th' unfitnefs

Enter Steward.
How now, Oswald?
What, have you writ that Letter to my Sister ?

Stew. Ay, Madam.

Gon. Take you some Company, and away to Horse;
Inform her full of my particular Fear,
And thereto add such Reasons of your own,
As may compad it more. Get you gone,
And hasten your return. No, no, my Lord,

[Exit Steward,
This milky Gentleness, and course of yours,
Though I condemn not, yet under Pardon
You are much more at Task for want of Wisdom,
Than prais'd for harmful Mildness.

Alb. How far your Eyes may pierce I cannot tell;
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.

Gow. Nay theo
Alb. Well, well, the 'vent.

[Exeunt. Enter Lear, Kent, Gentleman, and Fool. Lear. Go you before to Glofter with these Letters ; acquaint my Daughter no further with any thing you know, than comes from her demand out of the Letter, if your

diligence be not speedy, I shall be there afore you.


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