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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 whipp'd.
Fool. I marvel, what kin thou and thy daughters are: they'll have me whipp'd for speaking true, thou'lt have me whipp'd for lying; and, sometimes, I am whipp'd for holding my peace. I had rather be any kind of thing, than a fool: and yet I would not be thee, puncle; 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 had'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 nor crum,
Weary of all, shall want some.That's a sheal'd 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
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 his notion weakens, 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.
Gon. Come, sir;
To understand my purposes aright:
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.
Is it your will? [to Alb.] Speak, sir.—Prepare my
Pray, sir, be patient.
My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
Alb. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
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; And from her derogate body never spring A babe to honour her! If she must teem, 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 channels 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 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'
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
thee! The untented woundings of a father's curse Pierce every sense about thee!—Old fond eyes, Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck you out; And cast you, with the waters that you lose, To temper clay.-Ha! is it come to this? Let it be so:—Yet have I left a daughter, Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable; When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails She'll flay thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find, That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think I haye cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant thee.
[Exeunt Lear, Kent, and Attendants. Gon. Do you mark that, my lord?
Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril, 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.