Page images

That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty
My practices ride easy : I see the butinets.
Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit ;
Al with me's meet, that I can fashion fit. [Exit

SCENE XI. The Duke of Albany's palace.

Enter Gonerill and Steward. Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding

of his fool ? Stew. Ay, Madam. Gon. By day and nig!ıt he wrongs me ; every

hour He flashes into one grois crime or other, That sets us all at odds : l'll not endure it. His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us On ev'ry trifle. When he returns from hunting, I will not speak with him ; fay, I am fick. If you

come slack of former services, You shall do well : the fault of it I'll answer.

Stew. He's coming, Madam ; I hear him.

Gon. Put on what wary negligence you please, You and your fellows: I'd have it come to question.. If he distaste it, let him to


Whose mind and mine I know in that are one,
Not to be over-rul'd. Idle old man,
That ftill would manage those authorities
That he hath giv'n away!--Now, by my life,
Old folks are babes again ; and must be us’d
With checks, not fatt'ries, when they're seen abus'd.
Remember what I have said.

Stew. Very well, Madam.

Gon. And let his knights have colder looks among you: What of it, no matter; and advise Your fellows fo. I'll write straight to my

fifter To hold my course. Go, and prepare for dinner.

Changes to an open place before the palace.

Enter Kent disguis'd.
Kent, If but as well I other accents borrow,



B 2

And can my speech diffuse t, my good intent
May carry through itself to that full issue,
For which I raz'd my likeness. Now, banish'd Kent,
If thou can'ít serve where thou doft stand condemn’d,
So may it come, thy master, whom thou lov'ft,
Shall find thee full of labours.
Horns within. Enter Lear, Knights, and Attendants.
Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner ; go, get it

How now, what art thou ?

[To Kent. Kent. A man, Sir.

Lear. What dost thou profess? what would'st thou with us?

Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem ; to serve him truly that will put me in trust; to love him that is honeft; to converse with him that is wise; to say little ; to fear judgment; to fight when I cannot chufe ; and to eat no fish.

Lear. What art thou?

Kent. A very honeft-hearted fellow, and as poor as the King

Lear. If thou beest as poor for a subject as he's for a King, thou art poor enough. What would's thou :

Kent. Service.
Lear. Whom would'st thou serve ?
Kent. You.
Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow?

Kent. No, Sir; but you have that in your counte, nance which I would fain call master.

Lear. What's that?
Kent. Authority:
Lear. What services canst thou do?

Kent. I can keep honest counsels, ride, run, mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualify'd in ; and the best of me is diligence.

Lear. How old art thou ?
Kent. Not so young, Sir, to love a woman for sing-

ing + To diffuse, here signifies to disorder, to put out of a regular course. It is used in the fame fense in other places in this author ; didiled! attire, diffufed founds.


ing, nor so old to doat on her for any thing: I have years on my back forty-eight.

Lear. Follow me, thou shalt serve me. If I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee. Yet no dinner? ho, dinner--where's


knave ? fool ? Go you, and call my fool hither. You, you, firrah, where's my daughter ?

Enter Steward. Stew. So please you

[Exit. Lear. What says the fellow there? call the clotpole back: where's my fool, ho?

---I think the world's afleep. How now? Where's that mongrel ?

Knight. He says, my Lord, your daughter is not well.

Lear. Why came not the slave back to me when I call'd him?

Knight. Sir, he answer'd me in the roundest manner, he would not.

Lear. He would not?

Knight. My Lord, I know not what the matter is ; but, to my judgment, your Highnels is not entertain'd with that ceremonious affection as you were wont ; there's a great abatement of kindness appears, as well in the general dependents, as in the Duke himself also, and your daughter.

Lear. Ha! fay'st thou so ?

Knight. I beseech you pardon me, my Lord, if I be mistaken ; for my duty cannot be filent, when I think your Highness is wrong'd.

Lear. Thou but remember ft me of my own concep-: tion. I have perceiv'd' a most faint neglect of late, which I have rather blamed as my own jealous curiofity, than as a very pretence † and purpofe of unkindness. I will look farther into't. But where's my fool? I have: not feen him these two days.

Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, Sir, the fool hath much pined away.

Lear. No more of that, I have noted, it well ; go you, and tell my daughter, I would speak with her. Go you, call hither my

fool. O, you, Sir, come you hither, Sir ; whở am I, Sir ? B 3

Enter + pretence, for indication,

Enter Steward.
Stew. My Lady's father.

Lear. My Lady's father? my Lord's knave ! you whorson dog, you Nave, you cur.

Stew. I am none of these, my Lord; I beseech your pardon. Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal ?

[Striking him. Stew. I'll not be struck, my Lord. Kent. Nor tript neither, you base foot-ball player.

[Tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow. Thou serv'it me, and I'll love thee.

Kent. Come, Sir, arise, away; I'll teach you differences : away, away ;

will measure


lubber's length again, tarry. But away, go to ; have you wifdom? so.

[Puhes the Steward out. Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee ; there's carneit of thy service.

SCENE XIII. To them, enter Fool. pool. Let me hire him too, here's

my coxcomb.

[Giving his cap. Lear. How now, my pretty klare? how doit thou? Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb t. Kent. Why, my boy?

Fool. Why? for taking one's part that is out of favour ; nay, an’ thou canit not smile as the wind fits, thou’lt catch cold shortly. There, take

my coxcomb

b; why, this fellow has banish'd two of his daughters, and did the third a blesling against his will; if thou follow him, thou must needs wear my coxcomb. How now, nuncle ? would I had two coxcombs, and two daughters !

Lear. Why, my boy?

Fool. If I give them all my living, I'll keep my coxcomb myself; there's mine, beg another of thy daughters.

Lear, † Meaning his cap, called so, because on the top of the fool or jefter's cap was sewed a piece of red cloth, resembling the comb of a cock. The word, afterwards, used to denote a vain, conceited, meddling fellow.

Lear. Take heed, firrah, the whip.

Fool. Truth's a dog must to kennel; he must be whipp'd out, when the Lady Brach may stand by the fire, and stink.

Lear. A pestilent gall to me.
Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a fpeech. [To Kent.
Lear. Do.

Fool. Mark it, nuncle ;
Have more than thou showest,
Speak less than thou knowest,
Lend less than thou owest,
Ride more than thou goest,
Learn more than thou troweft,
Set less than thou throwest,
Leave thy drink and thy whore,
And keep within door,
And thou shalt have more
Than two tens to a score.

Kent. This is nothing, fool.

Fool. Then it is like the breath of an unfee'd lawyer, you gave me nothing for’t. Can you make no use of nothing, nuncle?

Lear. Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out of nothing

Fool. Pr’ythee, tell him, so much the rent of his land comes to : he' will not believe a fool t. [To Kent.

Lear. Doft thou call me fool, boy?
Fool. · All thy other titles thou hast given away ;

that thou waft born with.' Kent. « This is not altogether fool, my Lord.' Fool. • No, 'faith ; lords and great men will not let me; if I had a monopoly on't, they would have part


[ocr errors]

+--- believe a fool.

Lear. A bitter fool!

Fool. Duft thou know the difference, my boy, between a bitter fool and a sweet one ?

Lear. No, lad, teach me.

Fool. That Lord that counseld thee to give away thy land,
Come, place him here by me! or do thou for him itand;
The swiet and bitter foci will presently appear,
The one in motely here, the other found out there.

Lear. Doft thou call, 6c.

« PreviousContinue »