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But I will tarry, the fool will stay;

And let the wise man fly,
The kenave turns fool, that runs away ;

fool no knave, perdy.

Kent. Where learned you this, fool ?
Fool. Not i' the stocks, fool.

Re-enter LEAR, with GLOSTER. Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are sick ? they are weary,

They have travell’d hard to-night ? Mere fetches ;
The images of revolt and flying off!
Fetch me a better answer.

My dear lord,
You know the fiery quality of the duke ;
How unremoveable and fix'd he is
In his own course.

Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confusion ! -
Fiery? what quality ? Why Gloster, Gloster,
I'd speak with the duke of Cornwall, and his wife.

Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform’d them Lear. Inform’d them! Dost thou understand me,

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man ?

Glo. Ay, my good lord.
Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall; the

dear father Would with his daughter speak, commands her ser

vice : Are they inform’d of this ? · My breath and

blood ! Fiery ? the fiery duke? Tell the hot duke, that No, but not yet :-- may be, he is not well : Infirmity doth still neglect all office, Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourselves, When nature, being oppress’d, commands the mind To suffer with the body : I'll forbear;

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And am fallen out with my more headier will,
To take the indispos’d and sickly fit
For the sound man.--Death on my state ! wherefore

[Looking on Kent.
Should he sit here? This act persuades me,
That this remotion of the duke and her
Is practice? only. Give me my servant forth :
Go, tell the duke and his wife, I'd speak with

Now, presently: bid them come forth and hear me,
Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum,

Sleep to death.
Glo. I'd have all well betwixt you.

Lear. O me, my heart, my rising heart! - but,

down. Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels, when she put them i' the paste alive; she rapp'd 'em o' the coxcombs with a stick, and cry'd, Down, wantons, down : 'Twas her brother, that in pure kindness to his horse, butter'd his hay.

Till it cry:




Lear. Good morrow to you both.

Hail to your grace!

[Kent is set at Liberty. Reg. I am glad to see your highness. Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what reaI have to think so: if thou should'st not be glad, I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb, Sepúlchring an adultress. — 0, are



[To KENT. Some other time for that. Beloved Regan, Thy sister 's naught: 0 Regan, she hath tied

6 Removing from their own house.

7 Artifice.

stands on

Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture here,

[Points to his Heart.
I can scarce speak to thee; thou 'lt not believe,
Of how deprav'd a quality. “O Regan !

Reg. I pray you, sir, take patience; I have hope,
You less know how to value her desert,
Than she to scant her duty. ·

Say, how is that?
Reg. I cannot think, my sister in the least
Would fail her obligation: If, sir, perchance,
She have restrain’d the riots of your followers,
'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end,
As clears her from all blame.

Lear. My curses on her!

0, sir, you are old ;
Nature in


very verge
Of her confine : you should be rul'd, and led
By some discretion, that discerns your state
Better than you yourself: Therefore, I pray you,
That to our sister you do make return;
Say, you have wrong'd her, sir.

Ask her forgiveness ?

but mark how this becomes the house 8 :
Dear daughter, I confess that I am old ;
Age is unnecessary: on my knees I beg, [Kneeling.
That you 'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.
Reg. Good sir, no more; these are unsightly

Return you to my sister.

Never, Regan :
She hath abated me of half my train;
Look'd black upon me; struck me with her tongue,
Most serpent-like, upon


All the stord vengeances of heaven fall
On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones,
You taking airs, with lameness !

Fye, fye, fye!

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8 The order of families.

curse ;

Lear. You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding

flames Into her scornful eyes ! Infect her beauty, You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the powerful sun, To fall and blast her pride ! Reg:

O the blest gods ! So will you wish on me, when the rash mood's on.

Lear. No, Regan, thou shalt never have my
Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give
Thee o'er to harshness ; her eyes are fierce, but

Do comfort, and not burn: 'Tis not in thee
To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train
To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes ',
And, in conclusion, to oppose the bolt
Against my coming in : thou better know'st
The offices of nature, bond of childhood,
Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude;
Thy half o' the kingdom hast thou not forgot,
Wherein I thee endow'd.

Good sir, to the purpose.

[Trumpets within. Lear. Who put my man i’ the stocks? Corn.

What trumpet's that.

Enter Steward. Reg. I know't, my sister's: this approves her

letter, That she would soon be here.— Is your lady come?

Lear. This is a slave, whose easy-borrow'd pride Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows: Out, varlet, from my sight! Corn.

What means your grace ? Lear. Who.stock'd my servant? Regan, I have is good hope

9 Contract my allowances.

Who comes here? O

Thou didst not know of 't.


Enter GONERIL. If you

do love old men, if your sweet sway Allow' obedience, if yourselves are old, Make it your cause; send down, and take my

part! Art not asham’d to look upon this beard ?

[To GONERIL. O, Regan, wilt thou take her by the hand ? Gon. Why not by the hand, sir ? How have I

offended ? All 's not offence, that indiscretion finds, · And dotage terms so. Lear.

0, sides, you are too tough! Will you yet hold? How came my man i' the

stocks ?
Corn. I set him there, sir : but his own dis-

Deserv'd much less advancement.

You, did you ?
Reg. I pray you, father, being weak, seem so.
If, till the expiration of your month,
You will return and sojourn with my sister,
Dismissing half your train, come then to me;
I am now from home, and out of that provision
Which shall be needful for your entertainment.

Lear. Return to her, and fifty men dismiss'd?,
No, rather I abjure all roofs, and choose
To wage against the enmity o’the air ;
To be a comrade with the wolf and owl,
Necessity's sharp pinch! - Return with her?
Why, the hot-blooded France, that dowerless took
Our youngest born, I could as well be brought
To knce his throne, and, squire-like, pension beg


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