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a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again: I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.
That, sir, which serves and seeks for gain,
And follows but for form,
And leave thee in the storm.
And let the wise man fly:
The fool no knave, perdy.
Re-enter Lear, with Gloster. Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are sick ?
they are weary?
My dear lord,
Leur. Vengeance ! plague! death! confusion !
Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform’d them so. Lear. Inform’d them! Dost thou understand me,
man? Glo. Ay, my good lord. Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall; the
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; 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.8 Give me my servant forth: Go, tell the duke and his wife, I'd speak with them, Now, presently: bid them come forth and hear me, Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum, Till it cry-Sleep to death. Glo. I'd have all well betwixt you. [Exit. 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.
- this remotion--] From their own house to that of the Earl of Gloster.
Is practice only.] Practice is, in Shakspeare, and other old writers, used commonly in an ill sense for unlawful artifice.
i' the paste-1 The paste, or crust of a pie, in Sbakspeare's time, was called a coffin.
Enter CORNWALL, Regan, Gloster, and
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
- reason I have to think so: if thou should'st not be glad, I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb, Sepulch'ring an adultress.-0, are you free?
[To KENT. Some other time for that.-Beloved Regan, Thy sister's naught: O Regan, she hath tied 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— 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' Lear.
Say, how is that?
Lear. My curses on her!
O, sir, you are old;
- scant her duty.] i. e. be deficient in her duty, but the expression is inaccurate.
That to our sister you do make return;
Ask her forgiveness?
tricks: 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 the very heart:All the stor'd vengeances of heaven fall On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones, You taking airs, with lameness! Corn.
Fye, fye, fye! 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
curse; Thy tender-hefted natures shall not give Thee o'er to harshness; her eyes are fierce, but thine Do comfort, and not burn: Tis not in thee To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train,
i— the house?] The order of families, duties of relation.
? Age is unnecessary: ] i. e. Old age has few wants, or it may mean that old people are useless.
3 Thy tender-hefted nature-) Hefted seems to mean the same as heaved. Tender-hefted, i, e. whose bosom is agitated by tender passions.
To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes,
Good sir, to the purpose.
[Trumpets within. Lear. Who put my man i' the stocks? Corn.
What trumpet's that?
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
good hope Thou didst not know of’t.-Who comes here? O
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 scant my sizes,] To contract my allowances or proportions settled. Sizes are certain portions of bread, beer, or other victuals, which in publick societies are set down to the account of particular persons: a word still used in colleges.
Allow obedience,] Allow sometimes signifies approve.