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You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter? Stew. So please you, - [Erit. Lear. What says the fellow there? Call the clotpoll back-Where's my fool, ho?—I think the world's asleep.–How now? where's that mongrel2 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 judgement, your highness 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 dependants, as in the duke himself also, and your daughter. Lear. Ha! say'st thou so? Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken; for my duty cannot be silent, when I think your highness is wrong’d. Lear. Thou but remember'st me of mine own conception: I have perceived a most faint neglect of late; which I have rather blamed as mine own jealous curiosity, than as a very pretence and purpose of unkindness: I will look further into't.—But where's my fool? I have not seen him this 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, you sir, come you hither: Who am I, sir?
Fool. Let me hire him too;—Here's my coxcomb". [giving Kent his cap.
Lear. How now, my pretty knave? how dost thou? Fool. Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb. Kent. Why, fool? Fool. Why? For taking one's part that is out of favour: Nay, an thou canst not smile as the wind sits, thou'lt catch cold shortly: There, take my coxcomb: Why, this fellow has banish'd two of his daughters, and did the third a blessing 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 gave them all my living, I'd keep my coxcombs myself: There's mine; beg another of thy daughters. Lear. Take heed, sirrah; the whip. Fool. Truth's a dog that must to kennel; he must be whipp'd out, when Lady, the brach, may stand by the fire and stink”. Lear. A pestilent gall to me! Fool. Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech. 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 trowest”, Set less than thou throwest;
Leave thy drink and thy whore, And keep in-a-door, And thou shalt have more Than two tens to a score. Lear. This is nothing, fool. Fool. Then 'tis 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. [To Kent. Lear. A bitter fool! Fool. Dost thou know the difference, my boy, between a bitter fool and a sweet fool? Lear. No, lad; teach me. Fool. That lord, that counsel'd thee To give away thy land, Come place him here by me, Or do thou for him stand: The sweet and bitter fool Will presently appear; The one in motley here, The other found out there. Lear. Dost thou call me fool, boy? Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given away; that thou wastborn 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 out, they would have part on't: and ladies too, they will not let me have all fool to myself; they’ll be snatching.—Give me an egg, nuncle, and I'll give thee two crowns.
Lear. What two crowns shall they be?
Fool. Why, after I have cut the egg i'the middle, and eat up the meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou clovest thy crown i'the middle, and gavest away both parts, thou borest thine ass on thy back over the dirt: Thou had'st little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gavest thy golden one away. If I speak like myself in this, let him be whipp'd that first finds it so.
Fools had ne'er less grace in a year; [Singing.
And know not how their wits to wear,
Lear. When were you wont to be so full of songs, sirrah
Fool. I have used it, nuncle, ever since thou madest thy daughters thy mother: for when thou gavest them the rod, and put'st down thine own breeches,
Then they for sudden joy did weep, [Singing.
That such a king should play bo-peep,