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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, nuncle; thou hast pared thy wit o'both sides, and left nothing in the middle: Here comes one o'the parings.
Enter Gox E R1 L.
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. Gom. 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 By your allowance; which if you should, the fault Would not 'scape censure, nor the redresses sleep; Which, in the tender of a wholesome weal, Might in their working do you that offence, Which else were shame, that then necessity Will call discreet proceeding. Fool. For you trow, nuncle, 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.
Lear. Your name, fair gentlewoman?
Gon. Come, sir; This admiration is much o'the favour Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you To understand my purposes aright: As you are old and reverend, you should be wise: Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires; Men so disorder'd, so debauch'd, and bold, That this our court, infected with their manners, Shows like a riotous inn: epicurism and lust Make it more like a tavern, or a brothel, Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth speak For instant remedy: Be then desir'd By her, that else will take the thing she begs, * A little to disquantity your train; And the remainder, that shall still depend, To be such men as may besort your age, And know themselves and you.
Lear. Darkness and devils 1– 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
Make servants of their betters.
Lear. Woe, that too late repents, O, sir, are you come 2
Is it your will? [to Alb.] Speak, sir.—Prepare my
With cadent tears fret channels in her cheeks;
To have a thankless child!—Away, away! [Erit. Alb. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes this?
Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause;
Within a fortnight?
That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus: