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She'll flay thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find,
So the fool follows after. [Erit. Gon. This man hath had good counsel:—A hundred knights!
'Tis politick, and safe, to let him keep
Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
Alb. Well, you may fear too far.
Gon. Safer than trust: Let me still take away the harms I fear, Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart: What he hath utter'd, I have writ my sister;
If she sustain him and his hundred knights,
What, have you writ that letter to my sister?
Court before the Same.
Enter LEAR, KENT, and Fool.
Lear. Go you before to Gloster with these letters: acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you. know, than comes from her demand out of the letter:
If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there before
you. Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered your letter. [Erit.
Fool. If a man's brains were in his heels, were’t not in danger of kibes?
Lear. Ay, boy.
Fool. Then, I pr’ythee, be merry; thy wit shall not go slip-shod.
Lear. Ha, ha, ha!
Fool. Shalt see, thy other daughter will use thee kindly: for though she's as like this as a crab is like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.
Lear. Why, what canst thou tell, my boy?
Fool. She will taste as like this, as a crab does to a crab. Thou canst tell, why one's nose stands i'the middle of his face 2
Fool. Why, to keep his eyes on either side his nose; that what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into.
Lear. I did her wrong”:—
Fool. Can'st tell how an oyster makes his shell?
Fool. Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail has a house.
Fool. Why, to put his head in; not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns without a Case.
Lear. I will forget my nature.—So kind a father!— Be my horses ready? Fool. Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven, is a pretty reason. Lear. Because they are not eight? Fool. Yes, indeed: Thou would'st make a good fool. Lear. To take it again perforce*!—Monster ingratitude! Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time. Lear. How's that? Fool. Thou should'st not have been old, before thou hadst been wise. Lear. O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven! Keep me in temper; I would not be mad!—
How now? Are the horses ready?
ACT II. SCENE 'I.
A Court within the Castle of the earl of Gloster.
Enter EDMUND and CURAN, meeting.
Edm. Save thee, Curan. Cur. And you, sir. I have been with your father; and given him notice, that the duke of Cornwall, and Regan his duchess, will be here with him tonight. Edm. How comes that ? Cur. Nay, I know not: You have heard of the news abroad; I mean, the whisper'd ones, for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments 2 Edm. Not I; 'Pray you, what are they Cur. Have you heard of no likely wars toward, 'twixt the dukes of Cornwall and Albany Edm. Not a word. Cur. You may then, in time. Fare you well, sir. [Erit. Edm. The duke be here to-night? The better! Best! This weaves itself perforce into my business! My father hath set guard to take my brother; And I have one thing, of a queazy question”, Which I must act:—Briefness, and fortune, work!— Brother, a word;—descend:—Brother, I say;