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Saddle my horses, call my train together.--
Degen'rate bastard! I'll not trouble thee;
Yet have I left a daughter.

rabble Gon. You strike my people, and your disorder'd Make servants of their betters.



To them, Enter Albany. Lear. OE! that too late repents—0, Sir, are


come? Is it your will, speak, Sir ? prepare my horses.-

[To Albany. Ingratitude ! thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous, when thou shew'st thee in a child, Than the sea-monster.

Alb. Pray, Sir, be patient.

Lear. Detested kite! thou liest. [To Gonerill. My train are men of choice and rarest

parts, That all particulars of duty know; And in the most exact regard support The worships of their names. O most small fault ! How ugly didst thou in Cordelia shew? Which, like an engine, wrencht my frame of nature From the fixt place; drew from my heart all love, And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear! Beat at this gate that let thy folly in,

[Striking his head. And thy dear judgment out.-Go, go, my people.

Alb. My lord, I'm guiltless, as I'm ignorant, Of what hath moved you.

Lear. It may be so, my lord-Hear, Nature, hear; dear Goddess, hear a Father! Suspend thy purpose, if thou didit intend To make this creature fruitful : Into her womb convey fterility, Dry up in her the organs of increase, And from her derogate body never spring

A Babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen, that it may live,

And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her;
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth,
* With candent tears fret channels in her cheeks :
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt ; that she may feel,
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is,
To have a thankless child.---Go, go, my people.
Alb. Now, Gods, that we adore, whereof comes:

this ?
Gon. Never afflict yourself to know of it:
But let his disposition have that scope,
That dotage gives it.

Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a clap?
Within a fortnight ?---

Alb. What's the matter, Sir ?

Lear. I'll tell thee--life and death! I am asham'd That thou haft power to shake my manhood thus;

[To Gonerill. That these hot tears, which break from me perforce, Should make thee worth them,blafts and fogs upon

Th’untented woundings of a father's curse
+ Pierce every fence about thee! Old fond eyes,
Beweep this Cause again, I'll pluck ye out,
And cast you, with the waters that you lose,
To temper clay. Ha!-is it come to this?
Let it be fo: I have another daughter,
Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable;
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
She'll flea thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find,

* With cadent tears.---] We should read, candent, i. e. hot, scalding. † Pierce every sense about thee!] We should read,

Pierce every fence about thee!] i. e. Guard, Security, Barrier. Let nothing stand against a Father's Curlea



That I'll resume the shape, which thou dost think
I have cast off for ever. [Ex. Lear and Attendants.



O you mark that?

Alb. I cannot be so partial, Gonerill, To the great love I bear you,

Gon. Pray you, be content. What, Oswald, ho! You, Sir, more knave than fool, after your master. Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, take the fool

with thee:
A Fox, when one has caught her,
And such a daughter,
Should sure to the slaughter,
If my cap would buy a halter,
So the fool follows after.

(Exit. Gon. This man hath had good counsel a hundred

'Tis politic, and safe, to let him keep
A hundred Knights ; yes, that on ev'ry dream,
Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
He may 'enguard his dotage with their pow'rs,
And hold our lives at mercy : Oswald, I say.

Alb. Well, you may fear too far;

Gon. Safer than trust too far.
Let me still take away the harms I fear,
Not fear ftill to be harm'd. I know his heart;
What he hath utter'd, I have writ my lifter;'
If she'll sustain him and his hundred Knights,
When I have shew'd th’unfitness-

Enter Steward.
How now, Oswald ?
What, have you writ that letter to my sister ?

Stew. Ay, Madam.

Gon. Take you some company, and away to horse; Inform her full of my particular fears,

And thereto add such reasons of your own,
As may compa&t it more. So get you gone,
And haften
your return.

[Exit Steward.
-No, no, my lord,
This milky gentleness and course of yours,
Though I condemn it not, yet, under pardon,
You are much more at task for want of wisdom,
Than prais’d for harmful mildness.

Alv. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot tell ; Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.

Gon. Nay then-
Alb. Well, well, th' event.


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S CE NE XVII. A Court-Yard belonging to the Duke of Albany's Palace,

Re-enter Lear, Kent, Gentlemen and Fool, Lear. O 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 afore you.

Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, 'till I have delivered your letter.

Exit. Fool. If a man's brain 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 lip-shod.

Lear. Ha, ha, ha.

Fool. Shalt fee, thy other daughter will use thee kindly; for though she's as like this as a crab's like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.

Lear. What canst tell, boy?

Fool. She will taste as like this, as a crab does to a crab. Canst thou tell, why one's nose stands i'th' middle of one's face?


Lear. No.

Fool. Why, to keep one's eyes of either side one's nose; that what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into.

Lear. I did her wrong-
Fool. Canft tell how an oyster makes his shell ?
Lear. No.
Fool. Nor I neither; but I can tell, why a 'snail has
a house.

Lear. Why?

Fool. Why, to put's head in, not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns without a café.

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't again perforce !

-monster ingratitude !

Fool. If you were 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, 'till thou hadft been wife.

Lear. O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heav'n!
Keep me in temper, I would not be mad.

Enter Gentleman.
How now, are the horses ready?

Gent. Ready, my lord.
Lear. Come, boy.
Fool. She that's a maid now, and laughs at my

Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut shorter.

(Exeunt. C 5



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