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Stew. I am none of these, my lord; I beseech your pardon. Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal?
Striking him. Stew. I'll not be struck, my lord. Kent. Nor tript neither, you base foot-ball player.
(Tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow. Thou serv'st me, and I'll love thee.
Kent. Come, Sir, arise, away; I'll teach you differences : away, away; if you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry again ; but away, go to : have you wisdom? fo.
[Pushes the Steward out. Lear. Now, my friendly knave, ..I thank thee ; there's earnest of thy service.
S CE NE XIII.
To them, Enter Fool. Fool. ET me hire him too, here's
(Giving his cap: Lear. How now, my pretty knave? how dost thou? Fool. Sirrah, you were beft * take my coxcomb. Kent. Why, my boy?
Fool. Why? for taking one's part, that is out of favour; nay, as thou canst not fmile as the wind fits, 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, uncle ? would, I had two coxcombs, and two daughters.
Lear. Why, my boy? Fool. If I give them all my living, I'll keep my * take my coxcomb.) Meaning his. Cap, called so, because on the Top of the Fool or Jelter's Cap was sewed a Piece of red Cloth, resembling the Comb of a Cock. The Word, afterwards, used, to denote a vain conceited meddling Fellow.
coxcomb myself; there's mine, beg another of thy daughters.
Lear. Take heed, Sirrah, the whip-
Fool. Truth's a dog must to kennel ; he must be whipp'd out, when the lady brach may stand by th' fire and stink.
Lear. A pestilent gall to me.
Fool. Mark it, nuncle ;
Kent. This is nothing, fool.
Fool. Then it is 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. Prythee, 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 one?
Lear. No, lad, teach me.
Lear. Doft thou call me fool, boy?
Fool. All thy other titles thou hast given away ; that thou wast born 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 on't, they would have part on't: nay, the Ladies too, they'll 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'th' middle and eat up the meat, the two crowns of the egg; when thou clovest thy Crown i'th' middle and gav'st away both parts, thou bor'ít thine ass on thy back o'er the dirt ; thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown, when thou gav'ft thy golden one away: if I speak like myself in this, let him be whipp'd that first finds it sooth.
Fools ne'er had less grace in a year, [Singing
For wise men are grown foppish;
Their manners are so apish. Lear. When were you wont to be so full of songs, firrah?
Fool. I have used it, nuncle, e'er since thou mad'ft thy daughters thy mothers; for when thou gav'st them the rod, and put it down thy own breeches,
Then they for sudden joy did weep, [Singing:
And I for forrow süng ;
And go the fools among. Prythee, nuncle, keep a school-master that can teach thy fool to lie; I would fain learn to lie.
Lear. If you lie, firrah, we'll have you whipt.
Fool. I marvel, what kin ihou and thy daughters are: they'll have me whipt for speaking true, thou'lt have me whipt for lying; and, sometimes, I am whipt for holding my peace. I had rather be any kind o'thing than a fool, and yet I would not be thee, nuncle; thou haft pared thy wit o'both sides, and left nothing i'th' middle: here comes one o'th' parings.
To them, Enter Gonerill.
frontlet on? you are too much of late ith' frown.
Fool. Thou wast a pretty fellow, when thou hadft
Gon. Not only, Sir, this your all-licens'd fool,
The hedge-sparrow fed the Cuckoo so long,
That it had its head bit off by its Young ;
Lear. Are you our daughter ?
Fool. May not an Ass know when the cart draws the horse? whoop, Jug, I love thee.
Lear. Does any here know me? this is not Lear : Does Lear walk thus ? speak thus? where are his eyes? Either his notion weakens, his discernings Are lethargied-Ha ! waking- 'tis not so; Who is it that can tell me who I am ? Lear's shadow? I would learn ; for by the marks Of sovereignty of knowledge, and of reason, I should be false persuaded I had daughters. Your name, fair gentlewoman?
Gon. This admiration, Sir, is much o'th' favour Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you, To understand my purposes aright. You, as you're old and reverend, 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, Shews like a riotous Inn; Epicurism and luft Make it more like a tavern or a brothel, Than a grac'd Palace. Shame itself doth speak For instant remedy. Be then desir'd By her, that else will take the thing she begs, Of fifty to disquantity your train; And the remainders, that shall still depend, To be such men as may befort your age, And know themselves and you. Lear. Darkness and devils !