Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

men are fit for, I am qualified in; and the best of me is diligence.

Lear. How old art thou?

Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing; nor so old, to dote on her for any thing: I have years on my back forty-eight.

Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me; if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet.-Dinner, ho, dinner!-Where's my knave? my fool? Go you, and call my fool hither:

Enter Steward.

You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter? Stew. So please you,[Exit. 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 mongrel ?

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 judgment, 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, and call hither my fool.Re-enter Steward.

O, you sir, you sir, come you hither: Who am I, sir?

Stew. My lady's father.

Lear. My lady's father! my lord's knave: you whoreson dog! you slave! you cur!

Stew. I am none of this, my lord; I beseech you, pardon me.

Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal?

[Striking him. Stew. I'll not be struck, my lord. Kent. Nor tripped neither; you base foot-ball [Tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow; thou servest me, and I'll love thee.

player.

Kent. Come, sir, arise, away: I'll teach you differences away, away: If you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry: but away: go to: Have you wisdom? so0.

[Pushes the Steward out. Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee: there's earnest of thy service.

[Giving KENT Money.

Enter Fool.

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 thein 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 whipped 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 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 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; For wise men are grown foppish; And know not how their wits to wear, Their manners are so apish.

[Singing.

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,
And I for sorrow sung,

That such a king should play bo-peep,

And go the fools among.

[Singing.

Pr'ythee, nuncle, keep a schoolmaster 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 GONERIL.

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 thon 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 shealed peascod. [Pointing to LEAR.
Gon. 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?

« AnteriorContinua »