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

Gon. Pray you, content.-What, Oswald, ho! You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master.

[To the Fool. Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, and 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.

[Erit. Gon. This man hath had good counsel :- A hundred

knights ! 'Tis politick, and safe to let him keep At point,' a hundred knights. Yes, that on every dream, Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike, He may enguard his dotage with their powers, And hold our lives in mercy.-Oswald, I say!

Alb. Well, you may fear too far.

Safer than trust too far.m
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,
When I have show'd the unfitness.- How now, Oswald ?

Enter Steward.

What, have you writ that letter to my sister ?

Stew. Ay, madam.
Gon. Take
you some company,

to horse :
Inform her full of my particular fear;
And thereto add such reasons of your own,
As may compact it more." Get you gone;


| At point,] Completely armed, and consequently ready at appointment or command on the slightest notice.-STEEVENS.

trust too far.] So all the old copies : Steevens omits too far, for the sake of the metre.

compact it more.] Unite one circumstance with another, so as to make a consistent account.-JOHNSON.

And hasten your return. [Exit Stew.] No, no, my lord,
This milky gentleness, and course of yours,
Though I condemn it not, yet, under pardon,
You are much more attask'do for want of wisdom,
Than prais'd for harmful mildness.

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

Gom. Nay, then-
Alb. Well, well; the event.



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.P

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

[Erit. Fool. If a man's brains were in his heels, wer'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:9 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?

attask'd-] i. e. Blumed. To be at task, is to be liable to reprehension and correction.-Johnson.

P - there before you.] He means the town of Gloster, which Shakspeare chose to make the residence of the duke of Comwall and Regan, in order to give a probability to their setting out late from thence, on a visit to the earl of Gloster, whose castle our poet conceived to be in the neighbourhood of that city. Our old English earls, usually resided in the counties from whence they took their titles. Lear not finding his son-in-law, and his wife at home, follows them to the of Gloster's castle.-MALONE.

thy other daughter will use thee kindly:] The fool uses the word kindly bere in two senses: it means affectionately, and like the rest of her kind M. Mason.

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?

Lear. No.

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 ?
Lear. No.

Fool. Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail has a house.

Lear. Why?

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 wouldest 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!

Enter Gentleman.

How now! are the horses ready ?

Gent. Ready, my lord.
Lear. Come, boy.

Fool. She that is maid now, and laughs at my departure, Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut shorter.


I did her wrong:] He is musing on Cordelia.-Jonnson.


Scene I.--A Court within the Castle of the Earl of


Enter EDMUND and CURAN, meeting. Edm. Save thee, Çuran.

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 to-night.

Edm. How comes that?

Cur. Nay, I know not: You have heard of the news abroad; I mean, the whispered ones, for they are yet but ear-kissing arguments ?s

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

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;

Enter EDGAR.

My father watches :-0 sir, fly this place ;
Intelligence is given where you are hid;
You have now the good advantage of the night :-
Have you not spoken 'gainst the duke of Cornwall ?
He's coming hither; now, i'the night, i'the haste,
And Regan with him; Have you nothing said

ear-kissing arguments,] i. e. Topics only treated in whispers.

queasy,] i. e. Nice, tender, delicate. VOL. VIII.


Upon his party" ʼgainst the duke of Albany?
Advise yourself.*

I am sure on't, not a word.
Edm. I hear my father coming, -Pardon me:
In cunning, I must draw my sword upon you :-
Draw: Seem to defend yourself: Now quit you well.
Yield : come before my father;-Light, ho, here !
Fly, brother ;— Torches ! torches !-So farewell.-

[Exit EDGAR. Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion

[Wounds his arm. Of more fierce endeavour: I have seen drunkards Do more than this in sport.-Father ! father! Stop, stop ! No help?

Enter GLOSTER, and Servants with Torches.

Glo. Now, Edmund, where's the villain?

Edm. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon To stand his auspicious mistress :Glo.

But where is he? Edm. Look, sir, I bleed. Glo.

Where is the villain, Edmund ? Edm. Fled this way, sir. When by'no means he couldGlo. Pursue him, ho !—Go after.—[Exit Servant.] By

no means,what?
Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your lordship;
But that I told him, the revenging gods
'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend;
Spoke, with how manifold and strong a bond
The child was bound to the father:-Sir, in fine,
Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion,
With his prepared sword, he charges home
My unprovided body, lanc'd mine arm:
But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to the encounter,

Upon his party-ji.e. Upon the party formed by him.--HANMER.
* Advise yourself.] i. e. Consider, recollect yourself.

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