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Lear. How !
Mak’st thou this shame thy pastime?

No, my lord. Fool. Ha, ha; look! he wears cruel garters ! Horses are tied by the heads; dogs, and bears, by the neck; monkies by the loins, and men by the legs : when a man is over-lusty at legs, then he wears wooden netherstocks.

Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place mistook To set thee here? Kent.

It is both he and she.
Your son and daughter.

Lear. No.
Kent. Yes.
Lear. No, I say.
Kent. I say, yea.
Lear. No, no; they would not.
Kent. Yes, they have.
Lear. By Jupiter, I swear, no.
Kent. By Juno, I swear, ay.

Lear. They durst not do't;
They could not, would not do't ; 'tis worse than murder,
To do upon respect such violent outrage :
Resolve me, with all modest haste, which way
Thou might'st deserve, or they impose, this usage,
Coming from us.

My lord, when at their home,
I did commend your highness' letters to them,
Ere I was risen from the place that show'd
My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post,
Stew'd in his haste, half breathless, panting forth
From Goneril his mistress, salutations ;
Deliver'd letters, spite of intermission,
Which presently they read: on whose contents,

cruel garters !] Probably a quibble was here intended. Crewel signifies worsted, of which stockings, garters, night-caps, &c. are made.-STEEVENS.

2- nether-stocks.] The old word for stockings.—STEEVENS.

a To do upon respect such violent outrage:) i. e. To violate the venerable character of a messenger from the king.-Johnson.

b— spite of intermission,] i. e. Without pause, wthout suffering time to interrene. -STEEVENS.

They summon'd up their meiny,' straight took horse;
Commanded me to follow, and attend
The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks:
And meeting here the other messenger,
Whose welcome, I perceiv’d, had poison'd mine,
(Being the very fellow that of late
Display'd so saucily against your highness,)
Having more man than wit about me, drew;
He rais’d the house with loud and coward cries :
Your son and daughter found this trespass worth
The shame which here it suffers.
Fool. Winter's not gone yet, if the wild-geese fly that

Fathers, that wear rags,

Do make their children blind;
But fathers, that bear bags,

Shall see their children kind.
Fortune, that arrant whore,

Ne'er turns the key to the poor.But, for all this, thou shalt have as many doloursd for thy daughters, as thou can'st tell in a year.

Lear. O, how this mother swells up toward my heart !
Hysterica passio! down, thou climbing sorrow,
Thy elements below!-Where is this daughter?

Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.

Follow me not; Stay here.

[Exit. Gent. Made you no more offence than what you

speak of? Kent. None. How chance the king comes with so small a train ?

Fool. An thou hadst been set i'the stocks for that question, thou hadst well deserved it.

Kent. Why, fool?



- meiny,] i. e. Family. Mesnie, Fr.

dolours ] Quibble between dolours and dollars.—Hanmer. € 0, how this mother, &c.] Lear here affects to pass off the swelling of his heart ready to burst with grief and indignation, for the disease called the Mother, or Hysterica passio, which, in our author's time, was not thought pecu. liar to women only.-Percy.

Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no labouring in the winter. All that follow their noses are led by their eyes, but blind men; and there's not a nose among twenty, but can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy hold, when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again; I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.

That, sir, which serves and seeks for gain,

And follows but for form,
Will pack, when it begins to rain,

And leave thee in the storm.
But I will tarry; the fool will stay,

And let the wise man fly:
The knave turns fool, that runs away ;

The fool no knave, perdy.'
Kent. Where learn'd you this, fool?
Fool. Not i'the stocks, fool.

Re-enter LEAR, with Gloster.
Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are sick ? they

are weary?
They have travell’d hard to-night? Mere fetches;
The images of revolt and flying off!
Fetch me a better answer.

My dear lord,
You know the fiery quality of the duke;
How unremoveable and fix'd he is
In his own course.

Lear. Vengeance! plague ! death! confusion !
Fiery? what quality? why, Gloster, Gloster,
I'd speak with the duke of Cornwall, and his wife.
1 The knave turns fool, that runs away;

The fool no knave, perdy.] I think the passage is erroneous, though both the copies concur. The sense will be mended if we read:

The fool turns knave, that runs away;

The knave no fool, perdy. That I stay with the king is a proof that I am a fool; the wise men are deserting him. There is knavery in this desertion, but there is no follyJohnson. Perdy is a corruption of par dieu.

-Death on my

Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform’d them so.
Lear. Inform'd them! Dost thou understand me, man?
Glo. Ay, my good lord.
Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall; the dear

Would with his daughter speak, commands her service:
Are they inform'd of this ?

-My breath and blood!
Fiery? the fiery duke ?–Tell the hot duke, that-
No, but not yet may be, he is not well :
Infirmity doth still neglect all office,
Whereto our health is bound; we are not ourselves,
When nature, being oppress’d, commands the mind
To suffer with the body: I'll forbear;
And am fallen out with my more headier will,
To take the indispos’d and sickly fit
For the sound man.-

state! wherefore

[Looking on Kent. Should he sit here? This act persuades me, That this remotions of the duke and her Is practice only. Give me my servant forth: Go, tell the duke and his wife, I'd speak with them, Now, presently: bid them come forth and hear me, Or at their chamber door I'll beat the drum, Till it cry-Sleep to death. Glo. I'd have all well betwixt you.

[Exit. Lear. O me, my heart, my rising heart !-but, down.

Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels, when she put them i'the paste alive; she rapp'd 'em o'the coxcombs with a stick, and cry'd, Down, wantons, down: 'Twas her brother, that, in pure kindness to his horse, butter'd his hay.

Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and Servants.
Lear. Good morrow to you


Hail to your grace!

[Kent is set at liberty. this remotion—] From their own house to that of the earl of Gloster.-MALONE.

practice- ) i. e, Deceit. This word is commonly used in an ill sense by the writers of Shakspeare's time.

Sleep to death.j i. e. I'll beat the drum till it cries out-Let them awake no more; let their present sleep be their last.-STEEVENS.

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Reg. I am glad to see your highness.

Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what reason I have to think so: if thou should’st not be glad, I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb, Sepulch'ring an adultress.-0, are you free?

[Το ΚΕΝΤ. Some other time for that.-Beloved Regan, Thy sister's naught: 0 Regan, she hath tied Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here,

[Points to his Heart. I can scarce speak to thee: thou'lt not believe, Of how deprav'd a quality-0 Regan!

Reg. I pray you, sir, take patience; I have hope,
You less know how to value her desert,
Than she to scant her duty."

Say, how is that?
Reg. I cannot think, my sister in the least
Would fail her obligation : If, sir, perchance,
She have restrain' the riots of your followers,
'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end,
As clears her from all blame.

Lear. My curses on her!

O, sir, you are old;
Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of her confine: you should be ruld, and led
By some discretion, that discerns your state
Better than you yourself: Therefore, I pray you,
That to our sister you do make return;
Say, you have wrong'd her, sir.

Ask her forgiveness ?
Do you but mark how this becomes the house ?!
Dear daughter, I confess that I am old;
Age is unnecessary :" on my knees I beg, [Kneeling.
That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.

I have hope,
You less know how to value her desert,

Than she to scant her duty.) The sense is, “ I have hope that you are more ignorant of her merits, than she is ignorant of any inclination to neglect her duty.” The sense is most inaccurately expressed, to scant is to be deficient in.

i-the house ?] i. e. The order of families, duties of relation.--WARBURTON. - Age is unnecessary:) i. e. Old people are useless. VOL. VIII.


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