« PreviousContinue »
A Room in the Duke of Albuny's Palace,
Enter GoNeRIL and Steward. Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his fool?
Stew. Ay, madam.
Gon. By day and night! he wrongs me; every hour He flashes into one gross crime or other, That sets us all at odds: I'll not endure it: His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us On every trifle:--When he returns from hunting, I will not speak with him; say, I am sick: If you come slack of former services, You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer. Stew. He's coming, madam ; I hear him.
[Horns within. Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please, You and your fellows; I'd have it come to question: If he dislike it, let him to my sister, Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one, Not to be over-rul’d. Idle old
man, That still would manage those authorities, That he hath given away!-Now, by my life, Old fools are babes again; and must be us'd With checks, as flatteries, when they are seeni
abus'd. Remember what I have said.
Very well, madam. Gon. And let his knights have colder looks among
you; What grows of it, no matter ; advise your fellows so: I would breed from hence occasions, and I shall, That I may speak:
I'll write straight to my sister, To hold my very course :-Prepare for dinner.
[Exeunt. SCENE IV.
A Hall in the Same.
Enter Kent, disguised. Kent. If but as well I other accents borrow, That can my speech diffuse, my good intent May carry through itself to that full issue For which I raz'd my likeness. Now, banish'd Kent, If thou can'st serve where thou dost stand condemn'd, (So may it come!) thy master, whom thou lov'st, Shall find thee full of labours.
Horns within. Enter LEAR, Knights, and Attendants.
Lear. Let me not stay a jot for dinner; go, get it ready. [Exit an Attendant.] How now, what art thou?
Kent. A man, sir.
Lear. What dost thou profess? What would'st thou with us?
Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem; to serve him truly, that will put me in trust; to love him
that is honest; to converse with him that is wise, and says little; to fear judgement; to fight, when I cannot choose; and to eat no fish '7.
Lear. What art thou?
Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject, as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What would'st thou?
Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your counterance, which I would fain call master.
Lear. What's that?
Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualify'd 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 : VOL. XIII.
You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?
[Erit. 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 judgement, 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 kindness: 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, 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 player.
(tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow; thou servest 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: but away: go to; Have you wisdom? so.
[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 18.
[giving Kent his cap.