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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.


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 canst 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, who 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 judgment; to fight, when I cannot choose; and to eat no fish.d

Lear. Who art thou?

Kent. A very honest-hearted fellow, and as poor as the king.

Lear. If thou be as poor for a subject, as he is for a king, thou art poor enough. What would'st thou?

Kent. Service.

Lear. Who would'st thou serve?

b my speech diffuse,] i. e. Disorder and so disguise my speech.-STEEVENS. to converse with,] i. e. To keep company with.-JOHNSON.



and to eat no fish.] In Queen Elizabeth's time the Papists were esteemed enemies to the government. Hence the proverbial phrase of, He's an honest man, and eats no fish; to signify he's a friend to the government and a Protestant.-WARBURTON.

Kent. You.

Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow?

Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your countenance, which I would fain call master.

Lear. What's that?

Kent. Authority.

Lear. What services canst thou do?

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:

Enter Steward.

You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?

Stew. So please you,―


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 entertained 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 mis

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taken 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 pretencef 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, 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?

Stew. I'll not be struck, my lord.

[Striking him.

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 wis[Pushes the Steward out.

dom? so.

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.

– jealous curiosity,] i. e. I believe, punctilious jealousy.-STEEVENS. pretence-] In Shakspeare generally signifies design.—STEEVENS. bandy looks with me,] A metaphor from Tennis.-STEEVENS.

Lear. How now, 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 them all my living,' I'd keep my coxcombs myself: There's mine; beg another of thy daugh


Lear. Take heed, sirrah; the whip.

Fool. Truth's a dog that must to kennel; he must be whipp'd 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,

·catch cold shortly:] i. e. Be turned out of doors, and exposed to the inclemency of the weather.-FARMER.

my coxcomb.-]i. e. His cap. Minsheu, in his Dictionary, 1627, says, "Natural ideots and fools, have, and still do accustom themselves to weare in their cappes cockes feathers, or a hat with a neck and heade of a cocke on the top, and a bill thereon."-STEEVENS.

* nuncle?] A familiar contraction of mine uncle. The customary appellation of the licensed fool to his superiors was uncle or nuncle.-NARES. -living,] i. e. Estate, or property.-MALONE.

· brach,] i. e. A lurcher, a beagle, or any fine-nosed hound. A female was

usually meant.-NARES.

n Lend less than thou owest,] That is, do not lend all that thou hast. To owe, in old English, is to possess.-JOHNSON.

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-trowest,] i. e. Believest.

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.

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 :P 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

P —if I had a monopoly out, they would have part on't:] A satire on the gross abuses of monopolies at that time; and the corruption and avarice of the courtiers, who commonly went shares with the patentee: these monopolies extended to the least as to the greatest concerns. In the books of the Stationers' Company, is the following entry: "John Charlewoode, Oct. 1587 : lycensed unto him by the whole consent of the assistants, the onlye ymprynting of all manner of billes for plaiers." Again, Nov. 6. 1615; "The liberty of printing all billes for fencing was granted to Mr. Purfoot."-WARBURTON and STEEVENS.

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