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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.
Kent.

My lord, when at their home
I did commend your highness' letters to them,
Ere I was risen from the place that showed
My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post,
Stewed in his haste, half breathless, panting forth
From Goneril his mistress, salutations ;
Delivered letters, spite of intermission,
Which presently they read; on whose contents,
They summoned 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 perceived, had poisoned mine,
(Being the very fellow that of late
Displayed so saucily against your highness,)
Having more man than wit about me, drew;
He raised 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 way.

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.--

4

1 «To do, upon respect, such violent outrage,” means “to do such violent outrage, deliberately, or upon consideration.Respect is frequently used for consideration by Shakspeare.

2 i. e. “ spite of leaving me unanswered for a time.”

3 Meiny, signifying a family household, or retinue of servants, is from the French meinie, anciently written mesnie.

4 The personal pronoun, which is found in the preceding line, is understood before the word having, or before drew. The same license is taken by Shakspeare in other places.

5“ If this be their behavior, the king's troubles are not yet at an end.” This speech is omitted in the quartos.

But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolors for thy daughters, as thou canst tell in a year.

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

Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.
Lear.

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 ?

Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant, to teach thee there's no laboring 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.

Thất, 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.

1 A quibble between dolors and dollars.

2 Lear 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 the Poet's time, was not thought peculiar to women only.

3 If, says the fool, you had been schooled by the ant, you would have known that the king's train, like that sagacious insect, prefer the summer of prosperity to the colder season of adversity, from which no profit can be derived ; and desert him who has been left “open and bare for every storm that blows."

Kent. Where learned 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 travelled hard to-night? Mere fetches :
The images of revolt and flying off!
Fetch me a better answer.
Glo.

My dear lord,
You know the fiery quality of the duke;
How unremovable and fixed 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.

Glo. Well, my good lord, I have informed them so.
Lear. Informed them! Dost thou understand me,

man ? Glo. Ay, my good lord. Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall; the

dear father Would with his daughter speak, commands her service. Are they informed of this ? -My breath and blood !Fiery ? the fiery duke ?- Tell the hot duke, thatNo, 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 oppressed, commands the mind To suffer with the body. I'll forbear; And am fallen out with my more headier will, To take the indisposed and sickly fit For the sound man. Death on my state! wherefore

(Looking on Kent. Should he sit here? This act persuades me, That this remotion 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,

VOL. VII.

8

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 rapped 'em o’the coxcombs with a stick, and cried, Down, wantons, down. 'Twas her brother, that, in pure kindness to his horse, buttered his hay.

Enter CORNWALL, Regan, GLOSTER, and Servants.
Lear. Good morrow to you both.
Corn.

Hail to your grace!

[Kent is set at liberty. 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 shouldst not be glad, I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb, Sepulchring an adultress.—0, are you free?

[To KENT. Some other time for that.-Beloved Regan, Thy sister's naught. O Regan, she hath tied Sharp-toothed unkindness, like a vulture, here.

[Points to his heart. I can scarce speak to thee; thou'lt not believe, Of how depraved a quality - 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.:
Lear.

Say, how is that?
Reg. I cannot think my sister in the least
Would fail her obligation. If, sir, perchance,
She have restrained the riots of

your followers,

1 The meaning of this passage seems to be, “ I'll beat the drum till it cries out—Let them awake no more ; let their present sleep be their last." Mason would read, “ death to sleep," instead of "sleep to death."

2 A cockney and a ninny-hammer, or simpleton, were convertible terms.

3 This is somewhat inaccurately expressed. Shakspeare having, as on some other occasions, perplexed himself by the word less.

'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end,
As clears her from all blame.

Lear. My curses on her!
Reg.

O sir, you are old ;
Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of her confine. You should be ruled, 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 wronged her, sir.
Lear.

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.

Reg. Good sir, no more; these are unsightly tricks. Return you to my sister. Lear.

Never, Regan.
She hath abated me of half my train ;
Looked black upon me; struck me with her tongue,
Most serpent-like, upon

the
very

heart. All the stored vengeances of Heaven fall On her ingrateful top! Strike her

Strike her young bones,
You taking airs, with lameness !
Corn.

Fie, fie, fie!
Lear. You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding

flames
Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
You fen-sucked fogs, drawn by the powerful sun,
To fall 4 and blast her pride!

O the blest gods!
So will you wish on me, when the rash mood is on.

Lear. No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curse; Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give

Reg:

1 « Say,” &c. This line and the following speech is omitted in the quartos.

2 i. e. the order of families, duties of relation.
3 Unnecessary is here used in the sense of necessitous.

4 Fall seems here to be used as an active verb, signifying to humble or pull down.

Tender-hefted may mean moved, or heaving with tenderness. The

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