Lear. Your name, faire Gentlewoman? Gon. This admiration Sir, is much o'th' sauour Of other your new prankes. I do beseech you To vnderstand my purposes aright: As you are Old, and Reuerend, should be Wise. Heere do you keepe a hundred Knights and Squires, Men so disorder'd, so debosh'd and bold, That this our Court infected with their manners, Shewes like a riotous Inne; Epicurisme and Lust Makes it more like a Tauerne, or a Brothell, Then a grac'd Pallace. The shame it selfe doth speake For instant remedy. Be then desir'd By her, that else will take the thing she begges, A little to disquantity your Traine, And the remainders that shall still depend, To be such men as may besort your Age, Which know themselues, and you

Lear. Darknesse, and Diuels. Saddle my horses: call my Traine together. Degenerate Bastard, Ile not trouble thee; Yet haue I left a daughter

Gon. You strike my people, and your disorder'd rable, make Seruants of their Betters. Enter Albany.

Lear. Woe, that too late repents: Is it your will, speake Sir? Prepare my Horses. Ingratitude! thou Marble-hearted Fiend, More hideous when thou shew'st thee in a Child, Then the Sea-monster

Alb. Pray Sir be patient

Lear. Detested Kite, thou lyest. My Traine are men of choice, and rarest parts, That all particulars of dutie know, And in the most exact regard, support The worships of their name. O most small fault, How vgly did'st thou in Cordelia shew? Which like an Engine, wrencht my frame of Nature From the fixt place: drew from my heart all loue, And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear! Beate at this gate that let thy Folly in, And thy deere Iudgement out. Go, go, my people

Alb. My Lord, I am guiltlesse, as I am ignorant Of what hath moued you

Lear. It may be so, my Lord. Heare Nature, heare deere Goddesse, heare: Suspend thy purpose, if thou did'st intend To make this Creature fruitfull: Into her Wombe conuey stirrility, Drie vp in her the Organs of increase, And from her derogate body, neuer spring A Babe to honor her. If she must teeme, Create her childe of Spleene, that it may liue And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her. Let it stampe wrinkles in her brow of youth, With cadent Teares fret Channels in her cheekes, Turne all her Mothers paines, and benefits To laughter, and contempt: That she may feele, How sharper then a Serpents tooth it is, To haue a thanklesse Childe. Away, away. Enter.

Alb. Now Gods that we adore, Whereof comes this? Gon. Neuer afflict your selfe to know more of it: But let his disposition haue that scope As dotage giues it. Enter Lear.

Lear. What fiftie of my Followers at a clap? Within a fortnight? Alb. What's the matter, Sir? Lear. Ile tell thee: Life and death, I am asham'd That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus, That these hot teares, which breake from me perforce Should make thee worth them. Blastes and Fogges vpon thee: Th' vntented woundings of a Fathers curse Pierce euerie sense about thee. Old fond eyes, Beweepe this cause againe, Ile plucke ye out, And cast you with the waters that you loose To temper Clay. Ha? Let it be so. I haue another daughter, Who I am sure is kinde and comfortable: When she shall heare this of thee, with her nailes Shee'l flea thy Woluish visage. Thou shalt finde, That Ile resume the shape which thou dost thinke I haue cast off for euer.


Gon. Do you marke that? Alb. I cannot be so partiall Gonerill, To the great loue I beare you

Gon. Pray you content. What Oswald, hoa? You Sir, more Knaue then Foole, after your Master

Foole. Nunkle Lear, Nunkle Lear, Tarry, take the Foole 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 Foole followes after.


William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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