Enter Lear, Foole, and Gentleman.

Lea. 'Tis strange that they should so depart from home, And not send backe my Messengers

Gent. As I learn'd, The night before, there was no purpose in them Of this remoue

Kent. Haile to thee Noble Master

Lear. Ha? Mak'st thou this shame thy pastime? Kent. No my Lord

Foole. Hah, ha, he weares Cruell Garters Horses are tide by the heads, Dogges and Beares by'th' necke, Monkies by'th' loynes, and Men by'th' legs: when a man ouerlustie at legs, then he weares wodden nether-stocks

Lear. What's he, That hath so much thy place mistooke To set thee heere? Kent. It is both he and she, Your Son, and Daughter

Lear. No

Kent. Yes

Lear. No I say

Kent. I say yea

Lear. By Iupiter I sweare no

Kent. By Iuno, I sweare I

Lear. They durst not do't: They could not, would not do't: 'tis worse then murther, To do vpon respect such violent outrage: Resolue me with all modest haste, which way Thou might'st deserue, or they impose this vsage, Comming from vs

Kent. My Lord, when at their home I did commend your Highnesse Letters to them, Ere I was risen from the place, that shewed My dutie kneeling, came there a reeking Poste, Stew'd in his haste, halfe breathlesse, painting forth From Gonerill his Mistris, salutations; Deliuer'd Letters spight of intermission, Which presently they read; on those contents They summon'd vp their meiney, straight tooke Horse, Commanded me to follow, and attend The leisure of their answer, gaue me cold lookes, And meeting heere the other Messenger, Whose welcome I perceiu'd had poison'd mine, Being the very fellow which of late Displaid so sawcily against your Highnesse, Hauing more man then wit about me, drew; He rais'd the house, with loud and coward cries, Your Sonne and Daughter found this trespasse worth The shame which heere it suffers

Foole. Winters not gon yet, if the wil'd Geese fly that way, Fathers that weare rags, do make their Children blind, But Fathers that beare bags, shall see their children kind. Fortune that arrant whore, nere turns the key toth' poore. But for all this thou shalt haue as many Dolors for thy Daughters, as thou canst tell in a yeare

Lear. Oh how this Mother swels vp toward my heart! Historica passio, downe thou climing sorrow, Thy Elements below where is this Daughter? Kent. With the Earle Sir, here within

Lear. Follow me not, stay here. Enter.

Gen. Made you no more offence, But what you speake of? Kent. None: How chance the King comes with so small a number? Foole. And thou hadst beene set i'th' Stockes for that question, thoud'st well deseru'd it

Kent. Why Foole? Foole. Wee'l set thee to schoole to an Ant, to teach thee ther's no labouring i'th' winter. All that follow their noses, are led by their eyes, but blinde men, and there's not a nose among twenty, but can smell him that's stinking; let go thy hold when a great wheele runs downe a hill, least it breake thy necke with following. But the great one that goes vpward, let him draw thee after: when a wiseman giues thee better counsell giue me mine againe, I would haue none but knaues follow it, since a Foole giues it. That Sir, which serues and seekes for gaine, And followes but for forme; Will packe, when it begins to raine, And leaue thee in the storme, But I will tarry, the Foole will stay, And let the wiseman flie: The knaue turnes Foole that runnes away, The Foole no knaue perdie. Enter Lear, and Gloster] : Kent. Where learn'd you this Foole? Foole. Not i'th' Stocks Foole

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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