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'King Lear' Act 1, Scene 3 (Part 2)

The Complete Text to 'King Lear' Act 1, Scene 3 (Part 2)

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[Re-enter OSWALD]

O, you sir, you, come you hither, sir: who am I,
sir?


OSWALD

My lady's father.


KING LEAR

'My lady's father'! my lord's knave: your
whoreson dog! you slave! you cur!


OSWALD

I am none of these, my lord; I beseech your pardon.


KING LEAR

Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal?

[Striking him]


OSWALD

I'll not be struck, my lord.


KENT

Nor tripped neither, you base football player.

[Tripping up his heels]


KING 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 OSWALD out]


KING 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.

[Offering KENT his cap]


KING LEAR

How now, my pretty knave! how dost thou?


Fool

Sirrah, you were best take my coxcomb.


KENT

Why, fool?


Fool

Why, for taking one's part that's 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 banished two on's 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!


KING LEAR

Why, my boy?


Fool

If I gave them all my living, I'ld keep my coxcombs
myself. There's mine; beg another of thy daughters.


KING LEAR

Take heed, sirrah; the whip.


Fool

Truth's a dog must to kennel; he must be whipped
out, when Lady the brach may stand by the fire and stink.


KING LEAR

A pestilent gall to me!


Fool

Sirrah, I'll teach thee a speech.


KING 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,
And thou shalt have more
Than two tens to a score.


KENT

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?


KING LEAR

Why, no, boy; nothing can be made out of nothing.


Fool

[To KENT]

Prithee, tell him, so much the rent of
his land comes to: he will not believe a fool.


KING LEAR

A bitter fool!


Fool

Dost thou know the difference, my boy, between a
bitter fool and a sweet fool?


KING LEAR

No, lad; teach me.


Fool

That lord that counsell'd thee
To give away thy land,
Come place him here by me,
Do thou for him stand:
The sweet and bitter fool
Will presently appear;
The one in motley here,
The other found out there.


KING 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:
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.


KING LEAR

What two crowns shall they be?


Fool

Why, after I have cut the egg i' the middle, and eat
up the meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou
clovest thy crown i' the middle, and gavest away
both parts, thou borest thy ass on thy back o'er
the dirt: thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown,
when thou gavest thy golden one away. If I speak
like myself in this, let him be whipped that first
finds it so.

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