Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Pervez Rizvi
Not Peer Reviewed

King Lear (Quarto 2, 1619)


The History of King Lear.
685Foole. I haue vsed it Nuncle, euer since thou mad'st thy daugh-
ters thy mother, for when thou gauest them the rod, and putst
downe thine owne breeches, then they for sudden ioy did weep,
and I for sorrow sung, that such a King should play bo-peepe,
690and goe the fooles among: prethee Nunckle keepe a schoole-
master that can teach thy foole to lie, I would faine learne to lie.
Lear. If you lie, wee'l haue you whipt.
695Foole. I maruell what kin thou and thy daughters are, they'l
haue me whipt for speaking true, thou wilt haue mee whipt for
lying, and sometime I am whipt for holding my peace, I had ra-
ther be any kinde of thing then a foole, and yet I would not bee
thee Nunckle, thou hast pared thy wit a both sides, and left no-
700thing in the middle; heere comes one of the parings.
Enter Gonorill.
Lear. How now daughter, what makes that Frontlet on,
Me-thinkes you are too much alate it'h frowne.
705Foole. Thou wast a pretty fellow when thou hadst no neede to
care for her frowne, thou, thou art an O without a figure, I am
better then thou art now, I am a foole, thou art nothing, yes for-
sooth I will hold my tongue, so your face bids me, though you
say nothing.
710Mum, mum, he that keepes neither crust nor crum,
Weary of all, shall want some, That's a sheald pescod.
Gon. Not onely sir this, your all-licenc'd foole, but other of
your insolent retinue do hourely carpe and quarrell, breaking
foorth in ranke and (not to be endured riots) Sir, I had thought
by making this well knowne vnto you, to haue found a safe re-
dresse, but now grow fearefull by what your selfe too late haue
spoke and done, that you protect this course, and put on by your
720allowance, which if you should, the fault would not scape cen-
sure, nor the redresse sleepe, which in the tender of a wholesome
weal, might in their working do you that offence, that else were
shame, that then necessity must call discreete proceedings.
Foole. For you trow Nunckle, the hedge-sparrow fed the Coo-
kow so long, that it had it head bit off beit young, so out went
the Candle, and we were left darkling.
730Lear. Are you our Daughter?
Gon.