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    Act 1. Scene V

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    Chapter 5
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    SCENE V. Court before the same.

    Enter KING LEAR, KENT, and Fool
    KING LEAR
    Go you before to Gloucester with these letters.
    Acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you
    know than comes from her demand out of the letter.
    If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there afore you.

    KENT
    I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered
    your letter.

    Exit

    Fool
    If a man's brains were in's heels, were't not in
    danger of kibes?

    KING LEAR
    Ay, boy.

    Fool
    Then, I prithee, be merry; thy wit shall ne'er go
    slip-shod.

    KING LEAR
    Ha, ha, ha!

    Fool
    Shalt see thy other daughter will use thee kindly;
    for though she's as like this as a crab's like an
    apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.

    KING LEAR
    Why, what canst thou tell, my boy?

    Fool
    She will taste as like this as a crab does to a
    crab. Thou canst tell why one's nose stands i'
    the middle on's face?

    KING LEAR
    No.

    Fool
    Why, to keep one's eyes of either side's nose; that
    what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into.

    KING LEAR
    I did her wrong--

    Fool
    Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?

    KING LEAR
    No.

    Fool
    Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail has a house.

    KING LEAR
    Why?

    Fool
    Why, to put his head in; not to give it away to his
    daughters, and leave his horns without a case.

    KING LEAR
    I will forget my nature. So kind a father! Be my
    horses ready?

    Fool
    Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the
    seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason.

    KING LEAR
    Because they are not eight?

    Fool
    Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool.

    KING LEAR
    To take 't again perforce! Monster ingratitude!

    Fool
    If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'ld have thee beaten
    for being old before thy time.

    KING LEAR
    How's that?

    Fool
    Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst
    been wise.

    KING LEAR
    O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven
    Keep me in temper: I would not be mad!

    Enter Gentleman

    How now! are the horses ready?

    Gentleman
    Ready, my lord.

    KING LEAR
    Come, boy.

    Fool
    She that's a maid now, and laughs at my departure,
    Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut shorter.

    Exeunt
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