William Shakespeare's King Lear teaches the lesson to never believe everything you hear.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > King Lear > Act I. Scene V.

King Lear

Study Guides
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Merchant of Venice
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Bard Facts
Globe Theatre

Act I. Scene V.

Scene V.—Court before the Same.

Enter LEAR, KENT, and Fool.

Lear. Go you before to Gloucester with these
letters. Acquaint my daughter no further with
any thing you know than comes from her de-
mand out of the letter. If your diligence be not
speedy I shall be there before 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?
Lear. Ay, boy.
Fool. Then, I prithee, be merry; thy wit shall
not go slip-shod.
Lear. Ha, ha, ha!
Fool. Shalt see thy other daughter will use
thee kindly; for though she's as like this as a
crab is like an apple, yet I can tell what I can
Lear. What canst tell, 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?
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.
Lear. I did her wrong,—
Fool. Canst tell how an oyster makes his
Lear. No.
Fool. Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail
has a house.
Lear. Why?
Fool. Why, to put his head in; not to give it
away to his daughters, and leave his horns with-
out a case.
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.
Lear. Because they are not eight?
Fool. Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good
Lear. To take it again perforce! Monster in-
Fool. If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have
thee beaten for being old before thy time.
Lear. How's that?
Fool. Thou shouldst not have been old before
thou hadst been wise.
Lear. O! let me not be mad, not mad, sweet
Keep me in temper; I would not be mad!

Enter Gentleman.
How now! Are the horses ready?
Gent. Ready, my lord.
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.
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards