This page contains the original text of Act 1, Scene 5 of King Lear. Shakespeare’s original King Lear text is extremely long, so we’ve split the text into one Scene per page. All Acts and Scenes are listed and linked to from the bottom of this page, along with a simple, modern English translation of King Lear.
ACT 1. SCENE 5. Court before the same.
Enter KING LEAR, KENT, and Fool
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.
I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered
If a man’s brains were in’s heels, were’t not in
danger of kibes?
Then, I prithee, be merry; thy wit shall ne’er go
Ha, ha, ha!
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.
Why, what canst thou tell, my boy?
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?
Why, to keep one’s eyes of either side’s nose; that
what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into.
I did her wrong–
Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?
Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail has a house.
Why, to put his head in; not to give it away to his
daughters, and leave his horns without a case.
I will forget my nature. So kind a father! Be my
Thy asses are gone about ’em. The reason why the
seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason.
Because they are not eight?
Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool.
To take ‘t again perforce! Monster ingratitude!
If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I’ld have thee beaten
for being old before thy time.
Thou shouldst not have been old till thou hadst
O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven
Keep me in temper: I would not be mad!
How now! are the horses ready?
Ready, my lord.
She that’s a maid now, and laughs at my departure,
Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut shorter.
Read more scenes from King Lear:
A guide to Shakespeare’s stage directions
Read all of Shakespeare’s plays translated to modern English >>
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