Nuncle, give me an egg

Fool
Nuncle, give me
an egg, and I’ll give thee two crowns.
King Lear
What two crowns shall they be?
Fool
Why, after I have cut the egg i’ th’ middle and eat
up the meat, the two crowns of the egg. When thou
clovest thy crown  i’ th’ middle and gav’st away
both parts, thou bor’st thine ass on thy back o’er
the dirt. Thou hadst little wit in thy bald crown
when thou gav’st thy golden one away. If I speak
like myself in this, let him be whipped that first
finds it so. Sings.

Fools had ne’er less grace in a year,
For wise men are grown foppish
And know not how their wits to wear,
Their manners are so apish.

King Lear
When were you wont to be so full of songs sirrah?
Fool
I have used it, nuncle, e’er since thou mad’st thy
daughters thy mothers. For when thou gav’st them
the rod and put’st down thine own breeches,
Sings.

Then they for sudden joy did weep,
And I for sorrow sung,
That such a king should play bo-peep
And go the fools among.

Prithee, nuncle, keep a schoolmaster that can teach
thy Fool to lie. I would fain learn to lie.
King Lear
An you lie, sirrah, we’ll have you whipped.
Fool
I marvel what kin thou and thy daughters are.
They’ll have me whipped for speaking true, thou ’lt
have me whipped for lying, and sometimes I am
whipped for holding my peace. I had rather be any
kind o’ thing than a Fool. And yet I would not be
thee, nuncle. Thou hast pared thy wit o’ both sides
and left nothing i’ th’ middle.

Source:
Act 1
Scene 4
Line 159

Spoken by:
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Source Type:
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Themes: