King Lear : Act 1, Scene 5



           Enter LEAR, KENT [disguised as Caius],
           and Fool.

      KING LEAR
before ahead of me | to GloucesterThis is confusing! | these letters i.e., this letter | her demand out of the letter her questions arising from reading the letter
  1   Go you before to Gloucester with these letters.
  2   Acquaint my daughter no further with any thing
  3   you know than comes from her demand out of
  4   the letter. If your diligence be not speedy, I shall
  5   be there afore you.

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

           Exit.

      Fool
  8   If a man's brains were in's heels, were't not in
kibes chilblains, inflammation of the extremities resulting from exposure
  9   danger of kibes?

      KING LEAR
 10   Ay, boy.

      Fool
thy wit shall ne'er go slip-shod i.e. your wits won't wear slippers to protect against chilblains, because your wits aren't in your heels  —The Fool probably means that King Lear's journey to Regan is just stupid.
 11   Then, I prithee, be merry; thy wit shall ne'er go
 12   slip-shod.

      KING LEAR
 13   Ha, ha, ha!

      Fool
kindly 1) according to her nature; 2) with natural affection | this i.e., Goneril | crab crabapple
 14   Shalt see thy other daughter will use thee kindly;
 15   for though she's as like this as a crab's like an
 16   apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.

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

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

      KING LEAR
 21   No.

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

      KING LEAR
her Goneril? Cordelia?
 24   I did her wrong.

      Fool
 25   Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell?

      KING LEAR
 26   No.

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

      KING LEAR
 29   Why?

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

      KING LEAR
forget my nature lose my fatherly feelings [?]
 32   I will forget my nature. So kind a father! Be my
 33   horses ready?

      Fool
asses i.e, Lear's followers
 34   Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why
seven stars Pleiades
 35   the seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty
 36   reason.

      KING LEAR
 37   Because they are not eight?

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

      KING LEAR
To take 't again perforce! to take it back again by force! —King Lear may be thinking of the fact that Goneril deprived him of fifty of his knights, and fantasizing that with those knights he could take back his kingdom by force.
 39   To take 't again perforce! Monster ingratitude!

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

      KING LEAR
 42   How's that?

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

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

           [Enter Gentleman.]

 47   How now! are the horses ready?

      Gentleman
 48   Ready, my lord.

      KING LEAR
 49   Come, boy.

           [Exeunt Lear and Gentleman.]

      Fool
maid virgin | She ... shorter Maybe this is a warning that the scene is no laughing matter. Maybe this is a dirty joke. Maybe this was not written by Shakespeare. Here's a link to various comments in the New Variorum Edition of Shakespeare.
 50   She that's a maid now, and laughs at my departure,
 51   Shall not be a maid long, unless things be cut
                      shorter.

           Exit.