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Lear. Woe, that too late repents, 0, Sir! [To ALB.]

are you come?
Is it your will ? Speak, Sir. – Prepare my horses.
Ingratitude, thou marble-hearted fiend,
More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child,
Than the sea-monster!

Pray, Sir, be patient.
Lear. Detested kite! thou liest:

My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
Tòat all particulars of duty know,
And in the most exact regard support
The worships of their name.2 – 0, most small fault!

w ugly didst thou in Cordelia show,
Which, like an engine, 3 wrench'd my frame of nature
From the fix'd place, drew from my heart all love,
And added to the gall. Lear, Lear, Lear!
Beat at this gate, that let thy folly in,

[Striking his head. And thy dear judgment out! Go, go, my people.

Alb. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant
Of what hath mov'd you.

Hear, nature, hear; dear goddess, hear!
Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend
To make this creature fruitful !
Into her womb convey sterility!
Dry up in her the organs of increase;
And from her derogate 4 body never spring
A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen; that it may live,
And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her!5
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth;
With cadent tears 6 fret channels in her cheeks;
Turn all her mother's pains, and benefits,



so, my lord.



1. Mr. Upton observes, that the sea- 4. Derogate, degraded, blasted. monster is the hippopotamus, the hie- 5. And be a mischievous, unnatural roglyphical symbol of impiety and torment to her. Disnatured is not in ingratitude.

2. And in every respect maintain 6. Cadent tears, falling tears. most exactly the dignity of him whom 7. Turn all her maternal cares and they serve.

good offices. 3. By an engine is meant the instrument of torture called the rack.

may feel

To laughter and contempt; that she
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child! – Away! away!

[Exit. Albany. Now, gods that we adore, whereof comes this?

Goneril. Never afflict yourself to know the cause;
But let his disposition have that scope
That dotage gives it.

Re-enter LEAR.

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Lear. What! fifty of my followers, at a clap,
Within a fortnight?

What 's the matter, Sir?
Lear. I 'll tell thee. - Life and death! [To GONERIL.]

I am ashamed,
That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus :
That these hot tears, which break from me perforce,
Should make thee worth them. Blasts and fogs upon thee!
Th' untented woundings 1 of a father's curse
Pierce every sense about thee! Old fond 2

Beweep this cause again, I 'll pluck you out,
And cast you, with the waters that you lose,3
To temper clay. - Ha! !
Let it be so: - I have another daughter,
Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable:
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
She 'll flay thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find,
That I 'll resume the shape, which thou dost think
I have cast off for ever.

(Exeunt LEAR, KENT, and Attendants. Gon. Do you mark that, my lord ?

Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril, To the great love I bear you,

Gon. Pray you, content. What, Oswald, ho! You, Sir, more knave than fool, after your master.

[To the Fool. Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear! tarry, and take the fool with thee.

1. Untented woundings, unsearchable

2. Fond ,

foolish. See note 2, wounds — wounds too deep to be probed. page 12.

A tent is a roll of lint put into 3. i. e. that you discharge.

a sore.


A fox, when one has caught her,
And such a daughter,
Should sure to the slaughter,
If my cap would buy a halter;
So the fool follows after.

(Exit. Goneril. This man hath had good counsel. A hundred

knights! ”T is politic, and safe, to let him keep At point? a hundred knights: yes, that on every dream, Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike, He may enguard his dotage with their powers, And hold our lives in mercy.– Oswald, I say!

Albany. Well, you may fear too far.

Safer than trust too far.
Let me still take away the harms I fear,
Not fear still 3 to be taken: I know his heart.
What he hath utter'd I have writ my sister:
If she sustain him and his hundred knights,
When I have show'd th' unfitness, how now, Oswald !

Re-enter OSWALD.

What, have you writ that letter to my sister?

Oswald. Ay, Madam.

Gon. Take you some company, and away to horse:
Inform her full of my particular fear;
And thereto add such reasons of your own,
As may compact it more. 4

Get you gone,
And hasten your return. [Exit Osw.] No, no, my lord,
This milky gentleness, and course of yours,
Though I condemn not, yet, under pardon,
You are much more attask'd's for want of wisdom,
Than prais'd for harmful mildness.

Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot tell:
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.

Gom. Nay, then –
Alb. Well, well; the event.


1. At point, completely armed, and 3. Still, continually, ever. See note consequently ready at appointment or 4, page 8. command on the slightest notice.

4. As may make a consistent account. 2. In mercy, at his pleasure,

5. To be at task, is to be liable to do what he likes with.


reprehension and correction.



Curan. Have you heard of no likely wars toward, " 'twixt the dukes of Cornwall and Albany?

Edmund Not a word.
Cur., You may do, then, in time. Fare you well, Sir.

Edm. The duke be here to-night? The better! Best!
This weaves itself perforce into my business.
My father hath set guard to take my brother;
And I have one thing, of a queazy question,
Which I must act. Briefness, and fortune, work!
Brother, a word; descend: brother, I say;

Enter EDGAR.
My father watches. O Sir! fly this place;
Intelligence is given where you are hid:
You have now the good advantage of the night.
Have you not spoken 'gainst the duke of Cornwall?
He is coming hither; now, i the night, 'i the haste,
And Regan with him: have you nothing said
Upon his party 'gainst the duke of Albany?3
Advise yourself.


I am sure on 't, not a word.
Edm. I hear my father coming.
In cunning, I must draw my sword upon you:
Draw: seem to defend yourself. Now quits you well

. Yield: --- come before my father;

Light, ho! here! Fly, brother; -- Torches torches! - So, farewell.

[Exit Edgar. Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion

[Wounds his arm.
Of my more fierce endeavour: I have seen drunkards
Do more than this in sport. Father! father!
Stop, stop! No help?

Enter GLOSTER, and Servants with Torches.
Gloster. Now, Edmund, where 's the villain ?
Edm. Here stood he in the dark, his sharp sword out,

Pardon me;

1. Toward, near, at hand.

3. i. e. in favour of Cornwall, against 2. Queazy, delicate, requiring to be the duke of Albany. handled nicely: I have something to do 4. i. e. consider, recollect yourself. which requires the most delicate treat 5. Quit, for acquit. ment.

Mumbling of wicked charms, conjuring the moon
To stand auspicious mistress.

But where is he?
Edmund. Look, Sir, I bleed.

Where is the villain, Edmund ?
Edm. Fled this way, Sir. When by no

means he

could Glos. Pursue him, ho! Go after. [Exit Serv.] By

no means what?
Edm. Persuade me to the murder of your lordship;
But that I told him, the revenging gods
'Gainst parricides did all their thunders bend;
Spoke, with how manifold and strong a bond
The child was bound to the father; Sir, in fine,
Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
To his unnatural purpose, in fell' motion,
With his prepared sword' he charges home2
My unprovided body, lanc'd mine arm:
But when he saw my best alarum'd spirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to th' encounter,
Or whether gasted 4 by the noise I made,
Full suddenly he fled.

Let him fly far:
Not in this land shall he remain uncaught;
And found dispatch.

The noble duke my master,
My worthy arch and patron, comes to-night:
By his authority I will proclaim it,
That he which finds him shall deserve our thanks,
Bringing the murderous coward to the stake;
He that conceals him, death.


Edm. When I dissuaded him from his intent,
And found him pight? to do it, with curst8 speech
I threaten'd to discover him: he replied,
“Thou unpossessing bastard! dost thou think,

1. Fell, savage, bloody.

5. i. e. And when he is found 2. To charge home, is to charge with to death with bim at once. full force; to thrust home, to thrust 6. Arch, chief; a word now only the sword through up to the hilt: the used in composition, as arch- angel, expression is often used figuratively. arch-duke.

3. This when is perhaps a misprint 7. Pight is the old preterit and part. for whêr, or whether.

pass. of to pitch: i. e. fixed, settled, 4. Gasted, frighted.


8. Curst, harsh, bitter.


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