Page images
PDF

To match thy goodness? My life will be too short,
And every measure fail me".
Kent.To be acknowledg'd, madam,iso'erpay’d.
All my reports go with the modest truth;
Nor more, nor clipt, but so.
Cor. Be better suited *:
These weeds are memories' of those worser hours;
I pr’ythee, put them off.
Kent. Pardon me, dear madam;
Yet to be known, shortens my inade intent";
My boon I make it, that you know me not,
*Till time and I think meet.
Cor. Then be it so, my good lord,
How does the king? [To the Physician,
Phys. Madam, sleeps still.
Cor. O you kind gods, -
Cure this great breach in his abused nature'
The mntun'd and jarring senses, O, wind up
Of this child-changed father
Phys. So please your majesty,
That we may wake the king? he hath slept long.
Cor. Begovern'd by your knowledge, and pro-
ceed
I' the sway of your own will. Is he array'd :
Ilear is brought in in a chair.
Gent. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his sleep,
We put fresh garments on him. [him;
}}. Be by, good madam, when we do awake
I doubt not of his temperance.
Cor. Very well. o there !
Phys. Please you, draw near.—Louder the mu-
Cor. O my dear father! Restoration", hang
Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss
Repair those violent harms, that my two sisters
}lave in thy reverence made :
Kent. Kind and dear princess t [flakes
Cor. Had you not been their father, these white
Had challeng'd pity of them, Was this a face
To be expos'd against the warring winds?
To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder;
In the most terrible and nimble stroke
Qf quick, cross lightning?, to watch (poor perdu!)
With this thin helm” Mine enemy's dog,
Though he had bit me, should have stood that
night
Against my fire; And wast thou fain, poor father,
To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn,
In short and musty straw? Alack, alack!
Tis wonder that thy life and wits at once
Had not concluded all.—He wakes; speak to him.
Phys. Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.
Cor. Ilow does my royal lord? How fares your
maj sty? grave:
Lear. You do me wrong, to take me out o' the
Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ity, To see ass, thus.--I know not what to say.-I will not swear, these are my hands;-let's see; I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assur’d Of my condition : Cor. O, look upon me, sir, §nd hold your hands in benediction o'er mes— No, sir, you must not kneel. ar. Pray do not mock me; I am a very foolish fond old man, Fourscore and upward; Not an hour more, nor less; and, to deal plainly, ! fear, Ham not in my perfect mind. Methinks, I should know you, and know this man; Yet I am doubtful; for I am mainly ignorant, What place this is; and all the skill I have Remembers not these garments; nor I know not Where I did lodge last night : Do not laugh at me; For, as I am a man, I think this lady To be my child Cordelia. Cor. And so I am, I am [weep not : Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, 'faith. ray, If you have poison for me, I will drink it. I know, you do not love me; for your sisters Have, as I do remember, done mé wrong: You have some cause, they have not. Cor. No cause, no cause. Lear. Am I in France? Kent. In your own kingdom, sir, Lear. Do not abuse me. [rage, Phys. Be comforted, good madam: the great You see, is cur'd in him; and yet it is danger To make him even o'er the time he has lost”. Desire him to go in; trouble him no more, "Till further settling. Cor. Will’t please your highness walk? Lear. You must bear with me: Pray you now, forget and forgive: I am old and foolish. [Freunt Lear, Cordelia, Physician,and Attendants, Gent. Holds it true, sir, That the duke of Cornwall was so slain? At nt, Most certain, sir. Gent. Who is conductor of his people? Kent. As it is said, the bastard son of Gloster. Gent. They say, Edgar, His banish’d son, is with the earl of Kent

Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears

i. e. All good which I shall allot thee, or measure out to thee, will be scanty. 'i. e. memorials, remembrancers.

drest, put on a better suit of clothes.

In Germany.

* i.e. Be better *An intent made, is

an intent formed. So we say in contmon language, to make a design, and to make a resolution, *i.e. changed to a child by his years and wrongs. . allusion, Dr. Warburton says, is to the forlorn-hope in an army, which are put upon desperate ad

ventures, and called, in French, enfans perdus; she therefore calls her father, poor Perdi. am strangely imposed on by appearances; I am in a strange mist of uncertainty.

cile it to his apprehension.

* Restoration is recovery personified. ' The

[ocr errors]

Kent.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Edm. K NOW of the duke, if his last purpose
hold;
Sr whether since he is advis'd by aught
To change the course: He's full of alteration,
And self-reproving:—bring his constant pleasure'.
Reg. Our sister's man is certainly miscarry’d.
Adm. 'Tis to be doubted, madam.
. Reg. Now, sweet lord,
You know the goodness I intend upon you:
Tell me, but truly,–but then speak the truth,
Do you not love my sister?
Edm. In honour'd love. .
Reg. But have you never found my brother's
To the fore-fended place?
Adm. That thought abuses you. [junct
Reg. I am doubtful that you have been con-
And bosom'd with her, as far as we call hers.
Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.
Reg. I never shall endure her: Dear my lord,
Be not familiar with her.
Adm. Fear me not:—
She, and the duke her husband,-
Enter Albany, Goneril, and Soldiers.
Gon. I had rather lose the battle, than that sister
Should loosen him and me. [Aside.
Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met.
*Sir, this I hear, The king is come to his daugh-
With others, whom the rigour of our state [ter,
Forc’d to cry out. Where I could not be honest,
I never yet was valiant: for this business,
It toucheth us as France invades our land,
Not bolds the king “; with others, whom, I fear,
Most just and heavy causes make oppose.
Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.
Reg. Why is this reason'd?
Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy:
For these domestic and particular broils

- - - dom 'Tis time look about; the powers o' the king

[merged small][ocr errors]

Alb. Let us then determine With the ancient of war on our proceedings. Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent, Reg. Sister, you'll go with us? Gon. No. sus. Reg. 'Tis most convenient; pray you, go with Gon. [Aside.] O, ho, I know the riddle: I will O. As they ‘. going out, enter Edgar disguised. Edg. If e'er your grace had speech with man so poor, Hear me one word. Alb. I’ll overtake you.—Speak. {Ereunt Edm. Reg. Gon. and Attendants. Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter. If you have victory, i. the trumpet sound For him that brought it: wretched though I seem, I can produce a champion, that will prove What is avouched there: If you miscarry, Your business of the world hath so an end, And machination ceases. Fortune love you! Alb. Stay 'till I have read the letter. Edg. I was forbid it. When time shall serve, let but the herald cry, And I’ll appear again. [En it. Alb. Why, fare thee well; I will o'erlook thy paper. Re-enter Edmund. Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers. Here is the guess of their true strength and forces By diligent discovery; but your haste Is now urg'd on you. . Alb. We will greet the time. [Erit. Edm. To both these sisters have I sworn my love; - Each jealous of the other, as the stun Are of the adder. Which of them shall Both} one or neither? Neither can be enj If both remain alive: To take the widow, Exasperates, makes mad her sister Goneril; And hardly shall I carry out my side ,

20

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Are not to question here.

* His settled resolution.

* fore-fended means prohibited, forbidden.

Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use

* The meaning of this

speech is, The king and others whom we have opposed, are come to Cordelia. I could never be valiant but in a just quarrel. We must distinguish; it is just in one sense and unjust in another. As

France invades our land, I am concerned to repel him; -
king, and others whom I fear many just and heavy causes make, or compel, as it were, to o
* This business (says Albany) touches us, as

esteen it unjust to engage against them.

wades our land, not as it bolds the king, &c. i. e. emboldens him to assert his former title.

[ocr errors]

my purpose to a successful issue, to completion.—Side seems here to have the sense of the French

[ocr errors]

- His

His countenance for the battle; which being done,
Let her, who would be rid of him, devise
His speedy taking off. As for the mercy
Which he intends to Lear, and to Cordelia,
The battle done, and they within our power, .
Shall never see his pardon: for my state
Stands on me to defend, not to debate". [Exit.

S C E N E II. A Field between the two Camps. Alarum within. Enter, with drum and colours, Lear, Cordelia, and Soldiers over the stage; and creunt. Enter Edgar, and Gloster. Edg. Here, father, take the shadow of this tree For your good host; pray that theright maythrive: If ever I return to you again, I’ll bring you comfort. Glo. Grace go with you, sir! [Erit Edgar. [Alarum, and retreat within. Re-enter Edgar. Edg: Away, old man, give methy hand, away; King Lear hath lost, he and his daughter ta'en : Give me thy hand, come on. Glo. No further, sir; a man may rot even here. Edg. What, in ill thoughts again? Men must endure Their going hence, even as their coming hither; Ripeness is all : Come on. Glo. And that’s true too. - S C E N E III. Enter, in conquest, with drum and colours, Edmund; Lear, and Cordelia, as prisoners; Soldiers, Captain. [guard; Edm. Some officers take them away; good Until their greater pleasures first be known, That are to censure them. Cor. We are not the first, Who, with best meaning, have incurr'd the worst. For thee, oppressed king, am I cast down; Myself could else out-frownfalse fortune'sfrown.-Shall we not see these daughters, and these sisters: Lear. No, no, no, no! Come, let’s away to prison: We two alone will sing like birds i' the cage: When thou dostask me blessing, I’ll kneel down, And ask of thee forgiveness: So we’ll live, And pray, and sing, and tell old tales, and laugh At gilded butterflies, and hear poor rogues Talk of courtnews; and we'll ''. with them too,-Wholoses, and who wins; who's in, who's out;And take upon us the mystery of things, As if we were God's spies: And we’ll wear out, . In a wall'd prison, packs and sects’ of great ones, That ebb and flow by the moon.

[ocr errors]

5.

10

15

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Edm. Take them away. Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia, The gods themselves throw incense. Have I caught thee? He, that parts us, shall bring a brand from heaven, And fire us hence, like foxes". Wipe thine eyes; The goujeers ‘shall devour them, flesh, and fell", Ere they shall make us weep; we’ll see them starve first. Come. . [Ercunt Lear, and Cordelia, guarded. Edm. Come hither, captain; hark. Take thou this note; go, follow them to prison: One step I have advanc'd thee; if thou dost As this instructs thee, thou dost make thy way To noble fortunes: Know thou this, that men

Does not become a sword:—Thy great employWill not bear question'; either say, thou’lt do ’t, Or thrive by other means. §. i!. do’t, my lord. 2dm. About it; and write happy, when thos hast done. Mark, I say, instantly; and carry it so, As I have set it down. Capt. I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dry’d oats; If it be man's work, I will do it. [Exit Capt. Flourish. Enter Albany, Goneril, Regan and Soldiers. Alb. Sir, you have shewn to-day your valiant strain,

30|And fortuneled you well: You have the captives

Who were the opposites of this day's strife:
We do require them of you; so to use them,
As we shall find their merits and our safety
May equally determine.
Edm. Sir, I thought it fit
To send the old and miserable king
To some retention, and appointed guard;
Whose age has charms in it, whose title more,
To pluck the common bosom on his side,
And turn our imprest" lances in our eyes
Which do command them. With him I sent the

queen;
My reason all the same; and they are ready
To-morrow, or at a furthcr space, to appear
Where you shall hold your session. At this time,
We sweat, and bleed: the friend hath lost his

friend; And the best quarrels, in the heat, are curs'd By those that feel their sharpness: %. question of Cordelia, and her father, Requires a fitter place.

Alb. Sir, by your patience,

I hold you but a subject of this war,
Not as a brother.

Reg. That's as we list to grace him.

* Dr. Johnson thinks that for does not stand in this place as a word of inference or causality. The meaning is rather: Such is my determination concerning Lear; as for mystate, it requires now, not deliberation, but defence and support. i. e. To be ready, prepared, is all. "Packs is used for combinations or collection, as is a pack of cards. For sects, sets might be more commodiously read. Thus we say, affairs are now managed by a new set. . " It is usual to smoke fores out of their holes. i. e. Morbus Gallicus.-Gouge, Fr. signifies one of the common women attending a camp; and as that disease was

first dispersed over o: by the French arm

I, and the women who followed it, the first name it

obtained among us was the gougeries, i.e. the disease of the gouges. “Flesh and skin. 'The mean

ing is, that the important business he

now had in hand, did not admit of debate; he must instantly

resolve to do it, or not. i. e. turn the launce-men which are press'd into our service, against us.

Methinks,

Are as the time is: to be tender-minded [ment.

Methinks, ourpleasuremighthavebeendemanded,
Ere you had spoke so far. He led our powers;
re the commission' of my place and person;
The which immediacy" may well stand up,
And call itself your brother,
Gon. Not so hot:
In his own grace he doth exalt himself,
More than in your advancement.
Reg. In my rights,
By me invested, he compeers the best,
Alb. That were the most, if he should husband
Reg. Jesters do oft prove prophets. [you.
Gon. Holla, holla :
That eye, that told you so, look'd but a-squint.
Reg. Lady, I am not well; else [should answer
From a full-flowing stomach.-General,
Take thou my . prisoners, patrimony,
Dispose of them, of me; the walls are thine":
Witness the world, that I create thee here
My lord and master.
Gon. Mean you to enjoy him
Alb. The let alone lies not in your good will".
Edm. Nor in thine, lord.
Alb. Half-blooded fellow, yes,
Reg. Let the drum strike, and prove my title
thine. [the
Alb. Stay yet; hear reason:—Edmund, I arrest
On capital treason; and, in thy arrest,
[Pointing to Goneril.
This gilded serpent:-for your claim, fair sister,
I bar it in the interest of my wife;
'Tis she is sub-contracted to this lord,
And I, her husband, contradict your banns.
If you will marry, make your love to me,
My lady is bespoke.
Gon. An interlude
Alb. Thou art arm’d, Gloster:—Lct the trum-
pet sound:
If none appear to prove upon thy person
Thy heinous, manifest, and many treasons,
There is my pledge; I'll prove it on thy heart,
Ere I taste bread, thou art in nothing less
Than I have here proclaim'd thee.
Reg. Sick, O, sick -
Gon. If not, I’ll ne'er trust poison. [Aside.
Fam.There's my exchange: what in the world
he is
That names me traitor, villain-like he lies:
Call by thy trumpet; he that dares approach,
On him, on you, (who not?) I will maintain
My truth and honour firmly.
Alb. A herald, hol
Edm. A herald, ho, a herald !

* Commission, for authority. * Grace here means accomplishments, or honours. signifying, to surrender at discretion. * The charge he is here going to bring against the

[ocr errors]

10

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Enter a Herald. Alb. Trust to thy single virtue; for thy soldiers, All levied in my name, have in my maine Took their discharge. Reg. This sickness grows upon me. Alb. She is not well; convey her to my tent. [Erit Regan, sed. Come hither, herald;—Let the trunpet sound,And read out this. Capt. Sound trumpet. [A trumpet sounds. Herald reads. “If any man of quality, or degree, within the “lists of the army, will maintain upon Edinund, “supposed earl of Gloster, that he is a manifold “traitor, let him, appear by the third sound of “the trumpet: He is bold in his defence.” Edm. Sound. [l trumpet. Her. Again. [2 trumpet. Her. Again. [3 trumpet. Trumpet answers, within, Enter Edgar, armed. Alb. Ask him his purposes, why he appears Upon this call o' the trumpet. Her. What are you ? Your name, your quality? and why you answer This present summons Edg. Know, my name is lost; By treason's tooth bare-gnawn, and canker-bit; Yet am I noble, as the adversary I come to cope withal. Alb. Which is that adversary [of Gloster? Edg. What's he, that speaks for Edmund earl Edin. Himself;-What say'st thou to him : Edg., Draw thy sword; That, if my speech offend a noble heart, Thy arm may do thee justice: here is mine. Behold, it is the privilege" of mine honours, My oath, and my profession:—I protest, Maugre thy strength.youth, place, and eminence, Despight thy victor sword, and fire-new fortune, Thy valour, and thy heart, thou art a traitor; False to thy gods, thy brother, and thy father; Conspirant’gainst this high illustrious prince; And, from the extremest upward of thy head, To the descent and dust beneath thy feet, A most toad-spotted traitor. , Say thou, No, This sword, this arm, and my best spirits, are bent To prove upon thy heart, whereto I speak,

[ocr errors]

Edm. In wisdom, I should ask thy name: But, since thy out-side looks so fair and warlike, Andthat thytonguesome'say'of breedingbreathcs, What safe and nicely I might well delay

* Immediacy implies supremacy, in opposition to subordination.

“A metaphorical phrase taken from the camp, and

* Whether he shall not or shall, depends not on your choice.

Bastard, he calls the privilege, &c.; to understand

which phraseology, we must consider that the old rites of knighthood are here alluded to; whose oath and profession required him to discover all treasons, and whose privilege it was to have his challenge accepted, or otherwise to have his charge taken pro confesso. For if one who was no knight, accused another who was, that other was under no obligation to accept the challenge. On this account it was necessary, as Edgar came disguised, to tell the Bastard he was a knight. 'Say, for cosay, some shew or probability. 3 Q2 By

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

No tearing, lady; I perceive, you know it.
[Gires the letter to Edmund.
Gon. Say, if I do; the laws are mine, not thine:
Who shall arraign me for 'to -
Alb. Monster, know'st thou this paper?
Gon. Ask me not what I know. Erit Gon.
Alb. Goafter her; she's desperate; govern her.
Edm. What you have charg'd me with, that I
have done;
And more, much more: the time willbring it out;
'Tis past, and so am I : But what art thou,
That hast this fortune on me? If thou art noble,
I do forgive thee.
Edg. §. us exchange charity.
I am no less in blood than thou art, Edmund;
If more, the more thou hast wrong'd me.
My name is Edgar, and thy father's son.
The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices .
Make instruments to scourge us:
The dark and vicious place where thee he got,
Cost him his eyes.
Edm. Thou hast spoken right, 'tis true;
The wheel is come full circle; I am here.
Alb. Methought, thy very gait did prophesy
A royal nobleness:–I must embrace thee:
Let sorrow split my heart, if ever I
Did hate thee, or thy father!
Edg. Worthy prince, I know it.
Alb. Where have you hid yourself? [ther?
How have you known the miseries of your fa-
Edg. By nursing them, my lord. List a brief
tale;— [burst!—
And, when 'tis told, O, that my heart would
The bloody proclamation to escape,
That follow'd meso near, (O our lives’ sweetness!
That we the pain of death would hourly bear,
Rather than . at once ) taught me to shift
Into a mad-man's rags; to assume a semblance
That very dogs disdain'd: and in this habit
Met I my father, with his bleeding rings,
Their precious stones new lost; became his guide,
Led him, begg'd for him, sav'd him from despair;
Never (O fault!) reveal’d myself unto him,
Until some half-hour past, when I was arm’d,
Not sure, though hoping, of this good success,
I ask'd his blessing, and from first to last

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

30

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Told him my pilgrimage: But his flaw'd heart,
(Alack, too weak the conflict to support!)
Twixt two extremes of passion, joy, and grief,
Burst smilingly. . . -
. This speech of yours hath mov'd me,
And shall, perchance, do good: but speak you on;
You look as you had something more to say:
Alb. If there be more, more woeful, hold itin:
For I am almost ready to dissolve,
Hearing of this. - *
Edg. — This would have seem'd a period
To such as love not sorrow; but, another';
To amplify too-much, would make much more,
And top extremity:—
Whilst ''. big in clamour, came there in a man,
Who having seen me in my worst estate,
Shunn'd my abhorr'd society; but then, finding
Who 'twas that so endur'd, with his strong arms
He fasten’d on my neck, and bellow'd out
As he'd burst heaven; threw him on my father;
Told the most piteous tale of Lear and him,
That ever ear receiv'd: which in recounting,
His grief grew puissant, and the strings of life
Began to crack: Twice then the trumpetsounded,
And there I left him tranc'd.
Alb. But who was this [guise
Edg. Kent, sir, the banish’d Kent; who in dis-
Follow'd his enemy king, and did him service
Improper for a slave. -
Enter a Gentleman hastily, with a bloody knife.
Gent. Help! help Oh! help!
Edg. What kind of help ?
Alb. Speak, man.
Edg. What means this bloody knife?
Gent. "Tis hot, it smoaks;
It came even from the heart of O' she's dead!
Alb. Who, man speak.
Gent. Your lady, sir, your lady: and her sister
By her is ...? ; she hath confess'd it.
Edin. I was contracted to them both; all three
Now marry in an instant.
Enter Kent.
Alb. Produce the bodies,be they alive or dead."
|. and Regan's bodies brought out.
This judgement of tj that makes us
tremble,
Touches us not with pity.—
Edg. Here comes Kent, sir.
|. Alb. O ! is this he? The time will not allow
The compliment which very manners urge.
Kent. I am come
To bid my king and master aye good night;
Is he not here 2
Alb. Great thing of us forgot'
Speak, Edmund, where's the king? and where's
Cordelia :
See'st thou this object, Kent?
Kent. Alack, why thus
Edm. Yet Edmund was belov'd:

[ocr errors][merged small]

'The sense may probably be this: This would hare seemed a period to such as lore not sorrow; hut, -another, i.e. but I must add another, i.e. another period, another kind of conclusion to my story, such as will increase the horrors of what has been already told.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »