Imatges de pÓgina

thieves, and treacherous, by spherical predominance; drunkards, lyars, and adulterers, by an info:c'd obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on. An admirable evafion of whore-master Man, to lay his goatish disposition on the charge of a star! my father compounded with my mother under the Dragon's tail, and my nativity was under Ursa major; so that it follows, I am rorigh and lecherous. I should have been what I am, hód the maidenlieft star in the firmament twinkled on my bartardizing.

To him, Enter Edgar. Pat!--he comes, like the Ca'astrophe of the old comedy; my cue is villanous Melancholy, with a figh like Tomo' Bedlam-o, these eclipfes portend theic divisions! fa, sol, la, me

Edg. How now, brother Edmund, what serious contemplation are you in?

Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day, what shou d follow these eclipses.

Edg. Do you busy your self with that?

Edm. I promise you, the effects, he writes of, fucceed unhappily. When saw you my father last?

Edg. The night gone by. Edm. Spake you with him? Edg. Ay, two hours together. Edm. Parted you in good terms, found you no difpleasure in him, by word or countenance ?

Edg. None at all. Edm. Bethink yourself, wherein you have offended him: and, at my intreaty, forbear his presence, until some little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure; which at this initant so rageth in him, that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay.

Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong.

Edm. That's my fear; I pray you, have a continent forbearance 'till the speed of his rage goes lower: and as I say, retire with me to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my lord speak: pray you, go, there's my key: if you do stir abroad, go arm’d.

Edg. Arm'd, brother!

Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best; I am no honelt man, if there be any good meaning toward you: I have told you what I have seen and heard, but faintly; nothing like the image and horror of it; pray you, away. Edg. Shall I hear from you anon?

[Exit. Edm. I do serve you in this business. A credulous father, and a brother noble, Whose nature is so far from doing harms, That he fufpects none; on whose foolish honesty My practices ride easy: I see the bufiness. Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit; All with me's meet, that I can fashion fit.


SCEN E, the Duke of Albany's Palace.


Enter Gonerill, and Steward. Gon. ID my father strike my gentleman for chiding

of his fool? Stew. Ay, madam.

Gon. By day and night, he wrongs me; every hour He flashes into one gross crime or other, That sets us all at odds ; I'll not endure it : His Knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us On ev'ry trifle. When he returns from hunting, I will not speak with him; say, I am fick. If you come slack of former services, You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer.

Stew. He's coming, madam, I hear him.

Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please. You and your fellows: I'd have it come to question. If he diftafte it, let him to my fifter, Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one, Not to be over-rul'd : Idle old Man, (8)


(8) Idle old Min,] The following lines, as they are fine in themselves, and very much in character for Gonerill

, I have restor'd from


"That still would manage those Authorities,
That he hath giv'n away!-Now, by my Life,
Old Fools are Babes again; and must be used
With checks, like flatt'rers when they're seen t'abuse us.
Remember, what I have said.

Stew. Very well, madam.

Gon. And let his Knights have colder looks among you: what grows of it, no matter; advise

your fellows fo: I'll write ftrait to my sister to hold my course: prepare for dinner.


SCENE changes to an open Place before

the Palace.

Enter Kent disguis'd.
F but as well I other accents borrow,


I intent (9)

May carry thro'itfelf to that full issue,
For which I raz'd my likeness. Now, banilli'd Kent,
If thou can'st serve where thou doft stand condemn'd,

may it come, thy master, whom thou lov'it, Shall find thee full of labours.

the old 4to. The last verse, which I have ventur’d to amend, is there printed thus ;

With Checks, like Flatt'ries wben they are seen abus’d.

(9) And can my speech di[use,] This reading we deriv'd first from Mr. Rowe's edition; and from thence it has taken poffeffion in the two impressions given us by Mr. Pope. But the poet's word was certainly, defuse : And Kent would say, “ If I can but so spread out my

accents," (de telle forte espandre, as the French term it;) “ vary my

tone, and utterance, fo widely from what it used to be as to disguise " it; &c.” And diffused in this sense of obsolete, disguised, our poet has more than once employ'd.

Let them from forth a faw-pit rush at once,
With some diffused song: Merry Wives of Windsor.
To swearing, and stern looks, diffus'd attire,

King Henry Vth,
Vouchsafe, diffus’d infection of a man,

King Richard IIId.


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Horns within. Enter Lear, Knights and Attendants.

Lear. Let me not stay ajot for dinner, go, get it ready : How now, what art thou?

(To Kent. Kent. A man, Sir. Lear What dost thou profess? what would't thou with us?

Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem; to serve him truly, that will put me in trust; to love him that is honeft; to converse with him that is wise and says little; to fear judgment; to fight when I cannot chuse, and to eat no fish.

Lear. What art thou?

Kent. A very honeft-hearted fellow, and as poor as the King.

Lear. If thou beeft as poor for a subject, as he is for a King, thou art poor enough. What would'st thou?

Kent. Service.
Lear. Whom would'st thou serve ?
Kent. You.
Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow?

Kent. No, Sir, but you have that in your counte. nance, which I would fain call master.

Lear. What's that?
Kent. Authority.
Lear. What services canst thou do?

Kent. I can keep honest counsels, ride, run, marr a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualify'd in; and the best of me is diligence.

Lear. How old art thou?

Kent. Not so young, Sir, to love a woman for finging; nor so old, to doat on her for any thing. I have years on my back forty eight.

Lear. Follow me, thou shalt serve me; if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet. Dinner, bo, dinner—where's my krave? my fool? go you, and call my fool hither. You, you, firrah, where's my daughter?


Enter Steward. Steri. So please you

[Exit. Lear. What says the fellow there? call the clotpole back; where's m: fool, ho? I think, the world's asleep: how now? Where's that mungrel?

Knight. Fie fays, my lord, your daughter is not well.

Lear. Why came not the lave back to me when I call's him?

Kright. Sii, he answer'd me in the roundest manner, he would not.

Lear, fe would not?

Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is; but to my Judgment, your Highness is not entertain'd with that ceremonious affection as you were wont; there's a great abatement of kindness appears as well in the general dependants, as in the Duke himself also, and your daughter.

Lear. Ha! fay'st thou so?

Knight. I heleech you, pardon me, my lord, if I be miftaken; for my duty cannot be filent, when I think your Highness is wrong'd.

Lear. Thou but remember'ft me of my own conception. I have perceiv'd a moft faint neglect of late, which I have rather blamed as my own jealous curiofity, than as a very pretence and purpose of unkindness; I will look further into't; but where's my fool? I have not seen him these two days.

Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, Sir, the fool hath much pined away.

Lear. No more of that, I have noted it well; go you and tell my daughter, I would speak with her. Go you, call hither my fool. O, you, Sir, come you hither, Sir; who am I, Sir?

Enter Steward. Stew. My lady's father. Lear. My lady's father? my lord's knave! you whoreson dog, you slave, you cur.


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