Imatges de pàgina

Poor pelting villages, sheep-coats and mills,
Sometimes with lunatick båns, sometimes with pray'rs,
Inforce their charity; poor Turlygood! poor Tom!-
That's something yet: Edgar I nothing am. [Exit.
SCENE changes, again, to the Earl of

Gloster's Castle.

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Enter Lear, Fool, and Gentleman. Lear.) IS strange, that they should fo depart from

And not send back my messenger. [home,
Gent. As I learn'd,
The night before, there was 'no purpose in them
Of this remove.

Kent. Hail to thee, noble master !
Lear. Ha! mak'st thou thy shame thy pastime ?
Kent. No, my lord.

Fool., Ha, ha, he wears cruel garters; horses are ty'd by the heads, dogs and bears by th' neck, monkeys by th' loins, and men by th' legs; when a man is overa lufty at legs, then he wears wooden nether stocks.

Lear. What's he, that hath so much thy place miftook, To set thee here?

Kent. It is both he and the, Your son and daughter.

Lear. No,
Kent. Yes.
Lear. No, I say.
Kent. I say, yea.
Lear. By Jupiter, I swear, no,
Kent. By Juno, I swear, ay,
Lear. They durft not do't.
They could not, would not do't; 'tis worse than murder,
To do upon respect such violent outrage :
Resolve me with all modeft hafte, which way
Thou might'st deserve, or they impose, this usage,
Coming from us?

Kent. My lord, when at their home
I did commend your Highness' letters to them,


Ere I was risen from the place, that shew'd
My duty kneeling, came a reeking Post,
Stew'd in his haste, half breathless, panting forth
From Gonerill his mistress, falutation;
Deliver'd letters spight of intermission,
Which presently they read : on whose contents
They súmmond op their meiny, ftrait took horse ;
Commanded me to follow, and attend
The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks ;
And meeting here the other messenger,
Whose welcome, I perceivid, had poison'd mine ;
(Being the very fellow, which of late
Display'd fo faucily against your Highness,)
Having more man than wit about me, I drew;
He rais'd the house with loud and coward cries :
Your son and daughter found this trespass worth
The shame which here it suffers.

Fool. Winter's not gone yet,ifthe wild geese fly that way. Fathers, that wear rags,

Do make their children blind; But fathers, that bear bags,

Shall fee their children kind.
Fortune, that arrant whore,
Ne'er turns the key to th' poor,
But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours from
Thy dear daughters, as thou canst tell in a year.
Lear. Oh, how this mother swells



heart! Hysterica pasio, down, thou climbing forrow, Thy element's below; where is this daughter?

Kent. With the Earl, Sir, here within,
Lear. Follow me not; Atay here.

[Exit Gen. Made you no more offence, But what you speak of?

Kent. None; How chance the King comes with fo small a number?

Fool. An thou hadft been set ith' ftocks for that question, thou'd ft well deserved it?

Kent. Why, fool ?

Fool. We'll fer thee to school to an Ant, to teach thee there's no lab'ring i' th' winter. All, that follow

their noses, are led by their eyes, but blind men; and,
there's not a nose among twenty, but can smell him
that's stinking-let go thy hold, when a great wheel
runs down a hill, let it break thy neck with following
it; but the great one that goes upward, let him draw
thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel,
give me mine again; I would have none but knaves
follow it, fince a fool gives it.
That Sir, which serves for gain,

And follows but for form,
Will pack when it begins to rain,

And leave thee in the storm :
But I will tarry, the fool will ftay,

And let the wise man fly :
The knave turns fool, that runs away;

The fool no knave, perdy.
Kent. Where learn’d you this, fool?
Fool. Not i'th' Stocks, fool.

Enter Lear and Glo'ster.
Lear. Deny to speak with me? they're fick, they're

They have traveli'd all the night? mere fetches,
The images of revolt and flying off.
Bring me a better answer.

Glo. My dear lord,
You know the fiery quality of the Duke:
How unremoveable, and fixt he is
In his own course.

Lear. Vengeance! plague! death! confufion!
Fiery? what fiery quality? why, Gloster,
I'd speak with th' Duke of Cornwall, and his wife.

Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform'd them fo. Lear. Inform'd them? doft thou understand me, man? Glo. Ay, my good lord.

[father Lear. The King would speak with Cornwall, the dear Wou'd with his daughter speak; commands her service: Are they inform’d of this ?-my breath and blood! Fiery ? the fiery Dake? tell the hot Duke, that No, but not yet; may be, he is not well ; 3


Infirmity doth still neglect all office,
Whereto our health is bound; we're not ourselves,
When Nature, being opprest, commands the mind
To suffer with the body. I'll forbear;
And am fall’n out with my more headier will,
To take the indispos'd and fickly fit,
For the sound man.-Death on my state! but wherefore
Should he fit here? this Act perfuades me,
That this remotion of the Duke and her
Is practice only. Give me my fervant forth;
Go, tell the Duke and's wife, I'd speak with them :*
Now, presently,--bid them come forth and hear me,
Or at their chamber-door I'll beat the druin,
'Till it cry, sleep to death.

Glo. I would have all well betwixt you. [Exit,
Lear. Oh me, my heart! my rising heart! but down.

Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the Eels, when the put them i' th' Pafty alive; the rapt 'em o'th' coxcombs with a stick, and cry'd, down wantons, down; 'Twas her brother, that in pure

kind. ness to his horse butter'd his hay.

Enter Cornwall, Regan, Glo'fter, and Servants.
Lear. Good-morrow to you both.
Corn. Hail to your Grace! [Kent is set at liberty.
Reg. I am glad to see your Highness.

Lear. Regan, I think, you are; I know, what reason
I have to think so; if thou wert not glad,
I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb,
Sepulchring an adult'ress. 0, are you free? [To Kent,
Some other time for that. Beloved Regan,
Thy fifter's nought : oh Regan, she hath tied
Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture, here ;

[Points to his heart. I can scarce speak to thee; thou'lt not believe, With how deprav'd a quality-oh Regan!

Reg: I pray you, Sir, take patience; I have hopen You less know how to value her deserto Than the to scant her duty,

Lear) Lear. Say? How is that?

Reg. I cannot think, my sister in the least
Would fail her obligation. If, perchance,
She have restrain'd the riots of your followers ;
'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesom end,
As clears her from all blame.

Lear. My curses on her !
Reg. O Sir, you are old,
Nature in you stands on the very verge
Of her confine; you should be ruld and led
By some discretion, that discerns your

Better than you yourself: therefore, I pray you,
That to our fifter you do make return;
Say, you have wrong'd her, Sir.

Lear. Ask her forgiveness?
Do you but mark, how this becomes the Use? (18)
Dear daughter, I confess, that I am old;
Age is unnecessary: on my knees I beg,
That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.

Reg. Good Sir, no more; these are unfightly tricks: Return you to my fifter.

Lear. Never, Regan:
She hath abated me of half

my train


(18) Do you but mark bow this becomes the house?] This phrase is to me unintelligible, and seems to say nothing to the purpose: Nej. ther can it mean, as I conceive, how this becomes the order of families. Lear would certainly intend to reply, how does asking my daughter's forgiveness become me as a father, and agree with common fashion, the establish'd rule and custom of nature? And therefore it seems no doubt-to me, but the poet wrote, as I have alter'd the text. Let us examine, how he has express's elsewhere upon this sentiment. Alonso says, in the Tempeft;

But, oh, how oddly will it sound, that I

Must ask my cbild forgiveness?
And Volumnia, in Coriolanus, fays to her son;

I kneel before thee, and unproperly
Shew duty as mistaken all the while
Between the cbild and

parent. Now what is odd, and improper, and mifiaken, mnlt be concluded to be against rule and custom: And that Sbakespeare employs Ufe in this signification, is too obvious to want a proof,


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