Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

like a dog, and told me, I had white hairs in my beard, ere the black ones were there. To say ay, and no, to every thing that I said-Ay, and no, too was no good divinity. When the rain came to wet me once, and the wind to make me chatter; when the thunder would not peace at my bidding ; there I found 'em, there I smelt 'em out. Go to, they are not men o’their words; they told me, I was every thing : 'tis a lie, I am not agueproof.

Glo. The trick of that voice I do well remember: Is’t not the King ?

Lear, Ay, every inch a King. When I do ftare, see, how the subject quakes. I pardon that man's life. What was thy cause ? Adultery? thou shalt not die; die for adultery? no, the wren goes to't, and the small gilded fly does letcher - in my sight. Let copulation thrive: for Glofter's bastard son was kinder to his father, than my daughters got 'tween the lawful sheets. To't, luxury, pell-mell; for I lack soldiers. Behold yon fimpering dame, whose face 'tween her forks presages snow; that minces virtue, and does shake the head to hear of pleasure's name. The fit-chew, nor the soiled horfe goes to’t with a rnore riotous appetite: down from the waste they are centaurs, though women all above: but to the girdle do the gods inherit, beneath is all the fiends. There's hell, there's darkness, there is the fulphurous pit, - burning, scalding, stench, consumption: fie, fie, fie;

pah, pah; give me an ounce of civet, good , apothecary, to sweeten my imagination! there's money for thee.

Glo. O, let me kiss that hand.
Lear. Let me wipe it first, it smells of mortality,

Glo. O ruin'd piece of nature ! this great world Shall so wear out to naught. Do'st thou know me?

Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough: dost thou squiny at me? no, do thy worst, blind Cupid; I'll not love. Read thou this challenge, mark but the penning of it. Gle. Were all the letters suns, I could not see one.

Edg

this world goes.

with no eyes.

Edg. I would not take this from report; it is,
And my heart breaks at it.

Lear. Read.
Glo. What, with this case of eyes ?

Lear. Oh, ho, are you there with me? no eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light; yet you see how

Glo. I fee it feelingly,

Lear. What, art mad ? a man may see how this world goes,

Look with thine ears: fee, how yond justice rails upon yond fimple thief. Hark in thine ear: change places, and handy-dandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Thou hast seen 3 farmer's dog bark at a beggar ? (51)

Glo. Ay, Sir.

Lear. And the creature run from the cur? there thou might'st behold the great image of authority; a dog's obey'd in office. Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand : Why dost thou lath that whore? strip thy own back ; Thou hotly luft it to use her in that kind, For which thou whip'it her. Th'usurer hangs the cozener, Through tatter'd cloaths small vices do appear;

(51) Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar? &c.] This exquisite piece of satire, dreft up in a figure and method of imagining from absent circumstances, has greatiy the air of imitation from the ancients. It is that sort of figure, by which (as Minturmus has obferv'd in his elaborate treatise Di Poera) ofenditur interdum, quafi ante oculos fir, fieta imuga: a feign'd image of things is sometimes represented, as if really in view. Plautus is very full of this imagery...and I'll subjoin two instances that have very much the cast of this in our author, only more ludicrous in their turn: In his Menæchmei, Act. 1,

Sc. 2.

Men. Dic mibi, nunquam tu vidifti tabulam pietam in pariete,

Ubi aquila catamitum raperet, aut ubi venus adoneum?
Pen. Sæpè. Sed quid iftæ pieturæ ad me attinent?

Men, Age, me aspice.
And in his Mostellaria. Act. 3. Sc. 2.
Tra. Viden' pietum, ubi ludificatur cornix una volturios duo?

Cornix asiat, la voiturios duo viciffim velticar.
Quafo, huc ad me spectay
. cornicem ut confpicere poffies.

Robes

Robes and furr'd gowns hide all. Plate fins with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks :
Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it.
None does offend, none, I say, none ; I'll able 'em;
Take that of me, my friend, who have the pow's
To seal th'accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes,
And, like a scạrvy politician, seem
To see the things thou do'st not.
Now,now, now, now.Pulloff my boots: harder, harder, so,

Edg. O matter and impertinency mixt,
Reason in madness!

Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes, I know thee well enough, thy name is Glofter; Thou must be patient; we came crying hither : Thou know'ft, the first time that we smell the air, We wawle and cry. I will preach to thee: mark

Glo. Alack, alack the day !

Lear. When we are born, we cry, that we are come To this great stage of fools. This a good block ! It were a delicate stratagem to fhooe A troop of horse with felt ; I'll put't in proof; And when I've stol'n upon these fons-in-law, Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill.

Enter a Gentleman, with Attendants.
Gent. O, here he is, lay hand upon him; Sir,
Your most dear daughter

Lear. No rescue? what, a prisoner? I am even
The na al fool of fortune. Use me well,
You Ihall have ransom. Let me have surgeons,
I am cut to th? brains.

Gent. You shall have any thing.

Lear. No seconds? all myself?
Why this would make a man, a man of falt;
To use bis eyes for garden-water.pots,
And laying autumn’s duft. I will die bravely,
Like a smug bridegroom. What? I will be jovial :
Come, come, I am a King. My masters, know you that?

Gent. You are a royal one, and we obey you."
Lear. Then there's life in't. Come, an you get it,

You

Her

You fall get it by running: fa, fa, fa, fa. [Exit.

Gent. A light most pitiful in the meanest wretch, Paft speaking of in a King. Thou hast one daughter, Who redeems nature from the general curse Which twain have brought her to.

Edg. Hail, gentle Sir. Gent. Sir, speed you: what's your will? Edg. Do you hear ought, Sir, of a battle toward ? Gent. Most fure, and vulgar: every one hears that, Which can distinguish sound.

Edg. But by your favour, How near's the other army?

Gent. Near, and on speedy foot: the main descry Stands on the hourly thought.

Edg. I thank you, Sir ; that's all. Gent. Though that the Queen on special cause is here, army is mov'd on.

[Exit. Edg. I thank you, Sir.

Gle. You ever gentle gods, take my breath from me;
Let not my worser spirit tempt me again
To die before you please.

Edg. Well pray you, father.
Glo

. Now, good Sir, what are you?
Edg. A most poor man, made tame to fortune's blows,
Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand,
I'll lead you to fome biding.

Glo. Hearty thanks ;
The bounty and the benizon of heav'n
To boot, and boot !

Enter Steward.
Stew. A proclaim'd prize! most happy!
That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh,
To raise my fortunes. Old unhappy traitor,
Briefly thyself remember : the sword is out,
That muft destroy thee.

Glo. Let thy friendly hand
Put strength enough to't.

Stew. Wherefore, bold peasant,
Vol. VI.

E

Dar'ft

Dar'st thou support a publish'd traitor ? hence,
Lelt that th’infection of his fortune take
Like hold on thee. Let

go
his

arm. Edg. Chill not let go, Zir, without vurther 'casion. Stew. Let go, slave, or thou dy'ít.

Edg. Good gentleman, go your gate, and let poor volk pass : and 'chud ha' been zwagger'd out of my life, 'twould not ha' been zo long as 'tis by a vort-night. Nay, come not near th' old man: keep out, che vor’ye, or ice try whether your costard or my bat be the harder; chill be plain with you.

Stew. Out, dunghill!

Edg. Chill pick your teeth, Zir : come, no matter vor your foyns.

[Edgar knocks him down.
Sieru. Slave, thou hast slain me: villain, take my purse;
If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body,
And give the letters, which thou find'st about me,
To Edmund Earl of Gloster : seek him out
Upon the English party, Oh, untimely death!- [Dies.

Edg. I know thee well, a serviceable villain ;
As duteous to the vices of thy mistress,
As badness would defire.

Glo. What, is he dead ?
Edg. Sit you down, father : reft

you.
Let's see these pockets; the letters, that he speaks of,
May be my friends : he's dead; I'm only forry,
He had no other death's-man. Let us fee-
By your leave, gentle wax-and manners blame us not:
To know our enemies minds, we rip their hearts ;
Their papers are more lawful.

Reads the Letter.
ET our reciprocal vows be remembred. You have many

and place will be fruitfully offer'd. There is nothing done, if he return the conqueror. Then am I the prisoner, and his bed my goal; from the loathed warmth whereof deliver me, and supply the place for your labour.

Your (wife, so I would say) affectionate
Servant, Gonerill.

Oh,

« AnteriorContinua »