« AnteriorContinua »
I find, she names my very deed of love;
Cor. Then poor Cordelia! [Aside. And yet not so; since, I am sure, my love's More richer than my tongue.
Lear. To thee, and thine, hereditary ever, Remain this ample third of our fair kingdom; No less in space, validity,' and pleasure, Than that conferred on Goneril.-Now, our joy, Although the last, not least; to whose young love The vines of France, and milk of Burgundy, Strive to be interessed: 3 what can you say, to draw A third more opulent than your sisters? sisters? Speak. Cor. Nothing, my lord. Lear. Nothing?
Lear. Nothing can come of nothing; speak again. Cor. Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave
My heart into my mouth. I love your majesty
Lear. How, how, Cordelia? mend your speech a little,
Lest it may mar your fortunes.
Good my lord,
You have begot me, bred me, loved me; I
an enemy to all other joys which the most precious aggregation of sense can bestow." Square is here used for the whole complement, as circle is now sometimes used.
1 Validity is several times used to signify worth, value, by Shakspeare. It does not, however, appear to have been peculiar to him in this sense.
2 The folio reads conferred; the quartos, confirmed. So in a former passage we have in the quartos confirming for conferring. The word confirm might be used in this connection in a legal sense, as it is in instruments of conveyance.
3 To interest and to interesse are not, perhaps, different spellings of the same verb, but two distinct words, though of the same import. We have interessed in Ben Jonson's Sejanus. Drayton also uses the word in the Preface to his Polyolbion.
Obey you, love you, and most honor you.
Ay, good my lord.
Lear. So young, and so untender?
Lear. Let it be so,-thy truth then be thy dower; }
From whom we do exist, and cease to be;
Hold thee, from this, forever. The barbarous Scythian,
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Lear. Peace, Kent!
Good my liege,
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
1 His children.
By you to be sustained, shall our abode
Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain1 The name, and all the additions to a king;
Revenue, execution of the rest,3
Beloved sons, be yours; which to confirm,
This coronet part between you. [Giving the crown.
Lear. The bow is bent and drawn; make from the shaft.
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade The region of my heart; be Kent unmannerly, When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old
Think'st thou, that duty shall have dread to speak, When power to flattery bows? To plainness honor's bound,
When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom;
This hideous rashness. Answer my life my judgment,
Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more. Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn To wage against thine enemies, nor fear to lose it, Thy safety being the motive.
Out of my sight!
1 Thus the quarto; folio, "we shall retain.”
2 "All the titles belonging to a king."
3 By "the execution of the rest," all the other functions of the kingly office are probably meant.
4 The folio reads, "reserve thy state;" and has falls instead of "stoops to folly."
5 This is, perhaps, a word of the Poet's own; meaning the same as reverberates.
6 The expression to wage against is used in a letter from Guil. Webbe to Robt. Wilmot, prefixed to Tancred and Gismund, 1592:-" You shall not be able to wage against me in the charges growing upon this action."
Kent. See better, Lear, and let me still remain
The true blank1 of thine eye.
Now, by Apollo, king,
O vassal! miscreant! [Laying his hand on his sword.
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.
Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.
Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Lear. Hear me, On thine allegiance, hear me !— Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow, (Which we durst never yet,) and, with strained pride, To come betwixt our sentence and our power, (Which nor our nature nor our place can bear ;) Our potency made good, take thy reward. Five days we do allot thee, for provision To shield thee from diseases 3 of the world; And, on the sixth, to turn thy hated back Upon our kingdom. If, on the tenth day following, Thy banished trunk be found in our dominions, The moment is thy death. Away! By Jupiter, This shall not be revoked.
Kent. Fare thee well, king; since thus thou wilt
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here. The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid, [To CORDELIA. That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said!— And your large speeches may your deeds approve, [To REGAN and GONERIL.
1 The blank is the mark at which men shoot.
2 "They to whom I have surrendered my authority, yielding me the ability to dispense it in this instance." Quarto B. reads "make good."
3 Thus the quartos. The folio reads "disasters." By diseases are meant uneasinesses, inconveniences.
4 The quartos read "Friendship;" and in the next line, instead of "dear shelter," "protection.”
That good effects may spring from words of love.-
Re-enter GLOSTER, with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and Attendants.
Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord. Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
We first address towards you, who with this king
Bur. Most royal majesty, I crave no more than hath your highness offered, Nor will you tender less.
I know no answer.
Dowered with our curse, and strangered with our oath,
Take her, or leave her?
with those infirmities she owes,
Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that made me,
I tell you all her wealth.-For you, great king,
1 A quest is a seeking or pursuit: the expedition in which a knight was engaged is often so named in the Faerie Queen.
2 Seeming here means specious.
3 i. e. owns.
4 That is, I cannot decide to take her upon such terms; or, such conditions leave me no choice.