Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

Let pity not be believ'd!-There she shook
The holy water from her heavenly eyes,

And clamour moisten'd: then away she started
To deal with grief alone.

Kent.

It is the stars,

The stars above us, govern our conditions;

Else one self mate and mate could not beget

Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?
Gent. No.

Kent. Was this before the king return'd?
Gent.

No, since. Kent. Well, sir; The poor distress'd Lear is i'the

town:

Who sometime, in his better tune, remembers

What we are come about, and by no means

Will yield to see his daughter.

Gent.

Why, good sir?

Kent. A sovereign shame so elbows him: his own unkindness,

That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her
To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights

To his dog-hearted daughters, these things sting
His mind so venomously, that burning shame
Detains him from Cordelia.

Gent.

Alack, poor gentleman!

Kent. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you heard

not?

Gent. "Tis so; they are afoot.

Kent. Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master Lear, And leave you to attend him: some dear cause Will in concealment wrap me up awhile; When I am known aright, you shall not grieve Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go Along with me. [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. The same. A Tent.

Enter CORDELIA, Physician, and Soldiers. Cor. Alack, 'tis he; why, he was met even now As mad as the vex'd sea: singing aloud;

Crown'd with rank fumiter, and furrow weeds,
With harlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,
Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow

In our sustaining corn.-A century send forth;
Search every acre in the high-grown field,

And bring him to our eye. [Exit an Officer]-What can man's wisdom do,

In the restoring his bereaved sense?

He, that helps him, take all my outward worth.
Phys. There is means, madam:

Our foster-nurse of nature is repose,

The which he lacks; that to provoke in him,
Are many simples operative, whose power
Will close the eye of anguish.

Cor.

All bless'd secrets,
All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth,
Spring with my tears! be aidant, and remediate,
In the good man's distress!-Seek, seek for him;
Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life

That wants the means to lead it.

Mess.

Enter a Messenger.

Madam, news?

The British powers are marching hitherward.
Cor. "Tis known before; our preparation stands
In expectation of them.-O dear father,
It is thy business that I go about,

Therefore great France

My mourning, and important tears, bath pitied.
No blown ambition doth our arms incite,
But love, dear love, and our ag'd father's right:
Soon may I hear, and see him.

[Exeunt.

SCENE V. A Room in GLOSTER'S Castle.

Enter REGAN and STEWARD.

Reg. But are my brother's powers set forth?

Stew.

[blocks in formation]

Ay, madam.

Himself

Stew.

Madam, with much ado:

Your sister is the better soldier.

Reg. Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home? Stew. No, madam.

Reg. What might import my sister's letter to him? Stew. I know not, lady.

Reg. 'Faith, he is posted hence on serious matter. It was great ignorance, Gloster's eyes being out, To let him live; where he arrives, he moves All hearts against us: Edmund, I think, is gone, In pity of his misery, to despatch

His nighted life; moreover, to descry

The strength o'the enemy.

Stew. I must needs after him, madam, with my letter. Reg. Our troops set forth to-morrow; stay with us; The ways are dangerous.

Stew.

I may not, madam; My lady charg'd my duty in this business.

Reg. Why should she write to Edmund? Might not

you

Transport her purposes by word?

Belike, Something-I know not what:-I'll love thee much, Let me unseal the letter.

Stew.

Madam, I had ratherReg. I know, your lady does not love her husband; I am sure of that: and, at her late being here, She gave strange œiliads, and most speaking looks To noble Edmund: I know, you are of her bosom. Stew. I, madam?

Reg. I speak in understanding; you are, I know it : Therefore, I do advise you, take this note:

My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd;
And more convenient is he for my hand,
Than for your lady's:-You may gather more.
If you do find him, pray you, give him this;
And when your mistress hears thus much from you,
I pray, desire her call her wisdom to her.
So, fare you well.

If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.

Stew. 'Would I could meet him, madam! I would show

What party I do follow.

Reg.

Fare thee well.

[Exeunt.

SCENE VI. The Country near DOVER.

Enter GLOSTER; and EDGAR, dressed like a Peasant. Glo. When shall we come to the top of that same hill? Edg. You do climb up it now: look, how we labour. Glo. Methinks, the ground is even.

[blocks in formation]

Glo.

Horrible steep:

No, truly.

Edg. Why, then your other senses grow imperfect By your eyes' anguish.

Glo.
So may it be, indeed:
Methinks thy voice is alter'd; and thou speak'st
In better phrase, and matter, than thou didst.

Edg. You are much deceiv'd; in nothing am I chang'd, But in my garments.

Glo.

Methinks, you are better spoken. Edg. Come on, sir; here's the place:-stand still.How fearful

And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low!

The crows, and choughs, that wing the midway air,
Show scarce so gross as beetles: Half way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade!
Methinks, he seems no bigger than his head:
The fishermen, that walk upon the beach,
Appear like mice; and yon tall anchoring bark,
Diminish'd to her cock; her cock, a buoy
Almost too small for sight: The murmuring surge,
That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high:-I'll look no more;
Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight
Topple down headlong.

Glo.

Set me where you stand. Edg. Give me your hand: You are now within a foot Of the extreme verge: for all beneath the moon Would I not leap upright.

Glo.

Let go my hand.

Here, friend, is another purse; in it, a jewel,
Well worth a poor man's taking: Fairies, and gods,
Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off;
Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.
Edg. Now fare you well, good sir.

Glo.

[Seems to go. With all my heart. Edg. Why I do trifle thus with his despair, Is done to cure it.

Glo.
O you mighty gods!
This world I do renounce; and, in your sights,
Shake patiently my great affliction off:
If I could bear it longer, and not fall
To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
My snuff, and loathed part of nature, should
Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him!-
Now, fellow, fare thee well. [He leaps, and falls along.
Edg.
Gone, sir? Farewell.-
And yet I know not how conceit may rob
The treasury of life, when life itself

Yields to the theft: Had he been where he thought,
By this, had thought been past.-Alive, or dead?
Ho, you sir! friend!-Hear you, sir?—speak!
Thus might he pass indeed :-Yet he revives:
What are you, sir?

Glo.

Away, and let me die. Edg. Hadst thou been aught but gossamer,

air,

So many fathom down precipitating,

feathers,

Thou hadst shiver'd like an egg: but thou dost breathe; Hast heavy substance; bleed'st not; speak'st; art sound. Ten masts at each make not the altitude,

Which thou hast perpendicularly fell;

Thy life's a miracle: Speak yet again.
Glo. But have I fallen, or no?

Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky bourn: Look up a-height;-the shrill-gorg'd lark so far

Cannot be seen or heard: do but look up.

Glo. Alack, I have no eyes.

« AnteriorContinua »