Imágenes de páginas

To wage against thy foes; nor fear to lose it,
Thy safety being the motive.

Lear. Out of my fight !

Kent. See better, Lear, and let me still remain The true blank of thine eye.

Lear. Now by Apollo

Kent. Now by Apollo, King, Thou swear'lt thy gods in vain. Lear. O yalfall miscreant !

[Laying bis band on his sword. Alb. Corn. Dear Sir, forbear.

Kent. Kill thy physician, and thy fee bestoj
Upon the foul disease; revoke thy doom,
Or whilft I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee, thou doft evil.

Lear. Hear me, recreant !
Since thou hast fought to make us break our vow,
Which we durft never yet ; and with straind 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 disasters of the world;
And, on the sixth, to turn thy hated back.
Upon our Kingdom ; if, the tenth day following,
Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death : away! By Jupiter,
This Thall not be revok'd.

Kent. Fare thee well, King; fith thus, thou wilt appear,
Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here;
The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
That justly think'st, and haft most rightly said ;
And your large speeches may your deeds approve,
That good effects may spring from words of love :
Thus Kent, O Princes, bids you all adieu,
He'll shape his old course in a country new. [Exit.
Enter Glo'ster, with France and Burgundy, and

Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.


[ocr errors]

Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
We first address tow'rd you, who with this King
Have rivall’d for our daughter; what at least
Will you require in present dower with her,
Or cease your quest of love?

Bur. Most royal Majesty,
I crave no more than what your Highness offer'd,
Nor will you tender less.

Lear. Right noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us, we held her so ;
But now her price is falln: Sir, there she stands,
If aught within that little seeming subkance,
Or all of it with our displeasure piecd,
And nothing more, may fitly like your Grace,
She's there, and she is yours.

Bur. I know no answer.

Lear. Will you with those infirmities the owes,
Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,
Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oath,
Take her, or leave her?

Bur. Pardon, royal Sir;
Election makes not up on such conditions.

Lear. Then leave her, Sir; for by the pow'r that I tell you all her wealth. -For you, great King,

[To France.
I would not from your love make such a stray,
To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you,
T'avert your liking a more worthy way
Than on a wretch, whom nature is alham'd
Almost t'acknowledge hers.

France. This is moft strange!
That she, who ev’n but now was your best object,
Your Praife's argument, balm of your age,
Dearest and best ; should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle

folds of favour! sure, her offence
Muft be of such unnatural degree,
That monsters it ; or your fore-vouch'd affection
Fall'n into taint: which to believe of her,


made me,

Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
Should never plant in me.

Cor. I yet beseech your Majesty,
(If, for I want that glib and oily art,
To speak and purpose not; since what I well intenda
I'll do't before I speak,) that you make known
It is no vicious blot, murther, or foulness,
No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step,
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour :
But ev'n for want of that, for which I'm richer,
A ftill folliciting eye, and such a tongue,
That I am glad I've not; though, not to have it,
Hath loft me in your

Lear. Better thou
Hadft not been born, than not have pleas'd me better.

France. Is it but this ? a tardiness in nature,
Which often leaves the history unspoke,
That it intends to do? my lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the lady ? love's not love,
When it is mingled with regards, that stand
Aloof from th’intire point. Say, will you have her?
She is her self a dowry.

Bar. Royal King,
Give but that portion which your self propos d,
And here I také Cordelia by the hand,
Dutchess of Burgundy.
Lear. Nothing: -

I've sworn.
Bur. I'm sorry then, you have so loft a father,
That you must lose a husband.

Cor. Peace be with Burgundy,
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife.
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being

Most choice, forsaken; and most lov'd, despisd!
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon :
Be't lawful, I take up what's cast away.
Gods, Gods ! 'tis strange, that from their cold'ft neglect
My love should kindle to enflam'd respect.
Thy'dow'rless daughter, King, thrown to my chance,

[ocr errors]

Is Queen of us, of ours, and our fair France :
Not all the Dukes of wat'rish Burgundy
Can buy this unpriz'd, precious, maid of me.
Bid them farewel, Cordelia, tho' unkind;
Thou lofelt here, a better where to find.

Lear. Thou haft her, France ; let her be thine, for we
Have no such daughter; nor shall ever see
That face of hers again ; therefore be gone
Without our grace, our love, our benizon :
Come, noble


[Flourish. Exeunt Lear and Burgundy. France. Bid farewel to your fifters.

Cor. Ye jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes Cordelia leaves you: I know what you are, And, like a fifter, am most loth to call Your faults, as they are nam'd. Love well our father : To your professing bosoms I commit him; But yet, alas ! ftood I within his grace, I would prefer him to a better place. So farewel to you both.

Reg. Prescribe not us our duty.

Gen. Let your study Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you At fortune's alms; you have obedience scanted, And well are worth the Want that you have wanted. (2)

Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides, Who covers faults, at last with shame derides. Well may you prosper! France. Come, my fair Cordelia.

[Exeunt France and Cor. Gon. Sister, it is not little I've to say, Of what most nearly appertains to us both ; I think, our father will go hence to night.

(2) And well are worth the Want that you bave wanted.] This is a very obscure Expression, and must be piec'd out with an implied Sense, to be understood. This I take to be the Poet's Meaning, stript of the Jingle which makes it dark : 5. You well deserve to meet with that Want of Love from your Husband, which you have profess’d to want for our " Father.”


Reg. That's certain, and with you ; next month with us.

Gon. You fee how full of changes his age is, the obfervation we have made of it hach not been little; he always lov'd our sister most, and with what poor judge ment he hath now cast her off, appears too grossly.

Reg: 'Tis the infirmity of his age ; yet he hath ever but slenderly known himself.

Gon. The best and soundeft of his time hath been but rath; then must we look, from his age, to receive not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted condition, but therewithal the unruly waywardness, that infirm and cholerick years bring with them.

Reg. Such unconstant starts are .we like to have from him, as this of Kent's banishment.

Gon. There is further complement of leave-taking between France and him ; pray you, let us hit together : if our father carry authority with such disposition as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us.

Reg. We shall further think of it.
Gon. We must do something, and i'th'heat. [Exeunt,

SCEN E changes to a Castle belonging to the

Earl of Glo'ster.

Enter EDMUND, with a Letter.

Edm. T

My services are bound; wherefore should I Stand in the plague of custom, and permit The curtesie of nations to deprive me, (3) For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-fhines

(3) The Niçety of Nations] This is Mr. Pape's Reading, ex Catbedrâ; for it has the Sanction of none of the Copies, that I have met with. They all, indeed, give it, Us, by a foolish Corruption, -- tbe Curiofity of Nations; but I some time ago prov'd, that our Author's Word was, Curtefie. Nor must we forget that Tenure in our Laws, wliereby fome Lands are held by the Currefie of Englando


« AnteriorContinuar »