Imágenes de páginas

Alb. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for

Be-monster not thy feature. Were it my fitness
To let these hands obey my blood,'
They are apt enough to dislocate and tear
Thy flesh and bones:-Howe'er thou art a fiend,
A woman's shape doth shield thee.

Gon. Marry, your manhood now!

Enter a Messenger.

Alb. What news?

Mess. O, my good lord, the duke of Cornwall's dead;

Slain by his servant, going to put out

The other


of Gloster. eye

Gloster's eyes!

Sought to be king o'er her.
O, then it mov'd her.
Gent. Not to a rage; patience and sorrow strove
Who should express her goodliest. You have seen
Sunshine and rain at once; her smiles and tears
Were like a better day: Those happy smiles,
That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know
What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence,
As pearls from diamonds dropp'd.-In brief, sorrow
Would be a rarity most belov'd, if all
Could so become it.

Made she no verbal question?? Gent. 'Faith, once, or twice, she heav'd the name of father

Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart;
Cried, Sisters! sisters!-Shame of ladies! sisters!

Mess. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with re- || Kent! father! sisters! What? the storm? i'the


Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword
To his great master: who, thereat enrag'd,
Flew on him, and amongst them fell'd him dead:
But not without that harmful stroke, which since
Hath pluck'd him after.

This shows you are above,
You justicers, that these our nether crimes
So speedily can venge!-But, O poor Gloster!
Lost he his other eye?

Both, both, my lord.-
This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer;
'Tis from your sister.

Gon. [Aside.] One way I like this well;
But being widow, and my Gloster with her,
May all the building in my fancy pluck
Upon my hateful life: Another way,

The news is not so tart.-I'll read, and answer.


Alb. Where was his son, when they did take his

Mess. Come with my lady hither.

Mess. No, my good lord; I met him back again.
Alb. Knows he the wickedness?


Let pity not be believed!3-There she shook
The holy water from her heavenly eyes,
And clamour moisten'd: then away she started
To deal with grief alone.
It is the stars,


The stars above us, govern our conditions :4
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?

No, since.

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That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her
To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights
He is not here.To his dog-hearted daughters, these things sting
His mind so venomously, that burning shame
Detains him from Cordelia.
Alack, poor gentleman!
Kent. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you
heard not?

Mess. Ay, my good lord; 'twas he inform'd against him;

And quit the house on purpose, that their punish


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To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the king,
And to revenge thine eyes.-Come hither, friend;
Tell me what more thou knowest. [Exeunt.
SCENE III-The French camp near Dover.
Enter Kent, and a Gentleman.

Kent. Why the king of France is so suddenly. gone back know you the reason?

Gent. Something he left imperfect in the state,
Which since his coming forth is thought of; which
Imports to the kingdom so much fear and danger,
That his personal return was most requir'd,
And necessary.

Kent. Who hath he left behind him general?
Gent. The mareschal of France, Monsieur le Fer.
Kent. Did letters pierce the
queen to any
demonstration of grief?
Gent. Ay, sir; she took them, read them in my

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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 a while;
When I am known aright, you shall not grieve
Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go
Along with me.

SCENE IV.-The same. A tent. Enter Cor-
delia, 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,
Phy. 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

(6) Important business. (7) Fumitory.

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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, hath 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?

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madam. Himself

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.
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.


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 ciliads,5 and most speaking looks
To noble Edinund: 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 :6
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.7
If 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


(1) i. e. The reason which should guide it. (2) Importunate. (3) Inflated, swelling. (4) 1. e. His life made dark as night.

(5) A cast, or significant glance of the eye.

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Edg. Why, then your other senses grow imper

fect 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.


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 ;9 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 ;10 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
Topplell down headlong.


Set me where 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, 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. [Seems to go. Glo. With all my heart. Edg. Why I do trifle thus with his despair, Is done to cure it. Glo. you mighty gods! This world I do renounce; and, your 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?

(6) Observe what I am saying. (7) Infer more. (8) Daws. (9) A vegetable gathered for pickling. (10) Her cock-boat. (11) Tumble.

Io, you sir friend! Hear you, sir?-speak!
Thus might he pass indeed :-Yet he revives :
What are you, sir?
Away, and let me die.

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 them, there I smelt

Edg. Hadst thou been aught but gossamer, fea- them out. Go to, they are not men o'their words:

thers, air,

So many fathom down precipitating,
Thou hadst shiver'd like an egg: but thou dost


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:2

Look up a-height;-the shrill-gorg'd3 lark so far Cannot be seen or heard: do but look up.

Glo Alack, I have no eyes.

Is wretchedness depriv'd that benefit,
To end itself by death? 'Twas yet some comfort,
When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage,
And frustrate his proud will.

Give me your arm: Up-So-How is't? Feel you your legs? You


Glo. Too well, too well. Edg. This is above all strangeness. Upon the crown o'the cliff, what thing was that Which parted from you?

Glo. A poor unfortunate beggar. Edg. As I stood here below, methought, his eyes Were two full moons; he had a thousand noses, Horns whelk'd,4 and wav'd, like the enridged sea; It was some fiend: Therefore, thou happy father, Think that the clearest gods, who make them honours

Of men's impossibilities, have preserv'd thee.

Glo. I do remember now: henceforth I'll bear Affliction, till it do cry out itself,

Enough, enough, and, die. That thing you speak of, took it for a man; often 'twould say, The fiend, the fiend: he led me to that place.

Edg. Bear free and patient thoughts.—But who comes here?

Enter Lear, fantastically dressed up with flowers.
The safer sense will ne'er accommodate
His master thus.

they told me I was every thing; 'Tis a lie; I am not ague-proof.

Glo. The trick 10 of that voice I do well remember: Is't not the king?


Ay, every inch a king: When I do stare, 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 lecher in my sight.

Let copulation thrive, for Gloster'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' simpering dame,

Whose face between her forks presageth snow;
That minces virtue, and does shake the head
To hear of pleasure's name;

The fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to't
With a more riotous appetite.

Down from the waist they are centaurs,
Though women all above:

But to the girdle do the gods inherit,12
Beneath is all the fiends'; there's hell, there's dark-

There is the sulphurous 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 nought.-Dost thou know me?

Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny13 at me? No, do thy worst, blind Cupid; I'll not love.—Read thou this challenge; mark but the penning of it.

Glo. Were all the letters suns, I could not see one. Edg. I would not take this from report;—it is, And my heart breaks at it.

Lear. Read.

Glo. What, with the case of eyes?

Lear. O, ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? Your

Lear. No, they cannot touch me for coining; I eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light: Yet am the king himself.

Edg. O thou side-piercing sight! Lear. Nature's above art in that respect.-There's your press-money. That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper: draw me a clothier's yard.6 Look, look, a mouse! Peace, peace;-this piece of toasted cheese will do't.-There's my gauntlet; I'll prove it on a giant.-Bring up the brown bills. O, well flown, bird!-i'the clout, i'the clout :8 hewgh!-Give the word.9

Edg. Sweet marjoram. Lear. Pass.

Glo. I know that voice.

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you see how this world Glo. I see it feelingly.


Lear. What, art mad? A man may see how this world goes, with no eyes. Look with thine ears. see how yon' justice rails upon yon' simple thief. Hark, in thine ear: Change places; and, handydandy, which is the justice, which is the thief?Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar? Glo. Ay, sir.

Lear. And the creature run from the cur? There thou might'st behold the great image of authority: a dog's obeyed in office.

Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand:
Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own

Thou hotly lust'st to use her in that kind
For which thou whipp'st her. The usurer hangs the

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Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear; Robes, and furr'd gowns, hide all. Plate sin 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 power To seal the accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes; And, like a scurvy politician, seem

To see the things thou dost not.-Now, now, now,


Pull off my boots :-harder, harder; so.

Edg. O, matter and impertinency mix'd! Reason in madness!

Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my


I know thee well enough; thy name is Gloster: Thou must be patient; we came crying hither. Thou know'st, the first time that we smell the air, We wawl, and cry:-I will preach to thee; mark


Glo. Alack, alack the day!

Lear. When we are born, we cry, that we are


To this great stage of fools;―This a good block?
It were a delicate stratagem, to shoe
A troop of horse with felt: I'll put it in proof;
And when I have stolen upon these sons-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 natural fool of fortune.-Use me well; You shall have ransom. Let me have a surgeon, I am cut to the brains. Gent.

You shall have any thing. Lear. No seconds? All myself? Why, this would make a man, a man of salt,2 To use his eyes for garden water-pots, Ay, and for laying autumn's dust.


Good sir,

Lear. I will die bravely, like a bridegroom:


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A proclaim'd prize! most happy! That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh To raise my fortunes.-Thou old unhappy traitor, Briefly7 thyself remember :-The sword is out That must destroy thee. Glo.

Now let thy friendly hand [Edgar opposes. Wherefore, bold peasant,

Put strength enough to it.

Dar'st thou support a publish'd traitor? Hence;
Lest that the infection of his fortune take
Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.

Edg. Ch'ill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion. Stew. Let go, slave, or thou diest. Edg. Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor volk pass. And ch'ud ha' been zwagger'd out of my life, 'twould not ha' been zo long as 'tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near the old man; keep out, che vor'ye, or ise try whether costard9 or your my bato be the harder: Ch'ill be plain with you. Stew. Out, dunghill!

Edg. Ch'ill pick your teeth, zir: Come; no matter vor your foins.11

[They fight: and Edgar knocks him down. Stew. 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 British party :- -O, untimely death!

[Dies. Edg. I know thee well: A serviceable villain; As duteous to the vices of thy mistress, As badness would desire. Glo.

What, is he dead? Edg. Sit you down, father; rest you.Let's see his pockets: these letters, that he speaks of, May be my friends.-He's dead; I am only sorry He had no other death's-man.-Let us see: Leave, gentle wax; and, manners, blame us not : To know our enemies' minds, we'd rip their hearts; Their papers, is more lawful.12

[Reads.] Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You have many opportunities to cut him off: if your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully offered. There is nothing done, if he return the conqueror: Then am I the prisoner, and his bed my gaol; from the loathed warmth

(4) Evil genius. (5) Blessing. (6) Reward. (7) Quickly recollect the offences of thy life. (8) Go your way.

(9) Head. (10) Club. (11) Thrusts. (12) To rip their papers is more lawful.

whereof deliver me, and supply the place for your

Your wife (so I would say,) and your
affectionate servant,

O undistinguish'd space of woman's will!-
A plot upon her virtuous husband's life:

Cor. Had you not been their father, these white

Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face
To be expos'd against the warring winds?
To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?
In the most terrible and nimble stroke

Of quick, cross lightning? to watch (poor perdu !5)

And the exchange, my brother!-Here, in the With this thin helm ?6 Mine enemy's dog,


Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified

Of murderous lechers: and, in the mature time,
With this ungracious paper strike the sight
Of the death-practis'd duke: For him 'tis well,
That of thy death and business I can tell.

[Exit Edgar, dragging out the body.
Glo. The king is mad: How stiff is my vile sense,
That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling
Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract:
So should my thoughts be sever'd from my griefs;
And woes, by wrong imaginations, lose
The knowledge of themselves.

Re-enter Edgar.


Give me your
Far off, methinks, I hear the beaten drum.
Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend. [Exe.

SCENE VII-A tent in the French camp. Lear
on a bed asleep; Physician, Gentleman, and
others, attending: Enter Cordelia and Kent.
Cor. O thou good Kent, how shall I live, and

To match thy goodness? My life will be too short,
And every measure fail me.

Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o'er-paid.||
All my reports go with the modest truth;
Nor more, nor clipp'd, but so.


Be better-suited :2

These weeds are memories of those worser hours;
I pr'ythee, put them off.

Pardon me,
dear madam;
Yet to be known, shortens my made intent :4
My boon I make it, that you know me not,
Till time and I think meet.

Cor. Then be it so, my good lord.-How does
the king?
[To the Physician.

Phys. Madam, sleeps still.

Cor. O you kind gods,


Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
The untun'd and jarring senses, O, wind
Of this child-changed father!

So please your majesty,
That we may wake the king? he hath slept long.
Cor. Be govern'd by your knowledge, and pro-

I'the sway of your own will. Is he array'd?

Gent. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his sleep, We put fresh garments on him.

Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him;

Very well.

I doubt not of his temperance.
Phys. Please you, draw near.-Louder the mu-

sic there.

Cor. O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss
Repair those violent harms, that my two sisters
Have in thy reverence made!

Kind and dear princess!

(1) I'll cover thee (the dead steward) in the sands. (2) Dressed. (3) Memorials. (4) Intent formed. (5) French, enfans perdus.

Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
Against my fire; And wast thou fain, poor father,
To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn,
In short and musty straw? Alack, alack!
'Tis wonder, that thy life and wits at once
Had not concluded all.-He wakes; speak to him.
Phys. Madam, do you; 'tis fittest.

Cor. How does my royal lord? How fares your

Lear. You do me wrong, to take me out o'the

grave :

Thou art a soul in bliss; but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire, that mine own tears
Do scald like molten lead.
Sir, do you know me?
Lear. You are a spirit, I know; When did you

Cor. Still, still, far wide!

Phys. He's scarce awake; let him alone awhile.
Lear. Where have I been?-Where am I?-Fair


I am mightily abus'd.--I should even die with pity,
To see another thus.-I know not what to say.—
I will not swear, these are my hands:-let's see;
I feel this pin prick. 'Would I were assur'd
Of my condition.
O, look upon me, sir,
And hold your hands in benediction o'er me:
No, sir, you must not kneel.



Pray, do not mock me:
I am a very foolish fond old man,
Fourscore and upward; and, to deal plainly,
I fear, I am not in my perfect mind.
Methinks, I should know you, and know this man :
Yet I am doubtful: for I am mainly ignorant
What place this is; and all the skill I have
Remembers not these garments; nor I know not
Where I did lodge last night: Do not laugh at me;
For, as I am a man, I think this lady
To be my child Cordelia.

And so I am, I am.
Lear. Be your tears wet? Yes, 'faith. I pray,
weep not:

I know, you do not love me; for your sisters
Have, as I do remember, done me wrong:
You have some cause, they have not.

you have poison for me, I will drink it.

Lear. Am I in France?

No cause, no cause.

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