Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

74

740

I find she names my very deed of love;
Only she comes too short: that I profess
Myself an enemy to all other joys,
Which the most precious square of sense possesses;
And find I am alone felicitate
In your dear highness' love.

Cor.
[Aside] Then poor Cordelia!
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 conferr'd 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 interess'd; what can you say to draw
A third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.
Cor. Nothing, my lord.

Lear. Nothing!

90

Cor. Nothing.

Lear. Nothing will come of nothing: speak
again.

[blocks in formation]

For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate, and the night;
By all the operation of the orbs

80

140

With reservation of an hundred knights,
By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode
Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain
The name, and all the additions to a king;
The sway, revenue, execution of the rest,
Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,
This coronet part betwixt you. [Giving the crown.
Kent.
Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,
Loved as my father, as my master follow'd,
As my great patron thought on in my prayers,-
Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from
the shaft.

carry

Half my love with him, half my care and duty:
Sure, I shall never marry like my sisters,
To love my father all.

Lear. But goes thy heart with this?
Cor.
Ay, good my lord.
Lear. So young, and so untender?
Cor. So young, my lord, and true.
Lear. Let it be so; thy truth, then, be thy
dower:

IIO

I do invest you jointly with my power,
Pre-eminence, and all the large effects
That troop with majesty. Ourself, by monthly

course,

Good my liege,

Lear. Peace, Kent!
Come not between the dragon and his wrath.
I loved her most, and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery. Hence, and avoid my sight!
So be my grave my peace, as here I give
Her father's heart from her! Call France; who
stirs?

Call Burgundy. Cornwall and Albany, 129
With my two daughters' dowers digest this third:
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.

[blocks in formation]

Lear.

Kent, on thy life, no more. Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn To wage against thy enemies; nor fear to lose it, Thy safety being the motive.

From whom we do exist, and cease to be;
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me

Hold thee, from this, for ever. (The barbarous Which we durst never yet, and with strain'd

Scythian,

pride

Or he that makes his generation messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom

Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and relieved,

As thou my sometime daughter.

Kent.

Lear.

Out of my sight!

Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain
The true blank of thine eye.
161
Lear. Now, by Apollo,-
Kent.
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.
Lear.

Now, by Apollo, king,

O, vassal! miscreant! [Laying his hand on his sword. Corn Dear sir, forbear.

Alb.

Kent. Do:

Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow
Upon thy foul disease. Revoke thy doom;
Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,
I'll tell thee thou dost evil.

Lear.

120

To come between 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 of the world;
And on the sixth to turn thy hated back
Upon our kingdom: if, on the tenth day following,
Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death. Away! by Jupiter,

This shall not be revoked.

Kent. Fare thee well, king: sith thus thou wilt appear. Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here. [To Cordelia] The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,

Hear me, recreant!
On thine allegiance, hear me !
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow,

170

That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said!
[To Regan and Goneril] 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.
Flourish. Re-enter GLOUCESTER, with FRANCE,
BURGUNDY, and Attendants.

Lear. My lord of Burgundy, We first address towards you, who with this king

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 241
When it is mingled with regards that stand

Glou. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?
lord.
She is herself a dowry.
Bur.

191

Hath rivall'd for our daughter: what, in the 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 did hold her so;
But now her price is fall'n. Sir, there she stands:
If aught within that little seeming substance, 201
Or all of it, with our displeasure pieced,
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 she

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 me, royal sir;
Election makes not up on such conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the power
that made me,

210

I tell you all her wealth. [To France] For you,
great king,

I would not from your love make such a stray,
To match you where I hate; therefore beseech

you

To avert your liking a more worthier way
Than on a wretch whom nature is ashamed
Almost to acknowledge hers.

France.

This is most strange, That she, that even but now was your best object, The argument of your praise, balm of your age, Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time

Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
So many folds of favour. Sure, her offence
Must be of such unnatural degree,
That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd affection
Fall'n into taint: which to believe of her,
Must be a faith that reason without miracle
Could 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

intend,

220

230

I'll do't before I speak, that you make known
It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step,
That hath deprived me of your grace and favour;
But even for want of that for which I am richer,
A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
As I am glad I have not, though not to have it

Hath lost me in your liking.
Lear.

Better thou

Hadst not been born than not to have pleased me better.

Royal Lear,

Give but that portion which yourself proposed,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Duchess of Burgundy.

Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry, then, you have so lost a
father

[blocks in formation]

Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see
That face of hers again. Therefore be gone
Without our grace, our love, our benison.
Come, noble Burgundy.

270

[Flourish. Exeunt all but France, Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia. France. Bid farewell to your sisters. Cor. The jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are; And like a sister am most loath to call

Your faults as they are named. Use well our father:

To your professed bosoms I commit him:
But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place.
So, farewell to you both.

Prescribe not us our duties.

Reg.
Gon.
Let your study 279
Be to content your lord, who hath received you
At fortune's alms. You have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the want that you have
wanted.

Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning
hides:

Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.
Well may you prosper!
France.

Come, my fair Cordelia. [Exeunt France and Cordelia. Gon. Sister, it is not a little I have to say of

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Gon. There is further compliment of leavetaking between France and him. Pray you, let's hit together: if our father carry authority with such dispositions as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us.

310

Reg. We shall further think on't. Gon. We must do something, and i' the heat. [Exeunt.

SCENE II. The Earl of Gloucester's castle. Enter EDMUND, with a letter

Edm. Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy

law

My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-
shines

11

Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word,-legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

Edm. I know no news, my lord.
Glou. What paper were you reading?

20

Enter GLOUCESTER.

Glou. Kent banish'd thus! and France choler parted! And the king gone to-night! subscribed power!

Confined to exhibition! All this done Upon the gad! Edmund, how now! what news? Edm. So please your lordship, none. [Putting up the letter. Glou. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter?

Edm. Nothing, my lord.

Glou. No? What needed, then, that terrible dispatch of it into your pocket? the quality of nothing hath not such need to hide itself. Let's see: come, if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.

Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'erread; and for so much as I have perused, I find it not fit for your o'er-looking. 40

Glou. Give me the letter, sir.

Edm. I shall offend, either to detain or give it. The contents, as in part I understand them, are to blame.

Glou. Let's see, let's see.

Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as an essay or taste of my virtue. Glou. [Reads] 'This policy and reverence of age makes the world bitter to the best of our times; keeps our fortunes from us till our oldness cannot relish them. I begin to find an idle and fond bondage in the oppression of aged tyranny; who sways, not as it hath power, but as it is suffered. Come to me, that of this I may speak more. If our father would sleep till I waked him, you should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live the beloved of your brother, EDGAR.' Hum-conspiracy-Sleep till I waked him,you should enjoy half his revenue,'-My son Edgar! Had he a hand to write this? a heart and brain to breed it in?-When came this to you? who brought it?

Edm. It was not brought me, my lord; there's the cunning of it; I found it thrown in at the casement of my closet.

Glou. You know the character to be your

brother's?

Edm. If the matter were good, my lord, I durst swear it were his; but, in respect of that, I

would fain think it were not.

70

Glou.

It is his.

heart is not in the contents. Edm. It is his hand, my lord; but I hope his

Glou. Hath he never heretofore sounded you in this business?

Edm. Never, my lord: but I have heard him oft maintain it to be fit, that, sons at perfect age, and fathers declining, the father should be as ward to the son, and the son manage his revenue.

Glou. O villain, villain! His very opinion in the letter! Abhorred villain! Unnatural, detested, brutish villain! worse than brutish! Go, sirrah, seek him; I'll apprehend him: abominable villain! Where is he?

in

his

Edm. I do not well know, my lord. If it shall please you to suspend your indignation against my brother till you can derive from him better testimony of his intent, you shall run a certain course; where, if you violently proceed against him, mistaking his purpose, it would make a great gap in your own honour, and shake in pieces the heart of his obedience. I dare pawn down my life for him, that he hath wrote this to feel my affection to your honour, and to no further pretence of danger.

Glou. Think you so?

Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall hear us confer of this, 30 and by an auricular assurance have your satis

faction; and that without any further delay than this very evening.

ΙΟΙ

Glou. He cannot be such a monster-
Edm. Nor is not, sure.

Glou. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him. Heaven and earth! Edmund, seek him out; wind me into him, I pray you: frame the business after your own wisdom. I would unstate myself, to be in a due resolution. Edm. I will seek him, sir, presently; convey the business as I shall find means, and acquaint you withal.

LIL

Glow These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us: though the wisdom of nature can reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself scourged by the sequent effects: love cools, friendship falls off, brothers divide: in cities, mutinies; in countries, discord, in palaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt son and father. This villain of mine comes under the prediction; there's son against father: the king falls from bias of nature; there's father against child. We have seen the best of our time: machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to our graves. Find out this villain, "Edmund, it shall lose thee'nothing; do it carefully. And the noble and true-hearted Kent banished! his offence, honesty! 'Tis strange.

[Exit Edm This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, often the surfeit of our own behaviour,,—we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity; fools by heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards, liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of planetary influence; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish disposition to the charge of a star! My father compounded with my mother under the dragon's tail; and my nativity was under Ursa major; so that it follows, I am rough and lecherous. Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing. Edgar

Enter EDGAR.

and pat he comes like the catastrophe of the old comedy: my cue is villanous melancholy, with a sigh like Tom o' Bedlam. O, these eclipses do portend these divisions! fa, sol, la, mi.

Edg. How now, brother Edmund! what serious contemplation are you in?

151

Edm. I am thinking, brother, of a prediction I read this other day, what should follow these eclipses.

Edg. Do you busy yourself about that? Edm. I promise you, the effects he writes of succeed unhappily; as of unnaturalness between the child and the parent; death, dearth, dissolutions of ancient amities; divisions in state, menaces and maledictions against king and nobles; needless diffidences, banishment of friends, dissipation of cohorts, nuptial breaches, and I know not what.

Edg. How long have you been a sectary astronomical?

Edm. Come, come; when saw you my father last?

170

Edg. Why, the night gone by. Edm. Spake you with him? Edg. Ay, two hours together. Edm. Parted you in good terms? Found you no displeasure in him by word or countenance? Edg. None at all.

Edm. Bethink yourself wherein you may have offended him and at my entreaty forbear his presence till some little time hath qualified the heat of his displeasure; which at this instant so rageth in him, that with the mischief of your person it would scarcely allay. 180

Edg. Some villain hath done me wrong. Edm. That's my fear. I pray you, have a continent forbearance till the speed of his rage goes slower; and, as I say, retire with me to my lodging, from whence I will fitly bring you to hear my lord speak: pray ye, go; there's my key: if you do stir abroad, go armed.

Edg. Armed, brother!

Edm. Brother, I advise you to the best; go armed: I ain no honest man if there be any good meaning towards you: I have told you what I have seen and heard; but faintly, nothing like the image and horror of it: pray you, away. Edg. Shall I hear from you anon? Edm. I do serve you in this business. [Exit Edgar. A credulous father! and a brother noble, Whose nature is so far from doing harms, That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty. My practices ride easy! I see the business. Let me, if not by birth, have lands by wit: All with me's meet that I can fashion fit. [Exit.

199

SCENE III. The Duke of Albany's palace. Enter GONERIL, and OSWALD, her steward. Gon. Did my father strike my gentleman for chiding of his fool?

Osiv. Yes, madam.

Gon. By day and night he wrongs me; every hour

He flashes into one gross crime or other,
That sets us all at odds: I'll not endure it:
His knights grow riotous, and himself upbraids us
On every trifle. When he returns from hunting,
I will not speak with him; say I am sick:
If you come slack of former services,
You shall do well; the fault of it I'll answer.
Osz. He's coming, madam; I hear him.
[Horns within.

ΙΟ

Gon. Put on what weary negligence you please, You and your fellows; I'ld have it come to ques

tion:

If he dislike it, let him to our sister,
Whose mind and mine, I know, in that are one,
Not to be over-ruled.
Idle old man,
That still would manage those authorities
That he hath given away! Now, by my life,
Old fools are babes again; and must be used
With checks as flatteries,-when they are seen
abused.
Remember what I tell you.

20

Oszu.
Well, madam.
Gon. And let his knights have colder looks
among you;

[blocks in formation]

Lear. Dost thou know me, fellow?

Kent. No, sir; but you have that in your countenance which I would fain call master. 30 Lear. What's that? Kent. Authority.

Lear. What services canst thou do?

Kent. I can keep honest counsel, ride, run, mar a curious tale in telling it, and deliver a plain message bluntly: that which ordinary men are fit for, I am qualified in; and the best of me is diligence.

Lear. How old art thou?

39

Kent. Not so young, sir, to love a woman for singing, nor so old to dote on her for any thing: I have years on my back forty eight.

Lear. Follow me; thou shalt serve me: if I like thee no worse after dinner, I will not part from thee yet. Dinner, ho, dinner! Where's my knave? my fool? Go you, and call my fool hither. [Exit an Attendant.

Enter OSWALD.

You, you, sirrah, where's my daughter?
Osw. So please you,

[Exit.

Lear. What says the fellow there? Call the clotpoll back. [Exit a Knight.] Where's my fool, ho? I think the world's asleep.

Re-enter Knight.

How now! where's that mongrel?

Knight. He says, my lord, your daughter is not well.

Lear. Why came not the slave back to me when I called him.

Knight. Sir, he answered me in the roundest manner, he would not.

Lear. He would not!

60

STY

Knight. My lord, I know not what the matter is; but, to my judgement, your highness is not entertained with that ceremonious affection as you were wont; there's a great abatement of kindness appears as well in the general dependants as in the duke himself also and your daughter.

Lear. Ha! sayest thou so?

Knight. I beseech you, pardon me, my lord, if I be mistaken; for my duty cannot be silent when I think your highness wronged.

71

Lear. Thou but rememberest me of mine own conception: I have perceived a most faint neglect of late; which I have rather blamed as mine own jealous curiosity than as a very pretence and purpose of unkindness: I will look further into 't. But where's my fool? I have not seen him this two days.

Knight. Since my young lady's going into France, sir, the fool hath much pined away.

80

Lear. No more of that; I have noted it well. Go you, and tell my daughter I would speak with her. [Exit an Attendant.] Go you, call hither my fool. [Exit an Attendant.

Re-enter Oswald.

O, you sir, you, come you hither, sir: who am I, sir?

Osw. My lady's father.

Lear. My lady's father'! my lord's knave: you whoreson dog! you slave! you cur!..

Osw. I am none of these, my lord; I beseech your pardon.

91

Lear. Do you bandy looks with me, you rascal? [Striking him. Osw. I'll not be struck, my lord. Kent. Nor tripped neither, you base foot-ball player. [Tripping up his heels. Lear. I thank thee, fellow; thou servest me, and I'll love thee.

Kent. Come, sir, arise, away! I'll teach you differences: away, away! If you will measure your lubber's length again, tarry: but away! go to; have you wisdom? so. [Pushes Oswald out. Lear. Now, my friendly knave, I thank thee: there's earnest of thy service.

[Giving Kent money.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »