Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

You shall get it by running : fa, fa, fa, fa. Exit.

Gent. A fight most pitiful in the meanest wretch,
Paft speaking of in a King.. Thou hast one daughter,
Who redeems nature from the general curse
Which twain have brought her to.

Edg. Hail, gentle Sir.
Gent. Sir, speed you : what's your

will ? Edg. Do you hear ought, Sir, of a battle toward ?

Gent. Most sure, and vulgar: every one hears that, Which can distinguish found.

Edg. But by your favour, How near's the other

army

? Gent. Near, and on speedy foot: the main descry Stands on the hourly thought.

Edg. I thank you, Sir; that's all.

Gent. Though that the Queen on special cause is here, Her army is moy'd on.

[Exit. Edg. I thank you, Sir.

Glo. You ever gentle gods, take my breath from me; Let not my worser fpirit tempt me again To die before you please.

Edg. Well pray you, father.
Glo. Now, good Sir, what are you?
Edg. A most poor man, made tame to fortune's blows,
Who, by the art of known and feeling forrows,
Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand,
I'll lead you to some biding.

Glo. Hearty thanks;
The bounty and the benizon of heav'n
To boot, and boot !.

Enter Steward.
Stew. A proclaim'd prize! most happy!
That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh,
To raise my fortunes. Old unhappy traitor,
Briefly thyself remember : the sword is out,
That must destroy thee.

Glo. Let thy friendly hand
Put ftrength enough to't.

Stew. Wherefore, bold peasant,
VOL. VI.

E

Dar't

Dar'ft thou support a publish'd traitor ? hence,
Left that th’infection of his fortune take
Like hold on thee. Let go his arm.

Edg. Chill not let go, Zir, without vurther 'casion.
Stew. Let go, slave, or thou dy'st.

Edg. Good gentleman, go your gate, and let poor volk pass : and 'chud ha' been zwagger'd out of my life, 'rwould not ha' been zo long as 'tis by a vort-night. Nay, come not near th' old man: keep out, che vor'ye, or ice try whether your coftard or my bat be the harder ; chill be plain with you.

Stew. Out, dunghill!

Edg. Chill pick your teeth, Zir : come, no matter vor your foyns.

[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 English party, Oh, untimely death!- [Dies.

Edg. I know thee well, a serviceable villain ;
As duteous to the vices of thy mistress,
As badness would defire.

Glo. What, is he dead ?

Edg. Sit you down, father : rest you.
Let's see these pockets; the letters, that he speaks of,
May be my friends : he's dead; I'm only sorry,
He had no other death's-man. Let us see
By your leave, gentle wax—and manners blame us not:
To know our enemies minds, we rip their hearts ;
Their papers are more lawful.

Reads the Letter.
ET our reciprocal vows be remembred. You have many

opportunities to cut him off: if your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully offer'd. There is nothing done, if he return the conqueror. Then am I the prisoner, and his bed my goal; from the loathed warmth whereof deliver me, and supply the place for your labour.

Your (wife, so I would say) affectionate
Servant, Gonerill.

Oh,

[ocr errors]

Oh, undistinguish'd space of woman's will! (52)
A plot upon her virtuous husband's life,
And the exchange my brother. Here, i'th' sands
Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified
Of murd’rous letchers: and in the mature time,
With this ungracious paper strike the fight
Of the death-practis'd Duke: for him 'tis well,
That of thy death and business I can tell.

Glo. The King is mad; how ftiff 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 ;

[Drum afar off And woes, by wrong imaginations, lose The knowledge of themselves.

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

SCENE changes to a Chamber.

Enter Cordelia, Kent, and Physician. Cor. O, thou good Kent, how shall I live and work To match thy goodness ? life will be too short, And ev'ry measure fail me.

(52) Oh, undistinguish'd space of woman's will!] This is the read. ing of the first Folio, which Mr. Pope very unhappily degrades, and subtitutes, wit, the mistaken reading of the ist Quarto. What idea he form’d to himself of the undistinguish'd space of a woman's wit, I can't tell; I am quite at a loss to understand any meaning in it. But the other reading gives us, as Mr. Warburton observes to me, a most elegant expression, and most satirical thought: and more delicate than the---Varium & mutabile semper fæmina---of VIRGIL. 'Tis not the extravagance, but the mutability, of a woman's will that is here satiriz'd. The change of which (our author would be understood to say,) is so speedy, that there is no space of time, no distance, between the present will and the next; but it is an undistinguish'd space. This sentiment may not be ill explain'd further from what honest Sancho, in Don Quixote, with infinite humour says upon the subject. Entre el Si y el Ño de la muger, no me atreveria yo, a poner una punta d' alfiler. Betwixt a woman's you, and no, I would not undertake to thrust a pin's point.

Kent,

E 2

Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is o?erpaid ;
All my reports go with the modest truth,
Nor more, nor clipt, but so.

Cor. Be better suited ;
These weeds are memories of those worser hours :
I pr’ythee, put them off.

Kent. Pardon, dear madam,
Yet to be known, shortens my made intent;
My boon I make it, that you

know me not, 'Till time and I think meet.

Cor. Then be it so, My Lord.--How does the King? [To the Physician.

Phys. Madam, sleeps ftill.

Cor. O you kind gods !
Cure this great breach in his abused nature;
Th' untund and jarring fenfes, O, wind up
Of this child-changed father.

Phys. Please your Majesty,
That we may wake the King, he hath slept long?

Cor. Be govern’d by your knowledge, and proceed l'th' fway of your own will: is he array'd ?

Enter Lear in a chair, carried by servants. Phys. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of sleep, We put fresh

garments on him. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him ; I doubt not of his temperance.

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

Kent. Kind and deareft Princess!

Cor. Had you not been their father, these white flakes Did challenge pity of them. Was this a face, To be expos'd against the warring winds ? To stand against the deep, dread-bolted thunder? (53) In the moft terrible and nimble stroke

(53) To fand against the deep,] The following three lines and an half, in no wise unworthy of our author, I have restor'd from the

old 4to.

Of quick, cross lightning? To watch poor Perdue,
With this thin helm ? - My very enemy's dog,
Though he had bit me, thou'd have stood that night
Against my fire: And waft thou fain, poor father,
To hovel thee with swine and rogues forlorn,
In short and multy straw ? alack, alack !
'Tis wonder, that thy life and wits, at once,
Had not consluded all. He wakes ; speak to him.

Phys. Madam, do you; 'tis fitteit.
Cor. How does my royal Lord? how fares yourMajesty?

Lear. You do me wrong to take me out o’th' grave;
Thou art a soul in bliss, but I am bound
Upon a wheel of fire; that mine own tears
Do scald like molien lead.

Cor. Sir, do you know me?
Lear. You are a spirit, I know; when did you

die?
Cor. Still, still, far wide-
Phys. He's scarce awake, let him alone awhile.

Lear. Where have I been? where am I? fair day-light:
I'm 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.

Cor. O look upon me, Sir,
And hold your hand in benedi&tion o'er me.
No, Sir, you mut not knee!.

Lear. 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'm mainly ignorant,
What place this is; and all the skill I have,
Remembers not these garments; nay, 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.

Cor. And I am; I am.
Lear. Be your tears wet? yes, faith; I pray you, weep not.

« AnteriorContinuar »