Puslapio vaizdai

With harlocks1, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers,
Darnel, and all the idle weeds that


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
Will close the eye of anguish.


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.2


Enter a Messenger.

Madam, news;

The British powers are marching hitherward.

Cor. "Tis known before; our preparation stands
O dear father,

In expectation of them.

It is thy business that I go about;

Therefore great France.

My mourning, and important3 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!





harlocks,] A typographical error for charlock, or wild

the means to lead it.] The reason which should guide it.

3 important] For importunate.

+ No blown ambition] No inflated, no swelling pride.

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A Room in Gloster's Castle.

Enter REGAN and Steward.

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

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Ay, madam.


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.



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

Reg. Why should she write to Edmund? Might not


Transport her purposes by word? Belike,

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


Madam, I had rather

Reg. I know, your lady does not love her husband; I am sure of that: and, at her late being here,

5 His nighted life;] i. e. His life made dark as night, by the extinction of his eyes.

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:7

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.


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

Sterw. 'Would I could meet him, madam ! I would

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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.

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Horrible steep:

No, truly.

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

6 She gave strange œiliads,] Eillade, Fr. a cast, or significant glance of the eye.


I do advise you, take this note:] Note means in this place not a letter, but a remark. Therefore observe what I am saying.


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; 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.


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Set me where you stand.

Edg. Give me your hand: You are now within a


Of the extreme verge: for all beneath the moon

Would I not leap upright.


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

Is done to cure it.

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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 indeed1:-Yet he revives :
What are you, sir?


Away, and let me die.

Edg. Had'st thou been aught but gossomer 2, feathers,


So many fathom down precipitating,

Thou had'st 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.

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Yields to the theft :] When life is willing to be destroyed. 1 Thus might he pass indeed:] Thus might he die in reality.


2 Had'st thou been aught but gossomer,-] Gossomore, the white and cobweb-like exhalations that fly about in hot sunny weather. chalky bourn:] Bourn seems here to signify a hill. Its common signification is a brook. But in Milton and Shakspeare it means only a boundary, and here certainly means "this chalky boundary of England, towards France."

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