Puslapio vaizdai


O Goneril!

You are not worth the dust which the rude wind

Blows in your face. I fear your disposition:

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That nature, which contemns its origin,
Cannot be border'd certain in itself;

She that herself will sliver and disbranch
From her material sap3, perforce must wither,
And come to deadly use.

Gon. No more; the text is foolish.

Alb. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile:
Filths savour but themselves. What have you done?
Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform'd?
A father, and a gracious aged man,

Whose reverence the head-lugg'd bear would lick,
Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you madded.
Could my good brother suffer you to do it?
A man, a prince, by him so benefited?

If that the heavens do not their visible spirits
Send quickly down to tame these vile offences,
"Twill come,

Humanity must perforce prey on itself,

Like monsters of the deep.


Milk-liver'd man!

That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs;
Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning
Thine honour from thy suffering; that not know'st,
Fools do those villains pity, who are punish'd

Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy drum?
France spreads his banners in our noiseless land ;
With plumed helm thy slayer begins threats;
Whilst thou, a moral fool, sit'st still, and cry'st,
Alack! why does he so ?

3 She that herself will sliver and disbranch

From her material sap,] She who breaks the bonds of filial duty, and becomes wholly alienated from her father, must wither and perish, like a branch separated from that sap which supplies it with nourishment, and gives life to the matter of which it is composed.


See thyself, devil!

Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
So horrid, as in woman.

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Alb. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for shame, 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 eye of Gloster.


Gloster's eyes!

Mess. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with remorse, 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 : 4
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

amongst them fell'd him dead:] i. e. they fell'd.

Upon my hateful life: Another way,

The news is not so tart.

I'll read, and answer. [Exit. Alb. Where was his son, when they did take his eyes? Mess. Come with my lady hither.


He is not here. Mess. No, my good lord; I met him back again. Alb. Knows he the wickedness?

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


And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment Might have the freer course.


Gloster, I live

To thank thee for the love thou showd'st the king,
And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, friend;
Tell me what more thou knowest.



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 your letters pierce the queen to any demonstration of grief?

Gent. Ay, sir; she took them, read them in my pre


And now and then an ample tear trill'd down

Her delicate cheek: it seem'd, she was a queen
Over her passion; who, most rebel-like,

Sought to be the 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?5

Gent. 'Faith, once, or twice, she heav'd the name of


Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart;

Cried, Sisters! sisters! - Shame of ladies! sisters!

Kent! father! sisters! What? the storm? i'the night? Let pity not be believed! 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;

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?

+"better May:"- MALONE.

5 Made she no verbal question?] Means only, Did she enter into no conversation with you? In this sense our poet frequently uses the word question, and not simply as the act of interrogation.

6 Let pity not be believed!] i. e. Let not such a thing as pity be supposed to exist!

7 clamour moisten'd:] that is, her out-cries were accompanied with tears.

8 govern our conditions ;] i. e. regulate our dispositions.


No, since.

Kent. Well, sir; The poor distress'd Lear is i'the


Who sometime, in his better tune, remembers

What we are come about, and by no means

Will yield to see his daughter.


Why, good sir?

Kent. A sovereign shame so elbows him: his own un


That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her
To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights

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


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 cause9 Will in concealment wrap me up awhile; When I am known aright, you shall not grieve Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go Along with me.



The same. A Tent.

Enter CORDELIA, 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 fumiter1, and furrow weeds,


9 some dear cause —] Some important business.

- fumiter,] i. e. fumitory.

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