Puslapio vaizdai

A little to disquantity your train;

And the remainder, that shall still depend,
To be such men as may besort your age,
And know themselves and you.


Darkness and devils!·

Saddle my horses; call my train together.
Degenerate bastard! I'll not trouble thee;
Yet have I left a daughter.


Gon. You strike my people; and your disorder'd rabble

Make servants of their betters.


Lear. Woe, that too late repents, — O, sir, are you


Is it your will? [to ALB.] Speak, sir.


Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend,

Prepare my

More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child,
Than the sea-monster! 9


Pray, sir, be patient.

Lear. Detested kite! thou liest: [to GONERIL.] My train are men of choice and rarest parts,

That all particulars of duty know:

And in the most exact regard support

The worships of their name. -O most small fault,

How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show!

Which, like an engine 1, wrench'd my frame of nature From the fix'd place; drew from my heart all love, And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear!

still depend,] Depend, for continue in service.

9 Than the sea-monster!] Mr. Upton observes, that the sea-monster is the hippopotamus, the hieroglyphical symbol of impiety and ingratitude.

1 like an engine,] By an engine is meant the rack.

Beat at this gate, that let thy folly in,

[Striking his head. And thy dear judgment out! - Go, go, my people. Alb. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant Of what hath mov'd you.

Lear. It may be so, my lord,-Hear, nature, hear; Dear goddess, hear! Suspend thy purpose, if Thou didst intend to make this creature fruitful! Into her womb convey sterility!

Dry up in her the organs of increase;

And from her derogate body 2 never spring
A babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Create her child of spleen; that it may live,
And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her!
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth;
With cadent tears 3 fret channels in her cheeks;
Turn all her mother's pains, and benefits,
To laughter and contempt; that she may feel
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child! - Away, away!



Alb. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes this? Gon. Never afflict yourself to know the cause; But let his disposition have that scope

That dotage gives it.

Re-enter LEAR.

Lear. What, fifty of my followers, at a clap! Within a fortnight?


What's the matter, sir?

Lear. I'll tell thee; Life and death! I am asham'd That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus:


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from her derogate body-] Derogate for degraded, blasted. cadent tears] i. e. falling tears.

+ Turn all her mother's pains, and benefits,] Her maternal cares and good offices.

That these hot tears, which break from me perforce, Should make thee worth them.-Blasts and fogs upon


The untented woundings of a father's curse
Pierce every sense about thee! - Old fond eyes,
Beweep this cause again, I'll pluck you out;
And cast you, with the waters that you lose,
To temper clay. - Ha! is it come to this?
Let it be so:-Yet have I left a daughter,
Who, I am sure, is kind and comfortable;
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
She'll flay thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find,
That I'll resume the shape which thou dost think
I have cast off for ever; thou shalt, I warrant thee.
[Exeunt LEAR, KENT, and Attendants.

Gon. Do you mark that, my lord?

Alb. I cannot be so partial, Goneril,

To the great love I bear you,—

Gon. Pray you, content. What, Oswald, ho! You, sir, more knave than fool, after your master.

[To the Fool.

Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, and take the fool with thee.

A fox, when one has caught her,
And such a daughter,

Should sure to the slaughter,
If my cap would buy a halter;

So the fool follows after.


Gon. This man hath had good counsel:- A hundred


'Tis politick, and safe, to let him keep

At point, a hundred knights. Yes, that on every dream,

5 The untented woundings —] Untented wounds, means wounds in their worst state, not having a tent in them to digest them: and may possibly signify here such as will not admit of having a tent put into them for that purpose.

6 At point,] Completely armed, and consequently ready at ap pointment or command on the slightest notice.

Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
He may enguard his dotage with their powers,
And hold our lives in mercy. - Oswald, I say! —
Alb. Well, you may fear too far.

Safer than trust:+

Let me still take away the harms I fear,
Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart:
What he hath utter'd, I have writ my sister;
If she sustain him and his hundred knights,

When I have show'd the unfitness.-How now, Oswald?

Enter Steward.

What, have you writ that letter to my sister?

Stew. Ay, madam.

Gon. Take you some company, and away to horse: Inform her full of my particular fear;

And thereto add such reasons of your own,

As may compact it more." Get you gone;

And hasten your return. [Exit Stew.] No, no, my lord,
This milky gentleness, and course of yours,
Though I condemn it not, yet, under pardon,
You are much more attask'd for want of wisdom,
Than prais'd for harmful mildness.

Alb. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot tell;
Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.

Gon. Nay, then

Alb. Well, well; the event.

† "trust too far:" - MALONE.


7 ― compact it more.] Unite one circumstance with another, so as to make a consistent account.

8 —— more attask'd—] To be at task, is to be liable to reprehension and correction.


Court before the same.

Enter LEAR, KENT, and Fool.

Lear. Go you before to Gloster with these letters: acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you know, than comes from her demand out of the letter: If your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there before you. 9

Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I have delivered your letter. [Exit. Fool. If a man's brains were in his heels, were't not in danger of kibes?

Lear. Ay, boy.

Fool. Then, I pr'ythee, be merry; thy wit shall not go slip-shod.

Lear. Ha, ha, ha!

Fool. Shalt see, thy other daughter will use thee kindly for though she's as like this as a crab is like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.

Lear. Why, what canst thou tell, my boy?

Fool. She will taste as like this, as a crab does to a crab. Thou canst tell, why one's nose stands i'the middle of his face?

Lear. No.

Fool. Why, to keep his eyes on either side his nose; that what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into. Lear. I did her wrong:2


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there before you.] He means the town of Gloster.

thy other daughter will use thee kindly:] The fool uses the word kindly here in two senses: it means affectionately, and like the rest of her kind.

I did her wrong:] He is musing on Cordelia.

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