Page images
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Evg. Yet better thus, and known to be con- | My father, poorly led ?_World, world, O world ! temn'd,

But that thy strange mutations make us hate thee, Than still contemn'd and flatter'd. To be worst, Life would not yield to age. The lowest and most dejected thing of fortune, OLD Man. O my good lord, I have been your Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear:

tenant, and your father's tenant, these fourscore The lamentable change is from the best ;

years. The worst returns to laughter. Welcome then,"

Glo. Away, get thee away; good friend, be Thou unsubstantial air that I embrace !

gone :
The wretch that thou hast blown unto the worst, Thy comforts can do me no good at all,
Owes nothing to thy blasts.—But who comes Thee they may hurt.
here?

Old Man. You cannot see your way.
Glo. I have no way, and therefore want no eyes;

W.

CUI

a Welcome then,- 1 These words and the three lines which follow are omitted in the quartos.

Our means secure us ; a and our mere defects EDG. [Aside.] And yet I must.—Bless thy Prove our commodities.—0, dear son Edgar,

sweet eyes, they bleed. The food of thy abused father's wrath!

Glo. Know'st thou the way to Dover ? Might I but live to see thee in my touch,

Edg. Both stile and gate, horse-way and footI'd say I had eyes again!

path. Poor Tom hath been scared out of his good OLD Man.

How now! Who's there? wits : bless thee, good man's son, from the foul Eug. [Aside.] O gods! Who is't can say I am fiend five fiends have been in poor Tom at at the worst ?

once ;of lust, as Obidicut; Hobbididance, prince I am worse than e'er I was ;

of dumbness ; Mahu, of stealing ; Modo, of OLD MAN.

'Tis poor mad Tom. murder; and * Flibbertigibbet, of mopping and Eng. [Aside. ]—And worse I may be yet: the mowing,—who since possesses chamber - maids worst is not,

and waiting-women. So, bless thee, master! So long as we can say, This is the worst.

Glo. Here, take this purse, thou whom the OLD MAN. Fellow, where goest ?

heavens' plagues Glo.

Is it a beggar-man ? | Have humbled to all strokes : that I am wretched, Old Man. Madman and beggar too.

Makes thee the happier :--heavens, deal so still ! Glo. He has some reason, else he could not beg. Let the superfluous, and lust-dieted man, I' the last night's storm I such a fellow saw ; That slaves your ordinance, that will not see Which made me think a man a worm : my son Because he doth not feel, feel your power quickly; Came then into my mind ; and yet my mind So distribution should undo excess, Dover? Was then scarce friends with him : I have heard And each man have enough.Dost thou know more since.

EDG. Ay, master.

[head As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods,

Glo. There is a cliff, whose high and bending They kill us for their sport.

Looks fearfully in the confined deep : Edg. [Aside.] How should this be ?

Bring me but to the very brim of it,
Bad is the trade that must play Fool to sorrow, And I'll repair the misery thou dost bear,
Ang’ring itself and others. -Bless thee, master! With something rich about me: from that place
Glo. Is that the naked fellow ?

I shall no leading need.
Old Man.
Ay, my lord. EDG.

Give me thy arm;
Glo. Then, pr’ythee, get thee gone :) if, for my Poor Tom shall lead thee.

[Exeunt. sake, Thou wilt o'ertake us hence a mile or twain,

SCENE II.Before the Duke of Albany's I'the way to Dover, do it for ancient love; And bring some covering for this naked soul,

Palace. Who * I'll entreat to lead me.

Enter GONERIL and EDMUND; Oswald meeting OLD Man.

Alack, sir, he is mad. Glo. 'Tis the times' plague, when madmen lead

them. the blind.

Gon. Welcome, my lord; I marvel our mild Do as I bid thee, or rather do thy pleasure ;

husband Above the rest, be gone.

Not met us on the way. Now, where's your Old Man. I'll bring him the best 'parel that I

master? have,

Osw. Madam, within ; but never man so Come on 't what will.

[Exit.

chang’d. Glo. Sirrah, naked fellow,

I told him of the army that was landed; EDG. Poor Tom's a-cold. I cannot daub it He smild at it: I told him, you were coming ; further.

[Aside. His answer was, The worse : of Gloster's treachery, Glo. Come hither, fellow,—

And of the loyal service of his son,

(*) First folio, Which.

(*) First folio omits, and.

Our means secure us, and our mere defccts
Prove our commodities.-

This was an old stumbling-block to the critics Some have altered
it to,"Our mean secures us," &c., that is, our middle-state keeps
us in safety: others would read, -"Our meanness secures us:"
Johnson proposed,"Our means seduce us; ” or “Our maims
secure us :" and Mr. Collier's annotator reads, Our wants
secure us." All this controversy arose apparently from mis-
apprehension of the sense in which the word " secure" is to be
understood. To secure now means only to protect, to keep sufely;
but in old language it very commonly signified also, to render us

careless, over-confident, unguarded, and this appears to be its
meaning here. Thus, in Sir T. More's “Life of Edward V." :-
"Oh the uncertain confidence and shortsighted knowledge of
man! When this lord was most afraid, he was most secure; and
when he was secure, danger was over his head.” Again, in Judges
viii. 11:"And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt
in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host,
for the host was secure."

b Then, prythee, get thee gone :) So the quartos; the folio reads, “Get thee away," &c.

c-five fiends, &c.] The remainder of the speech is not given in the folio.

When I inform'd him, then he call'd me sot, | Most barbarous, most degenerate !-have you And told me I had turn'd the wrong side out:

madded. What most he should dislike, seems pleasant to Could my good brother suffer you to do it? him;

A man, a prince, by him so benefited! What like, offensive.

If that the heavens do not their visible spirits Gon. [To EDMUND.] Then shall you go no Send quickly down to tame these * vile offences, further.

'T will come, humanity must perforce prey on It is the cowish terror of his spirit,

'tself, That dares not undertake: he'll not feel wrongs, Like monsters of the deep. Which tie him to an answer. Our wishes on the Gon.

Milk-liver'd man ! way

That bear’st a cheek for blows, a bead for wrongs; May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother; Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning Hasten his musters and conduct his powers : Thine honour from thy suffering ;o that not I must change arms * at home, and give the distaff

know'st, Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant | Fools do those villains pity who are punish'd Shall pass between us : ere long you are like to , Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy hear,

drum ? If you dare venture in your own behalf,

France spreads his banners in our noiseless land; A mistress's command. Wear this; spare speech; With plumed helm thy state begins to threat ; a

[Giving a favour. Whiles thou, a moral fool, sitt'st still, and criest, Decline your head : this kiss, if it durst speak, Alack ! why does he so ? Would stretch thy spirits up into the air ;

ALB.

See thyself, devil ! Conceive, and fare thee well.

Proper deformity seems not in the fiend
EDM. Yours in the ranks of death.

So horrid as in woman.
Gon.
My most dear Gloster ! Gon.

O vain fool! [Exit EDMUND. ALB. Thou changed and self-cover'd thing, for 0, the difference of man and man!

shame, To thee a woman's services are due ;

Be-monster not thy feature! Were't my fitness My fool usurps my body.

To let these hands obey my blood, Osw. Madam, here comes my lord.

They are apt enough to dislocate and tear [Exit. Thy flesh and bones :- howe'er thou art a fiend,

A woman's shape doth shield thee.

Gon. Marry, your manhood now !
Enter ALBANY.
Gon. I have been worth the whistle.

Enter a Messenger.
ALB.

0, Goneril ! You are not worth the dust which the rude wind ALB. What news? Blows in your face ! I fear your disposition : 6 Mess. O, my good lord, the duke of Cornwall's That nature, which contemns its origin,

dead, Cannot be border'd certain in itself;

Slain by his servant, going to put out She that herself will sliver and disbranch

The other eye of Gloster. From her material sap, perforce must wither,

ALB.

Gloster's eyes ! And come to deadly use.

Mess. A servant that he bred, thrillid with Gon. No more! the text is foolish.

remorse, Alb. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword vile;

[done ? To his great master; who, thereat enrag'd, t Filths savour but themselves. What have you Flew on him, and amongst them felld him dead; Tigers, not daughters ! what have you perform’d? But not without that harmful stroke, which since A father, and a gracious aged man,

Hath pluck'd him after. Whose reverence even the head-lugg'd bear

ALB.

This shows you are above, would lick,

You justicers, that these our nether crimes
(*) Old copies, this, the.

(t) First folio, threat-enrag'd.

(*) First folio, names.

1) Old copies, this, the first folio, Iustices.

a My fool usurps my body. The reading of the folio. The first quarto has, "A fool usurps my bed;" the second, "My foot usurps my head;" while a third gives, "My foot usurps my body."

bi fear your disposition :) This line and all that follows, down to Goneril's speech, beginning, “Milk-liver'd man!" the folio omits.

VOL. III.

c Thine honour from thy suffering ;] In the folio, Goneril's speech ends here.

d-thy state begins to threat.) The first quarto has, -"thy state begins thereat;" the second, "thy slaier begins threats."

e o vain fool!) in the folio, the Messenger enters here, and begins immediately,-"O, my good lord," &c.

97

H

So speedily can venge !-But, O poor Gloster! I GENT. Not to a rage : patience and sorrow Lost he his other eye?

strove* Mess.

Both, both, my lord. Who should express her goodliest. You have This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer ;

seen 'Tis from your sister.

Sunshine and rain at once : her smiles and tears Gon. [Aside.] One way I like this well; Were like a better day:those happy smilets, But being widow, and my Gloster with her, That play'd on her ripe lip, seem'd not to know May all the building in my fancy pluck

What guests were in her eyes; which parted thence, Upon my hateful life: another way,

As pearls from diamonds dropp’d.-In brief, The news is not so tart.—I'll read, and answer. Sorrow would be a rarity most belov'd,

[Exit. | If all could so become it. Alb. Where was his son, when they did take L KENT.

Made she no verbal question ? his eyes ?

Gent. Faith, once or twice she heard the name MESS. Come with my lady hither.

of father ALB.

He is not here. | Pantingly forth, as if it press’d her heart; Mess. No, my good lord, I met him back Cried, Sisters / sisters -Shame of ladies ! sisters ! again.

Kent ! father ! sisters! What, the storm ? ALB. Knows he the wickedness ?

or the night ? Mess. Ay, my good lord ; 't was he inform’d Let pity not be believ'd !—There she shook against him ;

The holy water from her heavenly eyes, And quit the house on purpose that their punish And clamour moisten'd: then away she started ment

To deal with grief alone. Might have the freer course.

KENT.

It is the stars, ALB. [Aside.]

Gloster, I live The stars above us, govern our conditions ;
To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the king, Else one self mate and mate could not beget
And to revenge thine eyes.—Come hither, friend; Such different issues.-You spoke not with her
Tell me what more thou know'st. [Exeunt.

since ?
GENT. No.
KENT. Was this before the king return'd ?
GENT.

No, since. SCENE III.”—The French Camp near Dover. KENT. Well, sir, the poor distressed Lear's

i' the town; Enter KENT, and a Gentleman.

Who sometime, in his better tune, remembers

What we are come about, and by no means KENT. Why the king of France is so suddenly | Will yield to see his daughter. gone back know you the reason ?

GENT.

Why, good sir ? GENT. Something he left imperfect in the state, KENT. A sovereign shame so elbows him : his which since his coming forth is thought of; which

own unkindness, imports to the kingdom so much fear and danger, That stripp'd her from his benediction, turn'd her that his personal return was most required and To foreign casualties, gave her dear rights necessary.

To his dog-hearted daughters,—these things sting KENT. Who hath he left behind him general ? His mind so venomously, that burning shame GENT. The mareschal of France, Monsieur le Detains him from Cordelia.

GENT.

Alack, poor gentleman ! KENT. Did your letters pierce the queen to any KENT. Of Albany's and Cornwall's powers you demonstration of grief?

heard not? GENT. Ay, sir ; * she took them, read them in GENT. 'Tis so, they are a-foot. [Lear, my presence ;

KENT. Well, sir, I'll bring you to our master And now and then an ample tear trill'd down | And leave you to attend him: some dear cause Her delicate cheek : it seem’d, she was a queen Will in concealment wrap me up awhile; Over her passion ; who, most rebel-like,

When I am known aright, you shall not grieve Sought to be king o'er her.

Lending me this acquaintance. I pray you, go KENT. O, then it mov'd her. Along with me.

[Exeunt.

Far.

(*) Old text, say: corrected by Theobald. a SCENE III.] This scene is found only in the quartos.

b -- a better day :) The old text has, "a better way," which can hardly be what Shakespeare wrote. This has been changed to

(*) Old text, streme : corrected by Pope. "a wetter May," and "a better day;" of the two we prefer the latter.

[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

- burdocks,-) The folio has “Hardokes," the quartos "hordocks." Farmer suggested harlocks, citing the following lines from Drayton,

« PreviousContinue »