Page images
PDF
EPUB

me; for

If you have poison for me, I will drink it;
I know, you do not love

your

fifters Have, as I do remember, done me wrong. You have some cause, they have not.

Cor. No cause, no cause.
Lear. Am I in France ?
Kent. In your own kingdom, Sir.
Lear. Do not abuse me.

Phys. Be comforted, good madam; the great rage,
You fee, is cur'd in him :-and, yet, 'twere danger
To make him even o'er the time, has lost.
Defire him to go in; trouble him no more,
Till further settling.

Cor. Will't please your Highness walk?

Lear. You must bear with me; Pray you now, forget and forgive ; I am old and foolih.

[Exeunt Lear, Cord. Phyf. and Attendants.

Manent Kent and Gentleman. Gent. Holds it true, Sir, that the Duke of Cornwall was fo lain ? (54)

Kent. Most certain, Sir.
Gent. Who is conductor of his people?
Kent. As 'tis said, the bastard son of Gloster.

Gent. They say, Edgar, his banish'd Son, is with the
Earl of Kent in Germany.
Kent. Rennes

putt is changeable; "Tis time to look about: the powers of the Kingdom approach apace.

Gent. The arbitrement is like to be bloody.–Fare you well, Sir.

[Exit Gent. Kent. My point and period will be throughly wrought, Or well, or ill, as this day's battle's fought.

[Exit Kent. (54) Gent. Holds it true, Sir?] This short dialogue, which was retrench'd by the players in their edition, I have restor'd from the old 410. The matter of it is natural and easy; and tho' the language be not pompous, it is to the subject : and the uncertainty of common report, with regard to Kent and Edgar, must be very pleasing to the audience, who knew how rumour was mistaken in representing them to be abroad,

ACT

[blocks in formation]

Enter Edmund, Regan, Gentlemen, ani Soldiers.

EDMUND.
Now of the Duke, if his last purpose hold;

Or whether since he is advis'u by aught,
To change the course? he's full of alteration,
And self-reproving: bring his conitant pleasure. (55)

Reg. Our fifter's man is certainly miscairy'd.
Edı. 'Tis to be doubted, madam.

Reg. Now, sweet Lord,
You know the goodness I intend upon you:
Tell me but truly, but then speak the truth,
Do
you
not love

my

fifter? Edm. In honour'd love.

Reg. But have you never found my brother's way To the fore-fended place?

Edm. No, by mine honour, madam.

Reg. I never thall endure her ; dear my Lord, Be not familiar with her. Edm. Fear not ; fe, and the Duke her husband--

Enter Albany, Gonerill, and Soldiers. Gon. I'd rather lose the battle, than that fifter (56) Should loosen him and me.

(alide. (55)

--he's full of alteration, And self reproving brings bis constant pleasure.] Thus in the impreslions by Mr. Pope is this passage moft nonsensically read, and pointed. But some better copies have assisted to set it right.

(56) Gon. I'd rather loose the battle, -- ] This I have restor*d from the old 410; and, considering the jealousy of the Princesses on each Gde, it comes very naturally from Gonerill, upon her seeing Regan and Edmund together; as well as helps to mark business going on, to the reader.

E 4

Alb.

Alb. Our very loving sister, well be met:
Sir, this I hear, the King is come to his daughter,
With others, whom the rigour of our state
Forc'd to cry out.

Where I could not be honest,
I never yet was valiant: 'fore this business, (57)
It touchech us, as France invades our land,
(Not holds the King, with others, whom, I fear,
Most just and heavy causes make oppose, )

Edm. Sir, you speak nobly.
Reg. Why is this reason'd?

Gon. Combine together 'gainst the enemy:
For these domestick and particular broils
Are not the question here.

Edm. I shall attend you presently at your tent.

Alb. Let's then determine with th' ancient of war On our proceeding:

Reg. Sifter, you'll go with us?
Gon. No.
Reg. 'Tis most convenient, pray you, go with us.
Gon. Oh ho, I know the riddle, I will go.

As they are going out, Enter Edgar disguis'd.
Edg. If e'er your Grace had speech with man so poor,
Hear me one word.
Alb. I'll overtake you :--speak.

[Exeunt Edm. Reg. Gon, and Attendants. Edg. Before you fight the battle, ope this letter. If you have vict'ry, let the trumpet sound For him that brought it: wretched though I feem, I can produce a champion, that will prove

(57) for ibis business, Ii touches us, as France invades our land, Not bolds tbe King, with others whom I fear Molt jus and beavy causes make oppsi,] I have made a Night variation in these lines, which are added from the old 4to. Albany's speech seems interrupted, before finishd: and this I take to be the purport of what he was going to say. " Before we fight this battle, Sir, it " concerns me, (tho' not the King, and the discontented party ;) " to question about your interest in our lister, and the event of the “ war."---And Regan and Gorerill, in their replies, both seem apprehensive that this subject was coming into debate,

What

What is avouched there. If you miscarry,
Your business of the world hath so an end,
And machination ceases. Fortune love you!

Alb. Stay, 'till I've read the letter.
Edg. I was forbid it.
When time shall serve, let but the herald cry,
And I'll appear again,

[Exit. Alb. Why, fare thee well; I will o'erlook thy paper,

Re-enter Edmund. Edm. The enemy's in view, draw up your powers. Hard is the guess of their true strength and forces, By diligent discovery; but your halte Is now urg'd on you. Alb. We will greet the time.

[Exit. Edm. To both these fifters have I sworn

my

love: Each jealous of the other, as the ftung Are of the adder. Which of them fhall I take ? Both? one? or neither? neither can be enjoy'd, If both remain alive: to take the widow, Exasperates, makes mad her sister Gonerill; And hardly shall I carry out my fide, Her husband being alive. Now then, we'll use His countenance for the battle; which being done, Let her, who would be rid of him, devise His speedy taking off. As for the mercy Which he intends to Lear and to Cordelia, The battle done, and they within our power, Shall never see his pardon: for my state Stands on me to defend, not to debate. [Exit.

SCE N E, another open Field. Alarum within. Enter with drum and colours, Lear, Core delia, and soldiers over the stage, and exeunt.

Enter Edgar and Glo'fter.
Ere, father, take the shadow of this tree
For your good hoft; pray, that the right may
thrive:

Eds.

[ocr errors]

If ever I return to you again,
I'll bring you comfort.
Glo. Grace be with you, Sir! [Exit Edgar.

[ Alarum, and retreat, within.

Re-enter Edgar. Edg. Away, old man; give me thy hand, away; King Lear hath loft, he and his daughter ta’en, Give me thy hand. Come on.

Glo. No further, Sir; a man may rot even here. Edg. What, in ill thoughts again? men must endure Their going hence, ev'n as their coming hither: Ripeness is all; come on. Glo. And that's true too.

[Exeunt. Enter in conqueft, with Drum and Colours, Edmund; Lear

and Cordelia, as prisoners; Soldiers, Captain.
Edm. Some Officers take them away; good guard,
Until their greater pleasures first be known,
That are to censure them.

Cor. We're not the first,
Who with best meaning have incurr'd the worst :
For thee, oppressed King, am I cast down ;
Myself could else out-frown false fortune's frown.
Shall we not see these daughters and these fifters ?

Lear. No, no, no, no; come, let's away to prison;
We two alone will fing, like birds i' th’ cage :
When thou doft ask me blessing, I'll kneel down,
And ask of thee forgiveness: so we'll live,
And pray, and fing, and tell old tales, and laugh
At gilded butterflies: and hear poor rogues
Talk of court-news, and we'll talk with them too,
Who loseş, and who wins; who's in, who's out:
And take upon's the mystery of things,
As if we were god's spies. And we'll wear out,
In a wall’d prilon, packs and feets of great ones,
That ebb and flow by th’ moon.

Edm. Take them away.

Lear. Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia, The gods themselves throw incenfe. Have I caught thee?

He

« PreviousContinue »