Page images
PDF
EPUB

and put away these dispositions, which of late transform you from what you rightly are.

Fool. May not an ass know when the cart draws the horse ?--Whoop, Jug! I love thee.

Lear. Does any here know me?-_Why this is not Lear: does Lear walk thus ? speak thus? Where are his eyes ? Either his notion weakens, or his discernings are lethargied.-Sleeping or waking ?-Ha! sure 'tis not so.--Who is it that can tell me who I am ? Lear's shadow? I would learn that; for by the marks of sovereignty, knowledge, and reason, I should be false persuaded I had daughters.

Fool. Which they will make an obedient father.
Lear. Your name, fair gentlewoman?

Gon. Come, sir;
This admiration is much o' the favours
Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you
To understand my purposes aright:
As you are old and reverend, you should be wise :
Here do you keep a hundred knights and squires;
Men so disorder'd, so debauch'd, and bold,
That this our court, infected with their manners,
Shows like a riotous inn: epicurism and lust
Make it more like a tavern or a brothel,
Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth speak
For instant remedy: Be then desir'd
By her, that else will take the thing she begs,
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.

6

5 Complexion.

6 Continue in service.

Lear.

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.

Enter ALBANY.

Lear. Woe, that too late repents,-0, sir, are you

come? Is it your will? [To Alb.] Speak, sir.--Prepare my

horses. Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous, when thou show'st thee in a child, Than the sea-monster! Alb.

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.-0 most small fault, How ugly didst thou in Cordelia show! Which, like an engine,? wrench'd my frame of na

ture From the fix'd place; drew from my heart all love, And added to the gall. O Lear, Lear, Lear! 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

[ocr errors]

7 The rack.

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 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 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!

[Erit. 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?
Alb.

What's the matter, sir?
Leur. I'll tell thee ;-Life and death! I am asham'd
That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus:

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

thee!

[blocks in formation]

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 knights ! 'Tis politick, and safe, to let him keep At point, a hundred knights. Yes, that on every

dream, Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike, i Undressed.

2 Ármed.

[Erit.

He may enguard his dotage with their

powers, And hold our lives in mercy.--Oswald, I say !

Alb. Well, you may fear too far.
Gon.

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 3 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.

Gom. Nay, then-
Alb. Well, well; the event.

[Excunt.

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »