Page images

Then, venom, to thy work.

[Stabs the KING. All. Treason! treason! 337 King. O! yet defend me, friends; I am but hurt.

Ham. Here, thou incestuous, murderous,
damned Dane,

Drink off this potion; -is thy union here? 340
Follow my mother.
[KING dies.

He is justly serv'd; It is a poison temper'd by himself. Exchange forgiveness with me, noble Hamlet: Mine and my father's death come not upon thee, Nor thine on me! [Dies. Ham. Heaven make thee free of it! I follow thee.. 346

I am dead, Horatio. Wretched queen, adieu!
You that look pale and tremble at this chance,
That are but mutes or audience to this act, 349
Had I but time,– -as this fell sergeant, death,
Is strict in his arrest,-O! I could tell you-
But let it be. Horatio, I am dead;
Thou liv'st; report me and my cause aright
To the unsatisfied.

[blocks in formation]


Ham. As thou'rt a man, 356 Give me the cup: let go; by heaven, I'll have 't. O God! Horatio, what a wounded name, Things standing thus unknown, shall live behind me.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


Glo. My Lord of Kent: remember him here

SCENE I.-A Room of State in KING LEAR'S after as my honourable friend.

[blocks in formation]

Glo. Sir, this young fellow's mother could; whereupon she grew round-wombed, and had, indeed, sir, a son for her cradle ere she had a husband for her bed. Do you smell a fault? 16 Kent. I cannot wish the fault undone, the issue of it being so proper.

Glo. But I have a son, sir, by order of law, some year elder than this, who yet is no dearer in my account: though this knave came somewhat saucily into the world before he was sent for, yet was his mother fair; there was good sport at his making, and the whoreson must be acknowledged. Do you know this noble gentleman, Edmund?

Edm. No, my lord.


Edm. My services to your lordship. Kent. I must love you, and sue to know you better.


Edm. Sir, I shall study deserving. Glo. He hath been out nine years, and away he shall again. The king is coming.

Sennet. Enter LEAR, CORNWALL, ALBANY, GONERIL, REGAN, CORDELIA, and Attendants. Lear. Attend the Lords of France and Burgundy, Gloucester. 30 Glo. I shall, my liege.

[Exeunt GLOUCESTER and EDMUND Lear. Meantime we shall express our darker


Give me the map there. Know that we have divided

In three our kingdom; and 'tis our fast intent To shake all cares and business from our age, 41 Conferring them on younger strengths, while we Unburden'd crawl toward death. Our son of Cornwall,

And you, our no less loving son of Albany, 44 We have this hour a constant will to publish Our daughters' several dowers, that future strife May be prevented now. The princes, France and Burgundy,

Great rivals in our youngest daughter's love, 48 Long in our court have made their amorous sojourn,

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]


For, by the sacred radiance of the sun,
The mysteries of Hecate and the night,
By all the operation of the orbs
From whom we do exist and cease to be,
Here I disclaim all my paternal care,
Propinquity and property of blood,
And as a stranger to my heart and me
Hold thee from this for ever. The barbarous

Or he that makes his generation messes
To gorge his appetite, shall to my bosom
Be as well neighbour'd, pitied, and reliev'd,
As thou my sometime daughter.

Lear. Peace, Kent!



Good my liege,

[blocks in formation]

Make with you by due turn. Only we shall retain

The name and all th' addition to a king;
The sway, revenue, execution of the rest,
Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,
This coronet part between you.


Our potency made good, take thy reward. Five days we do allot thee for provision To shield thee from diseases of the world; And, on the sixth, to turn thy hated back 140 Upon our kingdom: if, on the tenth day following

Kent. Royal Lear, Whom I have ever honour'd as my king, Lov'd as my father, as my master follow'd, As my great patron thought on in my prayers,-Lear. The bow is bent and drawn; make from the shaft.

145 Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade

The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly When Lear is mad. What wouldst thou do, old man? 148 Think'st thou that duty shall have dread to speak

When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour's bound


When majesty falls to folly. Reserve thy state;
And, in thy best consideration, check
This hideous rashness: answer my life my

Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least;
Nor are those empty-hearted whose low sound
Reverbs no hollowness.

Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more. Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn 157 To wage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it,

Thy safety being the motive. Lear. Out of my sight! Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain 160

The true blank of thine eye.

Now, by Apollo, king, Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.

Lear. Now, by Apollo,Kent.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

If aught within that little-seeming substance,
Or all of it, with our displeasure piec'd,
And nothing more, may fitly like your Grace,
She's there, and she is yours.


I know no answer. 204 Lear. Will you, with those infirmities she owes,

Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,
Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with

our oath, Take her, or leave her?


Pardon me, royal sir; 208 Election makes not up on such conditions. Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the power that made me,

I tell you all her wealth.-[To FRANCE.] For you, great king,

[blocks in formation]

I yet beseech your majesty-
If for I want that glib and oily art
To speak and purpose not; since what I well

[blocks in formation]


Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you



I'll do 't before I speak-that you make known
It is no vicious blot nor other foulness,
No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step,
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour,
But even for want of that for which I am richer,
A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue
That I am glad I have not, though not to have it I would prefer him to a better place.
Hath lost me in your liking.

And like a sister am most loath to call
Your faults as they are nam'd. Use well our

Better thou

Lear. 236 Hadst not been born than not to have pleas'd me better.

France. Is it but this? a tardiness in nature
Which often leaves the history unspoke
That it intends to do? My Lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the lady? Love is not love 241
When it is mingled with regards that stand
Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.

Royal Lear,


Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Duchess of Burgundy.

Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; I am firm. 248
Bur. I am sorry, then, you have so lost a

That you must lose a husband.

Peace be with Burgundy!
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife.

252 France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being poor;

Most choice, forsaken; and most lov'd, despis'd!
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon:

Be it lawful I take up what's cast away.

To your professed bosoms I commit him:
But yet, alas! stood I within his grace,

So farewell to you both.

Reg. Prescribe not us our duties.


Let your study Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you At fortune's alms; you have obedience scanted, And well are worth the want that you have wanted.


[blocks in formation]

Gon. The best and soundest of his time hath 256 been but rash; then, must we look to receive

« PreviousContinue »