« PreviousContinue »
Lear. O, how this mother swells up toward my heart! Hysterica passio ! down, thou climbing sorrow, Thy element's below!—Where is this daughter? Kent. With the earl, sir, here within.
Lear. Follow me not;
Stay here. [Erit.
Gent. Made you no more offence than what you speak of
I'ool. An thou hadst been set i'the stocks for that question, thou hadst well deserved it.
Kent. Why, fool?
Fool. We'll set thee to school to an ant; to teach thee there's no labouring in the winter. All that follow their noses are led by their eyes, but blind men; and there's not a nose among twenty, but can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy hold, when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it; but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again: I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.
That, sir, which serves and seeks for gain,
But I will tarry; the fool will stay,
Re-enter LEAR, with GLest ER.
Lear. Deny to speak with me? They are sick? they are weary They have travell'd hard to-night? Mere fetches; The images of revolt and flying off! Fetch me a better answer. Glo. My dear lord, You know the fiery quality of the duke; How unremoveable and fix’d he is In his own course. Lear. Vengeance! plague! death ! confusion!— Fiery what quality? Why, Gloster, Gloster, I'd speak with the duke of Cornwall, and his wife. Glo. Well, my good lord, I have inform'd them so. Lear. Inform'd them! Dost thou understand me, man 2 Glo. Ay, my good lord. Lear. The king would speak with Cornwall; the dear father Would with his daughter speak, commands her service: Are they inform'd of this?—My breath and blood!— Fiery the fiery duke?–Tell the hot duke, that— WOL., XIII • G
No, but not yet:—may be, he is not well:
[looking on Kent.
Glo. I'd have all well betwixt you. [Erit. Lear. O me, my heart, my rising heart!—but, down.
Fool. Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the . eels, when she put them i'the paste alive; she rapp'd 'em o'the coxcombs with a stick, and cry'd, Down, wantons, down: "Twas her brother, that, in pure kindness to his horse, butter'd his hay.
Enter Colt N w ALL, REGAN, GLost ER, and Servants.
Lear. Good morrow to you both.
Corn. - Hail to your grace! [Kent is set at liberty.
Reg. I am glad to see your highness.
Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what reason I have to think so; if thou should'st not be glad, I would divorce me from thy mother's tomb, Sepulch'ring an adultress.—O, are you free? [to Kent. Some other time for that.—Beloved Regan, Thy sister's naught: O Regan, she hath tied Sharp-tooth’d unkindness, like a vulture, here, [points to his heart. I can scarce speak to thee; thou'lt not believe, Of how deprav'd a quality—O Regan! Reg. I pray you, sir, take patience; I have hope, You less know how to value her desert, Than she to scant her duty. Lear. Say, how is that? Reg. I cannot think, my sister in the least Would fail her obligation: If, sir, perchance, She have restrain'd the riots of your followers, 'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end, As clears her from all blame. Lear. My curses on her! Reg. O, sir, you are old; Nature in you stands on the very verge Of her confine: you should be rul’d, and led By some discretion, that discerns your state Better than you yourself: Therefore, I pray you, That to our sister you do make return; Say, you have wrong'd her, sir. Lear. Ask her forgiveness? Do you but mark how this becomes the house”:
Dear daughter, I confess that I am old;
Reg. Good sir, no more; these are unsightly tricks' Return you to my sister.
Lear. Never, Regan: She hath abated me of half my train; Look'd black upon me; struck me with her tongue, Most serpent-like, upon the very heart:All the stor'd vengeances of heaven fall On her ingrateful top! Strike her young bones, You taking airs, with lameness |
Corn. Fie, fie, fie!
Lear. You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding
Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
Reg. O the blest gods !
Lear. No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curse; Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give Thee o'er to harshness; her eyes are fierce, but thine Do comfort, and not burn: 'Tis not in thee To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train, To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes”, And, in conclusion, to oppose the bolt Against my coming in: thou better know'st The offices of nature, bond of childhood, Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude;