« PreviousContinue »
Saddle my horses, call my train together.--
rabble Gon. You strike my people, and your disorder'd Make servants of their betters.
S CE N E XV.
To them, Enter Albany. Lear. OE! that too late repents—0, Sir, are
come? Is it your will, speak, Sir ? prepare my horses.-
[To Albany. Ingratitude ! thou marble-hearted fiend, More hideous, when thou shew'st thee in a child, Than the sea-monster.
Alb. Pray, Sir, be patient.
Lear. Detested kite! thou liest. [To Gonerill. 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 names. O most small fault ! How ugly didst thou in Cordelia shew? Which, like an engine, wrencht my frame of nature From the fixt 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'm guiltless, as I'm ignorant, Of what hath moved you.
Lear. It may be so, my lord-Hear, Nature, hear; dear Goddess, hear a Father! Suspend thy purpose, if thou didit intend To make this creature fruitful : Into her womb convey fterility, Dry up in her the organs of increase, And from her derogate body never spring
A Babe to honour her! If she must teem,
Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a clap?
Alb. What's the matter, Sir ?
Lear. I'll tell thee--life and death! I am asham'd That thou haft power to shake my manhood thus;
[To Gonerill. That these hot tears, which break from me perforce, Should make thee worth them,blafts and fogs upon
* With cadent tears.---] We should read, candent, i. e. hot, scalding. † Pierce every sense about thee!] We should read,
Pierce every fence about thee!] i. e. Guard, Security, Barrier. Let nothing stand against a Father's Curlea
That I'll resume the shape, which thou dost think
SC EN XVI. Gon.
O you mark that?
Alb. I cannot be so partial, Gonerill, To the great love I bear you,
Gon. Pray you, be content. What, Oswald, ho! You, Sir, more knave than fool, after your master. Fool. Nuncle Lear, nuncle Lear, tarry, take the fool
(Exit. Gon. This man hath had good counsel a hundred
Alb. Well, you may fear too far;
Gon. Safer than trust too far.
Stew. Ay, Madam.
Gon. Take you some company, and away to horse; Inform her full of my particular fears,
And thereto add such reasons of your own,
Alv. How far your eyes may pierce, I cannot tell ; Striving to better, oft we mar what's well.
Gon. Nay then-
S CE NE XVII. A Court-Yard belonging to the Duke of Albany's Palace,
Re-enter Lear, Kent, Gentlemen and Fool, Lear. O you before to Gloster with these letters ;
acquaint my daughter no further with any thing you know, than comes from her demand out of the letter: if your diligence be not speedy, I shall be there afore you.
Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, 'till I have delivered your letter.
Exit. Fool. If a man's brain were in his heels, were't not in danger of kibes?
Lear. Ay, boy.
Fool. Then, I pr’ythee, be merry, thy wit shall not go lip-shod.
Lear. Ha, ha, ha.
Fool. Shalt fee, thy other daughter will use thee kindly; for though she's as like this as a crab's like an apple, yet I can tell what I can tell.
Lear. What canst tell, boy?
Fool. She will taste as like this, as a crab does to a crab. Canst thou tell, why one's nose stands i'th' middle of one's face?
Fool. Why, to keep one's eyes of either side one's nose; that what a man cannot smell out, he may spy into.
Lear. I did her wrong-
Fool. Why, to put's head in, not to give it away to his daughters, and leave his horns without a café.
Lear. I will forget my nature : so kind a father! be my horses ready?
Fool. Thy asses are gone about 'em; the reason, why the seven stars are no more than seven, is a
Lear. Because they are not eight.
Fool. Yes, indeed; thou would'st make a good fool. Lear. To take't again perforce !
-monster ingratitude !
Fool. If you were my fool, nuncle, I'd have thee beaten for being old before thy time.
Lear. How's that ?
Fool. Thou should'st not have been old, 'till thou hadft been wife.
Lear. O, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heav'n!
Gent. Ready, my lord.
(Exeunt. C 5