Page images

bound to take upon your traitorous father, are not fit for your beholding. Advise the duke, where you are going, to a most festinate preparation; we are bound to the like. Our posts shall be swift, and intelligent betwixt us. Farewell, dear sister ;-farewell, my lord of Gloster. .

Enter Steward. How now? Where's the king?

Stew. My lord of Gloster hath convey'd him .. hence: . Some five or six and thirty of his knights, Hot questrists after him,o met him at gate; Who, with some other of the lord's dependants, Are gone with him towards Dover; where they boast To have well-armed friends. Corn.

Get horses for your mistress. Gon. Farewell, sweet lord, and sister.

Exeunt GONERIL and EDMUND. Corn. Edmund, farewell.-Go, seek the traitor

Pinion him like a thief, bring him before us:

[Exeunt other Servants.
Though well we may not pass upon his life
Without the form of justice; yet our power
Shall do a courtesy to our wrath, which men
May blame, but not control... Who's there?. The


B my lord of Gloster.] Meaning Edmund, newly invested with his father's titles. The Steward, speaking immediately after, mentions the old earl by the same title.

Hot questrists after him.] A questrist is one who goes in search or quest of another. 7 Though well we may not pass upon his life

yet our power Shall do a courtesy to our wrath,] To do a courtesy is to gratify, to comply with. To pass, is to pass a judicial sentence..

I .. Re-enter Servants, with GLOSTER.

Reg. Ingrateful fox! 'tis he.
Corn. Bind fast his corky arms.8
Glo. What mean your graces ? - Good my

friends, consider
You are my guests: do ine no foul play, friends.

Corn. Bind him, I say. TServants bind him.

'Hard, hard:-O filthy traitor!
Glo. Unmerciful lady as you are, I am none,
Corn. To this chair bind him :-Villain, thou

shalt find [REGAN plucks his Beard. Glo. By the kind gods, 'tis most ignobly done To pluck me by the beard...

Reg. So white, and such a traitor!

Naughty lady,
These hairs, which thou dost ravish from my chin,
Will quicken, and accuse thee: I am your host;
With robbers' hands, my hospitable favours?
You should not ruffle thus. What will you do?
Corn. Come, sir, what letters had you late from

in France ? Reg. Be simple-answer'd, for we know the truth, Corn. And what confederacy have you with the

. traitors ; Late footed in the kingdoin? Reg. To whose hands have you sent the lunatick

king?. Speak. · Glo. I have a letter guessingly set down, Which came from one that's of a neutral heart, And not from one oppos’d.

'- corky arms.) Dry, withered, husky arms.

9 Will quicken,] i. e. quicken into life. ?im m y hospitable favours-] Farours means the same as features, i, e. the different parts of which a face is composed...

Corn. Reg.


And false. Corn. Where hast thou sent the king? Glo.

To Dover. Reg.

Wherefore To Dover? Wast thou not charg'd at thy peril — Corn. Wherefore to Dover? Let him first answer

that. Glo. I am tied to the stake, and I must stand the

course. Reg. Wherefore to Dover?

Glo. Because I would not see thy cruel nails Pluck out his poor old eyes; nor thy fierce sister In his anointed flesh stick boarish fangs. The sea, with such a storm as his bare head In hell-black night endur'd, would have buoy'd up, And quench'd the stelled fires: yet, poor old heart, He holp the heavens to rain. If wolves had at thy gate howľd that stern time, Thou should'st have said, Good porter, turn the key; All cruels else subscrib'd:—But I shall see The winged vengeance overtake such children. Corn. See it shalt thou never:-Fellows, hold the

chair':--Upon these eyes of thine I'll set my foot.

[Gloster is held down in kis Chair, while

CORNWALL plocks out one of his Eyes, and

sets his Foot on it.
Glo. He, that will think to live till he be old,
Give me some help:mO cruel! O ye gods!

Reg. One side will mock another; the other too,
Corn. If you see vengeance,

Hold your hand, my lorda I have serv'd you ever since I was a child;


2 m occasion.

the course.] The running of the dogs upon me.
subscrib*d:] Yielded, submitted to the necessity of the

But better service have I never done you,
Than now to bid you hold.

How now, you dog?
Serv. If you did wear a beard upon your chin,
I'd shake it on this quarrel: What do you mean?

Corn. My villain! [Draws, and runs at him, .; Serv. Nay, then come on, and take the chance

of anger. Draws. They fight. CORNWALL is, wounded. Reg. Give me thy sword. To another Servant.]

. A peasant stand up thus! Snatches a Sword, comes behind, and stabs him, Serv. O, I am slain!—My lord, you have one

eye left to To see some mischief on him:-0! [Dies, Corn. Lest it see more, prevent it :-Out

jelly! Where is thy lustre now? - [Tears out Gloster's other Eye, and throws it

on the Ground. Glo. All dark and comfortless.-Where's my son

Edmund ?
Edmund, enkindle all the sparks of nature,
To quit this horrid act.

Out, treacherous villain!
Thou call'st on him that hates thee: it was he
That made the overture of thy treasons to us;
Who is too good to pity thee.

.O my follies! Then Edgar was abus’d. Kind gods, forgive me that, and prosper him! Reg. Go, thrust him out at gates, and let him

- smell

the overture of thy treasons-1 Orerture is here used for an opening or discovery. It was he who first laid thy treasons apen to as

His way to Dover.--How is't, my lord? How look

you?.. Corn. I have receiv'd a hurt:-Follow me, lady.Turn out that eyeless villain ;-throw this slave Upon the dunghill.-Regan, I bleed apace: Untimely comes this hurt: Give me your arm.

Exit CORNWALL, led by REGAN ;--Servants

unbind GLOSTER, and lead him out. • 1 Serv. I'll never care what wickedness I do, If this man comes to good. 2 Serv.

If she live long, And, in the end, meet the old course of death, Women will all turn monsters. ; Serv. Let's follow the old earl, and get the

Bedlam To lead him where he would; his roguish madness Allows itself to any thing. 2 Serv. Go thou; I'll fetch some flax, and whites

of eggs, To apply to his bleeding face. Now, heaven help him!

[Exeunt severally,

SCENE I. The Heath,

Enter EDGAR.
Edg. Yet better thus, and known to be con

Than still contemn'd and Aatter'd. To be worst,
The lowest, and most dejected thing of fortune,
Stands still in esperance, lives not in fear:
The lamentable change is from the best;

the old course of death,] That is, die a natural death.

« PreviousContinue »