Obrázky na stránke

Hold thee, from this, for ever. The barbarous


Or he that makes his generation2 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,

Come not between the dragon and his wrath:
I lov'd her most, and thought to set my rest
On her kind nursery.-Hence, and avoid my sight!--
[To Cordelia.

So be my grave my peace, as here I give
Her father's heart from her!-Call France ;-Who


Call Burgundy.-Cornwall, and Albany,

With my two daughters' dowers digest this third:
Let pride, which she calls plainness, marry her.
I do invest you jointly with my power,
Pre-eminence, and all the large effects

That troop with majesty.-Ourself, by monthly


With reservation of a hundred knights,

By you to be sustain'd, shall our abode

Make with you by due turns. Only we still retain The name, and all the additions3 to a king;

The sway,

Revenue, execution of the rest,4

Beloved sons, be yours: which to confirm,

This coronet part between you. [Giving the crown


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.

Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade

(1) From this time. (3) Titles.

(2) His children. (4) All other subjects.

The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly,
When Lear is mad. What would'st thou do, old


Think'st thou, that duty shall have dread to speak,
When power to flattery bows? To plainness hon-
our's bound,

When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom;
And, in thy best consideration, check

This hideous rashness: answer my life my judg


Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least;
Nor are those empty-hearted, whose low sound
Reverbs1 no hollowness.


Kent, on thy life, no more.
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn
To wage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it,
Thy safety being the motive.


Out of my sight!

Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain

The true blank2 of thine eye.

Lear. Now, by Apollo,


Thou swear'st thy gods in vain.



Now, by Apollo, king,

[ocr errors]

O, vassal! miscreant !

[Laying his hand on his sword.

Alb. Corn. Dear sir, forbear.

Kent. Do;

Kill thy physician, and the fee bestow

Upon the foul disease. Revoke thy gift;

Or, whilst I can vent clamour from my throat,

I'll tell thee, thou dost evil.


Hear me, recreant!

Ou thine allegiance hear me !

Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow (Which we durst never yet,) and, with strain'd


To come betwixt our sentence and our power
(Which nor our nature nor our place can bear;)

(1) Reverberates. (2) The mark to shoot at.

Our potency make 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
Upon our kingdom: if, on the tenth day following,
Thy banish'd trunk be found in our dominions,
The moment is thy death: Away! By Jupiter,
This shall not be revok'd.

Kent. Fare thee well, king: since thus thou wilt


Freedom lives hence, and banishment is here.--
The gods to their dear shelter take thee, maid,
[To Cordelia
That justly think'st, and hast most rightly said!—
And your large speeches may your deeds approve,
[To Regan and Goneril.
That good effects may spring from words of love.-
Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu;
He'll shape his old course1 in a country new. [Ex.
Re-enter Gloster; with France, Burgundy, and

Glo. Here's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.

Lear. My lord of Burgundy,

We first address towards you, who with this king Hath rivall'd for our daughter; What, in the least Will you require in present dower with her,

Or cease your quest of love?2


Most roya! majesty, I crave no more than hath your highness offer'd,

Nor will you tender less.

Lear. Right noble Burgundy When she was dear to us, we did hold her so; But now her price is fall'n: Sir, there she stands; If aught within that little, seeming3 substance, Or all of it, with our displeasure piec'd,

(1) Follow his old mode of life.

(2) Amorous expedition. (3) Specious.

And nothing more, may fitly like your grace,
She's there, and she is yours.


Lear. Sir,

I know no answer.

Will you, with those infirmities she owes,'
Unfriended, new-adopted to our hate,

Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our


Take her, or leave her?


Pardon me, royal sir;

Election makes not up2 on such conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, sir; for by the power that

made me,

I tell you all her wealth.-For you, great king,
[To France.
I would not from your love make such a stray,
To match you where I hate; therefore beseech you
To avert your liking a more worthier way,
Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd
Almost to acknowledge hers.

This is most strange!

That she, that even but now was your best object,
The argument of your praise, balm of your age,
Most best, most dearest, should in this trice of time
Commit a thing so monstrous, to dismantle
So many folds of favour! Sure, her offence
Must be of such unnatural degree,

That monsters it, or your fore-vouch'd4 affection
Fall into taint:5 which to believe of her,
Must b a faith, that reason without miracle

Could never plant in me.


I yet beseech our majesty

(If for I want that glib and oily art,

To speak and purpose not; since what I well


I'll do't before I speak,) that you make known

(1) Owns, is possessed of. (2) Concludes not.
(3) Turn. (4) Former declaration of.
(5) Reproach or censure. (6) Because.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

It is no vicious blot, murder, or 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, Hath lost me in your liking.


Better thou

Hadst not been born, than not to have pleas'd me


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, When it is mingled with respects, 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.

Bur. I am sorry then, you have so lost a father,

That you must lose a husband.


Peace be with Burgandy!

Since that respects of fortune are his love,

I shall not be his wife.

France. Fairest Cordelia, thou 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.

Gods, gods! 'tis strange, that from their cold'st neglect

My love should kindle to inflam'd respect.—
Thy dowerless daughter, king, thrown to my chance,
Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France:
Not all the dukes of wat'rish Burgundy

(1) Who seeks for aught in love but love alone"

« PredošláPokračovať »