« ElőzőTovább »
Lear. Peace, Kent! 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! —
So be my grave my peace, as here I give
Her father's heart from her! Call Prance. Who stirs?
Call Burgundy. — Cornwall, and Albany,
With my two daughter's dowers digest the 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 course,
With reservation of an 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 th' additions to a king;1
The sway, revenue, execution of the rest,2
Beloved sons, be yourswhich to confirm,
This coronet part between you. - [Giving the crown.
Kent. Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honour'd as my king,
Lear. The bow is bent and drawn, make from the shaft.
Kent. Let it fall rather, though the fork invade The region of my heart: be Kent unmannerly, When Lear is mad. — What would'st thou do, old man? Think'st thou, that duty shall have dread to speak, When power to flattery bows? To plainness honour's bound, When majesty stoops to folly. Reverse thy doom; And in thy best consideration check This hideous rashness: answer my life my judgment,3 Thy youngest daughter does not love thee least; Nor are those empty-hearted, whose low sound Reverbs'4 no hollowness.
Lear. Kent, on thy life, no more.
Kent. My life I never held but as a pawn5
To wage against thine enemies; nor fear to lose it,
Lear. Out of my sight!
Kent. See better, Lear; and let me still remain The true blank of thine eye.1
Lear. Now, by Apollo, —
Kent. Now, by Apollo, king,
Thou swear'st thy gods in vain
Lear. O, vassal! recreant!
[Laying Ms hand upon his sioord.
Albany & Corn. Dear Sir, forbear.
Lear. Hear me, recreant!
On thine allegiance hear me.
Since thou hast sought to make us break our vow,
Kent, Fare thee well, king: since thus thou wilt appear,
[To Cordelia. That justly think'st, and hast -most rightly Wd! — And your large speeches may your deeds approve,4
[To Regan and Goneril.
1. The blank is the white or exact mark at which the arrow is shot. See better and keep me always in your view.
2. i. e. They to whom I have yielded my power and authority, yielding
me the ability to dispense it in this instance, take thy reward.
3. Diseases, discomforts, hardships:tbe literal sense of the word, but now obsolete.
4. And may your deeds approve your large speeches.
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. [Exit.
Flourish. Re-enter GLOSTER; with FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and
Gloster. Here 's France and Burgundy, my noble lord.
Lear. My lord of Burgundy,
Burgundy. Most royal majesty,
I crave no more than hath your highness offer'd,
Lear. flight noble Burgundy,
When she was dear to us, we did hold her so;
Burgundy. I know no answer.
Lear. Will you, with those infirmities she owes,5
Burgv^ndy. Pardon me, royal Sir;
Election makes not up6 on such conditions.
Lear. Then leave her, Sir; for, by the power that
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 T' avert your liking a more worthier way,
1. i. e. He will follow his old maxims; he will continue to act upon the same drinciples.
2. Quest of love, amorous expedition. The term originated from Romance: a quest was the expedition in which a knight was engaged.
3. Seeming, specious, beautiful.
4. Fitly like, reasonably please.
5. Owes, owns, is possessed of.
6. Makes not up, comes not to a decision: as we say, to make up one'* mind.
Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd
France. This is most strange.
That she, who even but now was your best object.
Cordelia. I yet beseech your majesty,
(If for I want that glib and oily art,2
Lear. Better thou
Hadst not been born, than not to have pleas'd me better.
France. Is it but this"? a tardiness in nature,
1. Either her ott'ence must be monstrous, or, if she has not committed any such offence, the affection which you always professed to have forhermust be tainted and decayed, and is now without reason alienated from her.
2. i. e. If this be my offence, that I am wanting in the glib and oily art.
3. For murder is frequently read nor other, a very plausible correction, the old orthography baing murther; but the original reading has been defended on the ground of the two preceding
speeches — where Lear says, "a wretch whom nature is ashamed almost to acknowledge hers," and France, "Sure her offence must be of such unnatural degree that monsters it," that is, it must be a crime of the most heinous description — making the term murder not appear out of place in the mouth of Cordelia.
4. Still - soliciting, ever covetous. Still, constant, continual.
5. Respects, cautious and prudential considerations, scruples.
Aloof from the entire point. Will you have her?
Burgundy. Royal king,
Give but that portion which yourself propos'd,
Lear. Nothing: I have sworn; 1 am firm.
Bur. I am sorry, then, you have so lost a father, That you must lose a husband.
Cordelia. Peace be with Burgundy:
Since that respects of fortune are his love,
France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich) being poor,
Lear. Thou hast her, France; let her be thine, for we
[Flourish.- Exeunt Lear, Burgundy, Cornwall,
France. Bid farewell to your sisters.
Cor. The3 jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
1. TJnkind, unnatural.
2. Here and where have the power of nouns. Thou losest this residence to find a better residence in another place.
'6. Some editors read, Te jewels, which may probably be right, it often being impossible, in old manuscripts, to distinguish this word from the abbreviation of the: Y».