Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

The moment is thy death. Away! by Jupiter,
This shall not be revok d.

Kent. Fare thee well, king. [To CORDELIA.] The gods to their dear shelter take

thee, maid ![TO REGAN and GONERIL.] And your large speeches

may your deeds approve. Thus Kent, O princes, bids you all adieu ; He'll shape his old course in a country new. (Exit. Flourish. Re-enter GLOSTER and EDMUND, with

FRANCE, BURGUNDY, and Attendants. 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 dow'r with her, Or cease your quest of love ?

.

Most royal majesty, I crave no more than hath your highness offer'd, Nor will you tender less. Lear.

Right noble Burgundy, When she was dèar to us, we did hold her so; But now her price is fall’n. Sir, there she stands : Dower'd with our curse, and stranger'd with our oati, Take her, or leave her ? Bur.

Pardon me, royal sir ; Election makes not up on such conditions. Lear. Then leave her, sir; for, by the pow'r that

made me, I tell you all her wealth.-[To FRANCE.) For you,

great king, 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 Than on a wretch whom nature is asham'd Almost t' acknowledge hers.

Bur.

France.

This is most strange! Cor. I yet beseech your Majesty,-make known, It is no vicious blot, nor stain of 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'm richer,A still-soliciting eye, and such a tongue As I am glad I have not, though not to have it Hath lost me in your liking. * Lear.

Better thou Hadst not been born than not t' have pleas'd me

better.
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? Will you have her ?
She is herself a dowry.
Bur.

Royal King,
Give but that portion which yourself propose,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Duchess of Burgundy.
Lear.

I have sworn; I am firm.
Bur. I am sorry, then, you have so lost a father,
That you must lose a husband.
Cor.

Peace be with Burgundy. 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. Thy dow’rless daughter, king, thrown to my chance, Is queen of us, of ours, and our fair France: Not all the dukes of wat'rish Burgundy Can buy this unpriz'd precious maid of me. Lear. Thou hast her, France: let her be thine ;

for we Have no such daughter, nor shall ever see

That face of hers again :- Therefore be gone
Without our grace, our love, our benison.

(Flourish. Exeunt LEAR, BURGUNDY,

CORNWALL, ALBANY, GLOSTER,

EDMUND, and Attendants. France. Bid farewell to your sisters.

Cor. Ye jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you: I know you what you are;
And, like a sister, am most loathe to call
Your faults as they are nam'd. Love well our father:
To your professèd bosoms I commit him :
But yet, alas, stood I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place.
So, farewell to you both.

Reg. Prescribe not us our duties.
Gon.

Let your study
Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you
At fortune's alıns.
Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning

hides:
Who cover faults, at last them shame derides.
Well may you prosper.
France.

Come, my fair Cordelia.

[Exeunt FRANCE and CORDELIA. Gon. I think our father will hence to-night. Reg. That's most certain, and with you; next

month with us. Gon. You see how full of changes his age is; he always lov'd our sister most; and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off appears too grossly.

Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him as this of Kent's banishment.

Gon. Pray you, let us hit together: we must do something, and i’ the heat.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

SCENE II. The Earl of GLOSTER's Castle.
Enter EDMUND, with a letter.

Edmund.
HOU, nature, art my goddess; to thy law

My services are bound. Wherefore should I

Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moonshines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard ? Wherefore base ?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as gen'rous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue ?
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land :
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word, -legitimate.
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base,
Shall top the legitimate. I grow ; I prosper!

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Enter GLOSTER.
Glo. Kent banish'd thus! and France in choler

parted!
And the king gone to-night!
Edmund, how now! what news ?
Edin. So please your lordship, none.

[Hiding the letter.
Glo. What paper were you reading ?
Edm. Nothing, my lord.
Glo. No? What needed, then, that terrible dis-
patch of it into your pocket ? Let's see.

Edm. I beseech you, sir, pardon me: it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'er-read; and for so much as I have perus’d, I find it not fit for your o’er-looking.

Glo. Give me the letter, sir.

Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as an essay or taste of my virtue.

Glo. [reads] This policy and reverence of age makes the world bitter to the best of our times ; keeps our fortunes from us till our oldness cannot relish them. Come to 11:e, that of this I may speak inore. If our father would sleep till I wak'd him, you should enjoy half his revenue for ever, and live the belov'd of your brother,

Edgar." “ Sleep till I wak’d him,-you should enjoy half his revènue,”—My son Edgar! When came this to you? who brought it?

Edm. It was not brought me, my lord,—there's the cunning of it; I found it thrown in at the casement of my closet.

Glo. O villain, villain! Abhorréd villain! Go, sirrah, seek him ; I'll apprehend him:-abominable villain!

Edm. If your honour judge it meet, I will place you where you shall hear us confer of this, and that without any further delay than this very eyening. Glo. He cannot be such a monsterEdm. Nor is not, sure.

Glo. To his father, that so tenderly and entirely loves him.--Heaven and earth!--Edmund seek him out. These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us. Find out this villain, Edmund; it shall lose thee nothing.

[Exit. Edm. This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune,-often the surfeit of our own behaviour,—we make guilty of our disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars. Tut, I should have been that I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my birth.Edgar !-pat he comes, like the catastrophe of the old comedy.

« ElőzőTovább »