Obrazy na stronie
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May prove effects. Back, Edmund, to my brother;
Hasten his musters and conduct his powers:
I must change arms at home, and give the distaff
Into my husband's hands. This trusty servant
Shall pass between us: ere long you are like to hear,
If you dare venture in your own behalf,
A mistress's command. Wear this; spare speech;
[Giving a favour.
Decline your head this kiss, if it durst speak,
Would stretch thy spirits up into the air;
Conceive, and fare thee well.

Edm. Yours in the ranks of death.

My most dear Gloster!
O, the difference of man, and man! To thee
A woman's services are due; my fool
Usurps my bed.


Gon. I have been worth the whistle. Alb.

Madam, here comes my lord. [Exit Steward.

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O Goneril! You are not worth the dust which the rude wind Blows in your face. - I fear your disposition: That nature, which contemns its origin, Cannot be border'd certain in itself;

She that herself will silver and disbranch
From her material sap, perforce must wither,
And come to deadly use.

Humanity must perforce prey on itself, Like monsters of the deep.

Gon. No more; the text is foolish.

Alb. Wisdom and goodness to the vile seem vile : Filths savour but themselves. What have you done? Tigers, not daughters, what have you perform’d? A father, and a gracious aged man, Whose reverence the head-lugg'd bear would lick, Most barbarous, most degenerate! have you madded. Could my good brother suffer you to do it? A man, a prince, by him so benefited?

If that the heavens do not their visible spirits Send quickly down to tame these vile offences, 'Twill come,

Gon. Milk-liver'd man! That bear'st a cheek for blows, a head for wrongs; Who hast not in thy brows an eye discerning Thine honour from thy suffering; that not know'st, Fools do those villains pity, who are punish'd Ere they have done their mischief. Where's thy


France spreads his banners in our noiseless land; With plumed helm thy slayer begins threats; Whilst thou, a moral fool, sit'st still, and cry'st, Alack! why does he so?


See thyself, devil!

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Slain by his servant, going to put out The other eye of Gloster.

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Gloster's eyes!

Mess. A servant that he bred, thrill'd with re


Oppos'd against the act, bending his sword
To his great master; who, thereat enrag'd,
Flew on him, and amongst them fell'd him dead :
But not without that harmful stroke, which since
Hath pluck'd him after.

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Alb. This shows you are above, You justicers, that these our nether crimes So speedily can venge! But, O, poor Gloster! Lost he his other eye! Mess. Both, both, my lord. This letter, madam, craves a speedy answer; 'Tis from your sister.

Gon. [Aside.] One way I like this well; But being widow, and my Gloster with her, May all the building in my fancy pluck Upon my hateful life: Another way, The news is not so tart. I'll read, and answer. [Exit. Alb. Where was his son, when they did take his eyes?

Mess. Come with my lady hither.

He is not here.
Mess. No, my good lord; I met him back again.
Alb. Knows he the wickedness?

Mess. Ay, my good lord; 'twas he inform'd against him;

And quit the house on purpose, that their punishment Might have the freer course.


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Gloster, I live To thank thee for the love thou show'dst the king, And to revenge thine eyes. Come hither, friend; Tell me what more thou knowest.


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Made she no verbal question?
Gent. 'Faith, once, or twice, she heav'd the name
of father

Pantingly forth, as if it press'd her heart;
Cried, Sisters! sisters!-Shame of ladies! sisters !
Kent! father! sisters! What? i'the storm? i'the

Let pity not be believ'd!— There she shook
The holy water from her heavenly eyes,
And clamour moisten'd: - then away she started
To deal with grief alone.

It is the stars,
The stars above us, govern our conditions;
Else one self mate and mate could not beget
Such different issues. You spoke not with her since?

Gent. No.

Kent. Was this before the king return'd?

No, since. Kent. Well, sir; The poor distress'd Lear is i'the


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SCENE IV. The same.

A Tent.

Enter CORDELIA, Physician, and Soldiers. Cor. Alack, 'tis he; why, he was met even now As mad as the vex'd sea: singing aloud; Crown'd with rank fumiter, and furrow weeds, With harlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowers, Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow In our sustaining corn. - A century send forth; Search every acre in the high-grown field, And bring him to our eye. [Erit an Officer.] What can man's wisdom do, In the restoring his bereaved sense?

He, that helps him, take all my outward worth.

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In person there?

Madam, with much ado :
Your sister is the better soldier.

Reg. Lord Edmund spake not with your lord at home?

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Reg. I speak in understanding; you are, I know it; Therefore, I do advise you, take this note: My lord is dead; Edmund and I have talk'd; And more convenient is he for my hand, You may gather more. Than for your lady's: If you do find him, pray you, give him this; And when your mistress hears thus much from you, I

pray, desire her call her wisdom to her

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But in my garments.


Methinks, you are better spoken. Edg. Come on, sir; here's the place;-stand still. How fearful

And dizzy 'tis, to cast one's eyes so low !

The crows, and choughs, that wing the midway air,
Show scarce so gross as beetles: Half way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade!
Methinks, he seems no bigger than his head :
The fishermen, that walk upon the beach,
Appear like mice; and yon' tall anchoring bark,
Diminish'd to her cock; her cock, a buoy
Almost too small for sight: The murmuring surge,
That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high : — - I'll look no more;
Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight
Topple down headlong.


Set me where you stand. Edg. Give me your hand: You are now within a foot Of the extreme verge: for all beneath the moon Would I not leap upright.

Glo. Let go my hand. Here, friend, is another purse; in it, a jewel Well worth a poor man's taking: Fairies, and gods, Prosper it with thee! Go thou further off; Bid me farewell, and let me hear thee going.

Edg. Now fare you well, good sir. [Seems to go. Glo. With all my heart. Edg. Why I do trifle thus with his despair, Is done to cure it.

O you mighty gods!
This world I do renounce; and, in your sights,
Shake patiently my great affliction off:
If I could bear it longer, and not fall

To quarrel with your great opposeless wills,
My snuff, and loathed part of nature, should
Burn itself out. If Edgar live, O, bless him!
Now, fellow, fare thee well. [He leaps, and falls along.
Gone, sir? farewell.
And yet I know not how conceit may rob
The treasury of life, when life itself
Yields to the theft: Had he been where he thought,
By this, had thought been past. Alive, or dead?



Ho, you sir friend: Hear you, sir? — speak! Thus might he pass indeed: - Yet he revives: What are you, sir?

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Away, and let me die. Edg. Had'st thou been aught but gossomer, feathers, air,

So many fathom down precipitating,

Thou had'st shiver'd like an egg: but thou dost breathe;

Hast heavy substance; bleed'st not; speak'st; art


Ten masts at each make not the altitude,
Which thou hast perpendicularly fell;
Thy life's a miracle: Speak yet again.
Glo. But have I fallen, or no?

Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky

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Lear. No, they cannot touch me for coining; I am the king himself.

Edg. O thou side-piercing sight!

Lear. Nature's above art in that respect.-There's your press-money. That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper: draw me a clothier's yard. Look, look, a mouse! Peace, peace; this piece of toasted cheese will do't.-There's my gauntlet; I'll prove it on a giant. Bring up the brown bills. O, well flown, bird! i' the clout, i' the clout: hewgh! Give the word. Edg. Sweet marjoram. Lear. Pass.

Glo. I know that voice.

Lear. Ha! Goneril! - with a white beard!

They flatter'd me like a dog; and told me, I had white hairs in my beard, ere the black ones were there. To say ay, and no, to every thing I said Ay and no too was no good divinity. When the rain came to wet me once, and the wind to make

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me chatter; when the thunder would not peace at my bidding; there I found them, there I smelt them out. Go to, they are not men o'their words: they told me I was every thing; 'tis a lie; I am not ague-proof.

Glo. The trick of that voice I do well remember: Is't not the king?

Ay, every inch a king:
When I do stare, see, how the subject quakes.
I pardon that man's life: What was thy cause? ·
Adultery. -

Thou shalt not die: Die for adultery! No:
The wren goes to't, and the small gilded fly
Does lecher in my sight.

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Lear. Let me wipe it first; it smells of mortality. Glo. O ruin'd piece of nature! This great world Shall so wear out to nought.-Dost thou know me? Lear. I remember thine eyes well enough. Dost thou squiny at me? No, do thy worst, blind Cupid; I'll not love. Read thou this challenge; mark but the penning of it.

Glo. Were all the letters suns, I could not see one Edg. I would not take this from report; — it is, And my heart breaks at it.

Lear. Read.

Glo. What, with the case of eyes?

Lear. O, ho, are you there with me? No eyes in your head, nor no money in your purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light: Yet you see how this world goes.

Glo. I see it feelingly.

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Lear. What, art mad? A man may see how this world goes, with no eyes. Look with thine ears: see how yon' justice rails upon yon' simple thief. Hark, in thine ear: Change places; and, handydandy, which is the justice, which is the thief? Thou hast seen a farmer's dog bark at a beggar? Glo. Ay, sir.

Lear. And the creature run from the cur?
There thou might'st behold the great image of au-
thority a dog's obeyed in office.
Thou rascal beadle, hold thy bloody hand :

Why dost thou lash that whore? Strip thine own back;
Thou hotly lust'st to use her in that kind
For which thou whipp'st her. The usurer hangs the


Through tatter'd clothes small vices do appear; Robes, and furr'd gowns, hide all. Plate sin with

None does offend, none, I say, none; I'll able 'em : Take that of me, my friend, who have the power To seal the accuser's lips. Get thee glass eyes; And, like a scurvy politician, seem

To see the things thou dost not. Now, now, now,


Pull off my boots: - harder, harder; so.

Edg. O, matter and impertinency mix'd! Reason in madness!


And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks : Arm it in rags, a pigmy's straw doth pierce it.

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- Sir,

I will be jovial; come, come; I am a king,
My masters, know you that?

Gent. You are a royal one, and we obey you. Lear. Then there's life in it. Nay, an you get it, you shall get it by running. Sa, sa, sa, sa. [Exit running; Attendants follow. Gent. A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch; Past speaking of in a king! Thou hast one daughter, Who redeems nature from the general curse Which twain have brought her to.

Edg. Hail, gentle sir. Gent. Sir, speed you: What's your will? Edg. Do you hear aught, sir, of a battle toward? Gent. Most sure, and vulgar: every one hears that, Which can distinguish sound.


But, by your favour,

How near's the other army?

Gent. Near, and on speedy foot; the main descry Stands on the hourly thought.


Let not my worser spirit tempt me again To die before you please!

I thank you, sir: that's all.
Gent. Though that the queen on special cause is
Her army is mov'd on.

I thank you, sir. [Exit Gent.
Glo. You ever gentle gods, take my breath from

Well pray you, father
Glo. Now, good sir, what are you?

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Glo. The king is mad: How stiff is my vile


That I stand up, and have ingenious feeling
Of my huge sorrows! Better I were distract :
So should my thoughts be sever'd from my griefs;
And woes, by wrong imaginations lose
The knowledge of themselves.

Re-enter EDGAR.

Give me your hand:
Far off, methinks, I hear the beaten drum.
Come, father, I'll bestow yo" with a friend.


SCENE VII. A Tent in the French Camp LEAR on a Bed, asleep; Physician, Gentlemen, and others, attending.


Cor. O thou good Kent, how shall I live, and work,

To match thy goodness? My life will be too short.
And every measure fail me.

Kent. To be acknowledg'd, madam, is 'er-paid.
All my reports go with the modest truth;
Nor more, nor clipp'd, but so.

Be better suited:
These weeds are memories of those worser hours;
I pr'ythee, put them off.

Pardon me, dear madam;
Yet to be known, shortens my made intent :
My boon I make it, that you know me not,
Till time and I think meet.

Cor. Then be it so, my good lord. How does
the king?
[To the Physician.


Phys. Madam, sleeps still.
Cor. O you kind gods,
Cure this great breach in his abused nature!
The untun'd and jarring senses, O, wind up,
Of this child-changed father!

So please your majesty,
That we may wake the king? he hath slept long.
Cor. Be govern'd by your knowledge, and pro-

I'the sway of your own will.

Is he array'd?

Gent. Ay, madam; in the heaviness of his sleep, We put fresh garments on him.

Phys. Be by, good madam, when we do awake him;

I doubt not of his temperance.


Very well. Phys. Please you, draw near. — -Louder the musick there.

Thy medicine on my lips; and let this kiss
Cor. O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Repair those violent harms, that my two sisters
Have in thy reverence made!

Kind and dear princess!
Cor. Had you not been their father, these white

O undistinguish'd space of woman's will!
A plot upon her virtuous husband's life;
And the exchange, my brother!-Here, in the sands, In the most terrible and nimble stroke
Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified
Of murderous lechers: and, in the mature time,
With this ungracious paper strike the sight
Of the death-practis'd duke: For him 'tis well,
That of thy death and business I can tell.

[Exit EDGAR, dragging out the body. In short and musty straw?

Had challeng'd pity of them. Was this a face
To be expos'd against the warring winds?
To stand against the deep dread-bolted thunder?

Of quick, cross-lightning? to watch (poor perdu!)
With this thin helm? Mine enemy's dog,
Though he had bit me, should have stood that night
Against my fire; And wast thou fain, poor father,
To hovel thee with swine, and rogues forlorn,
Alack, alack!

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