Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

scene IV. The same. A Tent. Enter CORDELIA, Physician, and Soldiers. Cor. Alack, 'tis he; why, he was met e'en now As mad as the vex'd sea : singing aloud; Crown'd with rank fumiter, and furrow weeds, With barlocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckoo-flowDarnel, and all the idle weeds that grow (ers, 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.),

Wbat can man's wisdom do, In the restoring of his bereaved sense? He, that helps him, take all my outward worth.

Phy. There is means, madam : Our foster-nurse of nature is repose, The which he lacks; that to provoke in him, Are many simples operative, whose power Will close the eye of anguish. Cor.

All bless'd secrets, All you unpublish'd virtues of the earth, Spring with my tears! be aidant, and remediate, In the good man's distress!-Seek, seek for him; Lest his ungovern'd rage dissolve the life That wants the means to lead it.

Enter a Messenger. Mess.

Madam, news; The British powers are marching hitherward.

Cor. 'Tisknown before; our preparation stands In expectation of them.-0 dear father, It is thy business that I go about; Tberefore great France My mourning, and important tears, hath pitied. No blown ambition doth our arms incite, But love, dear love, and our ag'd father's right; Soon may I hear, and see him. [Exeunt. SCENE V. A Room in Gloster's Castle.

Enter REGAN and Steward. Reg. But are my brother's powers set forth? Stew.

Ay, madam, Reg.

Himself In person there? Stew.

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

VOL. VIII.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

is gone,

Reg. Lord Edmund spake not with your

lord at home? Stew. No, madam. Reg. What might import my sister's letter to

him?
Stew. I know not, lady.
Reg. 'Faith, he is posted hence on serious

matter.
It was great ignorance, Gloster's eyes being out,
To let him live; where he arrives, he moves
All hearts against us; Edmund, I think,
In pity of his misery, to despatch
His nighted life ; moreover, to descry
The strength o'the enemy.
Stew. I must needs after him, madam, with

my letter.
Reg. Our troops set forth to-morrow; stay

with us;
The ways are dangerous.
Stew.

I may not, madam;
My lady charg'd my duty in this business.
Reg. Why should she write to Edmund ? Might

not you
Transport her purposes by word? Belike,
Something-1 know not what :-I'll love thee

much, Let me unseal the letter. Stew.

Madam, I had ratherReg; I know, your lady does not love her

husband; I am sure of that; and, at her late being here, She gave strange æiliads, and most speaking

looks To noble mund : I know, you are of her

bosom.
Stew. I, madam?
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 band,
Than for your lady's :-You may gatber more.
If you do find him, pray you, give him tbis;
And when your mistress bears thus much from

you,
I pray, desire ber call her wisdom to her.

Reg.

Edg.

So, fare you well.
If you do chance to hear of that blind traitor,
Preferment falls on him that cuts him off.
Stew. 'Would, I could meet him, madam! 1

would show
What party I do follow.

Fare thee well. [Ereunt. SCENE VI. The Country near Dover. Enter GLOSTER, and EDGAR, dressed like a Peasant. Glo. When shall we come to the top of that

same bill? Edg. You do climb up it now: look, how we

labour. Glo. Methinks the ground is even.

Horrible steep: Hark, do you hear the sea? Glo.

No, truly. Edg. Why, then your other senses grow im.

perfect By your eyes' anguish.

So may it be, indeed : Methinks, thy voice is alter'd; and thou speak’st In better phrase, and matter, than thou didst. Edg. You are much deceiv'd; in nothing ain

I chang'd,
But in my garments.
Glo.

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

still.How fearful And dizzy 'ris, 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 Hangsone that gathers samphire; dreadful trade! Methinks, he seems no bigger than bis 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: Thé murmuring

surge, That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes, Cannot be heard so high ;-l'll look no more; Lest my brain turn, and the deficient sight Topple down headlong.

Glo.

[ocr errors]

Glo.

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.
Glo.

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.
Edg.

Gone, sir? farewell.
And yet I know not how conceit may rob
The treasury of life, when lite itself
Yields to the theft : Had be been where he

thought,
By this, had thought been past.-Alive, or dead?
Ho, you sir! friend!-Hear you, sir?-speak!
Thús might he pass indeed :—Yet he revives :
What are you, sir?
Glo.

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: bnt thou dost

breathe:
Hast heavy substance; bleed'st not; speak'st;

art sound.
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.

Edg. From the dread summit of this chalky

bourn: Look up a-height;—the shrill-gorg'd lark, so far Cannot be seen or heard : do but look up.

Glo. Alack, I have no eyes.Is wretchedness depriv'd that benefit, To end itself by death? 'Twas yet some comfort, When misery could beguile the tyrant's rage, And frustrate his proud will. Edg.

Give me your arm : Up: So;-How is 't? Feel you your legs? You Glo. Too well, too well.

(stand. This is above all strangeness. Upon the crown o'the cliff, what thing was that Which parted from you? Glo.

A poor unfortunate beggar. Edg. As I stood here below, methought, his

eyes Were two full moons; he bad a thousand noses, Horns welk'd, and wav'd like the enridged sea; It was some fiend: therefore, thou happy father, Think that the clearest gods, who make them

honours Of men's impossibilities, bave preserv'd thee.

Glo. I do remember now; henceforth I'll bear Affliction, till it do cry ont itself, Enough, enough, and,

dié. That thing you speak of, I took it for a man; often 'twould say, The fiend, the fiend: be led me to that place. Edg. Bear free and patient thoughts.—But who

comes here? Enter LEAR, fantastically dressed up with Flowers. The safer sense will ne'er accommodate His master thus.

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,-0, well flown, bird !-i' the clout, i'the clout; hewgh!-Give the word.

« PředchozíPokračovat »