Page images

me ;

Glo. You ever gentle gods, take my breath from
Let not my worser spirit tempt me again
To die before you please!

Well pray you, father.
Glo. Now, good sir, what are you?"
Edg. A most poor man, made tame by fortune's

Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand,
I'll lead you to some biding.

Hearty thanks :
The bounty and the benizon of heaven
To boot, and boot !

Enter Steward. Stew. A proclaim’d prize! Most happy! That eyeless head of thine was first fram'd flesh To raise my fortunes.- Thou old unhappy traitor, Briefly thyself remember::_ The sword is That must destroy thee. Glo.

Now let thy friendly hand Put strength enough to it. [EDGAR opposes. Stew.

Wherefore, bold peasant, Dar’st thou support a publish'd traitor? Hence; Lest that the infection of his fortune take Like hold on thee. Let


his arm. Edg. Chill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion. Stew. Let go, slave, or thou diest.

Edg. Good gentleman, go your gait,' and let poor volk

pass. And ch'ud ha' been zwagger'd out

my worser spirit -] Perhaps, my evil genius. . Briefly thyself remember -] 1. e. Quickly recollect the past offences of thy life, and recommend thyself to heaven.

go your gait, ] Gang your gait is a common expression in the North.

[ocr errors]

of my life, 'twould not ha' been zo long as 'tis by a vortnight. Nay, come not near the old man; keep out, che vor'ye, or ise try whether your costard or my bat* be the harder: Ch’ill be plain with you.

Stew. Out, dunghill!

Edg. Ch’ill pick your teeth, zir: Come; no matter vor your foins.

[They fight ; and EDGAR knocks him down. Stew. Slave, thou hast slain me:-Villain, take

my purse; If ever thou wilt thrive, bury my body; And give the letters, which thou find’st about me, To Edmund earl of Gloster; seek him out Upon the British party: -0, untimely death!

[ Diese Edg. I know thee well: A serviceable villain; As duteous to the vices of thy mistress, As badness would desire. Glo.

What, is he dead? Edg. Sit you down, father; rest you.Let's see his pockets: these letters, that he speaks

of, my

friends.He's dead; I am only sorry He had no other death's-man.- Let us see:Leave, gentle wax: and, manners, blame us not: To know our enemies' minds, we'd rip their hearts ; Their papers, is more lawful.

[Reads.] Let our reciprocal vows be remembered. You have many opportunities to cut him off: if your will want not, time and place will be fruitfully of

May be

che vor'ye,] I warn you. Edgar counterfeits the western dialect. 3

your costard -] Costard, i. e. head.
bat -] i. e.

club, or staff. no matter vor your foins.] To foin, is to make what we call a thrust in fencing. Shakspeare often uses the word.



fered. There is nothing done, if he return the conqueror; Then am I the prisoner, and his bed my gaol; from the loathed warmth whereof deliver me, and supply the place for your labour.

Your wife, (so I would say,) and your affectionate servant,


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, 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. Glo. The king is mad: How stiff is my vile sense, 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 you with a friend.

[Exeunt. 60 undistinguish'd space of woman's will !] O undistinguishing licentiousness of a woman's inclinations ?

? Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified, &c.] I'll cover thee. In Staffordshire, to rake the fire, is to cover it with fuel for the night. The epithet, unsanctified, refers to his want of burial in consecrated ground.


A Tent in the French Camp. LEAR on a Bed,

asleep ; Physician, Gentleman, and Others, attending : Enter CORDELIA and KENT. 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 o'er-paid.

my reports go with the modest truth; Nor more, nor clipp'd, but so. Cor.

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

Pardon me, dear madam; Yet to be known, shortens my made intent: My boon I make it, that you know me not, Tiil 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, 0, wind up
Of this child-changed father!?

So please your majesty, That we may wake the king ? he hath slept long.

8 Be better suited :] i. e. Be better dressed.

9 These weeds are memories -] i. e. Memorials, remembrancers.

my made intent:) An intent made, is an intent formed. 2 Of this child-changed father!] i.e. Changed to a child by his years and wrongs; or changed by his children.




Cor. Be govern’d by your knowledge, and proceed 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. Cor.

Very well.
Phys. Please you, draw near.-Louder the mu-

sick there.
Cor. O my dear father! Restoration, hang
Thy medicine on my lips ; and let this kiss
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

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 ?
In the most terrible and nimble stroke
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,
In short and musty straw? Alack, alack !
'Tis wonder, that thy life and wits at once
Had not concluded all.--He wakes ; speak to him.

Phys. Madam, do you ; 'tis fittest.
Cor. How does my royal lord? How fares your

majesty ?

i-- to watch (poor perdu !)

With this thin helm?] The allusion is to the forlorn-hope in an army, which are put upon desperate adventures, and called in French enfans perdus. With this thin helm? i. e. bare-headed.

« PreviousContinue »