« PreviousContinue »
Let copulation thrive, for Gloster's bastard son
Glo. 0, let me kiss that hand !
Glo. O ruined piece of nature! This great world Shail 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.
1 i. e, incontinence.
2 The construction is, “Whose face presageth snow between her forks.” See Cotgrave's Dict. in v. Fourcheure.
3 i. e. puts on an outward, affected seeming of virtue. See Cotgrave in v. Mineux-se.
4 The fitchew is the polecat. A soiled horse is a horse that has been fed with hay and corn during the winter, and is turned out in the spring to take the first flush of grass, or has it cut and carried to him. This at once cleanses the animal and fills him with blood. In the old copies the preceding as well as the latter part of Lear's speech is printed as prose. It is doubtful whether any part of it was intended for metre.
5 But in its exceptive sense. 6 Possess.
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.
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, handy-dandy, 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
Pull off my boots ;-harder, harder; so.
Edg. O, matter and impertinency 3 mixed ! Reason in madness!
Lear. If thou wilt weep my fortunes, take my eyes. I know thee well enough ; thy name is Gloster.
From “hide all” to “accuser's lips” is wanting in the quartos. 2 i. e. support or uphold them.
3 Impertinency here is used in its old legitimate sense of something not belonging to the subject.
A proclaimed prize! Most happy! That eyeless head of thine was first framed flesh To raise my fortunes.- Thou old unhappy traitor, Briefly thyself remember. — The sword is out That must destroy thee. Glo.
Now let thy friendly hand Put strength enough to it.
[EDGAR opposes. Stew.
Wherefore, bold peasant,
Edg. Ch’ill not let go, zir, without vurther 'casion.
Edg. Good gentleman, go your gait, and let poor volk pass. And ch'ud ha' been zwaggered out 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 4 or iny bat be the harder. Ch’ill be plain with you.
Stew. Out, dungbill!
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
Edg. I know thee well; a serviceable villain;
1 i. e.“ quickly recollect the past offences of thy life, and recommend thyself to Heaven.”
2 Gang your gait is a common expression in the north. 3 i. e. I warn you.
4 i. e. head. A bat is a staff. It is the proper name of a walking-stick, in Sussex, even at this day.
5 i. e. thrusts.
What, is he dead?
papers, is more lawful.
[Excit EDGAR, dragging out the body.
1 i. e. to rip their papers is more lawful.
2 This seems to mean, “O, how inordinate, how unbounded, is the licentious inclination of women !”
3 “ Thee I'll rake up, the post unsanctified,” &c. i. e. I'll cover thee. Unsanctified refers to his want of burial in consecrated ground.
4 That is, the duke of Albany, whose death is machinated by practice or treason.
5" Ingenious feeling." Bullokar, in his Expositor, interprets ingenious by quick-conceited, i. e. acute.
So should my thoughts be severed from my griefs;
Re-enter EDGAR. Edg.
Give me your hand; Far off, methinks, I hear the beaten drum. Come, father, I'll bestow you with a friend. [Exeunt.
SCENE VII. 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 acknowledged, madam, is o’erpaid. All my reports go with the modest truth; Nor more, nor clipped, 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, 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 !
1 In the folio, the genlleman and the physician are one and the same person.
2 i. e. be better dressed, put on a better suit of clothes.