Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

E!

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.

Edg.

[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?

Glo.

Away, and let me die.

Edg. Had'st thou been aught but gossomer,2 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
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?

when life itself

Yields to the theft:] When life is willing to be destroyed. 1 Thus might he pass indeed:] Thus might he die in reality. 2 Had'st thou been aught but gossomer,-] Gossomore, the white and cobweb-like exhalations that fly about in hot sunny weather.

[graphic]

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.— 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 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:

7 That fellow handles his bow like a crow-keeper:] In several counties, to this day, they call a stuffed figure, representing a man, and armed with a bow and arrow, set up to fright the crows from the fruit and corn, a crow-keeper, as well as a scare-crow.

.

8 the brown bills.] A bill was a kind of battle-axe, affixed to a long staff.

90, well-flown, bird!-i' the clout, &c.] Lear is here raving of archery, and shooting at buts, as is plain by the words i' the clout, that is, the white mark they set up and aim at: hence the phrase, to hit the white.

they told me I was every thing; 'tis a lie; I am not ague-proof.

Glo. The trick of that voice1 I do well remember: Is't not the king?

Lear.

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.

Let copulation thrive, for Gloster's bastard son
Was kinder to his father, than my daughters
Got 'tween the lawful sheets.

To't, luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.-
Behold yon' simpering dame,

Whose face between her forks presageth snow;
That minces virtue, and does shake the head
To hear of pleasure's name;

The fitchew, nor the soiled horse, goes to't
With a more riotous appetite.

Down from the waist they are centaurs,
Though women all above:

But to the girdle2 do the gods inherit,

Beneath is all the fiends'; there's hell, there's darkness, there is the sulphurous pit, burning, scalding, stench, consumption;-Fye, fye, fye! pah; pah! Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination: there's money for thee.

Glo. O, let me kiss that hand!

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?

1 The trick of that voice-] Trick is a word frequently used for the air, or that peculiarity in a face, voice, or gesture, which dis tinguishes it from others.

But to the girdle, &c,] But is here used for only.

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.

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 authority: 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 cozener.

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

gold,

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

Dost thou squiny at me?] To squiny is to look asquint.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »