Page images


This judgment of the heavens, that makes us tremble,
Touches us not with pity.

[blocks in formation]

To bid my king and master aye good night;
Is he not here ?

Alb. Great thing of us forgot!

Speak, Edmund, where's the king? and where's Cordelia ?-
See'st thou this object, Kent?

[The bodies of GONEBIL and REGAN are brought in.

Kent. Alack, why thus?

Edm. Yet Edmund was beloved:

The one the other poison'd for my sake,

And after slew herself.

Alb. Even so.-Cover their faces.

Edm. I pant for life:-Some good I mean to do,
Despite of mine own nature. Quickly send,-
Be brief in it,-to the castle; for my writ

Is on the life of Lear, and on Cordelia:

Nay, send in time.

Alb. Run, run, O, run

Edg. To who, my lord ?-Who has the office? send Thy token of reprieve.

Edm. Well thought on; take my sword,

Give it the captain.

Alb. Haste thee, for thy life.

[Exit EDGAR.

Edm. He hath commission from thy wife and me

To hang Cordelia in the prison, and

To lay the blame upon her own despair,

That she fordid* herself.

Alb. The gods defend her! Bear him hence awhile.

[EDMUND is borne off.

Enter LEAR, with CORDELIA dead in his arms; EDGAR, OFFICER, and others.

Lear. Howl, howl, howl, howl!-O, you are men of stones; Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so

That heaven's vault should crack:-O, she is gone for ever!—

I know when one is dead, and when one lives;

She's dead as earth :-Lend me a looking-glass;

If that her breath will mist or stain the stone,

Why, then she lives.

Kent. Is this the promised end?+
Edg. Or image of that horror?

Alb. Fall, and cease!‡

Lear. This feather stirs; she lives! if it be so,

* Destroyed.

+ Of the world.

Die; Albany speaks to Lear.

It is a chance that does redeem all sorrows

That ever I have felt.

Kent. O my good master!

Lear. Pr'ythee, away.

Edg. "Tis noble Kent, your friend.

Lear. A plague upon you, murderers, traitors, all!

I might have saved her; now she's gone for ever!—
Cordelia, Cordelia, stay a little. Ha!

What is't thou say'st ?-Her voice was ever soft,
Gentle, and low; an excellent thing in woman:-
I kill'd the slave that was a hanging thee.

Off. 'Tis true, my lords, he did.

Lear. Did I not, fellow?

I have seen the day, with my good biting faulchion,
I would have made them skip: I am old now,
And these same crosses spoil me.-Who are you?
Mine eyes are none o' the best:-I'll tell you straight.
Kent. If fortune brag of two she loved and hated,
One of them we behold.

Lear. This is a dull sight: Are you not Kent?
Kent. The same;

Your servant Kent: Where is your servant Caius ?
Lear. He's a good fellow, I can tell you that;
He'll strike, and quickly too:-He's dead and rotten.
Kent. No, my good lord; I am the very man ;-
Lear. I'll see that straight.

Kent. That, from your first of difference and decay,
Have follow'd your sad steps.

Lear. You are welcome hither.


Kent. Nor no man else; all's cheerless, dark, and deadly.

Your eldest daughters have fore-doom'd themselves,

And desperately are dead.

Lear. Ay, so I think.

Alb. He knows not what he says; and vain it is

That we present us to him.

Edg. Very bootless.

Enter an OFFICER.

Off. Edmund is dead, my lord.

Alb. That's but a trifle here.

You lords, and noble friends, know our intent.
What comfort to this great decay+ may come,
Shall be applied: For us, we will resign,
During the life of this old majesty,

To him our absolute power:-You, to your rights;


With boot, and such addition§ as your honours
Have more than merited.-All friends shall taste
The wages of their virtue, and all foes

The cup of their deservings.-O, see, see!

Lear. And my poor fool is hang'd! No, no, no life:


+ I. e. Lear.

* Increase.

Used here as a term of endearment.


Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life,

And thou no breath at all? O, thou wilt come no more,

Never, never, never, never, never!

Pray you, undo this button: Thank you, Sir.

Do you see this? Look on her,-look,-her lips,—

Look there, look there!

Edg. He faints !-My lord, my lord,

Kent. Break, heart; I pr'ythee, break!

Edg. Look up, my lord.

[He dies.

Kent. Vex not his ghost: O, let him pass! he hates him, That would upon the rack of this rough world

Stretch him out longer.

Edg. O, he is gone,


Kent. The wonder is, he hath endured so long: He but usurp'd his life.

Alb. Bear them from hence.-Our present business Is general woe. Friends of my soul, you twain


Rule in this realm, and the gored state sustain.
Kent. I have a journey, Sir, shortly to go;
My master calls, and I must not say, no.

Alb. The weight of this sad time we must obey;
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most: we, that are young,
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.

[Exeunt, with a dead march.

[blocks in formation]

SCENE, during the greater part of the Play, in Verona; once, in the Fifth Act, at Mantua.


Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows

Do, with their death, bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,

Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;

The which, if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.


SCENE I-A public place.

Enter SAMPSON and GREGORY, armed with Swords and Bucklers.

Sam. Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals.*

Gre. No, for then we should be colliers.

Sam. I mean, an we be in choler, we'll draw.

Gre. Ay, while you live, draw your neck out of the collar.
Sam. I strike quickly, being moved.

Gre. But thou art not quickly moved to strike.

Sam. A dog of the house of Montague moves me.

Gre. To move, is-to stir; and to be valiant, is-to stand to it: therefore, if thou art moved, thou runn'st away.

Sam. A dog of that house shall move me to stand: I will take the wall of any man or maid of Montague's.

Gre. That shows thee a weak slave; for the weakest goes to the wall.

Sam. True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall:-therefore I will push Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.

Gre. The quarrel is between our masters, and us their men. Sam. "Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the maids; I will cut off their heads.

Gre. The heads of the maids ?

Sam. Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads; take it in what sense thou wilt.

Gre. They must take it in sense, that feel it.

Sam. Me they shall feel, while I am able to stand: and, 'tis known, I am a pretty piece of flesh.

Gre. "Tis well, thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been poor John.t Draw thy tool; here comes two of the house of the Montagues.

Sam. My naked weapon is out; quarrel, I will back thee.
Gre. How? turn thy back, and run?

Sam. Fear me not.

Gre. No, marry: I fear thee!

Sam. Let us take the law of our sides; let them begin.

Gre. I will frown, as I pass by; and let them take it as they list.

Sam. Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.


Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, Sir?
Sam. I do bite my thumb, Sir?

Abr. Do you bite your thumb at us, Sir?
Sam. Is the law on our side, if I say-ay?
Gre. No.

*Put up with affronts.

† Dried hake

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »