Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Gord. So young, my Lord, and crue.

Lear. Thy Truth then be thy Dow'r;
For by the sacred Sun, and folemn Night,
I here disclaim all my paternal Care,
And from this Minute hold thee as a Stranger
Both to my Blood and Favour.

Kent. This is Frenzy.
Consider, good my Liege

Lear. Peace, Kent ;
Come not between a Dragon and his Rage ;
I lov'd her most, and in her tender Trust
Design'd to have bestow'd my Age at Ease :
So be my Grave my Peace, as here I give
My Heart from her, and with it all

my

Wealth.
My Lords of Cornwall and of Albany,
I do invest you jointly with full Right
In this fair Third, Cordelia's forfeit Dow'r.
Mark me, my Lords, observe our last Resolve ;
Our Self, attended with an hundred Knights,
Will make Abode with you in monthly Course ;
The Name alone of King remain with me,
Your's be th’ Execution and the Revenues.
This is our final Will; and to confirin it,
This Coronet part between you.

Kent. Royal Lear,
Whom I have ever honour'd as my King,
Lov'd as my Father, as my Master follow'd,
And, as my Patron, thought on in my Prayers

Lear. Away, the Bow is bent, make from the Shaft.

Kent. No, let it fall, and drench within my Heart :
Be Kent unmannerly when Lear is mad ;
Thy youngest Daughter

Lear. On thy Life no more.
Kent. What wilt thou do, old Man ?
Lear. Out of my Sight.
Kent. See better first.
Lear. Now by the Gods.
Kent. Now by the Gods, rash King, thou swear'ft in
Lear. Ha, Traitor !

(vain. Kent. Do, kill thy Physician, Lear; Strike thro' my Throat, with my latest Breath

l'11

I'll thunder in thine Ear my juft Complaint,
And tell Thee to thy Face that thou dost ill..

Lear. Hear me, rash Man ; on thy Allegiance hear me:
Since thou hast striven to make Us break our Vow,
And prest between our Sentence and our Pow'r,
Which nor our Nacure, nor our Place can bear,
We banish thee for ever from our Sight
And Kingdom : If when three Days are expired,
Thy hated Trunk be found in our Dominions,
That Moment is thy Death. Away.

Kent. Why fare thee well, King ; since thou art resolv'd, I take thee at thy Word, and will not stay To see thy Fall : The Gods protect the Maid That truly thinks, and has moft juitly said. Thus to new Climates my old Truth I bear ; Friendship lives hence, and Banishment is here. [Exit.

Lear. Now, Burgundy, you see her Price is fallen ; Yet if the Fondness of

your

Passion still
Affects her as she stands, Dow'rless, and lost
In our Esteem, she's your's ; take her, or leave her.

Burg. Pardon me, Royal Lear, I but demand
The Low'r yourself propos'd, and here I take
Cordelia by the Hand, Duchefs of Burgundy.

Lear. Then leave her, Sir ; for by a Father's Rage
I tell you all her Wealth. Away.

Burg. Then, Sir, be pleas'd to charge the Breach
Of our Alliance on your own Will,
Not my Inconftancy.

[Exeunt. Manent Edgar and Cordelia.
Edg. Has Heav'n then weigh’d the Merit of my Love,
Or is't the Raving of my fickly Thought?
Cou'd Burgundy forego so rich a Prize,
And leave her to despairing Edgar's Arms?
Have I thy Hand, Cordelia ? Do I clasp it?
The Hand that was this Minute to have join'd
My hated Rival's ? Do I kneel before thee,
And offer at thy Feet my panting Heart ?
Smile, Princess, and convince me; for as yet
I doubt, and dare not trust the dazzling Joy.

Cord. Some Comfort yet, that 'twas no vicious Blot That has depriv'd me of a Father's Grace,

But

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

But merely want of that which makes me Rich
In wanting it ; a smooth professing tongue :
O Sisters! I am loath to call your

Fault
As it deserves; but use our Father well,
And wrong'd Cordelia never shall repine.

Edg. O heav'nly Maid! that art thyself thy Dow'r,
Richer in Virtue than the Stars in Light ;
If Edgar's humble Fortunes may be grac'd
With thy Acceptance, at thy Feet he lays 'em.
Ha, my Cordelia ! dost thou turn away?
What have I done t' offend thee?

Cord. Talk't of Love.

Edg. Then I've offended oft ; Cordelia too
Has oft permitted me fo to offend.

Cord. When, Edgar, I permitted your Addrefies,
I was the darling Daughter of a King,
Nor can I now forget my Royal Birth,
And live dependant on my Lover's Fortune ;
I cannot to fo low a Fate submit;
And therefore study to forget your Passion,
And trouble me upon this Theme no more.

Edg. Thus Majesty takes moft State in Distress!
How are we toit on Fortune's fickle Flood!
The Wave that with surprising Kindness brought
The dear Wreck to my Arms, has snatch't it back
And left me mourning on the barren Shore.

Cord. This Baseness of th'ignoble Burgundy, [ Aside.
Draws just Suspicion on the Race of Men;
His Love was Int'reft, so may Edgar's be,
And he but with more Compliment dissemble ;
If so, I shall oblige him by denying :
But if his Love be fixt, such constant Flame
As warms our Breasts, if such I find his Passion,
My Heart as grateful to his Truth shall be,
And could Cordelia prove as kind as He.

[Exit.
Enter Battard hastily.
Baft. Brother, I've found you in a lucky Minute ;
Fly and be safe, some Villain has incens'd
Our Father against your Life.

Edg. Distreft Cordelia ! but ho! more cruel.
Bat. Hear me, Sir, your Life, your Life's in danger.
B

Edg.

[ocr errors]

E'g. A Resolve fo fudden,
And of such black Importance !

Baft. 'Twas not sudden,
Some Villain has of long time laid a Train.

Edg. And yet perhaps 'twas but pretended Coldness, To try how far my Pastion would pursue.

Balt. He hears me not ! 'wake, 'wake, Sir.

Edg. Say ye, Brother ?No Tears, good Edmund, if ch'hast brought me Tidings To strike me dead, for Charity delay not ; That present will befit so kind a Hand.

Ball. Your Danger, Sir, comes on so fast,
That I want Time t’ inform yoụ ; but retire
Whilst I take care to turn the pressing Stream.
O Gods! For Heaven's sake, Sir.

Edg. Pardon me, Sir, a serious Thought
Had jeiz’d me ; but I think you talk'd of Danger,
And with'd me to retire: Muft all our Vows
End thus ?-Friend, I obey you.- Cordelia.

Exit.
Baft. Ha! ha! fond Man, such credulous Honesty
Leffens the Glory of my Artifice;
His Nature is so far from doing Wrongs,
That he suspects none : If this Letter speed,
And pass for Edgar's, as him'elf would own
The Counterfeit, but for the foul Contents,
Then my Designs are perfect. Here comes Glofier.

Enter Glofter. G'oft. Stay, Edmund, turn ; what Paper were you Baft. A Trifle, Sir.

[reading? Cl.jt. What needed then that terrible Dispatch of it Into your Pocket ? Come, produce it, Sir.

.
Bajt. A Letter from my Brother, Sir ; I had
Juit broke the Scal, but knew not the Contents ;
Yet, fearing they inight prove to blame,
Endeavour'd to conceal it from your Sight.
Gloff. 'Tis Edgar's Character.

[Reads. This Policy of Fathers is intolerable, that keeps our For

tunes from us 'till Age will not suffer us to enjoy them ; I am weary of the Tyranny : Come to me, that of this I may speak more. If your Father would sleep 'till I waked him, you should enjoy helf his PofSelfions, and live belov'd of your Brother Edgar.

Sleep till I wake’d him ! you should enjoy
Half bis Poffeffions ! Edgar to write this
'Gainst his indulgent Father! Death and flell!
Fly, Edmund, seek him out ; wind me into him,
That I may bite the Traytor's Heart, and fold
His bleeding Entrails on my vengeful Arm.
baft. Perhaps 'twas writ

, my Lord, to prove my Virtue.
Gloff. These late Eclipies of the Sun and Moon
Can bode no less ; Love cools, and Friendfip fails,
In Cities Mutiny, in Countries Discord,
The Bond of Nature crackt 'twixt Son and Father :
Find out the Villain ; do it carefully,
And it shall lose thee Nothing,

[Exit. Bast. So now my Project's firm ; but to make sure I'll throw in one Proof more, and that a bold one ; Ill place old Gloster where he fhail o'er-hear us Confer of this Defign; whilft, to his thinking, Deluded Edgar shali accuse himself. Be Honesty my Int'rest, and I can Be Honest too : And what Saint fo Divine, That will successful Villainy decline ?

[Erit.
Enter Kent di/guis’d.
Kent. Now banilh'd Kent, if thou canst pay thy Duty
In this Disguise, where thou doft and condemn’d,
Thy Master Lear shall find thee full of Labours.

Enter Lear attended.
Lear. In there, and tell our Daughter we are here.
Now, What art thou ?

Kent. A Man, Sir.
I ear. What dost thou profess, or would'st with us ?

Kent. I do profess to be no less than I seem, to serve him truly that puts me in Trust, to love him tha:'s ho. nest, to converse with him that's wise and speaks little, to fight when I can't chuse, and to eat no Fish. Lear. I say, what art thou ?

Kent. A very honeft-hearted Fellov, and as poor as the King.

Lear. Then art thou poor indeed, - What can't chou do ?

Kent. I can keep honest Counsel, mar a curious Tale in the telling, deliver a plain Message bluntly ; that wiich B 2.

ordi

« ForrigeFortsett »