Imágenes de páginas

Fal'n into taint; which to believe of her,
Must be a faith, that reason without miracle
Should never plant in me.

Cori I yet beseech your Majesty.
(If, for I want that glib and oily art,
To speak and purpose not; fince what I well intend,
I'll do't before I speak,) that you make known
It is no vicious blot, murder, or foulness,
No unchaste action, or dishonour'd step,
That hath depriv'd me of your grace and favour:
But ev'n for want of that, for which I'm richer,
A ftill folliciting eye, and such a tongue,
That I am glad I've not; though, not to have it,
Hath loft me in your liking.

Lear. Better thou Hadst not been born, than not have pleas’d me better.

France. Is it but this? a tardiness in nature,
Which often leaves the history unspoke,
That it intends to do? my lord of Burgundy,
What say you to the lady? love's not love,
When it is mingled with regards, that stand
Aloof from th' intire point. Say, will you have her?
She is herself a dowry.

Bur. Royal King,
Give but that portion which your self propos'd,
And here I take Cordelia by the hand,
Dutchess of Burgundy.
Lear. Nothing:

I've sworn.
Bur. I'm sorry then, you have so loft a father,
That you must lose a husband.

Cor: Peace be with Burgundy,

Tbat monsters it i. e. that makes a monster, a prodigy, of it: And our pret-uses this verb elsewhere in fuch a sense. So Albany, afterwards in this play,, says to Gonerill, his wife;

Thou chang'd, and self-converted thing! for shame,

Be-me1.fier not thy features.
And so, in Coriolanus ;

I'd rather have one scratch my head i' th’ Sun,
When the alarum were Aruck, than idly fit
To hear my nothings monster d.

Since that respects of fortune are his love,
I shall not be his wife.

France. Fairest Cordelia, that art most rich, being poor,
Most choice, forsaken; and moft lov'd, despisd!
Thee and thy virtues here I seize upon :
Be't lawful, I take up what's caft away.
Gods, Gods!'tis strange, that from their cold'it neglect
My love should kindle to enflam'd respect.
Thy dow’rless daughter, King, thrown to my chance,
Is Queen of us, of ours, and our fair France :
Not all the Dukes of wat'rish Burgundy
Can buy this unpriz'd, precious, maid of me.
Bid them farewel, Cordelia, tho' unkind;
Thou loseft here, a better where to find.

Lear. Thou hast her, France; let her be thine, for we
Have no such daughter; nor fall ever see
That face of hers again; therefore be gone
Without our grace, our love, our benizon:
Come, noble Burgundy. [Flourish. Exeunt Lear

[and Burgundy. France. Bid farewel to your sisters.

Cor. Ye jewels of our father, with wash'd eyes
Cordelia leaves you: I know what you are,
And, like a fister, am most loth to call
Your faults, as they are nam’d. Love well our father:
To your professing bosoms I commis him;
But yet, alas! flooj I within his grace,
I would prefer him to a better place.
So farewel to you both.

Reg. Prescribe not us our duty.

Gon. Let your study
Be to content your lord, who hath receiv'd you
At fortune's alms; you have obedience scanted,
And well are worth the Want that you have wanted. (4)

[ocr errors]

(4) And well are worth the Want that you have wanted.] This is a very obfcure expression, and must be pieced out with an imülied sense, to be underitood. This I take to be the poet's meaning, Atript of the jingle which makes it dark; “ You well deserve to meet with that « Want of love from your husband, which you have profess’d to want 66 for our father,"


Cor. Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides, Who covers faults, at last with Thame derides. Well may you prosper! France. Come, my fair Cordelia.

[Exeunt France and Cor. Gon. Sifter, it is not little I've to say, Of what most nearly appertains to us both; I think, our father will go hence to night.

Reg. That's certain, and with you; next month with us.

Gon. You see how full of changes his age is, the obfervation we have made of it hath not been little; he always lov'd our fifter moft, and with what poor judgment he hath now cast her off, appears too grossly.

Reg. 'Tis the infirmity of his age; yet he hath ever but flenderly known himself.

Gon. The best and foundeft of his time hath been but rash; then must we look, from his age, to receive not alone the imperfections of long-engrafted condition, but therewithal the upruly waywardness, that infirm and cholerick years bring with them.

Reg. Such unconstant starts are we like to have from him, as this of Kent's banishment.

Gon. There is further compliment of leave-taking between France and him; pray you, let us hit together : if our father carry authority with such disposition as he bears, this last surrender of his will but offend us.

Reg. We shall further think of it.

Gon. We must do something, and i'th' heat. [Exeunt. SCENE changes to a Castle belonging to

the Earl of Gloster.

Enter EDMUND, with a Letter. Edm. HOU, Nature, art my Goddess; to thy law

T y

Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curtely of nations to deprive me, (5)

For (5) The nicety of nations. ] This is Mr. Pope's reading, ex Cathedra; for it has the sanction of none of the copies, that I have met with.



first born

For that I am fome twelve or fourteen moon-shines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base ?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as gen'rous, and my shape as true:
As honeft Madam's issue? why brand they us
With base! with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lufty stealth of nature, take (6)
More composition and fierce quality;
Than doth, within a dull, ftale, tired bed,
Go to creating a whole tribe of fops,
They all, indeed, give it us, by a foolish corruption,-ibe Curio.
fity of nations; but I fome time ago prov'd, that our Author's word
was, Curtejy. So, again, in As You like it;

The curtesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are the
And again, in Cymbeline, this word stands for Birtb-right;

-aye hopeless
To have the curtesy your cradle promis'd.

Nor muft we forget that tenure in our laws, whereby fome lands are held by the Curtesy of England. And I ought to take notice, that I had the concurrence of the ingenious Dr. I birlby, who hinted to me this very emendation, before he knew I made it.

(6) Wbo, in the lusty stealtb of nature,] These fine lines are a very fignal proof of our author's admirable art, in giving proper sentiments to his characters. And such a proof, as hath in it lomething very extraordinary, The Bastard's character is that of a confirm'd atheift; and the poet's making him ridicule judicial Aftrology was design'd as one instance of that character: For that impious juggle bad a religious reverence paid it at that time: and Shakespeare makes his best characters in this very play, own and acknowledge the force of the stars influence. The poet, in short, gives an atheistical turn to all his fentiments; and how much the lines, following this, are in this character, may be seen by that strange monstrous with, which Vanini, the infamous Neapolitan atheist, made in his tract De Admirandis Nature; printed at Paris in 1616, the very year that our author dy'd. “0! ir Urinam extra legitimum & connub.alem tborum elem pro reatus! Ila « enim progenitores mei in venerem incaluiffent ardentiùs, ac cumula“ tim aifatimque generosa Semina contuliffent; e quibus ego fornice blanditiam et elegantiam, robuftas corporis vires, mentem.que innubilam consequutus fuiffem. At quia Conjugatorum lum foboles, his orbatus « sum bonis.' -Now had this book been publith'd ten years before, who would not have sworn that Sbakespeare hinted at this para fage? But the divinity of his genius here, as it were, furetold what such an atheist, as Vanini was, would say, when he wrote upon this subject.

Mr. Warburton.


Got 'tween a- sleep and wake? Well then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land;

Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund,
5 As to th' legitimate; fine word legitimate-

Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,

my invention thrive, Edmund the base Shall be th' legitimate.--I grow, I profper; Now, Gods, stand up for bastards!

To him, Enter Glo'ster. Glo. Kent banish'd thus! and France in choler parted! And the King gone to-night! subscrib’d his pow'r ! Confin'd to exhibition! all is gone Upon the gad!--Edmund, how now? what news? Edm. So please your lordship, none.

(Putting up the letter. Glo. Why so earnestly seek you to put up that letter? Edm. I know no news, my

Glo. What paper were you reading ?
Edm. Nothing, my lord.

Glo. No! what needed then that terrible dispatch of it into your pocketthe quality of nothing hath not fuch need to hide it self. Let's fee; come, if it be nothing, I shall not need spectacles.

Edm. I beseech you, Sir, pardon me, it is a letter from my brother, that I have not all o'er-read; and for so much as I have perus’d, I find it not fit for your o'erlooking

Glo. Give me the letter, Sir.

Edin. I fall offend, either to detain, or give it; the contents, as in part I understand them, are to blame.

Glo. Let's see, let's see.

Edm. I hope, for my brother's justification, he wrote this but as an essay, or taste of my virtue.

Glo. reads.] This policy and reverence of ages makes the world bitter to the best of our times; keeps our fortunes from us, 'till our oldness cannot relish them. I begin to find an idle and fond bondage in the opprefion of aged tyranny; which fway's, not as it hath power, but as it is suffered. Come to me, that of this I may speak more. If our father would


« AnteriorContinuar »