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Thy fifter's naught: oh Regan, she hath tied
[Points to his heart. I can scarce speak to thee; thou'lt not believe, With how deprav'd a quality-oh Regan!
Reg. I pray you, Sir, take patience; I have Hope, You less know how to value her desert, Than she to fcant her duty.
Lear. Say? How is that?
Reg. I cannot think my sister in the least Would fail her obligation. If, perchance, She have restrain'd the riots of
your 'Tis on such ground, and to such wholesome end, As clears her from all blame.
Lear. My curses on her!
Reg. O Sir, you are old,
Lear. Ask her forgiveness ?
Reg. Good Sir, no more; these are unsightly tricks: Return you to my
fifter. Lear. Never, Regan : She hath abated me of half
train; * Look'd black upon me; struck me with her tongue,
* Look'd black upon me;] So all the Editions. Mr. Theobald.alters it to blank. A small Alteration, only turning black to white. His Reason is, because to look black upon him is a Phrase he does not understand. But it alludes to a Serpent's turning black, when it swells with Rage and Venom, the very Creature to which Lear here compares his Daughter. Vol. VII.
Most ferpent-like, upon the very heart.
Reg. ,O the blest Gods ! So will
wish on me, when the rash mood is on. Lear. No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curse: Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give Thee o'er to harshness; her eyes are fierce, but thine Do comfort, and not burn. 'Tis not in thee To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train, To bandy hasty words, to scant my fizes, And, in conclufion, to oppose the bolt Against my coming in. Thou better know'ft The offices of nature, bond of child-hood, Effects of courtesy, dues of gratitude: Thy half o'th' kingdom thou hast not forgot, Wherein I thee endow'd.
Reg. Good Sir, to th' purpose. [Trumpets within. Lear. Who put my man i'th' Stocks?
Enter Steward. Corn. What trumpet's that?
Reg. I know't, my master's : this approves her letter, That she would soon be here. Is your lady.come?
Lear. This is a flave, whose easy-borrow'd pride Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows. Out, varlet, from my fight. Corn. What means your Grace ?
S CE N E XII.
Enter Gonerilt. Lear. HO ftockt my servant? Regan, I've good hope,
Thou didst not know on't.--Who comes here?
Gon. Why not by th' hand, Sir ? how have I of-
Lear. O fides, you are too tough! Will you yet hold?-how came my man i'th'Stocks?
Gorn. I set him there, Sir: but his own disorders Desery'd much less advancement.
Lear. You ? did you ?
Reg. I pray you, Father, being weak, deem't fo. If, 'till the expiration of your month, You will return and sojourn with my sister, Dismissing half your train, come then to me; I'm now from home, and out of that provision Which shall be needful for
entertainment. Lear. Return to her, and fifty men dismiss'd ? No, rather I abjure all roofs, and chufe To wage against the enmity o'th' air; To be a comrade with the wolf and owl, Necessity's sharp pinch- Return with her ? Why, the hot-blooded France, that dow'rless took Our youngest born, I could as well be brought To knee his throne, and 'Squire-like pension beg, To keep base life a-foot;Return with her? Persuade me rather to be a flave, and fumpter, To this detested groom.
Gon. At your choice, Sir.
Lear. I prythee, daughter, do not make me mad; I will not trouble thee, my child. Farewel ; We'll no more meet, no more see one another; But yet thou art my flesh, my blood, my daughter, Or rather a disease that's in my flesh,
Which I must needs call mine; thou art a bile,
Reg. Not altogether fo;
fit welcome ; give ear to my sister;
Lear. Is this well spoken?
it not well? what should you need of more ?
Reg. Why not, my lord ? if then they chanc'd to
Lear. I give you all-
Lear. Made you my Guardians, my depositaries;
Lear. * Those wrinkled creatures yet do look well
Reg. What needs one ?
Lear. O, reason not the need : our baseft beggars Are in the poorest thing superfluous; Allow not nature more than nature needs, Man's life is cheap as beasts. Thou art a lady ; If only to go warm were gorgeous, Why, nature needs not what thou gorgeous wear'ft, Which scarcely keeps thee warm; but for true need,You heav'ns, give me that patience which I need! You fee me here, you Gods, a poor old man, As full of grief as age; wretched in both ! If it be you, that stir these daughters' hearts Against their father, fool me not so much To bear it tamely ; touch me with noble anger; O let not women's weapons, water drops, Stain my man's cheeks. No, you unnat'ral hags, I will have such revenges on you
both, That all the world shall- I will do such things,
* Those wicked creatures get do look well-favour'd,
When others are more wicked :- As a little before, in the Text (like flatterers) the Editors had made a Similitude where the Author intended none ; so here, where he did, they are not in the Humour to give it us, because not introduced with the formulary Word, like. Lear's second Daughter proving still more Unkind than the first, he begins to entertain a better Opinion of this, from the other's greater Degree of Inhumanity, and expresses it by a Similitude taken from the Deformities which old Age brings on.
Those wrinkled creatures yet do look well-favour'd,