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followers ;

Thy fifter's naught: oh Regan, she hath tied
Sharp-tooth'd unkindness like a vulture here;

[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,
Nature in

stands on the

very verge
Of her confine; you should be ruld and led
By some discretion, that difcerns your state
Better than you yourself: therefore, I pray you,
That to our fifter you do make return;
Say, you have wrong'd her, Sir.

Lear. Ask her forgiveness ?
Do you but mark, how this becomes the House?
Dear daughter, I confess, that I am old,
Age is unnecessary: On my knees I beg,
That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.

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.
All the stor'd vengeances of heaven fall
On her ingrateful Top! ftrike her young bones,
You taking airs, with lameness !
Corn. Fie, Sir! fie!

Lear. You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding
Into her scornful eyes ! infect her beauty,
You fen-fuck'd fogs, drawn by the pow'rful sun
To fall, and blast her pride.

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 ?


Enter Gonerilt. Lear. HO ftockt my servant? Regan, I've good hope,



Thou didst not know on't.--Who comes here?
O Heav'ns,
If you do love old men, if your sweet sway
Hallow obedience, if yourfelves are old,
Make it your cause; send down, and take my part:
Art not asham'd to look upon this beard ?
O Regan, will you take her by the hand ? [fended ?

Gon. Why not by th' hand, Sir ? how have I of-
All's not offence, that indifcretion finds,
And dotage terms so.

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,


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Which I must needs call mine; thou art a bile,
A plague-fore, or imbossed carbuncle,
In my corrupted blood; but I'll not chide thee.
Let shame come when it will, I do not call it;
I do not bid the thunder-bearer shoot,
Nor tell tales of thee to high-judging Jove.
Mend when thou canst; be better at thy leisure.
I can be patient, I can stay with Regan;
I, and my hundred Knights.

Reg. Not altogether fo;
I look'd not for you yet, nor am provided
For your

fit welcome ; give ear to my sister;
For those that mingle reason with your passion,
Must be content to think you old, and so-
But she knows what she does.

Lear. Is this well spoken?
Reg. I dare avouch it, Sir; what fifty followers ?

it not well? what should you need of more ?
Yea, or so many? since both charge and danger
Speak 'gainst so great a number: how in one house
Should many people under two commands
Hold amity ? 'tis hard, almost impossible.
Gon. Why might not you, my lord, receive atten-

From those that she calls servants, or from mine ?

Reg. Why not, my lord ? if then they chanc'd to
We could controul them ; if you'll come to me,
(For now I spy a danger) I intreat you
To bring but five and twenty; to no more
Will I give place or notice.

Lear. I give you all-
Reg. And in good time you gave it.

Lear. Made you my Guardians, my depositaries;
But kept a reservation to be follow'd
With such a number; must I come to you
With five and twenty? Regan, said you fo ?
Reg. And speak't again, my lord, no more with me.


flack ye,

lord ;

Lear. * Those wrinkled creatures yet do look well

When others are more wrinkled. Not being worst,
Stands in some rank of praise; I'll go with thee;
Thy fifty yet doth double five and twenty ;
And thou art twice her love.
Gon. Hear

me, my
What need you five and twenty, ten, or five,
To follow in a house, were twice so many
Have a command to tend you ?

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,
When others are more wrinkled :-




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