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Of other your new pranks. I do beseech you
As you are old and reverend, you should be wise:
Than a grac'd palace. The shame itself doth speak
For instant remedy: be then desir'd
By her, that else will take the thing she begs,
A little to disquantity your train;
And the remainder, that shall still depend,
Lear. Darkness and devils!
Saddle my horses; call my train together.-
Gonerill. You strike my people; and your disorder'd rabble. Make servants of their betters.
Lear. Woe, that too late repents-O, sir, are you come? Is it your will? speak, şir.-Prepare my horses.
Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend,
Albany. Pray, sir, be patient.
Lear. Detested kite! thou liest.
My train are men of choice and rarest parts,
The worships of their name.
-Go, go, my people!
[Striking his head.
Albany. My lord, I am guiltless, as I am ignorant Of what hath mov'd you.
Lear. It may be so, my lord
Hear, nature, hear! dear goddess, hear!
Suspend thy purpose, if thou didst intend
Into her womb convey sterility;
Dry up in her the organs of increase;
Albany. Now, gods, that we adore, whereof comes this ?
Lear. What, fifty of my followers at a clap! Within a fortnight!
Albany. What's the matter, sir ?
Lear. I'll tell thee; life and death! I am asham'd That thou hast power to shake my manhood thus:
That these hot tears, which break from me perforce,
The untented woundings of a father's curse
Pierce every sense about thee!-
She'll flea thy wolfish visage. Thou shalt find,
[Exeunt Lear, Kent, and Attendants."
This is certainly fine no wonder that Lear say after it, "O let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heavens," feeling its effects by anticipation: but fine as is this burst of rage and indignation at the first blow aimed at his hopes and expectations, it is nothing near so fine as what follows from his double disappointment, and his lingering efforts to see which of them he shall lean upon for support and find comfort in, when both his daughters turn against his age and weakness. It is with some difficulty that Lear gets to speak with his daughter Regan, and her husband, at Gloster's castle. In concert with Gonerill they have left their own home on purpose to avoid him. His apprehensions are first alarmed by this circumstance, and when Gloster, whose guests they are, urges the fiery temper of the Duke of Cornwall as an excuse for not importuning him a second time, Lear breaks out,
"Vengeance! Plague! Death! Confusion !
Afterwards, feeling perhaps not well himself, he is inclined to admit their excuse from illness, but then recollecting that they have set his messenger (Kent) in the stocks, all his suspicions are roused again, and he insists on seeing them.
"Enter CORNWALL, REGAN, GLOSTER, and Servants.
Lear. Good morrow to you both.
[Kent is set at liberty.
Regan. I am glad to see your highness.
Lear. Regan, I think you are; I know what reason
I have to think so; if thou should'st not be glad,
-O, are you free?
Some other time for that.-Beloved Regan,
[Points to his heart.
I can scarce speak to thee; thou❜lt not believe,
Regan. I pray you, sir, take patience; I have hope
Regan. I cannot think my sister in the least
Lear. My curses on her!
you stands on the very verge
Say, you have wrong'd her, sir.
Lear. Ask her forgiveness?
Do you but mark how this becomes the use?
Age is unnecessary; on my knees I beg,
That you'll vouchsafe me raiment, bed, and food.
Regan. Good sir, no more; these are unsightly tricks :
Return you to my sister.
Lear. Never, Regan:
She hath abated me of half my train;
Look'd blank upon me; struck me with her tongue,
Most serpent like, upon the very heart :--
On her ungrateful top! Strike her young bones,
You taking airs, with lameness!
Cornwall. Fie, sir, fie!
Lear. You nimble lightnings, dart your blinding flames
Into her scornful eyes! Infect her beauty,
You fen-suck'd fogs, drawn by the powerful sun,
To fall, and blast her pride!
Regan. O the blest gods!
So will you wish on me, when the rash mood is on.
Lear. No, Regan, thou shalt never have my curse;
Regan. Good sir, to the purpose.
Regan. I know't, my sister's: this approves her letter, That she would soon be here.-Is your lady come?
Lear. This is a slave, whose easy borrow'd pride Dwells in the fickle grace of her he follows:-Out, varlet, from my sight!
What means your grace?
Lear. Who stuck'd my servant? Regan, I have good hope Thou did'st not know on't.-Who comes here? O heavens,
If you do love old men, if your sweet sway
Allow obedience, if yourselves are old,
Make it your cause; send down, and take my part !—
O, Regan, wilt thou take her by the hand?