William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

. (page 179 of 224)
Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 179 of 224)
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To make this creature fruitful I
Into her womb convey sterility 1
Dry up in her the organs of inerease;
And from her derognte body never spring
A babe to honour her I If she must teem.
Create her child of i*pleen ; that it may live.
And be a thwart disnatur'd torment to her!
Let it stamp wrinkles in her brow of youth ;
With cedent tears flret channels in her cheeks;
Turn all her mother's pains and benefits
To laughter and contempt ; that she may fidcl
How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankleas child. -Away, away! [EaeU,

ABk Mow, gods, that we adore, whereof comes

Ootu Never afflict yooradf to know more ef it •
But let hb disposition have 3lut soofe
As dotage givea it. f ^ \

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780 KING

Lmr. Whit, fifty of mj followers at a oUp ;
Within a fortoight ?

Alh, What's the matter, sir ?

Lear. Ill tell thee ,^Life and death I I am
That thoa hast power to shake mj manhood thtis:

That these hot tears, which break firom me per-
Should make thee worth them. — Blasts and fogs

upon thee 1
The untonted woundings of a father*s curse
Pierce every sense about thee ! Old fond eyes,
Beweep this cause again III pluck ye out :
And cast you, with the waters that you lose,
To temper clay. - Ua I Let it be so : —
I have another daughter.
Who, I am sure, is kind and oomfortable ;
When she shall hear this of thee, with her nails
She'll flay thy woltish visage. Thou shalt find.
That 1*11 resume the shape which thou dost think
1 hitve cast off" for ever.

[Exeunt Leab, Kbi:t, ani Attendants.

Qcn, Do you mark that?

Alb, I cannot be so partial, QonerO,
To the great love I bear you,—

Qon. Pray you content— What, Oswald, ho 1
YoUf sir, more knave than fool, after your master.

[To the Fool.

FooL Nuncle Lear, nunde Lear, tarry; take
the fool with thee.

A fox when one has caught her,

And such a daughter.

Should sure to the slanghter,

If my cap would buy a halter {

So the fool follows after. [EaaJU

Gkm, Tbb man hath had good ooonsel :— A
hundred knights I
'Tis politto and safe, to let him keep
At point a hundred knights ? Yes, that on every

Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
He may enguard his dotage with their powers.
And hold our lives in mercy. — Oswald, I say 1

Alb, Well, you may fear too far.

Ucn. Safer than trust too far.
Let me still take awav the harms I fear.
Not fear still to be taken. I know his heart:
What he hath utter 'd I have writ my sister ;
If she sustain him and his hundred knights.

When I have show'd the unfitness Uow now,


EnUr Steward.
What, have you writ thai letter to my sister ?

Stew, Ay, madam.

Qm, Take you some company, and away to
Inform her full of my particular fear ;
And thereto add such reasons of your own.
As may compact it more. Get you gone ;
And hasten your return. [ExU Steward.] No,

no, my lord.
This milky gentleness, and course of yours.
Though I condemn it not, vet, under pardon.
Yon are much more attaskM for want of wisdom,
Than praised Cor harmful mildness.


Alb, How fiur your eyes may pierce I otnnoC
Striving to better, oft we mar what^ weU.
Qon, Nay, then, —
Alb, Well, well; the event.

SCENE y^CouH before the
BtUet Lbav, Keht, and Fool.

Lear, Go yon before to Gloster with these
letters: acquaint my daughter no further with
anything you know, than comes from her demand
out of the letter: Ir your diligence be not speedy,
I shall be there afore vou.

Kent. I will not sleep, my lord, till I have
delivered vour letter. [EedL

FooL If a man*8 brains were in his heels, wereH
not in danger of kibes?

Lear, Ay, boy.

FooL Then, I prithee, be merry ; thy wit shall
not go slip-shod.

I^ar, Ua, ha, hat

FooL Shalt see thy other daughter will use thee
kindly : for though she*8 as like this as a crab^
like an aoule, yet I can tell what 1 can tell.

Lear, What canst tell, boy ?

FooL She will taste as like this as a crab does
to a crab. Thou canst tell why one^ nose stands
i* the middle of one's face?

Lear, No.

FooL Why, to keep one*s eyes of either side
one*s nose ; that what a man cannot smell oat he
may spy into.

Lear, I did her wrong : —

FooL Canst tell how an oyster makes his shell ?

Lear. No.

FooL Nor I neither; but I can tell why a snail
has a house.

Lear Why?

FooL Why, to put his head hi; not to give it
away to his daughters, and leave his horns without

Lear, I will forget my nature.— So kind a
father !— Ik my horses ready ?

FooL Thy asses are gone about 'em. The
reason why the seven stars are no more than seven
is a pretty reason.

Lear, Because they are not eight?

FooL Yes, indeed : Thou wouldst make a good

Lear, To take it again perforce I— Monster
ingratitude I

FooL If thou wert my fool, nuncle, I'd have
thee beaten for beiue old before thy time.

Lear. How's that ?

FooL Thou shouldst not have been old till thou
hadst been wise.

Lear, let me not be mad, not mad, sweet
hetveni Keep me in temper; I would not be

Enter Gentleman.
How nowl are the horses ready?

Oent, Ready, my lord.

Lear, Come, boy.

FooL She tliat s a maid now, and laughs at mj

Shall not be a maid long, unless things be out
fhorter. lEBoemU,

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SCENE I. - A Court wUhm the CasiUqfiheEKtl


EiUer Edmumd and Curah, meeting.

Edm. Save thee, Curan.

Cur. And you, sir. I have been with your
Either ; and given him notice that the Duke of
Cornwall, and Regan hia duchess, will be here
with him this night.

Edni. Uow eomes that?

Cwr. Nay, I know not : Ton have heard of the
news abroad; I mean, the whispered ones, for
they are yet but ear-kissing arguments?

idm. >ot 1. 'Pray you, what are they?

Cwr. Have you heard of no likely wars toward,
twixt the Dukes of Cornwall and Albany?

Sibn. Mot a word.

Cur. You may do then, in time. Fare yon well,
sir. [Exit.

Edm. The duke be hereto-night! The better,
Tbb weaves itself perforce Into my business!
My father hath set guard to take my brother ;
And 1 have one thing, of a queazy question.
Which I must aot:-Briet*ness and Ibrtnne,

work 1 —
Brother, a word ;— descend:— Brother, I say ;

Enter Edgar.
My father watches : O sir, fly this place;
Intelligence is given where you are hid ;
You have now the good advantage of the night:—
Have you not spoken 'gainst the Dukeof Cornwall?
Ue*s coming hither; now. i' the night, i*the haste,
And Regan with him: Have you nothing said
Upon Uh party 'gainst the Duke of Albany?
Advise yourself.

Edg. 1 am sure on't, not a word.

EAn. I hear my father coming,— Pardon me : —
In cunning, 1 must draw my sword uiton you:—
Draw : Seem to defend yourself: Now quit yon

Yield: comebeforeroyCither;— Light,hoa,herel—
Fly, brother ;— Torches I torches!— 8o, farewell- —

[Exit Edoar.
Some blood drawn on me would beget opinion

[ Wotmas hie arm.
Of my more fierce endeavour: I have seen

Do more than this in sport— Father I father!
Stop, stop! No help?

Enter Gloster, and Servants with torches.

Oh. Now, Edmund; where^ the villain ?
Edm. U ere stood he in the dark, his sharp sword
Mumbling uf wicked charms, conjuring the moon
To stand his auspicious mistress: —
Oio. But where is he ?

Edm. Look, sir, I bleed.
Olo. Where is the villain, Edmund ?

Edm. Fled this way, sir. When by no means

he could —
Olo. Pursue him, hoe I— Go tdteT.—[ExU Serv.]

By no means,— what?
JSitn. Persuade roe to the murder of your
But that I told him, the revenging gods
*Gainst parricideii did all tbo thunder bend ;
Spoke, with how manifold and strong a bond
Tlie child was bound to the fiuber - Sir in fine.

Seeing how loathly opposite I stood
To his unnatural purpose, in fell motion,
With his prepared sword, he charges home
My nnprovided body, launch 'd mine arm :
And when be saw my best alarum'd spirits,
Bold in the quarrel's right, rous'd to the encounter
Or whether ghasted by the noise 1 made,
Full suddenly he fled.

Olo. Let him fly far ;

Not in this land shall he remain nncaught :
And found— Despatch.— The noble duke, my

My worthy arch and natron, comes to-night:
Bv his authority I will proclaim it.
That he which finds him shall deserve our thanks.
Bringing tlie murderous coward to the stake;
Ue that ooncea's him, death.

Edm. When 1 dissuaded him from hia intent,
And found hiiu pight to do it, with curst speed
I tlireaten'd to discover him: Ue replied,
" Thou unpoesessing bastard 1 dost thou think.
If 1 would stand against thee, would the reposal
Of any tmst, virtue, or worth in thee
Make thy words faith'd? No: what I should deny
fAs thu* I would ; ay, though thou didst prodace
My very character), I'd turn il all
To thv suggestion, plot, and damned practice:
And thou must make a dullard of the world,
If they not thought the profits of my death
Were very pregnant ana potwtial spurs
To make thee seek it**

Olo, O strange and fasten'd villain I

Would he deny his letters, said he?- 1 never got

him. [Trumpets withxn.

Hark, the duke's trumpets 1 I know not wher' he

comes :
All ports I'll bar; the villain shall not *scai>e;
The duke must grant me that : besides^ his picture
I will send far and near, that all the kmgdom
May have due note of him ; and of my land,
Loyal and natural boy. 111 work the means
To make thee capable.

Enter Cornwall, Rroan, and Attendants.

Com. How now, my noble friend ? since I came
(Which I can call but now), I have heard strange
Seg. If it be tme, all vengeance comes too short
Which can pursae the offender. How dost, my
Olo. 0, madam, my old heart is craok*d; it's

crack 'd!
Seg. What, did my fathei a godson seek your lifel
He whom mv fatlier nam'd? your Edgar?
Olo, O lady, lady, shame would have it hid
Eeg. Was he not companion with the riotous
That tended upon my father?

Olo. I know not, madam: it is too bad, too

bad. —
E(im» Yes, madam, he was of that conwrt
Beg, No marvel then though he were ill affected ;
Tis they have put him on the old man's death.
To have th' expense and waste of his revennes.
1 have this present evening from my sister
Been well inform 'd of them ; and with such cau-
That if thev oome to aqjoorn at my ^ouse
111 not be there. ^.^.^.^^^ ^^ GOOglC


Com, Nor I, assure tbee, Regaiu —

Edmund, I bear that 70a have sbovm your father
A child-like office.

Ecbn, It was mj datj, sir.

Olo, He did bewray his practice; and reoeiy'd
Tbu hurt 70a see, striving to apprehend him.

Com, Is he pursued?

Olo. A7, HIT good lord.

Com. If he be taken, he shall never more
Be fear*d of doing harm : make your own parpose,
How in my strength 70a please. — For 70a,

Whose virtue and obedience doth this instant
80 much commend itself, yon shall be ours;
Natures of such deep trust we shall mudi need;
You we first seize on.

£dm, I shall serve 700, sir,

Truly, however else.

Oto, For him I thank your grace.

Com, You know not wh7 we came to vi«it70u, —

Beg, Thus out of season ; threading dark-ey*d
Occasions, noble Qloster, of some poize,
Wherein we muitt have use of your advice:—
Our father he hath writ, so hath our sister,
Of difierenoes, which I best thought it fit
To answer from our home ; the several messengers
From henoe attend despatch. Our good old friend,
Lay comforts to your oosom ; and bestow
Your needful counsel to our businesses.
Which Graves the instant use.

Qlo. I serve yon, madam :

Yoor graces are right welcome. [Exewa,

SCENE IL^Before Gloster'a Castle,
Enter Kent and Steward, teveraUy,

Stew, Good dawning to thee, friend: Art of
this house?

Kmt Ay.

JSiew. Where may we set our horses ?

Kent, r the mire.

Stew. Prithee, if then lov*st me, tell me.

Kent. I love thee not.

Stew. Why, then I care not for thee.

Kent If 1 had thee in Lipsbury pinfold, I
would make thee care for me.

Stew, Why dost thou use me thus? I know
thee not.

KenU Fellow, I know thee.

Stew, What dost thou know me for? ^

Kent. A knave; a rascal ; an eater of broken
meats; a base, proud, shallow, beggarly, three-
suited, hundred -poand, filthy worsted-stocking
knave; a lily-liver d, action-takmg, whoreson, glass-
gazing, superserviceable, finical rogue ; one-trunk-
inheriting slave ; one that wouldst be a bawd, in
way of good service, and art nothing but the com-
position of a knave, beggar, coward, pander, and
the son and heir of a mongrel bitch : one whom
I will beat into clamorous whining, if thou deny'st
the least syllable of thy addition.

Stew, Why, what a mont^trous fellow art thou,
thus to rail on one that Is neither known of thee,
nor knows thee.

Kent. What a brazen-faced varlet art thou, to
deny thou know*st me? Is it two days since I
•ripp'd up thy heels, and beat thee, before the
aing? Draw, you rogue: for, though it be night,
yet the moon shines; 111 make a sop o' the
Aoonshine of you, you whoreson cullionly barber-
nonger. Draw. [Drawing hi$ moord.

Stew, Away ; I have nothing to do with thee.


Kent. Draw, yon rascal : yon come with letters
against the kin^, and take vanity the puppel*s part
against the royalty of her father : Draw, yuu rogue,
or 111 so carbonado your shanks:— draw, you
rascal : come your ways.

Stew. Help, boa I murder! help!

KenL Strike, you slave; stand, rogue; stand,
you neat slave; strike. [Beating kirn.

Stew, Help, boa! murder! murder!

Enter Edmuxd, Corvwall, Rbqjlv, QLoexmB,
aiM? Servants.

Ecbn. How now I What*^ the matter? Part.

Kent. With you, good man boy, if you please *
eome. III flesh you ; come on, young master.

Glo. Weapons I arms ! What% the matter here?

Com. Keep peace, upon your lives ;
He dies that strikes again : What is the matter?

Beg. The messengers from our bister and the king.

Com. What is youi^ difference ? speak.

Stew, I am scarce in breath, my lord.

Kent, No marvel, you have so bestirred your
You cowardly rascal, nature disclaims in thee; a
tailor made thee.

Com, Thou art a strange fellow: a tailor make
a man?

Kent. A tailor, sir : a stone-cutter or a painter
could not have made him so ill, though they had
been but two hours at the trade.

Com, Speak yet, how grew your quarrel?

Stew, Tills ancient ruffian, sir, whose life I lunre
At suit of his grey beard,—

Kent, Thou whoreson zed! thou unnecessary
letter I'My lord, if you will give me leave,! will
tread this unbolted villain into mortar, and daub
the wall of a jakes with liim.— Spare my grey
beard, you wagtail?

Com. Peace, sirrah I
You beastly knave, know you no reverence ?

Kent. Yes, sir ; but anger hath a privilege.

Com, Why art thou angry ?

Kent, Tliat such a slave as this should wear a
Who wears no honesty. Soch smiling rogues as

Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain
Which are too intrinse t unloose: smooth ewy

That in the natures of their lords rebels;
Bring oil to fire, snow to their colder moods
Rene>(e, affirm, and turn their halcyon beaks
With every gale and vary of their masters.
Knowing nought, like dogs, but following.-^
A plague upon your epileptic visage!
Smile you my speeches, as I were a fool?
Goose, if I had you upon Sarum plaiiv,
I*d drive vf cackling home to Camelot.

Com. What, art Uiou mad, old fellow?

Oh, How fell yon out?

Say that.

'Kent. No contraries hold more antipathy.
Than I and such a knave.

Com, Why dost thou call him knave? What
is hu fault?

Kent, His countenance likes me not. ^

Com, No more, perchance, does mine, or hit,
or hers.

Kent. Sir, *tis my occupation to be plain
I have seen better faces in my time,
Than sUnds on any shoulder that I see
Before me at this instanL ^ ^ j

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Oonu This is some fellow,

Who, having been praisM for blnntness, doth affect
A saoc^ roughness; and constrains the garb
Quite from his natare : He cannot flatter, he ! —
An honest mind and plain,- he must speak troth :
An they will take it, so; if not, he*s plain.
These kind of knaves I luiow, wmch in this

Harbonr more craft, and more eorrnpter ends,
Than twenty silly dacking observants,
That stretch their duties nicely.

Kent. Sir, in good faith, in sincere verity.
Under the allowance of your great aspect,
Whose influence, like the wreath of radiant fire
On flickering Phoebus' front, —

Conu What mean'fet by this ?

Kcrd. To go out of my dialect, which yon dis-
commend so muclu I know, sir, I am no flatterer :
he tiiat beguiled yon, in a plain sccent, was a plain
knave: which, for my part, I will not be, though
I should win your dbpkasure to entreat me to it.

Com, What was the offence you gave him?

Stew. I never gave him any.
It pleased the king his master, very !ate.
To strike at me, upon his misconstruction;
When he, cominct, and flattering his displeasure,
Tripp*d me behind : being down, insultea, railed,
And pm upon him such a deal of man.
That wortby'd him, got prabes of the king
For him attempting who was self-subdued;
And in the fleshment of this dread exploit,
Drew on me here again.

Kent, None of these rogaes and eowards,

But Ajax is their fool.

Com, Fetch forth the stocks!

Tou stubborn ancient knave, you reverent brag-
gart I
Well teach you—

Kent, Sir, I am too old to learn :

Call not your stocks for me : I serve the king ;
On whose employment I was sent to you :
Yoo shall do small respects, show too bold malioe
Against the grace and person of my master,
Stocking his messenger.

Com. Fetch forth the stocks :

As I have life and honoar, there shall he sit till

Btg. Till noon! till night, my lord; and all night,

Kent, Why, madam, if I were your fitther's dog,
Tou should not use me so.
Beg. Sir, being his knave, I will.

[Stocks brought out.
Com. This is a fellow of the self-same colour
Our siater speaks of :~Come, bring away the
Olo, Let me beseech yonr grace not to do so :
His fault is much, and the iro^ king his master

LEAH. 788

Will not be nibbYl, nor stopped: I'll entreat for

Kent, Pray, do not, sir: I have watch*d and

traveird hard ;
Some time I shall sleep out, the rest 1*11 whistle.
A good man's fortune may grow oat at heels :
Give you good morrow I
Qlo, TheduKestoblame in this; 'twill belli

taken. \BaaX,

Kad. Good kmg, that most approve the oom-

mon saw ; ^

Then out of heavenls benediction com'st
To the warm sun!

Approach, thou beacon to this under globe,
That by thy comfortable beams 1 may
Peruse this letter I — Nothing almost sees miradee
But misery: — I know *tis from Cordelia;
Who hath most fortunately been informed
Of my obscured courifte ; and shall find time
From this enormous state, — seeking to give
Losses their remedies:— All weary and o*ei^

Take vantage, heavy eyes, not to behold
This shameful lodging.
Fortune, good night; smile once more; turn th>

wheel! \HtAee^

SCENB IIL—^ iNxr^ o/tAs EeaOi.

Enter Edgar.

Edg. I heard myself proclaim'd;
And, bv the happy hollow of a tree,
Escap'd the hunt. No port is free; no place,
That guard, and most unusual vigilanc^
Does not attend my taking. Whiles I may licape,
I will preserve myself: and am bethought
To take the basest and most poorest shape.
That ever penury, in contempt of man.
Brought near to beast : my face 111 grime with

Blanket my loins ; elf all my hair in knots;
And with presented nakedness out-face
The winds and persecutions of the sky.
The country gives me proof and precedent
Of Bedlam beggars, who, with roaring voices.
Strike in their numb'd and mortified bare arms
Pins, wooden pricks, nails, sprigs of rosemary ;
And with this horrible object, from low farms.
Poor ])elting villages, sheep-cotes and mills.
Sometime with Icmatio nans, sometime witlm

Enforce their charity. Poor Turlygod 1 poor Tona*

That's something yet;— Edgar I nothing am,


SCENE lY. -'Brfore Qloster's CatOe
Enter Lbas, Fool, and Gentleman.

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784 KING

Lear, What's he that bath so much tbj place
To set thee here?

Kaii. It is both be and she,

Toar son and daughter.

Lear. No.

Kent, Yes.

Lear. No, 1 say.

Kent, I say, yea.

Lear, No, no ; they woold not*

Kent. Yes, they have.

Lear. By Japiter, 1 swear, no.

Kent. Bv Juno, I swear, ay.

Lear, They durst not do*t ;
Tbey could not, would not do*t; *tb worse than

To do upon respect such violent outrage:
Resolve me, with all modest haste, which way
Thou miehtst deseire, or they impose, this usage,
Coming from us.

Kent. Viy lord, when at their home

I did commend your highness* letters to them,
Ere I was risen from the place that showed
My duty kneeling, came there a reeking post,
8tew'd m his haste, half breathless, panting forth
From Uoneril his mistre<», salutations;
Delivered letters, spite of intermission,
Which presently they read : on thode contents
They summoned up their meiny, straight took

Commanded me to follow, and attend
The leisure of their answer; gave me cold looks:
And meeting here the other messenger.
Whose welcome, I perceiv'd, had poison'd mine,
fBeing the very fellow which of late
tHsplay'd so saucily against your highness).
Having more man than wit about me, drew;
He raised the house with loud and coward cries :
Your son and daughter found this trespass worth
The shame which here it suffers.

FooL Winter's not gone yet, if the wild geese
fly that way.
Fathers that wear rags do make their children

blind ;
Bat fathers that bear bags shall see their children

Fortone, that arrant whore, ne'er turns the key to

the poor.—
But, for all this, thou shalt have as many dolours
for thy daughters, as thou canst tell m a year.

Lear 0, how this mother swells up toward my
heart 1
Sfystenca passio I—dowif thou climbing sorrow,
Thy element's below ! where is this daughter ?

Kent, With the earl, sir, here within.

Leur, Follow me not ;

Stay here. [KxU,

wnt. Made yon no more offence bat what yon
speak of?

Kent, None.
How chance the king comes with so small a

IbcL An thou hadst been set i' the stocks for
that question, thou hadst well deserved it.

Kent. Why, fool?

FxtL Well set thee to school to an ant, to teach
thee there's no labouring in the winter. All that
follow their noses are led by their eyes, but blind
men ; and there's not a nose among twenty but
can smell him that's stinking. Let go thy hold,
when a great wheel runs down a hill, Test it break
thy neck with following; but the great one that
goes upward, let him draw thee tner. When a


wrae man giTSs thee better eoonael, ^ve me mme
again : I would have none but knaves follow it,
since a fool gives it.

That, sir, which serves and seeks for gain.

And follows but for form.
Will pack, when it begins to rain.

And leave thee in the storm.
But I will tarry; the fool will stay.

And let the wise man fly:
The knave turns fool that runs away;
The fool no knave, perdy.
Kent. Where learn 'd you this, fool?
JFboL Not i'the stocks, fool.

K&enter Lear, with Qloster.

Lear, Deny to speak with me? They are sick f
they are weary?
They have travell'd ail the night? Mere fetches;
The images of revolt, and flying off!
Fetch me a better answer.

Oh. My dear lord.

You know the fiery quality of the duke (
How unremovable and fix d he is
In his own course.

Lear, Vengeance! plague! death! confUsionl—
Fiery? what quality? why Gloster, Gloster,
I'd speak with the l3uke of Coniwall and his wife.
Olo. Well, my good lord, I have iniorm'd them

Lear, Inform'd them! Dost thou onderstand

me, man?
Olo. At, my good lord.

Lear. The iciug would speak with Cornwall;
the dear father
Would with his daughter speak, commands, tends,

Are they inform'd of this? My breath and

blood ! —
Fiery ! the fiery duke !— Tell the hot duke, that—
No, but not yet:— may be, he is not well:
Infirmity doth still neglect all ofiice.
Whereto our health is bound; we are not our-
When nature, being oppress'd, commands the

To suffer with the body: 1*11 forbear;
And am fallen out %^ith my more headier will,
To take the indispos'd and sickly fit
For the sound man.— Death on my state! where-
fore [Looking on Kent.
Should he sit here? This act persuades me.
That this remotion of the duke and her
Is practice only. Give me m^ servant forth :
Go, tell the duke and his wife, I'd speak with

Now, presently : bid them come forth and hear me.

Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 179 of 224)